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ShiviApril 19, 202011min160

The Day for Heritage Monuments and Sites in the World-World Heritage Day. 2020 Theme – Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility is the theme of 2020. 

 

taj mahal - spirited blogger

 

It is the day when we humans preserve the human-made heritage monuments and more. Worldwide the societies and communities celebrate World Heritage Day on 18th of April to preserve and conserve our heritage monuments, our history, our cultural diversity for the monuments that seem to be vulnerable. Our Human race when celebrates every moment then why not Heritage Day for all the heritage sites in the world that are standing beautiful like a crown and pillar for every destination. 

As our society proceeds at a break-neck pace, we grapple to hold onto our past. Significant cultural monuments and heritage sites around the world lay in the wreck. When I travel, even I see those monuments in ruins (not all, but in India yes there are many like these). My heart sinks when I visit those places, but thanks to ASI and programs like World Heritage Day and UNESCO which call for attention to these monuments and place value on them. As a traveller, I know that when I visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site it carries some weight on my shoulders as well, as a tourist. Not only on me but the local population as well to conserve and preserve them. 

 

Angkar Wat combodia Spirited Blogger

 

It also aims to acknowledge the efforts of all related organizations in this field. These comprise engineers, architects, civil engineers, geographers, artists and archaeologists. My blog is highlighting this importance and will straight away take you to some of the best UNESCO heritage sites that you should tick off your bucket list right away. 

 

Machu Picchu

A trip to Peru is not complete without a trek to Machu Picchu. At almost 8,000 ft, this castle is a sight to behold. Located where the Andes and the Amazon Basin meet, the natural beauty of the edifice is exceptional. 

 

Machu Picchu Spirited Blogger

As you walk amongst the clouds, you’ll find distinct panoramas and diverse flora and fauna. Make sure you have a camera handy to seize a picture of the stunning ancient buildings, mind-blowing views, and local llamas. 

 

Macchu Pichu Peru - Spirited Blogger

Angkor Wat

The most liberal and largest religious temple in the World, Angkor Wat In Siem Reap is a pantheon complex devoted originally to the Hindu deity Vishnu which was then modified into a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century. Built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire, the temple personifies the classical Khmer style of architecture and also emphasises on the Cambodian flag.

 

Angkar Wat combodia - Spirited Blogger

Read: Also read about World Tourism Day 

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built between 1632 and 1653 in the city of Agra. It sits on the banks of the Yamuna river and was appointed by the Muslim emperor Shah Jahan of the Mughal dynasty. The majestic set of buildings was built in honour of his favourite wife, who died delivering her fourteenth child. It is expected that its construction needed the effort of 20,000 workers. This is one of my favourites.

 

Taj Mahal India - Spirited Blogger

 

Sigiriya

The Sigiriya Lion Rock is a glittering fortress and temple compound atop a high volcanic plateau. Provincially also called the eighth wonder of the world, this marvellous site features high on the list of places to visit in Dambulla and Sigiriya. The main entry is shaped like a huge stone lion, whose feet survived the ravages of time. 

 

Sigiriya-Frescoes Spirited Blogger

If you are visiting Srilanka, then this Sigiriya’s western wall, which is adorned with beautiful frescoes, is a must-visit. 

 

Lion fortess Srilanka - Spirited Blogger

Cinque Terre

‘Cinque Terre’ in Italian means ‘Five Lands’. It is a sturdy piece of the coast on the Riviera of Italy. Five popular Cinque Terre villages include Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. 

Manarola Cinque Terre - Spirited Blogger

Due to the picturesque beauty, tracks, and immaculate architecture, all these villages have been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will fall in love again, do pay a visit. 

heritage site italy - Spirited Blogger

Jurassic Coast 

Another in my list for this blog is Jurassic Coast in Great Britain. The UNESCO world heritage site stretches 95 miles from Devon to Dorset. The Jurassic Coast is one of the most popular destinations in Britain. It is on the English Channel coast of Southern England. It is the only place on Earth where 185 million years of the Earth’s history are sequentially exhibited in climactic cliffs, isolated coves, coastal smokestacks and barrier beaches.

 

jurassic coast britain blog Spirited Blogger

 

The ‘tilt’ of the rocks creates a bizarre ‘walk through time’ from 250 million to 65 million years ago, through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods as you walk towards east this site. 

 

jurassic-coast-21 fossils land Spirited Blogger

 

These heritage sites have achieved global significance because they integrate art, culture, and civilization. They are of excellent value to humanity. On World Heritage Day, it is prudent to plan events that would help people fuse to the past like heritage walks, museum and library tours, and heritage property open days. 

Do send me your pictures or your travel story to get in my list of guest blogs. PS: before booking your trip these international destinations and heritage sites, find out what steps are needed to protect it and respect them during your visit. Don’t let an important site disappear from the world, do your part on this day to raise awareness and preserve it for future generations. 


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ShiviFebruary 21, 20209min52

Har Har Mahadev

जिनके रोम रोम मैं शिव हैं
वही विष पिया करते हैं
ज़माना उन्हें क्या जलाएगा
जो श्रृंगार ही अंगार से किया करते हैं

 

tungnath temple shivratri

 

This Shivaratri, pay a visit to Tungnath, the world’s highest Shiva temple. Quick information and details about the highest Shiva temple in the world

State‎: ‎Uttarakhand

District‎: ‎Rudraprayag

Country‎: ‎India

Elevation‎: ‎3,680 m (12,073 ft)

 

tungnath chopta highest temple

 

Yes, this is true – Tungnath is one of the highest Shiva temples in the world and is the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples located in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. It is located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila. The temple is assumed to be 5000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a deep legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic as well. It is built of solid granite slabs, and also resembles the ancient temple of Bageshwar and Jageshwar. 

 

What is unique about this temple 

The distinctive feature of this beautiful attraction is its location amidst magnificent mountain ranges and spiritual importance which has been drawing millions of Hindu pilgrims from around the world in the last five years. It is a phenomenal place to visit wonderfully for the adventure lovers out there for they are going to have a great time trekking to reach the temple. It is an excellent combination of spirituality, majesty, and tranquillity thereby making it a sure-shot and an ideal getaway for all the travellers.

 

shivratri tungnath chopta

 

The architecture of Tunganath Temple 

The affluent temple is made up of stones embellished with decorations that are coated on the outside paintings of the tall towers. There is a wooden stage exactly on top of the highest dome which also has sixteen openings. The roof of the temple is formed of stone slabs and at the entrance lays a stone image of Nandi facing towards the idol of Lord Shiva. There is an image of Lord Ganesha also on the right side of the temple gate.

