Monday, May 26, 2014

Nepal Adventure ( Continued )

Continuing my previous post on my Nepal Visit...

I gave a summary on the travel and also some place listings to see and places to stay.
Well there are many links and tripadvisor blog and  TripAdvisor Nepal of course can give you many details.

I am a pure vegetarian, so if you are a veggie you might find some helpful facts below

First of all, as i have already suggested few places to stay I will write a lil bit on restaurants and food to try.

Thamel has many restaurants that you can try. If you have decided to stay near Thamel then you can walk to most of the good ones.

Pure vegetarian restaurants are hard to come by. Ones I liked

OR2K -  This is a must visit place . Has lot of options for veg and a lovely place to sit and relax. Like most other places this also offers free wifi so you dont have to run around making arrangements if you have a good phone or a laptop.
Food is awesome and the range of menu is good.

What you should not miss is the Goat Cheese Pizza. Just mouth watering ...

The Himalayan Java is there at 3 Places. Coffee lovers shud just go to this place atleast once. I visited all the 3 places and i must say .. its a very neat organized place with good menu ... lot of travellers and trekkers prefer this place as a meeting point or just to hang out.

Apart from these there are many diners that you will find in the walking street/market in Thamel.
Indians can also find many marwadi diners that provide good Indian style food. Nothing like having paratha and sabji if you are craving for home like food !!

--------- Thats it on the food section . Will write more on places and what to do in coming posts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nepal Visit: An all-rounder of a place

Before details, take a min to pay homage to all those Sherpas who were killed in the avalanche. May their soul rest in peace.

Well, pardon the cricketing jargon in the title but its the IPL season !! With lots of matches and parties, not a bad idea to catch a match in a different place.

Ankur [who is also referred as Adha Thakur in some earlier posts] was getting married . Had to be there for the occasion. And what more, it was going to be my first proper North Indian marriage experience.
Marriages in India can not get better than a North Indian fan fair marriage, lots of dance, lots of color admist lot of rituals and grandeur.

The venue for this "much awaited"[ by me and Mohit] marriage, was in Gorakhpur. A place in Uttar Pradesh.
This is near to the Indo Nepal border. Would not get a better time to plan a trip to Nepal and back for marriage. And so the adventure began.

[I will write about the places in detail and hence might write the post in parts. Through out I will try to give information on places where stay can be planned and also food joints. For Veggies especially.]

Nepal : Where Buddha was born, land of Everest [although its in China Nepal Border ] and a spiritual significance for Hindus as PashupatiNath resides there.
So most part of the trip plan included sight seeing and few temple visits mostly during evenings.

How to get there : Well there are flights from Delhi-Kathmandu that are frequent. There is flight service from Varanasi as well . So if you are planning a trip to Varanasi you can take advantage of it.

Summary of where to stay and what to see and what all to do in Nepal

Places To Visit:
             - Thamel
            - Pashupatinath Temple

             - Buddha Temple
             - Buddha Neelkanth

Must Do : Mountain Flight.

You can see the tallest point ... standing tall is The Everest


Ambassador Garden Home

Its a nice hotel middle of busy  Thamel streets. Good for breakfast . You will find a lot of places nearby for lunch and dinner.

There is another hotel : Encounter
This is also a neat place to stay. Also near Thamel. The hotels restaurant caters to your needs.

In Nagarkot Stay at Club Himalays
An amazing place for the view . Sunrise and Sunset are a  must

Pokara has a range of hotels for you to stay. Although the main attraction here is adventure sports like paragliding and white water rafting. The rates are standardized and you can ask your hotel guy to book them for you.


Most of the places are WiFi Enabled, so you should not have any issue in connectivity.
Also NCell which is the local Nepal service provider has cheap call rates, and activation is immediate.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ever Increasing Traffic , Traffic Jams ... and how they are changing us

I used to cycle around the main road where I live everyday school and back .. cycle home for lunch and rush back ... very few vehicles , very few honks ..

Now I can not even cross the same main road by walk .. its jam packed and busting with vehicles honking and zoom by ...

What changed ... actually apart from the number of vehicles that increased drastically in these past few years, there has been another major change that we tend to neglect. Its our mindset and way of life.

I remember the days when a car owner used to stop the car, go over to the side and demand or shout out if his/her vehicle got a scratch from another . Now its just a wave of hand a smile and off you go. If you try to stop and inspect the damage you get a thousand honks and people shouting  "move on" .

