India

Shillong – Scotland of East

Shillong is known as Scotland of East. I am not sure of that as I have never been to Scotland. 🙂

But yes, Shillong is a beautiful place and monsoon is a season when it is visited most. Good thing about Shillong is that you can visit it any time of the year. It is small but a wonderful town. You can spend 4-5 days covering Cherapunjee, Mawlyngnong and some other nearby sites.

Shillong from its streets

Shillong from its streets

We went there recently in April and the weather was amazing. It was pleasant through out the day and little cold during nights and early mornings. There was light showers sometime and it made the town look more beautiful with its flora and fauna.

The drive from Guwahati Airport to Shillong is not long (3-4 hrs) and the road is under construction right now, some patches are ready. First thing which you get to see on your way is the local areca nut trees.
Betelnut Trees

“Even in Heaven, people eat Kwai,” goes a popular Khasi saying. Kwai, which is nothing but a paan served with a generous dose of areca nut, betel leaf and lime, is loved by one and all in Meghalaya. In winter, there is nothing like the Kwai with a piece of ginger to keep one warm in this part of the country. Every second person in Meghalaya chews on the Kwai at home, play or office and Khasi women selling Kwai in carryall wicker baskets is a common sight everywhere in the state.

On your way to Shillong (15 kms before) you come across a huge lake – Umiam Lake and locally called as Bara Pani (Big Water). The Lake is popular for the Water Sport and adventure facilities that it offers.
BaraPani-1

Barapani-2

We were there for Easter Sunday and the market was full with shoppers. Police Bazaar is the main area for all local shopping as well as tourists.

Police Bazaar Circle. PB as locally called.

Police Bazaar Circle. PB as locally called.

Shoppers before Easter Sunday

PB3

Glady’s Plaza is a shopper’s paradise at PB. There are lot of Tibetan Shops selling trendy apparels and accessories. Woodcraft is famous in this part of the country and there are two major shops selling these stuff at PB.

Woodcraft Emporium at PB

Woodcraft Emporium at PB

Town was lit up for Easter celebration, but still roads were deserted around 6pm.
Easter1

Empty Street on Saturday evening.

Empty Street on Saturday evening.


Don Bosco's statue

Don Bosco’s statue

Although the streets were empty, but there was one place which was completely packed. Shillong Cafe. It’s a nice place to hangout. Thanks to our host who recommended us this place. We had a great time listening to locals performing there on Saturday Evenings. The staff at Shillong Cafe was very friendly and were full of energy while serving a packed cafe.

Solo performance at Shillong Cafe

Solo performance at Shillong Cafe

There are many tourist sites in and around Shillong. We started with Shillong Peak, it gives an aerial view of the town. I’ve heard that it looks beautiful at night but since it is part of the defense area, entry is restricted at night.
Shillong Peak 1

Shillong Peak 2

Lot of tourists are found dressing up in local Khasi dress. One tourist was happy to pose for me. 🙂

Man posing in khasi dress.

Man posing in khasi dress.

The other places to visit are Elephant Falls, Hydari Park, Ward’s Lake, Don Bosco Musuem and Sacred Forests. My next post will be on Sacred Forest, Hydari Park & Ward’s Lake and Don Bosco Musuem.

Categories: Cold, India, Leisure, Meghalaya, Mountain, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mumbai meri jaan – Sailing at Gateway of India

Sailing at the Gateway had been in my to-do-list for a long time. Finally this Sunday we went for our first sailing trip and it was an amazing experience. With good company and a pleasant weather we had a great time.

Yachts, Boats, Sails and Catamarans at Gateway of India

Yachts, Boats, Sails and Catamarans at Gateway of India

We started from Jetty No 5 at Gateway of India in a small rowing boat (seen in the picture below), and in the middle of the sea we changed to our sailing boat. It looked scary initially but our skipper made sure that all of us were comfortably transported.

Jetty No 5, opposite Taj Mahal Hotel is the starting point for all private sails

Jetty No 5, opposite Taj Mahal Hotel is the starting point for all private sails

GatewaySailing_27

Our skipper opening the sail

Our skipper opening the sail

Ready to Sail now

Ready to Sail now

We spent close to two hours sailing in the sea and it was so different from our daily chaos. A welcome break from our daily routine life.

