Category Archives: Travel

A weekend trip to Kanyakumari

To one of India’s most beautiful destinations, Kanyakumari, where you can gaze upon the giant statue of a famous Tamil poet or be mesmerised by the confluence of three Indian seas.

Since my childhood, I always heard the line “Kashmir se Kanyakumari Tak”  (from Kashmir to Kanyakumari) umpteen number of times. Whether it was by professors during geography classroom lectures or by comical antagonists in Bollywood movies, these words were always wandering in my mind like waves in an ocean. They were gentle when I was engaged in shaping my life and sometimes out of nowhere they would ride high in my mind.

Nevertheless, I traveled to Jammu in the winters of 2011 and would consider it akin to visiting Kashmir. Also, at that moment in time, I did not have the budget to visit Kashmir. Much ahead, in June 2015, I was in Thiruvananthapuram for the TCS ILP training and thus rose an opportunity to check off Kanyakumari from my destination bucket list.

It was just 87 km from my place of residence and so I said to myself “brace yourself, the weekend is coming”; it was an impromptu, economically viable, weekend Kanyakumari trip. Equipped with knowledge of sign language, to tackle the vernacular language barrier, I was convinced that I was prepared.

Saturday morning, I packed my bags and hitch-hiked on a bus for Poovar, which is en-route to Kanyakumari. We had our first stop in Poovar where had the local cuisine for breakfast and then took a short trip to golden sand estuary island beach; it was like a portal opening in another dimension.

Trust me when I say that if I start describing Poovar and Neyyar river backwater trips, it would lead to another small post; so I am sticking to my Kanyakumari trip.

From Poovar we caught a state transport bus to Nagercoil and from there to Kanyakumari. The three-hour ride from Nagercoil to Kanyakumari was mesmerizing in its own sense.

Passing through villages in southern India, crossing through the twist and turns at a speed slower than a tramways with a picturesque landscape of mountains and palm trees in the background was quite a sight for sore eyes.

One thing that I have learnt in the past is that conversing with the locals in public transport vehicles can come in handy. They give you information about local customs and cheap travel hacks. For example, a middle-aged gentleman told us about a hotel hack—he suggested that we avoid hotels and instead stay at a lodge in Vivekanandapuram called Vivekananda.

The room rent at this lodge was quite economical—R100 per night for a single room with three beds–and additionally it was well connected via shuttle rides to Kanyakumari shore. They also had their own private sunrise beach. What else can one ask for!

We decided to stay put in the lodge. Far from any city noise—with rich flora and fauna, and the sight of dancing peacocks and a starry night to gaze at—the lodge was quite serene. After a refreshing nap, we left early morning and got a nice surprise. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen;

I was spellbound. Noisy waves,burning horizon and the morning breeze were all connecting to my soul.

The next stop was the Vivekananda rock memorial. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 metres east off the mainland. It was built in 1970 in honor of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.

There is also a meditation hall, Dhyana Mandapam, for those who want to meditate. The design of the meditation hall incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India and also houses a statue of Vivekananda.

The rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea.

If you look carefully, judging by the different shades of sea water, you can see the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

To reach here you need to catch a ferry ride which is difficult in the morning hours. The waiting period might get on your nerves but the trip is worth it. Pay a small entrance fee, deposit your shoes and you are good to roam inside the rock memorial. A point to remember is that on a sunny day, walk on the white painted walking lane only otherwise you might get a serious foot burn. Photography is banned inside the temple. Inside the temple, the sound of the roaring sea gets muffled out.

While returning, if the weather and sea conditions are good, the ferry will go to the next rock where they have the giant statue of the Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar, who was compared with Kalidas of Sanskrit literature and Shakespeare of English literature.

In our case, due to low tides, that service was closed. One small suggestion—be careful while boarding and de-boarding the ferry. I dropped my lens cover into the water and lost it because of a push.You can also see Our Lady of Ransom Church from the ferry point. We were quite tired and so we went to a nearby vegetarian restaurant and had a sumptuous lunch.

The beautiful sunset point was waiting for us and so was the end of my journey. By the end of my trip, I managed to tick off three points from my to-do list.

# To watch the sunrise and sunset in southern India.

# To watch the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea at the same time and place

# To cover India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, albeit a little different

PS :- This trip was made in June 2015. This was my entry to backpacker article getting published in my company’s magazine. So I thought of documenting it here also.

