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Travel

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ShiviNovember 9, 202116min5600

In case you are planning to cover 3 states and struggling to fetch time then here’s a brief itinerary of how can you plan and cover more than 3 states, with a good amount of travelling and sightseeing as well.

Three to four states itinerary- Mumbai -> Madhya Pradesh -> Rajasthan

Check out the route to take for this Itinerary. This is what we have taken, once can mould if you wish to, but we got significantly glad to hop on this route.
Mumbai -> Indore -> Chittorgarh -> Kumbalgarh -> Jodhpur -> Pokhran -> Jaisalmer -> Ratlam -> Mumbai

Day 1 – Mumbai -> Indore -> Chittorgarh

We started around 4 o’clock at dawn time on my car and planned to have a night halt at Chittorgarh. It was approximately 900 km to drive. We stopped for a while in Indore over the outskirts for munching and snacks. The first day was a little hectic as the plan was to cover maximum distance in a day. First halt we took at Indore which is approximately 550 km from Mumbai. We do take small small, tiny-miny breaks in between, but the major one was at Indore where we had my lunch around 2 in the noon. Speaking about roads, they are quite great in condition between Mumbai to Indore. You can easily drive at a speed of 100 km/hr. After taking a stopover of about an hour, we started my journey towards Chittorgarh which was then left around 350 km from Indore. Honestly, roads are not that drivable on this route which takes a toll on your speed. After reaching Chittorhgarh we took a hotel and stayed overnight.

Chittorgarh
Places to visit in Chittorgarh for sightseeing – We visited Chittorgarh fort which is one of the biggest forts in India and Asia. A UNSECO site was built during the 8th century. Take a guide as you can get a good tour of the fort and you won’t waste time figuring what and where to head upon. With tour guides, you can easily bargain, so you need to have the bargaining power to get an excellent deal.

 

Day 2 – We quickly saw Chittorgarh fort and moved towards Kumbalgarh as that is one of the places not to miss for. You can call it a hill station (quite developing now). It takes around 4 hrs to reach this destination. In midway, you can also cover Nathdwara which is a holy place for Krishna followers. You need to be wary of time since doors of deity close at 2 pm and reopen at 4 pm so make sure that you don’t reach here between 2 and 4 otherwise you will waste your time waiting for doors to open. for all the food lovers and otherwise, don’t miss to relish fresh gulab jamun or thandai which has a different flavour in itself. We reached Kumbalgarh around 6 and took a halt in one of the hotels. You will find ample places to stay there. We stayed at Kumbha Village Cottages, near to the fort.

Day 3 – Kumbalgarh fort is renowned for having the longest wall in the world after the wall of China. It’s a big fort that spreads in 32 km though there is not much to see out here. Don’t miss visiting Lord Shiva temple which is one of the oldest of its kind though it shines as if it’s newly built. We didn’t get any tour guide there as compared to several other tourist places we visited, strange but you can tune in to the Youtube channel for the history while exploring. Make sure you reach to fort early morning by 8:30 am or so since in that way you will find peace and solace and can enjoy a cool breeze with the fresh sun in the sky. at that place. After visiting the fort we continue on our journey towards Jodhpur which is also called a blue city. It took us approximately 4 hours to reach Jodhpur from Kumbalgarh.

Day 4 – Jodhpur night stay and sightseeing

We connected with locals and was told that we need to have local transport to go around the place which after completing the tour figured out that it was a waste of money. Take it as a disclaimer

Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort

There are predominantly three places that you need to visit and they are Umaid Bhawan, Mehrangarh Museum and Fort and Jaswant Thada (which can be covered by your car as well), other than these you can also see GhantaGhar and Toorji ka Jhalra Bawdi (you need public transport for these as the car can’t go to these places). Refrain from taking public transport in case you have your car and not planning to go to the main city as local transport is very very costly and depends on your capability to bargain. You can also check the fare on Ola auto upfront to give you an idea and can bargain accordingly.

Umaid Bhawan blog

This place is called Blue city though there is hardly anything left now since most of the houses now are coloured in different colours. A subtle view inside can be experienced if you walk a bit into the city and from the top of the fort. For shoppers, pay a visit to Tripolia market, clock tower market, national handloom for handicraft and local artefacts.

 

Royal Rajasthan Road Expedition Itinerary

Day 5 – Head towards Jaisalmer and cover Pokhran in between

We started early and en route, we covered a couple of things. Pokhran where we visited its fort, you can’t visit the famous crater which Pokhran is known for as it’s under military now. The fort itself is unique where you see people putting their photos, visiting cards in front of the shrine, not sure why. Quite a strange thing to witness.

sand dunes jailsamer

Nearby to Pokhran, there is a famous temple of Ramdevra, it’s not at all far and worth a visit. The roads of Rajasthan are amazing and you can enjoy your drive en route. Once you move from Ramdevra and go towards Jaisalmer there is a Bhadariya village. Make sure that you visit this place which is famous for two things, one it has a library which can seat over 4k people together. This is Asia’s biggest library and you will find all the books that you have not heard of. Please visit the temple office and ask them to open it for you as this is worth a visit. Another thing that this place is famous for is Babaji’s Shrine who was the visionary of this library and envisioned this remarkable thought for learning and education.