Yes "MOVE ON" is the mantra of the day... anytime anywhere . Be it traffic or life , people just do not have enough time . It seems as though there is nothing that is worth other than what is next. No one seems to be enjoying the present . Its all what happens or what they plan next that drives today's busy life.

Ever wondered what you might be missing ? Just slow down a bit .. look back ... think ...feel .. enjoy ... share ...
Just do not become another mechanical part in the mechanical world ..
Having said that ... I need to leave early today so that I can escape the evening traffic :P now that is planning and not just thinking "What Next" !!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Rappa - A Great Weekend Getaway

( Due to security reasons [of my life] I will be changing the names of people in this conversation )
Liquid ( remember Pyaar Ka Panch nama - that character ) : Lets plan up a weekend trip 
Aadha Thakur (AT)  (  The guy with one arm in our version ): Tu chup reh , plan hamare saat karega fir aur kahi chala jayega
Anonymous  : Bhai log ... weekend plan .. fir to some place near we have to plan yaar ....
AT : Lets check some places ... sometihng like a 3 -4 hour drive
Liquid - Hmmm let me also search
Anonymous : arre itna plan nahi karenge .. chalo i know a place
Liquid - chalo .. where is this place ?? 
Anonymous : chalo lets go .. pat AT ko toh ACTIVITY  hai
AT : abeeee ... haan yaar .. par vl have to plan up so that no one in office knows .. and btw hows work
[after some 30 mins of talking many other things not related to a trip plan]
AT : Accha toh plan on ? chale ?
Liquid : haan chalo .. par kahan
Anonymous : Bola na I know a place lets go .. not very far

This is how it happened ... The Plan ...
And why the trip was so awesome : It was a very informative trip :P Few things "we" learnt
  • Dont listen to Aunti ji song while driving.. will distract you and you might hit a blue van
  • Avoid eye contact with your fello travellers after you have miraculously escaped form a sure death accident and you are driving
  • Kamat is just further on the same road from Bangalore to Hassan
  • Dont drive between the bushes it will scratch the car
  • None of the ATMs neat Hassan work

To the details :)
How many of you out there have done this : Gone to Google and searched " good weekend getaways near Bangalore " ... many of u rite . Which place classifies as a weekend getaway then
Lets see , not too far to drive by ( 3 -4 hours max ) , preferable not too crowded so that it does not remind you of the city life all over again , has a good scenic tag to it so that it does not come in to one of the stereo type commercial resorts ....

Well , this by far is one of the best places near Bangalore to visit during a weekend. "The Rappa"
This place is near Hassan , makes it a 3 -4 hour drive from here . The place is located on the back waters of the Gorur Dam built accross the Hemavathi river . You can just drive by next to the river , park your car have a good swim ( with a llife jacket) and just sit back and relax. The place has few cottages .. do not expect anything luxurious .. its more like a camping place where you can have your food , go for a swim , kayak to the near by highland ... camp there have fun and be yourself. 

We left Bangalore around 7 ish reached there around 11 with a stop for breakfast for about 30 mins.. The Hassan road is a good one to drive , the new toll roads do give u rashes when you have to pay up ( around 120 one way ) but worth it . En route you will find many places to stop by for a break and have something to eat. Keep your camera handy as some places on the way are picture perfect .

ShettyHalli church on the way to Rappa
Once you reach the place , you will love it . Its right next to the river , you can practically stop the car next to it and jump in ...  mind you , you will be greeted by the cutest group of mans best friends :) As soon as we reached , we hit the water ,,, had a good swim and enjoyed for about a hour and two . We then settled down in one of the cottages , had a good lunch and planned up for the evening . It was drizzling and so we decided to kayak later and lazed around here there enjoying the beauty of the place taking pics and playing with the dogs ..
"Mistiff" ya you got it right - a pug - grew very fond of AT ... AT was also .. well how do I say this ... well I better not say this .. so ya there was a good bonding :P Liquid loves dogs and wells so we had a hard time keeping him off both!! :P

We played football , lot of space around ... drove around next to the river ... Its so amazing how time flies when you are in a place like this .. before we knew and it was dark . We decided to kayak the next morning and lit up a camp fire . A camp fire  , next to the river bed , far far away form the daily stupid office stuff ... lots of talks , lots of fun .. listening to music and having plate a plate full to eat ... nothing more you can ask for isn't it :)

