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279 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Known as the gateway to Karnataka, the picturesque city of Mangalore is famous for its golden beaches, revered temples a...
Day 2:A good night's sleep and the excitement of exploring a new place, I was ready by 7am. I headed out to Sulthan Battery as it was the closest to my place.
When we think about beaches and vacations in India, Goa is the first place that comes to our mind and well why not it serves everything we dream of ;) Surprising this time me and my friend decided to discover something new, and so the next choice was Gokarna and Varkala. Fortunately or unfortunately we could not find any accommodation in Gokarna because of holiday season and that's how Mangalore happened. As they say, most good things happen when you expect them the least and I am glad it happened.Day 0:We took sleeper bus from Bangalore around 8:30 pm and reached Mangalore at 6:30 am. I would not say that journey was comfortable but it was worth it. Alternative and better option is via train but we could not get the tickets, last minute planners never get the privilege.
It was Saturday morning I told one of my friend about this trek near kudremukh I sent him some links of the blogs and photos. After seeing the pictures he was amazed and was ready to join me on this trek. We asked all our friends to join us. But only 4 people came up with yes . It was 11:00 in the morning, I went to bus stand to ask for bus timing to kudremukh ,The buses were at 1:00,2:20 and last bus was at 3:40 from state bank private bus stand of Mangalore . So we decided to catch 1:00 bus. I was packing my bag I got a call from one of my friend that he cannot come with us. It was very disappointing But we couldn’t miss that trek because of him. So we packed our bag and left home by the time I reached bus stop it was 1:15 and we had missed the bus,our next bus was at 2:20 and none of my friends had reached the bus stop yet . I was sitting in bus stop and scrolling my Instagram page at 1:30 remaining two of my friends showed up finally . The next bus was at 2:20 and we still had 1 hour , So we decided to go to Karkala first and then change the bus at Karkala to kudremukh we dint knew perfectly but we were trying our luck ,I was 70% sure that we may get bus from Karkala .We took Karkala bus- the journey time from mangalore to Karkala is 1 and half hour . If had not booked anything in kudremukh yet. But we had a phone number of a base camp(home stay ), He is very well known person in that area his name is ‘Raje Gowda’.
We woke up early the next day because we had to make it to the wedding. It was a muslim wedding and so it involved a lot of biryani and short wedding service. I met my childhood friend at the wedding venue and we had lunch together. I'm not a wedding person so we decided to leave quickly after lunch. I went back to the hotel and changed while two of my other friends went and got scooters for us to get around the city. Mangalore is humid since it's a coastal area. But, I never found it as humid as Chennai or Goa.
We left late in the afternoon and went by bus. After 350 km and hours of a slow drive, we reached late in the night and the drive had been extremely bumpy due to some road work going on in the ghat section of the western coast of south India. It was nearly midnight and I wanted a bed to sleep. We found our rooms, changed, and slept.
Spend the Day 3 in Mangaluru leisurely savouring the coastal Konkan delicacies at Giri Manja's on Car Street, or try some Chicken Ghee Roast at Shetty Lunch Home at Hampankatta. Mangaluru has a lot to showcase to its tourists, like Sultan Battery, Tannir bavi Beach, Kadri Manjunath Temple, Panambur Beach etc."Bring out the Vasco Da Gama in You, Set Foot on St Mary's Island"Picture Credits:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Islands#/media/File:St_Mary%27s_island.JPGhttps://www.google.co.in/search?q=madagascar+on+map+from+india&rlz=1C1CHBD_enIN708IN708&tbm=isch&imgil=4sMXSpYkrB7OsM%253A%253BuF-5SDSz0AjkrM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fontheworldmap.com%25252Fmadagascar%25252Fmadagascar-location-on-the-indian-ocean-map.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=4sMXSpYkrB7OsM%253A%252CuF-5SDSz0AjkrM%252C_&usg=__4OwaBhBL3ptY5PogEBsln2flgVo%3D&biw=1366&bih=662&ved=0ahUKEwjtyOKOjLjWAhXMLo8KHXV5AMcQyjcIMg&ei=KKTEWe2UFczdvAT18oG4DA#imgrc=n1uSHqbDzQtnjM:
MANGALORE is one of the most important cities of Karnataka. It is the nearest airport to Manipal. If you are missing the city vibes and feel like shopping or want to be stuck in traffic for a while, Mangalore is the place to go. Mangalore offers a number of options for shopping ranging from Levi's to Calvin Klein. It also offers a good range of food joints and restaurants.
Flight journey from Mangalore to DehradunHoping for safer, smoother and shorter yatra , we left for Dehradun from Mangalore on June 18th 2016 early morning. To travel to the Chardham circuit, we hired a mini-bus from Haridwar since it was the only mode of transport that could carry 13 people across the terrains. Helicopter service has become popularity , if pilgrimage is the only objective, one can choose this mode of transport.Day 2 and 3
We decided to travel by train up to Mangalore and then hire a bus for the road journey. “Matsyagandha express” dropped us at Mangalore central station at 9.30 a.m. sharp. We hired a bus for our road journey up till Kodagu, but we decided to refuel ourselves with some breakfast. Our driver (Mr. Shivaji) took us to a nearby restaurant which served simple, yet elegant South Indian breakfast.
282 Kms from Varca
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.
167 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,July
Kolhapur, in Maharashtra, is a land of temples and regal palaces. The most revered of them is the Mahalaxmi Temple, whic...