Inside the main chamber lies the ashtadhatu which is comprised of eight metals, idols of saint Vyas and Kala Bhairav and the followers of Lord Shiva. There are images of the Pandavas and four other Kedar shrines inside the temple as well. At the end of the trek path of Tungnath, the opening door of the temple is marked with the presence of the name ‘Tungnath’ painted atop an archway which has recently been constructed. 

 

shivratri tungnath temple

 

When does the temple open  

It opens when the Char Dhams of Uttrakhand opens up during April or May every year during Vaisakh Panchmi on the date that is decided by the Badro Kedar Temple Committee on Baisakhi. Although before planning to come here, make sure you inquire with your travel agent about the route, etc. Remember the temple is closed during the winter season after Diwali, and the image of the deity is moved to Mukunath which lies 19 km away from Tungnath by the temple priests during this time.

 

tungnath in snow

 

Best time to visit Tungnath 

The ideal time to visit the shrine is during the summer season as the weather settles to be pleasant during this time with the temperature being 16 degrees Celsius to an average. 

How to reach 

Take private as well as state-owned buses which run regularly between the nearby cities to and from Chopta. 

The total distance is 448 km road between Delhi to Chopta and the rest is on foot. The trek from Chopta to Tungnath can be done or completed in 2 to 3 hours.

The nearest railway station is Haridwar lies closest to Tungnath at a distance of 225 km from Chopta. 

From here you can also take or hire a taxi directly to the base trek camp. 

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport at a distance of 260 km from Tungnath. 

From here one can take a taxi or bus till Chopta. From Chopta you can move for the trek as well on foot. 

 

maha shivratri

The information provided is best as my knowledge experience thus anything someone wishes to add is free to leave a comment below. For more blogs click here and to get in touch for feature writing or guest blogs contact here..

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ShiviJanuary 29, 202011min60

Chinese New Year – Know Everything, Interesting Facts & Traditions

Fireworks, parades, red envelopes, lights, and everything wonderful connection with the Chinese New Year make it a captivating event worth witnessing. The glitz and allurement affecting the gorgeous decorations with the traditional & modern actions would undoubtedly set celebration goals for you.

 

Chinese New Year Rat Art

 

Questioning how? Scroll through and I bet you would agree with this blog!

 

The Chinese New year is commemorated on the first day of the First Moon of the lunar calendar. The analogous date in the solar calendar modifies from as early as January 21st to as late as February 19th. Chinese New Year, as the Western New Year, implied turning over a new leaf. Culturally, it is a time for family reunions, and for visiting friends and relatives. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, is emphasised on the influence of family ties. The Chinese New year’s Eve dinner meeting is among the most significant family occasions of the year.

 

Chinese new year family

 

Sweeping of the Grounds

Arrangements for the Chinese New Year in old China starts well in advance of the New Year’s Day. The 20th of the Twelfth Moon is all set aside for the annual housecleaning or the “sweeping of the grounds“. Every corner of the house must be swept and cleaned in preparation for the new year like it is in India during Diwali Festival. SpringCouplets, written in black ink on large upright scrolls of red paper, are put on the walls or on the sides of the gate-ways. These couplets, short poems, and other inscriptions are written in Classical Chinese and are expressed of good wishes for the family in the coming year. In addition, symbolic flowers and fruits are also used to illuminate the house, and colourful new year pictures (NIAN HUA) are placed on the walls.

Interesting huh! read 10 facts about Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year Is Also Known As The Spring Festival

In China, the new year is called chunjie (春节), which means ‘Spring Festival’. Although it is still wintertime in China, it is termed the ‘Spring Festival’ as it signifies the end of the coldest days of winter, which is a symbol of the coming spring season.

Chinese New Year Does Not Have A Set Date

The Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is based on the Lunar Calendar during the full moon phase between 1st January and 15th January. Nevertheless, when it is measured using the Gregorian (solar) calendar, the Chinese New Year may fall anywhere from 21st January to 20th February. For example, in the year 2020, the Chinese New Year will fall on the 25th of January.

 

Chinese New year 2020

 

It Is A Day For Praying To Gods And Fighting Off Monsters

The Spring Festival in China started as a day to pray to Gods for a good reaping season and to ward-off any mishap. As much of the country was profoundly dependent on agriculture, the harvest was everything and God had to be gratified by way of advancing the best foods in a religious tradition.

As per an old-fashioned myth, however, the festival began after one brave little boy fought-off a monster named Nian (年) using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their endurance by setting off even more firecrackers. And that system became a significant part of the Spring Festival.

 

The Most Fireworks Are Set Off In The World That Night

As per the ancient myth (see above point), firecrackers are deemed to scare-off monsters and bad luck. So on the eve of the Chinese New Year, people set off firecrackers at night and follow it up with more firecrackers in the morning to welcome the new year and good luck. However, the officials have started to crack down on this system by banning fireworks, due to elevated levels of air pollution and growing concerns about global warming and the health and safety of residents in as many and 500 cities of China. Beijing had banned fireworks for 13 years. The ban was lifted in 2006 to please the angry public – this also happens.

 

fireworks

 

It Is The Longest Chinese Holiday

The Spring Festival continues for 16 days including New Year’s Eve. However, as the celebration is based on the Lunar calendar, the holiday season can begin as early as in December with the Laba Festival (腊八节—là bā jié) which would give it around 40 days of celebrations! So in the arrangement, people will buy nian huo (年货), (New Year’s products) and stalk up on cooking supplies, gifts, new clothes, etc. before the New Year festival commences.

 

Chinese New year 2020

 

The Spring Festival Causes The Largest Human Migration In The World

As described earlier, it is tradition to spend the Chinese New Year with your family and everyone goes back to their parents and loved ones for a family gathering.

No Showering, Sweeping Or Throwing Out Of Garbage Allowed!

As the Spring Festival is all about carrying good luck and warding off sinister and bad luck, showering isn’t allowed on New Year’s Day and sweeping and thrusting out the garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th day. This is to make sure you don’t wash away the good luck! On the other hand, there’s a day before the Spring Festival devoted to cleaning. This day is to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good. Most hair salons are closed throughout the whole of the Chinese New Year because cutting har is taboo during that time.

 

lunar new year 2020

 

Children Receive Lucky Money In Red Envelopes

It wouldn’t be much of a festival without gifts being reciprocated. Gifts are exchanged during the Spring Festival, though, children also receive money in red envelopes as a representation of transferring good fortune from the seniors to the children. These red envelopes or pockets are also exchanged between bosses and employees, co-workers, and friends.

