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ShiviDecember 18, 201911min1200

 

Ecotourism in Goa – Be A Responsible Traveller – We all know Goa is known for what all…

Once a hippy-paradise with swinging palms and the exclusive coco-hut, Goa is one of India’s highlights as the perfect beach and honeymoon destination. Over recent years, we have seen Goa growing at its own pace and has become a victim of its own success as well. We all must have heard that Goa has ruined now. Goa is expensive, Goa has become dirty, the beaches are overcrowded. Also, we would hear that Goa is destroyed by over construction and over-tourism.

 

goa beach sunset

 

 

What is Then, Which is Ruining Goa!

Additionally, we have heard and known about numerous reports saying that Goa has been destroyed because of over-tourism, expensive food, expensive shacks, etc. What do you think is true? Or it is a hoax? When I went to Goa recently I figured it out and went to the interior of North Goa to discover what is it? And why this notion is so much-hyped. Although Goa is rightly known as a beach destination, there’s bounty more to the beauty of Goa than coconuts and cocktails and of course night clubs.

 

goa houses

 

 

Dive Into The Diversity of Goa – Ecotourism in Goa

Goa’s interiors are rich in biodiversity and wildlife (where they haven’t been endangered by increasing as much as on the coast, but more development *is* acting as a threat). Goa is dwelling to six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, extending from north to south. I don’t suggest all of these, as some of the wildlife sanctuaries appear to be little more than zoos, with animals kept on chains (I don’t prefer this personally). Beautiful Netravali Wildlife Reserve, although, I can vouch for this place.

 

goa traditional design houses

 

The interiors and ghats offer some gorgeous nature habitats in Goa, or you can stay nearer to the beaches and traverse the backwaters of Goa (yes Goa does have backwaters) and – mostly ignored by visitors but, yes significantly and critically important – mangroves.

Fishermen offer dolphin watching excursions can be observed on most beaches in Goa, but regrettably, dolphin watching trips have led to objections of their own. In several cases dolphins find themselves being aggressively trailed in the sake of satisfying tourists rather than being viewed from a reverent distance.

 

goa life

 

 

It is absolutely possible to enjoy this side of stunning Goa responsibly though; here my small list of some of the best operatives that you can sustain and support. Given a huge number of people that throng to Goa, it’s exceptionally critical to be watchful of our impact in Goa. Here are some valuable ways “you can and we all can” help define our impact on Goa – Ecotourism In Goa…

 

eco tourism goa nature

 

 

Goa is encumbered with tourists just coming to lynch on the beach. There’s nothing wrong with dangling on the beach but when you come to Goa, do your bit as well. What you can do, try to learn about the rich Goan culture and cuisines too, even if you don’t eat seafood, learn about them. Try a spice plantation tour, kayaking in Goa’s backwaters, or an opportunity to taste the local feni. Consider the lesser-known places and spots in Goa or take an opportunity to explore the island, which is also very intriguing.

 

portuguese church goa

 

Goa lacks in recycling infrastructure and recycling of plastic etc. and gradually due to the huge number of tourists the volume of single-use plastic has been a critical issue. Avoid bottled water whenever travel in India (take a pledge) and other single-use plastic items – so what shall you do? carry your bamboo straw and eat in takeaways parcels or dishes.

 

ecotourism goa plastic reuse

 

 

Goa has a water deficiency. It might not look like it, but the water often gets redirected away from homes to resorts, leaving locals with not much water to use. Avoid resorts with swimming pools, especially which are near the beach (consider the sea as best swimming pool, Yeah!) and be attentive to your water waste – take short showers, not long baths, turn taps off while cleaning teeth.

Although Goa is moderately liberal compared to some parts of India, you should still be courteous in how you dress. Leaving the beach and moving out until the resort or homestay is not Cool!! please wear a sarong or some loose clothes. Shorts are usually fine but not the kind that reveals your peachy butt. 

 

candolim goa beach

 

Not everyone in Goa is party lovers, be mindful of this as well. We’re not trying to tell you to be spoilsports, but all of the parties in Goa and night clubs have in a certain way have taken a toll on local culture, wildlife (because of the noise) and have immensely caused pollution too. If you’re in Goa to party, please be considerate of others and respect other tourists.

 

goa travel

 

Drugs are completely illegal in all of India, make sure you don’t end up putting you in trouble. You are in Goa to witness the expanse of the ocean, lovely beaches, sexy shorelines, beautiful architecture (from the Portuguese times) and a lot more, thus please explore wisely for not to harm nature.

