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India is a beautiful place of diversity. From culture to food habits, religion to locales – our country is vivid. It is a gem for travel enthusiasts. For every season, you will find a proper place to go and relax and learn something new about our great culture.

In today’s blog, I will write about those places that are famous for their boating. Boating is a leisure time activity when you go to travel somewhere. You can paddle yourself or hire a bigger steamboat to roam around the beautiful lakes and other water bodies. The painters, poets, or writers will get an extra boost romanticizing the breath-taking view and cool breeze of these places.

Here is the list of some famous boating paradise you can go and enjoy.

Ganga Ghat, Varanasi
Ganga Ghat
Image Source – Google

Our ancestors said that nothing is purer than the water of the Ganges or Gangajaal. This holy river is worshipped by followers across the country. However impure one can be – with just a sprinkle of Gangajaal – that person or for that matter, any object is sanctified.

This river is older than our country perhaps and Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. So, if you are visiting Varanasi – then, don’t just walk through the narrow lanes, enter the countless temples, and taste the local delicacies. Also, go to the Ganga Ghats and enjoy a boat ride. The sunrise and sunset timings are the best ones to seek the blessings of this river. Remember that from mid-July to mid-October, the prices of the boats remain high due to more current in the water. The view of this old city from mid-water is spectacular. The boat rides also halt for you to visit the nearby market and visit the Durga Mandir built two centuries ago. Yamaha Engine Boats costs INR 3000 for two hours of the ride. The boating services start from 8 A.M. and continues till 5:30 P.M.

Naini Lake, Nainital:
Naini Lake
Image Source – Google

Nainital is one of the most famous tourist destinations in this country. The name of the lake is Naini and Tal means lake which is why the city is named Nainital. Boating is mostly seen as a summertime activity and that’s why most of the crowds are seen here during the summer months. The interesting fact is the shape of this lake resembles an eye and that’s why the name is Naini. The boating services start at 6 A.M. and continues till 6 P.M. You can also rent a yacht here.

While riding the boat – you will feel how small you are in the vastness of the lofty Kumaon ranges and the gleaming water.

Kumarakom Backwaters, Kerala:
Kumarakom Backwaters
Image Source – Google

This one is perhaps the most famous in the country. The view of the dense greenery and refreshingly cool water attracts people here in Kerala backwaters. A small town named Kottayam in Kerala receives thousands of footfalls in peak seasons. The most popular thing here is the houseboat. The short stay here in houseboats breaks the monotony of the normal fast-paced life. The disease-free and toxin-free air that you inhale here will rejuvenate the senses in your body and you will return with an energetic mind at work. For the boat cruises or rides, you must get the booking done in advance to avoid unnecessary rush. The most exciting part is these houseboats are fully built with eco-friendly materials. And in case you are staying overnight, the houseboats will remain stationary from 6:00 P.M. till 7:00 A.M., the next day. Depending on the number of rooms you book on the houseboats, the prices will vary. But still, it may cost you anything between INR 9000 and 12000.

Nakki Lake, Mount Abu:
Nakki Lake
Image Source – Google

Mount Abu is a renowned hill station located in the Aravallis. Nakki Lake is a famous tourist spot there and you should not miss the boating service here. As per the legendary stories, the Gods dug out this lake with their fingers and nails while seeking protection from the demons. Nakki Lake is also told to be the first man-made lake that is 11000 meters deep and a quarter of a mile wide. Another famous fact about this lake is that Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here in this lake. While you boat around this lake, you will get to see the hill-station in its enchanting best. You can also enjoy the view of Toad Rock on a hill nearby where the rocks are strangely shaped like toads. Moreover, you can enjoy the local dishes too here. The boating services start from 9:30 A.M. and continues till 6 P.M.

Dal Lake, Srinagar:
Dal Lake
Image Source – Google

No blogs on boating can be complete without mentioning the “heaven on earth”. Like always, the breath-taking view of Dal Lake still fascinates even when there is unrest in the state. From old Bollywood to today’s Instagram pages – you must have come across millions of pictures of this place. The beauty of this place is mesmerizing and you will believe that no pictures can do justice to its beauty. The awe-inspiring panoramic view of the lush green landscapes surrounding the lake, the cool and patient ripples forming on the lake waters, or the floating flowering garden – there are millions of reasons to visit this place and enjoy this boat ride. So, rent the famous Shikaras (houseboats of Srinagar) made from Deodar woods and take a ride to tourist spots like Shalimar Garden, Hazratbal Mosque, or Nishat Garden, etc. You can enjoy your boating between 8 A.M. and 6:30 P.M. An hour-long boat ride may cost you up to INR 4000.

Crossing the sweltering summer season, when the monsoon arrives, it relieves us with a cool breeze, nostalgic smell of mud-soaked in the rain, imaginative cloudy sky, and a soothing atmosphere. Nature outside wears the skin of unpredictability and looks like an artist’s paint book. Like all seasons, this season also has its favourite food types. But, if you look closely, you will see that the food cravings for monsoon season have similarities with the winter season. That’s probably because of the temperature drop and milder weather. Whatever the reason it is, there is a beautiful satisfying feeling of enjoying a platter of hot and spicy food with the sight of rain outside.

Here is a list of those food items which India loves to savor during the monsoon season.