 

Chinese New year decorations

 

Chinese New Year Ends With The Lantern Festival

The first full moon of the (lunar) year is the Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节—yuán xiāo jié) or Lantern Festival (灯节—dēng jié). Though the family is still relevant, it’s still a night of partying and leisure. In ancient times, girls weren’t allowed to move outside by themselves. But on this night, they are free to take strolls, moon-gaze and look at the gorgeous lanterns. Because of this, it’s also known as Valentine’s Day in China.

 

The New Year Greeting In Chinese Is “Xin Nian Kuai Le”

The expression literally means “Happy New Year.” But in Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking countries, it’s more common to say “gong hei fat choy.” In Mandarin Chinese, it’s “gong xi fa cai” (恭喜发财). It implies “congratulations on the fortune.”

 

If you loved this blog, please leave a comment and get in touch for collaborations on writing and digital content.

 


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ShiviDecember 20, 201910min43

Do you want to meet Santa? Do you wish that Santa shall come to you and bring gifts? Do you want to know where Santa lives? Which is Santa’s home? Have you always wished for the Santa to come every Christmas…Ohh, there are so many Santa lovers…

Don’t be sad kids, Santa will be coming this year with loads of love and gifts. Santa will be showering all the love this Christmas. Believe me and read about the real Santa Claus. Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. Yup, you get it right..yippie we got it…

Santa Claus VIllage in Rovaniemi

If you’re thinking where Santa Claus is and when he will come to give gifts then you need to see that, he is in his hometown Rovaniemi in Lapland. So, you can go and meet him. You don’t have to wait until Christmas to meet him. In Rovaniemi every day is Christmas. But do not forget to take an appointment because he is very busy, you see… 

Where Can You Meet Santa Claus? 

At his home! Santa Claus Village is open for all, all the days of the week. You can meet him and enjoy a Finnish meal with him. You can even meet his family and wife. Enjoy greeting his elves, build gingerbread homes and even ride a reindeer (and when you do this, who knows, it might just one with a very shiny nose).

How Will You Reach to Rovaniemi? 

From the airport, his home is just 3 kilometres. The moment you land at Santa land you can take bus number 8 or the Santa Express, which takes off every hour from the city centre. 

Hey, wait. Is Rovaniemi Santa’s real home?

 

Photo AFP Olivier Morin Getty Images

Photo: AFP/ Olivier Morin/Getty Images

The specific area of Santa Claus’s original home, known as Ear Fell or Korvatunturi, is a big mystery known only to his elves and a chosen few. So, he built an office in the capital of Lapland Rovaniemi in 1985. In 2010, Rovaniemi acquired the status of the Official Hometown of Santa Claus. 

Here come the spoilers: Proceed with caution 

Sorry to disappoint you all, but I have to proceed with these spoilers, many of us would recall the childhood days when we don’t get to see Santa and then we realise that Santa is not real. It is disappointing, yeah…But the truth is that Rovaniemi became Santa’s ‘official’ hometown solely as a marketing strategy. (yeah, you have heard it right). 

In 1950, the then First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt revisited the town to watch over the restoration of the territory. She wanted to visit the Arctic Circle, and to assist her, a cabin was built in just a week. 

Eleanor’s visit gave Rovaniemi a tourism boost. About the same time, thanks mostly to television and books, Santa’s demand with children soared. In 1985, to boost Rovaniemi’s economy, the governor of Lapland formally announced the province as ‘Santa Claus Land’. A year later, Santa Claus Village was inaugurated as an entire holiday complex where visitants could meet Santa, ride in a reindeer sleigh and send a letter with an Arctic Circle postmark from the post office.

Great so let’s go on a ride then… What else can be done or seen in Rovaniemi? 

 

Santa Claus receives a wish list from a boy in his office in the Santa Park near Rovaniemi in Lapland Photo AFP Jonathan Nackstrand Getty Images

 

Photo: Elena Liseykina

Besides being Santa’s home, Rovaniemi is a mysterious and enchanting winter wonderland where you would see culture and together at one place. Here is a few other stuff you can do when you come here: 

CATCH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

The mystic astral show is on exhibit in the city from mid-August until early April. To watch the Northern Lights, you need clear skies. Luckily, you won’t have to walk too far from the city centre to find a magical light. Check out our guide.

RIDE A REINDEER OR HUSKY 

A visit to Rovaniemi is incomplete without riding a reindeer or a sinewy through the winter wonderland. You can hunt the Northern Lights on a sleigh, or visit a reindeer or husky farm and even feed them. Santa Claus gets a wish list from a boy in his office in the Santa Park near Rovaniemi, in Lapland. 

 

 

Photo Elena Liseykina

Photo: AFP /Jonathan Nackstrand/ Getty Images)

SNOWMOBILE THROUGH THE WINTER WONDERLAND

Finland’s most convenient way of transport is also a big favourite hobby in Finland. You can opt from a beginner’s ride to a safari that covers a larger distance to explore. Some trips and tours club activities such as ice fishing and campfire lunches along with snowmobiling. 

GO ICE-FISHING

They say: Fish like the Finnish do! Once you arrive at the fishing spots by car, snowmobile or snowshoeing, you will have to dig a hole, lessen your bate and assume that the freshwater fish will find their way to you. And if you happen to catch a fish, you can enjoy it for dinner as well 🙂 

FLOAT YOUR WORRIES AWAY 

Time to take a dip in the fresh ice-cold Arctic waters without gritting your teeth (Woah). The sailing suits specifically designed for the fun will surely keep you warm. Meanwhile, you gaze at the stars and enjoy the shining sky on Christmas eve. 

Whether you’re an amateur or pro at alpine skiing or snowboarding, there’s a section for everyone here. Book here.

 

Get hooked for more blogs and exploration…


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ShiviDecember 12, 20197min140

Let’s take a tour to a paradise for wine lovers

 

sula vineyards nashik

 

If you are someone who loves to try out new wines then Sula Vineyard is a paradise for you. Even if you are not much into wines and still want to relax then nothing can be better than this place which is a perfect weekend gateway. Sula Vineyard – Wine Lovers Paradise and a perfect weekend trip,  as it has a lot to offer to start from how wines are made to taste different wines in the vicinity where it is being made and that too in India. Isn’t it appealing enough to give it a shot?

 

sula wine

 

Sula Vineyard – Wine Lovers Paradise – Where it is located

Sula Vineyard is located in Nasik (Maharashtra) which is 230 km away from Mumbai. This is the first commercial vineyard which is open for tourists where they offer you to look at the huge grape vineyards attached to which is the wine factory as well as a place for wine tasting.

How to reach

You can reach to Sula Vineyard in approx 4 hrs from Mumbai. It is suggested to start early so that you can reach there by 11 am and be there till 6 pm that will give you ample time to explore the unexplored. This place is open from 11:30 am till 6 pm only. There are guest houses available where you can stay over if you are planning to stay overnight.

