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Asan Barrage - Waterfront stay with Nature


Along the scenic confluence of the river Asan and Asan Barrage, there stands a resort that feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. The journey to get here includes a drive amid the scenic hills, incredible valleys and dense forests setting a perfect stage to disconnect from the fast lane and reset your soul at this secluded spot.

Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) started this resort in 2016 and provided four beautiful waterfront cottage suites for wonderful lifetime memories. It also offers 18 dormitories at the back side of the resort.

As the resort is located alongside a lake created out of the Barrage, there is a facility where guests can paddleboard good looking boats and enjoy lovely evenings. 

The resort is accessible throughout the year and is a much sought-out destination for bird watching in the months of January-March.

About the Resort:
Budget: 
Waterfront Cottages (SUDLX) ~ Rs. 2800
Dormitories ~ Rs. 350

Please check GMVN website for prevailing prices.

The Accommodation: Cottages consist of two rooms, one each on ground floor and first floor, connected by a spiral staircase. One cottage can comfortably accommodate a small family of three to four and is ideal for those coming in a small group for picnic.

The View
The cottages are sitting pretty along the shore of the lake, the guests taking full advantage of the beautiful natural setting. To check-in, they need to follow a lovely landscaped path, picnic tables and chairs perfect for quiet mornings with or a more jovial gathering in the evening.
After the necessary formalities and before you head to your room, please take the front desk number for ordering tea, coffee, lunch, snacks and dinner.
The cottage has a convertible sofa-cum-bed on the ground floor which is like a living area with television. There is a spiral staircase connecting the first floor. 

The first floor and is equipped with a bed, tea table for two, slanted V shape ceiling, and balcony on both sides.

The Ambiance
The property, which is off the popular tracks from Dehradun, is all about putting brakes to the rat race of a life and giving yourself a much-needed break. With flowered lawns to walk around or laze about on a sunny day, summers here are as enjoyable as winters. 
For kids, these lawns are like an extended play area.
Enjoying your food alongside lake will be one of the best memories to cherish:

 As will be standing in the balcony in the misty morning.

You will Love It –
Couples looking for a romantic escape and families trying to find a place for a calm vacation will love this property. Those who love to walk around in the gardens and dine alongside the lake in open air will come back here again and again.

You might Not
If you like to be surrounded with fancy restaurants, shops, late night activities and a lot of sightseeing options, better stay at Dehradun. 

Amenities:
Exploring the tranquil water of the lake on paddleboats with hills surrounding it.

Booking amount includes Parking and Breakfast only. Consumables are charged as per the prevailing menu, which is present in every room. Meals choices have to be informed well in advance as the feedstock need to be arranged by evening.

How to reach:
Dehradum is the nearest Airport and Railway Station, 50 km. from Asan barrage.
By Road: 270 Km. from Delhi.

You will love driving to these nearby Attractions (distance mentioned from Asan Barrage):
  1. Ashokan Rock Edict, Kalsi – 20 km.
  2. Lakhamandal – 85 Km.
  3. Renuka Lake – 51 km. (and on way - Poanta Sahib Guridwara, 8 km. and Citrus fruits' orchards at Dhaula Kuan, 24 km.)
  4. Dehradun
  5. Mussourie – 70 km.
  6. Chakrata – 65 km.
To Summarize:
If you love to connect with nature along with relaxation and that too in lake front accommodations, the resort is the perfect place.  

Keep Travelling Guys.


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G for Gokarna

Thankfully we were able to get food last night on our arrival from Udupi. However breakfast of fresh and well prepared Idli, sambhar and chutney convinced my big heart to forgive the hotel for last night shocker. Now we had a full day reserved for this small town of Gokarna known for its beaches and temples. Gokarna meaning cow’s ear is a sacred pilgrimage town noted for Mahabaleshwar Shiva temple. But we were there for some offbeat experiences as well.
With pristine beaches and acclaimed temples, Gokarna is quickly coming as an alternate to Goa for beach lovers and those seeking salvation or relaxation. One can hire a bike/ scooter to go around Gokarna. (But please check the condition of vehicle, as rental agencies do not focus on servicing and the rented vehicle may end up spoiling your plans).
We opted for a scooter and started to Vibhuti waterfalls (42 km. from Gokarna). Once you have come out of Gokarna town, though the road though is good condition, but is quite deserted and only a few travelers will come your way. But in between you will get lot of spots for taking pictures as the road is blessed with amazing natural beauty.
It took us around 50 minutes to reach the entry spot, from where a 30 minutes trek was in the way to take us to the Vibhuti waterfalls. That is how I started the trek, with my kid! 
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Offbeat travel with Kids - Necessary Precautions

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Exploring Offbeat destinations is a specialized travel activity which is utmost satisfying for a wanderer’s soul. Being located in not so visited areas, first-hand information about the place and facilities available, to be honest is not available. Generally everyone advise to not to travel to these remote places with family or with small children. They are not wrong, as even small issue in these places can become a big problem especially if you are travelling with small children. 
One needs to prepare well for exploring such places and Yes more than few precautions are required if you are travelling with small children. 
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We have been travelling with our kids (now, 7 year old and 2 year old) for last 6 years to all offbeat places. Trust our travels have got more wonderful and colorful in the company of our kids.
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From Udupi - Coastal Drive to Gokarna

We kept on walking around on the secluded beaches, while exploring back waters of Udupi came across hanging bridges, prayed in awesome temples and over and above blended with nature at its best; this has been our journey which started from Mangalore. 
After spending 2 days in and around Udupi, we started early morning for Gokarna and with the objective to check every spot in the way and reach Gokarna by the night. Just at outskirts of Udupi we came across a beautiful church, worth stopping and spending some time. 

