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287 Kms from Visapur
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
India’s second largest city, Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is home to a few hundred captivating contrasts and cr...
Dream a little dream of FUTURE. How smart our cities could be? Is a Blade runner kind of future awaits for us? How would you find an affordable place to spend a night in a hugely expensive city? Is a disruptive way of living approaching fast into our travelling lives? I was harboring all these thoughts while for the first time I heard about the POD hotel in India, that too in Mumbai.The IDEA and where to find themYou can experience these future proof living styles in developed, over populated cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Moscow, London, Amsterdam, New York, Bangkok. The concept behind is secluded and minimized living for a hassle-free stay during a quick visit of these cities. Plus points of these pods are also its close proximity of main communication points like airports, railway stations and pocket friendliness. These make the pod type of hotels popular over a short span of time.No need of VISA to have a taste of PODThe idea sounds tempting, right? But could not plan for the trip right away? No worry. Mumbai now offers the coziest POD experience you could have. The new addition to the Maximum city's ever expanding offering is only 4 km away from Andheri Railway station and 5.5 km from Mumbai International Airport. A well connected spot in the busy city, URBAN POD is a perfect place for a night's stay. Or may be more than a day.The Place and amenitiesThe first thing that you would notice is a clutter free entrance. A traveler's dream is to find a place that is free of all the chaos(when staying the night is the concern) and this place would offer you just that. After you reach the first floor and have not yet reserved a POD you have to complete the necessary documentation. Please do carry an identity proof as it would come in handy for booking a room(POD). If you are carrying luggage, you need to hand them over to the stuff who would take care of it. Did I mention that your shoes are not allowed inside the pod? Okay, it is a shoe-less shrine of a traveler's soul. Besides it helps the place to stay more clean and hygienic.The timing for check in is 15:00 hours and check out timing is 11:00 hours. They would provide you break-fast at the cafeteria till 10:00 hours. Now what would you need for a good night sleep is taken care of the management in a pretty innovative way. A free WI-FI connection, a TV remote, a fresh towel, a water bottle would be offered to you to take possession of before finally catching a glimpse of the POD. The interior is very much in accordance with the minimalist approach of the idea of the seclusion. The pods are built as row houses inside of separate rooms and are very soothing sights.Once inside, you can actually feel that as a human being we really don't require much to go for a sleep. All we would ever need is a soft bed, a dim light(a reading light sometimes), some light fragrance and invitation of sleep.It offers just these in right proportions. End result will be a cherish-able experience for life. The future of smart travelling is here and this proves how.I forgot to mention the common washrooms which are quite spacious and inviting would offer you solace and are enough to calm your weary souls.Still planning to spend a lot for a night's stay in the City of dreams? Please check this place for a new experience with decent pricing which wont hurt your pocket. And remember future beckons, this could the part of a cyber-punk life you always wanted to experience.
Are you reading this, sitting in your office cabin with no Friday night plans whatsoever? After having slogged super hard at work all week, is your new year's resolution of having more fun, crashing right in front of you? Well, we've got good news for you! It's still not too late to get into action and plan an outing that is sure to start 2018 with a bang!Here's How!
Day 2 was Christmas and we decided to cover mainly Mumbai fort and nearby iconic places as they are close to each other. Took the cab to Flora Fountain to start with, but it was closed as some work was going on. Walking through the fort area along the colonial buildings made us feel like we are walking through roads in somewhere in Europe( most of the time :))
We took an early morning flight to Mumbai and reached around 9 AM in the hotel we booked in Santacruz area(Read my review on Fab hotel Embassy Park BKC). We had an amazing breakfast of wada pavs and chai in a small eatery called Ravi's near our stay. After quickly refreshing, we set on our first day of the trip to Sidhivinayak Temple and Haji Ali Dargah. We could not enter both the places due to the huge crowd and were pretty disappointed by then. Decided to go ahead with Lunch and found a nice place called Cafe Noorani(Mughlai style) near the Dargah and its a good place if you are a non-vegetarian. After having a delicious lunch, we went to Linking Road for shopping and found it to be a reasonable place. The trick is to tell 1/3rd if any price the shop keeper tells :) We found travelling in Mumbai pretty easy as we could get cabs and autos very easily and we need to pay by the meter. Ola and Uber also are very popular. Juhu beach was last on the list for the day and chaats were awesome here though the beach was very unpleasant and dirty.
