Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mehendi

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Mehendi

We Indians love Bangles and Mehendi. All decked up and ready for my Bro’s wedding…

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Avalanche – Ooty

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When one thinks of Ooty, one only thinks about the Ooty Lake, toy train and lush tea gardens. Ever thought about visiting any place that is off the beaten track? On our search for such a location we happened to come across Avalanche.
Avalanche is a nature lover’s paradise, which is just 26 km away from Ooty. This valley has been named after the landslide or avalanche in 1823. The lakes are tucked inside the lush green shola forests. The first thing that hits you at Avalanche is the palpably pristine fresh air. The jungle is dripping with epiphytes – ferns, orchids, mosses, lichen literally falling off the trunks and branches. Pristine mountain streams are everywhere, and at parts the shola is dense, dark and seemingly impenetrable.
The place is distinctly noted for two lakes side by side, known as Avalanche Lake and Emerald Lake. A small bride separates the two lakes. The water of the lakes is truly crystal clear and we could not resist ourselves from dipping our feet in the lake. The place is so less known to the public that you will not find many people around and that adds to the charm of the place.
The true untouched nature of the place would make you sit there for hours. It is also the perfect place to enjoy bird watching and a quiet afternoon. If you happen to travel a little further up you will be able to see a lot of lakes from the top. The places adjacent to the Emerald Lake, is mainly in a reserved forest and is largely off-limits to visitors. Prior permission from the forest departments is required for visiting the places beyond this

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India is not all about slums and poor people

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As I was going through some of the blog written by some Foreigners, I realized one thing. People out there have a really scary image of India. It was quite shocking to realize that people out there consider India as chaotic, crowded and yet enchanting. I was also amazed at their infatuation for slum. I would definitely like to ask them one question, don’t they have poor people in their country. The culture in our country is quite different form the western world. So a lot of our customs could sound to them as weird. But then, every country has their own set of cultures. That is what makes us diverse.

I have often seen foreigners visiting India, taking pictures of only slums, poor, poverty stricken people. One thing that I would like to tell them is there is a lot to see in India than the slums and the poverty. There are lots to see in India than the typical type casted places. Try visiting places that are less crowded but yet have excellent transportation and accommodation. Try visiting the Himalayas in the North for some beautiful hill stations. Try Visiting Rajasthan for getting a feel of the exotic and colourful life of the people of Rajasthan. Try visiting Gujarat Kutch on a full moon night for an awe-inspiring experience at the Kutch.  Visit Madhya Pradesh for some truly beautiful archeological sites.  Try visiting Goa to experience the night life and some exotic sea food. Try going to Varkala and Trivandrum for some Ayurvedic treatment and some lovely sea food on the beach front. Try going to the North Eastern states for some serene landscapes. Try visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Island for some truly beautiful beaches, marine life, scuba diving and snorcking.

India has lot to offer than the slums and property. It is not filled with only thugs and money sucking people. People out here are not out there to only rob you or rape you. You will find criminals back in your country too. So try coming to India with an open mind. Feel the essence of India and do not go searching for India as shown in others blog and travel magazine. Dear readers India has a lot to offer in terms of heritage, culture, archeology and handicraft.  

Coorg – the Scotland of India

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January 1st 2010. The day started on a low note with nothing much to do. But since it was the first day of a brand new year, we definitely were not going to let it be a boring one. Resources were few. We did not have plans for any trip and certainly no reservations were available for any resorts. But still we thought of giving it a last shot. Browsing though the list of various hotels at the various tourist destinations around Bangalore, we discovered that there were still a few hotels that could offer us accommodation. That was all that was required to trigger us. Making a quick call to a local cab driver, we booked him for the next two days for a trip to Madikeri, the Scotland of India.

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Coorg lies 252 km from Bangalore and 1525 m above sea level lies Madikeri, the district headquarters of Kodagu. Coorg or Kodagu (originally called Kodaimalenadu) means ’dense forest on steep hill’. Dubbed as the Scotland of India, this town has a lot to offer to the tourist. Misty hills, lush forest, acres and acres of tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views are what make Madikeri an unforgettable holiday destination.

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We started early next morning at around 5:30 am. The weather was pleasant with cool breeze blowing. The ride was a uneventful one. The road was in fairly good condition except for a few kilometers after Kushal Nagar. The drive was through the dense forests of Nagahole National Park. We reached Madikeri at around 12 in the noon. Getting a occupancy was not a tough job. We settled for an average hotel by the name of Coorg Residency. The tariff for a double bed room with the view of the valley beyond was for a rate of Rs.1200. The hotel had arrangements for all the basic facilities. Not willing to waste much of our time we decided to head for Abbey Falls which is situated at a distance of 12km from the town of Madikeri . Situated amidst a private coffee plantation, the waterfall provides a mesmerizing view. The cascading water falls several feet below before continuing down the hilly slopes. One has to climb down several steps before reaching the waterfall. With a hanging bridge situated just in front of the waterfall, one can take in the breath taking view of the waterfall.

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After spending hours looking at the waterfall, we continued on our way to Raja’s Seat . The entry fee of this park is Rs 5 per head. This is situated at the heart of the town itself. If legends are to be believed, then this is the spot from where the kings watched the sunsets with their consorts. It offers breathtaking view of towering hills, green valleys, studded with paddy fields. The most fascinating view is the road to Mangalore like a curved ribbon lying in the valley.

The view of the sunset from this spot is really a one that would be hard to forget for many years to come. The view point is spread over a large area and one could walk from one tip of the hill to the other for a view. As the sun had set below the horizon, we decided to head towards the bus sand for some shopping and dinner.

One of the delicacies of Coorgish food is Pork cooked as Pandi curry. It is surely a food that is not to be missed by any non-vegetarian lover.

The next day started as we packed our luggage and moved towards Kushal Nagar. Our first stop was at the Dubare Elephant Camp . One has to take a boat to cross the Kaveri River to reach the other side at the charge of Rs 20. One can take a ride on the elephant at a charge of Rs 100 per head.

Next on our list of places was Cauvery Nisargadhama . Nisargadhama is a 25 acre island formed by river Kaveri with bamboos, teak, sandalwood trees streams and wild life covering it. Nisargadhama is also famous for its hanging bridge which connects the island and helps travelers to cross the Cauvery River. A new bridge has been constructed now just beside the old and shaky hanging bridge.

Next we started towards the Golden temple-Buddhist Monastery . After the Chinese took over Tibet, the refugees were settled at Bylakuppe near Kushalnagar and the Buddhist Monastery was re-established here in 1972. It houses over 250 monks today.

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