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295 Kms from Bahraich
Best time to visit - N/
One of the most colourful and indiscreet cities of India, Varanasi is one of the seven holiest cities for the Hindus. Also known as Kashi and Benaras, this place is known for its temples, ghats and the colourful people. The narrow alleys and crowded streets seem to be extremely blissful in spite of all the noise and chaos all around. People come here just to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. Varanasi is also known as Uttar Kashi and is situated on the western banks of the Ganges. It is said that a dip in this river frees one from a lifetime of sins. People even say that death here is auspicious as people attain moksha if they die here. Some people also come here tp creamate their loved ones and the sound of the holy temple bells are really soothing music to the ears.Read More
• Purity of Kumbh Mela in VaranasiTime to Visit; the time depends on astrologyThe sacred land of Varanasi experiences the maximum footfall during the Kumbh Mela. This is the major festival in North India that is celebrated once in a period of 3 years, where Hindu devotees bathe in holy water. Feel the spiritual vibes and observe the beauty of the Ghats during the evening when the bright Dias fills the environment with sanity. The tour to Varanasi during Kumbh can be the most mesmerizing experience. Places to see
There truly isn't a better place to celebrate Diwali than Varanasi. With constant chants to calm your soul, Varanasi's ghats pulse with glowing diyas on Dev Deepavali and it is believed that even the Gods arrive here on this day for a dip in the Ganga. Thousands of clay lamps glitter on the city’s 84 ghats, with the spectacular daily Ganga aarti. It is an experience that is at once spectacular, overwhelming and unforgettable.Photography Tip: While diyas are relatively easy to shoot, get creative with your composition. It's not necessary to always shoot the diyas from the top or frame them in the centre. A great alternative to that is to shoot with the camera kept at the same level as that of the flame.
It was my friend's wedding for which I was going to Varanasi and was too excited to explore the city of ghats, narrow streets, crazy crowds, and to taste the food of varanasi that to by my own. I reached Varanasi at around 5 PM in the evening as my train got delayed by around 6 hours due to foggy weather.After reaching my friend's home and getting some special treatment from the groom's family I got ready as baraat was about to leave. After dancing alot in baraat and enjoying the delicious dinner of wedding I was there enjoying the wedding ceremony with the whole family. I left for friend's home around 3 am in morning as I need to explore Varanasi in the morning.
Not to forget that Varanasi is one of the most culturally sensitive towns in the nation; screening people by religions across most religiously auspicious ghats. Also, it is advisable not to use photography at cremation ghats, especially Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat and the other cremation ghats.
Varanasi, or Benaras, is a spiritual escapade. Rightly considered as one of the most colourful places on earth, the spellbinding beauty of this city will imbibe in you a sense of wonder. Take a dip in the holy Ganges to wash away your sins and experience a transcending aarti on the ghats. Varanasi is magical and will leave you with a sense of peace.
One fine morning when I woke up , I found cool breeze touched my face . It seems last night rain made the weather pleasant, so I thought to enjoy it . Then I discussed with my family decided to visit two beautiful waterfalls in chakiya region of varanasi which is around 70 km from varanasi.We started making preparations and making arrangements to carry lunch and snacks for the trip. We started at 10:00 AM from our home and took the NH19 and then SH 37 . The road from national highway to state highway is really scenic , The field on both sides were like Green carpet is rolled on both sides laden with freshly sown Paddy saplings.
The train was 1 hour late. Not bad for the month of March 2017. To make it a perfect backpack trip, I didn't book any hotel but an amazing hostel chain for backpackers, Zostel. The beautiful graffiti on the walls will definitely make you gaze those and imbibe a strong positive vibe. Don't forget to make new friends at Zostel. You are bound to find like-minded travel enthusiasts along the way.We were hungry and the caretaker suggested us a street shop for kachauri and sabzi. Coming from Kolkata, we jumped at the idea of street food. It was hardly a 4-5 minutes walk and kachauri-sabzi was simply mouth watering. We decided to eat our breakfast there on Sunday as well.We wandered on the narrow lanes and felt the warmth and charm of the old city. Its an art to walk on those lanes without bumping into another person or crushing the tail of a cow. People were busy in their daily lives and I was beguiled. Oldness has its own pristine charm. My cousin gestured using his head, tilting little right, raising both the eyebrows if I would accompany him in eating garam jalebi. 'Of course, Yes!!'We went to the museum of BHU and saw the hugeness of the campus around and afterwards took a boat ride on the Ganges. It showed us most of the ghats. Being a bong, it was important for us identify and locate the ghat from the movie 'Joi Baba Felunath'. It was Munshi Ghat. Oh! what a delight it was to see that ghat. It was a sheer joy. We felt as if we were the characters from that movie. We quizzed each other on the story and characters of the movie. My cousinwon! By sundown, we were closer to Dasashwamedh Ghat for Ganga aarti, an elaborate experience. Everyone around us chanted mantras.After an entire day's wandering and exhaustion, we started to wander again! This time it was almost 8 pm now. Our caretaker from Zostel again recommended us to try flavoured lassi from Blue Lassi shop. Never-ending walk through the twisted-curvy narrow lanes, we landed in a 15ft by 8ft shop. Just name a flavour and you'd get it. They do not prepare it using any mixer grinder, only hands! And if you love the lassi, don't forget to paste your pic with a message on the wall.
