Recent Stories

An Ode to Radhanagar Beach

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I had just arrived and a mere look at the beach is what made me fall with it! Let me describe what Radhanagar beach was like. The place was super clean and had a handful of tourists. Radhanagar beach was guarded by police officials who were also responsible for the safety of the tourists. Next to the beach was a famous hotel chain which provided accommodation in beautiful huts made of bamboos and natural products. The place was serene and calm.

The view of the blue sees was amazing and I had never seen such a beautiful shade of water. The sand was perfect and was near to white. Radhanagar beach also had tourist huts made completely of bamboos. Radhanagar beach is not for the ones who are looking for some action. The beach doesn’t have any facilities for snorkelling, scuba diving or boating.

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Amarnath Yatra :: Panchtarni to Holy Cave

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The test of faith on Lord Shiva continued all the way to Shrine. To reach there, it’s another kilometre through slippery snowy path by the side of river Amaravati, and when we reached below the cave, we saw long stairs to climb and a longer queue to follow. The cave is located at an elevation of 13,500 feet above the sea level and its opening is a large semi-circular hollow into a cliff.
It was about 60-70 stairs before the cave we saw the base hospital and a young man of 33-34 years. He could not make it to the cave and took his last breath there. I looked up inside the cave and the belief became firm again. To reach at Shiva’s feet, one must have his blessings; one must have got his calling.

I entered inside the cave with my two friends. The floor of the cave was extremely cold and wet. In deepest right corner of the cave, I saw Lord Shiva, in his unique shape of ice-lingam about 11-12 feet tall. I bent at his feet (the ice base) and offered Billa leaves. I stood quiet there for some time with folded hand but I forgot to seek anything from ‘Mahadeva’ and came out happily from the cave with a sense of fulfillment.

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पवित्र गुफा से बालटाल वापसी (Part 5)

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अमर नाथ यात्रा पर जाने के दो रास्ते हैं। एक पहलगाम होकर और दूसरा सोनमर्ग बालटाल से। । पहलगाम से जाने वाले रास्ते को सरल और सुविधाजनक समझा जाता है लेकिन रास्ता लम्बा है और कुल दुरी 32 किलोमीटर है । बालटाल वाले रास्ते से अमरनाथ गुफा की दूरी केवल 14 किलोमीटर है लेकिन यह बहुत ही दुर्गम रास्ता है और सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से भी संदिग्ध है।

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Hello Havelock!

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The Phoenix Bay Jetty is situated in the city and is home to all merchant vessels which are responsible for trade and commerce. The Jetty is the boarding point for the ones who want to visit Neil or Havelock Islands. We had our tickets in hand which were booked prior by Mr. Ravi (Tour Manager, Contact: 09434261219). The tickets for Havelock Islands are sold out within minutes. It is advisable to ask your agent/tour manger to get the same booked as soon as you land up in the city. There are private as well as government ship operators which provide connections to Neil and Havelock. Being the off season (August) the private operator (called as Makcruzz) was closed down and the only available option a government run ship.

The tag ‘Government’ automatically lowers the standards and gives me a bad impression of what so ever even before I see it. Anyways, the ship that we had to board was called ‘M.V Jollybuoy’. We were booked in the only available option of seating lounge. One needs to spot his vessel and then proceed for boarding. As we stepped inside the ship, we were greeted by the Chief Officer of the ship who also checked our tickets. He later on transferred us to the seating hall. The so called seating hall had three rows and seats faced opposite to each other. It also had a television set which was cleverly hidden in one of the compartments. The hall seemed more like my seamanship class room with lots of safety boards and demonstrative visuals. Good enough! The ship departed right on time at 0630 and that is when I got to know that we can go on the bridge.

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Around London – Weymouth, Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove

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It’s been few months in UK (London) and was not sure what all things I can cover nearby outside London and I was constantly thinking about it. Few weeks back one after noon I along with my colleague somehow zeroed in on Weymouth which have few other places called Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove around it… I started exploring what all things we can cover in our three days trip and my colleague started exploring the options how to reach there … till evening we were all set to go on the Friday evening…

We boarded the train on Friday evening and were supposed to reach our Holiday Park in Weymouth by midnight and which we did after few delays….

