Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Travel Wish List

Some one rightly said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Ever since I thought of writing my travel wishlist, I am finding it increasing difficult to get a list which is achievable. Nevertheless, I have put together something which has come to my mind.
  1. Visit all the States in India at least once.
  2. Visit all the Beaches of India and decide the best.
  3. Do a Road Trip across various places of India.
  4. Cover God's Own Country - Kerala at length and breadth.
  5. Get a Spa done at a Ayurveda Spa Village in Kerala.
  6. Get drenched by elephant's trunk.
  7. Visit Himachal Pradesh from the other way round - From Shimla to Manali via Kunzum and Rohtang Pass
  8. Take a Ride In a Hot Air Balloon.
  9. Trip to Europe covering Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and England.
  10. Visit 50 countries during my lifetime.
  11. Climb the tallest building of the world.
  12. Climb the tallest twin tower - Petronous Twin Towers.
  13. Enjoying all the adventurous rides in Universal Studio, Orlando.
  14. Write a book on all my experiences of Travel and have it published.
  15. Go for a photographic tour to a Jungle.
  16. Staying at the heart of a Jungle.
  17. Camping in the Himalayas.
  18. Travel on the fastest train in the world.
  19. Visit Manasarovar Lake.
  20. Trek to Vaishno Devi.
  21. Drive past the World's Highest Motorable Pass - Khardung-La
  22. Float in the Dead Sea
  23. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  24. Enjoy 'Maid of the Mist' and 'Cave of the Winds' at Niagara
  25. Go to Antarctica for a expedition.
  26. Trek to Everest Base Camp.
I would think that the last 2 in this list might be difficult to achieve, but what does it take to keep this as my dream. Never know some day the Dream might come true as well.

Below is a saying of Dalai Lama which I also strongly believe.



Note: I will keep striking through as and when I achieve the list.
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Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Ugadi


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Road trip to the beautiful Gangtok in Maruti Suzuki Dzire

A trip to the hills is always desirable, and thus we decided to have a short family vacation in Sikkim driving on our great Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire.

The plan was to drive down to Gangtok from our house in Siliguri and then hire a local car for the various hilltop sightseeing purposes. Gangtok is the beautiful and commercialized capital of the Himalayan state Sikkim, which is a neighboring state of West Bengal in which Siliguri is situated. Though an interstate journey, Gangtok is very close to Siliguri with a road distance of just 112 km.

Our tried and tested, very capable Maruti Swift Dzire compact sedan doesn’t only offer very comfortable and ample space for 5 people but also offers great boost space for luggage. Its K-Series, 1197cc petrol engine with VVT offers 85bhp of max power and 114Nm of peak power. The car’s impressive 19.1 km per liter mileage is also impressive. The high style quotient, reliability and great performance ensures Dzire to remain as the ruler of its segment. Thus, we were not afraid of travelling through the hilly roads in our superb Dzire.

Driving down the well maintained broad hilly roads, we reached Gangtok in just more than 2 hours. We saw that the roads are remarkably broad for a hill station and the route also has ample amounts of petrol pumps, ATM, pharmacies and food joints. We helped ourselves with some lovely snacks and masala tea at a dhaba on the way.

One thing about Gangtok is that outside vehicles are not allowed for local transportation. So once we reached Gangtok, we safely parked our Dzire at the hotel garage and hired a local car for sightseeing. As it is one needs a local car and a good driver for the many hill top sightseeing spots. The road from Tsangu Lake to the Ice-Point is particularly steep and tiresome as oxygen level drops considerably, so a local driver is a must.

We loved the friendly and rather fashionable people of Gangtok and enjoyed great Tibetan dishes on offer.


Pavan Kumar
About the Guest Author:

This article is a Guest Post by Pavan Kumar. Pavan is an auto enthusiast who has been reviewing cars, bikes and trucks since last 5 years. He graduated from Delhi University with major in Arts. The journey has been quite adventurous and fantastic so far. He has traveled to and fro on his Royal Enfield and also to various auto events. Besides auto industry, Pavan likes capturing wild life with his Nikon D5100 camera.
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hyderabad Botanical Garden

Hyderabad Botanical Garden is situated along the Gachibowli-Miyapur road, some 2-3 kilometers from the IT hub of the city. It is a 120 acre land in the Kothaguda Reserve Forest. Though this is promoted by Tourism Department but as far as I see, this is a place which is mostly being visited by the local people during the weekend to get a feel of the greenery in the midst of the concrete jungle. The Garden opens at 9 AM in the morning and stays open till 8 PM.