A trip to Mountains- Manali and solang valley | Part -1 |

It all started on one drunken night. Friend came, get together happened and someone wished to see snow. It was Netra ( the girl in red) who was high enough to say out loud that I want to see snow this year. I want to play in snow. I want to see snowfall. And then there was me being sober on the other side of room asked her that when did she want to visit. She was like let’s go around Christmas. We won’t get cheap tickets in new year, tourist will be more and Christmas holiday will also get used.

Nobody is under the influence of alcohol in this picture.Also don’t judge the room cleanness

This crazy night was in November (30th Nov 2019). Promises were made to be travel partner of this trip and within one week, tickets were booked to leave for Delhi from Mumbai on Christmas morning and a great trip was awaiting for us.

the kind of xmas tree i want to have

We landed in Delhi around late morning kind of 10 am and then we went to meet our friend. We freshened up there and then we left to catch our bus in the evening from majnu ka till. We boarded a private Volvo from Delhi. Both netra and I suffer from motion sickness so we took the tablet and dozed off till we reached manali.

Oooo Manaliiii 😀

The cold mountain breezed welcomes us next morning as we got down from our bus. The new private Volvo bus stand is 10 min far from manali market as walking distance and it is situated on the bank of beas river. So you can imagine how good it must have felt.

Mountains in the back, river in the side and road to walk

In the backdrop of Snowclad Mountains, we booked our cab to vashisht where our Airbnb was. We booked a room rented by a monk family who was very cool in hospitality. We had a view of beas river helipad service point and in the garden of our Airbnb, the snow was accumulated. We had our breakfast and we dozed off for a while. We were damn tired.

Aloo ke parathe

The river was so near to me that I couldn’t control my excitement. As soon as I woke up, I coerced netra for a stroll around the town. We Started walking along side beas river till we saw an opening in the boundary and then we sneaked in and enjoyed few moments near to holy beas river. It was pure bliss.

The place where I lost my heart

 Then we thought of going to Hidimba temple, which is built to worship the Hidima goddess, wife of Bhima from epic Mahabharta. It is a cave temple under which they worship the cave stone and diety photo.

look at the wood carving details

The temple is built in typical mountain temple style and surrounded by tall oaks tree all around. It is an easy hike from manali market around 1-2 km far and 30-40 mins normal and steep walk mixed.

Hidimba Devi Temple

Then we came back to our hotel and fixed a cab for early next morning to go solang valley. It was around 7-8 pm when we came back. Our host asked what we did all day and when he got to know that we didn’t visit the sage vashisht temple

Sage Vashisht Temple in Vashisht,Manali

and hot water springs, he volunteered to take me there (Netra didn’t come because she was tired ( lame excuse)) .

Hot water kund in vashisht

It was my first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it the hot water kunds. It relaxed my body from the tiredness I had from my trip. Other pics were NSFW so this one is here to cherish that moment.

Next morning our trip started to reach solang valley. A half hour drive took us there and we donned the thermals rented from a place near to our hotel and ventured out there to do some adventure in that beautiful land.

We jumped

We showered in snow,

throw balls at each other,

came down from a ramp without rubber tube,saw the beautiful sunset of manali and last but not the least enjoyed thoroughly.

all is well

And then we head back to catch our bus for Kasol from manali. It was a nice start of our day 2.

hello there

But Before we move there… take a look of all this visuals for manali in this video which I created with gopro6

An ode To Mumbai-city of broken dreams and constant hopes

Nothing is beautiful than Mumbai cityscape washed by fresh showers of fresh monsoon. Ain’t that true?

The clear view of city, the purity in the air, the smell of fresh shower , everything sets up a constant delight in our mind. Nevertheless, I have compiled some of the other moods of this Colorful Mumbai as a photoblog in this post. Feel free to cherish it and let me know which one do you like the most.

From some thousand feet, it feels like a foggy New York during breaking dawn hours.
Belongs to the dusky reminiscence of old British era
Lighting up some of the heritage sites while the bloodlines keep the city alive and kicking.
Holding up the heads high through the night amidst the monsoon clouds
Blessed by the god whom people welcome every year by opening their heart
Binding the sea by linking it through one of the engineering marvels.
For the love of twilight twinkling lights
The place of the brightest Diwali celebration in India
Listening to the live tweets while playing with the morning sand.
Connecting the classes since its inception