Lansdowne from a Mountain lover’s view!

“Traveling is like flirting with life it’s like saying, I would stay and love you, but have to go!”

Lansdowne is one quaint, little, unspoilt and charming hill station for the wanderlust traveler who has seen it all. This hill station is less crowded and commercialised as compared to other hill stations thanks to the cantonment area of Garhwal Rifles. The beauty of the hills will leave you mesmerized and make you stop at places during the journey. Pine and Oak trees, valley and Himalyan views, beautiful sunrise and sunsets leave you awestruck.

It is a laid back hill station with good hotels on different altitudes. You can choose your preference of hotels basis the view from hotel and altitude. We chose to stay at two different hotels with varied views and altitude and it was a delight experiencing different scenic views altogether.

You can relax in the hotel and indulge in different activities or go check out the Bhulla Lake. Enjoy boating and clicking pictures is the best you can do here.

It is a must visit hill station who are looking out to have good and quality time with their loved ones away from the maddening crowds of metros!

Revisiting Rishikesh after 7 years only to find that Nothing has changed since then!

“Traveling is not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing.”

Often it happens with most of us that a place we have visited recently goes last on our list of places to visit next. We always wish to travel new places, new countries, new islands etc etc. But then, there are places which we loved and crave to get there once more! Rishikesh and Goa in India are places that are close to my heart and I would love to revisit them time and again. So, it took me 7 years to get back to Rishikesh! I always thought of visiting it in between, but then my mind always said, Lets’ explore a new place, but this very time I thought, No, just Rishikesh!

So, it was a long weekend and the monsoons were at its peak. We started off early morning and covered a good stretch by 9 AM. The weather was lovely as the rains started by the time we reached Khatauli. Stopped at Namaste India group for our morning cuppa tea. It got greener as we entered Roorkee. Plus the rains added to the beauty of Roorkee and places thereafter.

As we came close to Haridwar, I got really excited to see the Holy Ganga and its Ghats, Har ki Paudi, Shivji’s grand statue, Dharamshalas, everything that Haridwar is all about. There is so much faith and religious beliefs attached to the place and you feel so mesmerized at once and chant Om Namay Shivay!! We did not halt at Haridwar as the destination was just few kilometers away!

In about an hour we reached our destination, the Yoga and rafting capital as many people say. Much to my suprise, the place did not change a bit!!! Same old parking before Ram jhula, petite shops of malas and clothing, cows all around, the calmess in the air, chanting of mantras, scenic view of Ganga from every nook and corner, evening aarti at the ghats..nothing has changed since then. I was so nostalgic and spell bound to see the places as it is. It seemed life is still here and will always be. People will come and go but this place has seen the test of time and not left its true identity. I was awestruck all through our stay and the memory still lingers when I write this post.

Rishikesh stay the same for we love you!

 

Also read: 7 reasons why foreigners love coming to Rishikesh!

7 reasons why foreigners love coming to Rishikesh!

Rishikesh is fondly called the Yoga capital of India. With Ganga in the backdrop, this place is a gem in itself. There is smething in the air that gets to you that makes you feel calm and relaxed, such is the aura of the place! You would find spiritual seekers, yogis, trainers, teachers, pandits etc. from all walks of life. Foreigners come here, live like locals, imbibe the spiritual and ayurvedic life and go back home enriched and soul rich. Come lets explore why is Rishikesh on almost every foreigner’s list:

Rishikesh
  • Yoga and Meditation

There are a lot of ashrams with different programs running throughout the year. Foreigners generally enrol for Yoga, Yoga teacher training programs, meditation courses before hand. Then there are courses according to duration of stay as well for both the foreigners and locals.

  •  Music and Dance

People who visit India generally come on a long holiday, so they try to make the best out of it. Rishikesh is full of dance/Kathak classes, vocational singing classes and music classes. People love the culture and diversity of our country and take that piece of learning with them. A good lot of people who come here for a long stay learn hindi and speak fluently giving we Indians a competition!

  • Spirituality and Devotion

Going through the streets of Rishikesh, you would hear mantras and devotional songs sung by both Indians and foreigners in every nook and corner. They chant of the Shambu, the Great Lord Shiva and it feels so divine that words fall short to express. People love Shivay for all reasons and come to Rishikesh to experience it. Evening aarti at Parmeth Ashram, Triveni Ghat and others sways your heart in delight and devotion.

Evening Aarti
  • Cafes overlooking Ganga  (majorly Lakshman Jhula)

Lakshman Jhula is flooded with petite cafes overlooking Ganga which gives a mesmerizing view. Come, sit, enjoy free wifi and repeat! That’s an everyday rountine here with foreigners. You would find lip smacking Italian, Israeli, Lebanese, Mexican food in these cafes. Some cafes have small bohomein cloth shops, junk and antique jewelry and tattoo shops attached to them where you can shop and buy cheap stuff.

