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Asia » India » Sikkim » Pelling May 17th 2022

Day-5: Gangtok to Pelling via Chardham and Buddha Park At last, there was something to see in Gangtok. On Day-5 we were to travel from Gangtok to Pelling. As usual, taxi was expected anytime between 9 and 11. Fortunately, we could start the day at 9.30. Four places in Gangtok were on the list: Flower show, Do Drul Chortan Stupa, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Handicrafts center. Last two were closed due to weekly holidays. Flower show has good collection of flowering plants arranged nicely. As the number of photographs is just too many for this blog, I will put up elsewhere. Funny part was that every visitor wanted to be photographed himself/herself with the flowers. Selfie culture has changed the definition of photography. You are always in the center! Next was the Do Drul Chortan ... read more
39-Do Drul Chortan
40-Do Drul Chortan
41-Do Drul Chortan

Asia » India » Sikkim » Lachung May 16th 2022

Day-3: Gangtok to Lachung: Lachung is a small village near Tibetan border situated at 9,000 ft. It is a very scenic place – for that matter, entire Sikkim is a scenic beauty. On 5th May, day time temperature forecast was 6°C and night temperature forecast was 1°C. We were told that taxi will arrive anytime between 9 and 11! This is a major (and common) problem in Sikkim. Taxi operators have formed a cartel and they dictate the terms. In Sikkim (eastern part of India), sun rises early. Unless it is raining, there is broad day-light by 5.30 in the morning in summer. And you have to wait till……..may be 11 for the day to start! In Sikkim, taxi operators ply on specific routes. Eg, taxis on Gangtok-Lachung-Gangtok route do not keep luggage carriers (I don’t ... read more
20-Seven Sisters Fall
21-Seven Sisters Fall
22-Seven Sisters Fall

Asia » India » Sikkim » Gangtok May 14th 2022

Sikkim – Darjeeling : May-2022 When I started writing this blog, I started with comparison of self-planned tour v/s organized tour as Ladakh (self-planned) is still fresh in mind. Then I decided to keep that chapter at the end. It is interesting to know that Sikkim was an independent State / Nation protected by India till 1975. After internal political turmoil, a referendum was held and by overwhelming majority, people of Sikkim decided to become a part of India. Sikkim became 22nd state of India in 1975. Local population of Sikkim is mainly Buddhist (Bhutia and Lepcha) and some Nepali. Sikkim has population of just over 7 lacs. We booked through a travel company – ‘Ajay Modi’ of Ahmedabad. It is shown as a 7-nights 8-days tour, whereas in reality it is 7-nights and 6-days. Day-1 ... read more
02-At Nathu La
03-At Nathu La
04-At Nathu La

Asia » India » Lakshadweep » Bangaram April 24th 2022

'Lakshadweep' - in most of the Indian languages means a lakh /million (laksha) islands (dweep) though it is a conglomerate of 36 islands to be precise. But I must say, it is definitely one in a lakh(million) islands when it comes to its breathtaking beauty. Lakshadweep is one of the 8 Union Territories of India and is located in the Arabian Sea off the south-west coast of India. And the tiny little gorgeous Bangaram island is one of the 36 islands of Lakshadweep. Travelling this time was different for two reasons - we were going on a vacation after 3 long years and this time there was an addition to the trip - our three year old son. This was his first time flying , so I was obviously nervous ! Since most of the resorts ... read more
Oh the storm !
I could sit here forever!
The magical dinner

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata February 17th 2022

Since my paternal uncle passed away, I was concerned about my father as the only surviving brother. Thankfully, he was fine but my brave trip during the pandemic was a lesson in itself to take care of oneself first and foremost. Being not sure of travel, I requested some flexibility in my leave which my 'kind' manager complied with. I took the RT-PCR test and it was negative. Immediately, I confirmed my travels. I cycled and bought a whole lot of thoughtful presents for friends and family at one go as did not have much time for multiple trips. I had to fill a Air Suvidha form to confirm all my location details in India. At the airport, there were so many administrative checks of an assortment of papers, making travelling with the Maharaja less than ... read more
Local markets
Cars parked on footpath
Local Saraswati pandal

