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Ghumakkar Insight –Let’s wander! But be vigilant too

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So if we only drop the ball and do not come forward demanding action for the better future and for future travellers, it is we and our generation next to suffer. If we predispose that nothing will happen and do not come forward with our feedback to the right authorities, I see then little hope for the changes. The right authorities may never know a fact if we do not give our feedback. In the present case of mine, I doubt the field officials would have reported the Governor about the above facts. So there lies the importance of feedback. I too hope like Ghumakkar Team and believe that if we keep performing as a dutiful citizen then things would really improve for a better future and for future travellers.
Will you then come forward? Will you too contribute for the better future of travelling?
The last thing, I believe, all of us would like to see people throwing coins or notes on Akbar’s grave. Alas! He was the richest and most powerful king of his time. He never would have imagined that people would throw coins on his tomb stone. And not also we would like to see people scribbling love messages on our historical monuments. Can’t we start protesting against these nuisances? Can’t we preserve our heritage for an Incredible India?
“Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.”______Mark Twain

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हिमाचल डायरी : दो पल के जीवन से…  (Sirmour सिरमौर – भाग 2)

हिमाचल डायरी : दो पल के जीवन से… (Sirmour सिरमौर – भाग 2)

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शाम के छह साढ़े छह बजे का समय चाय का नियत है, कुछ मेहमानों के पास अपनी निजी, और कुछ कैम्प वालों के पास, कुल मिलकर इतनी छतरियां है कि सभी एक एक करके हाल में पहुँचते है | इस तरह के आयोजन का सबसे बड़ा लाभ यह है कि आप केवल अपने खोल में ही सिमटे नही रहते बल्कि अजनबी लोगो से मुलाकात होती है, कुछ नए दोस्त बनते है मोबाइल नम्बर भी लिए दिए जाते है और फिर एक दुसरे के सम्पर्क में रहने के वादे इरादे भी! यूँ तो ज्यादातर लोग गुडगाँव और दिल्ली के ही है, शायद इन्ही जगहों पर सबसे अधिक रोजगार के साधनों का सृजन भी हुआ है जिसकी वजह से देश विदेश से हजारो लोग अपने परिवेश को छोड़ कर इन शहरों में आये है, जिसकी वजह से एक नवधनाढ्य मध्यम वर्ग का उदय हुआ है, जो 1990 से पहले की भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था में अनुपस्थित था | और, फिर ऐसे छुट्टी के अवसर पर दो चार दिन अपने PG में पड़े रहने से, या माल में घूमने से बेहतर है कि इस तरह का पर्यटन ही कर लिया जाये | एक बड़ा सा ग्रुप ऐसे ही लडके लडकियों का है, मगर वो अपनी ही दुनया में मगन है, उन सब की काटेज आस पास ही है, सो उनका अड्डा वहीं जमा रहता है | अपने ही म्यूजिक सिस्टम पर वो गाने लगा लेते है और नाचते रहते है | अपनी गिटार भी है, कभी कभी उस पर भी खुद ही गुनगुनाते रहते हैं, लडके हों या लडकियाँ, सिगरेट और शराब के शौक़ीन है और कैम्प के सहयोग से उनकी अनवरत सप्लाई उनके लिए चालू है | एक दूसरा ग्रुप दस लोगों का, दिल्ली से है, जो एक ही स्कूल से सन नब्बे के पास आउट है, और अब सभी अलग अलग कार्य क्षेत्रों में सलिंप्त है | मगर उल्लेखनीय बात है कि वो आज भी एक दूसरे के सम्पर्क में है | और, कभी कभी उन साथ बिताये गये अपने उन गुजरे लम्हों को याद करने के लिए, अपने परिवारों से अलग ऐसे प्रोग्राम बनाते रहते है | दिल्ली से हैं, और अधिकतर पंजाबी हैं, सो शुरूआती संकोच के बाद जब खुलते हैं तो फिर इतना खुल जाते हैं कि आप उनकी शाम की महफ़िल में ही अपने आप को जाम उठाये पाते है |

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Sheer drive to Rajasthan: Jodhpur,Udaipur & Jaisalmer in 4 days

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Still we had enough time so gave a thought for Udaipur now in evening. Everyone suggested for planning during food intake. Ultimately this was saving some time for us.
we wasted 20-25 mins in search of a good restaurant in city than decided that we will have food on the way .Just 10 mins later found a restaurant luckily. We were having our lunch cum dinner @ 6:30 PM. We hadn’t booked our hotel anywhere in the trip so tried to book hotel in Udaipur. Another 5-6hrs journey was still pending & it was a big risk to search hotel in midnight with family. When inquired in 5-6 hotels none of a single room was available. Local contacts tried but all went in vain.
Oh God….left the luck behind!! was everyone celebrating independence day in Udaipur or everyone was utilizing this weekend with another holiday of 15th Aug. By the way it was 8 ‘o clock & we were still in Jodhpur.

Avoiding risk of late night journey & no hotel availability in Udaipur we decided to stay in Jodhpur & depart for Udaipur in early morning. It was a hotel’s restaurant, got 2 rooms easily .We had enough spare time now, so utilized for our party.

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Kenya 2014 – 7 days (Nairobi, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita,Masai Mara)

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Lake Nakuru was our next spot and we got to have lunch at the Lake Nakuru lodge, again a beautiful property and we set off towards the lake, a beautiful sight to see the flamingoes, though they were very far we did to see them flock away…. what a beautiful sight, lake nakuru was truly a beautiful lake….again Rain was a spoilsport and all the animals went hiding and hence missed the change of seeing any wild cats….we settled down early evening at the Lake Elementita Serena Camp, a very exclusive camp and so glad that we stayed here, we had the view of the lake from the lobby…..couldn’t ask for more…..an absolute heaven. Each tent tastefully furnished with its own private veranda and NO we did not leave this opportunity to toast a glass of wine! Had the most yummilious food of all the lodges that we had stayed so far…. peaceful dinner with some live music…..back in our cozy lodge we slept off listening to hyenas….
We had to leave early morning, which was crispy and clear,and we left left sighing and wishing we could have spent more time in this beautiful lodge. Local people did say “If a visitor comes to Africa and it rains it means that you are blessed”….hmmmm…..I think were blessed enough and prayed it did not rain…lolz….we were off on road to the most awaited destination of our Trip….the Masai Mara….

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A trip to Amritsar

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We crossed the short stretch of paved no-man’s land, dividing 140 million Pakistanis from more than one billion Indians . We enjoyed every bit and tried to capture our emotions: – A proud Indian. Citizens of both the countries were just walking in and crossing the borders (of course after thorough security check). It had an amazing experience for us, though we missed the main ceremony. But never mind what we had experienced few minutes back was just beyond our dreams as we saw something which otherwise was not possible for us a common man/visitors. That day we felt, power gives priority. After greeting and giving vote of thanks to our Major Saab, we headed back towards the Golden Temple .

A very busy and rush Sunday, we saw a big queue for entry to main Hari Mandir Sahib Ji. Our other accompanied denied to stand in a queue and ready to back, because it would take more time. But we said we came here and without bow down our head, we will not back. So, we stand in a queue. A Sardar Ji came and advised us that Deepti, my wife and child can seat there until I reached near the entrance of the Sahib ji.

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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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Khajuraho - Beyond Temples

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