 

sula vineyards travel blog

 

Sula has won a lot of awards for making award-winning wines that are made from grapes that are harvested in local farms. You will find a lot of exclusive wines which include special editions as well as premium brands that are made for export and are not available in India for Sale. Though you can buy them in their in-house store. There is a restaurant on the first floor where you can relax and can have some good food. In case you want to try some exquisite wines then the bar is open where you can get your taste buds to taste one of the best wines in the world.

 

rasa sula blog

 

The Sula Vineyard Tour 

This Place is spread in 30 acres and it is an experience that can only be experienced and difficult to express in words. You will find grape wine fields on both sides of the roads which give you a mesmerizing view. There is a minimal fee that you need to find in case you are interested in touring as well as tasting the wine. 150 Rs for touring and tasting 4 wines and in case you are interested in tasting 6 wines then a fee is 250 Rs which is very nominal. And if you are someone who just wants to tour the facility then charges are 100 Rs only. 

 

travel to sula vineyards

Once the tour starts, there is a tour guide who explains you step by step procedure how wines are made. The factory is located behind the main building which is open for tourists and tour guide make sure that you see every step of how a wine is being made. In the end, it is the tasting room where he provides you with different options of wine tasting and also explains what is the quality of every wine that has to offer.

 

wine barrels sula vineyard

Sula Vineyard is famous for an in-house tour as well as wine tasting though it has a lot to offer. Starting from the greenery to the lush green farms to the food which in this environment tastes different. In Feb there is a Sula Fest which is organized every year i.e. an exotic event that has music, food and what not to offer.

 

wine at sula vineyards

 

Come experience the beauty of Sula Vineyard.

For more such posts keep reading my blogs and leave comments if you are looking to read about some special place. 


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ShiviDecember 12, 20196min10

Just a quick background on Mountain Day directly from the United Nations – International Mountain Day 

International Mountain Day has its roots in the document “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” (called Chapter 13), adopted in 1992 as part of the action plan Agenda 21 of the Conference on Environment and Development. The growing awareness of the importance of mountains led the UN to declare to 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. The first international day was celebrated for the first time the following year, 2003.

 

alps and rocky mountain

 

 

2019 Theme: Mountains Matter for Youth

International Mountain Day is a chance to significantly highlight that for rural youth, dwelling in the mountains can be hard. Immigration from the mountains begins to waived agriculture, land degradation and a loss of ancient cultural traditions. Education and training, market access, several employment possibilities and good public services can secure a brighter future for young people in the mountains. This year, youth will take the lead and demand that mountains and mountain communities become central in the national and international development programs; undergo more attention, investments and tailored research. 

 

mountain day great diving range

 

The mountains are under a menace due to climate change and are exploited more than their capacity worldwide. The rise in temperatures also leads to the melting of glaciers which influences the freshwater supply which in turn drives to disruption in the lives of common people.

 

the alps mountain day

Top 5 Mountain You Must See Before You Die – International Mountain Day!

Last year the blog which I have written was on the Indian mountains. It focused on the best 10 ns which no one shall miss out. This year, here’s the list of top five mountain ranges around the world that you must see before you die! These mountains are popular tourist destinations and get visitors from across the world.

  • The Himalayas
  • The Great Dividing Range
  • Atlas Mountain
  • Alps and Rocky Mountains

 

atlas mountain morroco

 

What can you do?

 

  • Raise awareness of mountains on 11 December by organizing youth forums, hands-on activities, presentations, student debates, photo and art competitions, hikes and events targeted to specific age groups.

 

  • Write about the International Mountain Day event you are planning at info-IMD @fao.org so they can publish it on the International Mountain Day website or you can send me will send it across.

 

  • Join the conversation on social media using the #MountainsMatter hashtag and on my Instagram @shivimuskan Facebook @spiritedblogger. Share your stories about the reality of living in the mountains as a young person, or post a photo of your favourite mountain moment and share it with us and your friends.

 

  • Access my social media tool kit to help share this story.

 

blue mountain mountain day


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ShiviDecember 1, 20196min72

If you are someone who worships Lord Mahadev you definitely know the importance of Omkareshwar and Maheshwar. In this blog we will be talking about Omkareshwar, its importance and how can you reach this place. You will know that why Omkareshewar – Place for Mahadev Followers.

 

Omkareshwar temple

History of Omkareshwar

There are 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, out of these 12 Jyotirlings Omkareshwar is the 4th Jyotirlingas as per Hindu Epics. There are 2 stories that are famous as far as this place is considered. According to one story, Vindya was worshipping shiva day and night to make shiva happy so that shiva forgives him with all the sins committed. Once Shiva was happy with the worship, he appeared in multiple forms called Omkareshwar and Amaleswara.
According to other stories, there was a huge war between Devas and Danavas. Danavas win the war and since Devas lost the war they prayed to Lord Mahadev. Lord Mahadev took the form of Omkareshar and defeated Danavas.

 

Omakreshwar overview

How to Reach

There are 2 airports that are close to Omkareshwar. They are Indore which is 77 km and Ujjain i.e. 133 km away. The nearest Railway station is 12 km away from Omkareshwar though there is no direct train since this is not on the mainline. There are plenty of buses that you can get from Indore, Ujjain and Khandwa to reach to this holy place.

Places to Visit in Omkareshwar

  1. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple – This is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas called as Omkareshwar or Omkar Mandhata temple, which is located at the meeting point of river Narmada and Kaveri, situated at an island called Mandhata.
  2. Kedareshwar Temple – This was built in the 11th century and is treated as one of the most eminent shrines. Due to its religious significance, a lot of tourists around the world visit this place quite often.
  3. Siddhanath Temple –This temple is located near the main Jyotirlinga and is the point of interest due to its architectural design.
  4. Sri Govinda Bhagavatpaada Cave- This cave has a main hall and a small Sanctum. This is considered religious since as per some Hindu mythology it is said that this is the place where Shankaracharya met Saint Govind Bhagavatpaada and took Deeksha under him.
  5. Omkareshwar Parikrama-  This is a boat ride which will take parikrama of the temple. As per Hindu tradition, it’s auspicious to take parikrama of a temple. This is around 7 km and the experience is totally mind-blowing. When you are here one should not miss this as it cannot be expressed in words.

 

Where To Stay

There are a lot of good hotels available in Omkareshwar to stay. Prices may vary from 500 and it can go up to 2k-3k depending on the time when you are visiting this place. Though a lot of people take a night bus from Indore or Ujjain, reach early morning here. Take a place for 2-3 hrs to freshen up and then visit the temples and leave back by end of the day. Another option is to start early from Indore/Ujjain, reach here by 10 AM and then leave back by evening which most of the tourists do as there is not much to explore which can be covered easily in 4-5 hrs.

