July 22, 2017 By:
It was not one of those wintry mornings which could keep me under the blanket. Yes, the reason was the beginning of my tour to the 'State of Royals', Rajasthan. My winter holidays had just begun and I boarded the train for Delhi with my parents.I was very much looking forward to the fifteen days tour to get a glimpse of India's Royalty during the reign of the Rajputs. The journey to Delhi was completed smoothly in Rajdhani express and then we booked a car for our first destination Bharatpur. It was late in the afternoon and we were sweating even though it was December. We decided to have our lunch at a roadside dhaba.After a long time i enjoyed the feel of dhaba food which was completed with a glass of lassi.The panaromic view of mustard fields on both sides of the road made it mesmerizing.We reached Bharatpur in the evening and checked into the hotel.We were dog tired that day so we went off to sleep after having our dinner. Next morning our driver took us to the famous bird sanctuary. The sun was scorching hot but that could not drown my excitement. There were a variety of migratory winter birds and I could feast my eyes on them with the help of my powerful binaculours.The sanctuary tour was completed in about one hour and we returned to our hotel. That day we checked out of the hotel and headed for Jaipur which was our next destination. Jaipur which is more popuar as pink city was all about visiting Amer fort and Hawa Mahal  followed with lots of shopping from the famous Bapu bazar and traditional Rajasthani cuisine. The famous Amer fort was the place where King Akbar's Queen Jodha Bai used to live. It is a magnificent fort attracting a very large number of tourists from all over the world..Hawa Mahal is famous for its beautiful architecture and is a must visit place in Jaipur. After a short shopping spree we decided to dine at a place called Chauki Dhani famous for traditional Rajasthani thali.Chauki Dhani also gave us the flavour of Rajasthan where we witnessed the famous Ghumar dance and music. We reached the city of lakes Udaipur and it is rightly called by that name as there were lakes all around.The weather was comparatively cooler and there was a mild breeze which was very refreshing.The presence of numerous lakes added to its scenic beauty.We also visited the Udaipur fort as one cannot avoid forts when one is in Rajasthan. The attraction of Rajasthan lies in the forts and its architecture. Our next destination was Jodhpur and i was thoroughly enjoying the tour. The view of the city from Jodhpur fort was all blue and so it is known as the blue city.We headed towards Mount Abu from Jodhpur and I wanted to get the feel of a hill station when I was actually in a desert. Mount Abu was a small hill station with a beautiful view of small hills all around.There was lake at the center of the small city.I took a horse ride to the sunset point of Mount Abu and the view of the sun setting in between the hills was one of the best.The weather was chilly which gave that winter feel. While returning from Mount Abu we visited Chittorgarh fort where famous Rani Padmini who was admired for her beauty used to live.One of the attractions of the famous Chittorgarh fort is the elephant ride up the steep incline at the top of which this architectural bonanza is situtated.A visit to Rajasthan is incomplete without a glimpse of the sandunes. We headed to the golden city Jaiselmer and reached a place called khuri which is in the deserts. I was very excited that night as we were going to spend the night in the tent.It was giving me that adventurous feel.The night was very cold and the tent gave us the warm and cosy feeling.We enjoyed the campfire and the special Rajasthani dance.Next day we went for a camel ride into the deserts and witnessed the vastness of Thar. This was all about my Rajasthan tour it was one of my best trips and before I sign off I should not forget to mention the Puppet show whose roots lie in this state. I hope this article would inspire you to visit the 'State of Royals'.

July 19, 2017 By:
In the final days of June this year, my family and I embarked on our first official trip outside of our native place - to Goa. Now, I know you're thinking in memes. I know you're thinking things like "Planning a trip to Goa with your family is like planning a bachelor’s party at Shirdi." And that's all fair, in a way. The intoxication of Goa is perhaps best experienced with friends. But Goa has so much more to offer which is often forgotten amidst images of late night beach parties and inexpensive alcohol. And I don’t think I could have experienced the lesser appreciated side of the Goan experience so well had it not been for my co-travellers – my parents and brother! Here are a few highlights from the trip, which might help you to plan yours! (This plan would be ideal for families of three or four. If you’re planning to travel with friends, the trip will certainly take a different course.) The best time to travel to Goa? Since Goa’s economy is pre-dominantly tourism-based (partially agrarian), their year is also organized on the basis of tourist activity. From October to May is what the locals call the “season” time – the sun is a-shinin’ and the sea is calm, hordes of tourists flock the beaches, and one can truly experience the party night-life of Goa. And then there is the period from June to September – the monsoon season, or what is colloquially known as the “off-season”. The beaches (and the hotels) are less packed, the sea is at its most aggressive, the winds steal your hats, and the rainfall patterns are most astonishing for those accustomed to the monsoon of North India. The clouds accumulate and it rains heavily for approximately 10 minutes, and then it’s sunny! And this cycle repeats itself at least 5 times a day at one place. Since our trip lasted from 25th June to 30th June, we encountered the advent of coastal monsoon in Goa. It can be frustrating or fascinating or both, depending on the way you look at it. But it certainly plays a huge role in how your trip turns out – we found the beaches much less crowded and much more serene, but were unable to venture out into the sea because of the high tides. Travelling to Goa Goa houses the Goa International Airport as well as the Madgaon Railway Station, which are the two most popular portals of travelling to Goa. One can easily get a taxi from there to any part of Goa. However, the taxi rates are quite high, and the deals here will be the best you’ll get all over Goa! We travelled Air India from Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3 in Delhi. My brother and I had embarked on our maiden flight (surprise there!) and it was a very captivating experience overall. The flight was delayed by half an hour, but hey, it’s Air India after all! It was still quite a