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Ashokan Rock Edict at Kalsi

While driving around Dakpathar (40 km. from Dehradun) came across a signboard showing way to “Kalsi”. Totally unaware about this spot we asked the locales about Kalsi. What we heard was “There is one stone with some ancient inscriptions”. We had some time in hand so started driving for Kalsi.
It took us around 45 minutes (approx. 21 km.) from Asan Barrage on Vikasnagar - Chakrata road, to reach the entrance gate of Kalsi.
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Anjaneya Parvat - Birth place of Lord Hanuman


Off late Vijaynagar had become a 2nd home, have been visiting it almost every 2nd week. While one of these visits got 3-4 hours break from my schedule, so thought of making use of these 3-4 hours. I knew of a hill top temple at Anjaneya Parvat, place believed to be birth place of Lord Hanuman.  So called up the taxi driver and asked if can do Anjaneya Parvat in 3-4 hours? Driver told yes, but slightly tough, Vow decision was taken and I was on my way to Anjaneya temple well before the first ray of sunlight.
Anjaneya (also pronounced as Anjana) Parvat is at a distance of 5 km. from the site of Hampi in Anegundi village. We were soon driving through the ruins of Hampi and river streams on our way to Anjeyanadri Hill.
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List of Best Treks in Uttarakhand that you must try

Uttarakhand often referred to as Dev Bhumi or Land of the Gods, is no less than heaven for all the nature buffs and adventure lovers out there. Uttrakhand is surely one of the most fantastic places in India, which is all covered with ethereal beauty. Situated in the foothill of Himalayan Ranges, Uttarakhand comes with an ample number of opportunities of trekking and camping, and with every new place, there’s something different and interesting present there to gain a whole new experience. Well, now summers are approaching and there could be no better excuse to take a leave from your work and make your way towards the mighty mountains. If you too wish to experience that adrenaline rush, take a look at some of the best treks in Uttarakhand and go on the trek you feel like trying out.

Bali Pass Trek
Let’s get started with the very famous trek to Yamunotri, which is situated there inside the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and allows you to take a closer look at rich flora and fauna. You need to start your trek from Sankri and continue walking along the Supin River. After this, you need to climb up slowly to the Dhatamir and Osla Village. While walking through the pathway, you’ll come across River Tons and Siyan Gad. Go on and reach Har ki Doon, a cradle shaped valley full of a large variety of flowers, mind-blowing views, and amazing wildlife. Then you need to continue to the Ruinsara Tal that passes through mesmerizing grasslands and conifer forests. Walk slowly and reach the base of Bali Pass. After you cross the path, you’ll go downhill through the pastures and open forests to the Yamunotri shrine. After this, the route will take you to Janak Chatti and Hanuman Chatti. 
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Mohan Shakti Heritage Park, Solan

If you think that mountains are all about valleys, flowing water streams and precisely located temples, well your thoughts may be going for some serious reconsideration.
After travelling 8 kms from Solan towards Shimla, turn right on a narrow downhill road. You have to be a very confident driver for this 7 km. of road, if driving yourself, in order to find this Khul Ja Sim Sim like Treasure of our Heritage.
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Radha Binod Pal Memorial, Tokyo - The Indian, respected in Japan

While walking around Yasukuni Jinja Shrine, came across a memorial. Going close to it, found that the memorial is dedicated to Dr. Radha Binod Pal.

Next thought in my mind was who this Mr. Pal is and how come he has a memorial in Tokyo? Curious investigation there itself revealed that Dr. Pal was the judge at International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) who had exonerated Japanese leaders, who were being tried for war crimes (after World War II). 

Paying homage to bravery and dedication of Dr. Pal, who with utmost honesty tried to defend justice of law, a memorial dedicated to him stands adjacent to main shrine at Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine, which commemorates Japanese war heroes. This small memorial is looked after carefully, the flowers kept here are always fresh.