 

 

omkareshwar

 

Leave your comments on how you like this post and which new places you want us to cover.

You can read more in our travel section.


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ShiviOctober 15, 201911min10

Breaks from work are something we all need in our lives. Tranquil destinations, sexy beach lines, gorgeous skyscrapers, listed and busty markets, etc. are which we all look forward to when we are on vacations. We all look forward to Diwali holidays, whether we are in school, college or at the workplace. In India, Diwali holidays are being eagerly waited and if we can club a weekend with our Diwali vacations, nothing’s better than this. With this, we get the perfect excuse for international destinations to tap for. Visit international destinations this Diwali with your family and friends. Going international is something which I’m not promoting though, Indian destinations are equally bright and shining. But opting international destinations on Diwali gives an opportunity to explore how Diwali among Indian communities are celebrated abroad. Here are 8 International Destinations To Light Up Your Diwali for sure:

Singapore

Singapore is a different and obvious choice when planning a trip to International destinations on Diwali. Other than the major vacationist attractions of the city, you can visit Little India to explore the bright lights, fireworks, and decoration. Singapore has a prominent presence of Hindu culture that gives Diwali celebrations in Singapore an Indian feel. After the little red dot country indulges yourself in Diwali shopping at Orchard Road.

 

Singapore diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Dubai

Just a neighbouring country, with a very short span of flight away, is Dubai. This stunning and bustling city with shopping malls, markets and humungous buildings make sit a perfect destination for Diwali breaks. Moreover, a mid-week chunk of the population in Dubai is Indian, which is an added advantage to witness Diwali in its own way. all the more it is an action-packed celebration! What all you can see in Dubai – view of the city from Burj Khalifa, Mall crawl, an evening at the Dubai Fountains – it’s free!

 

dubai diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bangkok

Bangkok is a gorgeous destination to visit round the year, thus, this Diwali you can surely visit Bangkok for some celebrations and decorations. Bangkok is convincingly one of the most suitable options. Ostentatious malls, multi-cuisine eateries, ancient temples and pagodas, exquisite beaches, and various entertainment parks make this city an impeccable package for a fun-filled vacation. The major sightseeing in Bangkok is – Reclining Buddha temple, Tiger Temple, Bangkok Zoo and Safari World, Floating market and many more.

 

bangkok diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bali, an unbeatable international destination this Diwali

Known best among honeymooners, Bali is undoubtedly a destination to visit. But why on Diwali, yes, it is one of the favourite holiday destinations for beach bums and makes a superb holiday destination around Diwali. November is the best time to plan a tropical beach vacation, especially if you want to avoid the season swarms and get yourself a placid vacation. The best things to do in Bali are: Surfers will love to surf the Balian beach, don’t miss the Bali theatre performance and of course visit to the Uluwatu Temple and no surprises Ubud for a relaxing Diwali vacation.

 

bali diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Malaysia

The enchanting islands, stretching beaches, and chic resorts make Malaysia one of the most desirable international destinations to visit on Diwali. Do visit Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi and make your Diwali bright and a fun-filled one. You can unwind at the beaches, try adventure sports, hike in the rain-forest, take a step in a casino or just climb up to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, where you will enjoy a flabbergasting view of the city. Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Twin Towers are the major attractions to visit.

 

Malaysia Diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

Hong Kong

This is one of the most visited, during Diwali holidays from India. Perfect for shopping, cruises, amusement parks, Disneyland, ocean park, night clubs, museums and whatnot. Hong Kong has everything to offer to make it your enjoyable Diwali vacation. With these varieties of places to offer, Hong Kong is a hotspot for all desirous travellers, especially those travelling with family and kids. You can also cover a day trip to Macau and enjoy the peculiar beauty of the picturesque island as well. Apart from the attractions mentioned above, one can also visit Victoria peak and Lantau Island.

 

Hong Kong diwali holiday

 

Know more about Hong Kong travel and things to do.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Maldives

A group of scenic coral islands in the Indian Ocean is kenned as the Maldives. It is just 5 hours from India and quite famous among honeymooners in the World. The ritzy resorts and extrinsic water villas magnify the charm of the place. If you are looking to spend some one-on-one quality time with your family, friends or beloved, then the Maldives is the destination for you. Owing to its hassle-free travel, sun-kissed seashores that offer an assemblage of water sports, Maldives has made its way on the list of most dependable International destinations on Diwali weekend.

 

maldives diwali holiday

 

Top places to visit in the Maldives are, Mafushi, Hulhumale, Ari Atoll,  and Kuramathi.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Turkey – an amazing international destination this Diwali

Turkey is full of cultural sites, palaces, beaches, museums, and mosques that can satiate your wanderlust. All these spots can be covered with the glittering view of the Bosphorus Strait. While Asia on one side and Europe on another, this Eurasian country is a dazzling choice for a Diwali weekend trip. Exceptionally if you are in chase of an exciting vacation abroad. The major sightseeing in Turkey to go for are Bosphorus Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Butterfly Valley. For adventure lovers, try hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia.

 

turkey diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

 


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ShiviSeptember 28, 201910min102

Navratri Festival with Gujarat Tourism

Among the most distinguished of festivals rejoiced in Gujarat is Navratri. This nine-day long festival is celebrated to glorify and worship Goddess Durga or Shakti. It is recognised by various pandals or enormous tents that form the energetic and mesmerizing dance of Garba or dandiya with traditional Gujarati music. It lasts with special fasting food and various other manners in which people commence and complete it. Come and celebrate the Navratri festival with Gujarat Tourism.

Classification of Gujarat festivals is inadequate without the mention of Navratri. Observed for nine long days with huge grandeur and show, Navratri is devoted to all the nine forms of Goddess Durga. All the communities come unitedly to dance in unison during Garba, an apparently simple dance, where the crowd moves collectively in a synchronised circular movement.

 

navratri goddess

History and Ceremonies of Navratri Festival

The inscription has it, that there was a very stalwart demon king, known as the Mahishasura. By worshipping Lord Shiva, he obtained mighty powers and began to perform wickedness on the people who took the name of the Lord other than him. He was so exultant of his powers that he began to treat himself as a God. To protect the world from the immoral practices of the demon, the holy trinity of God (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) came together and by coupling their powers, created Goddess Durga. When Mahishasura saw the Goddess, he got attracted to her beauty.

