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ShiviApril 11, 202012min9170

 

The hunger to travel never ends. This endless lust for travel is relatable with all the wanderlust out there. Yeah, well, even I’m not able to travel, thus what to do? 

There is a way to break this, read books, by reading books on travel we can satisfy our wanderlust in the tough corona times. Keep reading…

When you enter a search into Google on why we travel, it takes you to detailed articles of ‘Can travel make you more creative?’, ‘Can travel make you fall in love?’ and much more. While some of these may be completely clickjacking, I can’t help but admire the emphasis we all have on the act called travelling. 

Now as we all are chained to chair at work for a long time which does not seem to end soon, I pay my, condolences to my friends who are in dire need of a holiday and aren’t able to. When you have this kind of heartbreak, only a quick trip can fix it. But sadly not right now, in the times of Corona Pandemic. 

I feel sad to hear the stories of lockdown, with no pleasure of travel at all. And then I hear lockdown on the borders and travel ban imposed across the world. I can’t help but feel a sting of worry. Some of us have lovers self-isolating 8,000 miles away and that seems like an unreasonable situation to be in. But if I thought mine was a sad story too, but it’s hard not to think the world without travel writers, travel influencers, content writers, reporters, whose duties are connected with free movement and travel all over and now almost verbose in a worldwide lockdown.

Now that we are in isolation because of the pandemic-inflicted world, free movement is like a distant dream. The month of April is usually when people move out for travel as the exams get over, then Good Friday and other long weekends. Regrettably, for most of us, COVID-19 has assured the derailment of our travel plans. Nevertheless, when one inspiration runs dry, there are many others to keep yourself immerse into positive things. 

So whatever your reasons for travel may be, post-Corona you guys will have to wait for a longer time as the travel industry will be the worst hit. Small hotels, homestays, will have a hard time to recover. I would recommend you to get yourself your favourite cup of tea of a cup or coffee, then, find your much-loved corner or a place on the couch and let the travel stories take you to an exile, many miles away. 

 

 Book image

Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells (2019)

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

 

In his most recent publication, Iyer snaps down his view on travel on answering to his longtime home in Japan. As a nation whose calendar is characterised by occasions to honour the dead, come autumn, he represents Japan from a new prospect and directs on the mundane routines that unite people’s lives. 

 

Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land (1992)

“But now, travelling down that road after so many years I felt no excitement at all, only an old, familiar sensation, one that had always accompanied me on my way back from Damanhour, no matter whether I’d been away an hour or a week: the lassitude of homecoming mixed with a quiet sense of dread.”

 

Known as one of his best works, Ghosh takes the reader on a journey from England to Egypt by this book. He goes in quest of a despicable slave from the 12th century, but during his travels, he meets the interaction of varied faiths, holy men, retailers and alchemists. His story is one that genres and ages and envelops the reader in a well-travelled past.

 

Shivya Nath’s The Shooting Star (2018)

“I remember the years I had been too afraid to dream of sitting on the ledge of a humble yellow house, chatting with a family that wasn’t my own, chatting in a language that wasn’t my own, in a part of the world so far away from the one I grew up in and yet not that different.”

 

Shivya Nath’s debut bestows her story from when she quit her 9-to-5 corporate job and travelled the world for seven years, the last two without a permanent address. Her goal to convert from an average girl to a free-movement soul is apparent throughout the book and she endeavours to create a new life and reinvent herself through this journey from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tropics of Ecuador. 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (2006)

“Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby—I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.”

 

One of the bestsellers of 2006 and later a blockbuster on the big screen in 2010, Eat, Pray, Love is a must-read for readers viewing to hit the reset switch on their lives. Following her divorce, Gilbert travels to Italy, India and Indonesia, learns a new language, submerges herself in a new culture and along the way takes an inward journey into what it means to truly be happy with oneself.