comfortable flight. It took us two-and-a-half hours to reach Goa. (The book I read on the flight!) Following this, from the Airport, we hired a taxi to our hotel in Candolim, which was an hour-long ride. We were charged 1200 rupees for a fairly comfortable ride, the highlight being our very amiable driver, Mr Hanuman. Staying in Goa The location of your hotel again depends on your priorities. If you prefer a serene, relaxing beach holiday, you should go for getting a hotel booked in South Goa. North Goa, on the other hand, is famous for its fun-filled beaches and its noise (at least during the season time!) And then there is the Centre – Panjim – where you’ll find a handful of beaches, markets and famous churches at hand! During our trip, we boarded in the North Goan beach town of Candolim, situated an hour away from the Goa International Airport. Our hotel apartment was what my father likes to call the “USP” of the trip. We stayed at the Caravela Guesthouse at Candolim, booked through phone calls and email correspondence with the owner Mr Carlos after gathering information about it from Booking.com. My family and I always prefer staying in homely places outside our home, having never been accustomed to staying in hotels, and the Caravela Guesthouse was certainly beyond satisfactory – a most pleasurable experience. We booked an apartment room which included a spacious hall (with a sofa-bed), a kitchenette, one bedroom, a toilet-bathroom and a pretty big balcony-terrace, which was overall quite comfortable for the four of us. Also included in our package were WiFi services, access to the apartment complex swimming pool from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as a scrumptious breakfast of egg preparations, cereal, toasts, fruits and beverages every day prepared by the manager of the hotel, Ms Karen, assisted by the two attendants, Mr Shiva and Mr Suman. The entire team was indeed quite wonderful – we were never made to feel any sort of lack while in the hotel and were served diligently and hospitably. They also helped us in navigating our way across the unfamiliar territory of Goa by suggesting transportation facilities and restaurants. The owner, Mr Carlos, met us on the last day and was a most agreeable and lovely man, and an avid reader like me! And the best part - the sum total for a 5-day-stay as such was a very humble 15000 rupees! Quite a steal-deal. It is the kind of experience one does not forget so soon. If you, the reader, ever plan on staying in Candolim (or in North Goa, for that matter), be sure to consider the Caravela Guesthouse! Travelling in and around Goa As far as travelling to explore Goa is concerned, there are a few good options to choose from. For those who love driving, a car, bike, or scooter can be hired from the many agencies spread all over the towns. For those who want to evade the stress of driving while on holiday, there are many taxis that can be booked. It is always better to book taxis for an entire day under various schemes rather than taking taxis to-and-from every single place you visit, since the taxi fares in Goa are sky-high, sure to burn a hole in your pocket. Then of course, for those who don’t mind a bit of travel in public transportation, there always are the buses! The bus network is well spread across all of North and South Goa and most of the buses are quite comfortable. On our first day, we hired a taxi to Aguada Fort, a 10 minute drive from our hotel, and it cost us a shocking 400 rupees. On our way back, we walked to a certain point and then boarded a bus, which was very inexpensive at 10 rupees per head. Over the next two days, to Panjim, Old Goa and Mapusa Market, we rode the buses again, which were comfortable enough and dropped us off at convenient locations, and saved up a substantial amount on travel expenses only to end up spending all the money on good food (yay!) On our final day, we booked a tour taxi for 1500 rupees, in which we visited all the beaches, forts and other tourist spots in North Goa. All in all, travelling in Goa should not be an issue for someone well-informed about all the deals. Tourist spots we visited Our exploration experience in Goa remained limited to North and Central Goa, but it was certainly most memorable. The day we landed, we visited the beach closest to our hotel – the Candolim Beach. After almost getting lost in a narrow pathway leading to the beach through a palm and coconut tree forest, we finally caught our first glimpse of the sea. It was the very first time my mother, my brother and I visited a beach, and needless to say, it was breathtaking. The winds were rough and the tides were high, but we did end up soaking our feet in the oncoming waves and scribbling our names on the sand with sticks. The sun was setting and the beach was thinly crowded – it was truly beautiful. The next day, we took a trip to Aguada Fort, which is a part of the Portuguese colonial legacy. Constructed at the tip of the mainland, it is a sprawling complex that consists of an antique lighthouse and an enormous water tank. It served both defence and water-resource-storage purposes for the Portuguese. The history of the place fascinated us the most. The majestic sea was visible very clearly from the top of the fort and was a sight to behold. On our way back, we also explored a little park for children, full of swings, slides and other recreational rides. A perfect place to take some rest! On Day 3, we took a bus to Panjim. Due to the constant downpour, we could not explore the Centre very well, and instead took a bus to Old Goa – the hub of all the old churches and colonial architecture. The bus dropped us off right in front of the sprawling church complex. Here, we visited the grand Basilica of Bom Jesus, which homes the relics of St Francis Xavier, the 16th century missionary. We were met with the rains again, but this did not dampen our spirits. Moving on to the Archeological Museum situated right next to the Church of St Francis Assisi, which paints a colourful and captivating picture of the history of Goa – right from the early 6th century Gomanchala to the Goa colonised by the Portuguese. On the fourth day, we visited the municipal market at Mapusa, which is your one-stop destination to all things you may need for your stay in Goa. Unfortunately, we visited at the wrong time – the lunch hours. It is best to visit Mapusa either in the morning or in the evening, when the market is in its full glory. We ended up having a filling meal at a restaurant nearby and going back to our hotel. In the evening, we visited the Candolim Beach again to have a laid-back time, collecting sea shells washed ashore and revelling in the winds. Our final day was perhaps the most fun. We started off by visited Chapora Fort – another fort built by the Portuguese, not as well-maintained