GatewaySailing_33a

Navy Nagar

Navy Nagar

Sassoon Dock

Sassoon Dock

Navy Nagar and Sassoon Dock during sunset

Navy Nagar and Sassoon Dock during sunset

Taj Mahal Hotel and Gateway of India in evening and after sunset.

Taj Mahal Hotel

Taj Mahal Hotel

GatewaySailing_2

Taj Mahal Hotel and Gateway of India after sunset

Taj Mahal Hotel and Gateway of India after sunset

There are many companies in Mumbai which provides these boats and also conducts training/courses for sailing. Some have membership for individuals and families. It’s worth exploring.

Categories: Adventure, Beach, India, Leisure, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Sailing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ratnagiri Monsoon

It has been more than 5 years since we’ve been to Ratnagiri but we still remember it fondly. Ever since I started blogging (although not long ago 🙂 ), I wanted to write a post on our short trip to Ratnagiri. Unfortunately I had misplaced pictures and finally found it on Snapfish.

Monsoon in Ratnagiri is like heaven on earth; lush green surroundings, beach, fort, rains and Ganeshji (Elephant God). You just need a good company.

Bhatye Beach

Bhatye Beach

Ratnagiri is a port city on Arabian Sea coast and is part of beautiful Konkan region of Maharashtra. Ratnagiri is famous for its Alphonso Mangoes, Birth place of “Lokmanaya” Bal Gangadhar Tilak, prime leader of India’s freedom movement and Shivaji’s Fort.

Ratnagiri is accessible by road from Mumbai, it is 13Kms off Mumbai-Goa Highway. The best way to reach there is by train from Mumbai. Konkan region has beautiful spots and scenic view throughout your journey whether you travel through train or drive down.

View from train

View from train


View from train

View from train

The surrounding area is bordered by the Sahyadri Hills on the West. The fertile alluvial valleys produce the luscious Alphonso mango, coconut and rice as the main crops. Fruits and cashewnut cultivation is also being promoted.

Coconut farm

Coconut farm


coconut farm next to Bhatye beach

coconut farm next to Bhatye beach

There are three beaches in this area, (source wikipedia)
Mandavi Beach: Mandavi Beach is also known as the Gate Way of Ratnagiri. It is 3kms away from MSRTC ST stand. Any one can hire an auto to reach the destination.
Bhatye Beach: This beach is located on the Ratnagiri – Pawas road and this beach has large suru-ban. The important thing of the Bhatye beach is that Mandavi and Bhatye beach are divided by a creek.
Mirkarwada Beach: It is the coastal station for marine professionals; all the fishing boats and trawlers land here. It is the major trading spot in Ratnagiri for marine industry. Most of the fishes from here are exported to other city markets such as Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bangaluru, and Mangalore.

Beach view from resort

Beach view from resort

Beach

Beach

lot of eagles were seen floating in the sky at sunset point
Beach

Beach

Jaigad fort was used by Shivaji only during war.

sea view from fort wall

sea view from fort wall

There is a tunnel in the fort which opens up into the sea

There is a tunnel in the fort which opens up into the sea

One end of the tunnel opening in the sea

One end of the tunnel opening in the sea

Local authorities are planning to make this as a tourist place for locals as well as visitors.

New garden coming up near  the fort. In 5 years it might have been completed now

New garden coming up near the fort. In 5 years it might have been completed now

Ganpati Pule is 21 kms from Ratnagiri and is must visit temple of Ganeshji (Elephant God).

During monsoon it is not advisable to step into the beach, specifically the one at Ganpati Pule

During monsoon it is not advisable to step into the beach, specifically the one at Ganpati Pule

The region has a long illustrious past and is even mentioned in Indian mythology like Mahabharata. Like most port city it has its own Light House. It is a land as beautiful as its people simple, soft spoken, easy going and hospitable.

This was our first visit to Konkan and now we plan to visit other parts of Konkan like Chiplun, Sindhudurg and Tarkarli.