 

books to read

 

These are some of the travel books which I loved and thought that can satisfy other people wanderlust as well. If you have any comments about this blog please leave on the comment section. In case you are interested in reading any specific blogs please let us know by clicking here and we will try to publish it soon.

 


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ShiviFebruary 21, 20209min12724

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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ShiviFebruary 11, 20209min21500

Travel Blog Winter Spiti

 

hikkim kibber spiti valley

PC: Bikat Adventures

As the name is unique so does the place. Spiti Valley is a mesmerizing place for nomads and travel enthusiasts all across the globe. As unique as its name, a trip to Spiti Valley is an experience of the ultimate abandoned beauty! Separated from breeding Lahaul by the soaring 4551m Kunzum La, the Himalayan region of Spiti is another piece of Tibet marooned in India. While this region stays cut off from the rest of the world in October to February, you can visit Spiti from March to May to enjoy the snow-clad mountains of this sumptuous cold desert. That is precisely what this blog is about – Yes Winter Spiti- White Spiti. what our Winter Edition

 

snow-leopard spiti valley

PC:https://raachotrekkers.com/

Moonscapes to Marvels of Spiti Valley

Diverged villages in a saw-toothed moon land appear like mirages on the road to Spiti valley. Roads like these will make you overlook any other scenery you’ve ever seen. The whitewashed and snow-covered, mud-brick houses dwell into the local heritage. These houses look marvellous from the viewpoint of Key Monastery. And when they all covered with snow it is like a white wonderland.

 

kaza langza spiti valley

 

Rediscovering The Ancient Spiti

Spiti Valley is the place to rejoice the love for long lost things. This could be sending a postcard from the highest post office in the World, or go fossil hunting in the villages of Spiti. One such fossil village-Langza embraces you with a life-size golden statue of Buddha. The sedimentary rocks of this village cover the remains of plants & marine life which are millions of years old. Go see for yourself if you’re lucky enough to spot one! I was lucky to have found one.

 

Kibber spiti valley

 

Variation in Beauty

Contrary to all shades of grey and white, a turquoise ribbon of the Spiti River will coincide you as your near-constant escort, speeding along a deep valley before turning south at Sumdo into the craggy gorges of the Hangrang Valley. Spiti fascinates many travellers, including a huge bunch of Indian motorcyclists, as a kind of ‘mini-Ladakh without tourist crowds’. This title is justified until its serene nature (a high-altitude desert) and culture (Tibetan Buddhist) are still intact. For this, we all need to be a responsible traveller and whoever visits Spiti Valley, please take care of littler, carbon footprints and strictly no plastics.

kaza spiti valley

 

Things to Remember

Who all planning to travel Spiti Valley in winters, please have a look at the tips below and the temperature as certain areas can be nerve crunching.

It gets very cold here in winters i.e. December through February with temperatures hitting – 30C to -35C. You will need to be mentally and physically fit and must have done some high altitude travel to be able to manage travelling through this high altitude region.

Majorly you will get only homestays in winters and the hotels and guest houses will be shut. These homestays will have dry eco-friendly squatting toilets. You will need to equip with this system as due to water freezing and water lines freezing wet toilets are not available.

Because of the water lines freezing, the locals have a hard time carrying water for utilities from a close water source and therefore having a bath while you are in Spiti will not be possible.

 

spiti valley

 

In peak winter i.e. January and early February, all the places might not be open due to unfavourable weather conditions. Thus, whatever you are able to visit take it as an opportunity to explore the place. 

Wintertime is actually not a season time to visit Spiti Valley thus you will not get a variety of activities and things to do in cold weather. at times you will not be able to move around much and will have to end up in the homestay. That is why I would recommend travellers to be prepared and make the most of the destination whilst enjoying snow everywhere.

Being in a homestay you can make most of the time talking to locals, knowing the Spitian culture, food and much more. You can be with the host and can understand the local food culture.

