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121 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Bangalore or Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon valley of India, will greet you with dreamy weather, Carnatic fusion m...
The preparation for a Himalayan trek started in May. It was to be me, Anoop, Sourabha, and Harsha. For Sourabha and Harsha it was to be their 1st exposure to the Himalayas. But we were at loggerheads; Sourabha wanted to go to Rupin, Anoop had his heart set at Goecha La, me and Harsha were indifferent. After much deliberations it was to be Rupin Pass. Without much adieu we booked our slots in the trek by June end, and flight tickets were booked by July. Excited we!We got all our hiking gear from our friendly neighbourhood Decathlon store. The plan was to be like this:1. We travel to Delhi early morning on 30th Sept, roam all day.2. Travel to Dehradun on 30th Sept with Nanda Devi express, and reach early morning. From Dehradun we go to Rishikesh for adventure sports, and stay there on 30th Sept and 1st Oct.3. Bungee jumping on 1st Oct and roam around Rishikesh at night and4. Do river rafting of 24 Km stretch, return to Dehradun by evening, and rendezvous with the Indiahikes trekkers on 3rd Oct morn.We had an amazing time loitering around Delhi, doing bungy jumping and river rafting in Rishikesh (described in a separate blog post).Day 1: A Long, Twisty but Serene Ride We reached Dehradun railway station at around 6:30am. Anoop and all the other trekkers were already there (sans Mahendra, Jaggi, Hrishi, and Vishwa, who went on their own the previous day). Some nice lemon tea, a group pic and we were on our way to Dhaula. 3 vehicles were carrying 16 people.
From childhood it was my dream to see and explore the mighty Himalayas. And when I got a job at Bangalore and started finding time to explore India with my friend in bike, I still had that spark inside me for Himalayas. I some how managed my unconditional love for mountains by doing small small treks to western Ghats and the near by trekking spots around Bangalore. One fine day I decided to give life to my Himalayan dream when I saw an add accidentally on net about “India hikes” a very popular trekking community. I was not sure weather to give it a try or not. The landscape, weather & so many other factors which I have no clue how to handle and also the budget was also quite expensive. I always take decisions passionately here also I did the same. I choose a moderate to hard level trek in Uttarakhand called Brahmtal summit. For first timer it is a quite hard trek still I choose that because it was the only trek that was available that time which takes us close inside the Himalayan ranges and yes I was thrilled to experience the snow capped landscape this trek gonna offer. It was in the month of Feb which is winter season in Himalayas so not many treks were open also at that time.
And then we realized that we have to get back to our normal routine. We checked out post breakfast and headed back to Bangalore. And luckily we saw few wild elephants when we were crossing the forest.All together it was like a real good cup of tea with a little masala of adventure, sweetness of leisure and a slight ginger flavour of the musical nights.Bangalore to Vythri Village Resort : 300 Km via Mysore
The science of nightlife was earlier explained in case of Hyderabad, but Bengaluru is the ultimate boss of nighclubs in the entire South India. With 5-star nightclubs everywhere to huge international bands performing there day in and out, this city is one of the very best if you're a sucker for endless parties. When it comes to the list of India nightlife, Bengaluru is no. 4 on the list.Tripoto's top 3 of the city: No Limmits Lounge and Club, i-Bar, and High Ultra Lounge.Average expenditure for two: Rs. 3,000Read more about the city.
Day5:It was the last day of our sojourn and we were up around 6 a.m. to bid adieu to the other riders. With that out of the way, we resumed our ride towards Bangalore. Everyone wanted to reach Bangalore early, so we stopped only for tea and light snacks in between. We reached Bangalore at around 4 p.m. with everyone dispersing towards their respective homes
Our ride started from Skanda Motors in Rajaji Nagar, Bengaluru. The seven of us started the journey at 8 in the morning. To shrug off the sleepiness we all had a cup of coffee in the morning. Needless to say, we were all excited and geared up for the ride. Two of the riders started from Mumbai towards Goa and 4 other riders, on their Mahindra Mojo, joined us in Goa.
Nothing like a good trip over the weekend after a long boring energy sucking week!! Not until 6:00 PM did I have the faintest idea that I will be off to Kodaikanal for the weekend. It was just a usual hot summer evening in Bangalore. I get back to my room and jump into my bed to catch my sleep. But I toss and twirl trying to find that comfort position and then I fail. I lay awake staring at the ceiling letting my mind wander at will. All I remember next was browsing Redbus for tickets. And there it was: two tickets to Kodaikanal, like it was saved for me and someone I was sure will accompany me. I called up a friend who was no less crazy than me, and booked us both a trip to kodai. Kodaikanal is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, its name translated as "Gift of the Forest" and it is indeed. I have covered hill stations in South, but Kodaikanal has a raw charm that beats all the others with its less anglicized landscapes and mist covered forests. It is less commercialised and well preserved and oddly enough with no plastic leftovers in sight.Locally known as the Princess of Hill Stations, The city is accessible by road, train or by air. The cheapest being train(Of course depending upon where you are travelling from). The nearest airports are in Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapally. Nearest railway stations are Palani (the ride uphill from Palani is beyond gorgeous), Kodaikanal Road Station and Madurai Junction. Buses run uphill at intervals taking you to Kodaikanal.We decided to take the bus from Bangalore to avoid crossovers and bought our tickets for 850 Rs (you will get it for around 600 Rs if you book three weeks ahead). We also had our room booked on Tripadvisor to avoid the hassle of looking around for rooms.It was 7:30 PM when we were done booking our rooms and with all the uncertainity of catching our bus, waddling through Bangalore's infamous traffic,we packed our bags and left.We did make it to the bus, almost missing it. And as we settled in, we realised we were in seats with no leg space. Either the bus catered only to zero sized figurines or we had missed how much our thighs had grown horizontally over the lazy week days at work. Nevertheless, we were two happy souls on our way to Kodaikanal - the land of magic mushrooms.
