Year: 2016

A Quick Guide To Agonda Beach, South Goa

I carefully chose to spend a bigger portion of my time in Goa on a three kilometre stretch of sand known as Agonda Beach. And Sonho do Mar, which offers cozy beach huts became my home for almost a fortnight. Compared to a few other beaches in south, Agonda turned out to be a little touristy. It looked more like an island in Bali than it did a part of India – with a majority of Western Europeans claiming the beach. It housed a diverse mix of tourists – independent travellers, elderly couples and families – which, I think, helped create a most pleasant atmosphere. It was certainly not a wild party place but was certainly not a boring, nothing-to-do destination either. What made it perfect to a next level was the fact that the kind of tourist that visit here often don’t look for moon beach raves, and late night wild parties. During my entire time in Agonda, the beach went amazingly quiet right after midnight. I could hear sea waves the entire night, just …

My First Scuba Diving Experience

Life Underwater – a serene, slow-motion world, almost tranquil and unreal. The sun started dissolving slowly, as I deflated my buoyancy control jacket. The blue, hazy sea in front of me, slowly darkened. I remember the first time I started sinking I was half scared. The idea of leaving the world I’d always known, and entering into something far mysterious and eerie – was undoubtedly scary; and the fact that every cry, every yell, will only going to be left unheard, was moreover alarmingly daunting. For the first 5 minutes I did not take my eyes off my instructor and the two fellow divers. They seemed like my only hope. But as I slowly sank down, listening to a louder ‘pop’ in my left ear, I began to take shape and coming into focus. Nearly 12 metres down in the depths of the Arabian Sea, the life I saw, existing and moving was totally magical. And I remember I stopped breathing. It was not through fear anymore, but from sheer awe and wonder. The world …

Goa Diaries

I avoided Goa for a long time, travelling the length and breadth of India on several trips, but never making it to the vacation hot-spot known for beaches, sunsets and parties. And when I finally did, I fell in love with it. I loved the atmosphere, the many clean & serene beaches, and the chilled out vibe it was always known for. Also see: Thailand’s Maeklong Railway Market Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos.

KARNATAKA Travel Guide

Karnataka is a bounty. Here you’ll find palaces, tiger reserves, ancient ruins, and pretty much everything else that favours tourism. Come here to experience some of the most beautiful and clean beaches of India. At its nerve centre is Bangalore – India’s IT hub, with nearly 8 million people running on its streets. In the south, is a much beautiful coastal line and hill districts, representing a quintessential Hindu south India – of lush tropical vegetation and dominating temple sites. In its east, the rainforest Western Ghats can be found impeding the path of dramatic clouds. Come here for any kind of experience. TOP PLACES TO SEE AND EXPERIENCES TO TRY Experience Life In Bangalore: Bangalore is the biggest cosmopolitan in the south India, and is my favourite city in India. Unlike other big cities, Bangalore has an educated young crowd, a perfect weather, and a benevolent drinking and dining scene. It is not necessarily a place you’d come to experience a world-class city, but if you want to experience a modern side of India, come straight …

MEGHALAYA Travel Guide

Situated in the northeast part of India, Meghalaya is all about mesmerizing hills, dominating rain-forests, dramatic clouds and a lot of rain. The town of Cherapunji and Mawsynram are statistically among the wettest places on earth. English is the official language here, making communication with locals not much of a hassle. I found Meghalaya as one of the safest and convenient places in India for solo travelling. The entire state is majorly populated by three indigenous tribes, who follow a matrilineal system with property names and wealth passing from mother to daughter. Come here to explore a non-clichéd and a different side of India. TOP PLACES TO SEE AND EXPERIENCES TO TRY Root Bridges In The Eastern Khasi Hills: This is something so unique that you can’t find it anywhere else in the world. Root bridges were made by indigenous Khasi people, living in and around the Village Nongriat, in Eastern Khasi Hills. There are a number of small root bridges around the area with a Double Decker Root bridge, unlike one of its kind, located …