Be prepared to be empathetic and adaptable, as due to weather last minutes’ plan changes can happen or you can be forced to change your plans due to safety measures.

 

spiti valley white wonder

 

Things To Carry

  • Shirts / T-shirts, Trousers / Track Pants
  • Windproof jacket, Raincoat / Poncho
  • Thermal inner wear (upper and lower)
  • Woollen cap, Woolen gloves, Woolen socks along with extra pairs
  • Scarf\muflers
  • Comfortable Riding\sports shoes 
  • Towel\napkins
  • Water bottle
  • Cap / Hat, Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen Lotion, Lip Balm
  • Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Personal medication
  • Personal toiletries

 

Let’s connect for more travel writing and blogging… #keeptravelling 


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ShiviJanuary 13, 202015min11122

13 Snowfall Destinations In India Not To Be Missed In Winters

– Snowflakes, snowfall, mushy and powdery snow – wow, who doesn’t love to be in the snow. Who would not love to play in the snow? Age is no bar trust me for this fun in life. This blog is about your winter destinations in India. Read it to know it. The most preferred destinations for snowfall this winters in India where you would love to pack your woollens and scarfs to start your travel journey. Please note these are my personal favourites but there are many more to visit, if you wish to know about them please leave a comment at the end of the blog. Read about 13 Snowfall Destinations In India Not To Be Missed In Winters. 

Manali

The wonder of the wonders, the Rohtang Pass is amazing and is covered with snow all over in winters. You will find fresh snow and beautiful mountain scenery. The high mountains with the peaks covered in clouds, with snow-covered tops will amaze you. Thundering white waterfalls from high mountain and meandering roads leading high up to the destination makes you forget everything and it makes it worthwhile the visit. You can enjoy other activities as well like skiing, snow motorbike, and can just going crazy flickering and dancing around in the snow.

 

manali snow

 

Shimla

The capital city of Himachal Pradesh is white in winters. It is a beautiful hill station which experiences substantial snowfall in winters in India. Various tourists visit Shimla for snowfall and enjoy snow activities. Places like Kufri, Narkanda, Mashobra get heavy snowfall. 

 

shimla snowfall

 

Gangtok  

Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. Founded as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of a self-governing monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it persists as a Tibetan Buddhist centre and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges. But what is more striking about Gangtok, is the snow all over in winters, which makes it a wonderful destination to visit in winters. Although you get occasional snowfall in Gangtok places like Tsomgo Lake, Kupup Lake, Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang and Zero Point witness heavy snowfall during winters. Consequently, winter is the best time to go to Sikkim if someone desires to see snow.

 

sikkim gangtok

 

Gulmarg

Average snowfall was observed in Gulmarg, where nearly six inches of snow has swelled, while snowfall was heavier in the higher mountain ranges at many places in the Valley. From December-end to mid-February, there is abundant snowfall for you to create your own snowman! Make sure you pack heavy woollens as the temperature can drop down till -4 degrees Celsius.

 

gulmarg snowfall

 

Ladakh (Leh)

The high mountain passes in Ladakh including both Khardung La and Chang La, are under mounds of snow and passing through them is quite an experience in itself. Succeeding accessories like shades/glares/goggles are highly advised at this time of the year. Travelling by both the road routes, the Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway, is not plausible since they are not open in the snowy winters of Ladakh.

 

ladakh leh snowfall

 

A warning—if you are someone who is not attached to the cold weather or cannot bear cold climates, please give up the idea of visiting Ladakh in winter. The biggest battle will be with the intense chill, and it is more a brain game than anything else. It is more beneficial to be adapted for extremely cold conditions before landing at 3300m above sea level.

 

zanskar valley

 

Mussoorie

The most favourite hill stations are Mussoorie and Chopta which also saw fresh snow, alluring travellers from around the country. Mussoorie’s Mall Road and Landour saw an expanded footfall of tourists, keen to revel in the winter fun. People could be seen nestled around bonfires all through the day as mercury dipped further.

