Sunday, 30 March 2014

Monday Images - Spring Splendours!

Monday Images. Every weekend, we share some brilliant Images from fellow travellers from different parts of the world. We have liked them. Hope you will too.

Tomorrow, 1st April is celebrated as "Ugadi" in the southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in India. Our best to wishes to all readers on this auspicious day.

Ugadi means "New beginning" or "Beginning of a new era" or Simply "Beginning of the new year " in the Hindu lunar calendar.

Ugadi also signifies the arrival of spring in India. Spring is a nice time to be in India. The barren trees are looking beautiful with new twigs. Trees like Jacaranda, Flame of the forest, Cassia, Gliricidia, Copper pod, Red silk cotton, Queens flower, Tree of Gold bloom profusely painting the landscape in vivid colours. Thanks to our tree loving planners of yester years, Bangalore especially is blessed with these lovely flowering trees.

The herald of spring is best seen in a forest. We were driving on Charmadi ghat in March last year. We could see the different hues of colours in the forest The colourful new foliage of  trees presented us a with a picture postcard!. 

The forest from a distance
The close up of the forest shows different colours

A nice road flanked by rejuvenated trees in BR Hills
Golden shower tree in full glow
We will leave you with some stunning images of Spring.......

Melange of colours! (Photo Courtesy - Rene Rodriguez )
Spring colours in Himalayas, Nirmand, Himachal Pradesh, India ( Photo Courtesy - Ashwani Kaul )
Spring colours near Kullu, India -  Photo Courtesy - East Med Wanderer)
Stunning colours (Photo Courtesy - Ron Gielgens)
Spring in England ( Photo Courtesy - Lorenzo G )
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Skywatch Friday - London Bridge, Melbourne

In March 2008, I went to Melbourne for a Month on business. Whenever i tease Poorna on his trip to New york and London, he will remind me of Melbourne!

Melbourne is a cute little city which does not have the hustle bustle of Sydney. This is a typical Aussie city. Laid-back. Fun loving. Easy going.

On one of the weekends, we went on a trip to see Seven Apostles and drive on the Great Ocean road. The weather was perfect. We also happened to go on a helicopter ride over the ocean. 

The view of London bridge from the sky was just fabulous! Originally a natural archway and tunnel in an offshore rock formation, however, it collapsed in 1990 and became a bridge without a middle.

When you travel to Australia, don't miss visiting Melbourne and to go on a drive on the Great Ocean road to see the bridge and Seven Apostles.

You may also click on the link below for other posts in "Skywatch Friday" series

Skywatch Friday

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bhedaghat - Mesmerising Marble Canyons!

Bhedaghat. I first heard about it when Tango Banerjee who was my roommate in Army told about it dramatically. Tango being from Jabalpur used to rave about the place. Ever Since, i always wanted to explore it.

The opportunity came when we planned the trip to Bandhavgarh and Pench during the Christmas holidays of 2012. It was afternoon when we reached Bhedaghat. We had left Bandhavgarh in the morning and the road conditions ensured that we didn't  reach Bhedaghat before 12 in the afternoon. Though December, the afternoon sun was scorching.

Bhedaghat which is 15 KMs from Jabalpur is known as India's grand canyon for no reason. Narmada river flows here through amazingly beautiful marble gorges. Yes,  this place is not as vast as Grand canyon. But whatever it is, it is simply beautiful. The marble canyon is just magnificent.

We negotiated the rate for a boat and hopped on to it. It started cruising slowly. Good monsoon had ensured that the river was flowing full. First few minutes did not foretell what was in store. Fifteen minutes into the cruise, we were greeted with a spectacle of marble canyon. 

It is better to take you along the cruise for an experience. Join us....       

The still waters of Narmada doesn't tell us the spectacle we are going to see soon.
Normally you have shared boats or you can hire one for your own. A shared boat cruising on the river.
A first glimpse of the marble rocks. A prelude to what is likely to come

First glimpse of the marble formations in the middle of the river
We enter the canyon.
Simmering marble rocks weathered by river
Marble walls!
A boat slowly cruising. Notice the lovely marble walls.
We now enter the narrow portion of the canyon
Waiting for the catch
Patiently waiting for the catch!
The rockscape dramatically changes now. Tall walls of marble of different shades can be seen.
Please see the next few pictures. This part of the journey is spectacular.

Notice the boat and then estimate the height of these walls!

Natural rock formations are captivating

Did you enjoy this cruise with us? We had a mesmerising experience cruising through these lovely natural wonder.

