All posts filed under: India

5 Must See Holiday Destinations In Kerala

Kerala holds enough charisma with its stunning beaches on the Malabar Coast, green patches of coffee and tea plantations in the east, and the many intertwining backwater canals that can be found all across the state. Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and tropical charm, Kerala will give you that relaxing, laid-back vacation, that you are looking forward to. And for some quick assurance, here are my top five hand-picked destinations in Kerala: Bekal: Located in the Kasargod district on the west coast of Kerala (about one and a half hour drive from Mangalore) Bekal boasts of many scenic attractions and an offbeat holiday experience. Attractions like the Bekal Fort, a feisty beach and calm backwaters moreover always add to the experience. Enjoy the sun-kissed beaches from Bekkal Cliff and coconut palms that sway in the breeze with a view of the emerald ocean on the horizon. And if you’re planning a short visit only, look no further than staying at Taj Bekal. Spread across 26 acres of beautiful open space, with an amazing view of the sea & backwaters, Taj Bekal is a visual delight. Periyar Tiger Reserve: Thekkady is home to Kerala’s largest …

Offbeat Destinations Near Manali For A Peaceful Holiday

The town of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, is one of the top tourist destinations in Indian Himalayas. Its close proximity to New Delhi and Chandigarh is moreover continuously making it easier for the crowds to break away from the usual city-madness and experience the peaceful Himalayas. And with the upcoming 4-way highway, all the way from Chandigarh to Manali (with New Delhi to Chandigarh already having one) it is going to be easier than ever for people to reach Manali — meaning, Manali is going to get more crowded, more smokey and bustling with life in the coming years. Recently while travelling to Manali (long story short: I visit Manali and surrounding a few dozen times a year, while staying for a few dozen weeks. I know the place better than my home New Delhi) I realised that Manali isn’t a place I would want to travel to. And it also isn’t a place I would write a Travel Guide for — Things To See And Do In Manali! Not anymore! The idea of having a …

Looking For An Offbeat Motorbiking Trail In Himalayas? Try Jammu To Killar

During the past few months, and particularly after writing a few blogposts about my motorbiking trip in Spiti Valley last year, if there was one question I was repeatedly being questioned, it was “how commercialized Spiti Valley is.” And innocently, I always only answered, “not at all”. I mean if you compare the Buddha Circuit in Spiti Valley, that, in reality, takes you to some of the most untapped and isolated corners of Indian Himalayas, with the much commercialized and beaten Leh-Laddakh, what else would you anyway say. Though in reality, Spiti Valley is still pretty untapped, and there are times when you are driving there for hours without spotting any trace of life — the fact is, with soaring popularity, Spiti Valley is getting crowded everyday. But not so in parts I ended up exploring with Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, recently. During my recent motorbiking tour with J&K tourism, with 60 plus riders from across the country, we explored places like no other. Our route-map took us to exactly what the expedition title promised, “exploration of …

Gujarat Travel Guide

When I was initially planning to backpack across Gujarat I’d no idea what to expect. People suggested that backpacking in Gujarat – particularly inside Kutch – won’t be a good idea. But it wasn’t the backpacking or travelling on my own, that I was worried about. A limited travel information available on Gujarat was the biggest challenge. Other than its few religious sites, a couple of national parks and the over-promoted Kutch festival (or the Rann Utsav), very little has been written or spoken about tourism in Gujarat. A few online travel guides moreover left me discouraged furthermore mentioning about Gujarat’s poor public transportation system. So before I start with my usual travel guide format, I’d give you a general overview and help you understand Gujarat better. The state of Gujarat has been divided into three parts: Saurashtra, Magadh and Kutch. Saurashtra and Magadh, does not have much to travel, at least if speaking for not-so-religious travel community. Other than Gir National Park (popular for spotting Asiatic Lion), all you’ll find here are a few historical sites including Somnath and Dwarka, and a few …

Tips For Your First Solo Motorbiking Trip In Himalayas

I vaguely remember the time I was planning my first ever motorbiking trip in the Himalayas, I was scared more than ever. I’d never done something like this before and I’d no idea what to expect from it. And to make it worse, I’d decided to go solo, and that too on the world’s most isolated and treacherous roads — Spiti Valley, in Himachal Pradesh. Read: An Ideal Road-Trip Itinerary For Spiti Valley But where on one side I was scared and confused, with no past experiences of riding in the Himalayas, on the other side, I knew I was ready for it — at least if technically speaking. I had researched about the entire route map well enough, equipped myself properly, and was not carried away by the romanticism of riding only a Royal Enfield. For a total of 9 days, I drove an average of 200 kilometres per day, covering a total of 2200 kilometre distance from my home (in Delhi) and back, and it was a whirlwind experience. Another fascination I was bitten with was doing the entire …

