Trip to God’s own country!

Kerala is called ‘God’s own country’ but I had heard that in the monsoon season, it looks even more beautiful that it looks in the other seasons. The beauty and serenity makes it feel like heaven. It’s so clean and green.

Image

Weather in Kerala is pleasant throughout the year due to nearness to the sea and Western Ghats on other side. There are two monsoons seasons -: South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon. South-west monsoon starts from May-June and continues till September and Western Ghats gets the 1st rainfall.

Obviously watching sunset over the Arabian Sea while sitting on the Kovalam beach would be a romantic idea, but getting drenched under the cloudy sky and being in the huge tea estate will revitalize the mind, body and soul. So I chose to go to Kerala in the monsoon.

From Delhi to Kochi it was 3-hour flight journey, which was spent with half-sleepy eyes. By the time we reached Kochi or Cochin it was 9:30 am, and a cab was already waiting outside. We made a small halt for quick dosa-idli and filter-coffee breakfast and we were off to the mountains taking rounds & rounds that led towards Munnar. Some 135 KM away and at 6000 ft height, we were in between the misty sky and waterfall flowing among the greenness. Via a quick trip to spice garden (quite like our Sri Lanka trip, where the cab driver takes you to spice garden, elephant ride & shower) we entered Munnar. Quick tip – if you are in Munnar, buy some tea for sure and spices too.

Our hotel was overlooking the tea planted mountains and a small school, where bells rang every few hours and there was a cuckoo that woke us up at exact 6 o’ clock! Weather was cool and rain was just perfect to enjoy the vacation. (Especially if you were carrying the umbrella).


We did a mountain trek at Eravikulam national park and, funny enough, saw just 1 mountain goat! While coming back from park, one should try tree tomato or corn on the cob or have fried cashew nuts with a mug of coffee and not to forget homemade chocolate sellers along the way! Next we went to Mattupetty dam, it was a nice sight but nothing much. So we headed to echo point, which was 6 km from Dam. We absolutely loved the panoramic view with the mild rain-fall while sipping the masala tea with chilly vada-pav.

 

Next was driving down to Thekkady. It was some 110 KM drive amongst the most beautiful green patches made due to the grand Tata Tea Estate. We checked-in at our beautiful resort in the heart of Kumily with 8 acre of greenness, canopy of tall trees and a tree house café. BLISS. Soon we had to head to Periyar lake, where boating starts at 3:30 in evening and makes one witness one and half hour of cruising among flora and fauna with few sights of wild pigs, tortoise hugging the trees, sambal deers and wild elephants. Later we spent the rest of evening by watching Kalaripayattu (the martial art of Kerala) and Kathakali performance.

Next early morning we headed to Kumarakom, which is near Kottayam city. It’s set at the backdrop of largest fresh water Vembanad lake. Started a 4 hours shikara ride along the bird sanctuary with a break in between at some small resort along the Vembanad lake. The fresh homemade style food was heavenly. Well, shikara ride was different as it took you through small canals where houseboat couldn’t go. Later we checked-in at our resort and did some fishing at the resort private lakeside. The best part was Allepey’s nearness to Kumarkom, which meant we didn’t have to rush for early morning checkout.

 

We had heard so much about the backwaters of Kerala and when experienced, must say, one should plan a houseboat vacation in Kerala for sure. After driving through canals and lagoons and passing through villages when your houseboat comes to rest near a paddy field in evening, all you want to do is run towards that small church on the other side and return back to your houseboat living room only for freshly prepared traditional kerala food. Waking up on a houseboat with sun peeping through coconut leaves and some music coming from another boat was another world’s experience. As we went in July, we also saw the preparations for famous Nehru trophy boat race or Vallam Kali (which happens in August). These boats have 50 to 100 people seated in the Chundan Vallams (snake boats) and row hard to cover 1.5 Km in 3 minutes!

Before taking flight back to Delhi, we had a quick city tour of Kochi that included visit to Mattancherry palace or Dutch palace, Synagogue. Both places have Rs. 5 entry fee, so better carry the change. Chinese fishing net was another good place (if only visited at sunset time). We concluded our trip with a visit to St. Franchis, an oldest European church and a trip to private collection of interesting antique pieces at Folklore museum.