After the cruise, we went to see the Dhuandhar waterfalls. It was spectacular though the cable car was not functional. The view from the cable car should be outstanding.

On the way back we picked up few beautifully carved marble pieces and natural crystals.

A stopover at Bhedaghat was worth all the trouble. Don't miss this if you plan a trip to Bandhavgarh or Pachmarhi or Satpura.

We will leave you with some spectacular pictures of this place from fellow travellers.......

Lovely picture of canyon ( Photo courtesy - Naiyer )
Panaromic view of the canyon (Photo Courtesy - Indus Excursion)
A view from the top (Photo Courtesy - Indus Excursion)
Duandhar falls ( Photo Courtesy - Naiyer)
Getting there

By Air - Jabalpur is the nearest Airport. Bhedaghat is 45 Minutes from Jabalpur.

By Train - Jabalpur is a major hub and it is connected to different parts of India.

By Bus - Jabalpur is connected to other parts of India by Bus. Both State transport and private buses operate from the city.

Stay Options

There are many stay options in Jabalpur. If you want to stay in Bhedaghat, the resort by Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and Hotel Marble Rocks are best bets.

Travel Tips

a) Best time to visit the place is in winter. Summer will be very hot. Monsoon season will be risky due to heavy inflow into the river.

b) If planning during summers, make sure you go for the cruise early in the morning or late in the evening. Due to less water in summer, the canyon will look deeper.

c) You can either hire a boat for yourself or go for shared one. If you are hiring for yourself, it will cost you Rs 500 per trip.

d) You will see young boys willing to jump from the cliffs into the water for ten rupees. 

e) Bhedaghat is a good place to pick up good marble carvings.

f) Go by cable car to see the panoramic view of the water falls.

h) We have heard that the night cruise on the river on a full moon day is a experience in itself. Try this out. 

i) Make sure that you wear life jacket while sitting in the boat. Dont move around the boat for clicking pictures.

j) Bhedaghat can be clubbed with a visit to Bandhavgarh or Pachmarhi. Devote one day to cover Jabalpur and Bhedaghat.

k) While on the boat encourage the boatman to sing the local folk songs. It is a lovely experience to hear them sing.

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Monday Images - Iguazu, Worlds Largest Waterfalls!

Monday Images. Every weekend, we share some brilliant Images from fellow travellers from different parts of the world. We have liked them. Hope you will too.

It is larger than Niagara.

It has second largest flow of water after Niagara. During rainy season the water flow is much more than Niagara.

At one point, a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls!

The Devil's Throat in Argentina has water pouring into it from three sides.

You have seen it in "Moonraker" and "Indiana Jones and the kingdom Crystal Skull" and other movies.

It is Iguazu falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina.

Take a look at these pictures. Stunning indeed!

For more details on how to visit the place here

Iguacu falls on Wikitravel

If you are a waterfalls fan - who isn't - then you should read the following posts

Ten Waterfalls in Karnataka you should not miss in monsoon

Chitrakoot falls - Niagara of Asia

Alekan Falls

Photo courtesy - JPH Bol. His photostream can be seen here


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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Back of the blog - A checklist for Gourmets on travel in India!

So, you love to travel.

And you are a foodie and love to experience local tastes when you travel. Masala Dosa in Bangalore, Chettinad chicken in Chennai, Sorpotel in Panjim, Ghevar in Jaipur, Dahi Vada in Indore, Suleimani chai in Bhopal, Lassi or bhang laced thandai in Benaras, Hilsa in Calcutta, lovely Tibetan cuisine in Dharamshala or alu dum in Kashmir.......

The variety is just amazing. We love to explore local taste whenever we travel. The first thing we do when we land in a new place is to figure out what is famous in that place and which is the best restaurant. 

We were browsing old copies of India today travel plus magazine and noticed a list for gourmets to explore the cuisine of India in of its issue in 2012. Here it is.....

Also, a nice list of India's iconic dishes by Priya and Anurag who are gourmets and quintessential travellers.