as Aguada but still just as beautiful in its ruins. One can view the beaches and forests surrounding the fort from the top of it. It is a truly delightful view. Next, we visited Vagator Beach with its dark sand and rocky shores, followed by Anjuna Beach, where the tides were so high that the beaches had to be closed up. But watching the sea roar in all its might against the rocks on the shore was a sight unto itself and held us captivated for quite a while! Anjuna also proved to be a great shopping destination, and we bought all sorts of souvenirs and trinkets from spirited saleswomen. Next was Calangute beach, which was a disappointment of epic proportions, with its crowd and filth. We were quick to escape. The final beach we visited that day was Sinquerium beach, where the waves were high enough to completely soak us while atop a fort! I felt that I could ceaselessly watch the ocean and would never get enough of its beauty and majesty. Since we had some travel time left, we visited a Shantadurga Temple (quite common all over Goa, according to our driver), which was a true embodiment of serenity. Finally, on the 6th day, before catching our flight, my father and I walked to Candolim Beach in the morning to bid farewell to the sea which had become a friend of sorts. Food! And how can we forget – the most important aspect of all trips – good meals! Since my father is a complete vegetarian and my mother, my brother and I do not eat non-vegetarian food other than eggs, we missed out on the authentic Goan cuisine of seafood. But no matter, we still ended up having really great food during our stay. It was quite hard to find an all-vegetarian restaurant to suit my father’s requirements. We finally did locate a restaurant in Candolim (it served non-vegetarian food also but satisfied us anyway) which became our go-to for dinner (and sometimes, very late lunch!) The restaurant is called South, and is on the main Candolim road. They serve a variety of cuisines, ranging from Goan to North Indian, South Indian and Continental. Our absolute favourite preparation there was the Mysore Masala Cheese Dosa – a kind of dosa I have never had before. The masala was perfectly spiced, topped with grated cheese which added to the amazing taste, and one plate was often enough to fill our tummies with happiness. It was a perfect addition to complete our wonderful trip to Goa! (Here is a rather sorry picture.) We returned to Delhi with contented smiles on our faces and a yearning to return to the beaches and watch the sea again. We learned many new things over the 5 days we stayed there – not only about the places we visited but also about ourselves. 

July 19, 2017 By:
It was 31st of the December, 2016, when I did my last exam before the semester ends. I was living in the place called Bhimtal which is located in Uttrakhand. This is a place covered by hills and mountains and the beauty of this place in not hidden. Often I used to watch the mountains from my hostel, thinking what it would be to watch them from really high. WHAT AN AMAZING THOUGHT IT WAS, hardly possible though. The eve came and everybody was planning their new year party. Suddenly it clicked, Shall we plan Karkotak. ? Karkotak is the highest peak of the bhimtal town. It is at a distance of 20 km that includes 10 km of high trekking. As per the human nature, everybody refused as it was no easy. But later few of my friends made their way with me. It was early 5 am when we started out trip. As high we moved on, the trip became tiring as well as exhausting to climb more. The trip was hardly made half when we saw beautiful mountains and hills in front of us. Same time the view was astonishing and breezy. The cold was a big hurdle when it was a breezy winter morning but somehow while climbing we managed it to a good extent. There came many moments when everybody just fell on the grass as we were so tired, still the beauty led us higher and higher. after the 3 hours trekking and an hour walk, we reached HIGH. ohhhh.. I still remember the view, what a beautiful surrounding it was. The mountains that I used to see form ground were below my foot. I was really on the highest peak of Bhimtal. There is that temple over their that is meant for determination. And our trip was the same, We all had a cup of tea and some snacks together sitting there. That was the most awesome new year I celebrated ever. Rightly said, "Heaven is a myth, Uttrakhand is real" regards Nivedita Joshi

July 9, 2017 By:
Felix culpa is a Latin phrase that comes from the words Felix (meaning ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’) and culpa (meaning ‘fault’), almost always translated to a ‘happy fault’. Thus, our trip to Pushkar and Udaipur was a blessing in disguise. An abrupt change in plans (Enforced on by my companions) made us pack our bags and leave to celebrate the New Year’s Eve weekend in the ancient district of Pushkar and the celebrated city of Udaipur!                                            A gaze into the holistic. Day 1: Delhi to Pushkar Being my first experience with Redbus, I was initially afraid of whether the journey would be comfortable enough, as the route was unknown. To my astonishment, relaxation and tranquil set in after the drive began, and the experience was one to remember. I would personally go on and suggest every confused traveller to do try Redbus at least once.                                       The city that wakes up early! Day 2: Pushkar We reach our destination, a bus stand exterior to the actual city itself at 6:30 in the morning. From thereon, we decided to walk off the exhaustion and perhaps acquire a chance to explore the town itself. The city does rouse up early, and so we went on to get ourselves an early meal. Our hotel check-in had been postponed to 11:00, so we found ourselves with the perfect opportunity of exploring the city! From an ascetic view, Pushkar is the ideal location for the nomad searching for some peace. Since the actual Brahma temple hadn't’t opened until then, we decided to discover the outskirts. The serenity and calmness that was portrayed can never be known, but only understood. We reached our hotel to check in and freshened up as fast as we could, only to go out and fulfil our anticipations!                                     