Catched bus the same night towards bangalore for i had to attend a 3 day conference. Tried Oyo Rooms during my stay at bangalore for 800 per night and found it to be value for money! from amenities like laundry, water, food to cleanliness, from toiletries standards to AC rooms to cozy beds to furniture used and interiors, everything was beyond my expectations!
219 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Ma...
Day zero: As this was a last minute plan, only My friend Vignesh (interested in photographing beautiful landscapes) and I (interested in wildlife photography) started this trip from Chennai. It was a long weekend (Jan 26, 27 & 28). We didn't plan the trip on these three days because we could not get tickets on 25th. So, we planned it differently like we start a day late, take a day off for office and comeback a day late. We boarded the train Kaveri Express at 9.15 pm.
So, the plan for this trip started way back in June 2017, when we decided to book a flight to Egypt(Always on top of our bucket list). As we are budget backpackers, we always want a cheap and convenient flight. For any trip plan, we decide the cities we wish to see and the number of days we have to take off from office. Finally we fixed the date Jan 26-31 ,2018 and the flight rate came to 26000 INR per head in July after Yatra Offers. So flight Ticket- Done!.After few months, The next big thing for the travel plan came to Hotel Accommodation,Visa and Forex. In December, we used Hostelworld to book accommodation in Cairo(Reserved) and Luxor(Reserved) for Visa Purposes. Our Egypt tourist Visa were processed by musafir.com. The Visa fees along with processing fees and tax came to 4350 INR per per head.Started our plan for itinerary in Jan first week, decided to stay 3 days in Cairo and 2 days in Luxor. Our Final plan looked like this:Day-126Jan 250AM chennai - 550AM Kuwait26Jan 10:00AM kuwait - 12:10Noon - cairo.. Take Metro to Rameses Station - Walk to New Palace Hostel - Check IN by 1pm..Take rest..Start at 3pm..visit Al-Azhar Mosque,Citadel of Salah El Din,Mosque of Md Ali and back to room by 8.Day-2 - Jan27Check Out - Leave Bags - Start by 7 and reach Pyramid Giza complex((khufu & Khafre) & Great Sphinx)..spend till 1pm. Reach Museum(Must visit rooms 3,4,9,35,46,56) by 2pm..spend till 5pm..back to hotel and take the bags..Get to Ramses Station by 8..get train ticket or board train 86 at 910PMDay-3 - Jan28Reach Luxor 610AM..Reach New Everest hotel at 8AM Check-In get settled and start at 9AM..Reach West Bank (All places 6AM-5PM). Ramesseum,Temples of NoblesValley of the Kings - KV62-tutakhamen,Temple of Medinat Habu,Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari. Return back to Hotel by 8Day-4 - Jan29Check Our and Leave the bags. Start by 8..visit Temple of Karnak 6AM-5PM and 4PM-9PM in the morning and Luxor Temple - 6AM-9PM - 60LE by noon..Back to Hotel by 8 and take the bags..Reach Luxor station and board train to cairo at 940PMDay-5 - Jan30Reach Cairo Rameses Station..Check In New Palace Hotel. Visit hanging church,coptic museum and saqqara pyramid, Khan el khaili if time permits in evening and return back to hotelDay-6 - Jan31Start at 8AM..visit Baron Empain Palace(must-see) Reach airport by 11AM and then back to Chennai on Feb 1, 1:30 AM.A week before our trip, we went to Maharaja Forex to get Egyptian pounds we needed. But due to limited stock and higher conversion rate(1LE=4INR) we exchanged 15000 INR to 250 USD, so that we can change it to EGP in Cairo Airport which eventually came to 4500 EGP. We also had our International credit cards covered.
So I started from Chennai on 21st night. Had booked KSRTC Rajahamsa Executive bus, which starts at 22:09. Those are quite good for ₹450. Reached CMBT by 9 on train and metro rail. Had some chana poori at the bus terminus. Found out my shoes got torn on my way, so bought a new pair of slippers from a shop inside the terminus, and dumped the old one.Bus started almost on time. Put my earphones on, for Leviathan Chronicles podcast. But have a long bike trip next day, so had to doze off early. Just to be clear though, I am not the one whose gonna drive.Day 1
Hi i am AJ Cruz (@ajcruzing)This is my ride to Munnar , Kerela .With tha people i just met that morning of the same dau we started the ride .It was an Epic JourneyLet me put this into a timeline format for you guys to catch up on it.this was DAY 1 .4AM - Woke up4:30AM - i reached the meeting point and introduced myself with the other riders .4:40AM - we took off from our meeting point in chennai after a quick chai .
1) SMS Cafe, Alwarpet
It was that moment, all cousins at one place, one topic lets take a road trip and after researching the offbeat places,the trip to Pichavaram was planned.