Mark Twain has said - "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together!"Burning Ghats in contrast to the glittering Ghats, Ghats which are an irony! The Ghats and river Ganga are here since forever, even before mankind. The place might have many names- Kashi, Benares, and Varanasi but there is one soul, a soul difficult to understand, easy to connect, positive vibes to breathe from and a collective feeling to cherish forever."The city illumines truth and reveals reality. It does not bring new wonders into the scope of vision, but enables one to see what is already there. Where this eternal light intersects the earth, it is known as Kashi" – said by Diana L. EckPeople are the streetscape here at Varanasi! They add beauty to the ageing buildings, dilapidated structures, and cramped lanes! Like a typically unplanned sprawling Indian city, Varanasi attracts attention mainly due to the Aarti at Ganga Ghats. In a span of 5 days in Varanasi, I witnessed the Ghats thrice which to me were still less. I wish I could visit more.Epic Cycle Rickshaw Ride & witnessing the Magnificant Ganga Aarti from far for the first time.I was excited to take a ride in the highly glorified Cycle Rickshaw of Varanasi and the ride was really epic. It was thrilling to see bikes, cars, buses and cows all trying patiently to find their way towards their destination.[Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. The city has 88 Ghats , Most of the Ghats are bathing and Puja ceremony Ghats, while a few are used exclusively as cremation sites.Most Varanasi Ghats were built after 1700 AD, when the city was part of Maratha Empire, The patrons of current Ghats are Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwes (Peshwas). Many Ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while many Ghats are privately owned. In Hindu traditions, cremation is one of the rites of passage and the Ghats of Varanasi are considered one of the auspicious locations for this ritual. At the time of the cremation or "last rites", a "Puja" (prayer) is performed. Hymns and mantras are recited during cremation to mark the ritual. The Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats are dedicated to the cremation ritual. (Wiki)]The evening Aarti starts at 7:00 pm at Dashaswamedha Ghat, so we managed to do a small ride before that and anchored by 7alongside the Ganga Ghat to witnes the magnificent Ganga Aarti. One can see the pyres burning throughout the days and nights at Manikaran & Harishchadra Ghats.Our Boat being way too big, we couldn’t see the Puja from up close. Aarti is carried out in various stages - Aarti with incense, Incense smoke, Aarti with tiered lamps. A group of priests daily perform Aartis here to worship to Fire wherein a dedication is made to Lord Shiva, River Ganges, Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the whole universe.After the morning visits to Sarnath, Dharmarajika Stupa from the pre-Ashokan Era, Ashoka pillar, the Ganga Ghat evening visit was difficult to understand. Mostly ruins & silent prayer places at Sarnath, we were struck by Paradox already![Morning Raag] at River Ganga.Ganga was silently flowing and the few Ghats were starting to wake up, it felt as if everyone was waiting for the sun to peep out of his cozy blanket of clouds. The sun rose slowly changing the color from blue to an orangish shade. As mere spectators we couldn't do much, just experience everything around. Singer Bhonu emerged from one of the boat with a melodious morning Raag, Bhonu is well known in the Ghat as someone who gives melodious unplugged versions to the morning spectators. The sound of water crashing coz of the oars gave the Raag its perfect beat. His voice still rings in my ear. There were people bathing on the Ghats, fires were still smoldering and a slight mist over Ganga.Elahi ! It was one blissful ride; it was one of those morning rays which make you feel one with universe! I have inhaled them and I know how it feels!Dreamers are the moon gazers and believers the sun gazers. That soulful experience to watch sun rise, it gave way to dreams, belief, assurance, a chance and everything you have dreamt of in the previous night. Squinting through the light, you start believing in freedom, you start understanding the language of earth and everything to do with the dreams. As someone has said you discover the great longing of life to hold and be held.The wow factor was spoting "The leaning temple of varanasi" (Just like leaning tower of Pisa) It is hard to miss this, famously and largely photographed Ratneshwar Mahadev temple. They say it is believed to be 400-500 years old. The leaning is probably a fault in foundation or the silt, but of course there are legends involved.A chance meeting with our early morning rickshaw guy helped us in discovering a small town Lallapura & the authentic small silk factories. We witnessed some of the best handloom work of Varanasi.During the day we visited the house of India’s 2nd Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri at Ramnagar. The caretaker narrated few mind boggling stories while we roamed around this typical rural house with pride. We left the place with a heartwarming & a happy feeling.Ganga Aarti few feet awayLeaving my fellow companions who were shopping I headed straight to the Ganga Ghat to witness the Aarti from close. It was an awesome feeling to see the same from just 10 feet away. Delightfully dressed priests performed the Aarti, the sound of ringing bells, the fragrance all around, floating diyas & the cool breeze I will never ever forget in my life. Witnessing such things makes you believe in the power of positive energy, believe in the power of a prayer, believe in the power of a mother, and believe in the power of the universe.The trip ended with these extraordinary vibes this place gave in, the intense experience I will carry it with me when I depart. I feel happy and blessed that I could witness the most colorful, picturesque, mysterious, progressive and regressive, ancient and modern city in my little life!“It is so difficult, this thing to be on fire and still somehow be at peace! Be filled with wonder and still be touched by peace! Live in the moment and forever still be at peace!” – Gauri ArgadeAll hail to the universe!For video compilation of the trip click – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh54rMYnn78&t=3s
120 Kms from Bahraich
Lucknow or the City of Nawabs sitting on the banks of the Gomti river, is regarded as North India’s cultural capital. Uttar Pradesh’s capital, Lucknow is replete with historical elements dating back to the colonial era that are known over the world for their Awadhi-style architecture. But Lucknow’s ethos lies in its delectable cuisine and its unique Chikankaari (shadow-work embroidery) garments that are must-buys if you are in the city. Lucknow is also known for its sweeping gardens and pure Kathak dance-forms that are showcased in numerous events held across the city. The city is also thriving with a lovely Urdu poetry scene. The ginormous tomb complex of Bara Imambara is home to a stunning labyrinth and neighboured by the equally popular mausoleum of Chhota Imambara, the Husainabad clock tower and a fantastic art gallery. And while in Lucknow, feast on its delightful assortment of Awadhi and Mughlai food that comprises of everything from kebabs to the makhan malai (a saffron-flavoured local ice-cream). Read More
From Agra, leave for the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. A foodie's paradise, Lucknow is known for the world-renowned tunday kebabs. But there's much more to explore in this underrated city. Buildings reminiscent of the British Raj, mausoleums, and a bhool bhulaiya (maze) to get lost in this city, make it a fun place to visit.
