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ShiviDecember 17, 20207min2990
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, 20205min3740

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, 202013min4190

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.

 

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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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ShiviMay 29, 20203min11740

 

 

This news is featured in the travel section of India Times/Economic Times. The content is copyright form this source. Publishing for information.  

 

An assurance in this regard was given today (May 27) to a travel trade delegation by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture.

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is hopeful of opening Himachal and Ladakh for domestic tourism as soon as the safety and hygiene protocols are ready. An assurance in this regard was given today (May 27) to a travel trade delegation by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture. A decision to this effect will be taken in consultation with the states soon, the minister informed the delegation.

The delegation included Presidents of IATOADTOIATOAI and OTOAI. “The Minister informed us that Himachal and Ladakh will be opened for tourists as soon as the states grant permission,” said Captain Swadesh Kumar, President of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). “We want all the destinations, which are relevant to Adventure Tourism, like Himachal, Uttarakhand, Leh Ladakh, and the Northeastern States to be opened as early as possible,” he said.

Kumar said that the delegation has assured the government that they would all co-operate on following safety and hygiene protocols. The government is in the process of framing a comprehensive Covid-19 hygiene protocol and the same will be ready in a week’s time, he said.

For more blogs on Himachal Pradesh and it’s beauty click here.


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ShiviMay 25, 202015min10180

We as humans always get attracted to something which is unachievable or looks very difficult. I always keep on wondering how people in Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Northern Himalayas sustain in extreme conditions especially in winters. This thought always fascinates me and pulls me towards it that I want to experience something like this once in a lifetime. And here I am writing my blog after finishing my winter Spiti in the harsh weather that one can dream of. Travel to Spiti is a different experience all together especially when you have been to Spiti in Summers.

This blog will cover a lot of aspects as to what all one should carry to be safe in such weather, different ways and routes that one can take.

 

mall road shimla

If you are starting from Shimla

We took a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. You can also take a train as there are a lot of trains available for Delhi. Once we reach Delhi we took a train to Kalka, You can take a direct bus from Delhi to reach Shimla. If you want to give a different feel to your travel experience then don’t miss the Toy Train. Book tickets in advance for toy train from Kalka to Shimla as at the last moment you won’t get any tickets.

 

kalka toy road (1)

 

Suggestion – Please book your bus tickets in advance and only take the Govt. buses if you are planning to reach Shimla directly. Please avoid taking private buses to reach Shimla, first of all, private bus operators takes a lot of time and secondly, it’s risky as well.

Shimla to Kalpa (9712 ft)

We started from Shimla early morning around 8 AM since the distance between Shimla and Kalpa is 230 km and it takes approx 7 hrs to reach a destination. If you are taking a couple of stops that the same journey extends to 10-11 hrs considering climate is all favourable. I will suggest people start early if you can and keep some buffer time with you. In midway, we took a couple of stops one for breakfast where we had yummy aloo ka paratha with achar and curd. I don’t know how these locals made food but it really taste distinct, I would say something is there in the air and water which makes simple things wondrous.

My travel buddy and I then took the route via Kufri, Narkanda, Rampur and then finally to Kapla. Enroute you will find snow, on both sides of the roads, sometimes view is so mesmerizing that you want to forget everything and just feel the beauty of these hills. Kalpa is the capital of the Kinnaur region, I am not sure how many of you know this. We reached Kalpa around 8 PM in the night, it was all dark as in hills around 5-5:30 you will see that sunlight starts fading. By 8 you will feel it’s like 12 o clock in any city. From here the whole fight starts or I would say you start feeling the chill of the Spiti Valley. We were lucky to get beds that have heaters in it embedded. Nights are so cold that you can’t even think of taking your hand out of your gloves and don’t ask the layers of clothing that you need to wear. And not to forget in rooms you won’t get water in the toilet since all the pipelines get blocked or frozen due to ICE.

 

shimla kalpa (1)

 

We took our dinner and headed to the room since it was a long journey and tiring as well, though the beauty through which we pass through was giving us a glimpse that what all we will be seeing ahead. The night view was also imposing as there was no pollution and an only beautiful sky filled with a bunch of stars, it looks as if someone has started a DJ light.

Kalpa to Tabo (10761 ft)

Post healthy and fresh breakfast and we both started a little late since the distance between Kalpa and Tabo is only 160 km which can be covered easily in 4hrs. We were planning to cover Giu monastery in between which we were unable to as due to some unforeseen circumstances we keep on getting late like there was a landslide in between, then due to on-going road work at a lot of places blasts were begun due to which we need to stop till the road gets cleared. Considering all these its a fun ride as you keep on seeing sometimes half-frozen, sometimes full frozen Spiti river. This view is only in winters and you keep on wondering how come suddenly river started flowing where half a km before it was all frozen. And these mountains keeps on changing colors after every 4-5 km which you can only experience. Tabo is famous for Tabo Monastery. We reach Tabo around 8 PM and had a good sleep. Since next morning our destination was Kaza.