249 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
For a dose of south Indian culture with a side of French flavours, travel to the city of Pondicherry (also known as Pudu...
Leafy plazas, tranquil boulevards, colonial buildings, joli cafes, belle restaurants and the splendid promenade. Puducherry - A French secret gone wild!
Visit to ‘Paris of the East’Next one was a road trip to a small French town on the Coramandel coast of India which is also known as French capital of India, the place that offers serenity and sanctity in its truest sense, Pondicherry! The former French colony, this quaint little town has retained its old-world French charm. Miles apart from France, Pondicherry gives you all the feel of French culture right from the food to the architecture.We started this trip from Chennai with early morning breakfast in authentic South Indian restaurant, followed by sightseeing at Mahabalipuram (which is on the way to Pondy) and delicious lunch at the famous hotel Moonrakers (their sea food is fabulous, especially Prawns). Yes, my all trips are well complimented with the local food trail. I plan it well in advance where to have my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because you can't just compromise over the food and not exploring local delicacies is a crime.Pondy has a lot of things to offer and it is an ideal getaway for all kind of travelers. If you like the architecture, take heritage walk across the white town, visit Pondicherry Museum to discover the charm of French architecture. Beach lover? Take a walk on Rock beach anytime of the day or sunset on serenity beach or take a boat ride from Chunnambar Boat House to Paradise beach and get drawn in the beauty of this beach. If you are a foodie, then trust me, this is the best place to be in. French food in the local cafes is to die for, right from breakfast to mains and then drool over the dessert treat at Zuka Café and thank me later. And if you are looking for peace of mind, Sri Aurobindo Ashram or Auroville shall take care of that.
Stay- Good accommodation can be availed both in Pondi as well as Pondi-TN border which is approximately 2 Kms away from Rock beach. You may find some peaceful and economic Dorms in Kottakuppam and Kuilapalayam.Places to Visit – Top 4 beaches are Rock Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach and Auro beach. Sunrise at Serenity gives a perfect start to your day. Then you can head towards Rock Beach for delicious breakfast. The French Colony is exactly adjacent to Rock beach. There may be some events going on in the morning at Rock beach. Best Pubs n Cafes are all there in the French Colony. Try Ebony Truffle at Zuka Choco-laParadise Island beach provides you wide range of water sports. The journey to it is also amazing. You may choose a Ferry boat or a Speedboat. There are a couple of shacks on the beach which will serve delicious food. And yes, you will get beer, but mostly not chilled.
If you are on a budget, it’s preferable to stay in one of the guest houses maintained brilliantly by the Aurobindo Ashram Trust. You can book any guest house from their main office, which lies at the heart of the city, the Bureau Central. I will recommend you to stay at Andhra Bhavan, one of the many guest houses maintained by Aurobindo Ashram, mainly because of its location. Many of the major attractions in Pondicherry and the main market are at a walking distance from Andhra Bhawan – Rock Beach, White Town, popular Cafes etc.If you are on a high budget, you can always opt for any of the resorts lying at the outskirts of the town overlooking the pristine seas that Pondicherry is known for. Things you must do at Pondicherry:1. Collect sea shells at Rock Beach
Pondicherry, or Puducherry, is famously known as the French Riviera of the East, and is one of the most mesmerizing and charming places in South India. A former French colony, this quaint little town has retained its old-world French charm. 8000 kilometers away from France, Pondicherry comes very close to giving you a feel of the French culture and the French influence is very obvious in the city right from the food to the architecture.With its many colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues which, combined with the beautiful French-style avenues from when it was under French rule, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. As such, dozens of beautiful cafés and restaurants have sprouted up, many on rooftops or with shaded patios, so tourists and locals alike can bask in the fuzzy Indian air with their cup of morning Masala chai. Here are the ten best places to go for late breakfast or brunch in this charming Indian city.
How to reach Pondicherry:1. Pondicherry is easily accessible by bus from Chennai. The Tamil Nadu Transport Development Corporation runs AC buses with a high frequency. These are comfortable and affordable.2. Zoom Car offers cars on rent for those interested in driving down to Pondicherry.3. Ola offers Outstation rental packages from Chennai.4. Pondicherry is accessible by train from Chennai and Bangalore.
245 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November
Once the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore for six centuries, Mysore is now the third most populous state of Karnataka. Bu...
The distance from Ooty to Mysore is 130 kms and the road from Ooty to Mysore passes through Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The road is really awesome and full of thrill as it passes through dense forests and there are many animals crossing points also. Because we had enough time thus we decided to take a safari in the dense forest of Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Tamil Nadu while Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in Karnataka. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is also a good place for wildlife lovers. After that we continued our journey by heading towards Mysore and in the evening we reached Mysore. Tariff's for Hotel: Starting from ₹1000/- per room (Non AC) Starting from ₹1500/- per room (AC) Mysore is one of the most popular tourist destination in Karnataka. It is also known as "Palace City" of India. There we visited Mysore Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace and Chamundi Hills. Mysore Palace is one of the best palaces in India. The Palace shows us the lifestyle of our kings that how they lived such a royal life. It is a must visit palace. Lalitha Mahal is also a royal palace with a good architecture. After visiting Chamundi Hills, we left Mysore and then started our journey towards Chennai. The distance from Mysore to Chennai is 480 kms. After a smooth drive of 8 hrs we reached Chennai in the late night.