How To See Delhi In 2 Days

Despite Delhi being one of the places I personally don’t endorse, there’s much to see and do here for a tourist here. Delhi is rich in culture and history. After all, there must be a reason why it was declared as Republic of India’s first capital city. So visit to Delhi can’t be denied, and if you finally end up here, being a first timer, and aren’t sure from where to start and end your day, this two day travel itinerary will set you up for a real Delhi experience. This is Delhi on a fast-track… Day 1 Start from the hub of all activity in central Delhi, by taking a metro to Patel Chowk, and then a brief tuktuk ride to the iconic India Gate. This 42 meter structure is the nation’s pride with its two columns inscribed with martyred soldiers names. There is no visitor or photography fee in and around India Gate. Located on Rajpath and close the Parliament house, India Gate is the perfect destination to start with your Delhi tour, …

My First Snowboarding Experience

Confidently balancing on my board, gliding down the slope with all the grace of a gazelle, I slid for a few metres before finally landing on my chest. The last night’s fresh snow absorbed the hit every time I crashed, as I tried polishing my left and right turns on a snowboard! A few weeks ago the lovely folks at NorthlandAdventures, in Manali, invited me to try a few days of skiing or snowboarding with them, at their ski hotel, Sethan Heights, in the town of Sethan, in Himachal Pradesh. As they mentioned it, my (first) reaction was ‘oh, bum … I can’t ski!’. Then I realised, this would mean learning something new, and I spat a Big Yes! For the next few weeks, crashing, getting uncontrolled, and other hazards made me wince every time I thought about my decision. But To hell with it… I’d already said yes, and there was no chance I was going to say No later! Located at 2770 metres above sea level, more than 700 metres higher than Manali, the village of Sethan, in Himachal …

Sethan Village In Himachal: A Place To Relax, Unwind And Just Be!

After a few nights in Charanag in Hallan Valley, a small town tucked away from the crowd of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, it was time to relax, and lose myself in oblivion, yet once again. And Sethan sounded like a perfect name. Located approximately an hour’s drive from Manali, Sethan was definitely a place for slow travellers – at least during winters, when the snow still claimed the ground and any movement beyond this tiny Buddhist town, was pretty much impossible – unless you’re conquering glaciers. I sure wasn’t! In the month of March, and with mercury still falling beyond zero for most of the hours in a day, the valley here was draped in white. Little flakes of happiness were everywhere! From Sethan, one can see the towering Dhauladhar ranges surrounding the village, and the river Beas flowing right next to it – perhaps a few thousand feet down. The inhabitants here were originally migrated from Tibet, and represent a Buddhist community who share their roots being horse herders in their past. They were …

Seven Amazing Things To Do in Lonavala

The diverse land of Maharashtra offers plenty of opportunities for tourists and professionals to have a quiet and sober time.  But if you live in and around Mumbai, Lonavala might just be your answer for an easy escape from your daily bustling life. With an elevation of over 2,000 feet, and a wide range of activities like camping, waterfall rappelling, rock climbing and trekking, among others, this place has something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junky, or someone who only fancies cozying up and staying under covers, be rest assured that Lonavala won’t let you return unsatisfied. When I first arrived in Lonavala, for a short trip, with a group of friends, I had no idea about what to expect. I thought even a weekend might feel too long here. But it turned out that this tiny little place had too much to offer, and cramming it all in a few days of itinerary, was a total injustice. But whether you come here for a day, a week, or a fortnight, if I were …

4 Things I Hate About Travelling In India

I know you must be thinking how I can hate anything about travelling, when I love it to a degree that I quit my job to travel and live out of a backpack. Well, you’re right. I love travelling and I immediately plan my next trip, as soon as I return home. Travel is in my veins. But sometimes I just hate certain things about it, and being on the road for month at a time, simply amplifies the feeling. These are not the periodic disappointments like paying high prices during a peak tourist season, or missing a flight/bus, or lacking the comforts of home. Though they sure make travel life tougher, I never considered them as something that would make me want to hate travelling. The things I hate about travelling, however, or the things that I’m going to talk about below are the ones that really irk me time and again. This is a list of stuff that no matter how often I see it, or no matter how prepared I am, I …