WORLD is a book and those who do not travel have read only one page. Explore uncertain roads, unknown destinations and diverse cultures with Travel Diaries.

Showing posts with label Delhi Weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Delhi Weekend. Show all posts

Nahan - for real vagabonding

There are times when urge to travel is so much that destination takes a backseat and we tend to start without any destination in mind. This is when you feel like going for a "Journey without a destination".

While in middle of such a temptation, I decided for some real vagabonding in the himalayan ranges in Nahan region. Totally secluded from the hustles of any type, Nahan is an ideal place to roam around like a free bird. Once out of Delhi the excellent highway ends up adding to your impatience of reaching Nahan as soon as possible. "Resist the temptation". Nahan is a small town and headquarter of Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Lytton memorial is the entry point and a renowned landmark of Nahan.


There are a few accommodations available here, however locales advised us to go uphill 14 kms. and stay at Jamta. As we had no obligation for destination, we started meandering uphill along the snaky roads.

To our good fortunes Jamta is the highest point in the region and has some very good staying options. With such a view outside your window. One cannot say anything other than Vow, what a place...? Decision to travel without a fixed destination was paying.


This is a place to enjoy your evening tea, morning breakfast alongside the green airs of the hills. One here it was the time to further explore the virgin beauty of this region. We were surprised to know that the largest lake in Himachal Pradesh, "Renuka Lake" is separated from us by a distance of only 27 Kms.


Next morning it was the voyage downhill to Renuka Lake. Every turn of the serpentine drive in the hills will surely keep your cameras in overdrive. Each click of the immensely artistic panoramic caricatures will only lead to click more and more. Enjoying the voyage also bought some envy, it was natural to envy the fortunes of the people living in such a heaven.


While enjoying our drive, we came across a pleasant surprise in the way. Check out the temple situated in middle of a waterfall - "Bedolia Waterfall".


During the rainy seasons the of temple beautifully chisels the down coming waterfall. As this was not the rainy season, so one more visit has to be planned to witness the helpless waterfall. One gets so much engaged here that its natural to forget that we have to drive to Renuka Lake which has been waiting for our arrival. OOPS..."Excess of everything is bad". No issues, we again started towards Renuka Lake. 

Renuka Lake is the largest lake in Himachal Pradesh and is 672 m above the sea level. Renuka Lake is named after Goddess "RENUKA", mother of lord Parshuram. Welcomed by naughty ducks in the pond called "Ram Sarovar", you have entered the place of Renuka Lake which is also very sacred and is worshipped as a holy place. This place is also birth place of Lord Parshuram. Check the history associated with it...

Time to thank the Gods for such a wonderful experience in the Renuka Temple. Every November this temple is a site for annual fair. Saints and devotees from all over the Indian gather here to witness the meeting of Lord Parshuram and Goddess Renuka. 

 


Land locked by the mountains on 3 sides, floating lilies on the water surface, Renuka Lake is as picturesque as your dreams can be...

With a circumference of about 3214 m. this lake is surrounded by a sanctuary too. A leisurely walk into the sanctuary will not disturb the inhabitants, Lions, Bears,...My favorite turned out to be bulky "Mithun Cow"...

The range of flora and fauna in the sanctuary is amazing.

This region can be described as land of valleys, meandering water streams and a place where you can drive throughout the day without getting enough of the place. This was turning out to be more wonderful than any of the expectations. As evening was approaching, settling mist was making the valleys more gorgeous. You can have the liberty of stopping your car, walking down to the bed of the streams and cherish the twilight in the woods...

Once you are back at Jamta, evening and morning tea is also a pleasure. Immerse yourself in an isolated walk in the Shivalik hills and relish the ambience.  

To reach Nahan:

Hit the Roads: 270 Km from Delhi Via: Sonipat-Panipat-Kurukshetra-Karnal-Shahbad Markanda-Kala Amb-Nahan-Jamta

By Train: Nearest railway stations are Ambala, Chandigarh and Kalka and regular bus services connect these stations to Nahan.


While returning to Delhi take the other route (via Dhaula Kuan, Poanta Sahib and Dehradun) and continue exploring more and more.

Another wonderful lake in Himachal Pradesh; worth exploring is Lake Rewalsar which is lying hidden in the mountains, 23 km. from town of Mandi...

Share:

Haridwar and stopover at Baba Ramdev Ashram...

Rishikesh Trip is not complete without a stop at Baba Ramdev Ashram and prayers at Ganges at Haridwar. Rishikesh is only 23 km. from Haridwar, when coming from Delhi. Dip in the Holy water of River Ganga at Haridwar carry immense religious significance. Devotees from all over the world come to Haridwar for a dip at Brahm Kund, Har Ki Pauri, the most sacred ghat and spot in India.