Asia’s largest library Pokharan

We directly headed to Sam – sand dunes near Jaisalmer. Stayed overnight at Rajputana Desert Camp. We planned it to reach by max 3 in the noon as the desert is open post 4 pm. It is advisable to visit sand dunes in the evening only and in this way you can use the rest of the time in the camp enjoying local food and Rajasthani dances. There are ample places to stay again your bargaining power will be tested.

Pokharan Travel blogger

 

Day 6 – Cover the local market and stay overnight in Jaisalmer

In the morning start early and in place of going to Jaisalmer directly visit Longewala, Tanoj Mata ka mandir and zero point. They are approx 100 km away from the sand dunes. Make sure you have ample fuel in your vehicle as at the end point of the dunes you won’t get any fuel station till you reach back to Jaisalmer. The feeling of being on the sand and in the middle of nowhere where the acclaimed 1971 war was fought can’t be expressed in words, trust me it gives you a different kick altogether, how 20 odd men defeated an army of over 10k soldiers. AND WE WON!

longewala tanot mata mandir
When we reached Jaisalmer we covered the fort and local market on the same day as the fort is not that big and the local market is very small, but worth a visit as the fort dates back from the 14th century and the market is full of beautiful handicrafts and souvenirs to buy.

Day 7 – Start Return Journey from Jaisalmer and night stay at Ratlam

We started heading back to Mumbai and it cannot be done in one day so we decided to have a halt at Ratlam. Though before starting back we covered one more place which is an abandoned place called Kuldhara that is famous for a lot of other haunted and spirited stories.

When we stepped at that place we found unusual serendipity. Please avoid making any noise or nuisance at that places. It is not a place where you should do all that masti (fun) which would disturb the silence of the abandoned village Kuldhara. It is surprising to see that how such a big village was made barren overnight – history has its stories. (keep watching this space for a dedicated blog on this abandoned village).

Day 8 – Reach back to Mumbai

We start early morning from Ratlam and reached Mumbai late at night. If you are someone who loves driving trust me this route will give you all the thrust that you look for. Rajasthan has the best of the roads with not much toll that you have to pay. Keep your maps in place as they help us in taking shorter routes and cover a lot of distance in a short period.

Note – Finalise a couple of hotels in advance and when you are about to reach the destination call them and you will get excellent deals since normally hotels provide the best deals at the last moment contemplating you are not travelling on some holiday weekends. Also in place of buying Bisleri for water, you can get your water bottle refilled from the hotel as they ordinarily have RO water with them. SAVE WATER, SAVE PLASTIC, REUSE, DO NOT LITTER.

I have a couple of suggestions where you can stay over.

Sand Dunes – Rajputana Camp they are very polite and give best of the deals. The food is awesome and cooked by heart.
Jaisalmer – Heritage House Hotel. Best place to stay, clean, beautiful has a heritage and chic look and one of the best in terms of hospitality which we have never seen in so many years of our travel life. It’s just perfect. 
Kumbalgarh – Kumbha Village Hotel, the cottages and tents have a different feel and hosts are also warm and friendly, who give you proper guidance to roam and explore.


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ShiviNovember 2, 20218min3410
The festival of light – Diwali

India is known for festivities of colors and decoration. A plethora of festivals are celebrated in India around the year. But the time of Diwali during the months of October and November is something not missed and Netzines wait for this time of the year eagerly.

diya on diwali blog

It is a five day festival in all parts of India. Celebrated as the homecoming of Lord Rama with Sita and laxmana after an exile of 14 years. if we see the literal meaning of Diwali in Sanskrit – it means a row of lights. Diya were lit in by the people of Ayodhya to welcome the king and the Queen. Other than this, in other parts of India it is believed that this time is the celebration of Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi.

In most of the regions, Lord Ganesha, who is the god of wisdom and auspiciousness is worshiped on the day of Diwali. Diwali marks the anniversary of Nirvana or liberation of Mahavira’s soul in Jainism. In West Bengal, Diwali is celebrated to worship goddess Kali, who is the goddess of Shakti, means power and energy.

Different Parts of India – How Diwali is Celebrated in Unique Ways

 

Gujarat and Maharashtra

Rangoli is a crucial part of their Diwali decoration. Gujaratis draw footprints of goddess Laxmi on the threshold of the house, then lit their homes candles, rice lights, and diyas. While Maharashtrians perform Lakshmi pooja in their homes and create a feast known as “Faral” for families and friends, where sweets like karanji, ladoo and snacks like chakli and sev are served.

Gujarat diwali blog

Varanasi 

Varanasi celebrates the Diwali of Gods, known as the Dev Deepawali. Devotees believe that Gods and Goddesses come down to earth to take a dip in the holi Ganga during this time. Prayers and diyas are offered to river Ganga and the banks, decorated with lamps and rangolis look extremely mesmerising. Dev Deepawali falls on the full moon of the Kartika month and takes place fifteen days after Diwali.

Varanasi Diwali blog

South India 

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu – Andhrites and Tamilians worship Lord Krishna and his wife Satyambha’s victory over the demonic King Narkasura and Kannadigas take oil baths and build forts from cow dung in their homes.