The journey from Bhairahawa to Lucknow marked the final leg of TON 2017. After crossing the border (which happened surprisingly quick), we traversed 360 km of Indian highways through Gorakhpur and Faizabad to arrive at Lucknow. There was celebratory ceremony marking the conclusion of this epic journey. Receiving certificates of completion made the riders ecstatic and emotional which was evident in farewell addresses by fellow mates and crew members.
The Nepal journey began from Lucknow at the Golden Tulip Hotel. It felt like déjà vu entering the hotel lobby, seeing the riders wait with their riding gear and luggage with curiousity and high hopes in their eyes. Some of the people from the Bhutan team were back again for this one and I could completely understand the excitement in their hearts as we caught up and discussed old episodes.The highlight of the team this time were the 4 female riders who had joined us from Bangalore and Aurangabad. They seemed confident, experienced and ready for the challenging ride with all their charm.Day zero was First aid training by Tarun (Rashtriya Life Saving Society) followed by tour brief by Shawn Dsouza and Rohan Pimpley (RE team) with a thorough Q&A session breaking the ice and setting the tone right for the team to kickstart the journey next day.
We started from Lucknow, aka The City of Nawabs & reached Gaya Junction, the nearest railway station to Bodhgaya after a twelve-hour journey by train. Without any delay, we took an auto-rickshaw to Bodhgaya that is around 17 km away. You can find a number of transport facilities to go Bodhgaya from Gaya Junction.Where to Stay –
Lucknow, also known as the city of Nawabs has developed over the years but hasn't lost its rich cultural heritage. The city is divided into two parts the old city and the new city . The old city primarily consists of the Imambaras (shrines), the monuments, the very famous tundey kababs. The new city has the malls and the parks. There is a startling difference between the two, the new city is cleaner , better roads and it's easier to get a mode of transportation, whereas the old city is dusty and the main mode of transportation is cycle rickshaw, electric rickshaw and shared autos, however, it has most of the places that are worth seeing.
The flight reached Lucknow at 8:25 a.m. At the airport we took the taxi for 250 rs. At the prepaid counter it was told 300 rs. You can bargain for around 200. We reached the railway station to pick up our bikes by 9:30 a.m. but the counter at the railway station opens only by 10-10:30.We paid 550 to the guy as a bribe though the actual amount is 350 for 24 hours. Checklist: A swiss knife to remove packing from bikes else you will have to pay someone to remove the packing. 5 liter empty can as bikes won't have petrol while packed and transported and in case the petrol pump is far A good cloth actually multiple number of clothes to clean bikes. A right turn from the railway station and around 3-4 km you can find a petrol pump. Our route of 324 km which we planned for this day was Lucknow -> Faizabad -> Basti-> Bhairwah->Saunali Here we took the diversion to Naugarh instead of going to Gorakhpur. Unfortunately, this route was very deserted and roads were pretty bad. We kept riding till evening and late in the night at 12 a.m. #Stay Some people suggested us Sanju lodge but we were so tired that we took the first lodge we found named Niranjana.
267 Kms from Bahraich
Day 4, PokharaHeading to Pokhara with 7 hours Journey in the afternoon from Nagarkot, it was really long journey but also worth to see the sight seeing along the road way to Pokhara, we reach there in the evening, our Hotel near the Phewa Lake.. Cant see to much in evening...but we really exciting to wake up very early morning as we are planning to discover Phokara and the lake...And... this is what we saw in the early 5.30 am from outside our the Hotel after 15 minutes walk heading to the street..
The following morning we headed back to Pokhara taking the same route. Morning showers turned the route slushy making the descent more challenging than initially thought. Moving ahead, the riders literally stopped and kissed the road as we hit leveled tarmac after 3 days. It had been quite a spell.
After a hail storm the previous night, we woke up to a rainy morning all set to ride out to Pokhara. After a quick briefing about risky terrains, we rode in moderate showers through extremely slushy roads out of Kathmandu. The condition of roads improved as the skies cleared. Munching miles through the twists and turns, we rode through the serene valley along the Trishuli River.
Day 5 was my day of facing my fear. My fear of heights. It had rained very hard the whole of last night so we received a message from the paragliding company that they might have to cancel the flight. Secretly I was very happy about it. I registered but it didn't come through because of the weather. Yes, no one could blame me now for being a wimp but then things panned out differently. We went to the paragliding office at the designated time and they said the weather condition has improved so the flight is on. Damn! My heart drowned. I put up a brave face and hopped on to the car with a few other passengers and the pilots. Once we reached atop the valley (from where we had to take off) we were informed that we will be given enough time to prepare ourselves mentally however my pilot (Patrick from France) decided that we will be the first ones to jump as the wind was strong and the weather could get worse so he didn't want to waste any time and started preparing for the jump. I froze. Patrick started harnessing me and asked me to run as fast as possible when we hit the edge of the valley. I literally froze at the edge but it was too late by then. I was pushed by my pilot and within the next five seconds I was flying with the birds in the middle of that ravishingly green valley. I felt liberated. I felt happy. I was so numb with happiness that I couldn't react. I just surrendered myself to that moment of unbelievable happiness.
Day 4 we headed to Pokhara, almost six hours bus ride from Kathmandu. This place boasts of laid-back charm but it turned out to be a haven of adventures and misadventures for us. First of all, we got lost while locating our tiny hotel. Post that we headed out for a walk, lots of shopping and of course some dinner and drinks. We were doing good so far but some live music in a corner took us to a pub nearby and we walked there, ordered a few drinks but soon realised that the pop music was not our scene. Oh by the way, I registered myself for paragliding (yes, that was the big surprise). So yes, we exited the pub and started walking back to our hotel but soon the weather threw a big shock. It started pouring, so heavily that we had to take shelter. No restaurant visibly open at that hour, we started running faster but the rain was so heavy we could barely manage to walk. We had to pause. We looked around and found a small restaurant that was still open however we didn't know how to get there so we hopped from one balcony to the other to reach their balcony. We knocked on their door and were greeted by rather surprised but very welcoming restaurant helpers who were on the verge of shutting down the restaurant. We were literally shivering from that rain water exposure and they were kind enough to offer us a drink. They even decided to escort us to our hotel under the huge umbrella (the one that we see outside a hotel balcony).