Saturday Morning 1 st Day – exploring Weymouth — The view was awesome as the beach and the grasslands were visible from our Caravan and we were aware that it would be a long day walk ahead.  We spend couple of hours in our resort and headed towards the beach for which we came to Weymouth.  The sun was bright and penetrating and it took around 20 minutes to reach the sea shore. The moment we put our toes in the cold water all of us got refreshed… As it was a pebble beach there was no sticky feeling of sand and it was convenient going to and fro into the water …if you know what I meanJ. We spend few hours over there and then decided to walk along the shore which looks to be 3-4 miles

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हिमाचल डायरी : दो पल के जीवन से… (Sirmour सिरमौर – भाग 1)

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कांगो जोहड़ी में ही मुख्य सड़क से लगभग चार किमी नीचे की उतराई पर कैंप रोंक्स हमारी मंजिल है | हमे रास्ता दिखाने रिसोर्ट की तरफ से अपनी इनोवा गाड़ी लेकर सौरभ ( इस कैम्प के मालिक का बेटा} आया है और अब हमे इस कच्ची और पथरीली सडक पर बिना किसी सुरक्षा व वाले रास्ते पर जाना है | इस सडक पर गाड़ी बढ़ाते ही लैंसडाउन के हिल व्यू शांति राज रिसोर्ट की याद ताजा हो आई | बिलकुल वैसी ही सड़क मगर रास्ता उससे भी एक किमी और ज्यादा लम्बा, ऊपर से बारिश और गाड़ियों की लगातार आवाजाही के कारण बीच बीच में पानी के पोखर से बन गए हैं जिनमे से गुजरते डर लगता है कहीं आप की गाड़ी का पहिया न फँस जाये, मगर इसके सिवा कोई और चारा भी तो नही | नास्तिक पता नही कैसे इन लम्हों से पार पाते होंगे, मगर हम तो राम राम और वाहेगुरु वाहेगुरु करते और फिर से एक बार ये सोचते हुये कि  इस बार तो यहाँ आ गए अगली बार किसी ऐसी जगह नही आना, पिछले कुछ सालों से इसी तरह से अपने डर पर काबू पाते आ रहें है | रिसोर्ट की इनोवा आगे आगे चल रही है और पीछे पीछे हम मगर अभी तक तो रिसोर्ट का नामो निशाँ ही नही | मगर फिर दूर नीचे घाटी में पानी की कुछ टँकियां नजर आती है तो मन में आशा की एक नई लहर का संचार होता है जब इतना पहुँच गए तो वहाँ भी पहुँच ही जायेंगे और फिर हमसे आगे तो इनोवा है | हालांकि प्रकृति वही है और प्रकृति के नजारे भी, मगर अब जल्दी पहुँचने की हसरत में इसे भोगने का कोई इरादा नही, अन्यथा आप कहीं भी अपनी गाड़ी रोक कर यहाँ घंटो गुजार सकते हैं | परन्तु चाहत अब यही है कि बस अब ये रास्ता किसी तरह जल्दी से कट जाये |

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Beautiful Manali in Monsoon

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This is the season for apple; we could see apple trees with a lot of apples everywhere in Manali. Rohit always was crying for fresh apple in all the way like Amit was crying for Kahwa in Kasmir trip. So Sanjay went into apple garden and came with four fresh apples from tree.

In early morning of 18 Aug 2014, we checked-out from the hotel and moved towards Naggar Castle. This place is good for photography. So after some photo sessions, we left for our last destination Manikarn Shahib. Manikar Shahib is a very nice place and famous for hot spring water. We had bath in hot water kund and then visited Gurudwara, Hot Cave and Shiv temple. We had lunch in Gurudwara Bhandara. Anyone can enjoy camping in Kasol, just one kilometre before Manikaran.