So when are you visiting Kerala? In monsoon or soon

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Just Diu it!

Why Diu?

I hadn’t thought about visiting Diu 5-6 yrs back and all I knew, it’s a union territory. When I heard about this from NID friends from NID and also got to know it ‘s a peaceful beach place unlike Goa, so I planned I will visit it someday.

How to reach.

Recently when I visited Ahmedabad I thought to take bus from there to Diu but got to know there are no volvo bus service so search for train started. Diu doesn’t have a railway station though it has a airport and flights from Mumbai to Diu goes there. So we took the Somnath express to Veraval. Timing of this train was good and we reached very early morning and made a quick visit to Somnath, which is also known as “the Shrine Eternal”, because it has been destroyed 6 times and rebuilt 6 times. We took a cab to Diu. Veraval to Diu is approximately 90km and take around 2hours 30min.

We stayed in a small resort Hoka because there were very few beach resorts and resort Sugati and Radhika were already full. Hoka was a nice resort with good food service and it was very near to famous Nagoa beach.

Earlier plan was to hire a bike and explore the city but seeing the heat in city we kept the same cab as anyway we had to leave next day.

What to see.

We started with Sea Shell museum, which has varieties of shell from all over the world. For sure, it has great collection but very untidily and unorganized!  Next was Gangeshwar temple, which was built by Pandavs and sea water keep it clean and cool.

Our next stop was INS Khukhri which was built in memory sailors who chose to go down the sea with the warship when it was hit by a Pakistani Submarine during the INDO-PAK war.

One of the natural prehistoric tourist point was Naida caves, it’s located outside the city and it was worth a visit and gave you a roaming inside a maze feel. Upcoming movie- Agneepath climax (Sanjay dutt dying) also shot here apart that, Karan Johar entire movie set was made in Mandava, Diu.

Nest in List were- Diu museum and St paul church followed by Diu fort. At Diu fort you can see lots of cannons and also a light house and at distance you can see Panikotha.

With that we almost ticked marked all places and moved to Nagoa beach for some hot corn and tea break. Next morning was also spent in relaxation at beach.

Later in day we went to Sugati resort for lunch. Hotel was nicely done but quite disappointed with red cushioned plastic chair and b&w check table cloths and sad interior at there one and only restaurant.

We had an evening train to catch from Veraval so we headed back and reached Ahmedabad at dusk and from there next was to catch the flight to Delhi.

Overall it was a cool experience because I also got cough and cold from this trip 😀

Marvelous Maldives

Maldives is called the sunny side of life and for me it’s a slice of heaven on earth. In fact, I have traveled a decent lot worldwide but am yet to find a naturally beautiful place as pretty as Maldives. One of the interesting fact : 99% of the country area is water and for the remaining 1% area, there are lots of islands dotted across 26 atolls.

We went to Sri Lanka 1st and from there went to Maldives and the airport we landed on was the only thing on that island.  The flight was going to London and due to turbulence few passengers were sitting in panic. But as soon as the plane started hovering over Maldives, the shades of blue took us in another world. We got our Visa on arrival, and looked for resort representative and from there our journey started on sea transports, like Speed boat.

It was drizzling when we started the journey to resort that was around 30 min away but as soon as we reached resort, it stopped and we were offered welcome drink followed by a quick tour of resort and then eventually escorted to our super deluxe beach resort. There is a saying, it’s not a beach destination but destination is beaches! It was amazing to see closest beach just few feet away from our bungalow and reef just below it. One could see hundreds of tropical fish, just from a few feet above water.

1st day we spent in walking around the resort. Sometime we sat on the wooden deck and watched the sun getting melted into sea of tropical colors and another time strolled around the resorts and watched different fishes in and out of turquoise reefs.  Did I mention that the dinner was awesome – we opted for half board so that we can eat at different restaurants in resort during the lunch time.

