Saturday, 14 March 2015

Beaches Of Kutch

Mandvi Beach:

Mandvi City which was once a major port and summer capital of Kutch is well known for its beach and beautiful Vijay Vilas Palace. The grandeur of the palace left me speechless. At some distance from the palace is the Mandvi Beach which is buzzing with tourists all time of the year. It's a lively beach with numerous food stalls, hawkers and entertainers. You could enjoy a camel ride or simply take a stroll on the beach. The only drawback of the beach is its very unclean.

Vijay Vilas Palace

View from the terrace of palace

I love Camel rides and never leave a chance to enjoy one. 

Camel ride @Mandvi Beach


Nonfunctional wind mills on the beach

Pingleshwar Beach:

Hidden in a corner of Kutch lies a beautiful Shiv temple called the Pingleshwar Temple. Just a few kilometers from here is a quaint and serene beach called Pingleshwar. Relatively less popular than Mandvi Beach it has a low tourist footfall. It's not that commercialized. There aren't many hawkers or food stalls around. It's is a place where you could sit an enjoy a beautiful sunset with a loved one.

Pingleshwar is evenloped by these huge wind mills. These windmills make the drive to Pingleshwar even more enchanting.

Sky Watch............Kanpur

Captured this beautiful sky of Kanpur when the sun was ready to set.........

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Rishikesh- A Tryst with Nature

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It was 7pm when we reached Rishikesh. Our camp site - Silver Sands, was still about 23kms upstream from Lakshman Jhula.  Albeit it being a Sunday getting out of Delhi had taken us almost 3 hours. The only halt we took was for Lunch at Khatauli. A damn tiring journey it had been and all I wanted was a bed to crash on.

When we finally reached our camp site it was pitch dark and the only sound I could hear was that of gushing Ganges. We followed our guides as they brisk walked on a path downhill with solar lamps in their hands. 'So they weren't joking, it's seriously a no electricity camp !', I told myself in self pity... I quickly glanced at my phone, about 30% of charging remained. I immediately switched it off.

After walking half a kilometer downhill, we reached the camp site. It was lightly lit with a few solar lamps.  There were 3 big tents in the centre and about a handful of tents on the right. "Those 3 tents are the dining tents", declared our river guide.

We were asked to assemble in the Dining tent where a brief description was given about the place. Jitu one of the River guides introduced himself and his team. He stated that this camp was an Eco friendly camp and hence very different from the myriad adventure camps in Rishikesh. Although there was no electricity in the camp, there were various indoor and outdoor games for entertainment.

Post the briefing dinner was served. The food was healthy , hygienic yet tasty. Sleeping tents were on one side of the camp. The tents were pitched adjacent to the river Ganga. They were just big enough to accommodate 2 comfortable, clean beds and a side table.

White sand glittered in moon light and the sky was full of stars. Just besides the camp site, Ganga flowed softly and silently. The sight looked so serene so tranquil so placid that the romantic in me could have asked for nothing more. The beauty of the place had just began to sink in when my body started succumbing to the falling temperature and I decided to call it a day. Who said Rishikesh was pleasant in November? Gosh!I was literally Freezing.

That night as I squeezed inside my cozy blanket, I could hear the Ganga flowing softly. It felt as if she was singing lullaby and putting me off to sleep. I had always dreamt of getting away from the hustle bustle of Mumbai city;  Living an unadulterated life, in the lap of mother nature. Here I was finally living my dream.

It was 6.30 am when I heard the birds chirping. I excitedly unzipped the tent's door to see  how beautiful Rishikesh looked in natural light. It was more mesmerizing than I ever imagined it to be. It was a huge campsite enveloped with mountains on all sides. Apart from the 6 tents on our side there were 30 more tents on the other side. There was also an old man made foot bridge at a walkable distance from there.

Sleeping Tents

Beautiful Stone Lining on the river side
Dining Tents

The next two days we had exciting rafting sessions (23kms in total), covering all possible major rapids like Three Blind Mice, Crossfire, Return to Centre, Roller Coaster, Tee Off, Golf Course and Club House.

At the end of second rafting session we were taught to body surf i.e. float in water. I am a water phobic and  I still can't imagine how I managed doing that!

Rafting Group (Image Courtesy- Archana)

In the evening we crossed the famous Lakshman Jhula and visited the Parmarth Ashram to enjoy the evening ganga aarti.

Lakshman Jhula

On the way back to camp I decided to savor my taste buds to the tangy sweet potato chaat.

Chaat Stall

Rishikesh, the holy town of India has something to offer to everyone. To me it gave a few days where I could disconnect with the world and reconnect with myself. To me it reminded that sometimes you need to pause life just to set it moving.....

~~~There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more ~~~Lord Byron

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Pondy Diary - Promenade Beach

There are some places where you feel like spending a lifetime. Pondicherry is that place to me!

I had taken this picture one beautiful morning while cycling on the Promenade Beach.

 Promenade Beach, Pondicherry