mountains

With Love from Kashmir…

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Continuing my exploration of the beautiful valley of Kashmir, my second visit was more like returning back to my second home. The enthralling beauty and the warmth of the people haunted me long enough to make me revisit Kashmir and I boarded the indigo flight for a 5 day visit.

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How I Managed To Trek Kheerganga With My 8 Year Old Daughter!

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There are two different legends that explains the origin of Kheerganga – One says that Lord Shiva meditated here for thousands of years and another says that Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati meditated here and the natural spring was emerged when Shiva struck the ground with His trishul on Parvati’s request as she was worried that her son wouldn’t get anything to eat here.

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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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Hiking Big Four Ice Caves in Washington

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It is better not to venture into the caves. Don’t be coaxed or cajoled into entering the caves, even if for a bet, an adventurous picture of you inside the cave, or to impress your friends into believing how brave you are. Accidents and deaths are not unheard of.

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To Chakrata, with my family and two dogs

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We , walked uphill and reached a lonely, newly built cottage which was uninhabited at that moment. We sat on the porch of the cottage and watched the color of the sky slowly changing as the sun started descending. The valley down below looked so beautiful. Smoke was coming out of the chimneys of some mud huts. The villagers have lit up the chulhas

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Landing in Lansdowne

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Bulla Lake or Bhulla Tal is a well maintained serene lake just 1Km from Lansdowne. It is a perfect picnic spot and very popular amongst children as it also offers boating. Boating facilities at Bhulla lake are good with few ducks swimming around as well in the lake water. One can also find a small souvenir shop, an eating joint, herbal plant nursery

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Bhutan : The Land of Thunder Dragon!

Bhutan : The Land of Thunder Dragon!

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Perched on a cliff-top, Bhutan’s Taktshang monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is one of the most breathtaking temples in the world. The Buddhist place of worship is built on a rock around 3,000m (10,000ft) above sea level and stands above a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons. The main temple complex was built in 1692 and is considered to be one of the holiest for the Bhutanese people. There are no proper roads and visitors have to trek for hours to reach the temple. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a tigress’ back to subdue a local demon. Thereafter, he meditated here for three months. It is blessed and sanctified as one of Bhutan’s most sacred religious sites.
Apart from monastry, we visited old fort of Paro and museum and then started for next destination, i.e. Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan Royal Kingdom and power centre of the country (around 50 K.m. away from Paro) taking with us wonderful memories of beautiful Paro. Again following the same pattern, we reached Thimphu in the evening and stayed in hotel to get ourselves recharged for next day’s tryst with the capital city.

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Kedarkantha – The Winter Trek

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This one sentence accurately defines the trekking experience 19 of us had in our recent trip to Kedarkantha. Kedarkantha peak at 12500 ft. seem to be too remarkable, but as the name says shaped like Shiva’s Neck, (Kedar means Lord Shiva and Kantha means Neck), actually one of the most scenic trek and offers great views to the Himalayan ranges, reason behind making it to one of the Top 10 treks in India by Conde Nast

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Bringing Back Some Hues from the Beautiful Valley Of Kashmir

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This time around we decided to travel to Kashmir, the most “in news” state of our country, for all the very wrong reasons though! The Gurupurb holiday clubbed with a weekend gave us the three days to plan our trip. We left for Kashmir, fraught with all the apprehensions in the world, and yet excited. On arrival at the airport we were warmly greeted by Dr. M.H Wani, an academician, working towards nation building in his own humble ways; however we didn’t know how our myopic views about this breathtaking place were to be altered by the end of this trip!

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Driving from Lucknow to Nainital and Corbett – Road Review

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The road upto Bareilly was generally good and but bad in a few patches. However, Bareilly to Lalkuan was a different story altogether. I believe there is a bypass outside of Bareilly but I couldn’t find it so I had to go through the city. If someone gets to know of the location of the bypass do inform. The number of trucks have to be seen to be believed. Coupled with bad roads it’s definitely a slow track. There’s some kinda factory before Lalkuan and trucks are lined up on both sides of the road. Where there are trucks, there are traffic jams and coupled with atrocious truck drivers the experience is tough. There is also extensive construction work on this sector.

The road improves dramatically from Lalkuan. A stop is advised before the climb from Kathghodham to Nainital. The Drive from this point on is smooth cos the roads are very good, maintained well and aren’t as steep as people would have you believe.

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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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Kareri Lake ~ a poetic trail

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Gaddis are basically a nomadic tribe who mainly lead a pastoral life depending on their cattle for their livelihood and wander in the high altitude alpine meadows for green and protein rich grass for their cattle and the nectar like pure water. These gaddis seem to be the happiest souls in the world without any worry cheering and living life happily in the lap of mother nature enjoying her eternal and purest beauty to the fullest. You envy at their life for a moment and then wish if you were born a gaddi, maybe in your next life…:)

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