Next morning we were up and ready to go Male city tour. The island is the commercial hub of trades and hardly 2.5 square km in area. We visited some souvenir shops and bought huge shells and ceramic stuff and spent some time in a royal café. Once we were back to resort, we walked down to an Italian restaurant and had one of best pasta and wine. After some rest we headed for water sports. You have range of water sports to do from snorkeling to scuba diving to sailing to surfing, including not forgetting to bet at crab race at resort. It’s fun!

The best part about Maldives luxurious resort is that the chefs keep introducing different items every time you visit the restaurant for buffet. After a delicious breakfast, we headed for one of the interesting thing: a submarine drive. We 1st took Dhoni (the localized motor boat), which was fun as it kept going up and down with Indian Ocean waves. After 30-40 min ride we reached the jetty and from there we entered inside a capsule, which was submerged in sea. As soon it started going down, the underwater world started appearing in front of window. We saw eel, lionfish and many colorful fishes. I tried to make a video but it was futile.

Rest part of evening was spent watching sunset and when in morning sun was trying to emerge out we had a quick breakfast and started walking towards jetty with a thought to return back to this paradise once again.

For more photos please visit http://www.facebook.com/pureblissphotos or http://www.purebliss.in

The quick trip to neighborhood country

To me, Sri Lanka was like a dot below India’s map and I am aware of this country’s presence ever since I know India. Quite obviously, the charm to visit this country was always there but the right moment didn’t happen.

My trip to Sri Lanka was short and sweet but gave enough reason to go back again. I visited the capital city of Colombo and their hill station Kandy. As soon I reached Bandaranaike International Airport, Vesak lanterns were seen everywhere. The city looked quite clean and noticed a lot of traffic police taking rounds. Got to know from the cab driver that it is illegal to throw garbage or even puke on road and one will get fined if caught.

Day 1- Colombo:

It was drizzling in early morning so when I left for city tour, I knew it’s going to look more beautiful. Crossing the Galle road and viewing the spectacular five star hotels we reached 1st to a Hindu temple in Colombo. Nothing much to surprise there were every God / Goddess but no Hanuman 🙂

I read there were many Hindu temples but I wanted to visit Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple. I saw one of the awesome and valuable collections of relics of the Buddha there, elephant tusks and rare artifacts acquired locally and from abroad and also saw an elephant with ground touching tusk.

How can I miss this grand colonial building which is named as Colombo museum. This was founded by Sir William Henry Gregory, the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1877. There were lots of coins, weapons, brassware and sculptures telling ancient cultures of sri lanka.

Next was one of the best place – Sima Malaka Meditation Island on the Beira Lake, designed by Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. You can spend some tranquil moment here while watching the fleet of birds around.

By this moment, it was lunchtime so had sri lankan buffet at Raja Boujan. It was so tasty and yummy that next day at Kandy also, I went to a restaurant to have Srilankan lunch buffet.

Day 2: Pinnawala and Kandy.

Day started early morning with a drive to Kandy via Pinnawala. (about 90 km from Colombo is the home to some 80 or more elephant orphans). Before the elephant orphanage, cab driver stopped and took us to an elephant foundation where I did elephant ride and learnt few facts about elephants (like, Elephant trunk has no bones while tail has lots of bones).

Next was Pinnawala which is famous for its impressive herd of pachyderms. The herd included one elephant that broke his leg in mines, some who were lost in forest and some who were left behind when they fell sick are part of this world’s biggest elephant orphanage.

Next was a quick visit to a herb garden and gem factory and then I visited Peradeniya Botanical Garden at Kandy. It was huge and had well manure grass, plants, and multiple varieties of tress – and I had taken the mantle of visiting this all in an hour! But it started raining, so quickly I visited the orchid house and left for the famous ‘Temple of tooth relic’.

This 17th century temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site. Here, one of the Buddha’s teeth is kept.

Later in evening, I went to watch the Kandyan dance performance and after that finally reached hotel and was so exhausted that had dinner at the hotel empty restaurant only.

I had to rush to Colombo airport early morning to catch the flight so could not see sunrise from Kandy but enjoyed the ride and was looking forward to the next destination- Maldives!