Grand Southindian Ride A ride that lasted for 30 Days 7500 wonderful kilometres 7 Indian States 1 Union territory. The best way to explore a new place is by a combination of bike and foot. That’s what i had done to create the memory which took just 30 days. This blog won’t have any poetic words or paragraph, it’s just an expression of my memory which i managed to collect it during the ride. First of all would like to tell you how this ride was planned. A year before i went on a solo ride mumbai to ladakh and back. After completion of this ride i planned at least one ride every year. So already been to north of india for the ladakh ride and finalized south for the current ride. Initially it requires a lot of planning regarding to route to take, places to visit, things to carry,etc. The plan was to create a V shape in the map covering the costal route from Mumbai-Goa-Karnataka-Kerala-Tamilnadu-Andrapradesh-Telangana-Mumbai. Then thought there are so many places in the south to be explored which till date i have heard from people or seen in television. And then the detailed exploration of the south was planned. The best time to visit south is immediately after monsoon. Also during monsoon it’s good, but it needs more precaution and attention while riding a bike. For the first time one of my friend Mr.Mateen wanted to join me for the ride which i still wonder how did that happen. Because most of my rides became solo not because it was planned such a way, it’s because most of my friends would turn down their decision for the ride at the end moment. So it was fixed 2 riders on a mission to explore the south on their machines South india needs no introduction for it’s beauty ,though my whole country is beautiful. So we were on a mission to explore this beauty for the coming 30 Days. After changes in dates twice,we fixed it as 1st of November. Servicing the bike and making it ready for the ride got it the schedule delayed by a day, also i had brought a 11inch laptop few months back so that i can copy all the sports cam video’s malfunctioned 2 weeks before ride and they informed that it will take a months time to service it. But luckily i got it on 1st November evening. So it was all set now. Day 1:- Mumbai to Kolhapur Initially it was NH17 which was decided. But the condition of the road was bad so we chose the kolhapur route. Time was scheduled as 7 am. But when i got the laptop from the service center yesterday forgot to take the charger from them. So had to wait till 10am for them to open the store. Everything was packed and neatly arranged. By the time my best friend Navin came to see me off. So we both picked the luggage and proceeded towards my machine also my mom and sis came down. Loaded all the luggage on my White tiger ( name of my himalayan). All the safety riding gears were on. Finally sat on my machine clicked few pics and said bye to all and left for the most epic and scenic ride. First task was to collect the charger from the service center and then proceed towards mateens house. Finally around 11am reached mateens house. His dad wanted to meet me as this was the first ride for mateen, so he was little concerned. I assured them everything will be fine and left around 11.30am. Both were super excited about the ride and coming days. Though it was a delayed start i knew the roads ahead were good. Mateen said that some of our friends were waiting at nerul to meet us. We met them at nerul clicked few pics and explained them about our ride. And you won’t believe the meeting went on till 1.30pm. We realized that we are super delayed and proceeded and took a lunch halt at lonavala. Once done with lunch we took the old pune route and then proceeded towards kolhapur. Within hours we hit the kolhapur road. It was too good for start smooth 6 lane highways with no potholes anywhere. Though we could have hit high speeds but restricted ourselves to 80kmph as we were on a ride not race. Now everything was coming into place after a delayed start. It was 5pm and we decided to halt for some snacks and tea. So we stopped at vittal kamath. Kolhapur was still too far from there and it already started becoming dark. We resumed our ride and took break occasionally. Around 8.30 we halted at a place and had some tea and snacks. People there started asking about the ride some took photos with my bike and Mateen was like someone click pic with my bike as well. We knew it would take another 2 to 2.30 hrs to reach kolhapur. During a ride there was a dark patch on the road and at the same time there was little fog, we were at our normal pace, suddenly a few feet ahead there was a truck without tail lamps and it was mud stained. Due to which it was not visible when it came close to us, we somehow managed as taking a sudden right for changing the lane at high speed can be fatal if there a vehicle approaching from behind. So i instructed mateen under such situations never suddenly change the lanes. After few hours of ride it was 11pm and we reached kolhapur so we sat for dinner at a hotel and used online apps to book a hotel. We found one at our budget and booked it and then we found that the hotel which we booked was right opposite to the hotel where we sat for dinner. Finally we had some dal khichidi and aloo mutter. Went to the hotel did the entry formalities, went to the room , freshened up and crashed on the bed.
Now the D Day arrived it was 1st of Dec and I was sitting in my office preparing powerpoint presentation for the client instead of our roadtrip and celebrating our anniversary with my wife . My wife availed the leave as she had informed all her colleagues that we are going for the roadtrip and if she will go offc everyone will ask what happened. She was angry too and we didn’t talked in the morningMe : Hello, Happy AnniversaryWife : So ??? Do your offc work ( I can feel the Angriness on the other side of phone )Me : Lets continue our tripWife : How ????Me : Will travel in Night , pack the bags and be ready . We will start the journey once I reach home from OffcWife : Is it possible ?Me: Yes we will start today and cut short the journeyWife: YipppieMe: Ok, I will reach home by 4 will start soonSomehow pleaded to my manager that I will leave a bit early and he agreed. Now the wait was killing. Once the clock strike 3 30 PM I left office and was at home. When reached home found that the luggage is full ( Thanks to my wife who travels very heavy ) .Now there is no time to repack bags so we started from Pune by 5 PM with a good pace in chilling winter reached Kolhapur by 11 PM. Time to take rest in a pre-booked hotelNow another jolt of hammer, we informed the hotel earlier that we will be doing card payment, thanks to demonetisation we had only INR 6000 of hard cash. He agreed upon that but once we reached Kolhapur found that his swiping machine was not working as the internet is down ( Thanks to NHAI fellow who cut the broadband line while digging) and also he didn’t had any Paytm account. We tried for Online Transfer also but we failed. Now with no option left, we paid 2k to him in hard cash.Now the biggest question “Shall we return to Pune as we have only INR 4000 left”. Wife said will decide tomorrow morning as it’s already too late
It is a historical place and has great temples too
The closest central place, to cover the spots, in Kolhapur one can visit Mahalakshmi Mandir, Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir, Shahu Place, Rankala Lake. Also you can visit famous Jyotiba temple which is hardly 26 Km from the place all places can be covered in 2 days span
From Kolhapur to Malvan it takes 5 hours. There are two routes to reach Malvan- via Gaganbawada ghat or via Radhanagri. We took the route via Radhanagri village. The road condition is good. But the route has lots of turns and swirls. We left from Kolhapur at 7.30am and reached Malvan at 1.30pm. On the way we stopped at Radhanagri for breakfast and at backwaters, a little ahead from Radhanagri near Anuradha village.
208 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,June,July,August,September,November,December
A lovely city in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Ratnagiri is a port city surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri Hills. ...