Just on the outskirts of Haridwar is "Patanjali Yog Peeth", ashram of Baba Ramdev. Baba Ramdev is championing the cause of holy healing and YOGA. Ayurveda, Yoga, Surgery and one of the oldest treatises on medical treatment for Human Body "Charak Sanhita" have originated in India.


Reconnection with the legacy is on the cards as soon as we enter. Check out the sculpture of Maharishi Charak, author of Charat Samhita; the ancient treatise on Ayurveda.


The ashram is a complete health care centre as well, with Yoga centres, Hospital and a canteen.
Ashram is a self sustained unit. Whatever is consumed in the ashram from medicines to food is produced and processed in the Ashram farms only. People from far off places come here for holistic healing and treatment of numerous diseases.




All the preparations in the Canteen is done by the Cow Milk. No worries of any sorts, Happy Eating. We both enjoyed our breakfast, however Min was still on fasting. Now we were afraid, that he might die of starvation...he he he...His tears are real…
Canteen not only serve food, but also healthy eating tips. Very simple but effective.



After breakfast, we started again for Delhi and in next 15 minutes of driving we were in Haridwar at the Giant Statue of Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge) in the middle of river Ganga.

Ganga or River Ganges is considered sacred and worshipped as the holy river. Dip in the waters of river Ganga cures many skin diseases. 

Why, what is the reason...? The answer is that the self-cleaning quality of river Ganga leads to 25 times higher oxygen content than any other river on the world. That's why the river Ganga is worshipped in India, its scientific. Heavenly ambience of the evening worship prayer of River Ganga at Har Ki Pauri attracts devotees from far off places. Every inch of available space at the ghats is occupied by the devotees.


Watch the evening River Ganga Aarti/ worship...

On top of a hill is the holy Mansa Devi Temple. Cable car will take you to the temple. Mansa Devi is one of the holiest places in Haridwar. The visit to this temple shall be kept on priority as there is always a long queue of people to visit Mansa Devi temple and waiting time to catch a cable car sometimes goes upto 2 hours...


Seeing a number of devotees taking a holy dip in the sacred waters of river Ganges, Min too decided to dip his feet in the holy river...


One day at Haridwar and we again started our return journey. Nothing much after Haridwar, only a stop at local Dhaba/ restaurant for a cup of Tea...Road side Dhabas have their own charm, do try but be careful while taking a halt at night.
Rishikesh and Haridwar makes an ideal weekend getaway from the hustles of Delhi. Only 240 Km., one can leave on Friday night and get back by Sunday. Keep on travelling guys…

Share:

Few Moments for yourself at "Damdama Lake"

Everyone is entitled for a vacation, spending time with nature and more importantly with oneself. However our hectic schedules do not let us even think about such delightful occasions.

A week should be at least which I would like to reserve for a vacation, but I will consider myself lucky if I get even 3-4 days. Most of the times family commitments and work pressure play spoilsport for 3-4 days off too. 
उम्रे दराज़ से मांग कर लाये थे चार दिन,
दो आरज़ू में और दो इंतज़ार में निकल गए. 
I do not want to blame myself for not enjoying due to time constraints. We should enjoy when we can rather than when we want. I hope you guys will agree with me. 
What to do..???? Plan out something which starts on Saturday morning and concludes by Saturday Night or Sunday. This leaves us with the only option to explore nearby places, whenever you get a day off from your hectic life. That's what I will be going to do, start on Saturday morning and be back by evening/ night.

When I started to look out for nearby places, I was amazed to find a lot of such spots. One of the such spots is "Damdama Lake"

To explore and enjoy our Saturday, we started in the morning to Damdama Lake. It took us an hour's drive from Delhi to reach the Lake. Damdama Lake is surrounded by Aravalli hills which forms a striking backdrop to its placid waters.

I could have never imagined such an isolated and picturesque place, so close to Delhi. Rightly said "Seeing is Believing". Surrounded by greenery, a Haryana Government resort makes it a nice place for having fun trip, quiet Lunch in vicinity of nature. Damdama Lake is the perfect place to go for boating or day tour.

Surrounded by Aravalli hills, it should be a much sought after destination for avid Rock climbers. I got ample chances to try out my rock climbing skills in  in the difficult terrains of the Aravalli. Even I can plan for rock climbing every week to recharge by batteries and keep good health.

Check out, there are Paddle boats also, if you love boating you can enjoy that too.

