All posts tagged: Travel Guide

How To Do Southeast Asia In 1 Month

If Southeast Asia is world’s top backpacking location then there’s a reason for it. It is perfect for millennials, who neither have money, nor time. The kind of people falling in my category. Here, the visas are cheaper, or not required at all, travelling through one country and another is possible by land, and flights cost as low as flying in your own country! And if you just happen to be someone who needs visas for Southeast Asia, please note that right now is even better to do so, because to increase the tourist inflow, Malaysia and Thailand have just cut slashed their visa costs, and they’re particularly focusing on the Indian market. [I’ve just grabbed my 15-day Malayasian Visa for less than INR 1,500. Read: Malaysia eNTRI visa] For Southeast Asia,  all you need is a bit of planning, a little bit of time and you can do (almost) the entire continent in a bargain. If I had one month, and wanted to cover as many countries as possible, in a budget, this is what …

What To See And Do In Manali

I consider Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, my second home. And it isn’t just me, but everyone who lives in Delhi. Manali’s close proximity to the capital, and other big towns like Chandigarh, makes it a favourable holiday destination, particularly during summers, when the heat in Indian cities becomes unbearably harsh and people fancy a quick escape. Other than Indian tourist, Manali has also long attracted the hippies of the West, particularly if we talk about Vashishth (the town next to Manali), which can also otherwise be perceived as the GOA for hippies in the north of India. It might have had something to do with the world famous elusive and guarded Malana cream from the nearby town of Malana, or perhaps something else. But whatever, the reason Manali is one of North India’s top tourist attractions. Things To Do In Manali From enjoying the views of the Beas to experiencing therapeutic hot springs in Vasisht, to driving to Solang Valley and rolling down the hills – there’s enough to do in and around Manali. And speaking of the highlights, here are some… Stroll Along …

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 that I was worried about. A limited travel information available on Gujarat was my biggest challenge. Other than its few religious sites, a couple of national parks and the over promoted Kutch festival (or Rann Utsav), very little has been written or known about tourism in Gujarat. A few sources, on internet moreover suggested that backpacking in Gujarat, due to its poor public transportation system, was perhaps the bad idea.So before I start with my usual travel guide format, I’d give you a general overview and help you understand Gujarat better. 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 has been divided into three parts: Saurasthra, Magadh and Kutch. Saurasthra 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 …

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 …

How To Stay In Little Rann of Kutch For Free

When I had initially started planning my trip to Gujarat, particularly around the Rann of Kutch, I felt hopeless. Every place inside the region, charged at least a couple of thousand Rupees for a night. And this did not include food. Some generous tourist homes, however, offered a complimentary breakfast, yet their price tag was way over my budget. “I’d never be able to travel to this part of my country, if I couldn’t find sponsors,” I remember wondering. Now the only option was to stay in the nearby towns of Bhuj and Gandhidham (yet both the places had no place of interest for a tourist like me) and do the day trips to Great Rann of Kutch (GRK) and Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) from them, respectively. But it didn’t sound feasible, at least not for someone who was backpacking. In order to explore the White Desert in GRK and the barren crack-land in LRK, I wanted to stay as closer to them as possible. It was particularly important for me to stay inside, …

Rann Utsav: NOT Worth The Effort, Distance And Money!

Organised annually by Gujarat Tourism, between November and February, the Rann Utsav of Kutch has been scaling popularity charts among Indian and foreign travellers alike, in the last few years. Though it’s surely an interesting effort allowing people to revisit the desert region of Kutch – which was left devastated by the 2001 earthquake – by creating a travel story linking to Kutch’s geographical and cultural distinctions, the value for money, that it offers… is unfortunately pretty discouraging. To own a sleeping place (a Premium Tent, or a Rajwadi Bhunga, as named) that comes with complimentary meals and a one night/two days package, costs nearly 6 thousand Rupees per person (excluding 18% taxes). For every extra person, in the tent, you pay 4 thousand (and more taxes). This means a family of three can end up paying over 15 thousand Rupees for one night in Rann Utsav. You can moreover buy longer-duration packages, which takes you around a few places in the nearby town of Bhuj, in addition to the customary sunsets/sunrises in the White …