I reached Mumbai around 12.30 PM and the train to Bikaner was at 2.35 PM so I had enough time to reach from Sion to Dadar railway station. Mumbai is not new to me at all and especially in the last 8 years I have travelled to Mumbai a dozen times for a lot of Business meetings and trainings. Train got delayed by an hour at Dadar station and by the time I reached Bikaner there was a delay. I reached my first destination the next day at 4:00 PM.Route:Bangalore-Hubbali-Pune-Mumbai(By Bus)Dadar(Mumbai)-Ahmedabad-Jodhpur-Bikaner(By Train).Rajasthan is a Land of Kings, Palaces (Mahals and Havelis), Forts and Temple ruled by Rajput’s with its rich Heritage and Culture. Rajasthan is well connected by Roadways, Railways and Airways. The best time to be here is between October to March as the weather in this part is very pleasant during that time. The temperature varies from 5 degrees during night to 25 degrees during the days.
Having few more days to spare, I thought to go south and touch the Arabian sea before returning back to Nagpur. So on reaching Delhi, after half a day’s rest, I left for Mumbai. I was touching the land after a gap of 20yrs. The last time I was here, I was a kid in early 1998. The first day, I took a tour bus at Churchgate and covered all the important places of Mumbai. The second day, I dedicated to Siddhi Vinayak Temple and Haji Ali Dargah, before resorting to Marine drive. I caught my train at night towards Nagpur, marking the end of my journey.
178 Kms from Visapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Called the Oxford of the East, Pune is a bubbling cosmopolitan city. A large student hub, this city loves art, culture a...
Day 14: September 30, 2015:I left Pune at 9 AM and began riding towards bangalore. The first leg of the return went peacefully as I reached the outskirts of Kolhapur. A small break for lime soda and I immediately continued riding towards Belgaum. As i crossed Belgaum it was about 2:30 PM.I knew that reaching bangalore by 10 or 11 PM was easy if I continued without a break. Just as I crossed Hubli an near Havery, traffic cops had blocked the highway and diverted traffic towards Ranebennur and from there I had to deviate towards Davanagere. When I reached Davanagere, it was almost 630PM, due to the road condition through the villages.I had a tea and continued towards Tumkur, It was almost 10 PM when I was a few kilometers before Tumkur town. What I hadn't seen in more than a week came back to haunt me. The rain gods came down heavily and the remaining 80 kms to reach home was spent well in getting drenched.When I finally entered bangalore, it was 1145 PM. I had travelled a total of 940 kms in a little less 15 hours. I was trembling and couldn't stand on my feet as the last day journey had taken a toll on me.Finally, I had completed a full 6200 odd kms in about 15 days, going through a lot of "hardship", meeting a few friends, visiting a few places and experiencing unknown roads of the country.It is time to end the blog with a note that everyone should travel to some unknown destination by their own at some point of time in their lives.
Source and Destination city for flight: Pune(PNQ) --> New Delhi(DEL) --> Siliguri(IXB)The price of prepaid taxi was fixed, I was charged 2200 INR for private taxi in December 2016.
The plan was again for Andaman and Nicobar islands , but because it so seemed a far cry , we were obliged to drop the ‘An’ from Andaman.The same group as last time , almost . Just that this time , in the place of the non-kafir , we had Prat amongst us. The packing was done , the bookings were done. Our itinerary was supposed to be of a three-day trip : First travel to Daman , then to Diu (which is a fifteen-hour bus journey from Daman) , back to Daman , a detour to Udvada , the small ghost town of Parsis (Zoroastrians) where a fire has been burning at Atash Behram for more than a thousand years ! without any seventh-year itches , or thousand-and-one-year itches , and then back to home.I had even drawn a customized map , carefully noting the distances and time between the spots we had planned to visit.We were just one day away from the impending journey , and this is where things went awry – violent showers showed up at Daman and Diu.While planning the journey , we had carefully picked up the dates with the brightest , immaculate sun shining on the website portal. Nevertheless, the website defied us – Weather went south !Nonetheless , the following night , a pack of six foolhardy youths sneaked out of their college periphery (owing to lack of permission) and set out to set the Thames on fire ! or the Arabian sea , or… hell! the Gulf of Cambay on fire !!!