The Mysore Palace is breathtaking and is en route to Madumalai National Park. Hence a stopover to see the palace is must. If anyone is interested...its the best place to buy silk saris.
As far as majestic history goes, there are not many places that can trump Mysore, often referred to as the 'City of Palaces'. The Mysore Palace built by the Wodeyar Kings is a place where perhaps one can locate how Mysore became as culturally rich as it is for the Wodeyar Kings were great patrons of art and culture, allowing various forms, crafts and styles to flourish and grow in a way that they still exist and temper the way the city is today. However, this is not all, Mysore is not just a place of cultural but also natural beauty. Located at the foot of the Chamundi Hills it has numerous lakes like Kukkarhalli and Karanji. The Chamundi Hills are also important because atop them is located the Chamundeshwari Temple, one of the most important religious sites in Mysore.
Mysore, formerly a Princely State, until the Independence of India in 1947 is filled with Royal beauty. It was once a region with flourishing art and culture under the royal and mighty kings. Also called as the "City of Palaces", Mysore's beauty can be seen through its rich architecture and its majestic palaces that stand tall today. Passed form the Vijayanagar Empire to the Wodeyar family (that lives here even today), Mysore has always been occupied by Royalty.
After the break, we reached Mysore recharged and our first stop had to be the street side dosa stalls serving up the famous south Indian dish ‘masala dosa’. With hot, freshly made dosas in our laps we sat on cold stone steps looking out on the magnificent 1927 Silver Jubilee Clock Tower now lit up by spotlights. The next morning we made our way to visit our first Catholic church in India, St. Philomena’s Cathedral. The cathedral has some beautiful stained-glassed windows and it was very interesting how inside the locals had Indianised the church. From the cathedral we caught a rickshaw and made our way towards the gate of the Maharaja’s Palace. Continuing through the palace the interior never ceased to amaze with huge hallways, massive swinging chandeliers and a kaleidoscope of mirrors, stained glass and sparkling walls that when reflected in the mirrors seemed to continue forever.
We won't be able to start riding from the outset, but will initially have to take a shuttle bus to battle the traffic on its own terms. Once we get to riding, the route for the day is overflowing with culture, which is quite expected for India! We ride past mango orchards, nurseries, paddy fields and temples and make the first stop at the Big Banyan Tree. This gigantic tree is about 400 years old and spreads itself over 3 acres. after a stop here, we move onto the small town of Channapatna, where toy-makers make handmade toys in their small factories. Before this, we stop for a typical Kannadiga cuisine at Kamat Lokaruchi. Channapatna owes its toy-making heritage to the King Tipu Sultan, who first introduced this otherwise Persian art. The small highway town is lined with bright shops showcasing horses, beads and sundry toys. We again use shuttle to reach the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore.
286 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments ...
How to go: You can follow either NH44 + Bellary road or Nh150A+ NH48, the approximate time drive is around 7 hours. Tough the second option is shorter in distance but poor roads make it difficult to drive, especially the last 150 KM stretch as a lot of bad patches and some narrow deserted roads. I would suggest taking the first option even though its 30Km more but it takes the same time. It also has some of beautiful landscape on the way.,
Airtel signal was quite poor, had hard time calling our contact person Murali. He picked us up on his bike. We stopped once one the way. There was an broken Aqueduct, reminded me of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Later found out it’s called Pillars of Bukkas Aqueduct.
Our third day was the most special one as it was reserved for exploring the majestic temples of central Hampi. You can literally feel the hum of a past gone by throbbing slightly in the air and the weight of so much history humbles you to the core. We started out with the Virupaksha temple and the Hampi bazaar complex, which has one of the oldest shrines dedicated to Shiva and is an active Hindu worship site. You also get to seek the blessings of Laxmi, the royal temple elephant, by handing her an offering. We followed this with Achyutaraya temple and the Vitthala temple, which can easily be called the most artistically sophisticated Hindu temple in all of Hampi. It has the Garuda shrine shaped as a stone chariot, often symbolic of Hampi's depiction. Other monuments followed in the form of Hemakuta hill complex, the underground Shiva temple, elephant stables, lotus temple and the zenana enclosure. It would seriously be impossible to list down the kind of splendor these places boast of so my suggestion to you, dear reader, is just pack your bags on the next long weekend and embark on this enchanted experience known as Hampi.