There are several ways to reach Ratnagiri.Train: Ratnagiri is well connected with all the major cities of Maharashtra. It is one of the main railway stations of the Konkan Railway and all trains including Rajdhani stop here.Bus: There are plenty of overnight buses from Mumbai & Pune.Car: Ratnagiri is just few hours drive from Mumbai (348 km), Pune (305 km) & Nasik (486 km).Air: The nearest major airport is in Mumbai. From there, you can take a bus, train or car to reach Ratnagiri.
Atithi Parinay is in a small village named Kotawade. It is just 15 km away from Ratnagiri & Ganapatipule. Both Ratnagiri & Ganapatipule are famous for its scenic beaches and Kotawade village is in the middle of them. Ratnagiri has all, beaches, temples, forts, lighthouses, monuments & museums which has made it a perfect weekend gateway from Mumbai & Pune for all age groups. Ratnagiri is famous for Alphonso Mango too which is considered among the richest category of the fruits.
According to the inscriptions on clay tablets that were found during initial excavations at Ratnagiri in 1960s,this was a great center of learning for Tantric Buddhism and especially Vajrayana school.The clay tablets also mention it's name as 'Shri Ratnagiri Mahavihariya Arya Bhikshu Samaghya'.It was active between 5 th and 13 th century AD.Amid the scattered ruins at the hilltop are various votive stupas but it's the main monastery complex at the center which is miraculously preserved till date.The entrance gate to the main compound is made up of green chlorite stone with some intricate carvings which makes it distinct from other stones in the compound .As we stepped inside once again,stories ran in my head about monks and their activities that would have kept the place busy many centuries ago. The various sized Buddha heads were aglow with the direct moonlight falling over them.What could the various head sizes signify? May be they were designed as various steps towards attaining the greatest wisdom,of becoming the perfect Buddha head. Ratnagiri has two large monasteries and right in the middle of it stands a large statue of Buddha which is flanked by the statues of Vajrapani and Padmapani,two Boddhisatvas. As you walk the periphery of the main compound,the highly advanced and intricate drainage system of the facility stuns you. The large monastic complex houses around twenty four cells for residence made up of bricks.At a given time,more than five hundred monks could have lived and studied at this center.The center also housed three copies each of major scriptural works of Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism. The Lama never talked,as if he had come only to quench my curiosity.But talking was not necessary,and I learned to appreciate the soothing beauty of quietness and silence.As I saw the diverse stone artefacts strewn all over the place I was reminded of what Tagore had told of the Konark Temple,that "here the language of stones had surpassed the language of man".Here too the stone works made the human need of language redundant. Me: But when one speaks of Buddhist history or heritage,no one speaks in same breath about Odisha as they do about other sites like Bodh Gaya or Nalanda. Lama: As per texts and Buddhist chronicles found in Tibet,China and Ceylon,a place called 'Odiyyana' is mentioned where the roots of Vajrayana Buddhism took shape.This place in all probability could be the present day Odisha and the great learning centers of Tantric Buddhism they refer to could almost certainly be the Puspagiri University that we are currently standing at.The entire sect of Vajrayana Buddhism seems to have originated from these scholastic centers at Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri complex if we take the available archeological and literary evidence into consideration. The old Buddhist Pali canons and Pas-Sam-Jon-Zang a Tibetan Buddhist text mention the land of Odiyyana where many great Tantric Buddhist preachers lived. The canons mention many secret places called 'Beyuls' where a seeker could go and find enlightenment and knowledge.Such Beyuls were hidden valleys and retreats often found in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and India.The locations of these secret valleys were kept in scrolls which were placed in important monasteries and stupas.Sambhala is a well known beyul. Me: Just like James Hilton described the valley of Shangri-la in his book 'The Lost Horizon'? Lama: Hilton's story of Shangri-la was actually inspired from the myth of Sambhala itself.If you look closely the name Shangri-la is a modified form of Sambhala only. Me: Ah! Yes .....I never thought about it before,strange! And what role does Sambhala play in Tantric Buddhism? Lama: According to legends,the Tantric rituals of Kalachakratantra was taught to the Kings of Sambhala by Buddha himself.The kings of Sambhala wanted to follow the path of enlightenment without renouncing the world so they requested the Sakyamuni to teach them a less austere method of reaching Dharma and Truth,Buddha gave the first initiation of the Kalachakra rituals.Further a Tibetan text called 'The Blue Annals' credits Acharya Cheluka of bringing the teachings of Kalachakratantra to India from the mythical land of Sambhala. The philosophy that guides the school of Vajrayana Buddhism states that though the goal of all living beings is same i.e attaining knowledge and Nirvana,there are other methods of reaching there apart from the old methods of austere meditations. The tantric rituals can provide that path to salvation. Me: So Vajrayana created a short-cut path to salvation,because the older methods of meditations were hard and time taking? Lama: Let's not be quick to judge the ways and methods people adopt in their lives.As each person is unique so is their path to salvation. As I mentioned before,our current lack of knowledge on Tantric Buddhist practices in these parts of Odisha comes to a road block due to the secretive doctrines of the people who followed the school of Vajrayana. The stroll in the lonely night had got us very far from Ratnagiri now.Perhaps the Lama was aware of it but I was far from realizing that we had stumbled upon the foothills of the grand ruins of Udaygiri.I was astonished because the journey in the daytime had taken a much longer .So far so good.Like Ratnagiri, the excavations at Udaygiri stand on a hill top which is spread over a much larger area and even during the day the hillside looks beautiful.As if someone has sprinkled those stone artifacts over the lush green rolling hills. I could see the moon's reflection in the deep well that stands at the foot of the hills.Stone staircases lead down to the well which was sparkling in the moon light. In the same time as the monasteries at Ratnagiri,the facilities at Udaygiri had their peak time from 7 th century to 12 th century AD.The inscriptions found at the site refer to the name of the