Experiencing A Different Side Of Auli

After a failed attempt to complete Satopanth Lake trek, all on my own, I was literally not ready for another follow-an-unknown-trail challenge. It was time to find a place which offered me a comfortable camping site, and some rest. A good flat space and easy food options – was all I was thinking. And then the wind said “Auli”. I loved Auli. Not because it offered sights that were unimaginably beautiful. Neither was I excited about a riveting ski experience. Some people suggest that Auli has India’s best and possibly the world’s one-among-best ski resorts. And the convenience and excitement of long cable rides makes it even more popular. But there was another side of Auli, much beautiful and less known to its praisers. I happened to explore it as I reached the town in the month of May.  The sun was shining, and snow was far gone. Each gaze beheld a sight of nothing more than dead and glorious mountains – a few patches of grass, however gave the entire mountain a greenish tinge. …

A Photojourney To Sangla Valley And Chitkul

During my solo bike trip to Spiti Valley, I ended up in a town called Chitkul. It was more than 40 kilometres off the route. One side. But I could not stop myself from bifurcating. After all, it was “The Must See Camping Place, in Himalayas” as many people, whom I’d met on the journey, recommended. “Don’t forget to go to Chitkul man, Sangla Valley is so beautiful you won’t believe your eyes,” said a guy from Bangalore, as he threw another mug of water on his over-pampered Bullet 350. “Classic”, as he always pointed out, with a pause. Situated around 40 km from Karcham, Chitkul comes under Sangla Valley, which is spread over a tiny land of 20 kms. And when it comes to Himalayas, 20 kms seem even tinier. But if you speak about its beauty, each sight is a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and welcome you with a spectacular view of The Kinner Kailash. On the left lies the Sangla Valley, and on the right, the Baspa Valley. …

Journey To Panchachuli Base Camp

I’ve done quite a few treks in Uttarakhand. But this time, I was off to Panchachuli Base Camp, located in Darma Valley, at the end of eastern Kumaon region, in Uttarakhand. Darma Valley turned out to be my personal favorite in the entire Uttarakhand. I liked its setting. Small towns were periodically placed, every few kilometres. The valley was continuously green, and occasionally colourful. The many waterfalls that came my way, were also no less appealing. Here’s a 3 minute ode to my journey into Darma Valley and towards Panchachuli Base Camp. Also See: Concluding Video Of My 9-Day Solo Road Trip To Spiti Valley Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos.

Thailand Visa On Arrival: Not A Great Thing Anymore

Earlier this year I travelled Thailand on Visa on Arrival. It appeared like a good deal – cheaper and quicker. You can land in the country whenever you wish to, escaping the long embassy applications. Just pay 1000 Baht (INR 200), at the airport, as the Visa fee and be done with it. You’re free to rule the country for 15 happy days. Well, it’s not as good as it seems! And I realised that as soon as I landed in Bangkok. After having a terrible 3 hours layover in Chennai, India, starting 1 in the night, I reached Suvarnabhumi Airport around 7 in the morning. I was already pretty much cracked up, due to lack of sleep, and I realised the application process, at Suvarnabhumi, might take another few good hours, before I can take any rest. Long Queues Before I travelled Thailand, internet said Visa on Arrival (VOA) counters can have long queues, but odd morning/evening can be different. My experience – odd morning/evening hours are not very different. I waited for almost 90 minutes before I had …

Solo Female Travel Tips – Getting Started

This is a guest post by Neetole Mitra of Living Unplanned, who quit her job 4 months ago and has been travelling ever since, alone. Encouraging more females to follow the league, this is what she has to say… It’s surprising that so many of us love to travel yet so few actually do it. It almost makes one wonder, if travel is ultimately as coveted as everyone would have you believe. I mean, if people really want to travel, why don’t they? Travel has become a benchmark of sorts for ‘freedom’. It’s what we say/think every day. I wish I could be free. Just get the hell out of here. Go where I want to. Etc. But we are free. As long as there’s no literal chain holding us back, we are all free. Yet, most of us create alibis for ourselves. I can’t travel because there’s no money. I can’t travel because I have to take care of the family. Because it’s not safe. All of them completely sound barriers that hold us back …