If you haven't read part 1 of SOlO TRIP then click here.I wanted to go on a trip badly. And the long weekend was finally here. I asked my friends but it was so difficult to convince everyone together. If you have ever planned a trip with a bunch of friends, you can understand my pain. Not every one is on the same page. Someone wants to see mountains, someone wants to see beaches, someone wants to relax and booze, someone wants to explore, someone doesn’t want to go with a particular person, someone would only go if that particular person comes along. Uff!! Who would want to go through this much pain when the idea is to enjoy and refresh yourself? If everyone you travel with are not on the same page, then it is very much possible that few of them would not enjoy at all and few would end up having arguments or fights over something.After so many if's and but's, I booked a bus ticket, packed my bags, and head to HAMPI, on my first solo trip!The hesitation went away the moment I reached HospetBus dropped me at Hospet, 13 Kms away from Hampi. As soon AS people deboarded the bus, bunch of Auto drivers came up with excitement, with different schemes and packages as if we were celebrities. Nothing strange about it, you see the same scenario in any tourist places. Most of the people were going to Hampi and I could have asked anyone for the company but the hesitation was still there. I saw them leaving one by one in Auto, cabs or by walk. I did little bit of homework, so I knew that there were frequent buses from Hospet to Hampi. When I asked Auto drivers, most of them said “bus is a waste of time”, “don’t go in bus”, “you might have to wait for hours”, “it will drop you little far from Hampi” etc. Now I usually trust people easily and for whatever they say. As I was new to the place, it made me skeptical. They started asking Rs. 250, Rs. 200, then Rs. 150 to hampi. I thought of giving a try to bus and headed towards the bus stop. The bus was there and within 15 min, it left. It cost me Rs. 12 only and dropped me at the center of Hampi, nearest to my Hotel. So, the learning was not that I wouldn’t trust auto drivers anymore but I used to prefer comfortable transport to commute always like most of the youngsters - Metro over buses, Private Cabs over sharing cabs or flights over Train, thus, according to this small experience, I learnt to let go my preference. It was my first and small achievement and I was excited for the rest of the adventure.You will love flexibilityThe best part of a solo trip is you can do whatever you want, go wherever you feel like and eat whenever you are hungry. You don’t have to be dependent on anyone. You will love this sense of freedom during the trip.I rented a bicycle and traveled as much as I could. You can ask any local person about the places to visit and everyone has the itinerary ready for you. Hampi is a very hot place, so I put a bit of sunscreen and head to the ruins of Hampi. I still rode around 15 kms everyday despite too much heat. You see if I were with someone, I had to take care of his/her opinions too whether he/she was comfortable with bicycle or the scorching heat or the unorthodox ruins and then I might not have traveled this much on a bicycle and in this much heat. It was completely my choice. I covered so much in just few hours, took breaks, carried dry fruits and ate them once in while, sat and witness the beautiful ruins and architecture for as long as I wanted to, came back to hotel to take nap and then again went out to explore in the evening. Neither the time was a problem nor I had to deal with other’s opinions and expectations.You will meet amazing peopleIf you are alone, you will have the urge to talk with someone. That’s human psychology, you miss the thing you don’t have and in solo trip, it’s the company. To talk about the place, to ask questions, to enjoy a little more – sharing enhances the experience. Thus, this urge will make you come out of your comfort zone and talk to random strangers – be it the hotel staff or the people at the restaurants or the co-tourists. But you don’t have any expectation from them. You can easily talk to someone for sometime and then say goodbye without being attached to them. Some will be very formal, some will treat you like an old friend, some will listen to you and some will end up telling their whole life stories.As there are many foreign tourists in Hampi and they are much more friendly, it was quite easy to start a conversation with them. I met a painter who makes graffiti inside and outside restaurants wall, a French man who came here for some internship, a 22-year-old girl running a guest house, the handicraftsmen, a wanderer, an explorer, an architecture and many more.Less selfies and more photosNow with smart phones, it is pretty simple and easy to take selfies but if you are carrying a big camera and you are alone, you won’t be asking people every single time to click your picture or take out your phone every time you see a marvellous background for your facebook display picture. As I was carrying a camera, the ruins and the landscapes inspired the photographer in me. So, I clicked pictures - more pictures and less selfies. And luckily few of the photos came out pretty well. The little amateur photographer in me was ecstatic.With no offence to selfie freaks out there, I just can’t see my face in every photo I take when the whole beautiful background is out there and I am blocking it. That’s the reason I told to myself but the truth was due to traveling in hot weather, I looked like alien. I could not recognize my face in the few selfies I clicked. So, it was always better to click the things I saw and admired without putting my alien face in it.I got boredLet me be honest, yes, I got bored and even felt lonely, for sometime. When you travel alone, you tend to do things quickly, be it eating in a restaurant, seeing a monument, visiting markets or shopping. You cover everything much quicker alone than with a group. Thus, you are left with ample time each day with nothing else to do.I deliberately did not carry laptop, movies or any other passive entertainment medium, so that I would not end up sitting in the room for hours rather than exploring the place, and I do not regret it at all. Yes, I had mobile phone but luckily there was no network and internet. I wanted to experience few days without passive entertainment things that we always use at home, and that was the apt time for me.In most of the small places, in my case Hampi, everything shuts down early. As soon as the sun sets, the time passes very slowly, everybody sleep early. I could only walk to near by small market for an hour or so, then had to spend time in the room only.So, I started to do things slowly to cope with the pace of the place – I sat in the restaurants for hours, ate slowly, walked slowly, observed people more, talked more to strangers and shopkeepers, saw the same market again and again etc.The more I explored my boredom, the more I become comfortable with it. I relived the whole day in mind again, explored every feeling and thought I had while traveling, planned the next day and slept with quite mind at last. You don’t experience it every day. It was peaceful, mindful and no chaos in the head.This time the boredom taught me to be in present, to be mindful and to be with myself.You will get to know yourself more and understand betterThat’s the most obvious and best part of the solo trip. The people’s opinions, judgments, attachments and comments start to fade away and the experience of traveling WITH YOURSELF will take you a step closer to knowing yourself more and understanding yourself better. You will start to judge people less and observe more. You will become less conscious and more confident.Someone said if you know yourself, you know the whole universe. It still is and will always be work in progress for me and traveling solo takes me a step closer to MYSELF.