We felt relief after taking the bags off, freshen up and went for the walk around lakeside. We enjoyed lakeside music along with the tasty food including Thakali rice as dinner. As we were to move to Dhampus early tomorrow, we returned back to the hotel on time and it was already the bed time. I wished ' good night' with the silent desire of getting beautiful window view of Mount Fishtail, tomorrow morning.RAIN, RAIN AND RAINAs I woke up in the morning at around 7:00 with the sound of thunderstorm, my wish to see the mountains went in vain. All I can see was clouds and rain. We waited for few hours but there were no symptoms of minimizing it rather it was going heavy. As Bikash had some work in the Internet, we left the hotel room and went to the nearby cyber café. He took some time to finish his work, as we stayed there watching the rain. We had no chance to move as planned, we didn't even have raincoats to cover us as well as our backpacks. And another bad thing - similar weather was on the forecast at least till the afternoon. It was frustrating time till. Despite all frustrations we had lunch on time, came back to room and slept more.
The bike ride to Pokhara is somewhat easy one during the daytime but it's quite challenging during night. Because of the varying terrain, the road condition also varied in different sections. Our ride was pleasant except for few places. During the ride we once stopped in the roadside café to have tea and few times in the middle of nowhere due to the insects over the highway, which loves to come closer to the eyes and once it enter to the eyes, you have to stop everything, relax and remove it.
After darshan at the temple we took lunch and done little shopping as a sovereign and get back to the hotel by trolly. We pick our luggage and leave for Pokhra- a city famous for it's night life. On the way to Pokhra we took some stops in between like Davis Fall-a Swiss couple Davi went swimming but the woman drowned in a pit because of the overflow. Her body was recovered 3 days later in river Phusre with great effort. Her father wished to name it "Davi's falls" after her. After that we move to Mahendra's cave. This deep cave includes Shivling, Ganpati idol etc etc then go to Phewa lake . Here we took boat ride . This lake is 20 Mtrs deep and we all scared when there was totally black all around but it was thrilling as well as amazing boat ride. After that we reached Pokhra city nearly 9 PM and took the room in the hotel for overnight stay. Then we explore the market and took dinner in the restaurant & met with some foreigners & back to the hotel for overnight stay.
After Breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Bindya Basini Temple and the Gupteshwar Cave, considered the longest cave in Nepal where the Shiva Lingam is preserved. Finally visit the Davis Falls and Seti River George, a fascinating waterfall locally known as the Patale Chhango (Nether Fall), which means Underworld Waterfall.
315 Kms from Bahraich
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,October,November
Located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Nainital is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Northern India. The stunning Nainital lake is bang in the middle of the city and offers tourists stunning sunsets and enchanting sunrises. One legend says that Nainital derives its name from the Goddess Naina, whereas another legend claims that once when the Goddess Sati was being carried by Lord Shiva, her eye fell in the area. The lovely hill station promises a rejuvenating weekend break for those who are coming from the capital city and is definitely worth a visit. Like most hill stations, Nainital has a bustling mall road, warm cafes and a very busy Tibet market. The mall road houses shops selling candles with intricate designs, wooden knick knacks and colourful woollens. Do bring back some souvenirs as keepsakes! If you have time, do visit Sattal, Naukuchiatal (for paragliding and kayaking) as well as Ranikhet for its surreal beauty. If you are looking for a quiet, carefree holiday, visit between the months of January and April. It'll be cold, but there won't be any crowd.Read More
2. The multi-cuisinesBeing the major tourist destination, Nainital is the perfect spot for food. Get the taste of authentic Pahadi food, the exotic Italian and Chinese cuisines too. Momos and Thukpas come under the famous food in Nainital, that you can get from any eatery. But don’t forget to taste the traditional sweet, the Bal Meethai. The soft and chocolaty sweet is famous in the entire Kumaun region. Don't forget to visit the Maggie point.
Day 12We took a walk a around the lake. Then took Rope Way to Snow view point, but could not see anything from there for fog. Then we went to Cave gardens, but cave were all closed for rain. By afternoon we started for Agra.
Day 11We came to Nainital in morning. After some walk beside the lake we found a hotel. But rain started, which mostly ruined rest of the day. At night I took a walk in the city. City looked quite great at night with the lake and all the lights over hills.
The tiny little town established by the British around the Naini Jheel- Nainital has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations of Uttarakhand.We've all reveled in the vibrance of this quaint town, so much so, that most travelers return to Nainital every holiday season! Adding yet another feather to its cap, Nainital is now home to a first of its kind concept holiday resort, Abbotsford 1876. No longer do you need to jostle with the crowds on the Mall Road or trudge from hotel to hotel to find a quiet room; you can simply drive right up and stay in absolute luxury at Abbotsford and enjoy Kumaon in its pristine natural beauty. The Victorian settings and the breathtaking view will make you feel that Abbotsford is the Downton Abbey of India!ABBOTSFORD 1876
Day 5: Ride back to Delhi to catch our flight back home.
My favourite although was Naukuchiatal as it was a quiet and serene lake nestled in the surrounding green hills with variety of bird life.We also enjoyed a boat ride here instead of the more popular Naini lake of NainitalBy evening we returned back to our room and called it a day.
Day 2: Morning started with the majestic view of Himalayas from the room itself. Slowly we pulled ourselves out from the comfort of the room to experience the chill outside and the morning fresh air. After breakfast we moved towards Nainital. Checked into a holiday home and just spent the day at leisure , visiting the Naini Devi temple, roaming around in the mall road in the evening and savoring hot momos and thukpas and finally retiring to our room.