Shopping:

Tour Guide cum cab driver Prem Sagar wanted to take me for shopping before even showing me the city attraction so I told a big NO. I guess I was wrong because later I learnt Colombo is famous for cloths manufacturing and export for international brands and they sell at very reasonable prices. I even didn’t visit ODEL shop L but when waiting for flight to Male at airport, bought a t-shirt.

But I knew what I wanted so I picked up a sri-lankan mask from a handicraft store and a dancing avatar from Laksala at airport and indulged in some ceylon tea shopping.

As a part of trip and guide’s commission to bring tourist to Gem store and Ayurvedic Garden, I visited those too but didn’t buy anything. I wasn’t sure if those were authentic and what price should I negotiate. I thought it better to avoid.

** Wrote this Srilanka blog long back because I travelled there in may 2011.

Go Goa.

Goa is a favorite tourist destination. But somehow I was not in favor of visiting Goa because I thought it would be crowded or beaches would not be clean. But when I went there, such doubts were clear. I would have made a mistake, if I didn’t come to Goa.

Goa for sure a fun place, as soon you land there you know you are going to have fun. Either you are looking for complete relaxing holiday or some water adventure based package fun & food would be there by default.

 

We stayed in South Goa and rented a cool bike. Tip 1– if in Goa, better have own vehicle else you would be paying a lot to rude auto rickshaw guys or expensive taxis. Anyway bikes/ scooters are cheap to hire.

 

Travelling on bike from south to north goa in itself was a fun filled ride. Narrow but traffic free, clean country roads for sure ignite the lost youth passion of riding a bike with glares on and bandana on head. Tip 2– before getting out from hotel room- put enough of sunscreen. Anyway, you are going to get tanned.

About water sports– You can do from water scooter to parasailing to going on boat to see dolphins or if dare than go for a scuba drive when in Goa. There are enough activities to keep you busy for a day that you would not mind warm sun rays on beach. Tip 3– being little apprehensive about water is normal. Once you are in water with your life jacket on, you will only flow and fear will go away slowly 🙂

 

If in Goa, and not going for a mid night walk on beach than there is something missing in your romance life. And ya, don’t be ‘kanjoos’ to have a nice candle light dinner. Also don’t mind having sea food in beach shacks too. Tip 4– forget about diet when in Goa. Just enjoy the food. Dieting can wait.  😉

 

Goa is also famous for hand painted tiles. I couldn’t do that during my visit to Goa in early march 2010 so whenever I go next, will do. BTW I loved my hotel (Zuri, South Goa) – their staff was very courteous and we even got a surprise cake but best was their own beach, we went their in night time only. Waking up early on a holiday is little tough thing so what I could not click sunrise shots. 🙂

Dubai dreams.

Dubai is a global business hub with 90% expat population, which makes it very unique. Recently I got a chance to visit Dubai. It is one of 7 emirates of UAE. It is a city that has so many things to offer from petroleum to real estate to one of the best malls and sand dunes for adventurous desert safari including harsh sun.

Burj Al Arab- Resembleing a billowing sail, a luxury Hotel, looks great in Dubai skyline.

Dubai to live.

Affording a home in Dubai is not cheap if you are not staying from few years. The rent of homes cost a lot of Dirham (Dubai’s currency). But it has few great residential properties like Dubai marina, which is the second largest man made marina in world. Aspiring to own a villa on Palm Jumeirah is only possible, if you are either born with a silver spoon or are a celebrity.

Cost of living in Dubai is not very high – it is just that water costs more than double of what petrol costs. You can get all the vegetables, fruits as well as Indian brands packaged items. Best is there is no personal income tax in Dubai.

Malls & Souks.