 

 

goa architecture

 

 

Ecotourism In Goa, It’s Time To Hit It Right!

Last but not least, my list will not end (haha) try to stay in homestays and resorts that are with eco-credentials as far as possible. Plenty of suggestions in this guide, WOFF, don’t skip, read them all, for next time you travel, you contribute to nature!

 

For more travel blogs, guides, and writings hop-in here!

 

vagator goa

 

 


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ShiviSeptember 17, 201917min970

Continued from Part 1 

Here’s the remaining part of the blog about Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip a Guide for Bikers part 2…

 

bike rentals in leh-ladakh

Bike Rentals

With the tourism soaring high you can easily get bikes on rent for Leh-Ladakh. You can get it from Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, Shimla, Srinagar and Leh. Do remember that the bikes need a permit from Srinagar separately for Leh, as the association will not allow bikes of Srinagar to enter Leh. Thus, if you coming from Srinagar change the bikes from Leh, else you can take it from Manali, Delhi or Chandigarh. This Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide will help you to plan properly.

Renting bikes can be a tricky. Getting quotes from different vendors and comparing them is a tedious and a time consuming task. You can visit BikeRentalia to compare bike rentals in Leh to choose the best rentals in no time. Try them out!

 

What All Is Needed For Bike Rent

All you need to submit is the valid ID Proof, driving licence, a consent letter and deposit if the rental company asks for. Ideally, the charges range from 900 rupees per day to 1800 rupees per day for the bike rent (depending on which type of bike you wish to hire). Delhi, Karol Bagh is the prime hub for rentals, when in Manali, you will get many near the Mall road and near the bus stand. In Leh, you will find numerous near the Leh Main Market. Also if you need to hire a mechanic then there is an extra cost for it on daily wages.

 

Best Routes for Leh-Ladakh Bike Expedition

Route 1: Manali to Leh & Back

 

 

Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometres

Route 2: Srinagar to Leh & Back

 

 

Route Map: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,295 kilometres

Tip: Avoid the season of Amarnath Yatra, July to August as the road route will be crowded and have numerous check posts.

Route 3: Delhi To Leh And Back

 

Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,022 kilometres

PS: These routes are starting from Delhi, hence the maps are showing this way, if you wish to do Leh to Leh back you can do this way as well. Then the route will be:

Leh → Khardungla → Hunder → Diskit → Nubra Valley → Pangong Lake → Changla Pass → Tso Moriri Lake → Thang Langla → Magentic Hill → Hall of Fame → Leh around and sightseeing → Back from Leh via a flight.

 

Leh to Nubra Valley

Leh to Pangong Tso

 

Leh to Tso Moriri

 

Accommodation in Leh-Ladakh

If your bike trip includes 8 to 15 days of travel, then the major points discussed above will get you fair and clean homestays and campsites. Nothing to worry as you will experience the best of Ladakhi culture and warm welcome and yes, the best of local food in Leh-Ladakh. A point to notice is that maximum of the restaurants, food joints are vegetarian, to their max they will serve you eggs. So be prepared if you are a hard-core non-veg lover. For Vegans, good news, Leh has two famous Vegan restaurants to relish great vegan dishes.

leh-ladakh accommodation

 

 

The cost for the homestays would range from 500 to 2500 per person depending on the kind of room you are taking. The rooms and campsites are well equipped with basic amenities and an attached bathroom. Please note that the Ladakh region faces water issues, thus, save water as much as you can. They rely on solar panels for hot water and electricity thus, save mother earth and our nature by conserving and respecting it.

 

camps in leh

Petrol Pumps on The Route of Leh-Ladakh

Petrol is the most crucial thing when it comes to bike tours and particularly to Ladakh. This region has less number of petrol pumps thus it is recommended that refill the tank whenever you et a petrol pump and always carry extra fuel in the jerry cans.

 

 

Petrol Pumps in Leh-Ladakh

 

 

If you are taking Srinagar to Leh route, then you would not find many issues for petrol. The bike tour from Srinagar to Leh has more dependable alternatives when it comes to petrol pumps. Get a full tank from Srinagar. Next stop is Nagpal, later, Ganderbal on the route, you will get two petrol pumps. Get a refill at Kargil, then next is at Khalsi, then it is a smooth ride to Leh. Which you can smoothly arrive in Leh. From Leh onwards do carry extra fuel as you will get one Diskit, Karu, Thangste.