Ginger Tea:
Ginger Tea
Image Source – Google

A hot cup of ginger tea is common in all seasons but during the monsoon days (and also winter), the craze for it rises. Ginger has medicinal values and all the diseases that arise during rainy seasons like stomachache, fever, or cold are treated by it. That’s why the demand for a cup of ginger tea is more when it is raining outside. The weather remains unpredictable in this season – the temperature drops down (relieving the scorching sun rays) but at the same time the humidity stays intact. Many daily commuters get drenched in rain while going or coming back from work or school. This ginger tea surely helps.

For the tea lovers – they get another excuse to have more tea along with snacks and enjoy the view of the beautiful nature outside.

Fritters:
Fritters
Image Source – Google

Onion, potatoes, or chilies are dipped in a batter of gram flour mixed with spices and then deep-fried in refined oil or mustard oil. Along with a cup of tea, these fritters are a must all over India to enjoy a party or simply as an evening snack shared with family members. If you take a look at any regular Maharashtrian home, you will find the wild greens like Shewla and Phodshi turned into fritters. The leaves of colocasia are also fried with besan in many parts of the country and savoured well.

Some prefer to have them with mint chutney, schezwan sauce, tomato sauce, mustard sauce, or plain curd. Then there are some people like me, who relishes these fritters with daal-chawal (lentils & rice). But I guess nothing can match up to the spirit and essence of Moong Daal ke pakode with mint chutney.

Khichdi:
Khichdi
Image Source – Google

Monsoon is incomplete without a plate of Khichdi. I have seen the craze of tea and fritters all over North India during the rainy days but back in my West Bengal, I have seen rather grown up in the atmosphere of Khichdi-some monsoon. Moong and Masoor daal (types of lentils) are mixed with rice grains along with all the seasonal vegetables (beans, capsicum, carrots, peas, cauliflower, potatoes, pumpkin, etc.). It is served with a generous amount of Ghee or clarified butter. Also, comes along is a whole platter of fried things – onion fritters, brinjal fry, pumpkin flower fry, potato fry, coconut fry (with a pinch of salt, turmeric, and sugar), spicy cabbage, fried fish especially Hilsa, etc. I terribly miss being at home during monsoon only for the huge love for food.

Hilsa:
Hilsa
Image Source – Google

The Bengalis cannot leave their love for fish. The biggest reason why Bengalis love monsoon in spite of all the atrocities in towns and cities of Bengal is that this is the season of the “king of fishes” Hilsa. The Ganges of West Bengal or the Padma of East Bengal (Bangladesh) – both bless this community with an amazingly tasty fish. The price in this season sometimes reaches up to 22000 also. This fish is simply fried or made into various gravy items with mustard, coconut milk, or curd. With a plate of rice, this fish takes the Hilsa lovers to heaven – literally!

My grandfather taught me to enjoy Hilsa with Khichdi – and this combination is also worth a try.

Corn:
Corn
Image Source – Google

Available everywhere in India during the monsoon months, this is a popular evening snack. The corns are taken out of its cover and roasted in high heat generously. Then a dash of black salt and lemon is applied to it. Some prefer to have boiled corns while some prefer the crispy corns which are stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, and capsicum. In any form – corns taste amazing.

Aloo Tikki Chaat:
Aloo Tikki Chaat
Image Source – Google

Your mom and grandma must be telling you not to have chaat outside. But do you know how blissful is it to enjoy the chaats when it is raining outside? The Aloo Tikki chaat with mint chutney, curd, and chaat masala is very dear to all. In some shops, this aloo Tikki chaat is available with black grams also. The stomach may ache later but don’t worry there is medicine for that.

Samosa:
Samosa
Image Source – Google

The fame of this triangle-shaped snack is huge. As a breakfast item or as an evening snack– the crunchy and tasty samosas are dipped in mint chutney, imli chutney, tomato sauce, etc. and savoured. It comes in a variety of fillings – potatoes, peas, paneer (cottage cheese), cauliflower, noodles, soybeans, corns, etc. The joy of having Samosa doubles in the monsoon and of course that is supported by a cup of tea.

Alun Dento:
Alun Dento
Image Source – Google

This one is a famous dish among the Mangalorean Catholics. It is a coconut-based curry made with green amaranth stalks, Colocasia stems, and hog plums. It is a seasonal specialty and is cooked for the feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary.

Malabar Coffee:
Malabar Coffee
Image Source – Google

Do you know there is something called Malabar Coffee? During the monsoon season, this Malabar Coast sees harvested coffee beans. They are exposed to moisture-laden monsoon air for at least 6 weeks. The coffee beans then swell up, lose some of their acidity, and obtain that signature mellow notes. With some fritters or simple biscuits – this cup of coffee is a prized possession I must say.

Which one among these is your favourite? Whichever it is, I hope you all are enjoying the drizzling season with a sizzling platter.

“We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”

Traveling is as important as other “high priority” things in life. And that’s not me, that’s the word of most doctors & psychiatrists. Because traveling fills the mind with positive energies, gives a break from all daily life challenges & chores, and makes people bond with their loved ones too. For those who love to travel, you guys just need another reason to leave with your bag. And those who still haven’t made any travel plans this year, can read this blog and leave for an enjoyable journey.

July means neither summer nor monsoon. Monsoon just starts its journey in major parts and temperature goes down from sultry to moderate. It is one of the nicest months to plan a tour and enjoy the beautiful locales. In general, the climate won’t bother you much for most parts of India.

Here are some of the top Indian places where you can go and chill in July.

Orchha:
Orchha
Image Source – Google

It is located in Madhya Pradesh and holds historic importance. This is one of those places in India that receives minimal rainfall. The topmost attractions are the Orchha fort, Chaturbhuj Temple, Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary, Laxminarayan Temple, Dinman Hardaul’s Palace. This place is just 16 kms from Jhansi and you can take a whole day trip to this place from Jhansi. The fort would give you a glimpse into the old world.

