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Friday, July 2, 2010

Jodhpur - The Blue City

Then the last part of my North India tour had come- Jodhpur. I reached here at 5 o'clock in the early morning. I got a room near to the railway station and had sleep for about three hours. My plan was to start around  9 am and see only the important places.

 Jodhpur is situated midway between Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Mehragand Fort and Ummaid Bhawan palace are the main tourist spots in this place. Jodhpur is also called 'Blue City' because of the blue colored  houses in  the old part of city. It was the capital of old Marwar kingdom.

Mehragarh Fort
The first thing I enquired after getting off the bed was about best means to get around the city.  As per hotel  guys advice, I hired an autorikshaw for Rs200. He had agreed to take me to two places - the fort and the palace.  It took around half hour to reach Mehragand fort. This fort stood on top of a hill overlooking the city. This fort can be seen from almost all parts of the city.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jaisalmer - The Golden City

 Jaisalmer, Known as Golden City is situated in the center of Thar desert.  It is famous for the magnificent fort overseeing the city. Jaisalmer got this name because of  the golden yellow sand stones used in the construction of the fort and other buildings. It is surprising to see that entire city is made of the same  stones. It is known as the only 'live fort' in the world, that means  people live in this fort even now. This fort is also called 'Solar Quila'(Golden Fort). You can see palaces, temples, hotels, houses, shops etc inside the fort. Jaisalmer is also called 'City of Palaces' because you can see a large number palaces or havelis inside it.

Maharaja palace inside the fort

It is estimated that around 4000 people still reside inside the fort. They are living there for generations together. But only Rajputs(Kshatriya) and Brahmins occupy houses in fort. Other lower castes

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Desert Safari

 Then the most awaited part of the tour came - the desert. It is perfectly contrasting to my native, Kerala, where we can see sand only in beaches. Here in desert you have to travel kilometers to find any significant greenery.

 I reached Jaisalmer at around 12o'clock in the noon. The train took around 12 hrs from Jaipur. Thar desert welcomed me when I woke up in the morning in train. One interesting stop in between was Pokhran - the place where India exploded the atom bomb. Anyway I couldn't see anything around, but only dry lands and some army men.

Khuri Sand Dunes

 Jaisalmer is a city completely dependent on tourism. It is quite a beautiful place. I will tell about it in the next post. The first thing I inquired, after getting a room was about desert safari package. The hotel guys offered me a package at Rs4000 which includes camel safari,  folk music in the desert and sight seeing in Jaisalmer on the next day. And they arranged a Toyota Qualis just for me. This seemed to be expensive but I took it as I didn't want to go out and search for a better deal. And I didn't want to miss the desert safari.

The camel safari was arranged at Khuri Sand dunes which is 52 kms away from Jaisalmer. The road was very good and only a very few vehicles crossed us. On the way we saw some

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jaipur -The Pink City

 Jaipur is best known as 'Pink City'  because of the pink painted building in the old part of the city. It is said to be the first planned city in India. Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, is located in the desert lands and was home to the Rajputs.

 I reached Jaipur at around 8pm and quickly took a room near to the Bus stand. We had nothing to do at that time but to take rest. The next day was going to be the day to explore Jaipur. We had a deep sleep . And  in the next day morning took an Auto Rikshaw and proceeded towards the Old city. It is where most of the monuments like Hawa Mahal, City Palace etc are located.

Entrance to Old City

We can feel the difference while entering the old city, where you will be surrounded by pink colored buildings. The first stop was 'Govind Dev Ji Mandir'.  Govind Dev ji is an incarnation of the Lord Krishna. You can see a number of people  singing 'jai Govind'  chants. They are seen singing it continuously for a long time (may be as long as the darshan is there) and it creates an awesome atmosphere there. Another interesting thing you may see is that some people will be

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pilani Diary

BITS Pilani Main Building.
Then the day of the travel to Pilani came. I had allotted one full day only for the travel  because I had heard that it would be the hardest part you will have to face. This happened to be very true of course. The viva was on the next day. So I could stay one night at Pilani and attend viva in the morning.

 The information I got was that there would be buses to Pilani from ISBT Terminal in Delhi. I came to ISBT at around 11am and got to know some hard facts. The important one was that there are only a few buses after 10 o'clock in the morning. The next buses are at 11.45 am, 2 pm and then 4pm. But there are regular bus services before 10 in the morning. 

 At the same time, one friend called me and said he was coming with one another guy. They were also coming to Pilani and he was  currently at Airport.  The other guy was only coming. So we decided to travel together. Finally we took the tickets for the bus at 4 o'clock. It was a very ordinary bus that can be expected from normal bus services. It took around

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Agra - The City of Taj

 I was quite excited in the next day because I was going  to visit most famous mausoleum in India. The 'Taj  Mahal' known as the 'symbol of eternal love' is in Agra.  This time also I opted for a tour package which covers Agra in one day. That seemed to be the easiest and most comfortable mode of transport.

Taj Mahal
 We started at 6 o'clock in the early morning from Delhi and reached Agra at around 11 am.   The journey was comfortable although it was in a bus. And I was

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the Capital City

The first location in my tour plan was Delhi. I weighed on the possible means of  roaming around here. The best option available  was a one day sight seeing package from a private tour operator. My friend, Vinod had also agreed to accompany me till noon.

Qutub Minar

 The tour started around 9 o'clock from Karol Bagh. The first destination was Qutub Minar. It took around one hour to reach there. We could see many tourists there since it was a Sunday morning. Apart from the minar, there are some ruins around it known as Qutub complex. The minar together with the ruins around is a good sight seeing location.