Cafe
  • Adventure sports

Rishikesh is also predominently known for water sports. Experience river rafting, camping, hiking, bungee jumping that these companies offer to locals and foreigners. It will certainly charge up for adrenaline! Rishikesh is the best River rafting destination in India.

  • A glimpse of India

This quaint town has a history to know, culture and diversity to experience, adventure sports to enjoy, scenic views to savor, and Yoga and other ayurvedic retreats to cleanse your soul. What else one would want?

  • Ayurveda and Spa

People come here for various types of ayurvedic healing, reiki and energetic healing and then there are Spa of all kinds to relax and cleanse your body. Foreigners are far more aware of the ayurvedic side of Rishikesh and come here to rejenuvate their inner self.

I don’t think any foreigner who came to Rishikesh was ever disppointed! Do let me know of your views about Rishikesh. Until then “Om Namay Shivay”

How do we capture our travels?

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. Do we all not wish to just travel and live the life that is unexplored, create memories of a lifetime, show people around us the adventure that travel holds in the form of pictures and videos? Yes, certainly yes! Then how do we capture our unforgettable travels?

1. All things Nature

People with the knack to click beautiful scenic views and landscapes, sandy beaches, cloudes floating over the mountains etc. Their feeds will make people jealous of being in that place someday!

2. Selfie time, everytime

Your Instagram, facebook is flooded with selfies of friends and family when you are on a vacay mode. That’s their idea of creating memories.

3. One photo please

People who are obssessed with clicking only and only their photos. They would look for someone in the crowd to click that potrait of yours or with your hubby/friends. Also, the dress should also be visible enough! After all, you have spent so much on your vacay shopping! Everything on point!

4. One photo with a background please

Typical instructer types. You want the waterfall in the background plus a full length horizontal photo that looks candid as well. That’s how peculiar they are at getting clicked. We bow down to such people!

5. Travel photography

People who travel with an agenda. It could be food while you travel, people on the go, flora and fauna, wildlife photography etc. That’s some serious work driven by passion.

 

6. No photos at all

People who just relax and do not take the pain of clicking. They just sit back, enjoy their wine and let the vibes of the place sink in.

The decisions we take and the vacations that follow!

In today’s time, everybody loves to travel, everybody stalks other’s profile and wishes to visit the same place, everybody wants to utilise that very long weekend, everybody wants the enjoy the luxury, the beach, the mountain! But, do we plan enough before taking a vacation? To some a Big Yes and to some a No. Well, to each their own! For those looking to travel to faraway places, you need to put your heart and mind in it to decide as to which place to go considering the following factors. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  1. Which time of the year would you want to travel?

Well, answering this question can somewhat answer all the questions. You are the one who wants to travel in off season way cheap, or could be one who wants to visit that country during their best season/time or could be one who wants to travel on specific holidays such as Christmas or New Years. So, this would potentialy increase or decrease the budget for flights and accomodation. Decide the time of the year wisely to save big time just on everything.

2. Do you have enough finances?

Some of us save hard to tick off that place from our bucket list. Enough finances in hand help us to give an upper hand when we are in a foreign land. Also, to travel smart, you ought to book everything in advance, for that matter good savings need to be in place.

3. Where do you wish to stay?

A lot of us are very peculiar as to where to stay. Some prefer luxury 5 star hotels, some prefer guest houses and lodges, some would like to explore the Airbnbs. So, choosing the right stay can shoot your travel expense or vice versa.

4. How much money kept aside for expenses in the foreign land?

Many of us do not look into this aspect of travel. We wish to buy souvenirs for our friends and relatives, buy some specialty from your travel, explore the nightlife and stuff. All this needs extra cash which we do not really calculate at the time of planning. Evaluating expenses at the onset will not lead you to regrets later. So guys, travel as much as you can BUT travel smart!

 

 

5 Things to do in Goa other than partying!!

We all love Goa for our own reasons. It is a true heaven for people looking out for peace and party at the same time. Goa has various other things to do other partying and club hopping! So lets explore Goa my way:

1) Visit Old Goa:
Old Goa should be on your list if you wish to know the fascinating history of Goa. It is full of archaeological museums, Churches and Cathedrals like The Jesuit Church, Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, The Se Cathedral.

2) Go on a Cruise:
Sunset, Moonlight or Casino beaches on the Mandovi River Yacts are perfect for a lovely delightful evening. Enjoy with sunset with beer and Goan dancing or maybe trying your luck at the Casino Cruise.

