A Lifetime Trip

…creating colorful memories


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Why to panic if you do not know anything about your destination? Check our tips.

Why to panic if you do not know anything about your destination? Check our tips.

As humans we panic often when we do not know what’s in store for us next. In our lives every moment is a secret, a surprise. We have no idea what is going to spring up just after this. That’s why it is very truly said we must not dwell on our past or be worried about the future; we must live this very moment to the fullest. We have no clue of where we will head yet we plan execute those plans in our lives. So is it with travel. The desire to travel is the first step and to decide the destination is the next!

Today’s epoch is a technologically driven where everything and anything is available at a touch away.
Sometimes we may not know about the destination we wish to travel to. No big deal! Here are a few tips you can use to find more about your destination.

1. Smart phone : boon in disguise: If you own a smart phone you carry the world in your fist. Today there is nothing that is not available on the internet. So in case you do not know about a place stop panicking and start googling. Right from the topographical nature of the place, to its latitude and longitude positions, to the most popular restaurants, to the even more famous festivals. Everything is available on your smart phone, all you have to do is have internet connections and search. A number of tourism websites are available too that give you very concrete and authentic information. Use your smart phones smartly to make the most of these.

2. Traditional means: Before the smart phone conquered most of our lives, there used to be a lot of paper based information available in the form of brochures, pamphlets, booklets etc. the tourism industry provided brochure which has all the information related to that particular place; important landmarks, important places to visit, top hotels, annual attractions etc. You actually get the view of the place in a nutshell on these brochures. They are usually available at the information kiosks or information booths in the airports or the railways stations. Local vendors also have these pamphlets. These will give you details about the place and you can also carry these back home as a mark of memory.

3. Paper maps: Paper maps are the ones that give you an idea about the address, important landmarks, and their routes etc. that are printed on paper. Maps give you ideas of how you can travel to reach your destination and how long will it take to be there. Maps have been ancient means and still continue to be very handy when it comes to exploring places.

4. Virtual maps: Google maps are available on the smart phones which give you detailed location of the place to the exact point. You can enter the place you wish to go to and get the routes. The navigation tool will give you directions and if you happen to drive, you can get the voice recorded instructions too.

5. Ask the locals: This is my personal favorite. Asking the locals and exploring the place is always fun. You get to know a lot more than you had intended to know. You get to know their culture, their food, their clothing. Asking people helps you open up and relinquish even better. The autowalas, the cycle rickshaw walas can help you a great deal. Asking locals will help you explore the markets and might also prove to be more economical. You’ll know about the best offers, sales available in that place. Remember the rule: you get only when you ask. So ask‼

6. Inquire from friends and family travelers: You can always ask your friends or family who have been to the place you wish to go to. Ask them about their itinerary, the places, the hotels and the restaurants they visited. Also ask them about the modes of transport available, when is it the best time to visit the place, anything and everything you want to know about that place. Your friends and family know your taste better.

There’s always help given to those who seek/ask. Never panic if you do not about your destination. There are always means which can be used to find more about the unknown.

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5 Gadgets That Are Worth Buying For Travel

Today, we are in admiration of the simplicity of our life and how close the world has become with the new rise in technology. Also, it’s a delight to know that something as raw and unpredictable as traveling could become more efficient through some high level thinking and coming up with realistic ideas to aid travel.

1. Lifesaving straw – For the raw adventurers out there who seem to befriend nature on a perennial basis, Life Straw is a gold mine. This simple gadget is a water bottle attached with a filter inside it to purify water. The filter is a thick cylindrical straw which kills 99.9% bacteria and protozoa from natural water. Life Straws are simple in use as we just have to fill the water from a source and drink through its straw. Its purification process uses no chemicals, no batteries and no removing parts and hence has an amazing utility factor. One bottle can filter as much as 1000 litres or can be used for a year regularly. For hikers and bag packers, it is a great way to remain hydrated throughout their escapade.