Maharashtra Diwali blog

 

Odisha 

In Odisha, on the occurrence of Diwali, people perform Kauriya Kathi. It is a ritual in which people worship their forefathers in heaven. They burn jute sticks to call upon their ancestors and seek their blessings. The Odias worship Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali.

 

North India 

Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Srinagar, Delhi and Punjab the Deepavali festival is celebrated with fireworks, lights, and, sweets. Lord Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi are also venerated in Hindu homes on this day. If you’re in the capital city Delhi, then you shouldn’t miss the Diwali mela that gives you a chance to buy decor and food items for the festival and for the best Diwali celebration in India. 

 

 

Bengal 

Diwali in Bengal accords with Kali Puja or Shyama Puja that takes place at night. Goddess Kali is decorated up with hibiscus flowers and worshipped in temples and households. Devotees also offer sweets, lentils, rice and fish to Ma Kali. Temples in Kolkata like Dakshineshwar and Kalighat are famous for Kali Puja and the best places to visit during Diwali. 

South India Diwali blog

 

There is a practice in Bengalis the night before Kali Puja, they follow Bhoot Chaturdashi ritual to defeat the evil power by lighting up 14 diyas at home. In places like Barasat near Kolkata, Kali Puja takes place in a flamboyant manner as Durga Puja, you may see themed pandals and melas. One thing to notice is the figures of demons Dakini and Yogini in front of the Kali pandals

Safety on Diwali 
  • Stay away from synthetic fabrics, only wear cotton clothes.
  • Have a fire extinguisher and keep a first aid kit ready in your home.
  • Don’t burn crackers in closed areas.
  • Don’t let kids burn aerial fireworks like rocket alone.
  • Never ever light a cracker while holding it in your hand.

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ShiviOctober 30, 20212min8610

The Land of Maharajas! The land of warrior queens! Rajasthan has it all and it has always lurked me for exploration and penning down about it. have been travelling to Rajasthan for years but every time I visit there’s a new vibe to it. The people, culture, heritage, food, royal life, gharanas, shopping, haunted places, architecture – what not, leave me awestruck.

This travel blog will give you a sneak peek into the colourful world of the royal state. It will highlight the heritage of this stunning state of India and would recommend places to visit, the best time to visit, and exquisite shopping destinations and food etc. Later in this series will have more blogs that will highlight itineraries, travel specifics, how to travel, which dedicated places to visit.

 


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ShiviSeptember 3, 20219min16080
Kaas Plateau Satara | Kass Pathar | The valley of flowers Best Season to Visit

 

Kaas Plateau opens to visitors from 1 September, last year due to pandemic the plateau suffered loss in tourism, now as the situation is becoming normal, it is opening gradually for the tourist. The valley is on full bloom during this period.

kass pathar blog SpiritedBlogger

Here’s how to access that flower power at the UNESCO Heritage Site – yes, do not get surprised.

Kaas Plateau is Maharashtra’s lesser-known valley of flowers that is best visited during the monsoon, between August and October. It’s not just gorgeous for Instagram—mostly a reserve forest, this land is home to more than 850 flowering species, some rare and endangered and many of which are new to botanical science, making it a crucial site for research.

kass pathar blog SpiritedBlogger

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Let me tell you more about this place first – let’s dive in

It falls under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster of the Western Ghats, and it became a part of a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2012

It is famously called Maharashtra Valley of Flowers. Situated in Satara is an eco-sensitive place you can see the carpet of flowers after monsoon ends. During monsoon, Kas Pathar flower valley receives hefty rainfall; you can see different flowers throughout the year.

One particular Satara Flower Aponogeton Satarensis or Waytura Flower can only be found on Kaas Plateau now listed in endangered species. Kaas Plateau supports 175 species of wildflowers.

kass pathar blog SpiritedBlogger

Kas Pathar is home to many birds, butterflies, reptiles, wild animals.

The best time to visit Kaas Plateau season is just after the end of monsoon during September and October.

Once in eight years, Karvi Flowers blooms into mas flowering covering the entire Kaas Plateau in shades of Purple Blue and Pink.

Plateau seems to change the colours after every 15- 20 days as the cycle of flowering plants progresses

Elements of outstanding Universal Value Plateau is rich in its Bio-diversity. Very IMP for botanical studies and research work. Many species which are still new to the Botanical Science are observed on plateau. Many of the endemic, endangered plants are found on Plateau. Plateau will provide a potential site for future research in botanical studies. More than 850 species of flowering plants are reported.

How to reach

It is 25km from Satara, Kaas is about six hours’ driving from Mumbai, and three hours’ by road from Pune. So you can take the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway (NH48) up to Satara and then exit for Kaas Plateau. The parking lot is a bit of a distance away, but there are ST buses that will ferry the distance for a small fee. Be prepared to not have access to food stalls or restrooms on the plateau itself.

 

kass pathar blog SpiritedBlogger
A special note from the NGO that is working relentlessly for this plateau

Remember that the plateau has many rare, endangered and threatened, unique plant species, found no where in the world other than this place. It is our responsibility to protect these and avoid extinction.

If we take care of the plateau and enjoy the beauty, without hurting it, it will be there for years to come for our enjoyment as well as for our next generations.

It is prestigious World Heritage site, recognized by world community as unique place. Damage to it will be shameful to us as a country.

kass pathar blog SpiritedBlogger

Let us not only put all responsibility on the shoulders of government, but own some responsibility of conservation.