Places of interest: For me its all about the ride first than the places at the destination. I was not keep to visit the places, but thanks to my friend I made an attempt to visit a couple of places, which I would have regretted if not visited. Vittala temple, the huge and majestic temple in the heart of the city with sculptures and carvings is a delight to the eyes. The elephant inside which blesses the visitors with her tusk is an attraction too. From the we walked for 1.5 km to reach Virupaksha temple, passing through river side ruins, Hampi bazaar and the relics. It was summer and of our long ride and the walking, we were exhausted a bit and decided to explore the other side of the river. The archaeological museum is also a major attraction for tourists. The places have entry tickets which are nominal Rs 10/- for Indians and Rs 250/- for expats. We thought of checking in the popular Mango Tree Restraunt on the river side, but again it was closed.The 'Other Side' of Hampi: Having heard a lot about the other side of the river, we didn't want to waste any more time and get there to see ourselves what's so special about it. It started with a Ferry Crossing, riding down all the steps to reach the boat, loading it onto the ferry and crossing the beautiful river is one of the best experiences. However this is not the only option to reach the other side, you have a road which connects but is around 35km detour. Once we are there, the first feeling for me was the Goan feeling, with lot of shacks facing the paddy fields, national and international travellers around, the bike rentals of small scootys and royal enfields, etc. It was peace and trance. We have opted to stay at the Goan Corner, which was quite popular on the social media, and to reach there you need to ride in between the paddy fields and some rocks. But sadly it was closed that time of the year.Next to that was our Bobby's One Love guest house, operated by Mr. Steve Spiteri. Beautiful place wonderful hospitality and a great host. I visited this place again after few months, this time with a group of around 50 bikers. It was just to share the experience I had with Bobby's One Love. Small decent mud cottages, a nice central dining hut and good music with some colourful lights. We had our small party going on till late night along with Steve joining us. The weed and the music was complete trance. It was a beautiful night may be because of Hampi or Bobyy's one love or my friends sweet company, a journey and memory to cherish. The second time when I have been here with my biking group, a surprise was arranged by Steve. It was a jam session along with some fantastic fire crackers to begin with. The very popular local musician Gali Durgappa was here to play for us. The guitar, banjo and dijgeridoo he play took me and my friends to a different world. Check out the Hampi song composed by him on Youtube here Our Video. The area is also quite popular for some rappelling and rock climbing, which were not in mine or my friends interests. We have missed the sunset point and the Hanuman temple as we were running short of time and kept them for our next visit very soon. If you have visited Hampi and have not been the 'other side' of Hampi, you have not travelled to Happy Hampi.See you soon in Hampi !&nbsp;&nbsp;
Hampi, a temple town in Karnataka, is a fascinating spot. An open museum, Hampi can be best described as a quaint place, lying amidst striking ruins of the past. The unearthly landscape, the magnificent boulders, the carnival of carvings, the story of the past, Hampi is a sight to behold. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exemplary historical place in India where you can spend a day or spend a month, and still it will not stop surprising you. Hampi, a backpacker's delight, has 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire. From the elephant stables to the massive stone chariots, Hampi is fascinating beyond imagination.Entry fee: ₹15 for Indians and SAARC country tourists, ₹500 for others.Opening hours: 8.30am to 5.30pmBest time to visit: November – FebruaryNearest Railway Station: Hospet, around 13km away is the nearest railway station to Hampi.
Day 2 was all about exploring the renowned places of Hampi.Vijayanagar was the capital of Vijayanagar Empire, the kingdom known for it's grandeur and pomp. Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.Hampi is the ruins of this empire.The ruins are a witness to the invasion faced by the kingdom by the Sultanate. It is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site.Hampi has innumerable temples, small shrines of Gods and Goddesses and pushkaranis (temple tanks). Small arch-like structures can be seen at the entrance of places.Here in Hampi the first place to be visited is the Virupaksha Temple. Kodandarama Temple, Hemakuta temple complex and the Kadalekalu Ganesha are in it's vicinity. Virupaksha temple is intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship.The sanctum of the temple has a mukha-linga, that is a Shiva linga with a face, in this case embossed of brass. The temple has two towers & artistically beautiful pond 'Loka Pawana Teertha'. Much of the temple's beauty couldn't be seen as some restoration work was in progress. We also missed to see the temple elephant Lakshmi :(
The once forgotten ancient city of Hampi has been brought to life again by recent archaeological excavations. The ruins of the ancient city of Hampi are strikingly, unexpectedly even eerily beautiful. This 16th century capital of the kingdom of Vijayanagar lies on the banks of river Tunghabhadra and is surrounded by stark rocky ridges and mammoth boulders seemingly precariously balance on each other. The vast spaces are silent but the ruins are eloquent. The bazaars, the temple, the boulders everything will take you back into the past and will once again make you fall in love with the astonishing art of India!Best time to visit: November - February. Timings: Vittala Temple, Zenena Enclosure Elephant Stable & Lotus Mahal and Queen's Bath - 6am to 5pm. Heritage Museum, Hampi Bazaar - 10am to 1pm & 3pm to 6pm. Archeology Museum at Kamalapura - 10am to 5pm (closed on Friday) and Virupaksha Temple is open from sunrise to sunset. Entrance fees: Vittala Temple, Zenena Enclosure Elephant Stable & Lotus Mahal all have one ticket that costs ₹30 for Indians and ₹500 for foreigners. Heritage Museum, Hampi Bazaar, and Queen's Bath have no entrance fees. Archeology Museum at Kamalapura has the entrance fees of ₹5. Virupaksha Temple has the entrance fees of ₹2, however the still camera fees is ₹50 and video camera fees is ₹150. Where to stay: Hospet is the base town for visiting Hampi. Vijayshree Heritage Village and Malligi are some popular stay options in Hospet. You can check out more here. How to reach: Hospet is the base town for visiting Hampi. The nearest airport to Hospet is Bangalore, 334 km away, and from there you can either take a train or a bus to Hospet. Hospet has its own railway station as well as bus stand. Between Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and private operators, there are around 20 buses daily between the two cities. There are five daily trains between Bangalore and Hospet.