There is an entrance fee of 10 Rupee and in case you are willing to do photography and have a SLR camera, it would be another 10 rupees. As soon as you enter the garden you can cute little rabbits munching carrots or leaves.


If you have small kids, there are various options for them to play including some adventure activities, zorbing, kids park etc. Horse Riding can also be done here. Double seated bicycle can be taken on rent per hour basis.






There is a beautiful Rose Garden and a Butterfly Park as well in the Garden. It is lovely to see the different colors of roses like red, orange, pink, white etc. People having interest in photography should take their cameras. Learnt from someone that to take beautiful pictures of butterfly once to visit the Garden early in the morning as soon as it opens.

Rose Garden

A walkway is present in case you want to shed some kilos. You can purchase a monthly pass for Rs 150 for the walkway. Timings is from 6 AM to 8 AM. 


A small shop which offers different types of bhajis, sweet corn, bhels etc. is also available in the garden. To have a Chai-pe-adda there is a tea shop as well. 

Snacks Stall

I am the mown grass, dying at your feet, 
The pale grass, gasping faintly in the sun. 
I shall be dead, long, long ere day is done, 
That you may say: "The air, to-day, was sweet." 
I am the mown grass, dying at your feet. 
-   Margaret Gilman Davidson, Moritura



Just opposite to the park, there is a huge parking lot so there is no worry for people who are coming by car or bike. Parking fees is 10 Rs for car and 5 Rs for two wheeler's.

Parking Lot

Overall the fresh greenly environment can take away the toll of the entire week. I often visit this place with my family and would love to visit again and again.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Numaish 2014

Like every year this year as well 46 days long 74th Numaish started on 1st January. This exhibition happens in the busy Exhibition ground near Nampally Station. For Hyderabadis, this is a must visit. There are varieties of entertainment options like joyrides, toy trains, different variety of stalls and last but not the least eateries. There are visitors who go their for tasting the different varieties of food.

Numaish has been always the Food lovers delight, be it Pista House Haleem, Bade Miya Kabab, Gokul Chat or Agra Sweets.




The Serving of Haleem

A Plate of Haleem







Few days back read a lovely article about A street food lover's delight on the blog Foodaholix.

Cultural programs are also performed by stand-up artists. I happened to be present when there was a mime show going on.




Shopaholics can easily empty their pockets in the various stalls of jewellery, textiles, crockery, and many more. I restricted myself to only the eateries and jewelley section.





A word of caution though, be there a little early or parking might be a little problem in this busy area but definitely do not forget to visit next year.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kite Festival @ Sankranti

Kite flying is like a festival in different parts of the country. At different places, this is performed during different times of the year. In some places kites are seen flying during Basant Panchami where as in some place it is during Vishwakarma puja (Divine architect of the universe).

In Hyderabad, this is celebrated during Sankranti (also known as Pongal). This year I visited Hyderabad Polo and Riding Club which organized the Kite Festival on 14th January, 2014. Visit was mainly to see everyone enjoying this and possibly grab some pics.

Lone Kite Shop @HPRC


Urao mujhe Dabang Se 


Flies ready to fly along with the Kites

Choose your Colorful Roll

From Father to Son - Handing the Tradition

Kai Po Che

Hopefully would be able to reach on time next year to capture more pictures. Till then enjoy the pictures above and please feel free to post your comments.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Butterfly Rainforest - Gainesville, Florida

There is a saying called 'Butterflies in the stomach', but here it's butterflies everywhere. I am talking about Butterfly RainForest. This is one of the top attractions of Ganiesville. It is part of the Florida Museum of Natural History. 

The rainforest typically contains 60 to 80 butterfly and moth species at any one given time. Trying to limit the number of varieties below.





Great Orange Tip


The flowering plants and butterflies in the exhibit change regularly, making each visit unique and full of new discoveries. Below is a gallery where butterflies are being nurtured before being released to the exhibit.



Blomfild's Beauty

Blue Morpho

Extreme left - Clipper





There is a small man-made waterfall with turtles and fishes which creates a great environment around and make it feel like a real rainforest.


You can also see Live Butterfly Releases Monday to Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
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