Iron Pillar near Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar
  Qutub Minar is the world's tallest brick minar at 72 m. It is constructed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in the 12th century and was completed in the 13th century by his successors. One part of the minar is constructed in Muslim architecture, while the other part is in Hindu architecture. There is a watch tower on top of the minar, but entry is not allowed now. 

 Another interesting thing is the Iron Pillar in the Qutub complex. It is a wonder that, this pillar has not corroded for centuries. Nobody has ever found out the exact

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beginning North Indian Safari

 I was never been to north India before. Bangalore was the north most point I had ever ventured out, you believe it? And then came an opportunity. I was doing a part time MTech course from BITS, Pilani, Rajasthan. For the completion of the course I had to visit the college for a viva. For me, it was like an opportunity to visit new places. So I decided to make it a tour.
Rajasthan map: Taken from here
 Pilani is a place equidistant from Delhi and Jaipur. And we can say, these three places are in an equilateral triangle. We can visit this place either from Jaipur or Delhi. This map helped me in planning the tour.  You can see the main places in Rajasthan here.

 The viva at Pilani was scheduled on a Tuesday. I took one week leave from my office. I had around ten days. I could start from Friday evening from Bangalore. And I had to return by the next Sunday. I can make the onward journey to Delhi, and the return trip I can make from Jaipur. In between i have to spend one or two days at Pilani for viva.

 So I made the following plan after consulting some of my friends.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Adios to Wayanad

Lakkidi view point with nothing viewable
  Thus the final day at Wayanad arrived. The plan was to start to bangalore in the morning and visit some places on the way. In the last two days, rain was our biggest enemy disturbing our plans throughout. Today it turned out that there was no rain. But we had not made any plans for this day. 

After some thought, it was decided that first we should proceed to Lakkidi, which is the entrance to wayanad while coming from Calicut. You will be surprised to know that wayanad is a plateau like area situated at great height from other areas in Kerala.  The wayanad ghat pass(wayanad churam in malayalam) which starts at Thamarasseri in Calicut district and ends at Lackidi in wayanad is the connecting point between these. This pass goes through eastern ghat with around 9 hairpin bends and climbs directly up till Lakkidi. 

Karappuzha dam 
 So Lakkidi is supposed to be a very good view point over the ghat pass. Another interesting aspect about Lakkidi is that, it is the place where highest rainfall occurs in Kerala. It is quite close to the hotel we have stayed in. May be that was the reason why there was fog all the time there.

 When we reached at Lakkidi view point what we saw was only fog. There was supposed to be grand view of the pass and valley beneath. We couldn't even see things at a distance of 10 meter. We decided to go

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wayanad - Contd

On day 2, we woke up a little bit late, around 8 o'clock, as everybody were tired of the travel. The hotel was situated at picturesque place near Vythiri.
 The place was filled with fog and it cleared only in between for a few time. It was raining, so the view was outstanding, but it played spoil sport with our plans. We had planned to visit  Chembra peak, the highest peak in Wayanad. But with rain, it was impossible. So we decided to change our plan.

View From our hotel
 Our first destination was decided as Banasura Sagar Dam, an earth dam built on mud only. And we planned to visit some tee plantations on the way.

As expected,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tabebuia Argentea

  If you are traveling in bangalore, you might have noticed some trees filled with yellow flowers. The flowers are covered in such a way that the leaves are not even visible. Now we can say that bangalore is filled with yellow flowers, because it is seen almost everywhere.

  I was wondering which this tree is. Then i found an article in a news paper about it. The name of the tree  is tebebui argentea!!! It came from Brasil. I wonder who planted it in Bangalore, and that itself in a large scale.

  It will start flowering at the start of summer. The lifetime of the flowers is not much. After some days it will start falling down, and the foot of the tree will be covered with dried flowers.

I managed to take some photos.

A branch filled with tabebuia argentea flowers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Trip to Wayanad - Day 1

On the way to Wayanad
  I had heard from many that Wayanad is a beautiful place with tea plantations, waterfalls and many other beautiful places. I had never visited this place before, even though I am a Keralite.  And currently living in Bangalore, which is only at a distance of 350km from Wayanad,  I always wanted to visit this place . We had planned a trip many times, only to cancel it at the last moment.  Finally I got an opportunity on October 2008 to visit this place.  After many hurdles, we finally managed to  embark on  the journey to Wayanad.

 I would like to say some words about Wayanad. It is not a city, it is the name of a district on the north Kerala. It is set on the Western Ghats very high above sea level. There are many places in wayanad, which truly

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunset Photos from Bangalore

 Taking a sunset photo was a dream for some time. Usually I will  be at office or sleeping at home during that time. This day i managed to take some snaps.

Birds in the backdrop of setting sun

Monday, February 1, 2010

Visit to Lalbagh On a Republic Day

  It was a Republic Day, we were having nap after lunch. Then suddenly somebody suggested about a flower show going on at Lalbagh.  Even though we are staying at Bangalore, we rarely visited that place. So we decided that we will go there and see what is happening out there.

   We found that it is heavily crowded there. The flower show was going on at the Glass House inside Lalbagh. There was a big queue in front of it. So we decided we will have look of the surroundings and finally visit the Glass House.

I took a number of snaps of the surroundings.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dragon Fly

  I was at my native, in kannur, sitting idle in a chair thinking what to do next.  I saw a dragon fly resting on a wire in the sun. I thought, ok you can do your sunbathing, and i will take some photos of you. I took my camera, and clicked some snaps.

   This dragon fly didn't fly away, but patiently posed for my photo shoot. Here are some snaps.

One more photo follows...