2. Grid organizer – This is one of the most efficient gadget to keep small utility products while traveling in an organised and easy-to-use manner. As the name goes, this tool contains several grids of different shapes with an elastic belt attached to fasten things into it. One can put their mobile, charger, headphones, make up it/shaving kit, health utilities, tooth brushes and a plethora of small tools and accessories. These things are often found strewed in our travel bag but with grid organizer, the products are not only safe but also organised and saves time of searching. Traveling is easy with this on board as the major categories are divided only into a bag pack and a grid organizer.

3. Solar bag pack – Imagine reclaiming the energy from your day time in your time travel while you hitch hike your way into a forest, mountain or a new city. Using solar bag packs, this is easily achievable. They come with thin firm solar cells on the outside and batteries. The batteries which are charged during the day through these solar panels can have multiple uses. From charging phones to lighting a bulb in your tent at night, it is capable of all. Portable mobile chargers now seem only a secondary option when we have these. One might think that such bag packs must be heavy but on the contrary they are extremely light and the solar panels are portable as well as waterproof. It can approximately capture 6 hours of sunlight on it which could power an emergency light source for as long as 14 hours.

4. Portable Laundry, Scrubba – Dirty and smelly clothes often plays a spoilsport in our outings. What’s even difficult and troublesome is to find places to wash them or if that is not available than we have to just stuff it under the sack somewhere. With the availability of Scrubba, things will get comfortable. It is a medium sized bag made of microbial and hydrolysis resistant polyether which simply means that it discharges water and dirt quickly. It is quite easy to use as the clothes, detergent and water are filled up in Scrubba. After that, to flatten its surface for an easy wash, theextra air is let out through a hose which is attached to it. It is a like a hand-use washing machine with no mess. Once the cloth is washed inside the bag, it can be hung anywhere for an easy dry.

5. A bike in the rucksack – This is a small bike (bicycle) which can be easily transformed into a rucksack. This feature of carrying a bike on the shoulder makes it of big use while traveling and going to different terrains. When hitch hiking or just going around a city, this will serve as a great purpose and can save energy and time. At the same time, this bike-rucksack also gives us the pleasure of having our own vehicle on our trip and that too on a permanent basis. It is very light weight and provides a perfect commute while we delve into the lap of nature. Our adventure will get an edge if we have one of these with us.

The advancements in technology have been a boon for travellers. With gadgets such as these and many more, a person can easily move out and roam. The ease of accessibility and the economical prices are enough to make sure that each one of us can travel according to our desire. This also helps us to explore much more than we would have. Now, one can easily leave his tension of secondary things while traveling, and focus on what the earth has to manifest.


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We Need To Talk About Lakshadweep

The tiniest islands in the south of Indian subcontinent comprises the beautiful archipelago Lakshadweep. These isles bleed blue. Surrounded by deep blue Arabian Sea, this place is like an off track beat lifestyle. No matter what your age is, you will feel like a child the moment you step into the land of 36 palm-covered isles. Only 10 of them are inhabited and the rest of them are at your display to be explored anyway. Get enchanted with 4200 sq.km of the lagoon and pristine reefs.

The deep blue creatures: Crabs, sting rays, turtles, giant sea fans, giant triveli, gotgonians and sharks you name it; Lakshadweep has stored an abundance of magnificence inside its kettle. The bright colors, the designs fascinates the child in you. Seaweeds, shells and brilliantly colored fish will make your heart stop. The bionetworks living together in harmony and peace teaches you how to be a team sport. Lakshadweep is considered a diver’s paradise where you can spread your arms and breathe blue. Fishes like lobsters, tuna, shoaling jacks, groupers, and eels allure you to survey more.