114 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Known all over the country for the sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati is located in the Chittoor District of Andhr...
Chennai to Tirupati Balaji
This is one of the best places to visit around Chennai and it is known for its beautiful sceneries as well the magical peace you obtain here. The Tirupati Temple is known to be the richest temple in the country and is a very important religious place as well. The Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam is a must visit along with the Venkateshwar Temple. This is one of the best tourist places near Chennai within 200 kms and the best time to visit this place is between the months of September and March.Distance from Chennai: 134
We reached next day early morning to Tirupathi and booked a hotel on spot. After took some rest for some hours and then started for darshan. It took us ~7hrs to complete our darshan and recommended book darshan ticket online. In evening, we started for Chennai and reached there in ~4hrs.
Thiruthani to ballari (431km) :The last day was a sore and boring one. Not many places to see. Just a long ride back home. The roads were some of the worst we've encountered. We reached tirupati temple town by 12pm and headed towards kadiri. After about 9hrs of riding. We finally reached ballari by 10.30pm! The odometer read 3050kms! This was the longest trip i have taken on bike!
The Amazing breath talking walk from Alipiri to Tirumala is best experience of both Tradition and Trekking
It’s a must visit place. It will take at least 5-6 hrs to come out, once you are inside the Temple. People from all over India come for the Darshan of Tirupati balaji. Now it’s time for our destination and my home town –“Visakhapatnam”. Till then we didn’t know how we would reach Vizag. No bookings, nothing. It was 8pm. Then we decide we will hop in Vijayawada and from there we will go to Vizag. We got a Volvo bus from Tirupati to Vijayawada around 9pm. We were really tired. It was damn hot. 12th night went in traveling to Vijayawada.
231 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, dreamy sunsets and spiritually-uplifting energy, Mahabalipuram is perhaps ...
Not exactly in Pondicherry, but in Mahabalipuram, which lies between Chennai and Pondicherry on the ECR road, you can find the largest sea shell museum. It hosts 45000 types of sea shells collected entirely by one single person. The museum is an exemplary of dedicated art which is now 33 years in the making! After getting awed by the myriad types of sea shells, you can head to their exclusive shop to buy some of the rarest sea shells that you may, otherwise, never get your hands on. Also, if you are a lover of real pearls, nothing can be a better place than this. And trust me, this shopping may just become one of your biggest flaunts!3. Explore the 2nd largest mangrove forest of Asia – Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Chennai – Mahabalipuram: Day 13 to Day 17
It was the first weekend of my internship at Chennai. Out of all the weekend getaways from Chennai, I decided to start with the temple city of Mahabalipuram ( aka Mamallapuram among locals ).Mahabalipuram is a town in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, about 58 km south of Chennai. It is a historic town, famous for its group of monuments dating back to the 7th century. These monuments have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.I boarded the bus to Mahabalipuram from Koyambedu bus stand in Chennai at 10:30 am. The journey took a total of 90 minutes with splendid views of the Bay of Bengal along the East Coast Road. This road is popular among travelers looking for a road trip as well. After getting down at the bus stand, I made way for Arjuna's penance. Also known as Descent of the Ganges, this is a Bas relief that stretches along a length of 100 feet and is 45 feet high with intricate carvings of humans and animals.
After pondicherry we visited Mahabalipuram... A place which remind Mythology Mahabharat... There are beaches where you can stay and feel the fresh breeze, Sand and nice view...Apart from the beach there are so many place but all places are nearby so that you can cover all places in one day or you can say in 3 4 hours max..#Shore Temple#Five Rathas#Tiger's Cave#Arjuna's Penance#Krishna's Butter BallThere are so many more monuments like these more caves and sculpture...
Mahabalipuram is another such place that can't be missed. It’s known for its temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries. Shore temple, Krishna's butter ball, Panch Rathas are some of the many places that you should pay visit to.
DAY 1: Landed at chennai airport around 10:30 am. Took a local train to Tambram station(Rs 5 ticket). The station is at walking distance from airport) and from Tambram, took a local bus for Mahabalipuram. It took around 2 hours to reach to Mahablipuram bus stand. I had already booked my stay at Green wood beach resort(Rs 400/day for NON AC room). This is a simple and clean homestay run by a local family. Weather is always hot, so AC rooms are advisable. Mahabalipuram is a small town and everything is at walking distance and can be covered in a single day. Places to see are Arjuna's penance, butterball(a rock), Panch Rathas, Sea shore temple and light house(amazing view of beach line from here). There are 2 beaches, one on left side of sea shore temple which does not have much crowd but the other side is v touristic with lot of crowds and food stalls.Total expense for the day- 5000 including flight, bus, stay, food and tickets for monuments
This is one of the most famous tourist attraction and is situated mid-way between Chennai and Pondicherry. The ancient temple is build right on to the shore facing Bay of Bengal. Build in 7th century it’s known for the stone cravings, cave temple, panch Rathas and statues. Also it has some local shops which are must to explore.After 6 hours of road trip we reached Pondicherry in evening around 7.