Not on the regular tourist hot spot list.This church is one of the earliest buildings constructed in Nainital. The church was built in 1852. Located around a kilometre from the Naina Devi Temple, close to the High Court, this Anglican Church stands as an evidence of Nainital's history and culture and a reminder of era gone by.The foundation of the church was laid by Rev. Daniel Wilson, the fifth Bishop of Calcutta (now Kolkata) and the first Metropolitan of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), who visited Nainital in 1844. During his visit he was forced to stay in an unfinished house situated on the edge of the forest due to his illness. Rev. Wilson had been an assistant curator at St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, Bloomsbury. From his memories of Bedford and his stay in wilderness came the name St. John's Wilderness Church.The church is often confused with another church (more popular) of the same name located in the forests of Forsyth Ganj below Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh. Lord Elgin, the British Viceroy of India (1862-63) who died in 1863 lays buried in the Church Cemetery, after all this was his favourite location. His wife Lady Elgin had donated Belgian Glass windows to the church. The church survived Kangra earthquake of 1880 with some damages.Coming back to the Nainital church, the church is enclosed among Pine/Deodar trees (this entire area was Pine Forest area) and one can still see huge pine trees all around. St. John's parsonage has a Church, Cemetery (one of the oldest in Nainital) and a school which has grown from being a small kindergarten school (in 1970's).The church is made in Gothic style, one can still see water spouting Gargoyles (rain water drains) on the roof. The artistic windows have most of the glasses broken, the ancient wooden pews, all these still carry the old world charm. Services are held in the church on Sundays and other Christian event days. The church earlier had a very unusual feature that of a gun rack close by the door-members of the congregation encountered wild life on their way to the service and thus required something for their protection, sometimes used for hunting occasional deer etc. too. This rack is no longer there.For pictures of this beautiful location click here Nainital saw a major landslide in the year 1880 (the same which led to the formation of the Nainital Flat). The church contains a brass memorial dedicated to the victims of the landslide. Bodies of few of the Christian victims are buried in the cemetery.The church is a peaceful haven, it is not much visited by the tourists. In fact most of the local taxi operators would show their ignorance about this church, they would try and push you towards more popular destinations, some of them would tell you about the St. Francis Church (on the Mall road). Inform them about the church near High Court and they would bring you here, but would still show ignorance about the name.Must visit destination for all those who want experience an era gone by, all those who still want to experience the feel of wilderness.St. John's Church Picture Gallery. How to reach: Location Map
242 Kms from Bahraich
Best time to visit - January,February,March,December
Allahabad enjoys the prestige of being one of the four holiest spots of India and thus host Maha Kumbh in every 12 years, Ardh Kumbh in every 6 years and Magh Mela once a year. The fact that it encompasses the confluence of the most sacred rivers of India- Ganga and Yamuna makes it all the more special. It has its own culture of religious and literary overtones. You not only find a number of famous temples around the city of Allahabad but also places of historical significance like Anand Bhawan having produced 5 consecutive generations of able politicians of the nation, Akbar’s fort built following the common Mughal tradition of fort construction by riverside, Khusro Bagh housing some other Mughal remains. One can't miss the famous Allahabad museum! You could take with you, religious paraphernalia, books on local literature and vintage handicrafts as mementos of the lovely city. From taking a dip in its holy waters , to enjoying a boat ride in Prayag, from throwing away coins to pay visit to Patalpuri temple, to roaming in Mughal era monuments, there are certain things unique to the city!Read More
As I commence this blog I tend to wonder how am I going to put an end to it. The experience of this Excursion is so vast and Mystical that it gives complex to our minuscule lives. I'd never seen such an ebullient environment in my life and it is officially stated as the largest human gathering in the world. People perform bizarre acts in the name of Religion, which they certify as Religious devotion, which to me is amusing and absurd. But then- my thoughts are of an individual! Although it does seem that my tasks to accomplish are in process. My Reincarnation in this lifetime as a Hindu has led me to this festival called the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 at Allahabad! I felt blessed because to Hindus this event is imperative. I mentioned about my lecturer from "Delhi School of Photography" Mr. Jotirmoy Das in my First blog and his persuasive nature. After the two trips I took with him I was sure of him to baffle everyone, so much that it has evolved into a talent from his nature and somehow I'm enthralled by it now. But when he spoke to me about this Photography Jaunt the tone was different. It was so genuine as if the Head of a Religious Community defined Proclivity for Religion. And when you are at a start of your creative career every prospect seems enticing even if you have to click pictures or write an article amidst a Dunghill. With his sincere coaxing I agreed and when he told me that I have to board the train from Old Delhi Railway Station, the thought of going there was repugnant to me. But being a natural traveller that I'm there's always adrenaline that gets me going and I love to challenge comfort sometimes. When I reached the Rusty Red most crucial Station of the country I wonder where People come from, there are so many of them that anyone will think of it as a whole universe instead of a railway station. At the station I met Mr. Das along with Mr. Deepak Virmani , the owner of Delhi School Of Photography and 3 American Educators teaching at The American School, New-Delhi and Mr.Vijay. All of us being Travel & Photography enthusiasts out to explore an overwhelming event seemed nonetheless than National Geographic employees. The moment I heard that my ticket is unconfirmed I was infuriated and couldn't help with an outburst of profanity. I agree that I have a habit to condemn my country because of poor Infrastructure, Government and much more. But I have decided that this habit shall soon stop. Mr. Das told me to just board the train with no doubt assuring me that he would