We started off at Pune , all set for Aurangabad , sneaked out of the college at 8 pm pretending to be going for random chores , because the college won’t allow us to leave. Once out, we set off for the railway station and boarded a train to Aurangabad.Once in Aurangabad , we right away started our journey after a few samosas on a booked brand new Innova.It was drizzling and the pristine grasslands , hills and forests on the way made the scene even more picturesque. After an hour of travelling, we halted at a petrol pump to pour some fluid into the car and in turn , empty out some of our fluid. But were confronted by a harsh dilemma. There was just a ladies toilet available ( so are men just supposed to pee around wetting random bushes? ) which led us to hold our urges a little longer . However ,N2 and N3 , antiblack and notsowhite , loose cannons that they were , couldn’t keep up and surrendered in the face of their more faithful callings. They peed in the ladies toilet , and that too, in the wash basin , because they didn’t have sound comprehension about how to use the female facility ( how could we possibly have known? Given our decorum of not sneaking into the lady facilities so often).
Thanks for reading and happy travelling :)* Do visit our blog www.alifeinslowmotion.com for other travel stories as well :
It was a long time we went with family for an outing. I and Arriesh's family were planning to visit a place which would be relaxing and close to nature. Being the nearest beach from Pune, we finalized Alibaug. We hired a cab and started from Pune at 7:00 AM in the morning.
201 Kms from Visapur
This is the capital of the state of Goa and is probably the smallest state capital. Panaji is also the headquarters of t...
As soon as we woke up on our bus ride, rain greeted us and the weather suddenly became humid, but the views we encountered on our way and the excitement of the journey ahead made us ignore the uncomfortable weather.
Finally the day came. Valentine's day, we woke up early in the morning and left to Panjim for the carnival. After 30-45 minutes we reached Panjim and joined the carnival. Many groups were performing at that carnival, it was something that I can't forget in my life. Well planned, well coordinated. Awesome performance was given by the groups and members who participated in that Carnival . We spent our whole day in that carnival and we enjoyed to the maximum.
We then headed towards panjim, the quaint capital city of this cute state of goa. I had made my list of places to go much before the trip started and hence was searching for a boutique shop called Barefoot. It is difficult to locate but worth your time. The shop has great collection of eclectic home decor products and also pretty everyday wear jewels. The shop is located at 31st Janeiro Road or as the locals say 31st January Road, just near the subway,in a bylane.
A day I was looking forward to, today I took the ride from North Goa to South Goa. I had one beach in mind, very less known, secluded and amazingly scenic. Hollant Beach is a secluded beach close to the airport and very less people know about it. The ride is also awesome, this is one good place to pack a lunch, chill and spend a day. The major attraction is that this beach offers one km of shore line with pool like water and nominal waves. This is the place to come and play a game of water polo with your friends.I had booked a flight next day early morning, this gave me 4 full days in Goa.
295 Kms from Visapur
Best time to visit - February,March,November,December
The city of Thane is a great getaway from Mumbai. Its beautiful lakes, lovely locales, boat rides and old forts makes it...
I have been following many travelers on Instagram and then one day, I saw an amazing post by Nequesta aka Nikita Vhora. The post was about an ancient temple that was burried all this time under water and due to serious drought in Maharashtra, the temple has come out and started to attract people from around the region. I will talk more about the temple later. But Drought is what we need to focus right now, since it has become a sensation in Maharashtra and causing lives of many in remote villages.