The danger to this plateau are human beings – the plateau’s blooms are unfortunately threatened by visitors who trample on the plants, pluck flowers, litter and park on the plateau.

Please be a responsible traveller

Spread this message so that our planet earth can remain as beautiful and conserved it is. 

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ShiviMay 26, 20218min5110
Lunar Eclipse 2021- Chandra Grahan

 

lunar eclipse

 

What is a super moon?

A supermoon befalls when a full or new moon accords with the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth. The Moon’s orbit around Earth is not flawlessly circular. This means the Moon’s distance from Earth varies as it goes around the planet. The closest point in the orbit, called the perigee, is unevenly 28,000 miles closer to Earth than the farthest point of the orbit. A full moon that happens near the perigee is called a supermoon.

 

REUTERS/Cagla Gurdogan
The full moon, known as the “Super Flower Moon”, is seen over the Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara, Turkey May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Cagla Gurdogan

 

Total Lunar Eclipse 2021 – May 26th, 2021 will be visible in these locations.

The total lunar eclipse will be noticeable mostly from Pacific Ocean, Eastern Asia, most parts of North and South America and Australia. For most of India, the moon will be below the eastern horizon during the total eclipse and so people of the country cannot observe a blood moon, but in some parts, mostly from eastern India, people will see only the very last part of a partial lunar eclipse, (here too it is cyclone Yaas is occurring, hence it will be tough here too). It is will start at 2:17 pm as per Indian Standard Timing (IST) and be visible until 7:19 pm. India will not get to see the total eclipse.

NZ moon Reuters

Why it is named as Super Blood Moon?

The totally eclipsed moon takes a dark blackish red colour and therefore it is called a blood moon. This occurs because of the comparatively less aberration of the red part of the moon light through the earth’s atmosphere and falling on the moon’s surface.

 

What will happen?

A glitzy full moon rose over New Zealand on Wednesday night as people there and around the world waited for a cosmic event known as a super blood moon. It’s when a full lunar eclipse accords with a super moon, which is when the moon is chiefly close to Earth and appears brighter than normal. For about 15 minutes, as the moon interchanges fully into Earth’s shadow, the moon will appear to turn red.

India lunar eclipse
Why does it take red color?

When the Moon is entirely enclosed by Earth’s shadow it will darken, but doesn’t go completely black. Instead, it takes on a red color, which is why total lunar eclipses are sometimes called red or blood moons. 

The full moon, known as the “Super Flower Moon”, is seen behind Stonehenge stone circle near Amesbury, Britain, May 26, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

 

For more information, you can leave a comment or in case you need any positive news to get spread across channels do email us at spiritedbloger707@gmail.com

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ShiviMay 22, 20217min9750

by Author On Travel

Well, this sounds like never before, but now it is in action. I’m talking about Vaccination Travel – COVID 19. As the travel industry has gone for the toss in 2020 and half of 2021 is now almost under the attack of this pandemic. We see the travel and tourism industry is adversely affected. With this, The European Union has rolled out new travel policies to reopen its borders.

Algarve Portugal Ana Brigida Associated Press
How it is regulated?

The ambassadors from the 27 members of the states of the European Union has now allowed tourists from the rest of the world. It has also allowed the non-essential travellers who have been declined to travel earlier this year and in 2020.

Now, this move is seeing prospects as a crucial part of the economy for EU, especially for the tourism-dependent countries like Greece, Spain, and a few more. As it is summertime the bloc is one step closer to permit international tourists from safe countries. However, if in case you are not coming from the safe country ‘s list then probably you will have to show RT-PCR negative test, and also vaccinated from the ones which are approved by the EU bloc. (vaccines that are approved by EU – Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.).

While all this ease has come into the picture, health and safety remain paramount. Please see, that Europeans will be furnished with a digital certificate of vaccination which can be shown across borders while they travel. This travel restriction is open majorly for Britons and vaccinated Americans.

 

Greece beach Island of Naxos Thanassis Stavrakis

Read about Maldives Travel Ban To India Due to Rich Indians
Criteria:

Travellers should have received the final doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before travel.

This is for EU countries that have waived quarantine requirements for vaccinated citizens and it is also for non-EU vaccinated travellers.
It seems to be open 100% for all, but it isn’t.

Thus, we see that Portugal lifted a four-month travel for British tourists.
People only from seven countries, including Australia, Israel, Singapore, Britain, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not are allowed to travel.

Children are also being able to travel with vaccinated parents.

For India, an emergency brake has been proposed. This brake is to limit the risk of more infections and variants to spread and enter in EU.

Also there are a few travel agencies who are offering 21 days’ package to the EU, wherein you would get Sputnik jabs under proper supervision, further to which you can travel and stay in the EU. (please ensure it is authentic).

The changes could come into effect as early as next week.

Travel safe, and despite the fact, restrictions are loosened up, I advise you guys to travel safe, get vaccinated, wait for 14 days to get over, check with your doctor for any other ailments or illness you are facing and then move out.

#staysafe #behappy #covidtravel #eutravel #greecetravel

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ShiviMay 14, 20216min7142

Gloomy story; Maldives closed its door for India, due to rich Indians, perhaps.