A Backpacker’s Guide To Travel In Kutch

Kutch was never on my agenda, and little did I even hear about it. All I knew was that some regular tourists often fly here in winter to spot the rare migratory birds, but for a backpacker, Kutch had very little to offer. My fears moreover started haunting as soon as I moved towards Kutch, from Ahmedabad. Local transport here suddenly become inefficient, and the distances from one village to another, felt totally unbelievable. There was no way I could get a place to stay anywhere, had I not done an advance bookings. I was spending more time on the roads, with my thumb erect, trying to hitchhike, than seeing places. Yet, it was a wonderful trip altogether. And the deeper I explored, the better it turned out. Sharing some of my first impressions of backpacking in Kutch. Great Roads But Disappointing Transport If there is one thing that impressed me about the road transport in Kutch it is the roads. Even the narrowest roads leading to the most interiors and unsung villages were in …

Bodhgaya — What To Expect From The Birthplace Of Buddhism

The birthplace of Buddhism. The crucible of a new philosophy. The epitome of knowledge and compassion. That’s what Bodhgaya is! Located in the Gaya district, in the Indian state of Bihar, Bodhgaya is a tiny little town where prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment beneath a Pipal tree, some 2500 years ago. In terms of blessedness, consider this tiny temple town for Buddhists what Mecca is to Muslims, or Varanasi to Hindus. Unsurprisingly, the town attracts thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from around the world, who come for prayer, study and meditation – with some in their flaming red robes, and other, in Turmeric and Saffron ones. Though of course the most hallowed spot in Bodhgaya is the Bodhi tree which flourishes inside the Mahabodhi Temple complex, the many Buddhist monasteries and temples that mark its bucolic landscape, built in their national style by foreign Buddhist communities, no less add to the city’s charm. Every country in the world, which has a Buddhist population, including Japan, Burma, Bhutan, and Nepal, among others, have erected their own respective monasteries and temples in Bodhgaya. …

Where To Travel In India: My 9 Personal Faves From 2016

2016 turned out to be a promising year for my travelling stint. If the entire year put together, I think I spent more than 300 days on the road. I covered a part of Southeast Asia, a bit of Nepal and much of India (now only left with 6 Indian states, including Gujarat and Rajasthan, and they are next in my list). Where most of the places I visited were great, some were exceptionally better. Better in a way that they carried the essence of Indian culture, its diverse landscapes, and represented India as a rich travel package. So if I were to recommend any places from those I visited in India, in 2016, they would be… Alappuzha Backwaters, Kerala Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is home to a vast network of waterways and a few thousand houseboats. And the experience of sailing downs its interconnected lagoons and smaller canals, while overlooking the paddy fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks, is totally magical. You can also call it romantic. …

Introduction To Varanasi

When I first arrived in Varansi, I had its most clichéd picture in my head: a group of people surrounding the burning pyres on a ghat, a few lost sadhus whitewashed in ash, and the daily Ganga Aarti. Though I knew that the town is more or less comprised of 80+ connected ghats, running to a length of almost 10 kilometres – visualizing it anything more than the many recent spiritual towns of India, was quite impossible. During my first 15 minutes of arrival, I remember attesting it to the auto rikhshaw driver, that I’m finding Varanasi quite similar to Haridwar, or “Rishikesh without mountains”. I asked him if he has ever visited Uttarakhand. He rejected, in the most uninteresting manner. But as the time went past, and I thoughtfully overstayed in the town, one day after the other, I realised that Varanasi was perhaps not anything like Haridwar, or Rishikesh, or any other Indian town for that matter. After all, it is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited place on earth – dwelling …