Water sports: Go deep sea diving to see the best of underwater marine life. The vast spread of the superficial lagoon allows you engage in sailboats, pedal boats, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing and canoes. Diving deep into the depths, wearing the awesome scuba gear which you only see on TV, makes you feel like Bear Grills for short time “Adventure is out there” [UP movie credits.]. You will be introduced to the slow, relaxed and fun way of exploring nature right here. Karavatti the dolphin dive center, kadmat scuba diving and the minicoy dive center offers the luxuries of real life, not materialistically but with great sparks of emotions giving you a kaleidoscopic underwater view.

Coral reef package: Most of the islands are adorned with colorful corals. The Cherapiani reef is gifted with the largest lagoon, decorated with coconut trees is a view for bird lovers. Hundreds of birds come to this largest breeding ground for small fishes. Permalpar reef is a beauty in the basket. Uninhabited and enclosed among the palm trees this coral offers the site of gigantic composure of invertebrates. The artistry of nature seen is immeasurable. Cherbaniani Reef is a diving experience worth taking care for. This submerged reef offers few of the rare coral design colony on the island. Byramgore Reef is bequeathed with milky white coral sands, shallow green sea water, live corals, offering a huge jetty for fishing.

Explore more, know more: The islands offer you with marine life, multi-colored lagoons, water sports, and swimming, snorkeling and other water related activities. Meet the cutest mammal on the earth which are the favorites to stopover, Dolphins. These little creators are loved by children. The waters offer the crystal clear view of the scenic beauty underwater which you can see with the bare eye. The wealth of these islands are the live coral boulders which can be seen from 20-50 meter deep clear water. You can fall in love with the mini houses that the tribe here lives in. These houses are decorated with flowers, coconut leaves, palm leaves and are one to mien out for. Since fishing is the main occupation here, you can go into the waters to learn how the locals live maintaining the balance between the marine life, corals and humans. The sea drizzles glowing water all around the islands making it neon under the sunshine. Lakshadweep has a culture of folk arts; Kolkali and Parichakali. It comprises of slow dancing like the north eastern region of India with local music. There are mosques built all over the island which is also a site seeing the spot. Kadmat, Minicoy, Kavaratti, Agatti and Bangaram are the only islands which provide stay and food.

The islands provide you with love and fancy of nature. It abides you to go deeper in the depth of the vast blue sea and understand the biodiversity of the ecosystem. If you set out to grab the best of the nature-ocean combo, this is the ideal deal for you. For all the adventurers out there, go scuba diving in the shimmering waters of thousand islands!


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Your 10-Point Guide to Kumaon

Your 10-Point Guide to Kumaon

Kumaon is one of the two parts in which Uttarakhand is divided, the other being the Garhwal. Kumaon consists of several districts among the maze of Himalayan Mountains. It is a pleasant place to be at any time of the year with its high peaks, breaming rivers, impenetrable forests and extraordinary temples. There is a feel-good feeling attached to this place with many adventures.

Panchachuli Glacier – This is a trek with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains. It is a popular place and you won’t have difficulty spotting it in the practical map. It is a 40-km trek and hence includes camping. On one hand, the trek stretches your physical fitness as you go up while on the other, it infuses the beauty of lush alpine meadows inside you surrounding the trek route.

Bright End Corner – Bright End Corner is small place 2-km from Almora. It is situated right at the end of the Almora ridge and is one of the hidden splendours of Kumaon. If peace flows in your blood, then witness the changing colours of the Himalayan Ranges, from cheerful shining buttery at the sunrise to a husky red at the sunset.

Jageshwar – It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva mythology. It is very close to Almora and reverberates the chiming bells and auspicious mantras. The setting of this immaculate temple is also a meeting spot of holy rivers – Nandini and Surabhi. There are over 124 shrines here which take your soul into a spiritual zone.

Jim Corbett National Park – The National Park couldn’t have been at a much-desired place surrounded by mountains. The safari is the best part giving you a raw adventure of the wildlife. There are over 1000 species of birds and animals residing freely here and also the Indian Tiger. Have a stay of 2-3 days at any resort of Jim Corbett so that you enjoy every detail of this celebrated National Park.

