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Managing money while exploring offbeat destinations

Money, like emotions, is something you must control carefully to keep your life on the right track…
Exploring Offbeat destinations is a specialized travel activity which is very satisfying for a traveler. Being located in not so visited areas, it is not always possible to have first-hand information about the place. Due to this it is utmost necessary to keep yourself equipped enough financially for any unforeseen event. Unforeseen event is only running out of sufficient cash, you may have dozens of Credit/ Debit Cards which might not be accepted in these places.

Would like to share some money management experiences to keep handy while exploring Offbeat destinations:
1.      Cash Management: Money is the best friend which can rescue you in case of any unforeseen event, so: 
a.      Make sure that you carry ample amount of cash, atleast sufficient for fuel, food and accommodation requirements.
b.     Keep currency notes in smaller denominations too as getting change for bigger notes can be a problem for very small merchants/ shopkeepers in remote places.
                                                  i.      Indulging in shopping for the local delicacies/ special handicrafts is a sheer luxury, as you will not find such stuff in cities. However most of the merchants in these locations do not accept credit cards. So if you are out of cash at this moment, you are putting at stake the joy of your otherwise happening journey.

2.      Usage of Electronic Money (Credit Card/ Debit Card):
a.      ATM’s are not available everywhere and Credit cards are not so widely accepted
b.     Even many highway filling stations and hotels/ food outlets  at smaller places/ remote locations at times do not accept credit cards
c.      Take caution in usage of Credit cards/ Debit cards to safeguard yourself from any chances of fraud. I personally prefer to pay by cash for fuel stations which are located outside Tier-II cities.

3.      ATM’s: Always keep a note of last working ATM on your way, so that you can at least have an option of going back to fetch money. Will advise to also carry ATM cards banks like SBI, PNB, ICICI… as they have better penetration of ATM’s in remote places.

As offbeat destinations travel is gradually catching the fancy of the travellers, some of the prominent hotels/ resorts’ chains are setting up their properties in these locations. Pre-booking these can save a lot of money and also the hassles of paying by cash while checking out. Also you can earn cashback/ privilege points. Always check out with them for their affiliation with rewards program.

Please note some of these hotels/ resorts might not accept payment by Credit Card/ Debit Cards while checking out. However they are accepting payment by electronic means while booking. This I have personally faced, however the resort was co-operative enough to send a person with me till the next available ATM (approx. 35 kms from the resort’ location) to collect the cash.

Above all spend wisely to have non-stop fun during your explorations. Happy travelling friends...


Dudhsagar Falls - THE MILKY WAY

Dudhsagar Falls aka Sea of Milk- a beautiful tie-red waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa on Goa's border with Karnataka state is the place I have been wanting to embark in my travel list since a long time.

Dudhsagar derives its name from the clouds of foam that form at the waterfalls.

According to the legend, a powerful king who ruled the Western Ghats had his palace in the forest. The king's daughter used to bath in the picturesque lake. She would have a jug full of sugared milk after the bath.

Once while she was just having her milk after a bath, a handsome prince saw her. Embarrassed, the princess poured milk in front of her so that it could form a curtain while one of the maids rushed to get her the dress. Since then, the sugared milk (Dudh) poured by the princess is believed to be flowing in torrents as a tribute to the modesty of the princess.

All you need is a weekend to cover this lovely place if you stay in Bangalore. One fine day, all of a sudden, we booked train tickets from Bangalore to Londa Junction in Rani Chenamma Express for next day travel. Around 8 AM, we reached Londa Junction and indeed that small station surprised us with its beautiful and breath freshening view.
After having fresh and hot VADA-PAV at railway station we boarded an autorikshaw and headed towards Ramnagar Bust stand which is around 4 KMs form station. Once reached there are two options available for Dhudhsagar.
  1. Shared cab which will take and drop you back at Ramnagar costing around 2500 bucks (Inclusive of life jacket).
  2. Go to Castle Rock station and jump on any passing by goods train - cost you zero bucks + free adventure, just you have to do is request the guard of train and trust me they don't mind at all.
So keeping adventure in mind we took a bus to Castle Rock station about 3-4 Kms from ramnagar bus stand.
The moment we reached station we saw one train passing by and ran as hard as possible to catch it, threw our bag-pack and hopped on it
Enjoyed the fascinating view throughout that small journey from back of the goods train along with simple and bighearted village people.
Snaking in and out of the tunnels was making were journey amazingly exciting. Around 13 tunnels will come across the entire journey which is beautiful.

Finally reached the ultimate spot in around 40 minutes. From this place you have to trek down a little to see the actual falls.

Small peculiar temple cum Church adjacent to Railway Track

No matter how tired you are or how much pain you are in, it will go away in a flick once you go into the waters. While standing exactly below the falls you will feel alive with every droplet falling on your head from a huge height  - Every massage or any acupuncture is nothing in front of this.

INSTRUCTION - Life guards will not allow in the waters without life jacket so please acquaint yourself with the same.

Its better to go in little off-season because in rainy seasons you will not be able to enter into the falls due to dangerous gushing water.

Beautiful view from bottom with water flowing on top of railway tracks. In rainy seasons Dudhsagar falls is really strong with plenty of water making the passengers of passing by train completely wet.

Actual tie-red waterfall with three streams of water coming from different directions.

After completely drenching our souls in water for more than 2 hours finally it was time to say goodbye to this lovely place However this is one place where I will want to go again and enjoy the Dhudhsagar falls.
Enthused by the waters, this place will always be special to me. If you have more than weekend in your bucket you can cover this place and head towards GOA also which is around 100 KM - 3 Hours away.




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