place being Madhavapura Mahavihara.Udaygiri has a large monastic complex amid it's ruins and among it's many relics the most interesting are the unearthed images of 'Dhyani Buddhas'. Not to miss out on details,the Lama showed me a stone carving on the entrance wall of the compound.Even in the moonlight,I could make out the figure.It was a human figure swinging on a rope with his eyes closed,in a prefect state of happiness.Nobody perhaps knows who or what the figure means,but may be it means exactly what the viewer feels by watching it,a sense of calm and bliss.A single piece of stone can speak to you across the length of ages. On the hills of Udaygiri there exists a huge Mahastupa where four cardinal Buddhas sit facing each direction.Akshobya facing East,Amitabha facing West,Amoghasiddhi facing North and Ratnasambhava facing South. I returned to the conversation at hand. Me: We were speaking of the Kalachakra tantra. And Kalachakra Tantra is one of the ritualistic practices of Vajrayana Buddhism? I saw the initiation ceremony last summer at Leh by the Dalai Lama. Lama: The Kalachakra Tantra is the most evolved and complicated form of Vajrayana school.Even today it is considered as one of the highest form of Tantric philosophy.Apart from the sect of Vajrayana itself,the Kalachakra Tantra may have it's roots in Odisha. 'Kala' means time,'chakra' means wheel and 'tantra' means a system.This tantric practice in Buddhism is based on the concept of Time and how we perceive it.Almost all religions and schools of philosophy consider time to be cyclic in nature,so does Tantric Buddhism but it differentiates the time cycles into three parts.The internal cycle,the external cycle and the alternative cycle. Internal and external cycles are passage of time as we perceive it.Just like modern science,Buddhism considers time to be a measurement of rate of change of things around us. Me: This is very interesting indeed.What are these internal,external and alternative time cycles according to Kalachakratantra? Lama: As I said before the external and internal cycles are time as we human beings perceive it. For example the change of moon's shape and location in sky denote the monthly lunar cycle which can be considered as external time perception.Similarly the menstrual cycle of a woman's body is an example of internal time perception.The alternative time cycle is a way taught by the teachers of Kalachakra to gain harmony over the internal and external time cycles. So this summer in Leh,when you saw the Dalai Lama initiate the Kalachakra rituals,he was paving the way for gaining harmony over the influence of time. Me: The Buddha himself never came to the land of Kalinga to teach or give sermons? Lama: Though there is no direct evidence of Buddha coming to Kalinga or preaching here,but places and their names have been a shifting entity on the pages of history. The 1st Khandaka of Mahavagga text in Buddhism confirms that two honey traders from Odisha named Tapassu and Bhallika were the first lay disciples of Buddha after he achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.They offered honey cakes to Buddha after receiving teachings from him. Me: Not only the tantric sects but the entire Hindu pantheon seems to have assimilated Buddhism in current times.I have seen Buddhist images like Avalokotisvara,Tara,Yaksas etc in many Hindu temples especially in Odisha. Lama: Later during awakenings of Vaishnavite and Bhakti sects in medieval India,the all encompassing arm of Hinduism took Buddhism into it's fold and many considered Buddha as 9th incarnation of Bishnu.This happened in complete paradox of the fact that Buddhism became famous in ancient India when people revolted to some degree to the Brahmanical-Vedic orthodoxy in society.In current age,images of Dhyani Buddha has been found in the de-plastered walls of Puri's Jagannath Temple. The Asokan rock edicts and the stone carved elephant at Dhauli are the earliest evidence of Buddhism's presence in Odisha.A very similar rock cut elephant has been found in the excavations of relics near Kaima in Jajpur district.As per records ,even a stupa existed near the rock edicts at Dhauli until 19 th century which was lost to time later on. A Prakrit inscription in Nagarjunakonda confirms that 'Puspagiri' in Odisha along with Nalanda ,Tosali and Palur were great centers of Buddhist learning and scholastic traditions.There are even speculations that the Buddhist preacher Padmasambhava else known as Guru Rinpoche spent some time studying and contemplating in these hills of Odisha.Guru Rinpoche is credited with taking Buddhism to many Himalayan kingdoms as Tibet,Sikkim and Bhutan. The figures of Buddhist iconography such as Boddhisatvas,mandalas,images of Tara,fourteen forms of the Avalokotiswara,many Yakshas and Yakshinis that are spread through coastal Odisha and some western parts just goes to confirm that Buddhism had a stronghold in the land and helped in the propagation of the sect to far off lands beyond India. Me: I had never pondered on the idea that Odisha had such a substantial contribution to the rise and propagation of Buddhism in India and elsewhere.When I used to visit those monasteries and lamaseries in remote Himalayan valleys of Ladakh and Himachal,I never thought my home state would have played such a grand role in the epic narrative of Buddhism. Lama: I will once again go back to Tagore to illustrate my point....he once said that "though I traveled great many countries and visited far off lands from my home,I forgot to see the beautiful dew drop outside my window". I suppose you understand what he meant by that. Me: Yes dear Teacher,I most surely do.I always have it in mind that though I am out to explore the world I shall know my home land up close and thoroughly.Only when resident Odias have knowledge of their rich cultural heritage and past,rest of the world will slowly know too.I suppose I realize that. Lama: A Teacher is only as good as the pupil he is teaching....the more thirsty a student is,the better a teacher becomes.Now that you have accepted me as a teacher,will you do a small favor to these old bones? Me: What may I ask? Lama: Nothing,just a ride along the road till we get to the oldest of the three sites in the Diamond Triangle. So with the chilly winter wind against us.A young man and an old lama were riding on through deserted roads to Lalitgiri which is 8-9 kms down the road from the sites of Ratnagiri and Udaygiri.While on the road, we found an old couple whose vehicle had broken down and we stopped to help them out.The desperate old faces heaved a sigh of relief when the lama and me got down to give a hand to the broken down car.While the lama took the wheel,I was at the engine part.A small battery problem which was sorted out quickly and we bid farewell to the old man and woman who were repeating 'thank you's' till we got embarrassed. It must have been the