By Author On Travel

maldives beach

Gorgeous beaches, lively shorelines, beautiful sunsets and much more… Maldives has been the most loved destination among Indians. The Maldives was one of the three destinations that have opened their boundaries post-COVID 19 pandemic 2020. It showed a significant increase in numbers of tourists from South Asian countries of which India was the highest.

 

maldives sunset

 

The Maldives saw every second Indian celebrity holidaying in Maldivian Islands. When the social media and personal accounts got flooded with their flaunting pictures, it took them for a ride. People started criticizing their pictures saying amid the second wave in India when the situation is way worse, these pictures are distressing and how they are being allowed to travel. (yet it is their choice). 

 

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Due to this elevated numbers of tourists and India becoming the epicenter of the COVID 19 pandemic, Maldivian Government has regulated new rules by restricting the entry of Indian tourists. Maldives has now joined a slew of nations announcing travel bans and restrictions on flights from India including countries like Germany, Iran, the UK, US, Hong Kong among others.

 

maldives local

 

The new travel restrictions are commencing from 13th May 2021. On 8th May Maldives suspended the entry of work permit holders from south Asian countries. The list which included these south Asian countries are – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The Maldives has now banned travel from India. Maldivian government issues this notice with effect from 13th May 2021. Thus the rich Indians are no abler to fly to the Maldives during the pandemic situation.

 

maldives travel

What are your views on the same, leave a comment and let us know what you have to say about it.

Is it great that rich Indians shall have this privilege all the time without serving the society in any way, except putting glossy Instagram pictures?  Or they shall be responsible enough towards their humanity.

Despite all this where tourism contributes 21% of the total GDP of Maldives, it will tough for the hoteliers and locals to keep the pace up. But guess, it is right for now.

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ShiviApril 26, 20216min7250

Travel restrictions in Himachal Pradesh – Check before you travel


To start this blog, I would like to first appeal to everyone not to travel for some time more until the situations become under control. India is on the brim of herd community and we may see it happening in coming weeks. I’m not scaring you, God forbid if the infection catches you and your loved ones it is super tough to come out. COIVD is not a joke. Anyway moving further to what I wanted to convey is the latest travel restrictions in the Indian state Himachal Pradesh.

 

We saw a surge of tourist flagging to this beautiful and holy state of India in the months from Jan 2021 to April 2021. Still, there are tour operators who are working on the packages and are ready to take the road trips and hiking tours.

OKAY, I know that the industry had immensely affected by the pandemic and the tourism industry is one of the most impacted and is going under loss. However, breaks are imperative on this phenomenon as it is, directly and indirectly, increasing the cases. The worst part is that this virus mutant shows signs in 14 days and it remains for around 14 days, which makes it daunting to monitor and know where al all it is spreading.

To know all about Kumbh mela in 2021 click here.

 

In Himachal recently the Government has imposed a night curfew in certain districts. Solan, Sirmaur, Kangra, and Una, imposed night curfew from April 27th to May 10th – 10 pm to 5 am. Also Himachal Pradesh government also made the RT-PCR test mandatory within 72 hours for those who are coming into the state. Those who are not tested will be required to go into home quarantine or isolation at their residence for 14 days.

 

Read more about Himachal Pradesh

Additionally, other states have restricted the entry of buses, flights, and inter commute for a certain period. Please make sure to move only if it is necessary and urgent. Request everyone to be safe and avoid travelling for leisure and holidays for some time.

 

For more information, you can leave a comment or in case you need any positive news to get spread across channels do email us at spiritedbloger707@gmail.com

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ShiviApril 18, 20213min8081

 

Kumbh is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Kumbh is held periodically at four different locations in India — Nashik, Haridwar, Prayagraj, and Ujjain. In normal circumstances, Kumbh continues for nearly four months but this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration of the congregation has been curtailed to one month.

 

kumbh mela

The first shahi snan was held on March 11 on the occasion of Mahashivratri, while the second was held on April 12. Kumbh Mela Officer Deepak Rawat Tuesday inaugurated the world’s largest Diya on Aastha Path, according to the state government. The diya is also named in the Guinness Book of World records.
Wow, this is incredible – India is incredible but are we meaning with it.

kumbh

Despite rising COVID cases, Haridwar is jam-packed with pilgrims for Kumbh Mela on April 12. COVID protocols were flouted as devotees performed the rituals.

kumbh mela during covid

“Maha Kumbh has been challenging for the country, Uttarakhand Police is comparatively small in strength but Maha Kumbh takes place on that very scale. This event comes in the backdrop of the state recording its highest single-day rise in India of COVID cases.


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ShiviMarch 10, 20213min10190

 

The Most Mystical Temples Of Lord Shiva – Significance of Mahashivaratri

Maha Shivaratri or the ‘Great Night of Lord Shiva’ is one of the most significant festivals for Hindus across the world. The fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivaratri.

Among all the twelve Shivaratris that occur in a calendar year, Mahashivratri, the one that occurs in February-March is of the most spiritual significance.

 

Shiva temple

 

Mahashiavratri is very significant for people who are on the spiritual path. for the ascetics, it is the day he became one with Mount Kailash. He became like a mountain – absolutely still. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is not worshipped as a God, but considered as the Adi Guru, the first Guru from whom the science of Yoga originated.