Aquarium at Dubai mall

Skiing at Dubai Mall

Name a brand and you will find it in Dubai. With so many huge malls in every corner, if they really have to stand out, have to offer something different. That’s how Dubai Mall,  world’s largest shopping mall has an under water zoo & Aquarium, ‘Mall of Emirates’ has Skiing, yeah can you believe skiing in such hot weather of Dubai.

one of gold shop in Gold souk area

Souks, which are traditional Arabic markets, are one of the more popular word in the city. Gold souks are more popular due to cheap price and varied options availability, which is why it is also known as the city of Gold. Though, I didn’t find it any less expensive than other places. Other popular souks are Spice souk and textile souk.

Fun

desert safari

If you went there and didn’t go for desert safari, then your visit is not completed. A humpy ride on golden sand dunes while sun is setting followed by Arabic barbeque and belly dancing and smoke flavored sheesha (hubbly-bubbly/water pipe) is just the right way to enjoy the time there.

Tip– don’t opt for over night safari unless in a huge group. We chose that and we were the only person left after meal so we had to come back.

a kid having fun with a belly dancer

Go for a night walk on Jumeirah beach, if you are lucky and all those tall buildings Burj al Arab, Burj Dubai are well lit you can click nice night shots. (I didn’t get any pic, so I was disappointed.)

deira creek area

After having a tough day at Media city; Dhow cruise really came as a relaxing option to spend the evening. Or just watch Hindi cinema in one of the multiplex. Reel cinema in Dubai mall has 22 screens with lots of movie choices. We watched 1st day show of London Dreams there.

 Something more.

You will like the men and women roaming around you in white and black dresses. (Men wears traditional dishdasha / khandura with ghutra and agal and women wear abaya (a long black cloak) with sheyla or hijab (a scarf).

Special parks for ladies are common there, and even in amusement park or Jumeraiah beach you will see a day especially for women and kids or family.

Cars are cheaper compared to India. Toyota is market leader followed by Nissan and Honda. Cabs are quite nice, most are Camry, Innova or Lancer. Before hopping in the city bus, make sure you got pass from some terminal or metro station as most of time bus drivers would not carry tickets/pass.

Now metro service is also started in Dubai, take a ride. In fact I got a better view of city from it.
Do some shopping at Dubai Festival city, can get good deals at IKEA store. Taste some Arabic sweets too; I liked it a lot. Most important, don’t forget to have as many dates as possible. 😉

Can find more Dubai’s shots here.

Summer Escape.

When the summer heat makes us restless, all we look forward is soaking ourselves in water. Best way to do so is indulging in some water sports. So what if you, like me, don’t know swimming 🙂
White water river rafting used to be a mode of transportation but now it’s a popular recreational activity which gives you thrills when doing so. Raft and rapids and you are rowing your paddle. Life seems so much calm and adventurous at same time.
relax-at-rishikesh 
River Rafting in India.
In India, we have many nice places to do the White water rafting, from Zanskar river flowing at high attitude in Leh to Rafting on River Brahmputra in Arunachal Pradesh, which is in the top ten best destinations to do river rafting or go to Uttarakhand, where have relaxing time in sandy river camp and do the rafting on holy Ganges i.e. near Rishikesh. Here you can have grade 4 rapids.

kayaking

How to reach.

If you live in New Delhi or near by, it’s just 5-6 hrs car journey and if taking train from New Delhi, reach to Haridwar, from there its hardly 25 KMs. In Rishikesh, you can stay in cool & comfortable beach resort, like I stayed in the Ganga Beach resort or opt for a nice cozy tent to spend the night.

rafting-in-rapid

Other than rafting, what else?
Apart from rafting, you could learn yoga, have nice massage or spa (Ananda is a famous destination spa but expensive) and do rock climbing, trekking and spend evening by visiting Ram & Laxman Jhoola. Ganges aarti happens at 6-7pm everyday and you would feel so content & relaxed. Don’t forget to have nice meal at Chotiwala restaurant near Ram Jhoola.

cliff-jumping-scene1

I am quite regular to Rishikesh and it was my 2nd time to do the River rafting. I am planning to do rafting on Brahmaputra River some time. But before that I should wash my water phobia in MCD water 😀

China travel.