 

mussoorie snowfall

 

McLoedganj

The normal McLeodganj snowfall time is between December and February when the temperature ranges from -1 to 7 degrees Celsius. With numerous tourist attractions and local cafes, McLeodganj can be a marvellous place to visit to watch the annual snowfall. Mcleodganj with its frigid temperatures is a Disneyland of snow, snowfalls and everything white.

 

fresh snow mcleodganj

 

Auli

The vacation months in this beautiful hill station stretches from April to June are great to endure pleasant weather. These months are also perfect for skiing, nevertheless, Auli is covered in snow throughout the year but the best time is from Nov mid till Feb end. Skiing can be relished at any time during this season. You can also enjoy skiing festival in the month of February. December to February is the best month to visit Auli to show love for the snow. The temperature during this season ranges between -1 degrees Celsius to 5 degrees Celsius. Though, many places to visit in Auli get a new life and start embracing tourists from far and wide.

 

auli winters

 

Dhanualti

One of the most astonishing places in Uttarakhand to play with snow or witness snowfall near Delhi in winters is the region around Chopta, Tunganath or Deoria Tal. A small town in Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand experiences good snow in months of December till February.

 

snow dhanualti

 

Kangra

Kangra is a gorgeous little town situated in Kangra valley at the foothills of majestic Dhauladhar range of Himalayas. And snowfall in Kangra makes this village a charming white-wonderland. In some parts of the Kangra valley, you can witness snowfall in January and February. November is the onset of full-fledged traveller season in Kangra. Sports and adventure aficionados can indulge in skiing down the snow-laden mountains during this time. January is the month that you can lay off quickly because of the unbearable cold temperatures dipping to sub-zero levels.

 

kangra valley snow

 

Chamba

The temperatures dip zero and minus Celsius in winters. Be ready for a fun-filled winter vacation to Chamba.  Chamba is a charming little delightful town in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Established near the banks of majestic Ravi river the town gets paradisiacal during winters. This heavenly hill station is situated at a height of 926 meters. Presume how wonderful it would be during snowfall in Chamba. It is a remarkably old town with a lot of cultural heritage- with its history linking back to 2nd century BC. The village is renowned for its rich artistic heritage, its majestic temples, and magnificent palaces. It is also home to some wondrous art and craftsmanship including the famous Pahari paintings. If you love winters and freezing snow – this is the destination that will give you goosebumps during your holiday here in winters.

 

chamba valley snow

 

Tawang

Tourists travelling to Tawang and Bum-La Pass in Arunachal Pradesh observed the first snowfall of the season. Snowfall in India can be seen by tourists in the Himalayan belt. The tourists along the Sino-India border at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district experienced the blessings of nature, and quickly enough, the whole place was engulfed with white snow. Bum-La Pass in Arunachal Pradesh is located at a height of 15,200 ft and has great ancient importance, as this is the road into which China penetrated India during the War of 1962. Today it endures as a popular tourist destination, and Tawang is only about 37 km away from this pass. Tawang is essentially visited during the winter season, which is from October to December.

 sela pass snow tawang

 

Spiti Valley

Spiti in winter is the uniquely transformed version of Spiti that you saw in summer. The huge mountains, mysterious terrains, the extent of barren landforms, and spots of green are entirely shrouded in a seamless sheet of snow. It’s a sea of white as far as your eyes can view. Such is the mesmerizing exhibition that you would run out of battery and space in your camera’s memory card but you won’t run out of the will to click pictures. It’s fun when you don’t have enough to do during the winter in Spiti and you can blend with the locals, experience delightful Spitian cuisine, and learn to lead life the more intricate way.

 

 

spiti snow

 


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ShiviDecember 20, 201910min12573

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

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

Santa Claus VIllage in Rovaniemi

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

Where Can You Meet Santa Claus? 

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

How Will You Reach to Rovaniemi? 