Here is our own A to Z list. 26 of them....though the list is indicative. Being veggies, we could only list vegetarian stuff.

a) Masala Dosa - Town Canteen (Chikmagalur), Vidyarthi Bhavan (Bangalore), Janardhana Hotel (Bangalore), Circle Tiffin Room (CTR) (Bangalore), MTR (Bangalore)

b) Khara Bath - MTR (Bangalore)

c) Idli & Vada - Brahmin's Coffee Bar (Bangalore)

d) Paranthas - Paranthe Wale Galli, Old Delhi

e) Channa Batura - LMB (Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar), Jaipur

f) Mysore Pak - Ram Vilas Sweets (Gundanna Hotel), Bangalore

g) Pongal - The Bangala, Karaikudi

h) Vegetarian Thali - South Indian - MTR, Bangalore

i) Vegetarian Thali - Gujarati - Agashiye, Ahmedabad

j) Vegetarian Thali - Punjabi - Kesar dhaba and Brothers Dhaba, Amritsar

k) Vegetarian meal - Rajasthani - Chowki Dani, Jaipur

l) Lassi - Roadside stalls opposite Krishna Temple, Mathura & Blue Lassi, Varanasi

m) Dahi Vada - Joshi Dahi Vada, Sarafa Bazar, Indore

n) Chats - Sarafa Bazar, Indore

o) Pedha - Thakur peda, line bazar, Dharwad & Pedha in the shops opposite Krishna temple in Mathura, Pedha in Benaras

p) Kunda - Purohits, Camp, Belgaum

q) Davanagere Butter dosa - Kottureshwara, Opposite BDT Dental College, Davangere

r) Sabudana vada - Vaishali, Pune

s) Laddu - Lovely sweets (Jalandhar), Bahadura Sweets (Gwalior), Anand Sweets (Bangalore), Bandar laddu of Machilipatnam

t) Pal Kova or Milk cake - Venkateshwara, Srivilliputtur, Tamil Nadu

u) Jalebi - Gurdas Ram Jalebiwala (Amritsar), JB's (Guwahati), Old Famous Jalebiwala (Old delhi)

v) Malpua - Halwai shops in Pushkar

w) Rassogulla/Sandesh - Bhim Chandra Nag (Kolkata), Chittaranjan (Kolkata)

x) Poori - MTR (Bangalore), LMB(Jaipur), JB's (Guwahati)

y) Pav Bhaji - Stalls in Chowpatti/Juhu in Mumbai

z) Cookies - Kayani bakery (Pune), Karachi Bakery (Hyderabad), Varrier Bakery (Bangalore)

Let us end the list with pan and Chai/Coffee

Pan - Where else but Benares aka Varanasi

Chai - Suleimani chai in Bhopal, Boiler chai in Tamil Nadu

Coffee - South Thindies, MTR, Maiyyas in Bangalore, Kumbakonam degree coffee in Kumbakonam/Thanjavur

This was our indicative list. Which is your favourite place to eat? Please do share it with us.

If you have read this, dont miss the following posts on culinary adventure in India

Food Streets of Indore

In search of Suleimani Chai in Bhopal

Momos in Mirik!

Food Safari

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Skywatch Friday - Mount Rushmore in Bhedaghat!

In December 2012, we went to Bandhavgarh and Pench national parks in Central India. Another reason for us to make this trip - apart from Tigers - was to visit Bhedaghat - the magnificent marble canyon of India!

It was afternoon when we reached Bhedaghat on our way to Pench from Bandhavgarh. Though winter, sun was showing no mercy. Hiring a boat, we started our cruise on Narmada. As the boat moved slowly between the gorges, we were treated to fascinating vistas of marble rocks! What an experience it was!

When we returned and started refining the pictures we could not believe our eyes what we saw and what we missed! This picture below shows a natural formation of three faces akin to the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial in USA which is man made! We had missed it but candid camera had caught it! Check it out below.

Stay tuned. A separate post on Bhedaghat will follow soon. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Varanasi - A Morning Portrait!

Reading about the heat generated in Varanasi in the coming parliamentary elections in India reminded us about our trip to the ancient City in 2011. The sunrise cruise on Ganga is an unforgettable experience. We will leave you with this typical of the city!

Varanasi require detailed posts and we spent three days there. Stay tuned and we will come back with details.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Monday Images - Stunning Yosemite!

Monday Images. Every weekend, we share some brilliant Images from fellow travellers from different parts of the world. We have liked them. Hope you will too.

We happened to learn more about this amazing National Park in the State of California when we read about 15 Classic Trekking Trails in the World in National Geographic. Yes. Yosemite is stunning. The park, covers an area of 747,956 acres (3,026.87 sq kms). Over 3.7 million people visit Yosemite each year. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. It is a trekkers paradise!

We will leave with some spectacular pictures by W J Mcintosh and Steven Ng.

When you visit California next time, don't miss visiting this park!

For more details you may click on this link below

Yosemite National Park

Here are links to photostreams of William McIntosh and Steven Ng

Yosemite by William McIntosh

Yosemite by Steven Ng

For other posts under "Monday Images" please click on the link below

Monday Images

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