Beach

Bull’s Retreat – OUTTA THIS WORLD!

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Driving through Rishikesh in darkness, we could not see much except the twinkling diyas after Arti on the banks of Ganga. Though it was pitch dark, it was impossible to miss well lit billboard of the Bull’s Retreat ahead of Shivpuri village and we were warmly greeted by courteous Mohinder and staff of Retreat who shifted quickly our baggage to two rooms alloted to us.

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Sirsi and Sahasralinga , शिरसी और सहस्रलिंग

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अब माता के दर्शन के बाद मैं चला एक जगह जिसे कहते है सहस्रलिंग कहते है। सहस्रलिंग शिरसी से करीब 12 किमी दूर शिरसी – येल्लापुर हाइवे से कुछ अंदर है, यहाँ आप बस नहीं तो शेयर ऑटो करके आ सकते है। सहस्रलिंग पत्थरों से बनाए गए 1008 शिवलिंग है जो शाल्मला नदी पर स्थित है। इसके इतिहास के बारे में मैंने बहुत जाने कि कोशिश कि लेकिन मुझे ज्यादा पता नहीं चल पाया, लेकिन एक बात यहाँ आकर आपका मन जरूर शिवमय हो जाएगा इस बात कि गारंटी देता हूँ। बहती हुई शाल्मला नदी स्वयं इन शिवलिंगों का अभिषेक करती है 24 घंटे। घने जंगल, पवित्र वातावरण, शाल्माला नदी कि खडखडाहट के बीच स्थित यहाँ बड़ा भव्य आभास होता है। यहाँ हर शिवरात्रि पर बहुत भीड़ रहती है। पिकनिक के हिसाब से भी यह बहुत बढ़िया स्थल बनता है नहाने और मौज मस्ती के लिए। शहर से दूर आप काफी आनंद और अध्यात्मिक शान्ति का आभास कर सकते होता है । अब आप इस स्थल का दर्शन कर ले । ओम नमः शिवाय ।

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Alibag

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We booked a resort called “Sanman Beach Resort” in Alibag which is a little away from main town right on Varsoli beach. The resort has a sister restaurant in main town which I had visited 4-5 years back and had liked it very much. The only lunch I had there was still reminiscent in my memory and relishing their seafood delicacies was one more reason for me to tilt towards Alibag. The resort is quite reasonable with AC deluxe rooms at Rs. 2600 per night. They also have cottage accommodation at Rs 2200 per night and we stayed in both over two days.

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Beautiful Beaches of Harihareshwar & Divegar

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Harihreshwar and Divegar are two very beautiful beaches in the south of Raigad district. Instead of Alibaug why not visit them next time which is 41/2 – 5 hours drive from Mumbai. For the extended weekend in the month of February we wanted to cover a part of western coast. Between Ganpatipule and Harihreshwar we finalized the latter. Our itinerary included 2 nights in Harihreshwar and one night in Divegar. The way the western coast stretches to the south of Alibaug  is Divegar, Srivardhan, Harihreshwar and little ahead is Velas. People do the first three as triangle but we included Velas instead of Srivardhan which I will clarify in the latter part.

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Jeddah: Discovering a mega-city

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Jeddah has cityscapes on a large scale. Not for this city the narrow crowded bylanes of Mumbai; here, every street is built on a grand scale. Most streets (barring streets in old Jeddah and inside residential areas) are at least 8-10 lanes in width, with broad footpaths. There are bridges and under-passes, service roads on the side, and so on, in addition to the main thoroughfare. During most visits, in spite of using Google Maps and Navigation, I ended up getting on to the wrong ramp, or driving past a turn or missing a U-turn and having to drive an extra 5-10 kms to get back to where I wished to go.

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Coffee, Hills, Foliage and Beaches – Part 2

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There are two basic varieties of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. On asking how does one distinguish between two varieties and which variety is popular brands nescafe and bru made of he told us that instant coffee in India contains a mix of whatever coffee beans remain after sorting. To a connoisseur, instant coffee is blasphemy as the taste is nowehere near good coffee. We left after 20 minutes promising to return back some other time.

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UDUPI, उडुपी :- Shree Krishna Matt and KOLLUR, कोल्लूर :- Shree Mookambika Devi Temple

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यहाँ का प्रसाद सम्पूर्ण भोजन के रूप में आदमी की भूख को तृप्त करता है। हम दोनों के परिवार ने सच्चे मन से तृप्त होकर इस प्रसाद का सेवन किया था। बहुत ही स्वादिष्ट प्रसाद था, पहलें केले के पत्तों के बिछाने का आरम्भ होता है, फिर उन पत्तों पर पानी मारा जाता है साफ़ करने के लिए, फिर दो पुरुष चावल की गाडी लेकर चावल परोसते है, चावल के बाद आती है सांभर की बारी, चावल के ऊपर सांभर परोसने के बाद प्रसाद का सेवन शुरू कर सकते है।

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A day jaunt in Algeria

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It was such a delight to see large landscape, and feel fresh breeze on your face. After an hour, we entered ‘Oran’, the second largest (after the capital Algiers) and one of the important coastal cities of Algeria. It was appearing to be quite urban with tall building and large commercial places.

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The Southern Sojourn – Kanyakumari

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It was close to 9.00 p.m. and with hunger cramps, I told Rajah to stop at a good eating place in the next town en-route. We landed at a small time restaurant – Shanti Bhawan (?) at Sayalgudi, a very small Panchayat town. The place looked clean, but the restaurant owner told us that the place was “full”. There were around 40 Ayappa Swami Devotees already seated and they were to be served first and our waiting time could be more than half an hour. While talking to the owner I was surprised to see the pictures of Kabaa, the holiest place for the Muslims along with some of the Hindu Gods. I asked him if it was a Hindu hotel. He said it was a Muslim Hotel. When I pointed to the wall hangings, he said “Sir, we worship all the Gods”. I was touched by his reply to the hilt and almost embraced him. I wish people all over the country had the similar feelings and then this divide between the religions would probably be non-existent. Thankfully the things appeared to be much better in Tamil Nadu as people of all the religions eat the same food, drink same toddy, speak Tamil and wear the same dress – lungi / dhoti and shirt.

Outside the restaurant, a group of Swamis (devotees of Lord Ayappa) were standing. I was told that they were coming from somewhere in North Tamil Nadu (after a couple of drinks, one tends to forget the names sometimes) and were heading for Kanyakumari,

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Padarn Country Park: Wales

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The slate cutting factory with the old rusty machinery al around. Slates were used for roofing, fencing etc. and was big business then. The factory was eventually closed down in the 1969 and now serves as a National Slate Museum.

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Hawaii (Oahu Island): Part 1

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Amongst the various sights we visited were the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Bowfin. USS Arizona was a memorial built on top of the ship sunk and destroyed with around 700 people still on board. We were shown a historic video before a motorboat quickly took us to the USS Arizona.

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Dhanushkodi – No Land only Sand

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We reached Rameshwaram from Madurai about 3:00 PM, we planned to visit Rameshwaram temple in the morning, so we asked our taxi driver Kannan if there is any beach nearby, he nodded his head and said “Yeeessss” (I liked the way he used to say Yeeessss”), it is 13 kms from here and is called Dhanushkodi.
Well, we reached the beach in about 45 minutes, on the way, we also visited a temple where Lord Rama performed the “Raj Tilak” of Vibhishan. Kannan told us that this is the beach, it was very deserted. We found an Indian Navy post there, a tea stall and a snack shop. The Indian Ocean was beautiful, roaring and with high waves. We dared not go too deep inside and also asked the kids to stay off.

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