A journey into the unknown. We persisted on with our journey, ticking of the checkboxes of suggestions and looking out for places to explore on our own. Even though I perceive the world from an atheistic view, I could feel the presence of an extraordinary work at force, moving the masses to come and worship, in large numbers indeed. From thereon, we took a little detour, and visited the Pink Floyd Cafe, established well deep in the interior of the city, just to get our mind off the broiling weather conditions. Onwards, we decided to visit the famous Aloo Baba. As comical the name sounds, it did perfectly describe the person we were about to meet. On the outside, Aloo Baba’s ashram hosted the man himself, along with a few foreigners reminiscing the tales of the old man, and probably how he had been surviving all these years by only eating potatoes. The actual splendour although, was a few steps ahead; A vast escape into the unknown, a repetition of mid-sized hills expanding onwards to something only a few men would know, and what many could’ve only guessed.                       The ship of the desert! The evening ended with dinner at La pizzeria, a wonderful restaurant that served authentic and delicious dishes, impeccable in taste and far better than any overpriced restaurant chain you would find in a metropolitan area. The day came to a conclusion with a stroll back to the hotel, only to prepare ourselves for the day ahead!     Day 3: Pushkar to Udaipur The journey from Pushkar to Udaipur turned out to be a massive disappointment, considering how unplanned we were in managing our transportation. As a last resort, we commenced an 8-hour journey from Pushkar to Udaipur via Ajmer, dependent upon discomforting state transportation. After what had felt like the longest 8 hours of our life, we managed to reach Udaipur late in the evening, on New Year’s Eve. Celebrations ensued later on, as people said farewell to the current year along with its memories, only to welcome a new experience with open arms.                                   A view that can never be forgotten.   Day 4: Udaipur A sunny morning, and on we went celebrating the New Year in exceptional fashion. A trip to the monsoon palace was one to reminisce, offering a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside. One can take a personal taxi or avail the transportation provided at affordable tariff. Atop the Sajjangarh palace (Named after its builder Maharaja Sajjan Singh), the story is different. One can look and actually identify the beautiful city, along with its constituents. The ‘Venice of the East’ surely did not disappoint. Thenceforth, we went on to visit the Vintage and classic car museum, hosting antique carriages, dated back to the original Maharana’s of Mewar.                                    The Rarest of them all! An amazing New Year’s Eve weekend celebration ended with us feasting on some traditional Rajasthan delicacies, albeit on the last day of our journey. We found our way back to the bus stand and boarded the same, which remarked the end of an incredible experience.     Good to know   Other attractions   Individually, one can visit additional attractions the city boasts of, the City Palace, Lake Pichola or Jag Mandir, an upscale hotel situated on an island in Lake Pichola. In Pushkar, one can visit the Savitri Mata Temple, Lake Foy Sagar, or take a camel ride. The Pushkar camel fair in itself an amazing sight, attracting thousands of camels, horses and cattle and is visited by over half-a-million people over a period of fourteen days.   Best time to go The best time to travel to both cities would be between the months of October and January, to escape the broiling weather. Coincidentally, the Pushkar Camel fair also starts at the end of October.                                      Recommended to all!

July 7, 2017 By:
It was 30th december 2016 we left from new delhi to Shimla by a bus which we booked on make my trip. com. Me and one of my friend decided to celebrate our new year in the middle of hills so Shimla was all we could think of going at that time. The journey was full of hills, long devdar trees touching the top and beautiful sky full of stars which was impossible to see here in Delhi. At night I was seeing two skies one in the valley and other one above me. Actually at night when lights are blinking of valley's houses it's no less than a sky full of stars and that moment took my heart away I just didnt want that journey to get over. It took us almost 7 hours to reach there and it was 6 or 7 am when we reached at the bus stand. From there we took a taxi for out hotel. Now the hotel was a bit far from the bus stand but it was worth it. It was situated at hill top from where a breathtaking view could be experienced. I was full of enthusiasm after seeing the hotel. We went there and rested for a while had our breakfast and then decided to leave for kufri. I wasnt aware of the rush at that time. It was very heavy traffic jam on the streets and we spent our entire day in just reaching the half of the way. Finally the sun started setting down so we decided to go back to Shimla because it wasnt possible to explore anything in the dark. After returning we went to the Mall road Shimla where We had our dinner at the Shimla cafe. I would definitely recommend this cafe to everyone who will visit Mall road there.Great food with a wonderful view. That place was captivating to me. Okay, after finishing the dinner we went ahead to the Ridge where any band was performing since it was 31st of december so we also went ahead there. A huge crowd was there for watching the band, people were dancing like insanes. It was all crazy there. I loved that moment after 10 party was over so we were back to out hotel room the next day was 1st of january, new year! We asked our hotel manager to suggest us some places to visit so he booked a taxi for us. The first place we visited was the Jhakhu temple of God Hanuman. It was situated at a hill top so high that the air over there was so fresh like seriously so fresh that u ll never want to leave that place. All the monkeys over there all around the temple so you need to stay aware if you have some stuff in your hand so better avoid taking anything with you while walking in the temple. after coming back from there we went to the Viceroy lodge which was an example of execellent architecture. I didnt go inside of the lodge since we had to wait for 4 hours for tickets to we just took a round of the surroundings and garden and it was all beauty over there. Coming back fromt there we again went to the mall road and spent our evening over there at the same the Shimla cafe for the dinner while watching a live band. On the ridge we went to the lakkad bajaar where everything made of wood can be found. It was so chilled over there that literally I was freezing but the breeze there was so pure so fresh like never felt before. There was much more to see but still I was feeling so full and happy because of the breeze of there I was taking withing me. We had to catch our bus that night at 8 pm and we were back in Delhi at 4 am. Connect with nature whenever you can! How to reach Shimla- Himachal transport ltd operates buses from new delhi to shimla.                                    You can also go by road since all the places are connected with direct roads.  