However the cherished one will be a quiet walk alongside the lake and appreciating the amazing landscape. If you feel hungry, there is a restaurant in the resort which serves delicious food, so you can anytime fuel yourself. Even if you are a photography enthusiast, you will not be disappointed...

Next week I am planning again for a hang out at Damdama Lake. You too join soon...coz at the end, we repent for things not done and places did not visited...

Share:

Getaway to Gwalior

Everyone has his/ her ways to enjoy the gift called "LIFE". Some prefer hanging out with friends, some like discotheques and some prefer travelling to distinct locations to seek enjoyment. Apart from enjoyment, travelling is an ideal way to recharge your energy stocks.


I too fall in the latter category, and I honestly believe that you need not going to Bahamas or Paris to seek rejuvenation: "just look around yourself, pack your bags and start". Here lies the Advantage India. India is such a diverse country that if you try to explore, you can go to any city/ town or village I am sure you would not be disappointed. This I believed during my trip to Gwalior. 


This was my 2nd trip to Gwalior. First visit was too hectic, so this time I kept some time for exploration, as Gwalior has a rich heritage and legacy. This city has been a witness to numerous curves of the India history.
This was the time to opt for our National transporter. You guess it right, Indian Railways. There are numerous trains at all times during the day and it takes only 5 hours to reach Gwalior from New Delhi.



Share:

Drive to Chambal Safari: from Delhi to Gwalior

325 Km. from Delhi, driving along NH-2/ Expressway and NH-3 for 6-7 hours. If statistics sounds boring - you are in for a surprise and reconsideration of your thoughts.

It was one fine day I got a chance to drive till Gwalior. I knew that the highway is in good condition, but was still sceptical about the real picture. It was not a planned one, but as I always say "Good travellers never plan in advance", all of a sudden, a divine thought struck me - lets drive all the way to Chambal Ravines till Gwalior. With all the spirits roaring, I started at early afternoon, however it is always better to start in the early morning to escape the heavy traffic of Delhi.

If you take expressway, you will directly reach Agra. However, if you take NH-2, then there are lot of options for sightseeing in the way, apart from vastness of agricultural fields.


Road side Motels/ Dhabas in the way will present ample opportunities to relax and refreshments. Keep chilling and driving....Believe me even a cup of Tea or refreshments will be a unique experience.

If you can take out 1-2 hours, you can visit Mathura, birthplace of Lord Krishna. Right turn from Mathura towards Govardhan and 36 km. straight drive will take you to Deeg Palace, a majestic Jal Mahal, Water Palace. Check out the picture of Deeg Palace. On reaching here you will wonder why such a place is lying hidden... 

For nature lovers and bird watching enthusiasts there is Sur Sarovar Wild Life Sanctuary on the way to Agra, 40 km. from Mathura on your left hand side at NH-2, just before Agra.

Just at the entrance of Agra is Sikandra Tomb, mausoleum of Akbar. 


Out of all visitors to city of Taj, only 5 -8 % of travellers visit this place. This place offers amazingly calm and serene surroundings. Huge lawns with lot of deers, and black bucks roaming around peacefully, it is an ideal place to find some quiet moments.

Keep some time for Agra, you cannot afford to miss "The Taj Mahal".


From Agra onwards you will be a part of Chambal Valley. It is very difficult to remove sights from the exceptionally beautiful landscapes formed by sandy hills of Chambal Valleys. Romance, adventure and driving, all at same place.



You can stop your car and take a walk and sit around the small water body. Don't get scared as there are no wild animals here. In Delhi we do not get to drive with window glasses down (too much pollution), but here I cherished driving with open windows. Landscapes are simply breath taking, check out -


At many instances, you will come very close to the railway track. Check out the view I captured while standing on the road:

Get a chance to click Chambal river in its full flow:

Be it the adjacent Railway Track, Chambal River or the highway itself...Everything is compelling enough to apply the brakes, come out of the car, enjoy the fresh air, appreciate the amazing beauty and not to forget... take some pics.

Vow...Now tell me who says it is required to go to hills or drive 2000 miles from your house to capture Sunset like this... 

 

With the tremendous growth of India as economic superpower, Highways have improved considerably. Driving is a sheer pleasure. However, if you are nature lover, you will be focusing more on the amazing surroundings which accompany you for most of the distance from Delhi to Gwalior. 