Coorg:
Coorg
Image Source – Google

Coorg is a pretty hill-station in Karnataka and it becomes prettier when it is raining. You will find lush vegetation, peaceful mountains, beautiful valleys, and an exotic collection of flowering plants here in between July and September. In fact, with the onset of July, the tourist season kicks off here. Abbey falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, Iruppu Falls, Mandalpatti View Point, Nagarhole National Park, or Brahmagiri Peak are the topmost attractions here.

Kerala:
Kerala
Image Source – Google

Kerala is famous for its insanely beautiful backwaters and during this time of the year the Kerala Backwaters turn even more beautiful. You will find all kinds of adventure sports here in the backwaters and lakes. The backwater cruise, snake boat race, tea plantation, beach actions, and Munnar excursions – these would be your probable activities here and you won’t regret any part of it.

Shillong:
Shillong
Image Source – Google

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya and Meghalaya means abode of clouds. It is thus needless to say how beautiful this place would be in July. Shillong is known as the Scotland of East and during monsoon season this place attracts maximum tourists for its amazing wildlife and awesome natural beauty. In July, the rainfall would be minimal and thus this place would be no less than a paradise. You must visit the Shillong Peak, Laitlum Canyons, Elephant Falls, Museum of Indigenous Culture, etc.

Mahabaleshwar:
Mahabaleshwar
Image Source – Google

Located in the Satara district of Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is one of the small yet prettiest hill stations in India. You can say that the official tourist season here in July & August. In July, you can experience a refreshing view, mild showers, and a foggy climate which will take you to dreamland. Walking through lush plantations, trekking, or strolling in the morning rain are some of the famous romantic activities here. So, the couples and the writers would love this place. You can also check out Mahabaleshwar Temple, Wilson’s Point, Venna Lake, Lingamala Waterfalls, Three Monkey Point, etc.

Andaman & Nicobar Island:
Andaman & Nicobar Island
Image Source – Google

The pristine white sand, heavenly turquoise water, clear waves, warm lagoons, and adventure activities make Andaman & Nicobar Island a “must-visit” place. July means the rain showers have just started and thus you will get to see some heart-warming views. But don’t delay it to August because then most of the beaches would be “out of reach” due to full-swing monsoon. The best places to visit here are – Radhanagar, Dolphin Resort, and Phoenix Bay Jetty. Also, you must try the lagoon swimming.

Udaipur:
Udaipur
Image Source – Google

This place is known as the “land of lakes”. If you and your partner haven’t enjoyed any vacation recently, then, July or the whole of monsoon would be a great time to plan a visit here. Udaipur becomes cozy and romantic during rainfall and you shouldn’t miss the view. The view from Sajjan Garh is something that you will be etched in your mind forever. You can also visit other places like Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir, Lake Fatehsagar, Bagore Ki Haveli, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Ambrai Ghat, and Kumbhalgarh Fort.

The beautiful descriptions of these amazing places supported with breath-taking images must be a reason enough for you to plan your tour. So, go ahead and enjoy in July to come back to work with a refreshed mind.

Road Trips – a very big deal indeed! It is quite a publicized thing now for the current generation. That doesn’t mean our grandparents didn’t enjoy road trips – of course, they did but they didn’t have social media as a proof of that happiness. As Bollywood made Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara, and TVF made Tripling – there seems to be a whole new fan following of road trips. Undoubtedly, this is a good thing because these trips make you believe in the good things of life.

As your life progresses ahead, you may feel like taking short breaks for road trips more. Why? Maybe because road trips make you face with your fears clearly and you always come back energized and more confident about yourself. As Tripling says – “Zindagi mein saare problems ka solutions road trip hai” (The solution to all problems in life lies in road trips). In case you are new to this concept, then, you must be searching “where to go?”

Here is a list of 5 wonderful road trips that you must take once in your lifetime.

Mumbai-Pune

This is just a 94 kms ride and that will take around 2-3 hours to reach the destination. Mumbai-Pune is considered one of the best road trips in India. The green belt would soothe your eyes and soul and you can have amazing food at Sunny Da Dhaba & The Kinara Village Dhaba here. Most Mumbaikars take this road trip to enjoy their weekend offs. Before reaching Pune, you will cross through Lonavala which is the prime USP of this trip. The beautiful scenery would refresh your mind. Also, don’t forget to savor the famous “Chikki” in Lonavala.

Bangalore-Bandipur Forest

This one is not so hyped but this is included in the list here because of its unusualness. The Bandipur forest route will give you some of the most memorable forest views. You can take the route from Mysore to Ooty and cross through this forest area. You will see deers quite easily crossing the roads. So, drive safely. The highway is also charming. Running along the picturesque Mysore Road, the total distance is 220 kms and that means 4-5 hours of journey. You will also spot your MacD and CCD on the way!

Manali-Leh

This one is perhaps the much-awaited road trip you want to take because you have heard rave reviews from every road trip enthusiasts about this route. You have also seen iconic Bollywood movies shot here like Jab We Met. So, get ready for some memorable #instaworthy pictures. The total distance is 479 kms and you will take 2 days to reach here. Unlike other routes all over India, this one comes with challenging topography and that’s why the time taken to cover the route would be longer. Plan your trip during summer to mid-October. The experience of this route is perhaps inexplicable – and you would know that once you are there.