June 15, 2017 By:
An Escape In Search Of Fresh Air “ I Love  to Travel But Hate to Arrive”-- Hernon Cortes. It was the first day of 6th semester. After a long boredom semester break, With total frustration “Three friends “ have decided to take a long break to feel the breeze out of well. These are the ahhh? What we call, Experiences, Memories come only by travelling. So this is one type of memory that was rooted deep in our hearts. So, Plans Started, Planed as if we are on an education beneficial visit to IIT Madras, Of cource we were benefitted with that too as well. Tickets booked on 29thdec 2016, for howrah-chennai mail to “Detroit of Asia”, City where tradition lives “Chennai”. The day has come, waiting with pocket full of cash, and fully packed luggage at Visakhapatnam, We boarded the train at 2:45 pm(3 hours late) and the journey to find eternal joy started. Stations passed by, passengers are coming and going but we are having our memories with joy, As the train crosses station by station , the anxiety and excitement are increasing immensely. All of a sudden the Fast moving train stopped with greater retardation, it seems like some station has arrived “dim lights” and it was 3oclock in the morning and every one are leaving the train we were surprised, we questioned ourselves that, why all of them are getting down and shocked to know that the train has arrived 1 hour early …. ‘OMG’ we  thought “already 3 hours were wasted” but to our luck or whatever we were arrived an hour early. Took all the luggage walking on the platform, walking, walking, waking that’s what we have done for 10 minutes and finally reached a place, Something looks like a big multiplex. What how can we go to a multiplex directly by train???.. Shit man that, the station itself looks like a big shopping Mall. Day-1(30th Dec) Freshed up ourselves, there in the station itself, and came out of the station. Its 9oclock in the morning(peak time as office and school time nah!!!), So many busses are coming and going, for every 5 secs there come a new bus , What is the use when you don’t understand tamil. Struggled for some time and got to know by some local guy that it would be easy and affordable to travel on metros. Glad to hear that, we boarded a metro and reached Kasturba nagar in less than 20 minutes. We were suggested that it would be a walk able distance from Kasturba nagar to IIT Madras. Finally We were at the gate of IIT Madras , we were welcomed with a lush green cover all over our site, and young lads like us. There we boarded the bus and reached the rooms that we were allotted. Day-1 Has passed locked up the Seminar Halls , done some serious workshops and uffff done and by evening we were totally exhausted and decided to take some rest. Day-2(31st dec) Woke up early in the morning, freshed up, requested some IIT guys to give their cycles for a round trip in the campus. It was around 400 acre campus we roamed it like we travelled just 1 kilometre. The campus is decorated with green cover, highly polished roads, restaurants etc… And it was noon and decided to go on for shopping, booked a cab on OLA(the most responsive service) and gone to a famous Pheonix Mall. Had some shopping and by 9oclock in the evening we reached Elliot’s Beach. It was like a festival there-- families , children , lovers, youth, whole Chennai is at beach. It was an eye treat for us to watch all the lights, chilled weather, and the music of rustling beach tempted to go into the beach, but It was risky at that time. So, we enjoyed only the sight of it.   Its 11:59 in 2016, one minute away from 2017, Every one are ready to yell those, three words “Happy New Year”. . Countdown started  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 “Cracker sounds”... Cake celebrations  and finally Its 2017. Every one wished  Happy New Year. Day-3(1st Jan) So time to evacuate rooms and we decided to change our Base to “Mahabalipuram”. Took a Bus at “Adhyar” to Mahabalipuram. Fare was just 50 rupees and is around 60 km from Chennai. Travelling on Bus via ECR road be like you are in the air. Finally reached “Mahabalipuram” at 2oclock in the noon and booked a room there. Got ready ourselves and gone to see the “lord krishna’s Butter Ball”. It was a big Rock almost circular in shape resting on an incline. What?? how can a circular object can stay rested on an inclined plane defying gravity???. How Crazy ?? Questions are arising in my mind but there were no answers to them. Spent some time there seen some Pandava’s caves. And moved forward to Shore temple. The way to Shore temple from the Butter Ball is very narrow and on both sides beautifully decorated shops with some attractive lights arrangement to attract customers were there. At last we took tickets to the shore temple, cost is around 20 rupees. It looks like a park with a trimmed grass and a bunch of trees too and at the centre of the area the shrine was there and in the long shot we can see a long beach. The architecture looks like temples on the temple with carved statues and the engineering looks so strong that it can survive any natural calamities for another 1000 years. Apart from engineering and architecture it is the most beautiful monument alive. The closing time of the temple is 6. So, we need to go out now. So we gone to beach spent some time there and finally reached our rooms at 10 at night. Day-4(2nd Jan) Our return train was booked on 3rd Jan at 9oclock in the evening at chennai. So we were left with one day, So, we decided to go to “Pondicherry”. Its a Two hour journey from Mahabalipuram to Pondy. So we Took a Bus, 8oclock in the morning and reached there at  10:15. First, we went to Pondicherry Museum, there you can watch the culture and articles used at the time French invasion. And later in the evening we went to Botanical garden good to see it. And by evening we reached The famous “Rock Beach”. Due to its concrete beauty and the lights it looked great and had dinner at KFC and again came to rock beach and now we have seen Gandhi’s statue. And decided to sleep there in the beach itself. To be frank you can actually sleep on the floor of the road, not a single sand grain is visible. So, slept on a chair. We planned to watch the sunrise at “Serenity Beach”. Day-5(The final day) So, by 5oclock in the morning we reached “Serenity beach”, it was one of the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life. Feeling the silent cool breeze early in the morning and simultaneously watching the sunrise be like you are flying to heaven. That was most beautiful sight and will be registered in our hearts forever. Gone back to mahabalipuram and packed our luggage and reached Chennai done some shopping and returned to railway station. Leaving all these beautiful places, and carrying all the memories in our hearts and living with them. Wherever You go, Go with all your heart----- Confucious                                                                           Ch.Vishnu Aditya Sai      

