Trip to Varandha Ghat

There is a saying ” When there is a will, there is a way”

 We completely follow this wherever we go and we make plans which generally are not standard trips as per people around us are concerned.

Me and my better half love to explore and every year on monsoons we go on and explore western Ghats again. Since we have explored most of the places, this time we zeroed on “ Varandha Ghat”.

We took the only road which connects Mahad and Pune from Mahad side. This road goes parallelly with Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar road.

We started from Navi Mumbai early and took Khopoli road to reach Mahad. The roads are all broken and pathetic. It took us more than 4 hours to reach Mahad which is just 144 kms from Navi Mumbai. It’s getting repaired and getting concrete now so people will have better experience in 2019 onwards.

Its better if valley is entered from Pune side. Atleast the roads are good but the best views are in Mahad side which no one should miss.

We reached Mahad around 2 pm, had lunch in Mahad and started our Varandha ghat journey. There is a left turn which is not so visible after crossing Mahad in NH66. Google maps are recommended here.

Initial journey is through small 2 lane road which crosses many villages but when you start ascending in to mountains, adventure starts.

In monsoon season the valley is full of waterfalls. I mean literally there are waterfalls in each and every turn of the road. Feeling is amazing and you are suddenly in green heaven.

We crossed Kal river at the start of the road and it went with us for quite some time. River went to different direction after some distance and we started climbing Ghat section. At one point the ascend is quite steep and I realized I have a 1200 cc small car and is very good for this type of climb.

 Just look at the pictures below and you will understand the beauty this place possess. We started clicking pictures as if we will not see this kind of beauty again.

There is a spot at the top (Centre of Mahad-Pune road) where there are options of refreshments (Chai, Pakode and other eatables). The rates are normal and service is great. Usually crowdy on weekends but the owners here manages it very well.  This place is completely foggy in monsoon season. Headlight and fog light are must at this stretch.

After we crossed this point, we continued getting waterfalls each with unique characteristics and sizes. Moreover Nira-Deoghar dam starts and it went along with road for a long-long time. When we thought the beauty ends at top and we started hurrying for destination but we were in for a huge surprise when we saw the dam alongside road. The dam has both mountain and water views.

 Its Unbelievable sight with amazing landscapes.

 There is endpoint which is called BHOR after which you can take right and go Panchgani or else continue straight for Satara/Pune.

 This place is hidden gem of western Ghats and usually less crowded. Road conditions are just about ok but you cannot drive fast due to single road and sharp turns.

 Take ample time for photography and you will not regret it !!

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Kerala : God’s Own Country

Recently we planned for Kerala vacations and believe me it was just superb!!

Kerala is often referred as God’s Own Country and it’s an apt title. Once you visit Kerala you will feel the tranquility, beauty and natural wonders in length and breadth of the state in the form of mountain ranges, wildlife, backwaters, monument, museums, beautifully carved temples, art galleries and lush green forests.
Located Southwest of India, Kerala is a perfect destination for tourists.

Our starting point was Munnar

A small town and a hill station, Munnar is located in the Southwest of Kerala. Tea plantations, waterfalls, and number of resorts make it a comfortable and beautiful place. National parks and wildlife are other major places you should not miss when you are here.

We started our journey to Munnar from our landed place and it took about 3 hours to reach. We were exhausted but the climate and the enchanting beauty of tea gardens just took us to some other level.

Suddenly we were energized by the god’s best creation!

By the time we got ready, we forgot how much we have traveled to get to this place and how tired we are!!
Some resorts were made just for couples as they were secluded and tranquil. You can not even hear a pin drop sound.

Just you and your partner!!!

It’s the best place to explore each other under the umbrella of nature. There will be nobody except you and you. Not even the waiters will come and disturb you (Lots of Sarcasm on this one). If you are hungry you will have to go and eat. Charges are high as compared to the quality of food. People don’t bother. In-fact nobody will bother you at all.

Good for people like us who are looking for solitude and want to explore wonders of nature.

Two days we had to explore Munnar and believe me we had very little time to explore the place.

Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar
Munnar
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden
Munnar Tea Garden

Next stop was Alleppy (Allapuza) also famous for the backwaters.

The Backwaters of Kerala is another important tourist destination in the state. Its made up of the interconnected rivers, lakes and canals which merge into Arabian Sea.

You can hire a houseboat and be in water with beautiful surroundings for days. Whole houseboat is yours, you decide menu and enjoy royalty.

Most of the people who come here are honeymooners and couples and they love it here.

Marari Beach
Marari Beach
Marari-Beach
Marari-Beach

Backwaters

Kerala Backwaters
Kerala Backwaters

Next It was Kovalam (light house beach) and this was the best place among all the places visited. Its setting is unique and I never saw it earlier. There is a dead end after which the walk lane starts. One side its sea and other side resorts. In fact I never saw this kind of setting ever in my life.