 

Petrol Pumps on the route

 

If you are on the Manali-Leh route, there are four petrol pumps. Get you a tank full at Manali, later you have one at Tandi, 110 km from Manali. The next one is at Karu, 30 km from Leh. Finally, Leh city has petrol pumps. It is almost a 350km with not a single pump, hence you have to depend on the fuel you carry.

 

Acclimatization in Leh-Ladakh

While planning to ride to the ‘Land of High Passes’ you must know everything about acclimatization. The high altitude of Ladakh often gives visitors acute mountain sickness (AMS). Therefore, you need plenty of rest, fluids, exercise as well as proper nutrition to acclimatize to such heights. The higher you go up in the mountains the more there will be a lack of oxygen. Acclimatization is the very basic requirement for a successful Ladakh Bike Tour.

 

Read the next blog (Part 3) on things to do in Leh-Ladakh Bike trip and some important tips to cater to:


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ShiviMay 31, 201912min2505

When I planned my trip to Assam I had no idea what it would be, as it is the first time I was travelling to Northeast India. These seven states have always lured me to my heart for exploration to the core and when I got a chance to take a bike ride trip for 10 days I was super excited and on my toes. I’m sure this small travel blog will give you a hands full information and my experience about the pilgrim and religious life of Assam.

Northeast India Travel Blog - Religious & Heritage Assam Tour

Let’s get started with an overview

North east india map with seven sisters

The seven states of India’s northeast (NE) are dotingly called Seven Sisters, and Assam is the eldest of these. Why they are called with this name is very simple to understand but for this one has to go back in time to know. A quick one for you – The Four of today’s independent States―Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram were a part of the undivided Assam till 1972. Apparently, the present day Assam continues to be the doorway to the North East.

The international airport and the main railway station in Guwahati is the key point for all the nearby destinations and flights to take nationally and internationally. These seven states are amazing in their own way and one can really find one’s soul in peace when in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and others. The entire region has unmatched natural beauty and mystical aura. There is too much to write on these states thus, I’m starting with religious travel blog first.

seven sisters of india travel blog

Quick Facts of Assam

Nearest Airport: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

Currency: Indian Rupee

Languages: Assamese and Bodo

Best Time to Visit Assam: November to May

Festivals: Rongali Bihu, Kangali Bihu, Bhogali Bihu

Assam’s mystic aura will take your religious quotient to another level as there are numerous Hindu temples in Assam. It hosts some of the oldest in our history that includes one Shakti Peeth – Kamakhya Temple, Kedar in Hajo, Umananda and many more.

assam mystic grassland travel blog

Kamakhya Temple

It is the holiest temple of the Hindus and is one of the oldest Shakti Peeth out of 51 of Goddess Durga. This temple is not only known for a pilgrim but it has a mythological and mystery attached to it. You can read more about it in my dedicated blog on this temple soon. It is on the top of the Nilachal Hills, where a huge number of devotees come during the Manasha puja and Ambubachi. There are other temples surrounding the main temple which are dedicated to many other goddesses and deities, which are called as Dasa Mahavidya. Kamakhya Devi is respected as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’ and because of it alleged that the goddess ‘menstruates’ during this period. If you are a traveller then try to visit on working days as weekends are decked up with locals.

kamakhya temple shakti peeth

Nabagraha Temple

Another distinguished temple in the city is the Nabagraha which signifies the temple of nine planets. The temple of nine celestial bodies is located on a hill named Chitrachal in the southeastern part of the city of Guwahati. The most important celestial boy is the sun and there are 9 phallic emblems of Lord Shiva. Each of these represents different colour and arrayed in a different coloured cloth – they are Surya, Chandra, Mangala, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu.

Due to this the temple is also a research centre of both astrology and astronomy. The tower of the temple is now a bigger one as it was destroyed in the earthquake, but, later it was resurrected. Noticing the inner part of the temple – the Garbhagriha survived the earthquake, while the upper portion was rebuilt.

navagraha-temple-guwahati travel blog

Umananda Temple

The Umananda Temple located at the centre of the Brahmaputra River, you have to take a ferry to visit this temple. It is a peaceful and tranquil place to be. The view from the ferry and the river is mesmerising.

peacock island guwahati temple

Hindus come in large numbers to visit this temple of Lord Shiva. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, there is a grand celebration. A huge number of people observe fast and offer their prayers on this holy day.

Umananda-Temple_travel blog guwahati

Mahamaya Dham Temple

The Mahamaya Temple is another prime religious temple of Hindus. It is located in western Assam. There are a group of temples as well dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that if one ties a tiny bell on a banyan tree here then the wishes come true. It is one of the greatest Shakti Peethas for Hindu pilgrims ‘Parvatjowar’ the local Devotees like – Kacharies, Koches and Naths worship Goddess Mahamaya. She is a beautiful goddess deity, do visit this place.