It was 24th November 2016. Everyone were excited about the expedition that we are about to begin. For some of us it is the first overseas expedition. Moreover, this is the first time we are going to cross an International borders over land.Although the entire trip was planned, we still had confusion regarding the Visa process. As we read through different travel blogs and in-hand experience of fellow travelers who have crossed the borders several times, we were slowly catching up fear. Some said: One must have Multi-Entry Visa while the others suggested to get visa from the Thailand/Cambodia consulate before starting the trip. We never had time to decide which path to take. Moreover, there were fake websites and fake guidelines all over the internet. One of the travel blogger was requesting for money, so that he would provide us the itinerary for successful travel. We ignored all of that..A Wise Man once said: Life is all about taking risks. If you never take a risk, you will never achieve your dreams.That's Right! We prepared ourselves to take the risk crossing an international border over land. What we had in our hand prior to boarding the flight was just the e-Visa for entering Cambodia. Also we had booked a minivan that would take us to the Thailand Border (Aranyaprathet). From the border, we are on our own. I know you can already feel how scary it was for us to enter a country where law is not maintained and the people do not speak the language that we speak and there are landmines , yes LANDMINES which are still ALIVE. The only language that works there is "Money".Alright... Let me not scare you further and continue with the journey.
I left my room and caught the first local train and reached to the Thane station. From there, I boarded on an express train to Igatpuri . To my surprise there were many fellow trekkers on Thane station, and in the train also. I interacted with a few and they all were surprised that I was travelling solo. Some even gave that poor look " Poor fellow, got no family or friends." I smiled and kept on. There were many beautiful and picturesque sites in the way. I thoroughly enjoyed them.
First thing first, never go solo trip if you have no travelling experience. I had my share of travelling experience. I have been travelling since 2011 and have been to some of the most dangerous places where I have seen death from a close view. So, I had an idea of what all things could go wrong on a trip. So, as a traveler you should have something in your experience bank before you are ready for a solo. At least do a trip with some trip organizer. Next comes my golden rule of life, start with small steps. Ideally plan for a solo trip of a day or two. You can learn from its experiences and plan longer trips as you become experienced. After selecting my destination my next step was preparation for the worst possible outcome. In case, the trip does not go as planned, I made myself sure that what was the shortest route to come back home and it should be working 24*7. I also wrote down some necessary details on paper as one should have a redundant source in case phone battery goes off or worst phone goes off. Now, ready with safety, I searched for some places to stay and then drew out itinerary from several websites on which it is easily available. Other detailed preparations I have mentioned here.Now, the most important advice which you would not find anywhere is even after so careful planning a fear still remains in one's mind, it remains when you lock the door and leave the house, it remains when you board the bus or train and you secretly desire that something should happen so that you could convince yourself in cancelling the trip. Please overcome that fear. It happens with everyone, happened with me also. I wanted to come back from the railway station but pushed myself and I am happy that I did so. You will all be a new person if you manage to win that fear. In fact, it is that fear only, which is stopping us from going on a solo trip.
On the other hand I reached Thane at 8.30 pm in the night because of heavy traffic at Airoli Toll and road work near Ghansoli.Riders:Jegan aka motowanderer on Honda CBR250RHemant on KTM Duke390Eye of the Photographer:Nikon D5200 with Nikkor 18-105mmGARMIN Virb Ultra 30Oneplus TwoOneplus OneSafety Gears:Jegan: Rynox Tornado Pro Tri-Series Jacket, DSG Primal Gloves, Scoyco K11 Knee Protectors, MT KRE SV Momentum HelmetHemant: Solace Sprint Jacket, Solaces All-Weather Gloves, Mototech Knee Protectors, Studds Shifter helmetHere are the pics from the trip:
We decided to ride. I did not ride since long, I wanted to do endurance. I was not sure if I could do it but then decided to give it a go. I plotted out the route. The plan was to leave Thane as early as possible to reach Amboli and stay there for a night. Next day, go to Sindhudurg fort then Vijaydurg fort and reach Amba village for another night stay. Last day of the ride, start the return journey via Bhor where the infamous Necklace point is located. Google showed that it is 1177 kilometers. We booked hotels and did our preparation. I changed the cone set of the bike and did a complete service. Hemant had to pickup my bike which was with Pace and Pixel Motors for a week for service, parts and tyre change. He received a soft rubber Pirelli Diablo Rossi II upgrade on the rear.Day 1: September 2, 2017
So, to continue by own tradition to spent my birthday at some new place that I always wanted to explore, I planned to visit Murudeshwara. As usual, I called my cousin at 11:30 AM and asked him if he will join, and all he asked was what train we will be catching. He must have got used to my absurd habit of dropping sudden plans on him.Three and half hours later, we were at Thane station waiting for Mumbai - Mangalore Matsyagandha express with our sacks on our back and thoughts about how long we will be standing in train before we can rest our butt for some time. Luckily, three hours into the journey, a group of people got down at Mangaon and we got a place to seat. Rest of the journey was completed comfortably (with our nomad standards). We got down at Murudeshwara Road at around 4AM in morning only to see couple of autos waiting outside railway station. This was my first time in an of the four southern states of India and I was really excited and worried about it at the same it. We took an auto from Station to Town and were planning to spend some time outside temple before the doors open. But auto driver suggested us a hotel nearby temple, so we planned to go for it. Place was average and we got the rest needed before starting our day.
