nature

Chennai Beaches

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Marina beach is a major tourist attraction of the city. This sea is rough and the waves here are strong. People visiting Chennai make a point to visit the beach. It is also the main place for the local people to escape from the summer heat. This beach is always crowded attracting about 30,000 – 50,000 visitors everyday. The beach has around 450-500 shops and stalls run by local vendors. It is an ideal hangout place for people of all ages. There are two swimming pools along the stretch maintained by Chennai Corporation.

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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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Picture perfect beaches on Jolly Buoy

The Emerald Islands of Andaman and Nicobar

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The view from underwater is breathtaking. Corals, oysters, sea weeds, colored fish  and the surrounding blue water is mesmerizing. Touching endangered species such as corals are  not allowed. The best part of the sea walk actually came when we fed pieces of bread to the  fish. As soon as you hold up the bread pieces, fish of different colors gather around you and it does get a bit ticklish but it is definitely a wonderful experience.  After 20 minutes of  “seawalking”, the divers  escorted us back up to the pontoon. When you climb up, one is likely to experience  the pressure factor again . At the end of it, the whole experience leaves you spellbound and the sparkling blue water always tantalizes you to go back underwater.

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Joychandi Pahar – a Recollection

Joychandi Pahar – a Recollection

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“We are from Calcutta, you have got a beautiful place here”

“Ki je bolen babu, ki ache ekhane… khaowar jal parjyonto nai…” (what are you saying sir, nothing is here… not even water to drink…)

“Lok ashena ekhane ghurte?” (Don’t you get people visiting this place?)

“Ho, ashen bote. Majhe majhe chele puler dol ashe. Tabu lagiye thake oi okhane lake-er pare. Aar dori-dora niye pahar-e uthe. Pura jayga nogra kore diye jai” (Yes, indeed some group of youngsters come. Stay in tents near that lake. Do some rock climbing on the hill. And finally leave transforming the whole place as dustbins) certainly true, that is.

His petty house was behind his pettier shop. But his heart was bigger than anything. Since his shop was not ready to supply anything yet, he ordered something from his home – and we were served with a good meal. And more notably, we had to forcefully pay him.

“Babu-ra sokalbela khali pete aaichen, aapnader kach thika khaowar taka kemne lomu?” (Sir, you have come here so hungry in the morning, how can I take money from you for this food?) where have those people gone today?

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An example of determination: Pisanhari ki Marhiya (Jabalpur)

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The competition gradually became tougher and louder till there was a total din. Amidst the chaos, looking at the prospects of not being able to find a clear-cut winner, the challenge-competition was halted in the middle. In that interlude it was the perfect time for telling the story of an old woman, who lived alone in a hut at Jabalpur about 650 years ago.

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A Day in Nairobi National Park

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The park is built for people like us who cannot go to Masai Mara or Amboseli or to similar places. It is a small snapshot or trailer of what you could get in those places. This park is the only national park which is built inside or very nearby a metro city. It is home for black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species. Black rhinos are special attractions, they are declared as endangered species.

As soon as you enter the park, you enter into an altogether different world. Nairobi skylines are visible from a distance (the national park is about 7 kms from the city centre), no sound of any mechanical human devices, you surrender yourself to the inviting nature.

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My visit Utamaduni Craft Centre and Kazuri in Nairobi

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Utamaduni Craft Centre

My business schedule didn’t allow me to make a voyage to one of the ultimate destinations of Kenya – The Masai Mara. So I decided to explore nearby areas in the next Saturday. We took a taxi (booked by the hotel) and started off for a place named Utamaduni Craft Centre (http://utamaduni.com/). One of the specific reasons to go there because that place specializes in African native crafts and arts, and has a huge collection of all varieties. Reaching there I realized that was indeed a great decision to arrive here – the assortment is really so remarkable. Collected a few souvenirs from there as well.

After spending a couple of hours there, we headed to another nearby place Kazuri Bead and Pottery Factory (http://kazuri.com/). They are supposed to be one of the largest manufacturers of clay made beads and pottery works.

The place is really a heaven for ladies, specially who fancy the jeweleries made of beads and clays.

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Memories of Mewar (I): Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur.

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The fort is built on a hill at a height of 1100 metres and requires a considerable effort to climb to the top. But once you are in the palace at the top of the fort, also known as ‘Badal Mahal’, you are rewarded with awesome views of the forested Aravalli hills, with the Mewar region on the eastern side and Marwar region on the west. The forests surrounding the fort comprise the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to leopard, sloth bear, monkeys, wolf, jackal, sambar, peacock, jungle fowl and a host of other birds and animal species.
[caption id="attachment_94003" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Badal Mahal. Badal Mahal.[/caption]

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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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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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