Jaipur-Ranthambore

The total distance to cover is just 155 kms and you will take only 3 hours to reach your destination. You have to take the State Highway 24 to check off 3 essentials from your list and they are Jaipur, Ranthambore, and the beautiful stretch in between these two. You can also stop by the Bassi Wildlife sanctuary in between.

Mumbai-Mount Abu

The total distance is 758 kms and the time you will take is 12 hours (or more). Mount Abu in Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful locales in Rajasthan. So, if the mundane city life of Mumbai is bothering you much, then, just drive your way to this scenic place and enjoy your stay here. The relatively cooler temperature would soothe your senses. You have to take the NH 8 from Mumbai to Mount Abu through Vadodara and Ahmedabad. You may stop by and explore these two towns for their authentic culture and Gandhian history respectively. You will find lovely food all through this journey.

What are you waiting for now? Just manage a few holidays at work and go ahead to experience road trips. Remember, you will come back with a rejuvenated mind and body.

India is one of the most vibrant and culturally rich countries, which is also blessed with some breathtakingly beautiful places. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or looking forward to taking a road trip with your buddies, the options are plenty.

From picturesque landscapes to clear water beaches, quiet backwaters to beautiful valleys, India is full of Instagram worthy spots to travel with your family, buddies, and partner. And who doesn’t like a magnificent Insta feed with likes pouring in every second!

So all you #travelbloggers out there, we bring to you a list of stunning destinations in India. These places are sure to leave you speechless with their beauty and serenity.

Pangong Lake
Pangong Lake
Image Source – Google

Pangong Lake is the largest lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4350 mt. The name Pangong is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Banggong Co.’ It means “enchanted, long, narrow lake.” The lake stretches for some 130 kms with a width of about 5 kms. One-third of the lake is in India while the remaining two-thirds lie in Tibet occupied by China. The bright blue waters and rocky lake shore is sure to leave an everlasting impression on your mind. One interesting fact about Pangong Lake is that it displays multiple colors ranging from shades of blue, green, and sometimes reddish. The rugged Himalayan Mountains in the background make a stunning panoramic view, which is a must to capture in your lens.

Valley Of Flowers
Valley Of Flowers
Image Source – Google

If you ever want to experience magic close to Mother Nature, then you must visit the Valley of Flowers. The entire place is filled with wonderful meadows and several water tributaries. The gorgeous flowers and immense beauty of this place will behold your attention at the very first sight. You may even forget to blink even once. The flowers blossom between July & September, which is the best time to visit this heaven and witness the alluring flora species and scarce animals like black deer, brown bear, fox, musk deer, and blue sheep. Visiting this place will be a sheer pleasure for photography enthusiasts. And each photograph clicked will speak about the splendor of this place.

Munnar
Munnar
Image Source – Google

Munnar is a hill station in Kerala and one of the most picturesque destinations in India. The sprawling tea plantations make this place look like heaven and creates a picture perfect setting. Taking a stroll among the many tea plantations here feels quite like a dream. It is common among honeymooners and has lately become a favorite spot for pre-wedding shoots as well. The exquisiteness, tranquility, and the favorable climate of this place throughout the year are ideal for a refreshing holiday. Situated in the Western Ghats, Munnar houses several tourist places like Mattupetty Dam, Pallivasal Falls, Kundale Dam, Tea Museum, Potamedu, etc. You may get tired of clicking all the awe-inspiring views that Munnar has to offer. But it will never stop to amaze you with its hypnotizing beauty.

Spiti Valley
Spiti Valley
Image Source – Google

Wild and isolated- on your journey to Spiti Valley, you’ll come across the unexplored and less traveled roads. It takes a strong heart to conquer this cold desert with narrow roads and a raging river. Still, the journey seems more beautiful than the destination itself. Spiti Valley is the dream of every adventure lover and photography enthusiast. The Key Monastery surrounded by a grand mountain range, cool blue lakes, dreamy walk under the shining sun, and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze are some of the stunning experiences that Spiti Valley has to offer its visitors.

Rann of Kutch
Rann of Kutch
Image Source – Google

The surreal beauty of the White Desert of Kutch is something that you need to witness yourself. Because no matter how appealing it looks in photographs, none of them can ever portray the natural splendor of this heavenly looking place. Witnessing flawless white sand under your feet and limitless sky on a full moon night is an amazing experience that will stay with you forever. It becomes all the more beautiful after sunset when the color of the sand and sky looked exactly similar. And not to forget the flamelet flamingos that you’d find wandering here and there! The voice of the folk songs, dance performances by locals in traditional Kutch attire and the famous camel ride will leave you flabbergasted.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets, pack your bags, and get ready to capture the enchanting gorgeousness of these wonderful destinations in your camera forever.

Winter is one of the best seasons of the year in a country like India where majorly we all experience a tropical monsoon climate. The regular summer sweat and scorching sun are replaced by a chilling breeze and a warm sun. But the topography of India is quite diverse and that’s why winter has various faces in various parts of India. Some of the places like Mumbai doesn’t allow people to use warm clothes while people in Delhi calculate how many warm clothes to put on. So, you would get a wide spectrum of places in India where you can enjoy the weather. If you belong to the Northern part of India, then you may pack your bags for South India or the beaches. And if you belong to some moderate to warm climate zone, then you can visit the zero points and enjoy a dreamy winter.

Here are some of the best Indian places that you can visit this winter season.