June 15, 2017 By:
Travelling has always been my passion. I always wanted to explore new places and get close to nature. Being a Rajasthani, I always want to run away from this harsh weather. I love hilly areas as they are calm, peaceful, and serene and of course pollution free. So after taking permission from parents, this first cousins trip finally took place in the month of chilling December and we onset our journey to McLeodganj and Dharamsala. We all gathered in Delhi and chose a road trip instead of airways or railways. We wanted to explore each and every new spot on our way so we hired a personal traveller from Delhi. On 24th December, at 7 in the morning we left from Delhi. We took a tea break at 70 Milestone Dhaba and Restaurant near Samalkha. We didn’t stop for lunch break as we packed poori and sabji from our home. It was 5 in the evening and we took another tea break at Zimidara Tourist Dhaba when we entered in Punjab. We crossed two important destinations on our journey i.e. Bhakra Nangal Dam and Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara. I was eagerly waiting for our destination as my legs started to pain and temperature started to fell. I was satisfied as soon as I saw the snow-covered Dhauladhar Ranges shining bright in the night. We reached McLeodganj in the night at 10 p.m. We headed towards our hotel 8 Auspicious Him View and we purposely booked balcony rooms facing snow-covered mountains to embrace the beauty of nature. We all were damn tired that we didn’t have our dinner and slept early that night. View from our room Next morning was a Christmas morning, 25th December. We all got ready early in the morning and took our breakfast in the hotel itself and went for local sightseeing. As it was X’mas, everyone in the city was happy and full of joy. Firstly, we went to St. John’s Church in Wilderness and took part in the special prayer that was going on. Then we went to Dharamsala and visited the HPCA stadium. HPCA Stadium   St. John’s Church in Wilderness It was a beautiful stadium surrounded by snow-covered mountains. After knowing about the history of stadium, we went to the local tea gardens. Tea gardens were so beautiful that the pictures we clicked seemed to be clicked in the hilly areas of Switzerland. Not to be more dramatic, we were in Dharamsala. After doing our time taking photo shoot for our facebook and instagram, we headed to Norbulingka Institute which is totally based on Tibetan culture for preserving the Tibetan artistic skills. Norbulingka Institute Tea Gardens This institute provides employment, education and training to Tibetan refugees. The place was so quiet, calm and peaceful. It was worth knowing about the people working here as they suffered a lot in the past. We had our lunch in the canteen area. We were so hungry that we ordered Chapattis and daal. The chef was so frustrated because we ordered so many Chapattis and he was not habitual to make that many. After having our lunch, we went to the famous Chamunda Mata Temple and praised the idol present here. It was a beautiful temple present on the sides of Ban Ganga River with an idol of Lord Shiva in the backyards of the temple. After spending few hours here, we went back to McLeodganj and visited the local market. We purchased beautiful shawls, hand woven gloves and socks, Himachali caps and few handicrafts. Idol of Lord Shiva inside the Chamunda Mata Temple We had hot sizzling momos, coffee, brownies, patties, etc. in the Main Square market. Temperature that evening dropped to -3 degrees. We had ice cream in that chilly weather. After having all the food we went to our hotel. Who knew that the approaching night would be so happening? We all were tired but danced a lot and slept. At 2 a.m. we suddenly heard birds chirping and dogs barking. Our hotel owner also had a dog and he also started to bark. My 3 brothers who were sleeping in another room thought that the younger brother is shaking the bed to horrify them. They didn’t think that earthquake would take place. Yes! It was an earthquake. Our owner knocked at our doors and said to come out. After minor tremors we all sat in one room and my brothers were so scared that they took a decision to return back to Delhi. But for us sisters it was unacceptable. We told them if you guys want to leave you can. After pleasing them a lot they agreed to stay back. After that horrifying night, next morning, we went to Bhagsu Nag temple and trekked to Bhagsu Nag Fall. The trekking was very adventurous as the path was pebbled and you have to have control on your legs otherwise you can tremble. After seeing the fall, we trekked higher up to Shiva Cafe and had snacks. Trek to Shiva Cafe is a bit difficult but I’m sure that if you want to have a view of whole McLeodganj, you should trek to this place. Due to shortage of time, we didn’t turned up to Triund Trek, but you can go here if you have ample time. Shiva Cafe After spending few hours in Shiva Cafe, we trekked back to our hotel, did our lunch, packed our luggage and came to Main Square to return back. But the journey did not end. While returning back, we went to Kangra Fort. It holds an important historical value. It is said that, ages ago, the earthquake ruined whole of Dharamsala and McLeodganj, but this fort stand still. Here, there is an ancient Jain Temple inside the fort itself. The weather was so amazing and chilly that we were shivering. This was the last spot which we covered on our sweet and short trip. While returning back to Delhi, we stopped at Amrik Sukdev Dhaba at 3 a.m. and had paranthas and safed makkhan. It was heaven. The taste of that makkhan is still there on my tongue. Kangra Fort The trip ended here with an amazing experience which we will cherish lifetime. The memories of the trip are still fresh on my mind and I want to trek back to those beautiful snow-covered mountains.      