199 Kms from Visapur
The third day started of late, and as it was our last day, we spent the some time in lazing around in the pool. At aroun...
The third day started of late, and as it was our last day, we spent the some time in lazing around in the pool. At around 3 we visited Calangute beach where we enjoyed a few water sports (snorkling, parasailing etc). They offer great packages but it is very important to negotiate the prices. I personally would recommend water sports at this beach.
We checked into Fab Hotel La Flamingo, Calangute, a very good 3 star hotel for its rate, took some rest had lunch and started off our trip by visiting Fort Aguada. Fort Aguada is the best-preserved Portuguese fort in India and then took a break and had a bite at Cafe Sussegado Souza to try one of Goan delicacy "Bebinica", then followed by an evening well spent at Calangute beach. Then went for some street shopping at Calangute Market and ended the day with a hefty dinner at Infantaria. Once Calangute's best bakery, Infantaria is now a popular Italian-cum-Indian fondue-meets-curry restaurant.
It took me couple of minutes to register where I was when I waked up that morning. It was our third day at Goa but it was feeling like I was there for years. I had to actually recall, from where I had come and where I work, it felt like a lifetime ago. I went to the balcony, needed some fresh air, after the four hours' sleep I could not even think properly. We didn't have any plan. I thought to spent the day just seating in the balcony. After couple of minutes I realized, it was our last day in Goa, we might never get the chance to come back here again. I went back to the room; my friends were having the same feeling too. We got ready in no time and left for Anjuna beach.
We had to wake up early in the morning. It was not an easy task, waking up early in Goa is never an easy task. We had our Dudhsagar trip planned today. The tour operator provided transportation. The traveler picked us up from our home-stay. There were around 15 people including us. They stopped for breakfast in their designated place. The café was a bit expensive but their south Indian food tasted good.
Further, the road leads to the green highway and then the city besides the sea. The city roads with all food around, the smell of fish and the views of coconut craft. We reach our pre-booked homestay just a walk away from the Calangute Beach. As it was a big group with three small babies, so on reaching there, all we wanted was just to rest. A nap and then we go out for lunch. Nearby is all full of many food joints and one can easily fetch food from different cuisines- but as we say "When in Rome, do as Romans do", so I would suggest go for the Goan food, as it tastes better than anything else.Later in the day, after dinner, a walk to the beach was our very first encounter with the Goan beach waters- but a bad experience. It's true people forget life in Goa, but people don't forget to exploit it. The beach was not clean and the water stinky. Sad to say, but depressing. To the good of Goa, is also a bad side. Also, the ice-cream vendors around could only sell us ice-creams at a price much higher than MRP with hug bargains. Depressing was the end of the day, but it was the first day and awaits the fun.Day 2, we start our journey towards the beautiful Goa. Down towards Panjim and then further towards the Goan hills which led us to the silence and calmness of South Goa. Post lunch we reach the Palolem Beach and check in our accommodation, a few kilometers away from the beach as we didn't pre-book. Otherwise, its quite a nice place and a walk away from the beach, we find many different accommodations.
