Soul of Kolkata – Festivals, Food, and Sports

By

Calcutta also known as the city of festivals almost remains enlightened all through the year with various festivals every now and then. Whether it’s Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kartik Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Holi, Diwali, Christmas or whatever, the city enjoys them all with full celebration. Durga Puja is ideally the biggest festival of Calcutta (and West Bengal). The city of Calcutta has a completely different look.

Read More

Chandrataal – the Moon Lake

By

As we moved ahead, we crossed more and more nallahs. To our surprise they were even more dangerous now. The water flow was huge, it was so violent, we thought as if we were going to flow away with the water down to the Spiti river.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit – Part 5 : Manali to Delhi Via Shimla

By

With green mountains on one side and the beautiful Beas on the other side, we crossed beautiful places like Bhunter, Aut and Pandoh. We halted for sometime at the very beautiful Pandoh Dam on the river Beas. This is basically the end of Beas river with us and it diverts towards Punjab. From there on we reached Mandi in another 1 and half hours. Mandi is a plane area and is not very cold. The sun was really on its peak, but then it’s a lovely small town. There are numerous Dhabas enroute and in one such Dhaba we had our lunch.

Another 30 minutes and we reached Sundernagar. At Sundernagar, we took the Shimla Highway and dropped the excellent Manali Delhi Highway. Sundernagar is also a good small town. Around 4 PM, we had already entered the Shimla District. And again we started climbing up. The roads in Shimla off course not to explain are awesome. It was drizzling slightly and the fog was dense. That was one adventurous journey through the hills.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit – Part 4 : Kaza to Manali

By

Chattru at a height of around 13000 ft, around 17 KM from Gramphu, 32 KM from Rohtang top, and we started around 4:30 from there. Next was Gramphu on way and because of the pebbled roads another 1 hour to reach Gramphu. And lots of small as well as big waterfalls. And lots of nullahs. As we approach towards Rohtang top, greenery starts to appear and the dryness starts to disappear. Lovely view of small waterfalls in distant mountains on the opposite side, makes the journey lovely. In one such waterfall, Lekhram stopped the cab and washed it, while we enjoyed the view of the waterfall, the chilled water and the amazing view.

Once Gramphu is crossed, then starts the steep rise to Rohtang Pass. And oh man, the view is something one can never forget. Just before getting up, there is a route that joins the route we were into. This route is coming directly from Ladakh, the well know Leh-Manali highway. As one rise up, there may be numerous landslide clearances. And stoppages and long traffic snarls can eat up few hours. But all these clearances are very enjoyable.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit – Part 3 : Kalpa to Kaza

By

It’s a lovely monastery with the monks all around at a height of 12774 ft. specially the view of the spiti valley and the amazing spiti river from that height. The monks are always available to explain you everything about the monasteries. Since the number of tourists in Spiti is always few, you always meet up the same people again and again, and mainly foreigners.
Taking snaps inside the monk is prohibited, so I did not waste the opportunities to take pics from outside and the valley. Spent around half an hour in the monastery, before getting back into the cab.
It took us around another 20-25 minutes to cover this monastery and around 1 PM we got back into the cab. From Dhankar Monastery it took another hour or so to reach Kaza via the Kaza bridge at Shitlong village as I mentioned early in the write-up. Kaza is a lovely small city in the Spiti valley and is the district headquarter at a height of around 11500 ft. By 2PM, we checked in into a hotel after some searching. It was a beautiful hotel, located at a nice location right beside the Kaza monastery. Time was stretching, as we had to cover Kibber also the same day.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit – Part 3 : Kalpa to Tabo

By

Time to get up early in the morning to get a view of the awesome Himalayas from the balcony. It was so cloudy all around at 6AM, that hardly anything was visible. With a cup of tea, we started waiting for the fog and cloud to clear up. After that it was cloud moving around with occasional clearances of the mountains. Believe me, its one of the most awesome views as the clouds play around with the kailash range. And with the sun occasionally coming out in between the clouds with clear lights, another lovely worth seeing site.

While we were able to see the Kinnaur kailash easily, we were not able to spot the shiv ling. The hotel staff said, because of the fog we might not be able to view it. It was hidden behind the clouds. But then suddenly, one of the hotel staff said, its visible now. As we saw, the 69 ft height shiv ling was clear visible from that distance not more than 1 inch. But a very beautiful view.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit – Part 2 : Shimla to Sangla via Sarahan

By

A very important thing about Himachal, is that people are very cooperative and they are very happy with what they are and have. I am writing this because I tour as well as I interact with people over various places, trying to find the differences in the cultures, way of living etc. This is what travelling is all about. I found Himachal people in the remote of the areas to be very well educated (better than what we are in cities) and well behaved. They are clean by heart and they educate their child to be as clean as them.

Soon it was getting dark and we entered the temple which normally opens up after 7PM. Not everywhere inside the temple are cameras and accessories allowed, but there are lockers where they can be kept. So we put our accessories in the lockers and entered the temple. The Bhimakali Temple at Sarahan is quite big and unique in its own way and own beauty. It looks more like a monastery rather than a temple.

Read More

The Great Himachal Circuit Part 1: Reaching Shimla

By

In the evening, we started for a small walk up towards the Mall. On the way, The Grand hotel and the Kali Bari are located. So visited all and then finally reached the Mall. We spent around 3 hours in the Mall and Lakkar Bazaar right below the Mall. Took beautiful photographs and had our dinner in a cool restaurant. The Shimla Mall road is a real beauty in the evening, there is no doubt in it.

We got back to our hotel in the same route walking around 9 in the evening. Quickly I called up the cab we booked for the rest of the tour and everything was as per plan. The cab driver was on target for the next day and informed us about the time he would be in.
After this went in for a nice sleep. We had to cover a long and adventurous journey ahead.

Read More

Heart of Kolkata – Experiencing the Rich Heritage

By

Kolkata(originally known as Calcutta), capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, former capital of India, is one of the 6 metros of India. Also known as the cultural capital of India, sometimes city of joy, city of festivals, Calcutta as a city still depicts as a true cultural, political, festive and an antique city in India. Almost 300 years old, Calcutta has really grown with ages and diversities, and is currently trying to compete head to head with other metros in India in terms of development too.

Read More

A short write-up on Digha

By

Known for the beauty of the beach and the special sea-side food hubs, Digha is a wonderful visiting paradise for the visitors. Tourists mainly spot two places, the old Digha beach and the new Digha beach.
New Digha is much much more crowded compared to the old Digha. And as expected we visited both the beaches.

Read More

From Kolkata to Mandarmoni Beach (December 2009) – Road Review and Trip Report

By

Kolkata has a lot of places within the proximity of 4-5 hours that could be considered as ideal places, for thoroughly enjoying weekends with total peace of mind far away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. One of them is the Mandarmoni beach which is around 180 KM from Howrah and is arguably the longest drivable beach in India. Located very near (within 30 KM) to the famous Digha beach, Mandarmoni is very easily accessible and reachable from Kolkata.

Read More