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Category: Asia

A pleasant Balinese village of White Herons ?>

A pleasant Balinese village of White Herons

About 20 kms odd from the wellness hub of Ubud in Bali lies the small village of Petulu. Ubud makes a great base for exploring the beautiful countryside set in the central foothills of Bali – the ever smiling people, the relaxed lifestyle, the spirituality which lingers in most parts of Bali. I hired a scooter from Ubud to escape from the scores of people who arrive in Ubud and never seem to leave. That is when I chanced upon…

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Exploring the ruins of Okanda: Kudumbigala Monastery ?>

Exploring the ruins of Okanda: Kudumbigala Monastery

My travel to Sri-Lanka had no real expectations. It wasn’t one of those journeys that I was undertaking to witness nature’s stupendous beauty. I was seeking to be at peace with myself. Colombo was suffocating at best. I made my way to the hills and tea country in Ella, and to the coast in Mirissa. I hiked in the Horton National Park to the World’s end. I was still anxious. It was in Arugam bay that I found myself at…

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Offbeat: Bali: Lake Tamblingan ?>

Offbeat: Bali: Lake Tamblingan

Lake Tamblingan, nestled in the central highlands of Bali is your off-the-beaten-path destination if you are looking to get away from the crowds in Ubud. It makes for a great getaway from Ubud since it is easily accessible on a two-wheeler, which are ubiquitous in Bali. What was a hot day in Ubud soon turned into a cool breezy ride through some gorgeous highland scenery. Cosy eating joints, coffee plantations, rice fields add a lot of character to the ride…

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Bali: Diving the Liberty Ship wreck ?>

Bali: Diving the Liberty Ship wreck

I had been looking for an opportunity to get my scuba PADI open water certification for a while. After being unable to any diving in the Andaman islands earlier last year owing to constant rain and murky conditions, I was looking at Similan islands in Thailand. However, that never happened. Being in Bali opened up a plethora of diving options – from training and certifications to some world class recreational diving without having to invest  the time with books and …

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The timelessness of Hampi ?>

The timelessness of Hampi

Traveling to Hampi is more than just a visit to an interesting new place: the timelessness of the place opens a door to a completely different world, a bygone era which still seems to be breathing life. It is hard to miss its pulse. As you approach Hampi by road, the landscape grows on you with every passing minute: boulders balancing on each other at impossible angles, the fresh countryside, the palm trees, and in the middle of these: a historic relic…

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The Meadow ?>

The Meadow

 It so occurred that during a sluggish evening I was browsing pictures from Chitral and Swat regions of Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; what I saw was shimmering lakes, jaw-dropping meadows and an alpine landscape that made me jump out of my chair. My awe and wonder was to skyrocket as I saw more pictures from the region.  “It was during this bout of wanderlust that I came across a couple of trails in the Gurez district, passing through a series of lakes…

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A day in the abandoned town of Kudremukha ?>

A day in the abandoned town of Kudremukha

                        Places having exotic, strange, queer sounding names have always fascinated me. Kudremukha, nestled amidst the Western Ghats, had made the list quite a while back. Horse-faced when translated to English. The fact that this used to be a centre for iron ore mining added to the intrigue. Owing to the threats to the environment and the wildlife, Supreme Court had ordered all mining activities to be discontinued. Legal dispute is apparently still in limbo. The monsoons were gradually turning…

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Chalkewadi – Reliving the Quixote Fantasy ?>

Chalkewadi – Reliving the Quixote Fantasy

           Sancho: It’s a windmill.         Don Quixote: A giant. Canst thou not see the four great arms whirling at his back?         Sancho: A giant?         Don Quixote: Exactly.              The above conversation is sure to bemuse you if you remember the ingenious character of Don Quixote.  Although it has been quite some time that I read the book, the fantasies of this masterpiece had always been breathing a subconscious life. I always fancied a close encounter with the windmills. Probably,…

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Kaas: The plateau of flowers ?>

Kaas: The plateau of flowers

                               Every year, during the months of August-October, Kaas pathar in the state of Maharashtra comes alive with a riot of colours.    “It is literally a bed of flowers”   Just an hour’s drive from the town of Satara, lies this magical table land. It’s not just the quantity of flowers that will take you aback, but also the varied species that can be found here: several of them endemic in nature.   Catching some Breeze ! Pune is the…

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Exploring Goa: Sailing the High Seas. ?>

Exploring Goa: Sailing the High Seas.

       Although Goa is the smallest state of India, the size of this land is no measure for the number of tourists this land attracts every year. It experiences a tropical climate, which means that its hot and humid most of the year and pleasant during the winter months of November-February. Naturally, most of the local and international tourism is concentrated during these months.  Christmas holidays suited me perfectly.     “In order to explore the landscape without feeling…

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Halong Bay: The Descending Dragon ?>

Halong Bay: The Descending Dragon

                                                   Often termed by the Vietnamese as the World’s Eighth wonder, Ha Long Bay is indeed a geological wonder. The USP of the Bay are the calm waters and hundreds of  limestone islands dotting the sea. Some of these islands are inhabited and are huge in size, others although small in size make up by the pristine white sandy beaches. “ The Vietnamese are proud of the mythology associated with the Ha Long Bay”   The Gods had descended…

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Dal Lake, Srinagar: Life on Water ?>

Dal Lake, Srinagar: Life on Water

                                   Although I had been to Srinagar, Kashmir, a couple of times in the past, I didn’t happen to stay on the Dal Lake on any of the occasions. In fact, it was merely a transit both the times. It was a transit this time too. But I gave myself a couple of days to stay in Srinagar; as going to Srinagar and not experiencing the life on the water is like going to Egypt and not seeing the…

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The pristine backwaters of the Sharavathi, Karnataka ?>

The pristine backwaters of the Sharavathi, Karnataka

                               It was the month of December and the Adventure Holiday mood was pretty much in the air. So, I along with my friend Amit, set off for a trip to the backwaters of the Sharavathi river in the Shimoga district of Karnataka, India. A dam at Linganamakki in the Shimoga district on the Sharavathi river has resulted in these beautiful backwaters dotted with many islands. The islands are rich with bio-diversity and it can be a lot of fun just…

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Backpacking in the Land of the Sleeping Dragon ?>

Backpacking in the Land of the Sleeping Dragon

                                     “It all began while watching a Top-Gear special edition shot in Vietnam”                                The episode featured a journey on a two-wheeler through the country – from the insanely busy Saigon to the quaint city of Hanoi. The destination was too captivating and I instantaneously knew that I have to visit this place. Without much planning and with the sheer desire to experience the new culture and smell the new land, I set off to Hanoi, in the northern part of…

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Himalayan Retreat –Raju’s Guest House ?>

Himalayan Retreat –Raju’s Guest House

                                                Set in  the beautiful Tirthan Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, Gushaini is a quaint little Himalayan village in the Kullu district. Its close proximity to the Great Himalayan National Park attracts quite a few nature lovers every year. What Gushaini offers is some wonderful Guest Houses and camps for that dream Himalayan retreat. If you are planning to just unwind, be with the nature, walk by the river, then Gushaini is just the right choice ! Where to…

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Dzongri-La: Hiking in Sikkim ?>

Dzongri-La: Hiking in Sikkim

                                  When you yearn to get lost amidst the dense rhododendrons and gaze at the shimmering ice on the mountain peaks, there are only a very few places in India which can match Sikkim. Its close proximity to the international border means that a lot of the territory is out of reach of the civilians and that reduces the trekking options to a couple of routes. Hence, it wasn’t at all difficult to zero-in on the Dzongri-La Trek. Incidentally, in…

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