Auli, Uttarakhand
Auli
Image Source – Google

Located at the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The name “Auli” in Garhwali language means “meadow”. This place is situated at a height of 8,219 feet above the mean sea level. If you love adventure, want to try skiing, and walk on the snow then this is the right place for you. Auli is surrounded by coniferous oak forests and that allows you a wonderful view of the Himalayas. One can also enjoy the cable car which is Asia’s longest cable car which allows you the most breath-taking view of the mountains. This January kick-started the National Championship of Skiing in Auli. You can visit this place till mid of March and enjoy the amazing weather!

Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Rann of Kutch, also known as the Great Rann of Kutch

Great Rann of Kutch
Image Source – Google

Every winter lakhs of visitors descend on the world’s biggest salt desert – Rann of Kutch stretching 7,505 square miles in the Thar Desert to witness the white expanse of the serene salt sand under the full moon night – a magical sight, indeed! Rann of Kutch takes pride in its Kutch festival, known as ‘Rann Utsav’ that is held in the winter (November-February). From traditional cuisine, shopping, folk dances and cultural performances to art, handicrafts, star gazing, desert safari and several other activities, this festival pack a ton of treasures for everyone. Also, staying in the tents on the periphery of the Dhordo village adds to the fascinating experience.

Munnar, Kerala
Munnar
Image Source – Google

Located in Kerala, Munnar is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. This place can be visited almost all around the year. If you are visiting in the winter season, you would witness a temperature drop up to 11 degree Celsius. You can also enjoy trekking, rappelling, and rock climbing here. But don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance as it is quite crowded in the winter season. The most notable places that people enjoy here are – TATA Tea Museum, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi, & Devikulam.

Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur
Image Source – Google

The capital city of Rajasthan is one of the most visited places in India. Jaipur is one of those places where mercury breaks the record every summer but it witnesses a pleasing atmosphere in winter. Wearing the chilling weather around you, sitting atop some rooftop restaurant, and enjoying authentic Rajasthani food – this is pure bliss! Winter is also the time for “Jaipur Literature Fest” – one of the much-renowned lit fest in India. So, pack your bags and enjoy your winter escapade here in Jaipur and don’t forget to capture the beautiful Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Amer Fort, & City Palace in your lenses.

Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi
Image Source – Google

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has a rustic and beautiful appeal. It is a hot place but winter offers you an amiable atmosphere to roam around Hampi and explore various beautiful temples here. Which would be a painful task in summer seasons. In the month of January, Hampi Mahotsav takes place. Therefore, you can book your tickets for January (next year of course) if you don’t want to miss the amazing puppet show, temple parades, dance, music, sports, and many more activities. The majestic architecture of Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Matanga Temple, & Hazara Rama Temple would simply steal your heart!

In the previous blog, we reached Tawang. If you haven’t read that one yet, take a look at the first part. I’m waiting! Okay. So now that you’ve read the first part, let’s move further.

Shungatser (Sangestar So) Lake

Shungatser (Sangestar So) Lake

As I mentioned, Tawang is not just a place that looks dreamy but has a very interesting history. And I suggest you visit this place if you’re patriotic or have a fair interest in our country’s history. Situated at 10,000 ft., this place is administered by the Republic of India as a part of the Arunachal Pradesh state, however, it is claimed by the People’s Republic of China as a part of South Tibet. The history with McMahon line, where Tibet refused to surrender Tawang, partly because of the importance attached to the Tawang Monastery. If you visit Tawang, do watch the sound & light show that’s put up by the army jawans there. Its overwhelming experience, and I bet you’d have teary eyes by the end of the show! The time during the Indo-China war, the aftermath and the stories about the incidents that took place has been narrated and presented with pride. I, as an Indian, loved the details and also the feeling by just sitting there and listening to the history of that place gave me Goosebumps. Do keep this one on your itinerary.

Next day we went for sight-seeing. A sight that’s unforgettable. Unfortunately, because of Christmas, we couldn’t manage to visit the Indo-china border. But instead, we went to Shungatser (Sangestar So) lake, now named Madhuri Lake after our evergreen Madhuri Dixit shot for Koyla there. The lake is located on the way from Tawang to Bum La Pass in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, near Indo-China border above 15,200 ft. above sea level. We were freezing and delighted as well to drive through snow and Nazare like no other. After spending somewhat 15 minutes at the lake, we started to head back to the Giant Buddha Statue.

Giant Buddha Statue

Giant Buddha Statue

Giant Buddha Statue towers above Tawang and can be seen from anywhere in Tawang. Adjacent to it is the way to Tawang Monastery. This monastery is the first largest in India and second largest in the world after Potala Palace, Lhasa. Tawang Monastery is known in Tibetan as Gaden Namgyal Lhatse, which translates to “celestial paradise in a clear night.”

Furthermore, the whole place is surrounded by monks. A lot of them reside there. It’s absolutely adorable to look at little monks running and playing around. The breathtaking sight was when during the sunset, the sun rays fell on the snow-covered mountains making it look like golden mountains. I’ll try and insert a picture of it. The day ended well with a nice and cozy dinner at the Hotel Zaxstar (Where we were staying). I’d highly recommend the hotel as the service was nice and the food tasted like home. It kinda did feel like a home away from home. Oh not to forget, the view from the hotel.