Naina Lake – Flanked around some of the highest peaks of the Himalayan ranges, Naini Lake will marinate your desire to witness a serene emerald lake. The lake changes its colour season to season thereby is a perennial treat to watch. Be it in the winter where it sparkles in enchanting green colour and sun rays cutting through its mist or whether reflecting the bright blue skies in summers, this eye shaped river just never lets you down.

Nanda Devi Temple – The temple is the epitome of some fine rich class architecture of Kumaoni culture. The mythology and the stories related to her are plausible and will leave you wondering about more possibilities of the past. While you are here, do attend the Nanda Devi fair which is happening every year in August since last 400 years.

Manila – The less travelled places are hard to find but Manila is one such partially discovered a place which can refresh you. You can live here as a local, interact with the locals and know about the unheard pacific life of such peasants. Take a hike in the nearby woods with your friends and not a guide to revamp the old adventure days.

Kausani Tea Estate – There is nothing better to see the entire tea manufacturing process right from picking tea leaves from this plantation to the tea bags. The plantation itself is filled with positivity and the thought of being at a tea plantation at a hill station is soothing. Walk around this 208-hectare plantation to have a permanent friendship with our first love – the tea.

Narayan Ashram – If you ever thought of trying meditation for real, than this Narayan Ashram is a perfect place for you to start. The Ashram is a celebration of silence with culture and nature. There is a socio-education centre in the middle of the blossomed garden. For book lovers, a library at such a place will make them a perpetual member of this Ashram.

Bhimtal Lake – This is a natural aquarium at an altitude of 1.3 km. The lake is the largest one in Kumaon and is an abode to many species of fishes and with time has become a centre for fish cultivation for the marine institute attached to it. Come here for the perfection of this lake and to see how mythology has shaped the Indian landmass as Bhima (one of the Pandavas) had dug this lake to quench the thirst of his brothers.

Kumaon forms a major part of traveling in the north of India. It has its own unique culture and identity. The people of Kumaon are believed to be caring and innocent. Thus, with geographical beauty, the essence of the people here will charm your guts.


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An Insider’s Guide to Buddhist Circuit

An Insider’s Guide to Buddhist Circuit

Buddha was an ascetic whose teachings changed the view of the ideology of life on the basis of which Buddhism was found. The Buddhist circuit is basically the places of importance of Buddha’s life; starting from the place of his birth, the place where he discoursed his first sermon and finally where he reached nirvana. The circuit was introduced by King Ashoka when he set out to visit each place of importance associated with Gautama. This pilgrimage is associated with the life teachings of Buddha and the course he took while travelling.

Lumbini, Nepal:
Lumbini is a pivotal place for Buddhism, where Siddhartha Gautama was born to Queen Mayadevi in 563 BCE. Situated in the bases of Himalaya, it consist of gardens of Sal trees with many monasteries. It is situated in east of Kapilavastu. It offers some important views such as Ashoka pillar, Pashkarni pond and Mayadevi temple. The Ashoka pillar was lodged in the memory of King Ashoka when he visited this place. The pillar erected by King Ashoka is the oldest inscription in Nepal and marks the honor of birthplace of Buddha. The Pashkarni lake is where the holy baby Buddha was given his first bath. There is a stone slab excavated at Mayadevi temple, which is believed to be the exact place where Buddha was born. There is also a pagoda type which depicts the sculpted Mayadevi holding the branch of sal tree and giving birth to baby Buddha. This site is a symbol of peace and is a nub for spiritual effervescence.

Bodhgaya, Bihar:
This is the place where Siddhartha became the enlightened one. Situated near the bank of Neranjana, Bodhgaya is a place where King Ashoka builds the first temple to celebrate the Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi temple contains a diamond throne and the same Bodhi tree where Buddha discovered light inside him. It is visited by many disciples of Buddha at a time of full moon in the month of Vaishakh which is the day of enlightenment. The other sightings here are Animeshlochna chaitya, Mucchalinda tree, Rajyatna tree, the Ratnagaraha, Ajapala Nigrodha tree.