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

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

 

Photo AFP Olivier Morin Getty Images

Photo: AFP/ Olivier Morin/Getty Images

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

Here come the spoilers: Proceed with caution 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Photo: Elena Liseykina

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

CATCH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

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

RIDE A REINDEER OR HUSKY 

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

 

 

Photo Elena Liseykina

Photo: AFP /Jonathan Nackstrand/ Getty Images)

SNOWMOBILE THROUGH THE WINTER WONDERLAND

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

GO ICE-FISHING

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

FLOAT YOUR WORRIES AWAY 

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

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

 

Get hooked for more blogs and exploration…


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ShiviDecember 18, 201911min22370

 

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

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

 

goa beach sunset

 

 

What is Then, Which is Ruining Goa!

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

 

goa houses

 

 

Dive Into The Diversity of Goa – Ecotourism in Goa

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

 

goa traditional design houses

 

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

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

 

goa life

 

 

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

 

eco tourism goa nature

 

 

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

 

portuguese church goa

 

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

 

ecotourism goa plastic reuse

 

 

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

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

 

candolim goa beach

 

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

 

goa travel

 

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

 

 

goa architecture

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

vagator goa

 

 


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ShiviDecember 12, 20197min20600

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, 20196min5590

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

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

 

alps and rocky mountain

 

 

2019 Theme: Mountains Matter for Youth

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

 

mountain day great diving range

 

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

 

the alps mountain day

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

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

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

 

atlas mountain morroco

 

What can you do?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

blue mountain mountain day


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ShiviDecember 1, 20196min10382

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

 

Omkareshwar temple

History of Omkareshwar

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

 

Omakreshwar overview

How to Reach

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

Places to Visit in Omkareshwar

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

 

Where To Stay

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

 

 

omkareshwar

 

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

You can read more in our travel section.


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ShiviNovember 18, 20197min13080

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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ShiviNovember 14, 20199min222918

Is Leh-Ladakh only for bikers? Most of us have this question in mind whenever we think of travelling to this terrain. Can Laid Back travellers or those people who are not fond of biking can travel to Leh-Ladakh? Just to answer these quick and genuine questions, here is the Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh. In this blog, I am going to talk about that and also going to cover what all places can be covered in short period since travellers usually want to cover a lot of places in a short period, who are on a leisure trip. 

 

hunder camps

4 Nights 5 Days Trip To Leh-Ladakh

I know most of the people think that cramming a lot of places in a short period is not ideal. It can be the most tiring travel as well. I agree with most of you all and even I have experienced this during my travel journeys when I have a time crunch. Nevermind this Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh will help you to plan an adventurous yet appealing trip to this beautiful destination in India, Leh-Ladakh. 

 

hunder sand dunes

 

Day 1 of Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh – Take a direct flight from Mumbai or Delhi to Leh. In this way, you can save a minimum of two days since taking a bus from Delhi to Manali and then Manali to Leh takes 2 days. Once you reach Leh take full day rest, sleep as much as you can and drink a lot of water since water will keep you hydrated and rest will help you in getting acclimatized. In the evening you can visit the local market and the Hall of Fame. There’s a light & sound show that happens in Hall of Fame which is must watch. It will give you a feeling of how our soldiers fight in one of the most difficult situations which are out of our imagination.

 

Pangong lake route from leh

 

Day 2 – Leh to Pangong Tso Lake

You can hire a cab from Leh for which rates may vary from cab to cab. You can even opt for Self drive car, though I won’t suggest that as routes are not that easy for someone to drive in these terrains. While going to Pangong Tso Lake you can cover Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries en route.

 

pangong lake

 

Its 5-6 hour journey which is tiresome but once you reach the lake, the beauty of that place mesmerises you and you feel cherished. You can stay over in the camps which ranges from 1500-2000 inclusive of meals per person depending on the season when you are going. Stay overnight in Pangong and then head back to Leh. Stay Overnight at Leh.