 

There is much more in Chambal than just amazing landscapes. Take a left turn from Morena and you can experience the drive to the following treasures from Indian history. These treasures have been lying hidden from ages:

  1. Kakan Math Temple: 115 ft. high Lord Shiva temple, assembled out of stones without any adhesive. Pyramids share stark resemblance with this temple. 34 km. from Morena bus stand.
  2. Mitawali, Shiva Temple: The place which inspired the design of Indian Parliament house (Sansad Bhawan). 23 km. from Kakan Math temple towards Gwalior.
  3. Padawali Temple, dedicated to all Gods and is considered as superior to Khajuraho Temple. 3-4 km. from Mitawali temple.
  4. Batesara complex of temples: A complex of around 350 temples. Excavation work is ongoing to restore the original glory of the temples. 

Believe me real safari will start from the above left turn. Enjoy a virtual tour of Secrets of Chambal and Betwa rivers.


Once you have set your foot in this region, you will be left craving for more. Fun will not stop at Gwalior, so after covering all these and Gwalior take the road to Jhansi, and explore:

1.   60 km. from Gwalior on Jhansi Road is Sonagiri Jain temples, a sacred place to Digambar Jains. It has a chain of 77 temples, all in white colour situated on top of a hill.

2. 125 km. from Gwalior and 15 km. from Jhansi is a small hidden town of Orchha. It consists of numerous temples, forts and cenotaphs (Chhatris), which all make Orchha an interesting spot to visit.

3.    Amazing saga of Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj temple at Orchha.


Keep Driving, keep travelling and keep exploring the numerous offbeat places to visit in Madhya Pradesh....

Share:

Escape to Lansdowne...

Work pressures are sucking me, I cannot breath, city is so congested, traffic situation is so pathetic, I cannot take time for myself… Hey dude chill, give me a break…no no no dude you have to take a break from your mundane profile. And there is no other way than travelling out somewhere to Relax, Rejuvenate and Reclaim your inner self. But…But. But…where, how and when are a few hurdles which prevent us from coming out of the vicious circles of our lives.


Exquisite planning and strategy is not at all required to travel but yes, a heart full of passion and enthusiasm. "Where there is a will, there is a way". One extended weekend was more than enough to arouse the vagabond inside me. Selecting Lansdowne, that was the only planning I had to do.  Start early from Delhi in order to escape the chaotic traffic in Meerut. Post Meerut driving is a sheer treat, almost deserted highways gave us abundant time to appreciate the adjoining farms and stretches of cultivating lands. Trees planted along the roadside makes the journey more comfortable.


Bijnor and Najibabad will pass in a flash and in no time, you will be in Elephant park, which is situated at the outskirts of Kotdwar. Park was too tempting to take a break and step out of the car, but "Resist the Temptation". The moment if you look around you will find a skyline dominated by the hills. That is something seriously very hard to resist. Guys keep on moving, but take due care in driving as splendid landscapes appearing on either side are worth taking away your concentration, which you cannot afford at all while driving on the hills.

Share:

Bhangarh - Trail of 2 Ghosthunters

Bhangarh - The most haunted place on this Earth. Internet is flooded with the stories and legends about Bhangarh, which are too interesting to resist.

I got too much tempted to see this place. All the stories about this place motivated me to the extent that I was expecting to shake hands with the "Ghosts of Bhangarh" and I was looking forward to pull the curtains from the "Mystery of Bhangarh". 

One fine Saturday, we started our adventure at 7:00AM from Delhi to Bhangarh. If it was the indication of the things to come, one of my friends who has confirmed to be a part of Ghost Hunting trip, changed his mind at the last moment, that is only 15 minutes before. Well, this didn't dampen our spirits. Unfazed and Undaunted, we continued our voyage with high spirits.


Though the route was unfamiliar, but as I always say "Good Travellers never plan in advance". We had escaped the traffic of Delhi and were enjoying the cruising on NH-8. Left turn from Shahpura took us into the dominion of Aravallis mountains. Sailing through the gorges and mountainous roads, we were celebrating the drive of our lives. Steep incline and acute descents will be enough to keep a delicate balance between thrill and caution. Do not miss a steep right turn from Thanagaji.


There are no Petrol Pumps after Thanagaji till Bhangarh, so drivers please ensure you do not run out of gasoline. Road after Thanagaji used to be pretty narrow, when I first visited Bhangarh in 2010. However, the Rocky Terrain, mountains, Red Sands and colourful heritage of Rajasthan will set your spirits and enthusiasm rolling for the adventure ahead. This is the road to Bhangarh (Year 2018) -
Share:

Back to Rishikesh...

There is something about "Rishikesh, the DEVBHOOMI, Land of God" which keeps on calling the visitors again and again. Land is bestowed with eternal charm: "Spiritualism" coupled with unparalleled Natural splendour leaves visitors spellbound.


Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "the world capital of Yoga", has numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.

Share:

Translate...

Badge for Top 10 Indian Travel Bloggers – 2018

Popular Posts