Ranikhet and Kausani : Himalayan Meadows – Part I (The Journey)

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The king with his entourage was passing through jungles of Kumaon, when a saint crossed his path. The vain king was offended and soon the saint was brought before him. The saffron clad saint, annoyed with King’s heckles, plucked a leafy branch from a wayside bush and swiped it across the King’s bare arms – it sent the king writhing and groaning in pain, as if a million needles were inserted in his arm. This is how the hymns of Ranikhet started.

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Delhi Jodhpur Road Review

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Roads till Beawar are in reasonable condition; wide and smooth. There are two issues here, though. First, there are at least three (if I remember correctly) railway crossings which tend to create bottlenecks and hold up the infinite traffic when the gates are closed (and also when gates are open! thanks to long, narrow passages leading into and away from the railway phatak). Second, this stretch passes through industrialised areas including the marble quarries of Kishangarh.

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Monsoon trip to Kasauli – I

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Nestled in the Shivalik ranges of Lesser Himalayas, Kasauli is a popular destination among weekenders ex-Delhi (and of course, Chandigarh). At a relatively short distance, it offers bounties of a Himalayan destination – the curvedly drives, unpolluted environs, hill views and co-habitation with Pahari folks.

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BRO Board

Rohtang Pass And Manali – Rohtang road review

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A plate of Maggi for 50 bucks and a chai at 20 bucks may be a bit steep, but so is the place. Admittedly, the rampant crowd, jostling vehicles, hordes of animals, irrepressible mob of shilajeet sellers and such other elements do rob the place of exclusivity befitting a Himalayan pass at 3900+ mtrs – but that is how it comes,

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Self-drive in Central Europe/ Alps – III ( Driving on the wrong side)

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Fuel
The fuel cost is about INR 100/- per litre which varies slightly depending on the country, location (ones nearer the airport are costlier than others), etc. Most of the petrol stations are self service types – you park the car, fill up the tank and then go to the counter to make the payment.

Now, some other issues about driving. Honking is uncivilised, so it’s best avoided, except in emergencies. Similarly, it is illegal to flash/ beam headlight either frontally or from behind, onto another car. German rule considers flashing of headlight on other vehicle a coercive act. Driving on the right lane, keeping the left ones free for overtaking, is followed as a rule. After overtaking, the car promptly shifts rightwards. Overtaking from the wrong side, irrespective of how many empty lanes are there, is a strict no-no.

Overtaking – there are defined portions on the road, where this act can be performed. For starters, the continuous yellow/ white line dividing a two-way road is not be crossed over randomly.

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Self-drive in Central Europe/ Alps – II (Itinerary & Car rental)

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The rule says that Schengen Visa should be sought from the country which you visit for the main business. Rule of thumb is, the country where you plan to stay for maximum period of time should be the one to issue you the Schengen. Maximum number of days rule, however, may not hold good in some cases, e.g. if you intent to spend max time in the country which is not of your main business.

In our case, we approached Czech Embassy for the visa, since we were to spend maximum period (about 6 days) there.

Schengen Visa regime has also altered the procedure for entry into EU zone. For instance, since we took a FINNAIR flight, we changed flight at Helsinki. Now, after landing at Helsinki Airport, we shifted into ‘EU Zone’ part of the terminal. So, it was here in Helsinki that we underwent immigration/custom checks. Thereafter, once in EU part, all flights within EU were like domestic flights, despite flying from one country to the next.

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Self-drive in Central Europe/ Alps – I (Intro)

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In the course of our travel, we stayed in a variety of accommodations, including pensions, home-stays , tent (tipi, as it is called locally, located in the midst of Slovak wilderness where Sharmi heard scratching noise on the outside in the middle of night) and an apartment, which was vacated by the occupant for our stay. In many places, we had kitchens to ourselves.

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Ghumakkar Insights – Wandering thoughts (To leave or ‘no’ to leave)

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Some colleagues are well-wishers who try to show him light:

“Where to, this time, G?”

G – “Anjuna.”

“Anything special there?”

G – “Yeah. Great beach and sea food.”

“Didn’t you go to a beach last time and had great sea food as well?”

G – “True. But that was Andaman.”

“ I see. Isn’t a beach, after all, a beach with sand and sea food?”

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