China is one country I wanted to visit from a long time. The thought started when I was in the design school, for getting easy and cheap prototype for my brilliant idea. The same persisted in 2008 August when I wanted to go to watch Olympic live. Finally, the same materialized in December 2008 as I got the chance to travel with one more country added to the Places-I-Have-Traveled map.

take-me-around

The Shanghai city
Shanghai, the largest populated metro of world is somewhat similar to Mumbai. Busy fast life and tall buildings and so much lost in that fast pace. Maglev is just one example- a magnetic train runs from Shanghai’s Longyang Road subway station to Pudong International Airport at the maximum speed of 431 Km /H. Here cab system is also good, as long as you are careful to be able to explain to them that they have the meter on and running.

midnight-magic

People
People are very colorful in all senses – right from their clothes like colorful jackets, wrapped mufflers and colorful shoes to their colorful actions. One very interesting fact was to see the young people and teenagers holding their favorite gizmo (PlayStation mainly) and playing while having a 10 min ride either in metro train or bus.

color-trendsstreet-life

Food.
Getting vegetarian food is a challenge and I don’t count leaves as food. The problem gets compounded because of the language barrier – explaining something is real hard task. Even for non vegetarians, if you don’t eat beef or pork then choices are limited. But one must try Hot-Pot, it’s very nice especially on a chilly day.
Be careful of timing- here dinner starts getting served from 5:30pm and get finished by 9:30 or so.

hotpot-near-people-square-shanghai

Shopping
Bargain, bargain and ask for more Bargain. 🙂
Being a foreigner in their land, you must master this art else you will get cheated (that you will anways, but you can avoid the extent of it). And yes, don’t expect original or all stuff working when you come back home. The idea of bargaining is to master the art faster as compare to martial art. 😀

shanghai-with-my-chinese-friend

So much to explore that words would be few so check the picture gallery.

The Beijing City
China’s capital that recently hosted the Olympic 2008, is really a city with a difference. On one hand, you have great structures like Great Wall of China, Forbidden Palace and Temple of Heaven and on the other hand, smell of awesome tea and herbal medicines attracts many to visit this city. This city has better signage system as compared to Shanghai. Of course lots of development happened in recent past to make it bit tourist friendly.

olympic-nest-water-cube
You would definitely like the old monument and new structures like Water cube and Bird nest. For night out, you could try Kung Fu show at Red theatre. Its worth watching if you don’t have great expectation.
If you are taking guided tour, she will take you to tea house, pearl market and where not. And if you don’t buy anything, be prepared for a cold look.

chandni-chowk-to-china

I will end my blog with a line about The Great Wall – it’s really a wonder. We were awestruck with the grandness that it offered, it has taken humongous effort and has been well worth it – possibly more.

Chal Chalein Himachal (Lets go to Himachal)

After having a hard time at work, a break is very important. Not only does it help unwind, it also gives exposure to other parts of the country. We also took a similar break, from the heat of Delhi to the cool weather of Himachal.
Manali, Himachal pradesh, India
Manali-Abode of Manu (Manu, who recreated the human) in Himachal Pradesh, India. This town also has a way to Ladakh via Rohtang Pass. It’s a peaceful place famous for apple orchard and woolen shawls and nice cool excursions.

We started our journey from New Delhi National Highway -21 via Panipat, Chandigarh and Kullu. Taking a Volvo bus has advantages as you could relax in the night, and you would be somewhere in Himachal when you wake up the next morning for having a cup of hot tea. You will reach the city shortly thereafter.
Temples, manali
Shooting in temple

We reached Manali at 11am and after check-in to our hotel (Manali heights, which we found very good) took brunch and cab to see city attractions.
The local attractions, namely Club house, Tibetan Monasteries are just ok type. It is advisable to carry an extra pair of cloth, if you plan to go to Vashisht Hot water springs. Hadimba temple is nice specially for taking a walk around. It is apparently also famous amongst film-makers and we also witnessed shooting of a film when we were there. Manu temple in old Manali is also worth a check-out, to see old homes and walk down on narrow lanes.
Mountains and more

