AdventureIndia

Uttarakhand’s spring up in the flames

When I planned a quick relieving biking trip to Almora, I had hoped it to be refreshing as it was spring once again. The year before Coronavirus shattered our lives, my last trip to Kumaon was on bike too and almost on the same dates during the spring time. I still had some good reflections of that. I was expecting nothing short of that this time as well and because of all those expectations, this time around, I had planned a slightly longer trip with a plan to go further towards Dharchula or Narayan Ashram. Fire raging right along the main road from Bhowali to Ramgarh in March 2021 But all went up in flames… literally! Spring season this year came and was gone in a flash this year in hills. I was expecting, as earlier, hills turned red with rhododendrons in the Mukteshwar region...

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AdventureIndia

Hope from despair while moving in 2021

इन काली सदियों के सर से जब रात का आंचल ढलकेगा जब दुख के बादल पिघलेंगे जब सुख का सागर झलकेगा जब अम्बर झूम के नाचेगा जब धरती नग़मे गाएगी वो सुब्ह कभी तो आएगी जिस सुब्ह की ख़ातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर-मर के जीते हैं जिस सुब्ह के अमृत की धुन में हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते हैं इन भूखी प्यासी रूहों पर इक दिन तो करम फ़रमाएगी वो सुब्ह कभी तो आएगी This song written by Sahir Ludhianvi more than 62 years ag...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Paint and glitter in Himalayas at Roerich Art Gallery

First time I passed through Naggar was way back in summer of 1990, while returning from Manali during my first ever trip to Kullu-Manali region. Barely I had any idea at that time that it was just the start of my fascination and association with this magical place. Since then, there have been number of trips for trekking, camping, biking, leisure, et al. Each of them have been unique in its experience. While pursuing a career as a full-time journalist, I had started trekking as a serious passion in 1992. It was in January 1993 when I came across the news of death of Svetoslav Roerich. News of his death was associated with follow-up news of his wife legendary Devika Rani, grandniece of Rabindranath Tagore, and their Tataguni estate on the outskirts of Bangalore. The view from Ro...

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AdventureIndia

Ranthambore Fort: Red lake, langurs and a Ganesha with three eyes

It is said to be one of the strongest forts in India. It isn’t a surprise as a fort sitting on a hilltop with deep trenches on three sides, surrounded by many other hills covered by severely dense tiger infested forests could have been nothing else but a very formidable one. Currently the fort is right in the middle of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and National Park. It is said that this region was part of the Chahamana Kingdom of Shakambhari. Shakambhari is where present day Sambhar is. Those who have visited Sambhar Lake will know that there is a very famous and revered Shakambhari temple at Sambhar. The kingdom ruled the many parts of the present day Rajasthan for many centuries until the 12th century. Some historical references say that Chauhans were derived from Chahamanas. Th...

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AdventureIndia

Flying like a bird in a paraglider

A complete guide to paragliding at Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh We were being driven to Billing from Bir for the paragliding session. They combine to make it Bir-Billing, India’s paragliding hotspot. And, if you seriously think that paragliding at Bir-Billing is a thrilling experience, then hold on- travelling to Billing from Bir itself is by no means less thrilling, more so if you are travelling in a vehicle provided by your paragliding operator to carry you to the take-off site.  You will always find a few gliders in the sky at Bir Billing To take the paraglider down this magnificently picturesque valley, you need to reach the Billing hill first, or it is a small table top over the hill, overlooking majestic landscape. It’s a steep uphill drive of around 16 kilometres o...

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IndiaNews

Its opening up, may be just time to pack the bags

It was a hectic past month or perhaps more than that, as I was busy in working on my new travel website. That didn't leave me with enough time to write my scheduled blog posts. It is perhaps first time since I started writing blogs almost eight years ago, that I haven't done a blog post for more than 30 days. Feel sorry for that, but still relived that I was doing something equally dear to me. I do have this travel blog, but there was much of other content that I always wanted to share- informations, news, updates and features. Hence, a dynamic travel site was always on cards. Then this pandemic resulted in applying the brakes on my print travel magazine--yes I have one (Awara Musafir)--as the printing press was shut down. It was then, I started working fanatically on my website. W...

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IndiaPromotions

Where rivers flow through the hearts of the people!

One of the beauty of Kerala is its nature, in its myriad avatars. It is fascinating is to see how nature here moulds itself so effortlessly into human life. Despite a few challenges, despite sometimes a show of anger by nature and despite some transgressions by humans- they both have become integral to existence of the other. Kerala is one of those places, where the deity, the nature and the human just transform into each other. In the God’s Own Country seamlessly the human becomes the nature and the nature becomes more humane. Bharathappuzha river at Thirunavaya Nature has always posed challenge to the humans, challenged them to excel and overcome. It also has been an inspiration. Take rivers for the example, they quench the thirst of the land and give birth to civilisations. River...

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India

170 year old warehouse and an Advaita Ashram nestled in Himalayas

Quaint Himalayan towns have always been favourite of writers, thinkers, leaders. Nature has proved inspirational to them. They have also been source of many movements and ideas. Among the big names, Gandhi and Vivekanand were frequent visitors to hills to focus on their thoughts and also to connect with large cross-section of people. Kumaon region of Uttarakhand was one of the most liked places by one and all for its natural beauty, serene environment and close proximity to Himalayas.  Main building of the Advaita Ashram at Mayavati There are many places in Kumaon which are known only because of their association with Gandhi or Vivekanand. One prominent among them is Advaita Ashram, Mayavati, near Lohaghat. The same Lohaghat, which is also close to Abbott Mount, known for Abbey...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Where a 180 million year old history is fossilised

This is another of the Jaisalmer’s most underrated places after Desert National Park. This is a park as well, a parkin desert of real trees which were here just about 180 million years ago, only difference being that they all are fossilised now. You won’t find any tourists here too, but then who will come to see some caged fossils resembling some unknown graves covered in iron enclosures, lying around in a rocky and barren terrain of the Thar desert. Slice of 180 million year old history Akal Fossil Wood Park isn’t a usual place though. It is one of the only seven geological parks in India. It houses some of the most important remains of geological history from the Indian deserts. Actually, we have 26 National Geological Monuments in India and out of them seven have been declared as...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Jumbo’s day out at Mattupetty

You can find elephants everywhere in Kerala- from forests to roads and temples. They make a fascinating sight and also some excellent stories. They have always been integral part of legends and mythology. There is no temple festival in Kerala without elephants. Kerala also has a good number of wild elephants as well. As per a rough comparison Kerala has almost 600 captive elephants and almost 6000 wild elephants. One of the highest peaks in the Nilgiris the Anamudi peak literally means 'elephant's forehead'. In India, elephants are always in news, thanks to our mishandling of one of the most graceful and intelligent animal out there. Still sight of a herd of wild elephants is good enough to stop the traffic on road and turn everyone into curious onlookers. They too keep people amused w...

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