 

frozen river spiti valley (1)

Tabo to Kaza (12467 ft)

Distance between Tabo to Kaza is hardly 50 km which can be covered easily in 2 hrs. However, we decided to cover Pin valley which is almost frozen and would take your heart away when you pass from those routes where on both the sides you will find huge Ice blocks, sometimes their height is more than 10 ft and when you pass those you get an adrenaline rush. Pin valley is an abode to flora and fauna of Himalayas (National Park) but in winter you can only find one thing and that is snow. We reached Kaza and did a night halt there.

 

snowy road kaza kalpa (1)

Kaza to Langza-Komic-Hikkim – Chichum Bridge – Kaza

These are some of the famous places nearby Kaza which cannot be missed if you are here. Langza is a village that is famous for Buddhist monasteries and fossils. We were unable to reach Komic due to heavy snow in the region and roads were blocked. Hikkim is famous for its worlds highest post office. You can postcards to your near and dear ones from here.

 

hikkim post office (1)

 

Chichum Bridge is Asia’s highest suspension bridge. When we reached there it started snowing and what more you can ask for at such a beautiful place.  In midway, we have seen places where water is flowing from top but in middle, it has frozen, we were wondering how this can happen and we both was awe stuck witnessing that nature’s beauty which itself was surprising.

 

chichum bridge (1)

 

After covering all these places which in itself is an experience we came back to our homestay. A lot of memories were captured in photographs, some were captured in heart and some were there in our eyes which was just to stay for a very very long time.  We have our dinner and stayed in our rooms, the temperature was -20 degrees celsius and we were feeling that we all died as it was so cold out but when we saw the mountains and the sky it felt as if how can the world be so beautiful and so calm. Trust me that was the feeling.

Kaza to Kalpa

This is one of the longest journey that we took in the whole trip and in midway since it was 200 km that need to be covered and in hills covering 200 km might take approx 9-10 hr which is just a journey time excluding the halts that you take and how much time you spend on each halt. With each passing hour, we were feeling that why we are going back as the Himalayas and the hills that we spend time were most beautiful. We thought that our journey has come to an end but God and nature have a different plan for us. After we reach Kalpa and checked in to our rooms, around 11ish in the night it started snowing, I have never seen real live snow falling on me. Trust me guys feeling was out of the world. It was like cotton coming on you and that’s it and it goes away. Wow-what a thing to watch out for. Till morning it was continuous snow and we came to know that this fresh snow is in whole region and routes have started closing down due to this.

 

kaza snow (1)

Kalpa to Shimla

We started for Shimla and expecting to cover the distance in 9 hrs approx but due to snow routes were closed and we were forced to take a longer route and it took us 2 hrs more to reach to Shimla. We all were tired, happy, sad and what not as whatever we have experienced was in itself a journey that neither of us thought about.

The trip came to an end but the memories and the experience that we all got in itself was mind-boggling.

 

Things to Carry

  1. Rucksack
  2. Jacket for -15 degree celsius
  3. Sports/Trekking Socks
  4. Woolen Socks
  5. Gloves
  6. Fleece
  7. Neck Warmer
  8. Woolen Cap
  9. Thermal Inner Wear
  10. Sun – Screen – SPF 50
  11. Water bottle
  12. Litter bags

Place to Stay

Depending on your budget you get ample places to stay, however, we suggest to do bookings beforehand as in winters it becomes tricky to roam around and look for good options.  You will get a lot of budget hotels and home-stays, luxurious hotels are doubtful in Spiti Valley as it is still a secluded land and for past few years have gradually started becoming a travel spot.

If you like this blog or want to read more such blogs leave comments or you can reach us and let us know your feedback.


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ShiviApril 19, 202011min4810

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

 

taj mahal - spirited blogger

 

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

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

 

Angkar Wat combodia Spirited Blogger

 

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

 

Machu Picchu

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

 

Machu Picchu Spirited Blogger

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

 

Macchu Pichu Peru - Spirited Blogger

Angkor Wat

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

 

Angkar Wat combodia - Spirited Blogger

Read: Also read about World Tourism Day 

Taj Mahal

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

 

Taj Mahal India - Spirited Blogger

 

Sigiriya

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

 

Sigiriya-Frescoes Spirited Blogger

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

 

Lion fortess Srilanka - Spirited Blogger

Cinque Terre

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

Manarola Cinque Terre - Spirited Blogger

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

heritage site italy - Spirited Blogger

Jurassic Coast 

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

 

jurassic coast britain blog Spirited Blogger

 

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

 

jurassic-coast-21 fossils land Spirited Blogger

 

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

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


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ShiviApril 11, 202012min4770

 

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, 20209min4402

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, 20209min6790

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, 202015min4662

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, 201910min6113

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, 201911min10150

 

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, 20197min9060

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. 


the-himalayas.jpg

ShiviDecember 12, 20196min2270

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


Omkareshwar-ghats-1024x684.jpg

ShiviDecember 1, 20196min4782

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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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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