 

Diskit leh

Day 3 – Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

Start early and feed your stomach with a little food since you will be passing from the highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La, you might feel dizzy. Keep yourself hydrated and keep on having candies as oxygen can be an issue here. If you feel a headache or breathing problem there are army camps and Dr is available to help you out. Have some tea/coffee and get yourself clicked at the world’s highest motorable road.

 

khardungla leh

 

Once you pass Khardung La you can see monasteries in Dikshit. These monasteries are very very old monasteries and worth watching. After spending some time here you can continue your journey towards Hunder which are dunes. In Hunder you can find camels of 2 humps which is only available in Dubai. You will be surprised and keep on wondering where this white sand has come to such a place. Stay over in Hunder as you can find a lot of beautiful camps and price is negotiable.

 

double hump camels hunder

Day 4 – Hunder – Sumur – Panamik – Leh

After having breakfast you can go to Sumur which has a famous monastery. From Sumur you can head towards Panamik which is famous for hot springs. Start your journey from Panamik to Leh. By evening you will be back in Leh. Do some local shopping in Leh as Leh is famous for dry fruits and some other local hand made stuff. This ends your journey here, but Day 5 can be a buffer for local Leh market, amazing food to relish, roam and shop in Tibetian refugee market. There’s a lot to do in Leh and around as well. Thus Day 5 can be utilised like this way. If not you can take a return flight the same day. 

 

Leh local market

 

 

Head back to your destination the next day with beautiful memories.

Final wrap on Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh

Though Leh-Ladakh is considered as Mecca for bikers and you will find a lot of bikers en-route, but this place is also something which can be visited by those who don’t love bike riding. This very simple itinerary can help you in planning and executing your vacation plan and you can enjoy it to the core keeping small things in mind.

 

Happy Travelling!


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ShiviOctober 22, 201913min11335

Good News! Siachen Glacier Open For Tourists

This looks intriguing and exciting for all the traveller since ages who have been waiting for this chance from the government to happen. The Indian army had regularly carried out their operation and people used to go to these mysterious glaciers for expeditions until 1970. But later they stopped it in 1984 when war broke out between India and Pakistan over the Siachen Glacier. 

We all know how precious this belt is for India as Pakistan and China are the countries with whom India has always struggled on borders. Numerous decades passed with wars and flirtation due to power interface over the glacier. Why such fascination and power game on the glacier. What is the mystery and charm of Siachen that has made even the Britishers lure over it? And now when the Siachen glaciers open for tourists. 

 

Siachen Glacier Satellite View
Picture Credit (Wikipedia) – Siachen Glacier Satellite View

 

Let us see a few comments from –  Lt Gen BS Jaswal (Retd) Former Army Cdr, Northern Command

The idea of tourism in this area is not de novo. Since 2007, trekking activities have been undertaken by teams from the NDA, IMA, NCC and Military School, Chail. There is no reason why others can’t be permitted to delve in such ventures. He quotes that, today, the adventure has become the buzzword, so why not add adrenaline to the aspirants’ dreams?

It will also motivate the youngsters to join the fauj. It will help them repose faith in the Indian Army and the Air Force and convince them that the forces are capable of maintaining our territorial integrity and that they can operate and sustain in extreme climate and very hostile terrain. It will be a capability demonstration for our countrymen.

 

Exploration of Siachen Or Rose Glacier

Why rose glacier and what is the history of Siachen. The Siachen Glacier is one of the most discussed and significant glacier in the Himalayan Karakoram region. A Glacier with all the reasons to be famous and esteemed, not just for the Political agendas but also for expeditions and explorations. I shall clear this with a brief note below that will make you all understand the importance of Siachen glacier. At the time of Partition and a bit before that when the people at those times knew the glacier as a wonderful land in the Wilderness of the Himalayan Karakoram Mountains.