 

History navratri

 

The demon king was so hypnotised by the beauty of the Goddess that he sent her a proposal for the marriage. The Goddess accepted to marry him but on one condition that the Mahishasura have to beat her in a battle. The king was so proud of his powers that he quickly accepted the challenge. The battle between the Goddess and Mahishasura lasted for nine nights and at the end of the ninth night, the demon king was abolished by the Goddess. From then on, the nine days came to be known as the Navratri.

When

Navratri is celebrated for nine nights, commencing on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Ashwin, approximately corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October. This also usually accords with the end of the rainy season. Dasara/Vijayadashami is the tenth day of Ashwin.

Where

Garba happens at night in communities and regions all around Gujarat, so just step out and follow the booming Garba music. Vadodara is deemed the cultural capital of Gujarat, and the most inquired after location for celebrating Navratri. Try to visit at least one village Garba too, for a spectrum of experience. After the puja starts the music; it is evident to those who are familiar with the style and alluring to many. People enjoy dancing and begin to play dandiya in a circle, swirling away till late into the night. It is not surprising to find dancers with swords or lit flames and other exhibitions.

Religious travel during this festival focuses mainly on the Shakti Peethas: Ambaji, Pavagadh and Bahuchraji near Mehsana. There are also major ceremonies in temples such as Ashapura Mata-no-Madh in Kutch, Khodiyar Mandir near Bhavnagar, and Chamunda Mata Mandir at Chotila on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway.

See below for the day-wise schedule:

Navratri Day  Day  Form of Goddess Tithi Pujan Colour
Day 1 Pratipada Shailaputri Maa Ghatasthapana Shailputri Pujan Red
Day 2 Dwitiya Bharmacharini Chandra Darshan Brahmacharini Pujan  Blue
Day 3 Tritiya Chandraghanta Sindoor Tritiya, Sowbhagya Teej Chandraghanta Pujan Yellow
Day 4 Chaturthi Kushmanda Varad Vinayaka Chauth  Bhouma Chaturthi  Green
Day 5 Panchami Skandamata Lalita Panchami Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalitha Gauri Vrat, Skandamata Pujan  Gray
Day 6 Shashthi Katyayani Maha Shashti Saraswati Awahan, Katyayani Pujan Orange
Day 7 Saptami Kaalratri Maha Saptami Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Pujan, Utsava Puja White
Day 8 Ashtami Maha Gauri Durga Ashtami, Maha Ashtami Saraswati Mata Pujan, Mahagauri Pujan, Sandhi Puja  Pink
Day 9 Navami Siddhidatri Khande Navami, Durga Visarjan, Maha Navami Ayudha Puja, Kanya puja Sky Blue

 

 

Other than this, in various Indian states, the Navratri festival is been celebrated. For example – West Bengal, Jammu, Rajasthan. Travellers from all across the world come here and plan their holidays in this season. If you wish to know more about this festival keep reading or comment for specific information.

 

PS: Whenever you travel, wherever you go, I request you all, to travel safe and try not to hurt the local communities and environment. Get hooked for more travel blogs…


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ShiviSeptember 16, 201911min112

Well, we are talking about Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide

Mecca for Bikers and Adventure Seekers – Leh-Ladakh.

Now it is a Union Territory post defunct of Article 370 by Indian Government. Having said this, the rule for bikers and the zeal to drive the adrenalin rush on these roads of Leh-Ladakh doesn’t end. Leh-Ladakh is the land of high passes, and here I bring you a fresh guide for bikers who would love to ride these stunning roads of Leh-Ladakh amidst mountains and beautiful meadows. Check this Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide, and know everything about the expedition.

 

Leh-Ladakh Zanskar River

The Journey

Of course, the journey is not the one which is pampering enough to soothe your senses. Rather it will test your fortitude, grit, would make you feel dizzy, would suffer altitude sickness, hurt your body and mind, take care of your bumps while sitting for long hours on a bumpy ride on the bike – nevertheless, this journey will change the way you see the world. As you make the journey of a lifetime, you grab the experience of infinity. From the punctures to the bike’s battery fallen on the ground, from the drastic weather changes to the never-ending hurdles – man, these variables are frequent and countless that could go wrong, yet the exaltation it gives is unmatchable.

 

leh-ladakh bike trip

 

To make your expedition work well and a memorable one forever, here I bring you the best tips and tricks and collating all the information which you would like to know from scratch. I’m sure this quick guide will help you conquer the highest motorable roads in the world which you find in the land of stupas – Leh-Ladakh.

 

Nubra Valley Leh bike trip

Best Time To Visit Leh-Ladakh

The best time to go on a bike trip to Leh-Ladakh is from June to September or maximum October 15, post this snow starts assembling on the peaks and on the lower ranges as well, that makes driving tough. These months facilitate the bikers to enjoy the best of Ladakh, as much as they enjoy their bike trip to Lahaul & Spiti. Nonetheless, most of the riders love to initiate their crazy journey of bikes and rides with Leh-Ladakh, that offers magical landscapes and undying vistas all over the terrain.

 

 

Leh-Ladakh Mountains

What is the best time for the bike trip to Leh-Ladakh

Ideally, 10 to 12 days are enough if you are starting from Manali/Shimla or Srinagar. But if you are intending to ride from Chandigarh or Delhi then 15 days are the best fit. Now, this also depends on a lot of factors like weather conditions, bike selection, halts and stay overs, on what speed the rider can pull of km on this twisty and steep road. I would suggest plan the trip with maps in hand so that you get an estimate of travel time. Else you can contact reliable travel agents who will help you customise your trips appropriately.

The cost of the trip

This is again a tricky one, as every traveller is different in its own way. The cost depends on the accommodation you are choosing, type of bike you are taking on rent, food bills, permits, fuel, shopping, etc. But if I would have to give you an estimate for the whole bike trip for 15 days on the bike it would range somewhere from 33000 to 35000 per person. This includes everything with permits, fuel and miscellaneous expenses.

The selection of bikes for Leh-Ladakh

With bike lovers outta there and for the first-timers it is very important to choose or pick the bike in which you are comfortable with to ride the mountains. I would recommend you to pick the bike which is the best suitable for these roads rather than going for the popularity factor (for selfies and posing). Nothing is important than your safety, thus the five best bikes which you can ride are:

 

Royal Enfield – A bike with an engine of either 350 CC or 500 CC will be great.

Royal Enfield Himalayan – A 400 CC engine, this Royal Enfield Himalayan will surely make your ride finest and trouble-free on the rugged terrain. Just a suggestion for the pillions, take a trial of the back seat, if you are comfortable then go ahead, as for the rider it will be easy.

Bajaj Pulsar – It is the most liked after Bullets. Pulsar has variants of 150CC, 200CC, and 220CC, choose any, they can be a reliable partner on your journey.