This place and its surroundings have loads to offer in terms of activities like para-gliding and skiing. Solang valley is a must-visit place, do indulge in paragliding other than good sightseeing. And if you are on a long trip, just keep half day time solely for this so that you can do this from greater heights (3-4 hours activity in total).
paragliding in Himachal
The road to Rohtang pass has lots of Nallas (or waterfalls) and you will like to stop there while driving on the broken narrow roads. Once you reach the destination, you can take a walk around, climb the snowy mountains or do skiing. Ginger tea and noodles is a good way to relax after a tiring walk. This place has small local shops for all these. Just beware of Kesar (saffron) and Kasturi seller, who will go all out to con you.
rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh
Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh
When we visited, snow was there but not enough to really excite you (particularly if you have seen snow before). But it was more of wholesome experience, the journey that made it interesting.
On the way back, some dynamites were kept to clean up the road and our cab stopped right before that, so that way it was bit real adventurous. While coming down, we stopped at Mandi (which is a small village) and saw sunset.

And yes, before I forget to mention, I must advise you on keeping one day just to explore market and have lazy lunch at Johnson café or Casa Vella café. Both these places are highly recommended to have good food.


Point to keep in mind- don’t buy Chingu (kind of quilt but it is all a fraud) though the locals have pretty interesting story about the same, don’t buy saffron (you can’t get 15gm for Rs. 100 anyway).
Carry enough cash- there are just 2-3 ATMs and they hardly work.
Wake up early- go for walk, have nice food with tea/coffee, do activities- there are many options (trekking, rafting, paragliding, skiing etc)
flowers, Himachal Woman
And yes, don’t forget to carry woolen clothes. It’s cold there in any season.

End of summers: Monsoon Calling.

When the canvas of life is becoming faded and dull and one is eagerly looking for a thrill; what could be better than adding few strokes of water with the long paddle brush and a palette called Kayak.
Go adventurous was the motto this weekend. And with our office team we went for River Rafting. Expedition was expended with rock climbing & trekking on the next day.

 Shivpuri, uttranchal.

White water rafting along the Ganges in Shivpuri near Rishikesh, Uttranchal was the agenda. We were supposed to cover 12 Km and do grade 3 & grade 4 rapids.
Through it was not a favorable season to do the rafting as water current was high and rapids could through you.
As I do not know swimming so I was among the afraid all group and was hesitated to do dip and being more adventurous. But when you are already inside the deep water, and paddle as a life line in your hand and you are just blindly following guide instructions than there is so much to have fun.

Preperation-river rafting Life jackets & helmets
We started from Silver sand beach and moved forwards in lush green when sun rays were perfectly accurate to brighten up the mountains in golden hues. The real adventure happened when at the 3 blind mice rapid 3 people from our 2nd boat fallen down! When boat went upside down and 3 persons were not found on right place on the right side. One of them was pulled back immediately, 2nd was saved by kayak and 3rd one who seemed to be panicked was also pulled by the life guard after few minutes.
2 pairs of slippers and 2 paddles were missed and other boat went back to get paddle while we rested on the side. Then our journey started again. I was asked to sit in front as we accommodated 1 more person from the other boat. Sitting in front of the boat, and when waves hit my face occasionally and I got thrilled with every up & down. It was a different experience.
Kayak RiderTents on silver sand beach

Next morning started with drizzling. And when I woke up and saw the awesome view of nature where the pure nature water accumulated on the balcony railing, and small white clouds were trying to push each other on the dark green mountains and translucent green Ganges was floating with little higher voice.
All that made me feel energetic to go out and capture some nature luxurious, soothing musical moments into 2-D, silent frames.
 What a wonderful morning! 
Rock climbing was not going to happen still we wore our comfortable foot wears and started journey towards the mountain peak. In that narrow round & round lanes I got tired number of times, feet slipped but there were will to climb. It the halfway like wanderers we all got dispersed and after certain period of time I realized lets go back and do some more clicks while getting mesmerized by nature beauty.

After a quick lunch we proceeded for Haridwar, from where we had train to Delhi. And we reached with an exhilarating experience to kill the Mondays blues and show more of creative and adventurous side.

Check more pics.