3) Wednesday’s Anjuna Flea Market:
This popular market is full of beaded jewelry, handicrafts, paintings, lot of trendy clothes and wrap arounds. Do bargain before you buy any stuff.

Anjuna Flea Market, Goa

4) Saturday Arpora Night Market:
This retro styled artisan market has stalls with cultural influences from all across the globe. You can shop here for home made knick knacks, Indian handicrafts and leather goods. Lip smacking food and live music just makes the Saturday light all the more lively and enjoyable.

5) Water sports: 
Goa has numerous beaches and water sports is a must for adventure lovers. You can choose from parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing, kite surfing, wind surfing, catamaran sailing, and banana rides etc.

Water sports in Goa

So guys, what you waiting for??

Great Initiative for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation-PRASAD

PRASAD stands for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme in India. The focus is on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.

Under the plan scheme ‘PRASAD’, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, for various tourism projects subject to availability of funds, liquidation of pending utilization certificates and adherence to the scheme guidelines.Under the PRASAD scheme thirteen sites have been identified for development, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna.

In pursuance to the Budget Announcements of 2014-15, the scheme was launched in January 2015. The projects sanctioned under the scheme are generally commissioned in 18 to 36 months.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme -13 Circuits to look forward to!

Swadesh Darshan Scheme was introduced by the Cabinet ministry and Ministry of tourism in India to develop theme based tourism in India. With the help of this scheme, the tourists and visitors would get an opportunity to visit the specific tourist circuit in a single tour. 

There are 13 tourist circuits that are proposed and started under the scheme. Under these 13 circuits, there are many cities and sites added for the visitors to get down there and enjoy their holiday. 

When we say a tourist circuit, it means that a bunch of connected places can be visited at one go! An example of this is the famous Golden triangle which covers majorly three places namely Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. So under a specific tourists’ circuit, there will be few renowned places that can be covered by a tourist in a single tour.

The 13 circuits are named as:
1) Buddhist Circuit
2) Coastal Circuit
3) Krishna Circuit
4) Ramayana Circuit
5) Desert Circuit
6) Spiritual Circuit
7) North East Circuit
8) Himalyan Circuit
9) Heritage Circuit

10) Tribal Circuit
11) Rural Circuit
12) Eco Circuit
13) Wildlife Circuit


4 places to stop before you reach Shimla by road!

To beat the scorching sun of North India, families and couples are heading to cooler gateways to beat the heat. If you are planning a road trip this summer to Shimla, you can break it down to these four places and head to your final destination. The journey starts with Delhi or any NCR region:

1) Murthal ke Paranthe:

Early morning drives are best to escape the heat and cover a good distance. It also means you got to fuel your body with nice breakfast. Murthal is an ideal breakfast place with lot of dhabas famous being Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba, Gulshan Dhaba etc. Just head onto any one of these and have Aloo ke Paranthe, Lassi and anything you feel like.2) Chandigarh:

The next on this route without halt would be Chandigarh. The highway is just fantastic and you would reach in straight 3 hours barring any traffic! You could stay in Chandigarh overnight and drive to Shimla the next day or can reach Kasauli, stay and drive to Shimla the next day. Either ways, you can take your road ahead. In Chandigarh, you could visit Rock garden, Rose garden, Sukhna lake and enjoy mouth watering chaats there!
3) Halt at Parwanoo for Lunch:

The famous Timber trail resort Parwanoo is a must visit place for visitors. It is generally packed during breakfast and lunches for visitors going forward to Kasauli and Shimla.
4) Shimla:

Shimla is approximately 80 Kms from Timber trail. Relax and head to scenic Shimla by evening.You could stay at Kasauli and drive to Shimla the next day or reach Shimla after halting at these spots.

Travelling the new way from Mumbai to Goa-Tejas Express!

Well! Well the famous trip of Mumbai to Goa has found a new way to travel! Its a TRAIN journey from Mumbai CST to Karmali, Goa. The icing on the cake is a journey by a semi-high speed full AC train fleet which reaches the destination in approximately 8 hours and 30 mins.

Some major highlights of this speedy train are:

  • Celebrity chef menu, tea and coffee vending machines, WiFi.
  • Bio-vacuum toilets, water level indicators, tap sensors and hand dryers.
  • CCTV cameras, fire & smoke detection and suppression system.
  • Energy-efficient LED lights and digital destination display boards.

Currently, the train is running on Monsoon schedule and that is why it will run only 3 days a week until October. After October it will again move back to normal schedule when it will run on 5 days.

So guys, what are we waiting for!! Get your tickets booked and chalo chalein GOAAAA!!!