last quarter of the long moonlit night,when we arrived at Lalitgiri. It was at this site,that tooth relics and bone relics were found in a stone casket.The bones and tooth were in a charred or half burnt condition and many consider them to belong to Buddha himself,but nobody can be sure.The Buddhist iconography and sculptures found scattered in these parts are highly esoteric in nature.More than fourteen forms of Avalokotisvaras have been found in Odisha and many have been unearthed here.No other place in India displays such variety in artifacts. Lalitgiri was the place where Tantric Buddhism was prevalent from around 300 BC to 13 th century AD.And hence it is considered as the oldest of the sites at Langudi hills. The terracotta inscriptions found here mention this place as 'Sri Chandraditya Vihara Samagra Arya Bhiksu Sanghasa'. Images of Buddha in various poses,images of Tara and other beings, sculptures of Avalokotisvara and many forms of Boddhisatvas,all strewn over the places and excavation is still going on. The old lama once again takes my hand to show something particular, an image of a woman breastfeeding a child. Me: Who is she? Lama: Her name is Hariti and she used to be a child lifter before Buddha persuaded her to become the protector of children.To be a mother to all those who do not have that privilege. Apart from four large monasteries at Lalitgiri,the major attraction is an apsidal ChaityaGruha or stupa completely made of bricks. After circulating the large stupa and prayer hall I walked over the slope to watch a glorious sight that people in today's age take for granted.I watched the sun climb slowly over the horizon and change the color of the sky.The sun has been doing this for ages,but still we find the sight ethereal.May be because our lives depend on it.May be because we know our time on this earth is limited and it would be a sin to miss out on such splendid and yet so simple views. I expected the lama to say something about that divine view,but as I turned around, he was not to be found.Morning always brings a change but this was something I had not expected.I searched all over the place and called him out but to no avail.My teacher had disappeared just as easily as he had appeared back in Ratnagiri hill top.I climbed down the slopes near the ruins to see if the old man would be waiting near the bike.But nothing.The last I saw him was when he sat down on the big rock under the huge tree. Perhaps more than surprised,I was disappointed,may be even a tad angry. There were no proper goodbyes and no parting words. This was the end of the line.The long night where we both contemplated on the ruins of the Diamond Triangle had come to a passé.As fog clutched the countryside I rode my bike alone back on the road to Ratnagiri in faint hope of finding the old lama somewhere waiting for me.Has he landed in some trouble?I was agitated and raced back. While on the road,the night flashed before me and all those images of the past swarmed past me.The ruins on these hills nearby had taken a shape in my mind.A heritage of the rich past of this land and a promise for the future times.My mind swam at the disappearance of the old lama.I was in distress because I knew I was too realistic a person to believe in phantom lamas who came and went as they pleased. Atleast someone I knew appeared on the foot of Ratnagiri hilltop.The old couple sipping tea at the road side tea stall smiled at me when I stopped my bike.They quickly offered me a hot cup of tea and only then I realized how bitterly cold the morning air was. Trying very hard to hide my anxiety, I just asked-"Have you seen the old man who was with me last night? I am afraid I lost him somewhere". The old lady looked at me and then at her husband. "The poor old man.He must be having trouble trying to find me....he was all alone", I added. Between the old woman changing her face from being aghast to a funny smile on her lips,the old man said,"Which old man?You were all alone last night when you stopped to help us". Taking the cup in my hands, I looked away.I tried very hard to recall the last words of the old lama. Soumya D Jena 10th March 2017This post was originally published on The Lost Hermit.
In my quest to travel and experience new destinations and places I decided to travel towards the Konkan highway this time. Being a Delhite the lure of the mountains is so much that you seldom make plans doing random trips towards Maharashtra. So here I was on my journey again with a few tips on the internet – stay, weather and travel distances was all that I was armored with. My SLR slung on my shoulders to take on yet another journey of its own.My destination – Romancing the Konkan highway with no real agenda – Just to experience it the way it is! The cities that draped the highway. The beautiful coastline. Lush green paddy fields and much more. I got on to a hired car from Mumbai and set off towards Ratnagiri – a commercial town by the seaside. 7 -8 drive from Mumbai and you land up in at a beautiful destination – The journey had its own experience –Driving through Ghats and quaint little villages. The coastline villages and the homes are so very different from the ones you see in the north – Lush green and brightly colored. The cuisine on the way was interesting from Poha breakfast to fish Thalis at the local eating joints.
273 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
The seven hills surrounding Satara give this picturesque district its name. Home to the popular Panchgani and Mahableshw...
As I reached Satara it became even worse - the mad traffic and the road, and finally reached Pune at 8 pm. It was so nice to see my favorite Mama and Mami. Went for local Pune ride the next day and found myself like AK in PK. No one was following traffic rules, no helmets, no rules nothing. Saw people staring at me for following regulations. While coming back from MG road a guy in Merc was shouting at me for waiting for traffic light to turn green. Educated illiterate eh!? Spent the next two days in Pune and got much needed rest and most needed sleep. Running short of time, energy and most importantly money I decided to skip Mumbai and head to Goa. On 29th Dec left for Panchagani and Mahabaleswar. Visited Ganapati Temple in Wai and started climbing the hill. Reached the next destination by 11 am. Spent some time in city and at various places and left for Ratnagari. Joined Mumbai–Goa highway and reached the city of mangoes by 6 pm and stayed there for the night.
In the evening we started for Mahabaleshwar... Next day was fully dedicated to Mahabaleshswar. Visit to Mahabaleshwar Temple was quite ok. The highlight was after that. We reached one of the view point in old Mahabaleshwar. There was nothing to see the whole area was covered with fog. On reaching there in the jungle we saw the whole heard on Indian Bison. They were so big ab majestic and looking great......