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Sonar Kella - The Golden Fortess of Jaisalmer

Reaching Jaisalmer – A road review

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Childhood memories coming back… in those early days like every other child, I used to love crime fiction and there is a great tradition of detective fiction in Bengal…those month long Summer and Puja breaks were spent mostly reading Tenida, Ghanada, Kakababu, Bomkesh, Pandob Goenda, Feluda Series*. These stories were written mostly for kids and we enjoyed reading them a lot. Sometimes our wait for the next issue to come, would have been a month or even a year. Would we mind? No, not at all. Those were the perfect gifts for kids to inculcate reading habit.

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Baratang: A Tribal Treat

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Long back, a group of tourists shot a video of the Jarawas and uploaded the same on the web. According to the United States, this act was not justified and it was classified as hindrance to the tribal life of the Jarawas. The issue was raised out loud and was finally brought up to the Indian Government. After all sought of discussions and panel meetings, the government decided to offer protection to the community. The jungle was then handed over to the police and CCTV cameras were also installed amidst the wild. A convoy system was setup wherein a convoy of vehicles at specific time will be accompanied by the Police officials to cross the jungle from Jirkatang to Baratang and vice versa. The government also banned the use of mobiles and cameras in between the journey. The first convoy had to depart at 0600 hours and we were to go in the same.

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Amarnath Yatra :: Ganesh Top to Panchtarni

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We saw pilgrims tired and exhausted, moving slowly resting after every step or two and painfully looking at the steep ascent of Ganesh Top, thinking might be about the steps left, some were searching the shortest route and other going slow but steady. The pain was much less for us except sore back due to long horse riding. Suddenly, we saw a U shape mountain just before the Ganesh Top, standing tall and high, looking at the pilgrims as if it was a gate to heaven. Slowly we climbed up to the highest point of Amarnath Yatra route, the Mahagunus Top or the Ganesh Top at an altitude of 14500 ft above the sea level. The Army had a post there too and was at the services of pilgrims.

It is believed that Lord Shiva asked his son Ganesha to stay at this mountain peak and moved further with Goddess Parvati to the cave. Lord Ganesha might saw them off from here. He might have seen them descending to the valley of Panchtarni.

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Golden Trip to Sri Harmandir Sahab, Amritsar

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The entire ambience is soothing and spiritual with kirtans being sung by the gurus sitting inside the temple. Even though the entire journey from the start of the line till one enters the actual temple where the Guru Granth sahib is kept and Gurbani is recited takes about three hours, thousands of people from all castes, creeds and ethnicities throng the Golden temple every day. The temple is open all through the day and night except from 12am to 3pm when the routine cleaning takes place. Awaiting their turns to enter the holy chamber the “Ekonkar” mantra is chanted by all the devotees. The environment is extremely divine. Despite of the rush, a true believer in God can easily connect with the creator here. The actual darshan is even more mystical. One feels as if one has attained the ultimate peace.

Making our way out of the chamber, we looked into the sarovar which is house to a multitude of orange and black fishes. We managed to make our way out and sat for a long time in the premises of the temple overlooking the sarovar.

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Ghumakkar Digest – August 2014

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Over the last 7 years of Ghumakkar’s existence, one common and often repeated request was to have some kind of face to face interaction within the community. Many of our community members have met with each other, and have developed long lasting friendships. In fact, at times it is very humbling to know that someone met someone else at Ghumakkar and now both the families not only interact and meet each other but also travel to new places, together. That gives the Ghumakkar crew a feeling of true accomplishment. I, myself, have met many of you and each experience has been a rewarding one. But we never had a so-called ‘Ghumakkar Meet’. What better way to start this monthly digest than to share with all of you that first such organised meeting is finally happening in September 2014 in Delhi. This meet is a brain-child of one of our seasoned trekkers and someone who just moves on with a travel with little to nil planning. Gives me immense pleasure to announce that Vipin Gaur has graciously invited all of us to be together on September 7.

Here are more details, right from the event which Vipin created at Facebook.

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Khajuraho - Beyond Temples

All that you can do besides the temple sojourns in this beautiful city Take me here