Here’s the facts and some lesser known things about Shiva temples in India

The Most Mystical Temples Of Lord Shiva

 

The Tungnath Mandir in the Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand is considered the highest Shiva temple in the world and the most scared. 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 believed to be more than 1000 years old and is the third (Tritiya Kedar) in the of the Panch Kedars.

 

Tughnath Temple

 


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ShiviFebruary 15, 20219min13190
Year of the Metal Ox – All you need to know

 

lunar year 2021

 

So in 2021 it’s the “Year of the Metal Ox,” which hasn’t happened for 60 years. The Ox represents the first year of the 12-year zodiacal cycle, with 2020 being the “Year of the Metal Rat.

 

chinese new year 2021

 

How it is significant to the world? Ohh yeah it is, Friday, 12 February, 2021 celebrated “Chinese New Year,” it is one of the globe’s biggest annual celebrations as a fifth of humanity celebrate with rice cakes and dumplings despite it being a mostly virtual event this year. We all know why…

 

Solnal in Korea 2021

 

However, as well as also being called “Spring Festival” it’s also referred to as “Lunar New Year.”

Why? What has this occasion go to do with the Moon? How is Chinese New Year calculated and why is Chinese New Year always on a different date? What Chinese New Year animal are you? And what is a “lunar year” anyway?  Here’s all you need to know about it all.

 

Chinese new year

 

Chinese New Year 2021 starts on the day after the first New Moon that falls between January 21 and February 20 each year—which this year occurred on Thursday, February 11, 2021—and ends on the first full Moon of the lunar calendar two weeks later. This new year begins on February 12, 2021 and ends on January 31, 2022.

 

year of the ox

 

The Chinese New Year 2021 animal is the Ox. Each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac (literally “circle of animals”), which is based on the Moon and has a 12 year cycle. Interestingly, so does the planet Jupiter, which takes about 12 years to orbit the Sun. However, there is also a cycle of five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—which together creates a 60 year cycle. So in 2021 it’s the “Year of the Metal Ox,” which hasn’t happened for 60 years.

 

metal of the ox

 

Which Chinese New Year animal am I?

Don’t make any assumptions if you’re born in January or February and want to find what Chinese New Year animal you are. It’s no use knowing that, for example, 1976 was the “Year of the Dragon.” It was, but only for those both on or after January 31, 1976. What you need to know is that exact date of Chinese New Year in the year of your birth. For example, anyone born on January 30, 1976 was born in the “Year of the Rabbit,” and anyone after that in the “Year of the Dragon.” calculate what Chinese New Year animal you are.

 

Chinese Calender

It’s the final full Moon of the astronomical season of winter in the northern hemisphere. In China the celebrations close with a Lantern Festival. 

 

lantern festival

 

“Chinese New Year” or “Lunar New Year?” While the former refers to the event in China, the latter—and another term, “Spring festival”—is used to recognise the fact that the event is celebrated all over Asia, not just in China. Lunar New Year is celebrated in Vietnam as Tết, as Losar in Tibet and as Solnal in Korea. 

 

Vietnam as Tết

When is the next Chinese New Year? 

In 2022 Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 when it will mark the beginning of the “Year of the Water Tiger.” 

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes. 

Facts and Dates with Data taken from – Jamie Carter (Forbes)

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ShiviFebruary 11, 202110min22830

Bheemkund – Mysterious water pool in India #incredibleindia

Bheemkund Travel blogger

 

It is a magical water pool. Natural in nature, with clear blue waters. Also known as Neelkund. There is an uncovered story about this place, which keeps you intrigued. It is situated near Bajna village in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh. It is 77 km away from Chhatarpur by road in the Bundelkhand region. Bheemkund is astonishingly a natural water reservoir and a holy place that purportedly dates from the era of the Mahabharata. The water of the Kund (tank) is so clean and transparent that one can see fish swimming in the water.

 

bhimkund pool author on travel

The pool lies in a cave, about 3 metres from the mouth. To the left of the passage is a small Shivalinga. The pool is a deep indigo blue which distinguishes with the red stone walls. Folklore attached to this place dates back in the times of Mahabharata, linking Bhimkund with the Pandavas. Exhausted under the sweltering sun, Draupadi fainted of thirst. Bhim, the strongest of the five brothers, hit the ground with his Gada, water swelled out and the pool came into being.

 

The roof of the cave has a small opening just above the kund; this is the place Bheem is said to have hit with his Gada. Closely monitoring, it does look like the head of a Gada. It is 20 meters in width. During the Tsunami in India, there were 30ft high jump in water levels. 10 ft high tides arose from the deep waters. The locals have observed it.

 

bhimkund2 author on travel blogger

 

The water is blue, deep blue naturally. It keeps on shifting its colours as well. No one till date could examine the depth of – the real depth of this bheemkund. 200 ft deep down the pool if you go you experience water cyclone. Whenever there is a natural calamity there is an effect of it seen in this pool.

Even the earthquake of Nepal had an impact of it here. The pandits and locals have witnessed 7 ft high tides of water. Same was with the earthquake in Japan. It is being said that this place always indicates about the natural calamities to take place. It is a mystery that how this place indicates the natural calamities before it even occurs. And after a few hours, we see some of the other natural mishap happening.