Our initial target for the day was Pune (845 kms from Bangalore), but since we got delayed and we didn’t want to ride through the night, we decided to stay at a place called Satara. Pune was still a good 100 kms away. After a bit of hunting, we found a decent hotel right on the highway and we were settled in. I slept like a baby that night!Day 1 Stay: Hotel Mahindra Executive, SataraPros: Decent Staff. Good Food. Right on the highway.Cons: Small rooms. Slightly pricy.Few Pointers: Start as early as you can. Make note that you need time to pack the luggage onto the bikes. Always keep spare bungee cords. Also thoroughly wrap your luggage with tarpaulin. NH4 has relatively fewer fuel stations, so keep this in mind when you’re running low. The hotels in Satara have something called permit rooms, which people rent to host alcohol parties. This can get pretty ugly with an unruly crowd. So please check thoroughly before you zero in.DAY 2:Satara – Mumbai (270 kms):We were all pretty beat from riding all day long, so we slept in even though we had planned to leave early. After having some yum MisalPav andPoha for breakfast, we were ready to leave by 9AM. Now we had the horrendous task of loading the luggage and wrapping it with tarpaulin. It was only Day 2 and I was already fed up with the wrapping and unwrapping of tarpaulin. It is such a tedious task.Anyway, we finally managed to leave by 10AM. The road from here is great, and the view is out of this world. The route is surrounded by the Western Ghats. This beauty is mesmerizing all year round, but during the monsoons she has an outer worldly charm. Serene, calm and soothing. What a refreshing start to the day.
230 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Located along the coast of Karnataka, Udupi is a beautiful town famous for its delicately carved temples and calm beache...
Day 4The Airbnb where I stayed was slightly off Udupi in a village called Aroor. The owner's dad (a 70 odd year old man) took me around the village for a 5km, 1 hour walk. It was a beautiful morning and I had a nice time walking through farms, bridges on backwaters and spotting a few birds.
Night we halted in udupi, a well known place for lord Krishna temple, in fact very beautiful place with historic story behind the temple and place.
The crazy adventure had just ended. 400 kms of mountain roads, 2 crazy bikes, a lot of flora and fauna, dense jungles, some really aromatic coffee, and endless scenic beauty. While handing over the bikes, we promised the shop owner to come back for them, and we did, a day later, for another adventure!
St. Mary’s Beach, KarnatakaUdupi Karnataka is home to the beautiful St. Mary’s island. This beach is embraced by the Arabian Sea and this beach is unique because of the basalt rock formations that look unique and stunning. This yet to be explored beach is glorious in all its ways! Be sure to check this out when you go to Udupi.Flight costRound-trip fares start from Rs 10,000 onwards. Booking in advance can get you best prices!Best time to visitDecember is the best time to visit, as the weather is just ideal!Where to stay Ocean Pearl Udupi (Rs 4000) , Paradise Isle Beach resort ( Rs 3000) , For more options, check here.
UdupiUdupi is known as the 'Temple town of Karnataka.' This small town consists of three ancient temples namely, Udupi Shri Anantheshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Udupi Shri Krishna Matha dedicated to Lord Krishna (the temple is also has a Gaushala inside, a haven for cows), Shri Anantheshwaram and Indrani Panchadurga Parameshwari Temple. I went to Udupi on a Sunday and my goodness, it was exceptionally populated on that day. Devout people of Karnataka gather together at all the temples to pay their respects to holy deities. What an amazing sight it was! It is easy to visit all the temples on the same day since all of them are closely knitted location wise.
Have you all explored Goa? Yes! Udupi?? No!This monsoon or winter head to Udupi, people generally know that it is a temple town. The revered Shri Krishna Temple which most pilgrims visit to seek blessings and the much holy ' prasadam' served there in the temple premises. We headed to Udupi with some hasty weekend travel roadtrip planning. With not much expectations and more a break to the mundane routine. It took us ten hours to reach by car and we entered the clean Udipi town around 2pm. Clean roads, less crowd, helpful people, soaring heat and sumptuous cuisines. That's it! No?? 5.30 pm we head to Kapu beach famous for its sunset view, lighthouse and clean beach. And it was indeed! Wow a beach that's maintained so well. White sands, clean blue waves, spectacular sunset hues, less crowd, miles to walk, breezy and serene. If not here than where else could we find such colours of the setting sun. Most of the Udipi beaches do not boast of fancy beach resorts. But that is a blessing in disguise to keep such pristine beaches for us. So to reach the beaches you might have to take your own transport or hire one. I can see only a few beach resorts around one of Udipi's more popular Malpe beach. This beach is more popular with sea sports like banana boat, paragliding, speed boat and the shade provided under thatched umbrellas. But the 'go-to' place is St Mary's island! So when you're in MALPE, take this ferry boat ride to the island that starts around 9 am till 4 pm with 300 bucks per adult. It's a thirty minutes boat ride , quite noisy though ! But once you reach, you are spellbound. Probably in monsoons they do not allow this. Its a secluded island, you have to see it to believe it. With kids , small babies and toddlers it might get difficult to get up and down of the boat or take that long boat ride. Do carry sufficient juice, water, snacks and umbrellas to enjoy the one hour you are left to be there. The volcanic rock formations make you feel you're indeed in some far off country beaches. But here it is....in our own country. Wish they could have provided better, happier and safer boat rides to this one of a kind island. This much for now......Happy tripping!
After breakfast, we went straight to Sri Krishna Udupi Matt but there was a long queue (as it was a Sunday). Luckily, the daily rath yatra was just starting. So got to see that. And had Masala Dosa with filter coffee at the legendary Mitra Samaj. Totally awesome place. Explored the other temples in the campus.Took an auto to Malpe Beach (not in the beach) to board a boat to St. Mary's Island. After 20 minutes, we reached and it is a surreal beauty. Just like the pictures I had seen. Enjoyed clicking pictures for a good one hour, ate fried fish and then returned to mainland. Walked to Malpe Beach to enjoy Parasailing. Had the awesomest lunch at Chandresh Fish Fry (a must try for non-veg foodies). Took an auto to TAPMI to meet a friend, thus in thw process exploring a bit of Manipal. Came back in the evening and went again to Mitra Samaj to enjoy their famous Goli Baji (available only after 4pm). Weekend is up. So time to board the bus back to city and life.Adventure: ParasailingAll photos belong to me. Follow me @nookandcorners if you love a good story with pics.
107 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
If you love mangoes, you will love Malvan! Now before you get confused, Malvan, in Maharashtra is home to India's favour...