take care of it and I must say with his glib talking to the Ticket Checker I was stunned. It took no time to settle the adverse situation. The train Journey was marvelous probably because of the company that I had, The Americans with us were engrossed in playing board games such as chess and some mathematical game which was out my league but I did try my best to play and compete despite being a mathematical illiterate. The mobile network was atrocious in the train hence I couldn't speak with my girlfriend who now happens to be an ex-girlfriend, she had to mail me a goodnight message hoping I will get it by the time I reach Allahabad and I was a young man who was in love and just a message could put me to sleep and so it did indeed a tranquil sleep. I opened my eyes to the beautiful light of Allahabad's dawn and saw millions of people scattered throughout the city with a firm belief to take a dip in the living goddesses river called The Ganga or Ganges to wash away their sins or rather as they say 'It's a direct entry to heaven sir'. The campsite, our abode for the next couple of days was about an hour and half away from the railway station. For the next five days we lived like Gypsies in tents, there were people from all over the Globe. It was a land of hash, everyone just smoked joints & chillums, from sadhus to tourists. I hardly inhaled any fresh air instead it was so much hash that I myself felt like a passive charras smoking sadhu. The sadhus have a quaint way of expressing their devotion towards religion. Some of them have sacrificed their arms by keeping it in air and not cutting their nails, some sadhus tie a rope to their testicles and lift up seventy kilos of bricks; one particular sadhu applied the same procedure but tied it to pull a car with people in it. They call these acts 'Yoga' to suppress their sexual desire. Some haven't slept in a decade and just been standing. Men who aspire to become sadhus have to give up all contact with their families and become a devotee to a Guru and get their heads shaved. I was unaware that there is even a criterion for the path to spirituality. The methodology for God's creation of the Universe should be un- equivocal, God has sent each of us on earth as per our karmic deeds from our past lives. Although I don't hold any special rights to say this or to impart the limited knowledge I have but I just say what God has made me feel. We all our God's children, in-fact God is our only parent, we live our lives according to how they want us to live. To me sacrificing things to the extent sadhus do is not necessary, we could just practice the art of simplicity and be good human beings, love each other and do what we love and that's how God will be with us constantly. I'm not saying that these sadhus are wrong; after all it is their personal belief and maybe God wants them to be this way. But just looking at them was an adventure. Their dedication was inspiring that I could stay there for some more days and just contemplate them, but even they would have left. We all depart for our cocooned shelters eventually. I want to share some important information. The Maha- Kumbh Mela happens every 12 years, specifically when the planets Sun, Moon and Jupiter are in a particular alignment. The entire set up of Mela was constructed before the event, so it was a temporary arrangement, but it was so large that it could be seen from space. And the Legend says it that the rivers Ganga and Yamuna met they together met the river Saraswati and that is when the battle between gods and demons occurred and hence the drop of immortality nectar was spilled. I don't know if I learnt something from this trip, but being there made me feel as if God told me that people listen to him because God hears us all when we talk to them, And we all shall appreciate and have gratitude for the beautiful life we have.
3. PrayagTHEN: Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman crossed the river Ganga from here to go beyond their kingdom. The trio spent some time at the Ashram of Sage Bharadwaj here, before travelling ahead.
199 Kms from Bahraich
315 Kms from Bahraich
Best time to visit - March,April,May,August,September,October,November
A small cantonment town in the scenic Kumaon Valley, a visit here will not leave any history buff disappointed. Its renowned and ancient Katermal Sun Temple and Jageshwar Temples, including the Archaeological Museum, offer an insight into its quaint scriptures. Spots such as Zero Point here are perfect for enjoying a splendid view of the Himalayas. Catering to every adventure seeker's interests, many resorts and travel companies also organise treks to Pindari and Milam glaciers and also mountain-bike trips around the hills of Almora. Another attraction here is the Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum, dedicated to military mementos weapons, especially the decorated Indian Infantry regiment, Kumaon Regiment. One can also visit Lal Bazaar, adorned with sophisticatedly-carved traditional wooden shops from where one can shop for a variety of things. Places such as Kasar Rainbow Cafe, Baba Cake, Glory Restaurant and Bansal Cafe are known non-vegetarian, vegetarian and bistro dishes. Don't forget to try the various kinds of milk sweets here – bal mithai, choklate (not chocolate) with a fudge-like consistency and singauri, a sweet wrapped in a green Malu leaf.Read More
Almora is located at a distance of 85 km from Haldwani. Being directly connected to the major city as Delhi, you can reach Haldwani via train or bus and then hire a taxi. Direct buses are also available from Delhi and Haldwani and even Almora. There are lot many options as Almora has a good network of roads to commute.
The next morning we were finally able to relish the beauty that is Khati village. We had our morning tea while enjoying the panoramic scenery of the village. Had we not been broke we would have definitely spent another day in Khati or trekked further to Dhakuri Top. Alas, our finances got the better us. After breakfast we trekked back another 5 km to Kharkiya. We took a jeep to Bageshwar. After a small lunch at Bageshwar we took a taxi to Almora. The journey back made us forget the silly fight & it dawned on us that we had just completed our first solo trek. It was a proud moment for us. We soaked it in & started chatting again like nothing had ever happened. This is is beauty of old friends. There is so much space for forgiveness & compassion. We reached Almora by sundown & had a hot shower the moment we entered my house.It was a trip that hooked me & made me a trekker for life. Little did i know that this maiden trek would start a hobby that would eventually become a yearly thing. I urge you all to taste the pleasure of solitude & scenery that Pindari has to offer, albeit with a better attitude than mine.Feel free to hit me in the comments section for more info. Cheers!