Hajo, Assam

This place is full of magic, trust me, it has one huge mosque called as Powa-Mecca, it has a church, a Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Hindu temples or Lord Shiva and Ganesh in the area surrounding. This place is like an Enshrined religious harmony with the amalgamation of Hindu, Muslims and Buddhists worshipping places. It is a small town on the banks of Brahmaputra river, just 24 km from Guwahati. The Hayagriva Madhava Mandir, Powa-Mecca, Ganesh temple, Kedar temple. All these sites are under the Archeological survey of India and fall under world heritage sites.

hajo, assam travel blog

There are many other historic and heritage pilgrim temples in Assam like few in Tezpur, Shivsagar, Majuli island and others. But these are the most prominent ones. If you need more details about these temples and their history contact me will try to share some more info. Also, if you wish to read more about travel blogs click here. For now, if you are planning to visit Assam, then put these in your itinerary. You will be awe-struck with the beauty and peace for self-exploration.

 


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ShiviDecember 18, 201813min15527

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Wander with me in the most stunning and breathtaking landscapes of India which is incomparable with anything in the world. Well, I have not travelled the world but I would definitely say that Spiti Valley is one of the gorgeous valleys of the Himalayas. As I discovered the dazzling sceneries, deep-blue lakes, barren terrain, sun-kissed white peaks, and wildlife with some of the remotest villages of India. I have been touched by the magic of Spiti, and I know you will be too. For knowing more about Spiti and the places to see read my blog here…

And for the exploration in its true sense and warming and cosy homestay and accommodation in Spiti valley, keep reading below.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

If you want to travel around Spiti in the real sense, then staying with a local family in their house, eating and cooking with them whilst enjoying the local food like what they eat and how they cook is one of the best ways to go about it. Homestays in Spiti are a very common concept today and a different way of lodging. It gives you acumen into how punitive life is at such altitudes where people have to scuffle every day in extreme climatic conditions and terrain. Thus, staying in a homestay will offer you a sense of serenity and delight like no other. In fact, you can move out with a local to their fields, and help them cook food, sitting next to the ‘tandoor’ – which is a local heater. Enjoying the grazing lands of their cattle is a sight not to miss when in Spiti.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Here are the best Homestays to stay when you are in Spiti Valley and do consider them as my personal review and recommendation as well:

Solo Yolo – Kaza

Incredible Spiti, amazing Kaza – though Kaza has numerous homestays and hostels to stay and relive the homely feeling amidst clouds and mountains, my favourite is Solo Yolo. Many foreigners and Indian travellers love to stay here. It is situated in Kaza near to a cricket playground which makes it an ideal place for stargazing in the night and view of the mountains and snow from the windows. The rooms are cosy and comfortable. The dining place is yet another spot not to miss. What about the caretakers – man, they are superbly friendly and happy going. They would help you with everything you need for your stay and roaming around in Kaza.

Solo Yolo - Kaza - Spirited Blogger Travel Blog

 

SoloYolo Kaza Homestay - Spiti Valley - SpiritedBlogger
SoloYolo Kaza Homestay – Spiti Valley – SpiritedBlogger

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul

India’s last village on the border of Indo-china – it is in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. While my trip to Spiti valley I happen to stay one night in Chitkul. The view of Bapsa River, Mathi temple to get a glimpse of the ancestors, and the population of around 700 people who live here since ages – are worthy to pay a visit. You may find cheap hotels and affordable homestays and zostels in Chitkul. Where I stayed was the Sunny Mountain View which is owned by Mr Chetram Ji – an old man but young at heart. The rooms are clean with subtle wooden work. You get the balcony and the view from every window of the room – just be there once and rekindle your love for mountains and India’s last village where our road ends.

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Tabo is a small town in the Lahaul and Spiti district that lies on the banks of the Spiti River. This place has a charm of Tibetan and Buddhism culture and you may see it influential enough in the entire terrain and breeze. Tabo is an absolute gem and the homestay where I stayed is Kesang Homestay – it is just on the road of Gompa Bus stand and what a beautiful and peaceful place to live in. The rooms are pretty spacious, clean and comfortable. The super friendly owner with her gracious smile will make you feel rejuvenated. I happen to get the opportunity to taste local Tibetan food too. She helped me to get plenty of local knowledge and places to see in Tabo. With this friendliness and warmth, it is a great place to stay.