Kaziranga National Park

evening cultural show

Waking up the next day, we had to travel the entire day as we were heading to Kaziranga via Bomdila and Sela Pass. I strongly suggest you keep the warmest clothes if you’re planning to travel to Tawang and Sela pass. The temperature can go to minus and might as well snow anytime. So, moving forward we were all pepped up to drive to Kaziranga but I never wanted to leave the place. Tawang still has my heart and I might go back. The duration of the journey from Tawang to Kaziranga was around 11hrs. We reached the Kaziranga national park almost by 5-6.30. We drove through Dhola-Sadiya Bridge which is India’s longest bridge, 9.15km long bridge situated on Brahmaputra River connecting two states, Assam & Arunachal Pradesh.

After a 10-11hrs journey, we finally reached Kaziranga National Park, where we already had plans. Tickets to an amazing evening cultural show where we witnessed their cultural dances, music, and farming culture that was portrayed beautifully. It was an interactive show, we danced along the dancers at the end. The show was fun and refreshing. But we were exhausted and headed to our hotel and crashed.

The following morning, we had another long day ahead of us. We had plans for the jungle safari planned for the entire day. Kaziranga national park, located at Golaghat & Nagaon area of Assam, the sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site. And when you start the safari, along with a huge but friendly company, elephants! Personally, I’m against this tradition of riding animals, but had no other option but to sit on top of it. When you enter the park, you can actually spot rhinos all around you. The place has so many of them. The time we went there, we could only spot rhinos. The safari with the elephant was for around an hour or 45 min. I also took a picture with Rani (our elephant). We got back for lunch and had plans for trying our luck at another evening safari but now in a jeep. Thank God! Spared the creature.

DO NOT FORGET YOUR SUNGLASSES AND MUST BRING BANDANA TO COVER YOUR FACE AND HAIR. It’s dusty! And boring if you don’t spot any animal. Which exactly was the scenario with us. But we did spot some really cool parent elephant taking their kids to bathe and a humongous & creepy monitor lizard. And of’ course, deer. One can spot deer anywhere in India, in Delhi as well! But alas, not a bad experience at all. After this dusty & tiring jungle safari, we left the state for yet another place, this time it was the wettest place on Earth, Cherrapunji. We reached the place late in the night. The Saimika Resort, the place had these little cottages, it seemed like a vintage, cozy, adorable huts like the ones you see in those Christmassy movies. Yet again, strongly recommend the place to stay. The staff had our dinner prepared and fireplace lit to warm up our cottages. We hit the beds after stuffing our stomach.

Double Decker Living Root Bridge

Double Decker Living Root Bridge

It was this day, I was ready for the new adventure. The plan for Double Decker Living Root Bridge gave such an adrenalin rush. It’s 3500 steps i.e. 7km including climbing down and upward as well. Not recommended for old aged, individual with Heart problems and breathing issues. Being someone who has breathing trouble, panic disorder, and adventures like these give me a kick to go for it. I had a major FOMO going on. I didn’t want to miss this one. Hence I decided to go forward.

Put on my running shoes, stacked my bag with knick-knacks, water bottles and went on towards this adventure. It took us 3-4 hours for the entire experience. It definitely is tiring and one might as well run out of breath. But worth it. You’ll see a little pond like place with stones and small waterfalls with this double-decker bridge. Had to be one of the most amazing feelings after you reach there traveling through narrow-broken-moving steel bridges and tiny steps. The time taken to travel back was exhausting and I could feel each breath. We couldn’t hang around anymore, we had to rush with all the exhaustion and the feeling of “I can’t move anymore”, numb body, and breathlessness, after 4 hours reached the starting point and what a feeling! Must plan to visit the double-decker living root bridge, it definitely is a once in a lifetime experience.

With so much more to write and narrate my experience further, I don’t want y’all to get bored. I’ll be back with two more places that we explore in the next blog. Stay tuned!

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.

– Amelia Earhart

Adventure is like a drug that mingles with your blood and leaves you craving for it with every heartbeat. The adrenaline rush and the perfect state of mind achieved after conquering any adventure sport can’t be put into words for others to understand. One can only comprehend the fun and challenges of adventure when they try it themselves.

Each one of us dreams to soar high in the sky like a bird. This adventure gives a sense of freedom and the feeling to witness the beauty of this planet from the top of the world.

Your dream of flying can actually come true with paragliding!

If you live in India and paragliding has been on your checklist for a very long time, then you must experience the thrill of paragliding in Bir Billing and realize your dream.

What is Paragliding?

Paragliding is an adventure sport in which pilot flies in the sky like a bird. A glider, flying suit, and boots are required to get started. If you are doing it for the first time, then you should opt for tandem paragliding which is particularly designed to carry two people. Your pilot will do all the hard work where you just need to run on takeoff, then sit back and relax to enjoy the mesmerizing view from the top of the world. The clear weather is a basic requirement to take off the flight. If the weather is cloudy or the climatic conditions are not suitable, then you may not be able to glide properly.

About Bir Billing
About Bir Billing
Image Source – Google

Bir lies around 70 kilometers from Dharamshala, which is in Himachal Pradesh. Bir & Billing are twin beauties situated in the valley of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. There is a distance of 14 kilometers between these two towns but they are practically inseparable. Bir Billing is known to be the best paragliding site in Asia and second best in the whole world. Surrounded by the tea gardens, beautiful monasteries, and low hills, Bir Billing offers the most picturesque and serene views. It enjoys awesome weather throughout the year. The best month for paragliding in Bir Billing are October & November in the autumn and from the month of March to May in spring.

