All posts filed under: Places Travelled

How Sivananda Ashram, In Rishikesh, Changed Me

It has been three years since the events that are described here took place. Three years since I was a student at Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, learning about a divine lifestyle and how not be affected by little ups and downs in life, and yet I never mentioned anything about the place here. It is not that over the years I’ve lost touch with Sivananda Ashram (I think I’ve visited Rishikesh and stayed in the Ashram more times in the previous three years than any other place in the world) or that I didn’t want to talk about it; but the fact that I never found a compelling reason, was the reason. Sivananda Ashram, for me, is like a second home, a place that has nourished my roots and made me what I am today. And just like you don’t feel a need to write about your home and make it public to the world, I never felt it important to be writing about Sivananda Ashram either. But this time, as …

Hong Kong: In Pictures

When it comes to photography and pictures, Hong Kong can never disappoint. I mean you just Google search for Hong Kong Pictures and you will get the idea: there is just no end to scrolling down. From one of the world’s most congested concrete jungles to green spaces to an interesting street life, Hong Kong has everything a photographer may need. During my blog trip with Cathay Pacific Airlines, I ended up exploring Hong Kong for a few days, on my own, and never did I feel a desire to make friends or look for a company. The streets of Hong Kong and my camera were enough as companions. Also Read: My Suggested Hong Kong Travel Itinerary So out of a few days of directionless wandering, and an effort to capture Hong Kong and its essence in my lens, this is what I’ve produced. This is… Hong Kong, In Pictures Hong Kong, as a city is quite strategically located, with a cram-full of skyscrapers in the middle surrounded by lush green hills. Standing on top …

Why India’s Blue City Jodhpur Couldn’t Intrigue Me

Before you read ahead, please note that everything that’s written below about ‘Jodhpur not being able to impress or intrigue me’ is solely personal. I am sure there are people out there who loved Jodhpur but from the eyes of an Indian backpacker belonging to Delhi, who, more than anything, wanted Jodhpur to be something more than a confusing and muddled Indian neighborhood (as he grew up watching one in Delhi, every day) this is how Jodhpur appeared! As I alight at Jodhpur railway station, I was greeted by a confusing mob of a few hundred people — with some looking pretty familiar to the town, while others, seemingly hopeless and confusing as a  tourist, in a new city, would be. And I was no different either. As I exited the station, I got into the usual gamut of rejecting the constant soliciting of ‘Sir Auto’, ‘Sir Hotel’ requests until I walked a few steps away from anyone who could slyly put their touting Hat on me. Crowded, dusty and defiled, as Jodhpur appeared in the …

How To Spend Two Days In Jakarta: An Ideal Itinerary

Visiting Jakarta, in Indonesia, for a short time of only two days? This ideal two-day travel itinerary will help you plan your holiday better and get the most out of your 48 hours in Jakarta. When it comes to the popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, Jakarta, despite being the capital city, holds no place — not even among the top 5 destinations in the country. But with most international flights (particularly the budget connecting ones) first landing at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, many people, before making it to their original destination of Bali or someplace else, end up in Jakarta. And since their original plan had no time for Jakarta, they only often stay for a day or a maximum of 48 hours. During my recent blog trip with Indonesia Tourism, I also ended up exploring Jakarta for just a few quick days. And as I did, I realized that Jakarta was actually a very beautiful place and had much more to offer than what most people expect — a bustling metropolis. It had theme parks, temples, shopping …

Why I Loved Indonesia

There are some places in the world that, almost voluntarily, and perhaps a little forcefully too, make you develop a sudden liking towards them. It may be because of the natural beauty of the place, the food you had there or something else. For me, for example, it’s always the people. If I feel that warmth in local people and connect to the community in a way I do back home, I know that I can love the place. This is the reason why I have always adored the Himalayas. And this is why I loved Indonesia too. But that’s not the only reason why I loved Indonesia, or why I decided to write this article at first place. Indonesia, as I explored during my few days of stay in Jakarta, has much more to offer than an overdose of warmth in its people. It has world-class beaches, mountains, colorful metropolis, tantalizing food, amazingly friendly people and a promising digital-nomad scene (yes, I am talking about Bali!). Whether you’re a traveler or a fancy holidayer, if …