Next day .. we were up by 8!! ya too early by our standards but we had a reason . Kayaking in the beautiful morning weather ... well we could'n have asked for a better time . It was superb. We kayaked to the nearby highland , and back and then to the other highland ... just lay back and let the currents take you ... not too far else ull be facing the damn dam !  All in all its a good place to visit  .. we had awesome fun and were in no mood to come back to Bangalore . But we had to ... :( :(

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wild Western Ghats

Sahyadri as its also called , is the mountain range towards west of India . The dense forests of the range constitute of many species of flora and fauna. This range has one of the most breath taking sites and one of the wildest places that a nature lover must visit.

This time our visit here was a special one. It was supposed to be a bachelors party!! and a wedding to attend in mysore ... well ya ... bachelors party and in a dense forest with wild animals ... i know !! but it was all for our friend Karthik !! thats what he liked and we thought we'll "sacrifice" this once for his happiness ... he was getting married after all ;)

So here goes , as usual the planning had started few months back starting from Thailand , to have a "hangover" kind of bachelors party .. but then no one drinks in the gang so why waste flight tickets :P oh ya , the gang by the way , if uve read previous posts is the same gang of friends together from school days ... ya "chaddi dosts"... so you can imagine how much pain taking planning we would have done .. ya a total of 15 minutes!! and we set off!! :)

Destination - Ooty - Masinagudi - Mysore

Ooty - Nothing beats a night drive to ooty , having one of the most dangerous ghat sections and in that cold and misty night ... me ayub and muneeb getting belted by karthik ofcourse ... We left bangalore very early.. around 2pm .. plan was to reach ooty that night , the problem was the bandipur route that takes us to ooty closes at 9pm sharp, miss that and we have to stay in the car for the night. As expected the journey was very quiet and peaceful , with few fights between friends and being non smokers we had to stop the vehicle regularly to get our dose of coffee though Karthik was driving all the while!! We hit the Bandipur check point at 8 : 45 . There we refilled the necessities for a long winding ghat section ride .. yummies and a lot of poppins.. cant get started on poppins now , it has a long histry with muneeb .. ill write a complete post on it later ;) .

The road to ooty is admist the dense bandipur jungle , from the karnataka border. Once we hit tamil nadu , the forest range is called madhumalai. There are two roads , one through Gudalur , a long one and the other a steep climb with 32 hair pin ( sorry if am wrong with numbers , it was very dark and coudn read properly ) bends , via kalhatti . This route has wild animal habitats through out and steep climb and narrow bends make it all the more dangerous . Hence closed at night .

Well you know , it was a bachelors party , and we were supposed to attend a wedding on the way back so we did not take any chances , we took the dangerous but short route ( nothing that gandhiji cant manage ) and reached ooty by 11.

Day2 - To Masinagudi .
Our destination was "The Wilderness" , a small resort in the dense forests .  

Perfect weather to drive . The route back from Ooty to masinagudi is scenic. On thw way you can see many wild animals and birds , so make sure you have enough time and drive slowly to spot these and enjoy the ride . 

Wilderness : The resort has 5 cottages and can accommodate around 20 at a time . Great location a midst of the dense forest , hospitality is good and great tasty food . There is a stream flowing just behind the resort and the safari camp and few other tourist places are very nearby , making this one of the ideal places .

We decided to chill out , have fun there instead of roaming places and get exhausted as we had seen almost all the places there and enjoyed the nature . 

It had been years since I had seen a fire fly , which was a very common occurrence at my home garden when I was a kid . Just like sparrows they all vanished ... Night brings jungle to life ... the sheer vastness and types of sounds you can hear gives you a different feeling all together , and the sounds of elephants trying to barge in their old feeding grounds and being scared away by the humans , also gives u a different feeling - 

A mistake that we are continuously doing and its about time that government takes action stopping illegal resorts and other human interference, that  is invading these forest lands .

Well too much serious talk.... coming back ... it was an amazing experience and as for the details < sorry bachelors party  :) >
From here we visited Mysore , to attend Aruns wedding and we were back to Bangalore .

A fun filled emotional and probably the last trip that we as a school gang might have gone :)

Time Pass