KTM Duke – This bike is a lightweight bike, thus it can be worthwhile for the roads of Leh-Ladakh. Duke comes in variants like – Duke 390, and Duke 250. Go for it if you can ride them.

CBR 250 – This bike from Honda is certainly a cracker. just be careful of its Contigo tyres which can be a bit tough to handle, in case of change of weather. But if you can change the tyre you can put bike’s torque and fi technology to immense use and favourable.

There are some other bikes as well which the bike rental association in Leh-Ladakh give on rent and consider due to their lightweight engine are – Yamaha Fazer, Bajaj Vikrant, Yamaha FZ, and Hero Impulse.

 

Read Part 2 for bike rentals, best routes to take, accommodation, petrol pumps, things to do etc. and for more travel blogs on Incredible India read here…


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ShiviAugust 28, 20198min80

A hidden gem…Grand Canyon Of India

 

Gandikota: The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Well, you may be surprised by what the title is all about, but trust me you will be amazed to know that a grand canyon also exists in India. Gandikota is the place, (Grand Canyon Of India) a beautiful and stunning paradise in the heartland of Bangalore. It is a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Just right on the spot, it is a destination which you would be awe-struck to visit.

In India we do not witness gorge formations, thus it is also called as the Indian version of the grand canyon or desi grand canyon. As an avid traveller, I shall refrain myself of not comparing the two as it will not be a justice to these different destinations in the world.

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

So, let us know more about Gandikota Gorge formations or Gandikota Canyon:

It is a quaint and very simple village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its panoramic gorge formed by river Pennar that pierces through the Erramala hills. This impressive piece of Nature’s design has come to be known as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by the tourists and travellers who visit this place and get beguiled by its beauty. Thus they tend to compare the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

What to do when in Gandikota

Sitting on the banks of Pennar river and enjoying breathtaking views you can’t even think how the river must have broken the cuts and formed this stunning gorge. It is believed that the river has cut the slabs over centuries now. This is beautiful to imagine how the flow of water got intruded by the river and has formed the gorge. The entire area is covered with deep dense valleys and huge granite boulders.

Going back to history – Geologists says that it has an important role to play in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Geologist P.D. Sabale studies and explains how it was formed. The River Pennar cuts the pink granite and makes abed rock here. Cutting the ingenious, acidic and hard compact mass of granite the natural decomposition of the rock took place.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Adjoining the formations is the medieval fort which speaks history in itself. The fort Gandikota is named from a Telugu word Gandi which means gorge. This fort holds a fort and a temple. Once you visit you will get mesmerized with the ancient architecture. You may find the debris scattered of the ruins of temples and mosque dating back from the Qutub Shahi and Vijayanagara periods.

Other spots to visit in Gandikota are – Madhavaraya temple and Raghunathaswamy temple, Jamia Masjid of Gandikota fort, Rayalacheruvu Lake, enthralling interiors of Belum Caves, you can also do camping and other water activities.

 

Gandikota fort Travel Blog

 

How to reach: Get a train from Gooty Junction. The nearest airport is at Kadapa 77 km. Nearest town by road is Jammalamadugu.

Lodging: APTDC Complex – it is spread at 12 acres, you can book a cottage and has an area for kids to play. For more hotels click here

Best Time: between September to February as the weather is suitable and enjoyable, else the summers are like 45-50 degrees.

Tip: there are not many food joints near the fort and temples, thus either take some munching with you or keep your stomach fill before you start your day. Carry some candies and lots of water.

 

Gandikota fort travel blog

There are numerous other attractions in and near the village that charm visitors. The most special being the antiquated, radiant Gandikota fort that sits wonderfully on top of the gorge. Apart from the unmatched majesty of the gorge, the mystical appeal of this fort makes a visit to this village all the more compelling for history lovers and adventure seekers. For more such travel blogs and stories, head on here – Facebook, Instagram, or just scroll more…

 


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ShiviAugust 6, 20198min148

Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct

 

leh ladakh post article 370 blog

FAQs – Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct

  • Will my trip get affected post article 370?
  • Can I pass Srinagar – Kargil route via Leh?
  • Is Srinagar highway safe to bike ride?
  • Leh Ladakh is a UT now, will it affect tourists like me?
  • Is it safe to stay and roam in Leh Ladakh?
  • How about my flights’ tickets! Shall I cancel?
  • I’m a travel blogger and working on a travel project will it get affected?
  • Shall I think twice now to visit Leh Ladakh in the august end?

Well, many apprehensions and questions that are hovering your mind regarding the Leh Ladakh post Article 370 Defunct and it’s tourism and maybe your visit to this beautiful destination. It is viable as well, and this is because of the current situation of Leh Ladakh due to article 370 defunct.

Let me take you to the blog – Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct, where you will find it completely safe to travel to this gorgeous destination which is now a UT – Union Territory.

Article 370 has been thinned, Jammu & Kashmir has been departed from Ladakh–and the two sections have become separate Union Territories. Expecting trouble, the government of India have asked tourists and pilgrims to move out, and have deployed a huge amount of soldiers and troops into the state. The situation is unpredictable – yes, it is true, as of now and no one knows how things will gonna be in coming days. The only affected highway currently is – Srinagar-Leh highway – Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other parts of Kashmir Valley are on a tension zone. But when we talk about Leh & Ladakh? No, is the answer (According to CNT‘s report Angrub Dorje, who runs Discover Ladakh has stated, “Both Leh and Ladakh are completely safe.) 

 

ladakh leh tourism due to 370 article spirited blogger

 

Let’s have a check – It is a regular day here in Ladakh, the schools are open, the internet is working, access to local market and regions around is pretty safe. The tourist spots are open and many of the tour and travel agencies will now take you to Leh-Ladakh via the Manali-Leh highway. (as quoted by WanderOn’s Leh-Ladakh tour package guy – they are taking the troupe via the same highway – Manali – Spiti Valley).

The business is usual here in Leh Ladakh, as the local transport has not been affected here. As of now, no restrictions have been implemented on transport, in fact, it is safe and we have tourists here who are enjoying their holidays. (it is when the CNT team spoke to locals and 3-4 tour operators).

Even though the circumstances in the paradise of India – Jammu & Kashmir is unpredictable and scary, the region of Ladakh is truly safe, with no indications of tightness and fury. So, plan without thinking twice.

As mentioned by – Tsering Angmo, Assistant Director of Tourism, is asking people not to worry. “Everything is normal in Leh. The airports are completely accessible. I would recommend anyone who is visiting to not worry at all.” (CNT report). There has being a bit of tension on Srinagar border as vehicles are being stopped but that’s all is a precautionary measure for Kashmiris and tourists out there. As the bill is also passed in Rajya Sabha by 2/3 majority.

