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 cosy beach huts became my home for almost a fortnight. Compared to a few other beaches in the south, Agonda beach 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 pleasant atmosphere. It was certainly not a wild party place but was certainly not a boring, nothing-to-do destination either. What made it even more perfect was the fact that the kind of tourists that visited Agonda beach were not interested in moon beach raves, and late night parties. During my entire time at Agonda beach, the beach went amazingly quiet right after midnight. I could hear sea waves the entire night, just as clearly as …

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 knew better 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 there, was moreover alarmingly daunting. For the first 5 minutes, I did not take my eyes off my instructor and the other 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 …

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. And out of that love, here’s my three-minute ode to Goa: Plan your trip to Goa, reading: Goa Travel Guide | Choosing A Perfect Beach In Goa For Your Holiday | Agonda Beach Travel Guide | Scuba Diving In Goa Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos.

KARNATAKA Travel Guide

Karnataka is one of those rare Indian states where you will find something for everyone, from historical palaces to wildlife centuries to ancient ruins. At its nerve centre, lies the city of Bangalore that is India’s IT hub, with nearly 8 million people living inside it. In the south, is the much beautiful coastal line and hill districts, representing a quintessential India – of lush tropical vegetation and dominating temple sites. In its east, lies the gorgeous Western Ghats – home to world’s finest coffee and spices. TOP PLACES TO SEE AND EXPERIENCES TO TRY IN KARNATAKA Luxury Train Ride With The Golden Chariot: If money is no problem for you, and you want to explore Karnataka on a fast track while feeling like a royal personality, then there’s no better way doing it than in a luxury train. The Golden Chariot (one of the five luxury Maharaja trains operating in India) takes you through an epic journey across all the major highlights in Karnataka, including the town of Mysore, Hampi, Bandipur, Chickmangalur and Hassan. If I were to …

MEGHALAYA Travel Guide

Situated in the northeast region 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 fairly hassle-free. 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. Visit Meghalaya to explore a non-clichéd and a different side of India. TOP PLACES TO SEE AND EXPERIENCES TO TRY IN MEGHALAYA 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 in …

Experiencing A Different Side Of Auli

After a failed attempt to complete Satopanth Lake trek, on my own, I was literally not ready for another follow-the-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 ski resorts, and the convenience and excitement of long cable rides makes it even more popular. But I was excited about neither of them. I visited Auli for another reason, to explore another side of it – much beautiful and less known for its praises. And 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, …

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, on either side of the journey, yet I could not stop myself from bifurcating. After all, it was “The Must See Camping Place, in the Himalayas” as many people, whom I met on the road, recommended. “Don’t forget to go to Chitkul man, Sangla Valley is so beautiful that 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 km. And when it comes to the Himalayas, 20 km 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. No wonder, Chitkul is any photography lover’s …

Journey To Panchachuli Base Camp

I’ve done quite a few treks in Uttarakhand. But this time, I was doing Panchachuli Base Camp Trek, located in Darma Valley, at the end of eastern Kumaon region, in Uttarakhand. Darma Valley turned out to be my personal favourite 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 either. Here a 3-minute ode to my journey in Darma Valley and towards Panchachuli Base Camp. Have You Tried Panchachuli Basecamp Trek? 

Thailand Visa On Arrival: Not A Great Thing Anymore

Earlier this year I decided to travel Thailand on Visa on Arrival as it appeared like a good deal – cheaper and quicker. You land in the country whenever you wanted, avoiding the long embassy applications. Just pay 1000 Baht (INR 2000) at the airport (as the Visa fee) and be done with it. You’re free to wander across the country for 15 happy days. Well, it’s not as good and convenient as it seems! And I realised that as soon as I landed at the airport in Bangkok. After having a terrible 3 hours layover in Chennai, in 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 that the application process, at Suvarnabhumi, might take another few good hours, before I can take any rest. Long Queues For Thai Visa On Arrival Before I travelled to Thailand, the internet said that Visa on Arrival (VOA) counters can have long queues, but odd morning/evening can be different. My experience – …

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. But we are free. As long as there’s no physical 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 from …