Our trek began from Almora (1650 mt) , my hometown, around 1 pm as we headed to Bageshwar for the night. The plan was to spend the night in the K.M.V.N (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd) rest house & start the trek the following day. Its a 3 hr drive from Almora to Bageshwar covering around 75 km. We managed to reach Bageshwar around 4 pm & headed straight to the K.M.V.N guest house. There we spoke with the caretaker & he advised us to take an early morning jeep to Kharkiya. Kharkiya happens to be the last motor-able point along this route from where the actual trek begins. He was kind enough to arrange a jeep for us & promised that the jeep would pick us up from the guest house itself. With the jeep booking out of the way we checked into our room. The room did not offer much in terms of amenities. There was a basic double bed, two chairs & a table. The sheets provided were not the cleanest but the loo was satisfactory. There was a geyser & we were quite happy with that. We paid around 800 for the night.After checking in we went out to explore the town of Bageshwar. Bageshwar (975 mt) is a typical non-touristy town. The usual hustle & bustle of life can be seen here. The town is not the most gifted in terms of views but having chai along the banks of the river Saryu, which runs across the valley of Bageshwar, was to our mind a good way to spend an evening,After strolling across town we picked up some Rum & ordered room service which was basic but tasty food. We chatted the evening away & shared our excitement since this was the first time we were trekking & had consciously decided to do it on our own without the help of a guide or porter.Since we were on our own our bags were on the heavier side, weighing 22 & 15 kg respectively. We could not split the weight equally due to one bag being smaller than the other. The contents of the bags were food packets, rum, warm winter wear, water bottles, medicine box, rope, batteries, torch, headlamp, mobile phones, power banks, cameras, tent, sleeping bags, rain covers etc. Also, I was not carrying the most comfortable and light-weight clothing. I had not spent on light-weight gear at all & instead was carrying normal trousers, cotton t-shirts, heavy puff jacket, waterproof running jacket, and a passable back-pack. Now, one key advise to anyone going on their first trek is to never wear cotton shirts while trekking. I was stupid enough to wear them along with a cotton vest. The end result was that both the t-shirt & the vest absorbed my sweat & turned very hard & left permanent marks on my back as the weight of the 22 kg back-pack pushed them down & thus bruised my skin. This one little mistake caused me immense discomfort & was probably the one lesson I will never forget. Do not wear a cotton vest while trekking & invest in good quality quick dry t-shirts.We slept by 11 pm that night since the day was going to start quite early.
The next morning we had a quick breakfast & left for Almora at 9:30 am. The ride was beautiful with the sun stroked pine trees & the Kosi river popping up at several places.We reached Almora by 1:30 pm & thus concluded our week long adventure to Roopkund & back. Words & pictures cant describe what it means. I urge you all to go and see it for yourself. If you need any more information feel free to hit me in the comments section.
We started the journey from my hometown Almora, on the 2nd of October. Post breakfast we pushed for Lohargunj, the base camp, at 1:30 pm. It was a 5 hour journey of roughly 140 km & since we were driving ourselves, we were able to visit the Baijnath Temple that is on the way to Lohargunj. It is a magnificent 800 year old temple complex that gives you a taste of the ancient stone architecture of Kumaon & is reminiscent of the Jageshwar temple complex. An artificial lake constructed in the early 2000's adds to the quaint nature of the temple. A dip into the waters and post a quick homemade lunch we drove further to our destination Lohargunj. Post sundown at around 7 pm, we reached Lohargunj & got a place t0 stay at a lodge close to the Forest bungalow. At the cost of around 250 per bed the accommodation was clean & adequate. After dinner we decided to repack our bags for the actual trek that was to begin tomorrow. Now, since we were doing the trek independently without a guide or cook, we had quite a bit of equipment, including, but not limited to - sleeping bags, tent, stove, cutlery, food packets, inflatable mattresses, clothes, cameras, water bladders, compass, head lamps, medicine box etc. Since I had picked up a weighing scale from home we were able to determine the weight we were carrying quite accurately. Our bags weighed 22 kg per person - which we realized later is not the most intelligent weight to be lugging around on a trek. Nonetheless, we were unfazed & extremely excited for the coming adventure.
Day 9We started from Lohajung by 8 am. Others were going to Kathgodam, we got on their van to get down in the middle at Almora. We planned this place to take some rest after long trek.In the evening we took a walk around the city. It was fun walking in a nice and calm hill station at evening. From our hotel manager we got news that Binsar was caught on fire recently, so nothing much to see there at the moment, so we had to replan our rest of the trip.
Located in the Kumaon hill ranges in Uttarakhand, Almora is a quiet, sleepy town nestled in the Himalayas. This hill town has a spiritual aura with a touch of mythology depicted in several old temples in every nook and corner, lined up with traditional markets keeping alive Almora’s rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by dense coniferous forests of pine and fir, Almora offers a spectacular view of the Himalayas. The town has a colorful essence with dolled up houses on the slopes, colorful attires and handicrafts. Almora with a laid-back attitude is the perfect destination to rejuvenate and thus one of the best places to visit in India in May.How to get there: Well-connected by roadways, buses and cars, as well as railways (Kathgodam - nearest railway station) from New Delhi and Dehradun.
Situated in the beautiful state of Uttarakhand and nestled between the vast Himalayan range, the horse-shaped hill station is perfect for a weekend of bliss. It is a sightseeing paradise which will appeal to you. The sunset point, walk through the traditional market and the nearby village of Kasar Devi can be the highlights of this trip. On this weekend getaway, you can also choose to visit the nearby Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary which makes for an amazing day trip from Almora.Delhi to Almora Distance : 364 KM (9 Hrs 10 Mins)Read More About Almora Uttarakhand Tourism Guide ...
In this world full of hectic, failure and fatigue people have forgotten a love for the place they live in. Delhi, banglore or any other mega cities are getting annihilated by the very people living in it. This picture gets totally reversed when you see a place like Almora. Almora is a small laid back town situated in the lap of mighty himalays and is my hometown. The only word that I can think of to perfectly describe this place is 'bewitching'. Every fine detail of this place is perfectly crafted to make this place feel like Rivendell. Being surrounded by the dwindling pines and old oaks, the city has a divine aura attracting many. The mighty himalays are visible almost round the year. If this heart warming picture is not enough for you, Almora give you a perfect pinch of history, ancient temples, home of chand dinesty and many other historical places are here. The people of this place are warm and kind hearted. Like any other hilly town we love to live a simple life. Many showrooms and modern joints are opening in the city but the Bazaars are still a lifeline. A thousand words are short to describe a place as royal and magestic as this but I shall leave rest for you experience. Sharing with you is my small poem about this place. Enjoy...I come from a place, Where time slows it's pace. Peaceful and calm with no one to race. The mountains here calls everyone of you. The vibrance here will always give you something new. Everything here has to offer something to life. From the rich culture to the mouth watering Bal Mithai. This place is so surreal that reality starts to cease.From Vivekanand to Gandhi, everyone got peace. There is a lot of say , but a few words left. Describing this place is not a easy quest. This place is a true blessing of God's own grace. Almora- The heaven on earth's face.