A beach town on the Arabian Sea in southern India, Kovalam features two most gorgeous beaches. The most popular and largest beach is Lighthouse Beach (crowded) and Samudra Beach (fewer people).

Kovalam Beach
Kovalam Beach
Kovalam-Beach
Kovalam-Beach
Light House Beach
Light House Beach

People here know how to entertain couples but they have failed to understand average Indian traveler with family requirement. I found the resorts as very good with great option for non vegetarians.

Vegetarian guys you need to adjust a lot in Kerala as it seems people here eat only meat and nothing else.

I wish people here start loving animals as they love nature and start working on preserving animals.

One more thing. I guess the most important thing in Kerala. There is a ban in Liquor after some time in 2015 which makes me feel,

Thank god I visited earlier!!!

I think the place has its positives and negatives. Our moto should be to take positives and work towards happiness!!

I feel I had a perfect couple time with my better half!!

Sun Sand and Sea!!!

It was a perfect ending to our 10 day holiday!!

Some Funny Moments

Life gives you an opportunity to live life king size. We come across lots of funny things in life where we enjoy the moment. I travel a lot for my job and make sure that I enjoy small moments which comes during my travel.

Came across these pics which I couldn’t resist and sharing with you all.

Do make some comments and share similar pics,so that we can enjoy the moment and create much needed humor in our lives.

Travel for Living

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When I look out of a window from my hotel room where I stay when I travel for office work, I see completely different environment filled with strangers. People so different yet so familiar. I have a tendency to make good relations with hotel waiters, car drivers, guards and other people.

People say I am very good in my people handling skills. I always try to make them happy by asking them about their personal lives and show respect. They love to talk about themselves and you understand how tough life is for some people in this world. Most important they will go to that extra mile just for you and believe me it feels simply awesome.  

In turn I get respect and personal touch which keeps me motivated and makes me feel I m not far from home.

I love to travel on business as this means u meet lots of people, experience various cultures, understand uniqueness among similarities and gain knowledge. Most importantly there is no worry on food and stay expenses.

Travel means for me is to get out of routine life

  • You have lots of “me” time which means you can eat what you want, and do anything like watching movies, play games, talk to friends, surf sports channel. Actually the list is quite long which u are unable to do it at home due to several obvious reasons.
  • You introspect on your life and job. You try to think what’s ur expectations from these and how life is treating you?
  • How r u rating urself against your set goals etc etc.
  • You get to see new places and enjoy nature. I always make sure to take a new route and experience new things.

Trust me; I have been through some of the craziest things ever in my life. I guess most of the life’s best experiences are felt while traveling.

  • Once I was traveling in a car in a hilly place and lighting struck near to us in a tree. We went nuts for sometime and started laughing. It was fear for a moment than joy of being alive. 
  • A guy who told me he has lost his wallet and has no money. I gave him INR 500 to reach home as I felt pity for him. He promised to return money when he gets home. I saw a glow in his face when he got money but it seems it was all vain as he never showed up. I feel pity on myself now and lost trust. I feel the deserving people will not get the money now from me.
  • Had minor accident thrice in a single day. Three large dents in a third party car. Thankfuly.
  • Waited five exhuciating hours to meet a customer. Just imagine what I had been through. F&%$^&%^ that customer.
  • Received 5 orders on a single day. It seems like a dream and I was above the sky after this.
  • Woke up at 6 am traveled to a destination, worked all day, reached hotel. Was awake till 3 am to catch a train. After this ordeal slept like there is no morning. Almost missed my destination station back.
  • Saw a 3 foot lizard in the middle of nowhere and got scared as I was alone and had nowhere else to go but to look and wait.

I guess there are numerous other events like those which I experienced when I traveled for work.

These experiences seem never ending and I look forward to more of it. Most important I love being in sales.

I think I love my job for the time being as change is constant.

Weekend Gateway Puri

It was a long time since we had a family trip. I was busy in my job, trying to satisfy my bosses. I had no time to think about anything. My day goes with Just official work (Day n Night) which is normally followed by family time which I spent with my little angel. By night we used to get so tired that we don’t even talk to each other properly and try to sleep as early as possible to face the next day

So this routine was going on and on and there was no escape but

Suddenly an offer came from my colleagues to visit a place in the eastern part of India which is known as Puri. It’s a small tourist place in Odisha, India but its certainly not advisable to people to visit in summers. It’s very humid and its high temperature makes it more difficult to discover the place. Although a very beautiful shorelines which can be awesome when you visit from Oct to March.