Malvan village is famous for it’s delicious cuisine. The market in this village has a variety of local homemade products like mango squashes, juices, jellies, jams and pickles. One more speciality of Malvan is kokum butter. The kokum fruit is used frequently in the Malvani cuisine to impart sourness to the dishes. Kokum butter, extracted from the seed, is an excellent body butter. Many companies use this butter in their products. Here in Malvan, kokum butter is sold on the streets. The locals use it in place of regular table butter on their chapatis.
• Alcoholic beverages
Happily ticking of my Travel list. One of the most satisfying trip by far. A place where people give immense love and the best possible hospitality you can get. Been planning for Malvan from quite sometime now, travel from Bangalore is quite a Journey as there is no direct transport. Finally decided to take a bus to Goa, then a train from Goa to Kudal and an Auto to reach Malvan. That was hectic but totally worth it.
If one fine morning you suddenly decide to check out the internet about weekend spots from Mumbai, look no further than Malvan. Ideal for unplanned getaways, Malvan has a long list of facilities to charm you with. First off, there’s scuba diving, which might come as a surprise to many. 600 kms away from Mumbai, Malvan has more of a serene feel detached from the busiest hub of India. Based in the Sindhugarh district, it isn’t much developed yet, but that’s what the advantage here is. With the clean backwaters, the corals will leave you captivated. Water sports are plenty, though most of them similar to the ones at Goa. Tsunami Island nearby is a leading crowd-gainer with its switching invisibility mode. It is reported to be visible with low tide and the waters own it when the tide is high. If scuba diving has got all your attention up, it’s time to start packing away!Distance from Mumbai - 489 Kms
I have to admit I never thought I'd love Malvan as much as I did. I was awestruck by its beauty. It was peaceful, breathtaking and unforgettable too. Déjà vu!!! Its flashback makes me nostalgic. It was a 3 days and 2 nights trip. In the month of March it is generally very hot in Mumbai but thankfully the weather was not hot as expected in Malvan. In fact it was cool and windy, making it a perfect trip. Water sports here made my trip very special. I would say, there is still so much to see in this small place that 3 days weren't enough to explore. I would definitely plan to make my way back there and discover more.Where we stayed, Where we ate!Exotic Homestay, Dhuri wada - I found this ah-mazing house on Airbnb.com app. It made our stay perfect and memorable. The best thing about this house was that it was right in front of the beach(Chivla beach) and so visiting the beach anytime was possible. It also has a hammock which gives a perfect touch to the summer vacation. The host of the house was pretty decent. They provided us with Breakfast and Dinner at times. Other times we ate at a restaurant nearby (Darya Sarang) which had an amazing view of the beach. I would say the prices here are very cheap, except for the prawns, we were surprised too!
Are you one of those who plan their travel only and only around food? There are numerous ways to take a food holiday and learning about a cuisine tops the list. If food is your ultimate religion, then a culinary tour along the Konkan coast is your ultimate pilgrimage.Sign up for a 3-day food exploration tour of Malvan, a small town in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, with the White Collar Hippie. The tour includes trawling through local fish markets, walking through spice plantations, harvesting kokum, cooking with housewives and restaurant owners and lazing around the beaches.The dates of the tour are:• January 26th to 28th• March 11th to 13th• April 14th to 16th• October 8th to 10th• November 12th to 14th• December 10th to 12thFor more details on the Malvan food trip, check out White Collar Hippie's website. | Contact no. 99302-60748
• Go on a culinary tour along the Konkan coast
87 Kms from Varca
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,September,October,November,December
A small town in the state of Karnataka, Gokarna is about 5 hours away from Goa. The town is considered holy for Hindus a...
After enjoying the time at these beaches, I returned to my room and packed for my return to Bangalore.Day 7:I started off in Gokarna at 6 40am and Sirsi was my first pit stop. I would rate the drive from Gokarna to Sirsi as the best in my trip. Ghat section, sun trying to sneak through the dense green cover, cool breeze and with my Thunderbird raring to go, I completely enjoyed the drive. After a quick stop at Sirsi, in another 100 odd kilometers, I merged onto the Bangalore - Mumbai highway. Once I hit this highway, there was no stopping me nor my Thunderbird :) I reached home by around 4pm and that was the end to my trip. It was my first solo trip and obeying the traffic rules on the road ensured that I returned home safe.I wouldn't tell that this trip has solved all my problems in life. It has opened me up to new people, the willingness to start a conversation and learning to be a lot more calmer. I also realized how scared I am in dark and lonely places. I regained the lost interest in my photography hobby and the love for farming increased many fold.Travel responsibly, don't litter and drive safe :)I would dedicate this short write, the first time I have written an article after I passed out of PU to my English teachers from school, CN Geetha Ma'm and Vasavadatta Ma'm.
Trekking along the coastal lines has a charm of its own. With the beautiful coastline by the side, hiking along the sea beaches is a different experience altogether. The Konkan coast is quite famous for its landscape, beautiful beaches and the verdant forests. Ankola and Gokarna are two most beautiful beach towns in Karnataka. The Ankola – Gokarna Beach Trek is a weekend trek, but the trek route coincides with the longer Golden route trek (trek between Belekeri to Honnavara).
Gokarna is about 100kms from Murudeshwar and is known for its stunning beaches and relaxed hippie vibe. Gokarna has several beaches and mountains side by side and has something for everyone, the hiker and someone looking for relaxation.
By nightfall, we boarded our bus back to Bangalore and promised among ourselves to make this trip happen again. Other than the scenic pristine beauty of this place, what I also learnt about this place is that the local residents are very friendly and down to earth. They’ll never try to rip you off, as is the case of many other places in India. The foreigners here have deep respect for the locals and vice versa, making this place perfectly balanced and give off a very peaceful hippie vibe. If you ever plan on going to Gokarna, trust me, you’ll have a very different, genuine and an amazing experience.
Day 3: Beach Trails in GokarnaLast day of our trip was started by visiting other beaches in Gokarna. ** Om Beach ** Om Beach is the most famous beach in Gokarna. Two semi-crescent shapes that join resembling the Hindu religious symbol of OM, this beach got its name because of its shape. You can recline in the magnificence and serenity of the scenic surroundings here. This beach is a source mix of fascinating beauty and pristine water hitting on the beach for all the tourists.