Asia » India » West Bengal » Bolpur February 15th 2022

I simply had to escape from the polluted air of Kolkata (previously called Calcutta) which is competing with Delhi to be the most polluted city in India. Since I wanted to buy traditional handicrafts, I decided to find the source and planned a day trip from Kolkata to Bolpur. A restless night and for the first time I appreciated the wake up call of the morning Azaan from our nearby mosque. After a cuppa tea, I took a yellow, ambassador taxi which tried to fleece me for 100 INR for a distance less than 2 kms instead of running by the meter. I offered to take another one and being the first customer of the day, it was considered bad luck and he continued. It was exciting to see the mass of humanity at Sealdah train ... read more
Potato farm near Kopai river
Shonajhuri forest
Kopai river

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Vellore December 30th 2021

we started our journey to ooty on 25th may . we started our train journey around 10.00a.m and we reached the hills in night, so we missed a lot of location on the way. The next day our first location was to the PYKARA LAKE which is a famous lake. The climate was very good near the lake as the sun was just rising giving a golden shade to the lake. There we went on a boat ride along side of the lake and we saw few wild animals there. The lake was maintained well .Our next destination was to the seven hills which is famous for it lush green surrounding which has so many little forest around it and also for famous for horse riding. we had a very relaxing time there, our first day ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Udupi December 22nd 2021

According to mythology, when Lord Krishna’s wife Rukmini requested her husband for the idol of Balkrishna, the child form of the Lord, Shri Krishna entrusted Vishwakarma with the task of designing the idol. Vishwakarma made a beautiful idol of Balkrishna with the holy saligrama stone and gave it to Rukmini for worship. The idol, in the course of being worshipped by hundreds of devotees at Dwaraka with the application of sandalwood paste, got completely covered with the sandalwood paste. It is believed that this same idol is now placed at the temple. As a consequence of the great flood that occurred at the end of the era of Lord Krishna, Dwaraka was completely engulfed by the sea. And the sandalwood covered idol of Lord Krishna also got washed away. Saint Madhvacharya and the Idol Decades passed. ... read more

Asia » India » Andhra Pradesh » Chittoor District » Tirupati November 29th 2021

The temple is said to be 2000+ years old. The deity is a 5 feet shiva linga with Shiva standing on the shoulders of an asura (ignorance) who is kneeling down. Gudi means temple and Mallam means underground. The temple apparently has an underground secret entrance leading to a 10000+ old Shiva linga radiating the energies of Shiva himself. There are 9 moving secret stones leading to this entrance. Interested people can research on YouTube for the secret entrance. This temple has one of the oldest Shiva linga in the world and the energies are still pure and divine. Any mediator doing daily sadhana can feel the energies on just closing eyes and meditating near the linga.The temple also has a Subramanya, Devi and Surya Bhagwan ... read more
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Asia » India » Gujarat November 19th 2021

Gujarat state in western India is geographically and culturally divided in to at least four regions: Saurashtra, Kutchh, North Gujarat and South Gujarat (with Central Gujarat in between). I have lived in Saurashtra for 36 years and North Gujarat for 27 years. Interest in re-(re)-visiting some parts of Saurashtra is therefore natural. I have copied some information (mostly legends) from sources available on internet (not necessarily authentic – I have used them only because I liked the contents). I have also given links to these sources. You may use hyperlinks to read more about the place. I have not re-written the description wherever good source is available. Saurashtra (also known as Kathiawad) is further divided into different areas (which are more relevant historically): Halar (present day Jamnagar), Sorath (Jun... read more
02-Bala-hanuman-251021
03-Lakhota Lake-251021
04-Jamnagar-251021




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