Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It was the first full-family holiday for Pradosh's family - us both, Pradosh's parents and his brother and his wife

Munnar (Day 1)
We caught the Spicejet flight to Kochi from Mumbai, which left at 0830. After landing in Kochi around 11am, we headed off towards Munnar in our vehicle for the trip. The first half of the trip was nothing much to write home about, but once we were closer to Munnar, we were greeted with the first views of the beautiful tea gardens. From afar, Munnar seems like a tiny town, awash in seas of green tea gardens. After checking in, we explored the town on foot. The town center is really small and all we could spot there were hotels, restaurants and spice shops. The weather in Munnar was chilly, but in an invigorating way - probably around 20 deg C at daytime and single digit at night. One could comfortably get away without winterwear during the daytime.

Read More

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hampi, Pattadakal and Aihole

Large and diverse as our country is, it can claim to only 28 odd UNESCO world heritage sites. Hampi and Pattadakal are both on that exclusive list. The capital of the 15th century Vijaynagar empire, Hampi had a small but bright existence in India’s vast history (compared to some of our cities which span several millennia), with its rise and decline spanning scarcely 200 years. Yet in this small time, it became one of the biggest city in the world at its time, with half a million inhabitants, as traveler Nicholas Conti recorded during his visit to Hampi in 1420.

Hampi’s fortunes were linked to the Vijaynagar kingdom, which flourished between 1350 and 1565. They built their capital near present day Hospet in Northern Karnataka (10km from away) in a hostile-looking rocky landscape flanking the Tungabhadra river. Honestly, if I were looking for a spot to build my new capital, I’d have chosen someplace else, but the rocky landscape did provide natural defensive structures. The landscape can be best described as low lying hills completely covered with ochre colored rocks (granite) – much like sprinkles covering a cake.

Read More

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


After the superfun monsoon-trips to Koynanagar and Vikramgadh this year, the independence day weekend beckoned us to another trip out of Bombay. The incessant rains for the last month meant that the whole state had received a good dose of rainfall, and so we didn’t have to worry about things not being green enough. And when the turn came to pick a destination, without much deliberation, Satara emerged as the automatic choice.

Situated at about 110 km from Pune and about 262 km from Mumbai, Satara has been on our radars for sometime. Satara is famous for a lot of things – like the Kaas plateau. Sometimes referred to as poor man’s Valley of Flowers, Kaas plateau becomes covered with wild flowers of different hues and colours at the end of the rainy season. While this wasn’t the end of the rainy season yet, we figured we’d see at least some flowers, if not the entire plateau-full of them (didn’t quite see any flower actually).

Read More

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Koyna Dam

The miserable months of summer were spent waiting for the first showers of rain to appear, so that we could get out into the greenery again. And since the first raindrops started falling in the first week of June, discussions began about possible weekend destinations. We have just two criteria - natural beauty and the minimum of creature comforts (clean bathrooms). Thankfully, hitherto unknown locations have started popping up on the tourist map, with newer resorts enticing travelers like us looking for the next new location

Koyna Dam was the destination of this weekend’s journey. A little over 300 km from Mumbai, the dam on Koyna river forms a 65 km long Shivsagar lake which is magnificent in its own right. The lake stretches all the way from the small town of Koynanagar, 50km away from Chiplun, to almost Mahabaleshwar apparently. Our drive till there was really good – the NH17 is in wonderful condition. We were fortunate to get underway by 0615 hrs and it took us 6 hours to reach Koynanagar. It included almost an hour long breakfast at Kamat’s and a couple of butt-breaks

Read More

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Elephanta Caves

It is probably one of the most touristy destinations in or around Bombay, but as we discovered to our delight, Elephanta caves can be a very nice day outing. An early morning trip to Gateway of India on Saturday morning, followed by a nice ferry ride in the Mumbai Harbour, and finally the caves themselves (which seemed to be in much better condition than I remember them). Lunch at the delightful MTDC Chalukya restaurant near the caves themselves and then the ride back home.

Part of the Elephanta caves popularity is due to the ferry ride from Gateway of India to the island itself. In February, when the sun is not too hot and the sea winds are still somewhat chilly, it was nice to experience the clean air and the ever-present breeze, sitting on the top deck of the launch. The ferry charges Rs. 130 for a to-and-fro ticket to the island and you do not have to come back by the same boat – so you can spend as much time as you want on the island. It costs Rs. 10 more to sit on the upper deck once you are on the ferry (which I am sure is not an MTDC charge). But you get a great view of the Taj Palace hotel and Gateway of India from there.

Read More

  © Blogger template 'Photoblog' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008 | Free Blogger Templates

Back to TOP