It is one of the largest Glaciers outside the Polar Regions and for the early Explorers and movies it was next to impossible to conquer and explore such massive Glaciers. In fact, they could not believe that these huge glaciers could exist anywhere outside the Polar Regions.

 

coincidence-point-of-Siachen-and-Baltoro-glaciers-75-km-64-km
Picture Credit (Wikipedia)

The first-ever credit for Siachen exploration goes to Lady Fanny Bullock and her husband William Hunter Workman. They were a rich couple and travelled to India on cycle and once they got to know the Himalayas, they could not go back for long. They both fell in love with the Himalayas forever. During their trip, they discovered some unexpected mountains, snow peaks and unseen glaciers in the Himalayas. With the help of local potters, they explored the unseen of the glaciers in the valley. Due to limitations, they did not enter Karakorams and other range fields around. 

 

FannyBullockWorkmanVotesWomen
Picture Credit (Wikipedia)

Siachen Glacier Open For Tourists

India has opened the doors of the Siachen area for tourists and tourism. Recently our Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has announced and tweeted about it. That the entire area has been opened for tourism.

rajnath singh tweet
Picture Credit (Twitter)

“Ladakh has tremendous potential in Tourism. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers. The Siachen area is now open for tourists and Tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes.”

 

rajnath singh siachen bridge shyok
Picture Credit (Twitter)

 

He was in Siachen recently for the inauguration of newly ‘Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge’ at Shyok River in Ladakh. It is when he announced about the potential which Ladakh tourism has. By making ways and doors open for the tourist it will have better avenues for the tourism industry and for travellers from across the world. The distillation of tourism in Siachen will act as a scalper to open innumerable opportunities. The time will tell, how the tourism industry will shape, but certainly, it is a piece of good news for travellers like me!

 

Un-kashmir-jammu-siachen-conflict
Picture Credit (Wikipedia) – Map issued by UN

 

Some of the statistics about Siachen Glacier

Elevation5,400 m

Area700 km²

LocationKarakoram Range; Controlled by India, disputed by Pakistan

Length 76 km (47 mi) using the longest route as is done when determining river lengths or 70 km (43 mi) if measuring from Indira Col[1]

Parent rangeKarakoram

 

 

Want to read more about Leh-Ladakh expedition click here and leave your comments. 

Connect with me for more blogging services and do read my book available on Amazon 

 


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ShiviOctober 15, 201912min9263

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

Singapore

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

 

Singapore diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Dubai

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

 

dubai diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bangkok

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

 

bangkok diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bali, an unbeatable international destination this Diwali

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

 

bali diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Malaysia

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

 

Malaysia Diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

Hong Kong

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

 

Hong Kong diwali holiday

 

Know more about Hong Kong travel and things to do.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Maldives

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

 

maldives diwali holiday

 

 

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

Check for flights and accommodations here

Turkey – an amazing international destination this Diwali

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

 

turkey diwali holiday

 

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ShiviSeptember 28, 201910min30297

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 17, 201917min36350

Continued from Part 1 

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

 

bike rentals in leh-ladakh

Bike Rentals

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

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

 

What All Is Needed For Bike Rent

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

 

Best Routes for Leh-Ladakh Bike Expedition

Route 1: Manali to Leh & Back

 

 

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

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometres

Route 2: Srinagar to Leh & Back

 

 

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

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,295 kilometres

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

Route 3: Delhi To Leh And Back

 

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

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,022 kilometres

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

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

 

Leh to Nubra Valley

Leh to Pangong Tso

 

Leh to Tso Moriri

 

Accommodation in Leh-Ladakh

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

leh-ladakh accommodation

 

 

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

 

camps in leh

Petrol Pumps on The Route of Leh-Ladakh

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

 

 

Petrol Pumps in Leh-Ladakh

 

 

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

 

Petrol Pumps on the route

 

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

 

Acclimatization in Leh-Ladakh

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

 

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



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