Categories: Beach, Countryside, Fishing, History, India, Konkan, Leisure, Maharashtra, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

India on Road (Part I)

India on road is my collection of some pictures shot while traveling on Indian countryside.

Quality of picture isn’t that good as most of the shots taken are from a moving vehicle in Winter.

Waiting for his bus to college

Colorful Turban of a Rajasthani Gentleman

India on Road

I will soon make a blog on this when I have collected good quality pictures.

Woman carrying a weightload

Colors of Rajasthan

Mini Truck carrying wood logs

Going to work

Looks like wedding season

Seems to be peak time of wedding season

In this digital age, at least countryside relies on skills of some people

a perfect pose. i liked the intelligent look

How do you manage those tresses lady?

I want to edit this picture, just want to make his turban in color and rest all in black and white.

Group discussion

Okay, I edited that picture, this is the first time I tried it. Here is the final outcome.

Categories: Countryside, India, Travel | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Beauty of Trishul Peak in Himalayas from Kausani

The first rays of Sun on snow capped mountains of Himalayas is a breathtaking and beautiful sight.  It is said that from this place (Kausani) you can see 300 kms of the Himalayan range. 

First ray of Sun on Trishul Peak in Himalayas as seen from Kausani

The peaks easily can be seen are Trishul , Nandakot and Nandadevi depending on the weather you get. It is also said that the range looks amazing in moonlight on a clear sky day. We missed the sight because of clouds, but have seen the pictures and it is breathtaking view for sure.

Trishul (Hindiत्रिशूल) is a group of three Himalayan mountain peaks of westernKumaun, with the highest (Trishul I) reaching 7120m. The three peaks resemble a trident – in Hindi/SanskritTrishul, trident, is the weapon of Shiva. The Trishul group forms the southeast corner of the ring of peaks enclosing the Nanda DeviSanctuary, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) west-southwest of Nanda Devi itself. The main peak, Trishul I, was the first peak over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) to have ever been climbed, in 1907. (Source: Wikipedia)

Entire range as seen from our hotel

Another look at the range during the day.

View of the range during the day.

All the hotels in this small place provides Mountain View and its no brainer to see all guests setting up their cameras 15 mins before sunrise.  And some are lucky to get a good view of Trishul during sunset.

Golden Himalayas at Sunset

We were lucky to catch this golden look of Trishul as it was a cloudy day and Trishul was visible for few minutes. It is one of my favorite pic from the entire trip.

Besides the Himalayan view there isn’t much to do here. You can visit Gandhi Ashram where Gandhiji had spent some time. One interesting place is Lakshmi Ashram, it is a center run by local women and dedicated for social service and upliftment of women. Gandhiji’s disciple, Sarlaben (Kaitherine Heileman) spent her life here doing social service. This ashram helps local girls with school education and also help them to enroll for college. Besides studies girls are trained in various vocational courses, farming and other basic chores.

Finally my two cents: Do visit this ashram and spend some time with the girls. Don’t forget to buy their homegrown items and specially their herbal/green (basil) tea.

Categories: Cold, Himalaya, India, Leisure, Mountain, Snow, Travel, Uttrakhand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

A boy who travels

Travel tales with a twist

FAB-DAD

Give Momma a break!!!

shresthasees

Some jewellery, some clothing some tete a tetes and some travels :)

VIKRAM

An un-writer

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

YOU CANalytics

Explore the Power of Predictive Analytics & Data Science

Akanksha's Blog

Blog of Akanksha- Thoughts and Insights

Being Twenty Something

And other things...

Think.Feel.Write.

A reflection of thoughts.

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

PRAVIN ASWALE FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

Picture tells 1000 tales: Photography the way to express myself!

Gigaom

Technology news, trends and analysis covering mobile, big data, cloud, science, energy and media

Steve McCurry's Blog

Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element. www.stevemccurry.com

Lakshmi Loves To Shop

The Nirvana of travel, shopping and spirituality...

twng32

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Tangier, Morocco

Your Doorway to Tangier, Morocco

Everywhere Once

An adult's guide to long-term travel