The water is holy and can be kept for years as it is. No algae, no bacteria, and no dilution occur in the water. It is like Ganga and other holy water we keep with us. If this has a connection with oceans or a way to the ocean, then why this pool does not have saltwater. There are theories based on them but no one can prove it. Chattarpur has no connections with the ocean for 1000s km.

bheemkund travel blogger

 

Pujari Ramesh Prasad Pandey Ji – serving there for four generations of his. To know the real depth of this pool huge pumps and pipes have been places and people have returned from 80mtr saying that we can’t go deep than this. The administration had tried to pump out the water for 24 hours everything outside was blocked but the water was not dipping an inch also. They were amazed.

 

secret place bheemkund travel blogger

International sky drivers and researchers came to know the mystery they put the camera down and took pictures of somewhere around 200ft down and still did not got the ground layer. Another mystery is that if someone gets drowned in the water and dies – the body is undiscoverable. One cannot find the body of the person, usually, the body of the person floats on the water once dead, but here it vanished.

 

travel blogger

The archaeologists and the excavators have used their best methods to measure the depth of this Kund but none have succeeded so far. A few years ago a team from “Discovery channel” visited BheemKund and tried to calculate the depth of Kund but unable to do so.

Usually, when a man dies underwater, his body floats above the surface after his death. Whereas, the body once drowned in Bheemkund, never floats up and shockingly the body goes missing and can never be found back.

 

What you have to say about this mysterious place in #india Tell me in the comments below. 

Location: Bheemkund 

State: Madhya Pradesh

Country: India 

Reach by road from Chattarpur District 

Air Route: Indore or Bhopal or Gwalior

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Read more blogs on India Travel. Where to travel for #snowfall, want to know? #keepreading

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ShiviDecember 17, 20207min10980
A rare sky show, Jupiter and Saturn will be as close as pinkie finger on 21st December

Team NASA has a surprise for you all. You all are excited for this Christmas, though it will not be the same for many due to Corona Pandemic. But the lore of the celebration will be cherished round the world. So what exactly is happening on the 21st of December 2020. 

Alright, the guesses aren’t working and you must be thinking that Christmas is on 25th. Yeah, this year we would get a chance to enjoy a Christmas kiss under the moonlit on the 21st December – which is also named as “The Great Conjunction”. 

 

Credits NASA Bill Ingalls

 

So what will happen on this day?

As the NASA Saturn and Jupiter will be the closet. last they were seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Luray, Virginia. And now they both are heading towards the great conjunction The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on December 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart.

In rare sky show, Jupiter and Saturn will nearly ‘touch’ on the winter solstice. On the night of December 21, stargazers will be in for a holiday treat as the two bright planets appear closer together than at any time in the past 400 years.

 

Where did it come from?

In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, travelled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.” (Taken from Nasa.gov). 

 

Credits Chakarin Wattanamongkol Getty Images

A delight for stargazers:

Every 20 years these two planets appear to pass each other in the solar system. But with this position, aligned in the sky comes about once in 20 years. What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset. How? 

 

Credits NASA JPL-Caltech

Follow the steps by NASA:
  • Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
  • An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
  • The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.

 

Source NASA

Merry Christmas to all lovelies! 

Keep Smiling! Be a responsible traveller!

Read next and leave your comment or get in touch for queries.

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ShiviDecember 11, 20205min15140

International Mountain Day #mountainmatters Travel Blog

International Mountain Day 2020: India is proud bearer of the mystic Himalayas, its stunning landscapes, snow capped peaks and unique mountain biodiversity, makes everyone awe-stuck. The Himalayas or other mountain ranges in the world have attracted climbers for years. Not from India, they have come from all over the world. International Mountain Day is celebrated every year on December 11. On International Mountain Day, let’s take a look at few facts and the theme that make India proud.

 

North India Mountain 1

 

International Mountain Day 2020 theme

The theme of International Mountain Day 2020 is Mountain Biodiversity. It focus to celebrate the rich biodiversity of the mountains and also address the threats they face. Celebrate International Mountain Day by joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #MountainsMatter. Tag @authorontravel @mystic_author with your best pic with mountain, we will repost and share it.

Mountain 1

 

To know more do read my previous blog – Best Mountains in India 

Did you know that the world’s highest post office is in India in the Himalayas? It is the Hikkim Post Office, located in the Spiti Valley at the height of 4,400 metre, “where even mobile or internet fail to reach”.

 

Himalayas Blog

 

The most famous and the highest mountain range of India is the Himalayan range. It is also the youngest and the longest mountain range in India and has almost every largest peak of the world. The Himalayan mountain range bisects India from the rest of Asia and is the primary source of mighty rivers in India.

 

Himalayas

 

Do you know that 15% of the world’s population lives in the mountains? Therefore, the conservation of mountains is a crucial factor. Mountains are not only important for inhabitants but also for millions of people living in lowlands. They are the sources of the world’s major rivers and also play a crucial role in the water cycle.

 

Indian Himalayas

Though IndiaNepal, and Bhutan have sovereignty over most of the Himalayas, Pakistan and China also occupy parts of them. The Champa, Ladakhi, Balti, and Dard peoples live to the north of the Great Himalaya Range in the Kashmir Himalayas. The Dard speak Indo-European languages, while the others are Tibeto-Burman speakers.