June 9, 2017 By:
Sahara Desert Camping at Merzouga, Morocco   Among all my travels, the one experience that stays on top for the sweet memories I made is the Desert Camping experience in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. My sole purpose of this trip was to set my foot into the largest desert on the planet. A basic expectation none the less but I was astounded by so many surprises that I encountered which made it more than just immersing myself into the sands of the Sahara. To begin with, I took the backpacking way. I flew to Marrakech from Barcelona. After settling into the sights and sounds of the Arab world, which Marrakech provides in excess, I travelled to Merzouga, the topic of this blog. Merzouga is a small desert town dedicated to hosting tourists to give them the true Saharan experience, it is very close to the border to Algeria. Along this route from Marrakech to Merzouga, I passed through Aït Benhaddou and Tinghir, each city having its own unique landscape to offer. Reaching Merzouga is a 7-hour bus journey from Tinghir. As I alighted from the AC bus from Supra Travels at around 10.30 pm, I could feel the cold air chilling my bones. The accommodation where I booked the night to stay with, had arranged a taxi which picked me up from the centre of the town to the hotel. The streets looked mostly deserted and I just settled in my room when I was served dinner. I had hardly eaten anything all day long during the bus journey. The host, a very hospitable man knew I was famished and cooked the most amazing Berber omelette. It is fried onion and tomato with Moroccan spices with eggs, baked in a tanjine, the traditional cookware from Morocco we have all seen on TV. Served with bread and some olive oil, I gobbled it all and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up to the first rays of the sun to find myself in a locale which had an orange hue. I stepped out to explore the dunes which were right next to my accommodation. I was definitely amazed at the vast expanse of the desert, with each dune looking bigger than the other. While the sand in Rajasthan looks yellow, the sand in Sahara is bright orange. The almost clear blue sky, with few white fluffy clouds astray too, reflected the orange hue of the Sahara. I had nice breakfast on the terrace and packed my bags for the desert camping, organized by the owner of the accommodation himself. As a travel tip, always try to negotiate, instead of agreeing to the price quoted, you can compare prices with other dealers in the town to understand the average. Different packages have different price slabs, I chose the basic one which included the camel ride and the overnight camping in the middle of the desert. We were a group of travellers and we started the journey towards the evening, where the camels were strapped with the necessary food supply for the night and we were accompanied by the guides who were none other than men from the Berber tribe, very typical of this region. Each one of us mount a camel and we set off on our journey into the desert. This is when you truly experience the Sahara. Sand dune after sand dune, with the town distancing itself behind you, the camel ride felt great, your body moving in rhythm to the camel’s movement. Very different and fun to do, you might feel like your back is going to snap any moment though. Oh, not to forget, if you are busy clicking pictures and for a moment and let go of the wooden handle for grip, chances are you will end up at the camel’s feet, smack on your face. The reason we leave at 4pm is to avoid the merciless afternoon heat of the desert to which we are not accustomed to and also to be just in time to catch the sunset from the tallest dune and head to the camp, for some authentic entertainment from the Berbers! Since it was a December evening, the air was cold but the sun was shining bright – mix of cold air but your skin feels the burn from the sun. Every now and then there is a gush of wind, with all the fine sand particles in your face and hair and you wonder if there is a sand storm brewing somewhere. This journey gives you a fantastic view of the dunes, though they look small at a distance, only when one group splits from yours and takes a different route for fun, you can scale the actual height of the dune like in the pic below. After the fun camel ride, we finally reach the camp site, where you relish a beautiful sunset, a bright red sparkling dot diving into the horizon. I did some sandboarding for the first time and it is definitely thrilling. You will be amazed by the variety of the crowd who are traveling with you. After the sunset and night falls, everybody gathers at a common area to relish some tea. The quintessential drink of the Moroccans, you just cannot stop sipping on this tea. This is your time to socialize and break the ice over tea. There were a bunch of people from the United States of America, Canada, Portugal, Japan, China and us, Indians. We exchanged our travel experiences and met a few foreign travellers who knew more of India as a travel destination than most of us would like to acknowledge. And then, the food started coming in. Bread with some vegetable side dish and then rice with chicken and potatoes baked in the tajine. It was a sumptuous meal when the hosts called us all outside to gather around the fire. This is where we get to know the hosts well. The guys who guided the camels through the desert on foot were the same guys who made tea and cooked dinner for us. These are people from the Berber tribe who are very typical of North Africa, who have their own language and customs. They live on the go, leading a very sustainable life with their herd of cattle moving to the grasslands during winter and to the mountains in summer to feed them. With the climate changing slowly and life getting harsher, few have switched to jobs in the tourism industry which involves activities like desert safari and desert camping. We all sat around the fire when the Berbers sang songs with great zest and the noise of the drums beating filling the cold night air of the Sahara. They told us that these were the songs they sing within their community to bond with each other every night. After the singing, we discussed about the kind of lifestyles we all live, for a moment asking ourselves if living a life like a Berber, ‘on the go’ without any expectations from the future was a way to live or the current one we all lead, making investments and elaborate plans. And not to forget our constant attachment to modern technology whereas they live a life of bliss with nothing but the moon, the stars, the desert, their cattle and their people. Now, it was almost 11pm in the night, we were all tired after today’s adventure and we all said good night to each other. This is when I ventured out from the group and scaled a nearby sand dune and laid out my sleeping bag, staring in to the perfectly clear night sky. With the cold breeze and beautiful shooting stars every now and then, I was lost in the beauty of the Milky Way made me felt closer to nature than ever before. I drew imaginary lines connecting the stars. I later went inside my tent and slept for the night as the wind grew harsher and the night turned colder. I woke up the next day for ringing bells, their call to wake us up. We all caught the sunrise and that was the end of our desert camping trip. We took amazing shots of the silhouettes of camel on the dune against the sun. The return journey had an awkward silence in the air as nobody wanted to leave just yet. But as life has it, we need to move on. When we reached the town of Merzouga on camelbacks, I bid adieu to the new friends I had made, wishing them good luck, freshening myself up and packing my bags to head to the next destination – Fez, the cultural capital of Morocco.