 

ladakh leh tourism due to 370 article Spirited Blogger

If you are travelling by flights –

  • If flying to Leh – flights on Vistara, IndiGo, GoAir and Air India are on time as of now.
  • If you’re flying to Jammu and Srinagar, IndiGo has waived the fare on all cancellations and rescheduling of tickets (charges on fare difference will be applicable if any) to Jammu till 9 August.
  • If you’re flying to Srinagar: After announcing a cap on fares at Rs9,500, Air India has further lessened its ticket prices to Rs6,715 from Srinagar to Delhi and at Rs6,899 from Srinagar to Delhi till 15 August.

 

The information on Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct, has been taken in the best interest for each and every traveller – the credits for the information is to CNT team and WanderOn. 

 

For any further information of Leh Ladakh Travel leave a comment or Ping me 


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ShiviMay 31, 201912min75

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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ShiviApril 24, 201915min757
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger

No wonder Hong Kong is a metropolitan country that does not have a rich history in terms of reign and emperors but yes it has, in fact, quite an interesting fact which is that – Hong Kong was under the British rule from 1841 to 1997 before handing sovereignty over to China. This agreement was established post a 50-year period of autonomy when Hong Kong achieved governance by a “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. Since then it is a complex yet technologically advanced nation and is a “Special Administrative Region” of China with its own currency, constitution, passports, and official languages (Cantonese and English). This travel blog will take you to a few things that are essential before you travel to Hong Kong

Please note that, do not speak Mandarin when in Hong Kong, they do not consider it as their language as per locals, thus avoid this act.

Hongkongers are very proud of their culture and heritage thus when in Hong Kong learn few gestures and signs which can make them feel like being an expat. For instance, avoid addressing them as Chinese as and they are proud to be Cantonese rather than an extension of Chinese.

The currency

Hong Kong currency is Hong Kong dollars – HK$ – The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is the governmental currency board and also the de facto central bank for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong dollar. Official website: hkma.gov.hk

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

 

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

You can exchange your currency at the airport or else you have reliable foreign money exchange counters in the city within your location. If not required do not carry much of cash as you may find ATM’s and money exchange counters easily. But remember you will have to carry a lot of cash while shopping and roaming around as Hong Kong deals in cash majorly.

Getting around

Getting around Hong Kong in the budget is possible via metro line, ferries, and buses. A very well connected network all through Hong Kong. In fact, take the airport express train from the airport for central as it is just 24 minutes and cheap.

Another historic mode of transport is a ferry that is very cheap – starts from 2 HK$ from Victoria harbour and then you can take a tram to the Central Peak which is the skyline of Hong Kong. (it is just 30 cents).

MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger
MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger

Remember before you step out the airport please buy an Octopus card. It is not only for public transport but it gets used at convenience stores, and even at some coffee shops. This card is really helpful for solo travellers and for travellers who are travelling on a low budget. Hong Kong does have Uber and affordable taxis – that starts from $3); however, the latter sees a “changeover” in hours as the shift changes.

What to pack before you come here

Hong Kong weather sometimes is unpredictable – still, the entire year Hong Kong is oppressively quite hot and humid. When you listen to any local saying that it is summers – they mean it is the season that stretches from late April to late October. This means it has a rainy season as well. Please carry lots of jackets, an umbrella, rain sheets, as rain showers are unpredictable. Moreover, Hongkongers never turn off air conditioners – it is pretty cold inside the hotels and at the workplace. So better be warm is the tip.

Eat as locals do

The biggest hurdle for a traveller in Hong Kong is the variety of Cantonese and Chinese food, from which to distinguish is a big task. Do share food as Chinese cuisine is all about sharing. If you sharing twosome then order one portion and share. Enjoy dim sum at traditional restaurants on the streets near central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon etc. Do remember not to put the chopsticks in a vertical position as it is a sign associated with funerals.

Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger
Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger

Shopping

For the serious traveller, Hong Kong is a shopping paradise but no second thought Hong Kong is dammed expensive for any national coming here for shopping. You’ll find ample shops in every possible street in Hong Kong. You’ll be spoilt for all the vivid choices the streets have to offer. From the Avante Grande malls to all the international brands’ outlets at central and Tsim Sha Tsui you will get hooked by the variety it has to offer.

Hong Kong Shopping Malls Central Peak

But for shoppers who looking for bargained shopping explore the largest shopping street in Hong Kong – Temple Street. Do also check other streets in Yau Ma Tei and Tung Street in Mong Kok for cheap clothes and electronics. With this do explore Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po for cheap clothes.

Temple Street Hong Kong Spirited Blogger

One tip – Bargain, bargain and bargain as much as you can, show your skills if you do not see any price on the products, but if you see any price on the product this means the attendant will not be willing to negotiate.

Nightlife

Hong Kong is not quite popular for a good late night culture, but this is not right it is like another New York or Manhattan. It is not a speedy country, and can’t be compared with the neighbouring Bangkok but the evenings and night clubs are happening, in the pubs of Tsim Sha Tsui – where you may find many expats taking a stroll on the sideways of the streets. It is filled with locals too. Lan Kwai Fong is the city’s nightlife heart and comes alive as happy hour slopes in and on the weekend nights, the street turns into one big open-air bar and LGBTQ nightlife scene with doors open for all. Sky bars are big business here, and please remember if you intend to experience be ready to eye-watering prices for cocktails.

Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger

Please note: Do feel free to carry around a beer or glass of wine in the street as Hong Kong has lax open-container laws. 

Here’s a quick sneak peek into some basics to survive in HK:

  • You don’t have to be fluent in English while talking to the locals but please speak slowly so that they understand word by word in pieces.
  • Don’t use flowery or tough English terms. Keep it simple.
  • Try to catch their actions if not able to make them understand what you are asking.

You can also learn a few Cantonese phrases online.

  • Hello – Néih hóu (pronunciation: Neyi Hou)
  • Good Morning – jóusàhn (pronunciation: Sou San)
  • How are you doing? – néih hóu ma (pronunciation: Layi Hou Maa)
  • I don’t speak Cantonese – ngóh m̀hsìk góng gwóngdùngwá (pronunciation: Wa sihk gwong dung waa)
  • I’m a vegetarian – ngóh sihk jāai (pronunciation: Wa sihk taai)
  • How much is it? – Géidō chín a (pronunciation: gei cin aa)
  • Are there any discounts? – yau mou zit aa (pronunciation: yau mou zit aa)

 

Keep reading and happy travelling 🙂 

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you wanted to know about Hong Kong Travel, will share the bog soon! 


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ShiviDecember 18, 201813min1127

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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