We reached our stay late afternoon, a cosy homestay managed by an extremely warm and helpful elderly couple. Dumped our bags and headed to the streets for a nice Goan lunch to soak in the vibe.Walked to the beach post lunch and this is where I realised there was a side to Goa that nobody talks about, the infamous dark side.The approach road all the way to the beach, swarming with tonnes of people. But, this was not the problem; their mentality was.I was absolutely disgusted and dismayed by the absolute lack of character amongst such a large number of men. Men commenting and either trying not to keep their hands to themselves or walk straight into the girls around.The beach was equally crowded but we decided to ignore the scenario and spend the rest of the evening swimming and playing football.After sunset we decided to change and head to Baga for new years eve.No surprises here- the crowd had only gotten worse. Tonnes of drunk, unruly men; no room to enter any party places; bouncers loosing their mind. Walking down Baga hearing men pass lewd comments all along thinking to myself whatever happened to respect? Goa on new year's was supposed to be an electrifying atmosphere with a bit of romance of course but it was everything but that. •note to self and all of you guys reading this: plan the new year's night properly and well in advance•
Today was only about getting the feel of Goa. It was different and not disappointing definitely. An evening walk near the resort on Calangute beach was the perfect end of the day. Few shacks were open with lesser customers but same excitement. The tranquility of seashore with grey clouds all over the sky was soothing to the eyes and mind.
On reaching our guest house, we freshen up and went to beach . It was around 4 a.m in the morning but the aura of the place made us forget all our tiredness. In the morning , Ankit received a call and we got to know that one of our friend is already in Goa with his family.After a peaceful snooze , we took shower and went outside , hired a car and started our local sightseeing while heading towards Panjim . We decided to join the carnival that was supposed to be held on Valentine's day there. After a long fun-filled day, we went back to guest house and took some rest. Spending night on Calangute beach with friends while enjoying the music of water waves ,beer in hands, and cold breeze, gave an awesome feeling!!
17) Spent time in The Shack
7) You will never see as calm as this Sunset at Calangute Beach
289 Kms from Visapur
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.
225 Kms from Visapur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
A modern-day resort town, the hill station of Lonavala is around 106km from Mumbai. It makes for a great weekend getaway...
LonavalaLonavla is located 64 KM from Pune. It is a hill station. A tour to Lonavla and Khandala can be combined with sight-seeing visits of Karla, Bedsa, and Bhaja caves and also the two fortresses, Visapur and Lohagad. Another spot of attention is the ” fort Tungi.” The Andharban trek starts from village Pimpri, passes through dense forests, valleys, and waterfalls, and ends
As usual, we(Prasad, Hemant and I) finished our night's watch(struggle of a night shift employee) and started towards Lonavla, Maharashtra. After Panvel, we did take a break somewhere near Bringhanwadi Toll Naka. That was our first stop and then we continued riding towards Lonavla. During this time, my focus was all on the new set of tyres that I fixed in the CBR250R. Friends wanted to hear how it did during the ride... Consider this as my review of the tyres as well... The new Michelin Pilot Street Radials are grippy/sticky and way better than the Michelin Pilot Sporty(This was $#!+) that I used before.Note: Naresh Shetty, if you are reading this, please change your Michelin Pilot Sporty to save yourself from slippery roads. #MonsoonTimes
Lonavala so happens to be the most cliche place where all Mumbai and Pune residents rush to when the weekend is here. It is the most popular holiday destination for residents of this area. With so many hotels there, one gets confused as to where to stay. It is quite a choice to be made since there are so many hotels and you may have stayed there before. Going and staying in the same hotel can just get boring after a point. This is where AIRBNB saves you! It gives you a home away from a home. The feeling of a home does not go away while you're out in your own comfort space and having the time of your life.
Day 1 : Bike Ride to Lonavala & KhandalaMy friends decided we'll go to Karla Caves, Lonavala and Khandala on bikes. Yes on bikes! We have 3 Bikes and 5 people, So we started in morning at around 8 it was cloudy and seemed like it might rain. Just in 10 minutes we were on the highway and it started raining, I was spell bound by the blows of morning breezes I wished I had the power to freeze time. We stopped at a dhaba to have breakfast and tea best part of the bike trip is we can stop anywhere we wanted to.Our first destination is Karla Caves and we reached there after 2 hours of bike ride. Carved into a rocky hillside, Karla caves are among the oldest Buddhist cave shrines in India. It is located on the Pune-Mumbai highway at Karla.