Pulau Macan Island: A Perfect Day Trip From Jakarta

Sitting at the patio of what they fondly named as the Sunset Beach Hut, of the incredible, sustainably built eco-resort of Pulau Macan Island, that I first realized there’s more to Indonesia than I ever knew. Here, only the distant sound of the ocean’s gentle waves kept me company, blissfully far from the honeymooners and sunbathers who often flock to Indonesia. It had been only a few minutes that I had started reading the book (about life on the Indonesian Islands) and I was already being pulled away from the world, into a sweet oblivion. A soothing Gamelan music coming from a distance from a recorded tape was moreover adding to the charm. “Life here is good,” said a voice inside me, yet, sadly, it won’t be long that I will already be bidding farewell to Pulau Macan, that, with every passing moment, appeared less like a usual island to me and more like an exception —  a place, where heaven meets the earth! I remember the moment I stepped on Pulau Macan island I knew that my first …

Manali Travel Guide

Where the Beas River chuckles merrily down the gorges, and the snowy peaks of the mountains reach their fingers to meet the sky: that’s what Manali is, in one sentence. Though of course, many would argue that Manali has lost its charm due to no control over tourism inflow (including me) for me, it is still one of the highlights in the Indian Himalayans. Manali is a go-to vacation spot for not only adventure seekers but leisure seekers, honeymooners, as well as budget travelers. It has temples, hot springs, one of world’s highest mountain passes, a rich culture and adventure sports like paragliding, skiing, and river rafting — all under a 50km radius. So if you’re planning a vacation, Manali can — no matter what your travel needs are — be your next holiday destination. Plan your holiday in Manali with this ideal Manali Travel Guide: Weather In Manali Although Manali is packed year-round with tourists, it is wise to get an idea of what to expect from the weather there, because at 2050m above the …

Visiting Chakradhar Samaroh In Raigarh

I fairly remember how when Chhattisgarh Tourism invited me to attend their annual cultural event of Chakradhar Samaroh I was bursting with excitement. Visiting Chhattisgarh was high in my list. I had heard about the mentions of its undiscovered beauty from a fellow traveller and an avid motorbiker, whom I happened to meet last year during a motorbiking expedition in Jammu. “Don’t leave any opportunity to visit Chhattisgarh,” he would repeatedly insist, supporting the statement with his personal adventures. A little Googling (upon his frequent requests, of course) then introduced me to a new world — the unbounded beauty of many natural caves, waterfalls and a rich culture that Chhattisgarh has to offer. So yea, when Chhattisgarh Tourism contacted me to attend their annual cultural event of Chakradhar Samaroh, I provided a quick yes. What moreover made the invitation better was every thought of visiting the unheard of town of Raigarh. This would mean that after landing in Raipur (for it had the nearest airport to Raigarh) I was in store for a 4-hour train ride passing through …

Hemkund Sahib And The Valley of Flowers Trek: An Ideal Travel Guide

In September, the peak tourist season for visiting the Valley of Flowers and the Hemkund Sahib was already far from over. I was told how the valley would have appeared totally different, draped in a blanket of colourful wildflowers, had I made it a month ago. But in the second week of September, the valley looked pretty much washed-out, just like any other ordinary valley in the Himalayas. At four in the evening, and on day four, I had already begun the last leg of my journey – the trek back to Govindghat. I was constantly praying for some sunshine and azure skies to compensate for the wet weather I had experienced in the previous few days. But as I progressed towards Govindghat and completed about a couple of kilometres, out of the remaining 8 km of the trek, the weather started worsening. Light showers had already begun. With only 3 hours of daylight now left with me, I picked a little more speed! I was disappointed for not being aware of the fact that September can be …

Valley Of Flowers Trek: All You Need To Know

“Unfortunately, you are not doing the trek to the Valley of Flowers the right time of the season. The flowers are generally found in full-bloom sometime between 15th July to 15th August,” provided the tour guide Shobhit, making me feel sorry for myself. On September 5th, the Valley had already started shedding the flowers, and with them, some of the leaves too. The monsoon was far from over too. In about one month from now, winter would hit the Himalayas hard, turning the Valley of Flowers into an ordinary and charmless landscape, with patches of white and (almost) no green. Disheartened, I realized how I had been planning to visit the place for the previous three years, and when I finally made it there, I made at the wrong time of the year – the abscission. It was clear that September is certainly not a good time to visit the Valley of Flowers. Though the valley was still looking gorgeous, with frequent waterfalls and water-crossings keeping me entertained, if I had made it in July or August, I would have …