Why You Should Go For Paragliding in Bir Billing?
Paragliding in Bir Billing
Image Source – Google
  • Ideal Cloud Base– Bir Billing has a higher cloud base, which is a must for paragliding. With 4000-6000 meters of cloud base, it is easier to climb higher while flying in the sky.
  • Suitable Air Current– Blessed with the best climatic conditions, Bir Billing has suitable air currents where flyer can fly up to 5000 mt. One can enjoy 15-20 minutes of tandem flight in the favorable weather conditions and enjoy the strikingly beautiful view.
  • Breathtaking Views from Take-off & Landing Sites– The take-off site has smooth and favorable winds which are extremely important for a perfect take-off. It is located at 1430 mt from sea level. One gets to witness the stunning views and greenery from the Billing take-off site. From Bir, one can see the most beautiful sunsets ever, so paragliding during sunset time will be dreamlike. And the view of snow-capped mountains from the top will be worth all the adventure and risk-taking.

Paragliding gives you wings. And if you’ve got wings, you gotta fly high!

The take-off may get on your nerves for a bit. But those 30 minutes of soaring high in the sky above the mountains and colorful Tibetan monasteries will make you forget the initial struggle within seconds.

Even if you are terrified of heights, you must definitely try paragliding once to have the most exhilarating feeling ever!

While planning a trip outside India, one of the major concern is Visa! Getting a visa seems so tough, and visiting the Visa office seems so crazy. What if I told you that you do not need Visa to visit countries outside India? Well, that would be insane! Or not so much? Well, there are a few countries where Indians do not need a Visa to visit. Here is a list of a few of them:

Bhutan
Bhutan
Image Source – Google

Bhutan is our neighboring country and, yet we know so little about the place. Now is the time! And why browse over the internet or read about Bhutan when you can see everything through your eyes. You can easily get a travel permit for Bhutan and travel the country for 14 days. You do not need a Visa to visit this amazing country. It is time to experience the beauty of Bhutan, Try Archery and the spicy & delicious food!

Fiji
Fiji
Image Source – Google

A collection of beautiful islands in South Pacific, Fiji is a must visit. It is called as one of the happiest countries in the world.  Fiji is breathtakingly beautiful with all the colors & friendly people. All you need is a passport whose validity does not expire for at least 6 months and, you can travel in Fiji for 90 Days! So, if you’re looking to relax and just live without stress, Fiji is the much-needed break you need!

Serbia
Serbia
Image Source – Google

A beautiful country located in central & southeast of Europe. It is famous for beautiful churches, monasteries, rich history, & delicious food! From new traditions to an amazing learning experience, Serbia has so much to offer to its tourist! You can visit Serbia without a visa for 30 days in 1 Year!

Jamaica
Jamaica
Image Source – Google

A Caribbean Island & Bob Marley’s birth country is what defines Jamaica. It is a beautiful place filled with natural splendor. You can entertain yourself with the reggae music & an amazing game by the Jamaican Bobsled Team, have the famous blue mountain coffee and visit the beautiful beaches and coral reefs. This beautiful country of smiling faces offers 6 months of stay without a visa!

Cook Island
Cook Island
Image Source – Google

A small Island country, it is a paradise for adventure lovers.

You can enjoy the amazing food, go whale watching, go diving, hike or just relax around the beaches. You do not require Visa for 31 days!

Tunisia
Tunisia
Image Source – Google

An adventurous country situated in North Africa. If you love trying out new things, you must visit this place. You can try taking a ride on the hot air balloon, camel rides, diving, reserve a seat in the famous red lizard train or explore Matmata’s caves. In case, if you want to experience something really adventurous, you could go windsurfing. This country filled with adventures offers you stay for 90 days!

Macau
Macau
Image Source – Google

An autonomous region of the South Coast of China, Macau is also known as the gambling capital of the world. You can stay in Macau without a visa for almost 30 days and enjoy visiting the casinos. Apart from trying your luck, beautifully paved Chinese Temples, and enjoy the Cantonese food.

El Salvador
El Salvador
Image Source – Google

A small nation in Central America is a beautiful land of volcanos. You can stay there visa-free for 90 days while enjoying Volcano climbing (the country has 26 volcanos!), explore the ancient Mayan site, and visit a coffee plantation. This small country has a lot to explore!

Indonesia
Indonesia
Image Source – Google

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. You can stay in Indonesia for 30 days without a visa. And while you’re in Indonesia, you can visit the amazing local markets, visit ancient temples, explore the might forests, and enjoy the nightlife in Bali! There is so much to do in Indonesia.

You can not use Visa as an excuse for not going to vacays! Visiting places outside India isn’t that difficult after all, right? So, go pack your bags and travel around the world!

India is a vast landmass and it is often called the “land of diversity”. This huge piece of land located between the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and The Bay of Bengal is also the 7th largest country of the world in terms of area. The diversity is noted in all departments from culture to food, or language to religion. There are hills and mountains in the North, coastal regions in the South, desert in the West, and a mix of both mountain and sea in the East of India. So, basically, if any fellow Indian or an outsider is planning to travel to India, then he/she is going to have a memorable time. Apart from the 29 states, India also has 7 Union Territories that are unique in their own way. Boasting some of the impeccable locations, architectures, and greenery, these Union Territories are the pride of the nation.

Have a look at some of the major attractions of the Union Territories of India.

Andaman & Nicobar Island

For a moment, you may feel like, you are in some foreign land, playing with the blue or green water and getting suntanned lying on the pristine white sand. The enthralling marine life and heart-warming greenery make Andaman & Nicobar Island a unique place to spend your holidays. As the island lies quite far from mainland India, thus, it has retained its beauty till now. This place is loved by tourists but often less traveled.