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7 Tips and Tricks on How to Pack for a Warm Weather Vacation

Most travelers relish the thought of a vacation with sunny, warm weather, even if it’s to a destination without beaches or swimming. However, warm-weather travel can come with its own inconveniences. If you’re traveling outside of the summer months, the weather can change, and a sunny day can quickly become uncomfortable.
Fortunately, experienced travelers know how to mitigate problems and keep everyone in their group happy. It can be tempting to under-pack on warm-weather vacations, but don’t forget the essentials for staying safe in the sun. Check out these travel tips and hacks for ways to minimize problems and maximize fun adventures on your next getaway!
1. Make smart fabric choices 
Denim can be stylish, but is it really the best option for traveling to Key West in the middle of July? Try linen, white cotton t shirts or performance fabrics for breathable, comfortable outfits. Lighter fabrics roll up easily, too, saving valuable luggage space.
Tank tops can be very comfortable, but remember that the more skin you expose, the more time you have to spend putting on sunscreen. Consider covering up with lighter fabrics to help manage your sun exposure.
Also, remember to pack for layers, like lightweight jackets or cardigans. Even tropical destinations can cool off in the evening, so keeping an extra layer around can make the difference between a fun adventure and an uncomfortable evening. Air conditioning can also vary widely between restaurants, hotels and public transit, so a lightweight jacket might even be useful during the day. Leggings are also a good option for fashion-conscious travelers heading out on nighttime adventures. If all else fails, there is nothing wrong with a classic crewneck, especially since there are so many different ways to style them for any occasion!

2. Pack a proper hat and sunglasses
Even springtime sun can be intense enough to cause sunburns, and squinting in the sun is sure to interfere with your enjoyment of world-famous sights. A lightweight hat or bandanna is a good choice for shielding your head. Bringing comfortable hats for your kids can also prevent whining and misery later on. If you aren’t fond of hats, a sun parasol can be a stylish and fun option for staying out of the sun.
The best sunglasses for your trip will depend on what you’re doing and where you’re going, but don’t overspend! Sunglasses are far too easy to lose or break while on vacation. Buy a neck cord and be careful to double-check for your sunglasses before leaving restrooms, hotels and restaurants.

3. Plan your sunscreen, bug repellent and allergy medication usage
While some may find sunscreen a pain to keep safe in your suitcase, packing it may be better than buying it at your destination. Your sunscreen brand and selection options may be limited if you wait to buy it, and you may find yourself stuck with a product that’s inconvenient or insufficient for your needs. It may also be cheaper to pack sunscreen. For most U.S. destinations, you can probably access the same general types of sunscreen across the country, but do your research for overseas destinations.
The same rule applies to bug repellant and allergy medication. Some destinations have mosquitoes almost year-round, and you may need bug repellant even if you’re not going into the woods. Unfamiliar flowers and trees can trigger allergy symptoms that keep you from fully enjoying your trip. Research your destination carefully to determine your best options.
Remember that some airlines or countries may have restrictions on bug repellent ingredients, aerosol cans or medication ingredients.
4. Pick a bag that suits your needs
Lugging around multiple bags after a day of fun can put a damper on the rest of your evening. It can also be troublesome to forget a bag of souvenirs, food or a water bottle someplace because you had too many bags to keep track of.
If you’re traveling alone, a small carry-on suitcase or cheap backpack may suffice, but running around with children makes a large backpack mandatory. Look for something with padded straps made of a material that is breathable. An ideal warm-weather backpack will also have easily accessible space for water bottles, as well as room for souvenirs and snacks. If you’re planning a day at the beach, pack plastic bags for storing wet swimsuits.

5. Print out your transit options and safety plans
Nothing is less fun than lugging around a giant suitcase in 90° F weather because you misunderstood how the bus system works and there are no taxis in sight. Triple-check your plan for getting from the airport to your hotel and have a written backup plan in case something goes wrong. Also, keep a phone number for a local taxi company saved to your phone in case you truly need it after a day in the sun, and make sure you know how to quickly get to the hospital in case of accidents.
In many warmer regions, sudden storms can mess up a dream vacation. Popular warm-weather tourist destinations can be prone to storms in certain seasons, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the area’s flood, tsunami or other natural disaster evacuation plans, and even pack a printed copy, if possible.

6. Bring a backup option for shoes
Tennis shoes can be great for hiking but can quickly become uncomfortable when they’re sweaty or muddy. Pack a pair of padded sandals for hot days when you’ve planned a lot of walking. 
If you’re planning a beach vacation, a pair of flip-flops may be worthwhile, but keep in mind that most flip-flops can hurt your feet after walking significant distances. Flip-flops also do little to protect your feet from the sun, and sunburnt feet can quickly put a damper on your dream vacation.
Children, in particular, can be quick to complain about sore, hot or blistered feet, so make sure to have backup options for them. It’s well worth the extra luggage space!

7. Carry a reusable water bottle
Reusable water bottles can save you money and help protect the environment. A well-designed reusable water bottle is lightweight, easy to clean and can be quickly opened and closed to protect the mouthpiece from the elements. It also reduces your need to find a trash can or recycling bin.
In some locales, though, clean drinking water is only readily accessible in bottled form. Do your research ahead of time and see if it’s wiser to pack vending machine change than a reusable plastic bottle. However, many international destinations have clean drinking water access at major tourist sites, so don’t waste your money on disposable water bottles unless you have to.

Guest Post - Brenda Kimble is a writer and travel blogger from Austin, TX. She is also a mother of 2 daughters and a son. Her life's journey has taken her to 5 continents, 25+ countries, and all 50 United States. When she is traveling, she is typically doing yoga, crafting with her kids, or writing for The Talkin'T-Shirts Blog, where she is a frequent contributor. 
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