Day 1 in Gokarna: Off Temples, Beaches and SunsetWe flew from Mumbai to Goa, And started our road trip from Goa Airport to Gokarna. With scenic beauty on the way, we were all excited to soak up in the pristine beaches & idyllic temples of this small town. We reached to our resort around 7.30am in the morning. After few hours of rest and sumptuous south Indian breakfast at the resort, we started to explore this small little town. ** Mahaganpati Temple ** Our 1st spot in the town was this small blissful temple of Mahaganpati. Few meters away from Mahabaleshwar temple lies this less touristy temple. Here stone statue of a standing Ganesha, which is said to be over 1500 years old. It is said that Lord Ganesha had played a role in acquiring the Atmalinga from Ravana and preventing it from going to Lanka.
I reached Gokarna early in the morning. On reaching, freshened up at the station and left for Mahabaleshwar temple. After my puja, I left to enjoy the beaches. Immediately I rent a bike to cover Om beach, Kudle Beach and Gokarna Beach. Other famous beaches like paradise beach and Half-moon beach were a bit far off, so I decided against it. In the afternoon, I took a bus to go Murudeshwar, where I visited the famous Murudeshwar temple and the Shiva statue. The view from the 18th floor of Murudeshwar was captivating, as one could get the panoramic view of the place and the famous Shiva statue. I had an hour left at hand before boarding the train to Madgaon. So, I took a boat ride in the Murudeshwar beach before returning back to Madgaon.
Let’s admit to one thing we all hate about travelling: A place cramped by hordes of tourists, the ones who block the sunrise and photo-bomb your selfies!Sprawled like baby-turtles on a moonlit beach, tourists make messof a beautiful destination. Goa has become one such place. Mass populations gather in Goa, disrupting all your plans for a peaceful holiday. (Shimla in Himachal Pradesh has met with a similar fate). Finding yourself the only humanoid on a beach, sippingbeer to a campfire, and closing your eyes to absorb the waves dashing against the cliffs, is an impossible dream in Goa, unless you have a swollen bank account for a private beach resort.Fear not, I will tell you an alternative.Travel down south to a lesser known beach-town: Gokarna – a place devoid of mass human gatherings!The easiest way to Gokarna is taking an overnight-bus journey from Goa or Bangalore. As you step down the bus in the town of Gokarna, spreading your arms, yawning and clearing your eyes, several autowalas flock around you to offer a ride to the beaches of Gokarna. Sandwiched between the calm Arabian Sea on one side and the town-settlements on the other, are the sprawling hills of Gokarna that you have to cross to get to the beaches. Exciting setting, eah?So when you get down the bus, deny the services of the Autowalas, strap your bag tight on your shoulders like a soldier going out to the war, and set out on a severalkilometers trek. Guided by the Google Map Navigation, you will come across marinal birds perched upon the trees, looking for an early-morning meal, tall coconut trees swaying in the oceanic wind, and the roars of an invisible ocean coming from a distance, like a dragon breathing inside a cave. Do not forget to click some pictures on the way.Gokarna has two major beaches: Om and Kuddle.Make your first stop at the Om beach which derives its name from the way it shapes around the lurking waters. Having claimed a few serious injuries in its past, the beach is laden with boulders and rocks all over. Be careful! It was here that I did something so crazy that I will remember the thrill of it for a long time. Here’s what you have to do: Venture deep into the waters and let the lower-half of the body disappear below the surface. Look around and you will discover few rocks jutting their heads out of the water offering you a nice seat. While you’ve left the crowd behind on the shore, sit there for hours, in your own silence, and watch the water play around your legs, and the waves bash against your little island. Watch the sun slowly slip behind the ocean scattered in front of you as the seagulls return to their nests and the sky turns dark. Absorb yourself in your own silence.Retreat back to the shore as evening takes over. An effortless trek up the hill, and a descend from the other side shall bring you to a less crowded and more pacific – Kuddle beach. Om beach attracts those people who come from nearby towns for a day’s picnic and who return back as the day ends, but Kuddle beach houses those who seek refuge by the ocean!While the world becomes dark on the Kuddle beach, grab a beer if you wish, and lie down to count the stars. Or get up and walk by the sea, venture in the dark, and sing songs of Mohammad Rafi to yourself. Apart from a few travellers lurking in the darkness of the parked fishermen-boats, you’ll find the hippies and backpackers singing calypsos and dancing around a fire in the shadows of the moon.As the midnight comes, the beach becomes dang deserted as if you’re the last person on the planet. Hear nothing but the constant whistling of the waves and the winds flirting the coconut giants behind you. If you can, sit until the dusk falls and see the sun slowly rise from the depths of the sea. Else, fall asleep in one of the many affordable resorts.Imagine waking up to the sound of waves, the next morning, and stretching your arms in a balcony facing the sea! All in a shoestring budget!While you’re at Gokarna, it has many flavors to satiate your hunger. The noodles of International Gokarna Resort had left me craving ever since I had returned from there. With the noodles blended in a nice cheesy flavor and a drink of sweet lime to accompany with it, there cannot be a better way to spend a lazy afternoon. Among many reasons that I am itching to go back once again to Gokarna is for these noodles at Gokarna International Beach resort. I hope they haven’t changed the chef.Walk a little further, and you will arrive at a simplistic cafe thatched with dried coconut barks by the name of: ‘Namaste Rock Cafe’. Ask for a Prawns Pizza. And don’t forget to thank me later! They serve it on a banana leaf and one Pizza should be enough for two.While on the Om beach, look for a certain Dolphin Bay Cafe and ask for ‘Ice-Nuttela‘. It will be a drink unlike any other you’ve had in your life.What was that thing you were talking about Goa again?
#TripotoTakeMeToHimalayasGOKARNA SOLO TRIPSitting by the sea, reading a book while listening to soothing music, this experience had eluded me all my life. What would it be like just lying on the beach, watching the stars while listening to the waves crash onto the shore.