अगर आप मुंबई में रहते हैं तो आपके लिए मानसून में जाने वाली सबसे बढ़िया जगह है लोनावाला! मानसून की शुरुआत के साथ सह्याद्री पर्वत श्रृंखलाएं और हरे घाट, झरने और सुखद जलवायु और आकर्षक हो जातें हैं। शहर की हलचल से शीघ्र बचने के लिए विलक्षण पर्वतीय शहर लोनावाला की यात्रा की योजना बनाएं।कैसे पहुंचे - लोनावला में अपना एक रेलवे स्टेशन है जहां पुणे और मुंबई से काफी गाड़ियां रोज़ आती हैं | सबसे पास एयरपोर्ट है पुणे में, जो वहाँ से 60 किलोमीटर दूर है | और आप अगर मुंबई या पुणे से आ रहे हैं तो अपनी कार से भी आ सकते हैं, केवल डेढ़ घंटे का रास्ता है दोनों शहरों से |कहाँ रहें - होटल ग्रैंड विसवा में आप हर सुख सुविधा केवल 3,000 रुपये में पा सकते हैं | आप चाहें तो ये आप अभी ही ये होटल बुक कर सकते हैं बिना पैसे दिए, यहां क्लिक करें |2. उदयपुर
I feel envious towards those who are born and brought up near hills. I’m fond of online personality tests and whenever I’m asked if I prefer hills to beaches, I always give a positive answer. Although beaches are romantic, I find solace in less crowdy places and that is why I prefer hills. Every time I visited my boyfriend, who is now my husband, we went on bike rides to the hills near Pune. Lonavala is one such places that still fills my heart with ebullience.It had been drizzling all day and to rejoice the generosity of the weather, we decided to go on a ride to Lonavala. The breathtaking valleys, coy mist, silvery skies transforming each second, prancing clouds, and lush green blanket of curly grass blew my mind. The road to the marvellous Tiger point was full of many hairpin curves and the mist was so dense that one could hardly say if the two headlights coming from the front were of a car or two different motorbikes. The trees on the road were bent as if they were doing it deliberately to hear the harmonious music of the wind.We reached the Tiger point. The place got its name as it gives impression of a tiger trying to leap across the valley. There was a small waterfall formed due to rain and the notorious mist was hiding it from it after every fifteen seconds as if it was a secret treasure. Yes, there was crowd, but it didn’t matter either. Thanks to the mist! We roamed around the place, the mist decreased suddenly, and I found a ravine nearby. It was so deep that most of the day it must have remained in shadow. Over it, a narrow path twisted its way down through the tress, over an open ridge where Sahyadri flora in varied hues grew wild, and then steeply down through a tangle of slender bamboo. I was about to call it heaven as the mist took the scene away from my eyes, and I was left illusioned as if I had been drugged.Visiting Lonavala and not tasting its delicious corn pakoras is like being in Switzerland and not tasting its cheese. The tempting fragrance of yummy pakoras with onion chutney is something that amplifies one’s hunger. The pakoras should be followed by a kulhad of hot coffee- so thick that if you don’t wipe your mouth after having it, you will be left with a crusty, brown moustache. To dig deep into the ocean of hillside cuisines, we also tried roasted corn with green pudina chutney peppered over it.It was around 6 o’clock when we decided to leave. The orange-purple Sun was peeping out from the grey clouds, and the city below was becoming alive with all electric lights. We could hear the leaves of the trees rustling and indicating that it was time to rest. The birds were going back to their nests with some savoury gifts in their beaks for their little ones, and we too returned with imperishable memories of the wedding of hills with clouds in Lonavala.
Route B: The second trail begins from Lonavala and crosses the Tungarali Dam to reach the Rajmachi Village. This is a 15km long straight road, where you can easily take a vehicle. However, cars can only go up to a certain point till a diversion comes. There is a place where you can park your vehicle at the diversion and from here the last one kilometre needs to be covered on foot.How to plan it: If you start your trek from Lonavala, you do not need more than a day to reach the fort and make your way back to Lonavala.Distance: 15kmWhere to stayKajrat:
63 Kms from Visapur
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.