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

 

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Other than this in Chandrataal was the Camping Tents

This lake is at the surface level of 4250m; it is in the middle of the Himalayas and falls under Spiti Valley. This moon lake is wedged deep within the mighty Himalayan ranges which gives you spectacular views and positive aura to be there. For staying options – you only have tents there as the human population is not allowed to make hotels and also it remain closed for three months from October to January end, until the snow descends. I too stayed in a tent there – a very clean and undisturbed tent with attached bathroom. It has extra blankets for the dipping temperature which goes to even -8 to -10 degree Celsius in October and a bed in good condition. You are served with fantastic ginger lemon honey tea clubbed with breakfast and dinner with local flavour. Anything at that altitude where survival is tough is just a divine feeling.

Chandra Taal – The Moon Lake in Spiti Valley

Keep reading, Keep travelling.. the world awaits you!

Be Happy "</p


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ShiviAugust 3, 201810min773

Mumbai is one of the most loved and extensively featured cosmopolitan cities in the world. From Bombay to Mumbai a lot of things have changed in this city, but what this short blog will talk about the Gothic architecture and the heritage sites that lies just in the heart of South Bombay and leave a mark to every Mumbaikar and traveller coming to this city.

Street Walk Photography blog, Spirited Blogger

Mumbai has a quite mixed and complexly layered history that dates back to the East India Company’s era. This unique history was our whole idea to explore behind having this one-day event called as – street walk photography – Mumbai walk. This event was organised by a group Backpacking Budget Travelling in India.

Where we explored many old architectural buildings on south Bombay that best reflects its diverse architectural buildings and combination of many worlds and eras. One can see High Victorian to the Indo-Islamic tinge of the era in the design and architecture of these buildings.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

We all started from one meeting place from south Bombay near CSTM railway station, waited for the gang to gather and then the heritage walk began. We roam the streets and explored many iconic buildings, that has aesthetic appeal and best represents the unique offerings of Mumbai.  The art deco and modern buildings give the city its cool and fresh look. , but it’s the diverse Victorian-era structures – the neo-Gothic, Indo-Saracenic and Venetian Gothic medley – that have come to describe Mumbai and make her the showy beauty that she is. All the shapes and the designs, the spires, the tombs, the gables and the arches – everything makes for a pleasant walk through the city’s past. Let’s talk about what all we explored – though there were many but have a look at the major ones. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), Taj Mahal Palace hotel, the Gateway of India – these live up to their reputation, and the great joys are the church, Kayani’s, Bademiya, Jimmy’s etc. etc.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

It is the Mumbai’s most iconic landmark, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, still functional and central to life in the city today. It is almost 130 years old building and is not just the most famous railway station in India, but also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This huge structure is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival and Indian architectural styles.  While an architectural prodigy to gaze in esteem for the tourists, this glorious building is just part of the daily commute for thousands of busy Mumbaikars.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Mumbai High Court

The High Court of Mumbai building was built in the 1870s in early English-Gothic style. It was designed by Colonel J.A. Fuller, R.E. where blue-basalt was used as facing over the walls that were made of rubble and chunam. This colonial British-style marvel features many architectural details that amaze visitors.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

 

 

The Taj Mahal Palace

No wonder it is one of the famous and the first clear marker of the Bombay harbour until the Gateway of India was later built next to it around 20 years later. This quintessential Arabian Sea-facing hotel was built in 1903 under Jamsetji Tata and designed by architect Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya. It takes stimulus from around the world, displaying the most remarkable Victorian Gothic, Romanesque and Edwardian elements. A century later, the deluxe and archaeologically significant hotel remains unmatched among others in India.

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

 

Gateway Of India

The Gateway Of India – Mumbai’s most significant monument was built to venerate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city. Representing its association with the British Raj era in Mumbai, it is also the predicament from where the last of British troops deceased the country after its independence. This Indo-Saracenic architectural display was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, taking from Indo-Islamic, Indian and Roman inspirations. Built from yellow basalt and armour-plated concrete, the building was completed only in 1924 while its foundation stone was laid in 1911.

 

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Few more clicks from our amazing photographers @Anurag Kakkar @Naveena Mohan @Niraj

She is #Chiya the youngest amongst us. PC – @Anurag Kakkar

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Gothic Styled Architecture – Brilliantly Restored

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

The stars of our event

Street Walk Photography Blog, Spirited Blogger

Keep reading, Keep travelling.. the world awaits you!

Be Happy 🙂

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There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


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