We started at evening on Thursday night somehow. Courtesy our Indian Railways our train got late and we reached our destination five hours late. Missed chance to see Konark temple as my colleagues started long before we reached Puri. We reached took brunch and rested after which we just visited Jagannath temple.

Jagannath Temple

JagannathTemple is one of the most renowned as well as the biggest temples of Orissa. Established in the 12th century, the temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), Lord of the Universe. The credit for laying the foundation of the Jagannath temple of Puri goes to Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev.

There is an interesting legend associated with the Jagannatha temple of Puri. It is said that King Indradyumna, the ruler of the territory, saw Lord Jagannath in his dreams and following the Lord’s wishes, as told to him in his dreams, he got the JagannathPuriTemple constructed. The pillars that provide support to the temple are adorned with pictures depicting the life of Lord Krishna.

It was chaos in temple and it seemed everybody just wants money in the name of god which I despise most.

Anyway it was a beautiful feeling to meet the almighty in his one unique and beautiful form. It was peaceful and at the end of all the chaos it was worth visiting.

We left for beach and we were in for surprise. There we so many things to do. There were eateries, children games, camel ride, shopping for almost everything ranging from diamonds and pearls to balloons and pins at much cheaper cost than original.

We enjoyed sea in one of the most ferocious form and loved it. My two year old son experiencing sea for the first time and he was terrified by the sound and sight of it. He was awestruck and clung to me the whole time.

There was high tide next morning and we played for around two hours with the waves resulted in extreme exhaustion. At the end we were outplayed by the mighty sea and slept like anything after bath and breakfast.

We stayed at night in Puri and left early morning to Chilka Lake for boating and to watch dolphins.

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Chilka Lake is Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon with water spread ranging from 1165 sq km m the rainy season to 906 sq km in the dry season is nestled in the heart of the coastal Odisha (Orissa). Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world because it is home to a phenomenal variety of birds with over 160 species.

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We saw lots of dolphins around our boat. The lake looked like sea and the waves were equally threatening. It seemed the lake is several meters deep until I saw a fisherman standing in the sea. We were amazed. The lake was just 5-6 feet deep in the pics which I took. Can you believe it? I couldn’t until I saw with my eyes.

At the end of trip we thought the timing was wrong as in May its very hot and humid the day and much more cool at night.

One thing which surprisingly came out from this trip was that we had a great time being together and talk about things which we generally don’t talk when in home and around. Hold each other’s hand and walk along without thinking about our daily routine jobs. I feel after a long time we looked in to each other’s eyes and expressed our love for each other. Our little 2 year old was surprisingly in a very good mood and left us in to each other’s company without creating havoc which he generally does. We spent lot of time together and that was the most important thing on this trip.

My advice to people “Please take a break from your routine and go to any place you like. It does not matter where. The most important thing is that you should be together and spend quality time”   100_3131

Weekend Gateway : Mahabalipuram

Sometimes when a travel plan just pops up in your mind and suddenly you find yourself on the road to this destination. Exactly this happened with me recently when I was on a business trip to Chennai (South India) for an exhibition. The exhibition was for five days and got finished on Saturday. We were all tired with my colleagues left early on Saturday to be with their family on Sunday.

I was unlucky as I was directly responsible for the exhibition and found myself working till 11 pm on Saturday with 2 other guys who had similar fate like me.

We reached hotel at around midnight from the trade centre, tired and hungry, but had lot of planning going on our mind as we kept Sunday for some small trip to a nearby beach. We started watching “Don’t Mess with Zohan” with beers in our hand and decided for Mahabalipuram in between. It was a sudden decision to visit Mahabalipuram which is also known as Mamallapuram, a small town in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu state. It is around 60 km south from Chennai. It is an ancient historic town with lots of beautiful spots.

We started our travel in a rented taxi from Chennai early morning and it took only 45 minutes to reach the historic town of Mahabalipuram as the roads are pretty good. There was a bike racing going on which we realized when a fancy bikes zoop passed us in a flash. The 7th century port city is famous for its rock-cut shore temples. A lighthouse built on a hill from which you can see complete city over a group of temples below.

There are nine monolithic temples found in Mahabalipuram, the most important are Five Rathas known after the famous five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. These monuments are carved out a single rock and are huge. You can watch them with unbelievable look in to your eyes. Just see yourself in the below pics.

If you are looking for a place for a weekend fun and adventure along with some historical sights-seeing than this place is ideal for you. We were more than happy to be in this place as it was a great relief after a week of hard-work. With beer in our hands at the beachside we were feeling relaxed and peaceful. This prepared us for the tough week that was coming ahead and we were ready to fight again.

Mahabalipuram also has some great cafes that serve good sea food. A backpacker’s delight you can find economical accommodations with plenty of activities to do specially surfing in this part of India.