June 7, 2017 By:
  Travelling has always been a part of my ecstasy ever since I was a child. It’s one of those passions which sets a captivating and cheerful emoji whenever it passes through the inner vision. The seeds of this encryption were sown when I was ten years old. My school had this ‘ trip to nature village ‘ tour at the Jim Corbett Park in Nainital. My deepest nerve of soul was agitated because this was going to be my first trip WITHOUT my over concerned  parents . The idea of the members of the board of travelling was to make us enable to encapture and apprentice information and guidance in the laps of nature. Now this place has a tinge of history attached to it just like other places in India do(you see knowing history before hand fires a ferocious bullet to one’s explorative instinct). It is the oldest national park in India and was established in 1963 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger. Earlier some parts of the park were part of the princely state of Tehri Garhwal . We boarded the train on the night of 4th june  and embarked Nainital the next morning. Our destination spot was “the nature village”. Huts made of thatched clay and a hairy rooftop were given to us for stay(first lifetime experience never got worse. It  was great ). The citizens of the village were genial and altruistic. Now Jim Corbett you is a major in tourist attraction and sight seeings , therefore it has numerous amusing places which you could adore. The nearest spot to our destination was the Bijrani. Known for its diverse wildlife and amazing vegetation , Bijrani zone is one of the highest wildlife populated range of the Corbett National Park. It was a favourite spot for shooting in the British era and is still a hotspot for wildlife lovers. We were assisted by a guard on a lorry which dragged the weights of twenty five children at a time(funny ,isn’t it?). The instructor  flaunted the four-legged species with his marvelous talks. We were overwhelmed by the flaura and fauna which surrounded us. The nost mesmerizing of all was the tiger roaring in front of us live!. The next hub of our travel tractor was the Vatanvasa Gate. We basicly went  there for trekking( I  guess our instructors were quite enthralled about our health). The forty km long trackway was tiring enough to trek ,but we did enjoy a lot. The same night we went smashing in for a night safari to a nearby wood. The mini truck was loaded with girls( mine was an all girls school) and sped at accord. On our safari our instructor pointed at a pair of green eyes as we passed by , probably it was a tiger in hiding. A deer sped past us and our eyes gazed at its apparition. The following day we visited the Corbett museum and the Dhangari Museum. Corbett museum is in a heritage bungalow of Edward James Jim Corbett (the renowned environmentalist , hunter as well as a front runner in the tiger association). We saw the life history and the belongings of Mr.Corbett still intact with some of the animals at Corbett National Park. The show table even consisted of memoirs connected to Jim Corbett ,his letters, antiques and rare photographs. The depicting charts comprised of the educational  details about flora and fauna . A small building maintained by the Forest Deptt of Uttrakhand had a few exhibits of the wild animals that one can spot in the entire tourist area of the Reserve. It’s said that dinner is almost incomplete without dessert , in the same our trip had that void until it was filled by the Corbett Falls. Yes! I am talking about the exquisite and enchanting waterfall. The waters trickling down just seem to be the holy grail dropped from heaven . So pure, so true that’s what those falls were. On this sedative trip we got to learn that it’s the purity and chastity of our country which makes it – Incredible India. India “IS” actually a country set apart from the rest of the world I it’s own magnificent way and order. There’s nothing holding this place back.   We knew that we would never forget this joyous and authentic trip. All of us once again peeped out of the train windows and bid the park farewell.

June 6, 2017 By:
Ofcourse exams are important. But what to choose between exams and a wonderful trip...? Exams...? No,I dont think so because I've chosen a trip to Singapore and Malaysia over my exams. It was a 6days and 5 nights trip with family. We've left all the planning and other details to the travel agency so that we can spend most of the time enjoying. I was so excited as it was going to be my first time in air and the fun started in the Hyderabad Airport itself with me,my brother, my both sisters fighting with the luggage trollies. First day: First day was an amazing experience in the 'Gardens by the Bay' nature park with all the artificial trees which actually look very much real and the best part is the artificial waterfalls. Singapore is a country which makes most of its income through visitors. As we move through places, we are automatically directed towards shops for buying the articles that portray the place so that they can be cherished as memories. And believe me, there is nothing very amazing than relaxing in the pool. The pool was present on the top floor of the hotel. I was back floating in the pool looking above. The sky was full of stars and as the drops of water hit my face, it felt as if the time had frozen for me..... Second day: A short city tour to Singapore took me to the renowned Merlion park. The park is famous for its statue of a marine lion(head of a lion and tail of fish). The merlion statue looks towards the famous skyline building which looks breath taking from the park. Then came the flyer. Singapore has the World's second largest flyer and the whole city looks outstanding from the top of the flyer. Ever felt of moving in a car above the sea floaating in the skies looking below into the deep blue sea. I did...during the cable car ride to the Sentosa islands. The best attraction in the island is the S.E.A.acquarium. It's the underwater acquarium with lots and lots of fishes roaming around you making home. I moved feeling like walking on the sea bed without the water touching me.... Third day: Universal Studios Singapore... Dream of most of the trip lovers and one of the best Amusement parks. Each and every ride gave an awesome experience. But the battlestar galactica was the best. Its the world's tallest twin roller coaster. As it moved, the world around me blurred and the wind blew through my face and I felt transparent.... Fourth day: "It is said some lives are linked across time connected by an ancient calling that echoes through the ages...DESTINY"~prince of persia movie.Destiny, that's what it felt like to travel with our little companion from Singapore to Malaysia in a bus. We'd spent all the journey playing 'SHOOT ME IF YOU CAN' with this little kid(Harsh). He was the cutest travel companion anyone could have.... Fifth day: Ever been to a hill station? Ever been to a resort? Well, 'Genting Highlands' is prettymuch a combination of both.It's a high altitude hill resort with amusement parks, shopping malls, casinos and whatnot. But the best part is the 'Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem'. In this show I myself went on to the stage to get experienced in a trick. There was a pretty girl tied up to a pole on the stage and a curtain dropped from above on both of us. The lights around me suddenly whooshed and within a swish, I was tied up in the girl's place.... Sixth day: I expected my last day in the trip to be a little boring as it was just a short city tour and suddenly our van stopped in a place full of shadow. I moodily stepped out of the van and raised my eyes to see a building which as i raised my eyes rose up to the sky. 'The Malaysian Twin Towers'. Suddenly my heart started to pound in a very fast motion out of excitement. It was the most beautiful building to look at such a close distance. And the we visted the metal, leather and chocolate galleries..... So, I'm sure its worth missing your exams for such a trip.