304 Kms from Bahraich
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Mukteshwar is a hill station in Uttarakhand that is popular for its wide assortment of adventure sports such as rock climbing and rappelling. Overlooking the peaks of Nanda Devi, Mukteshwar is also a celebrated scenic spot that is perfect for long walks and some quiet time in the closeness of nature. The Mukteshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a revered shrine of the region. Located near this temple is the Chauthi Jaali, which is a picturesque precipice of lattice rocks. These rocks present an enchanting view of the green grasslands down below. The Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow, which is located near the temple, offers a perfect place to relax and unwind while enjoying the scenery around. The charming landscape of the Sitla Estate here is beautiful and offers seasonal fruits such as apples, peaches and plums. Mukteshwar has limited options in terms of food, but most places offer both North Indian and Kumaoni cuisine. Popular eateries include the Nirvana Organic Kitchen and The Hideout Crimson Hills. Government tourist hotels and PWD circuit houses provide accommodation facilities.Read More
Just 3 hours away, take half a day trip to Mukteshwar from Naukuchiatal. The top most things to do -Visit Mukteshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a naturally formed shivaling inside it.A short trek to Mukteshwar peak situated 7500 ft. above sea level from the temple. Get a bird eye's view of the Shivalik ranges. View from Mukteshwar peak
"Abbey Bhai vo dekh Barf ka pahad" one of my friend screamed, like most of the guys from the plains do when they see snow covered mountains . It was 9 in the morning after a drive of 7 hrs we were about to reach Mukteshwar . '21 kms left' said the navigator, 13°C was the temperature showing in our phones. It was a perfect welcome by the mountains, the cool breeze, the panorama view of snow covered mountains
When in Nainital district, don't miss out on a visit to the scenic Mukteshwar, around 45 km away (1 hour 40 minutes). From here you can watch the sunrise above the beautiful Nanda Devi peak, or embark on a trekking expedition amidst lush trails. Mukteshwar is also popular for rock climbing and rappelling. While you're here, don't forget to visit temples such as Rajarani, Shiva and Brahmeswara Temples. Getting thereDelhi is the closest metro city to the resort and is 303.5 km away.By air: Fly from Delhi airport to Pantnagar airport (which is one hour away from Nainital). You can book a cab from here to Green Glen.By road: Several tour operators operate daily bus service from New Delhi to Nainital. Option such as air-conditioned, non-air-conditioned, sleeper and Volvo buses are available. Although some buses operate during daytime, overnight buses are more common and possibly more convenient.By rail: You can take a train from Delhi to the nearest railway station located at a distance of 34 kilometres in Kathgodam, at the foothills of the Kumaon hills. Upon reaching Kathgodam, you can take a private cab to the resort.All images are sourced from Green Glen's official website.Know of more quaint resorts perfect for a quick getaway? Help other couples plan a romantic holiday by writing about it here.
Drained from the journey and the bonfire party, we crashed around 1 am. An adventurous day lay ahead of us & it was time we stretched our backs for the first time in 20 hours.Day 2The morning after.
Mukteshwar has a pleasing mix of vegetation and scenic views. The place gets covered with apple trees during the season that not just looks good but are probably one of best pluck and eat thing.Mukteshwar gives you a clear view of the underlying which makes you feel on top of the world. The clouds seems so close you might just touch. During July and august the clouds forms a sheet below the ranges during morning, that looks heavenly. One can also spot ice covered mountain ranges early mountain which looks floating in the air.
Jim Corbett, the famous Hunter came here for shooting a Tiger and got mesmerized by its beauty. It has dense forest on one side and open Mountain View on the other. Watching Sunset while sitting on the cliff of Chauli ki Jali is something one ca cherish for years. A religious reason to visit might be the 350 year old Shiva Temple on the highest point of the town.This is just a 7 hour drive from Delhi, easily doable on a weekend. Can be considered as calmer alternative against Nainital as is on the same altitude and same distance from Delhi. Lot of staying options available here suiting everybody’s pockets.
About 25 kms from Ramgarh, is Mukteshwar, another beautiful town in the Himalayas. There is an old temple here, and on the way there are an array of adventure sport activities on offer. Ziplining, mountain climbing, rappelling, and so on. The place offers amazing views of the valley, and has a host of scenic and organic cafes and restaurants. On the way back to Ramgarh, is a place called Bhalu Gaad waterfalls. It is a 1.5 hr trek from the parking lot, and provides picturesque views of flora and fauna in the hills. Once you reach the waterfall, the beauty of the place is mesmerizing. A dip in the pond is not advised, it is freezing cold, and the depth is deceiving.The next day, our hotel guide advised a trek to Garhganchal, a 5 km trek to the top of a mountain, which has a temple. The trek is pretty steep and provides quite an exercise for the lungs. The peak of the mountain offers a breathtaking view of Bhimtal, The Sainik School, and Almora. The temple here is managed by Yogi Ranganathji, and his hospitality is simply outstanding. Tired by the trek and with the sun shining down upon us with no mercy, the Yogi offered us a refreshing cup of tea, along with dhurries to rest ourselves on, and gain energy for the trek back to the hotel.
Ramgarh lies in the proximity to some very popular hill stations like Nainital, Bhimtal, Mukteshwar, Naukuchiatal within a mile radius of 35 kms.We began our day early in the morning with a leisurely walk amid the nature and watched the sky change its color with the sunrise. The magical spell castes during the sunrise and sunset adds more charm to the place. We got back to the hotel for a warm breakfast and some rest. Later in the day, we headed to the famous orchards of the area. I suggest you to carry your own food as there might not be many options on the way. Next stop was Nathuakhan, a small hamlet where we wandered and wandered in the wilderness. We also visited Mukteshwar Dham, 350-year-old temple to Shiva in Mukteshwar.