Andaman & Nicobar Island
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  1. Radhanagar Beach- often said to be the most beautiful beach in Asia.
  2. The largest sea turtles are also found here. 3 species of marine turtles – Hawksbill, Green turtle and the Leatherback (Dermochelys Coriacea- world’s largest sea turtle) are found here.
  3. North Sentinel Island here is the home to one of the most isolated Paleolithic tribes of the world
  4. The famous Cellular Jail was established in the British era to seclude the prisoners from the outer world. The prisoners were given harsh treatment which is shown in the light and sound show in the evening.
  5. Baratang is the place of Mud Volcanoes while Barren Island is the only active volcano in India and they belong to Andamans.
Lakshadweep Islands

This is a conglomerate of 39 islands in the Arabian Sea. The amazing beaches, dense forests, and palm-lined coastline offer just the perfect kind of view to this place. Aquamarine life and water sports activities are also rampant here.

Lakshadweep Islands
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Lakshadweep Islands
  1. People love the scuba diving in Kalpeni Island of this place that has 100 species of coral and more than 2,000 species of fishes.
  2. There is a lighthouse in Minicoy Islands which is crescent-shaped and 300 feet tall.
  3. The water is crystal clear and turquoise in color. The close competition is the Maldives. Canoeing is one of the most favorite activities here. You may see turtles, corals, and fishes.
  4. The endless blue lagoons across Kadamat Island is a major attraction for the photographers.
New Delhi

The national capital actually needs to introduction. With a history of centuries running in its nerves, New Delhi is a place where you would experience an old world charm along with all the modern signs of advancement. From the Sultans to Mughals, to the Britishers – history of many struggles is written on the walls of Delhi.

New Delhi
Image Source – Google
Attractions of New Delhi
  1. The beautiful architecture of the Mughal period evident through the majestic Jama Masjid and the Red Fort are one of the most visited places in India. When you hear the Azaan from the Jama Masjid, the rays of positivity enter your system.
  2. The Lotus Temple or the Bahai’s temple is another milestone in the history of architecture. White concrete and marble are used to build this extraordinary piece of art which has nine sides. These 9 sides have a pool of water and it seems like a blooming lotus amidst the pool. But the most notable feature is that- people of any religion or belief can come, sit, and meditate here for long hours!
  3. In the memory of the 90,000 soldiers who died in the 1st World War, Pt. Nehru build India Gate in Delhi and it resembles the Arc de Triomphe of Paris.
  4. Akshardham temple – the largest Hindu temple in the world, Humayun Tomb, Gandhi Smriti, The Jantar Mantar, etc. are some of the other notable attractions of New Delhi.
Chandigarh

Apart from being one of the Union Territories, Chandigarh is also the capital of two states – Punjab & Haryana. It is also a planned city whose architecture and urban designs are examples for the rest of the country. This city draws its name from the temple of Goddess Chandi.

Chandigarh
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Chandigarh
  1. Open Hand Monument in the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh is the major attraction of this city. This metal structure was designed by architect Le Corbusier.
  2. Being the nest to many migratory birds, Sukhna Lake is very famous.
  3. Rock Garden – everything in this famous garden is built from household and industrial wastes.
  4. Pinjore Gardens built at the foothills of the Himalayas was built by the Mughals.
Daman and Diu

Daman & Diu is a tiny land that is famous for its awesome beaches and a culture that is half Indian and half Portuguese. Portuguese people have ruled over Daman & Diu for more than 450 years and that’s why the culture has a foreign feel to it. Daman and Diu lie in West India and consists of 2 separate areas divided by the Arabian Sea. The Daman Ganga River flows through the coastal town of Daman.

Daman and Diu
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Daman and Diu
  1. Fort Jerome is very famous and it was built to overlook the activities on the sea. The prime attraction of this fort is the Church of Our Lady of the sea which is a great example of Portuguese architecture. Now, a part of the church is a school.
  2. Zampa Gateway is the next attraction that marks the entry to Diu island. The carvings on the walls of the Gateway is remarkable.
  3. Jampore Beach, Nagoa Beach, and Devka Beach are the most famous beaches here which you should not miss at all.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra lies a few kilometers to the North of Gujarat while Nagar Haveli lies in between Gujarat & Maharashtra. Till late 18th century or to be precise till 1780, the Marathas ruled this region but the Portuguese came and captured this land. They continued to rule here for 150 years. So, you would definitely find the imprints of Portuguese culture in the air of Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  1. Dudhni Lake is very famous for the romantic boat rides especially in the evening where it is pleasing to see the sunset.
  2. Covering 20 hectares of land lies the Vasona Lion Safari which simply cannot be missed.
  3. Nakshatra Garden is quite an unusual garden because you would get to see the greenery and flowers representing zodiac signs. It also has an Ayurvedic park.
Puducherry

Once the French people lived here and their legacy continues to remain here. Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Pondicherry or Puducherry proudly flaunts the beautiful French architecture. The culture, food, and lifestyle are really un-Indian in many ways and you would feel that when you go there.

Puducherry
Image Source – Google
Attractions of Puducherry
  1. If you want peace and serenity or have a spiritual way of thinking then Shri Aurobindo Ashram is a must visit for you. People from across the world come here to find their peace.
  2. Auroville is the most progressive town in the world. Why? Because it is an experimental community in South India where people from all over the world are welcome without any gender or religion bias. The focus is human unity and it was founded by Mirra Alfassa in 1968.
  3. Gingee Fort, Paradise Beach, Promenade Beach and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are some other mind-blowing places here.
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