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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 18, 201911min60

 

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.

 

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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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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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ShiviNovember 18, 20197min280

How to rekindle and make new friends, while on a work trip to a new country/destination?

It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was checking my E-mails in the office, while one of the E-mail suddenly grasped my attention. My boss has asked me to provide my passport details, in which later on I found out that I am supposed to travel for work perspective to Hong-Kong for a month. It was surprising and intriguing to me. This was a short trip where I was supposed to meet clients and channelize the desk work to foreign clients of my company. Being an introvert guy and single, this notion of travelling alone to a different country makes me crazy. It is not that I have not travelled before, I did and I was always accompanied by some of the other office colleagues which were not the case this time. Anyways not much of the option the day of my travel arrived and finally I departed and landed in a new country, Hong Kong.

What’s Next…

I reached to the hotel, settled myself and then rushed to the office as it was my first day in the new town. I was decked up and then the day came to an end and my fear started popping up, more I was closer to my hotel, lonelier I was feeling. It was just the first day in the country where I have landed and has not spent even 24 hrs and already homesickness started biting me. After dinner, I went for a walk down the lane near the central park. I saw all the new culture and people around me. Sitting quietly on a bench, I was browsing on the internet and saw an ad of an app which mentioned how you can make friends at an alien place. For an expat like me, this idea of making friends at foreign territory hit me though I have not registered myself.

Registering and Rediscovering

Next day after my office I moved out of my hotel and went to a pub, sitting alone and lonely watching people talking, laughing, and smiling with each other. I gulped in a couple of drinks and saw one lady name not revealed was sitting alone. I approached her and we started chatting here and there. I asked her number so that we can connect later on and she politely denied and I understood this was a very short meeting which can only last for some hrs etc.

When I was heading back to my hotel I decided that I am going to give it a shot. I registered and started looking for accomplices who are there in Hong Kong and soon I found one person called Rachel (name changed).

She was a lawyer and was there in Hong Kong for an assignment for a couple of weeks. We met at a place called SpeakEasy (old town of Hong Kong) and get along immediately. We started talking about how lonely and alone a person feels when they are in a new city or a new country. How you feel lost in the new culture and new place? And how apps help in making life easy for all those people who are just looking for a good and genuine company when you are travelling. It can be for work or you are just a traveller, everyone needs to be with someone to share thoughts. Even if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller, you would like to explore and mingle with local culture and communities, which is again a daunting task. Nevertheless, this app helped me in achieving that a bit.

 

make friends while travel

Finding a companion while travelling

We met a couple of times and roamed around the city together visiting new places. She has been to Hong Kong before that makes it easy for me since she knows a lot of places and helps me in discovering those which was not easy for me to explore so easily without me wasting time looking on the internet.

Before we said a final goodbye to each other we met one last time where we first met and I told her that it was really good to have a new friend for a short period with whom you can roam around and share some experiences of yours and listen to other person’s experiences. Rachel immediately agreed to me and said that how her last couple of visits were not that great and this time after we started moving out together exploring places was a different experience altogether.

Those people who are going on a short or a long tour and are looking for some companionship since they feel lonely, I will suggest them to look for mobile applications like Couchsurfing etc. and register as it a different experience to be with some person chatting and talking and exploring new destinations.

 

Leave your comments on how you met your friends while travelling!


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ShiviSeptember 28, 201910min92

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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