210 Kms from Horsley Hills
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August,September,October
Fondly known as the jewel of the South, Yercaud is a hill station in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. Known for its stu...
1650 m from sea level.just 35 km from salem city. Good place to visit from october to january season. Not remote and quite like yelagiri but you could escape from crowd of ooty or kodaikanal. Good restaurants and better hotels.Temp : 12 celcius to 22 celcius ( winter)Must : yercaud lake , kiliyur falls.Booze : elite mall shop.Petrol bunk : yes.
Day 3 halt – YercaudDay 3 ride – 237 kmsStay- Yercaud has a nice lake and most of the hotels are near it starting from Rs 800.Places to visit- Though there is a fall(Kiliyur), Botanical garden and Pagoda Point, I didn’t find any of it interesting. Probably too much safe and family kind. You may choose Paddle Boats available in the lake or may choose to spend some time in the zoo near the lake for a lazy evening.The best part of Yercaud is the lone ride through the dense,scary and unexpected forest, especially in the morning. You can find 2 routes from the NH to Yercaud. Go by taking a diversion from Salem and return by the other route.
Once there, you can visit a variety of view points. The big lake of Yercaud welcomes you as you reach here. Just before this Lake, on the left there are a some hotels and restaurants where you can have a nice brunch/lunch depending on when you reach here.
22. Yeracud (Salem)It is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. The highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at 5,326 feet (1,623 m). It is so named owing to the abundance of trees near a lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of South.
People from all over the country love visiting Yercaud simply because it offers one that much needed time to pause and relax, rejuvenate and while away one’s time without being preoccupied by thoughts about work and presentations. The green mountain terrain is splendid for those who wish to go sight seeing and trekking. Just around 355 kilometeres away (six hours!), Yercaud is untouched and thus immensely beautiful when one pays a visit to this place. The sweet smelling aroma in the air is just too good and we ought to include this place as a great weekend getaways from Chennai. Yercaud lies six hours away from the city of Chennai and is a land covered with greenery that is a welcome sight to eyes that have been plagues with concrete structures. The place offers one may beautiful spots to relax and go sightseeing. With the presence of lake, boating here with your beloved is what you have dreamed of. The waterfalls, great food and unplugged options for relaxing make Yercaud a must visit and a top hot spot on our list of weekend getaways from Chennai. A little further away is the most favoured hill station of Yercaud. The place is just perfect for those who eyes need the sight of fresh green and an environment of peace and relaxation. Filled with lakes, beautiful spots for sightseeing and great terrain for mountain trekking, Yercaud , that lies 356 kilometres or just close to six hours away from Chennai are a great place to take off to during the weekend. Waterfalls, fresh produce and untouched beauty is what beckons one here. It is no surprise that we choose this place to be on our list of tourist places near Chennai within 400 kms. The hill station of Yercaud in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district is another one of those places near Chennai that’s a perfect retreat for a long extended weekend. Give yourself up to nature when you visit this magical town that’s surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, gardens, forest trails and hills made for trekking.Distance from Chennai: 368
Last weekend, we planned a trip to Yercaud, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, India. There were close to 40 of us on this trip, so we booked an entire bus for ourselves. The journey from Bangalore to Yercaud was close to 6 hours, including a lunch break. After checking into our hotel, The Great Indian Holidays, we set out to explore the town. The hotel itself is wonderful and affordable, with individual 'villas', each having four rooms. The hotel also has a swimming pool and a restaurant. Breakfast was included in the booking. The hotel also has a few outdoor activities like zip lining that they arrange at an extra charge. For lunch, we stepped out into town, exploring what was near the hotel. We ate a tiny cafe called Eggetarian (limited vegetarian and vegan options). After this, we set out to a sunrise point, locally known as ________. Though we got there late afternoon and didn't get to see the sunrise, the view is still stunning and the place is usually quite deserted.
In search of a beautiful sunset, we headed on the top of the mountains of Yercaud, TamilNadu. Little did we know, we would actually witness something no less than a heaven. Inside a forest area, we discovered a little known camping place named 'Heavens Ledge', it had the perfect view of mountain ranges and sunset. The surprise drizzles and rainbow made it extra special for us. We had the most memorable moments at this beautiful place. A must visit for nature lovers!
Next day we got up and headed to cave temple. Really got scared to enter the temple and it was such a nice place around and definitely driving bike along the hill road is the best experience anyone can get. Road was so good that made drive nicer not worry about bumpy raid. Driving throw coffee planting and Teak wood trees was just great. After the cave temple we went to Pagoda point which is highest peak of Yercaud. We spend some time there and we headed to room to check out. We checked out and had lunch and started driving back home. This time we decide to drive in different route. More than all the above places other than sun set, driving in that road down the hill was the best thing that I have experienced. Its a single road and hardly no vehicle and almost entire travel took in between teak wood forest that I have never seen before. Finally we reached home after 5 hrs little extra travel than via highways but worth it.It might be a small trip but my first trip in Bike to a hill station and on new year eve. These memories will last for life time.