 

Rocky Mountain

 

Famous Mountain Quotes: 

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.” – Dag Hammarskjold

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finlay

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” – Ed Viesturs

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” – Richard M Nixon

 

 


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ShiviOctober 29, 202013min20830

Navratri Celebration in Gujarat

One of the most awaited festivals in the colourful state of Gujarat is Navratri. Celebrated on the first nine days of Ashwin month, devotees keep fast for 9 days and worship Maa Shakti. In the evening, an earthen pot with holes and diyas inside, also known as “Garbi”, is lighted and women perform arti with it. 

 

Gujarat Navratri

 

During Navratri, Garba dance and Dandiya Raas are popular forms of dances performed by both men and women, wearing their traditional dresses.

 

 

Gujarat Navratri

Navratri Celebration in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam &Bihar

 

durga puja assam

 

In the eastern part of India, in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja and it is observed in the last four days of Navratri. These days are referred to as Saptami, Ashthami, Navami and Dashami. Durga Puja is the main festival of the people of West Bengal.

 

Durga-Puja1

 

Durga Puja is celebrated with great pomp and glitter in various parts of the states in big pandals, where large sized idols of Goddess Durga on her lion, demon Mahishasur, Lord Ganesha, Kartikeya and Goddess Laxmi and Saraswati are erected. Men and women come wearing their best colourful dresses. It is a very common sight to see Bengali women wearing their traditional red saree, decked up completely. 

 

Navratri in assam

 

 

The sounds of Dhol, Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh, the fragrance of agarbattis fill the air with freshness and purity. The celebrations of Durga Puja in West Bengal should be “must-watch” for everyone once in his lifetime.

 

 

West Bengal 1

Navratri Celebration in Tamil Nadu

Navratri is also celebrated in Tamil Nadu as a religious celebration to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati in the nine special nights. These three goddesses are worshipped for three days each. Friends, relatives and neighbours are invited and clothes, jewelleries, sweets and other gifts are exchanged among them.

 

Kolu Tamil Nadu

 

One interesting feature as a part of the celebration is the decoration of the “Kolu” which is actually a staircase having 9 stairs, representing the 9 nights and each stair is decorated with beautiful dolls, and idols of gods and goddesses. It is said that the dolls that are used are handed over from generation to generation.

 

 

Tamil Nadu navratri

 

Navratri Celebration Andhra Pradesh

The “Kolu” celebration of Navratri in Tamil Nadu is celebrated as “Batukamma Panduga” in Andhra Pradesh, which means “Come Alive Mother Goddess”. The nine nights are dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Women make a beautiful flower stack known as “Batukamma”, which is arranged with seasonal flowers. 

 

Andra pradesh navratri

 

Women wear new saree and jewellery, perform puja in front of the Batukamma for 9 days and then on the last day they set afloat their Batukammas in a lake or any other water body.

Navratri Celebration in Kerala

In Kerala, Navratri is celebrated in the last three days and Keralites give importance to learning during these three days. They place books and musical instruments in front of Ma Saraswati’s idol on Ashtami, and worship the books and Ma Saraswati till Dashami. On Dashami, the books are taken out for reading.

 

 

Kerela Navratri 2

Navratri Celebration in Karnataka

It is a strange fact that even today people in Karnataka celebrate the 9 nights of Navratri in the same manner as was celebrated way back in 1610 by the great Vijayanagara dynasty. Navratri is known as “Naada Habba” in Karnataka. 

 

Karnataka navratri

 

The rituals include elephants’ procession on the streets, including fairs and exhibitions of handicrafts and artifacts.

 

Karnataka navratri 2

Navratri Celebration in Maharashtra

The celebrations are similar to Gujarat. Navratri in Maharashtra implies new beginnings. Hence, purchasing of a home or a car or new business deals or engagement is very common during this time. Married women invite their female friends, put haldi and kumkum on their foreheads and gift them with a coconut, beetle leaves and beetle nuts. 

 

Maharashtra Navratri 4

This gesture is referred to as “Saumangalyam” which means remaining the wife of her husband till her death. Each and every locality in Maharashtra has its own garba and dandiya nights celebrations.

 

haldi and kumkum 1

Navratri Celebration in Himachal Pradesh

For the Hindus in Himachal Pradesh, Navratri is a great celebration. Here, the celebration starts on the tenth day of Navratri when the festival ends in other states. 

 

Baijnath-Temple

 

People celebrate the tenth day, also known as “Kullu Dussehra” as the day of return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. On this day, the idols from the temples are taken out in processions. 

 

Kullu-Dussehra-Himachal-Valley

 

During the Navratri festival, the devotees visit various temples in Kangra, Una and Bilaspur districts of himachal Pradesh to pay worship to Goddess Durga.

 

vijaydashmi kullu

Navratri Celebration in Punjab

In Punjab, the people keep fast on the first 7 days of Navratri and end their fast on Ashthami or Navami by worshipping 9 little girls and a boy, which is known as “Kanjika”. The Punjabis organize jagratas where they keep awake the whole night and worship Goddess Shakti.

 

 

kanya-pujan

 

Read the next blog on Navratri India’s Nine-Day Festival | Nine Forms of Durga

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


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