Sarnath, Varanasi:
This is a sacred place, situated 10 km from the holy city of Varanasi, where Buddha preached his first sermon and this is the place where a revelation took place. The deer park where Buddha taught the path to dharma formulated a sangha together to pivot the philosophy of Buddhism. Buddha spoke 4 noble truths, 8 fold path of Dharma, 3 jewels of Buddha for inner peace. The Dhamek Stupa is the precise spot where a new doctrine evolved.

Vaishali, Bihar:
A place where Buddha preached his last sermon, located 60 km away from Patna. This is the place where Buddha told his disciple, Ananda, about his looming bereavement.

Rajgir, Nalanda, Bihar:
Griddhikuta hill is a place where Buddha stayed for 12 years of his life expanding the lotus Sutra. The perfection of wisdom sutra is a way in which one sees the reality of life and accepts the consequences of reality. This place is associated with series of historical events; Shishunaga dynasty, haryanka dynasty, Mahabharata, Jainism and Buddhism. This site also is famous for Nalanda University which is the Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha.

Shravasti, Uttar Pradesh:
This is the place where Buddha spent his 24 chaturmases here. Charturmas is a period from July to November. The site has stupas, temples, Buddha Park and introduces traces of Jainism too.

Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh:
Buddha is someone who attained nirvana in his lifetime which eventually introduced a term called as parinirvana when he died. It means that the soul has left the karma and dissolution of skandhas. It implies that the soul no more desires to chase a rebirth. This deep meaning can be sought here in Mukatanabandhana stupa, which preserves the cremation site of Buddha.

The Buddhist circuit is the introduction to where it all started. This is the path from birth to enlightenment disseminated a new doctrine. The tenacity of principles devised by Gautam Buddha is sacred and followed by all his disciples fervently. To visit these places is like opening a book of the enlightened one and understand the reason behind why Buddhism is relatable to inner peace.


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5 Popular Tourist Attractions In Bali

5 Popular Tourist Attractions In Bali

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. This island is known for its yoga and meditation retreat. Bali is a synonym for paradise. The mere mention of Bali evokes a feeling of bliss, ecstasy and happiness. It brings paradise on earth. On this paradise land there are some of the most amazing cultural treasures and famous landscapes that you do not want to miss. There are myriad temples, historical sites and panoramic nature spread across this place. If heaven is here; it’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

1. Tanah Lot temple: Tanah Lot is a rock formation off Bali. It is a home to the pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot means land (in the) sea. This temple is very known and famous for its unique offshore setting and sunset backdrops. You can enjoy the sunset here and quench the thirst of your soul. The constantly crashing waves will treat your ears with their rhythmic beats. A feast to the eyes, ears and soul. This place will fill you with more and more love for nature and its beyond-explanation beauty.

2. Bali Hai Dolphin Cruise: Have you always wondered how cute the dolphins are, how you wish to see them jump in arch, in real. Then you wish shall be fulfilled with a trip to the Bali Hai Dolphin cruise. You get to see so many dolphins in close proximity to the island. It is believed that dolphins wait for none, so an early start on this cruise is needed to see the dolphins in Bali. These cruises/rafts will take you on an exhilarating journey to South Bali across the waves. The powerful speed boats will surely send shivers down your spine and alert all your thrill sensitive buds. Watching dolphins is certainly a treat for your eyes and the experience will be an awesome one.

3. White water rafting in Ayung River: Ayung River rafting during the dry season is great fun for the entire family. You can enjoy the wildlife as you meander down the safe river of Ayung with excellent staff. You can witness a hidden waterfall and wild life, rice paddies, jungles, kingfishers. The experience here is so amazing that it’ll leave you with a feeling of wanting more. The river is long, fresh and very clean. A two hour rafting will give you enough adventure. The dips and rise in the river will make your experience a super-duper one.

4. Kintamani Volcano and Mount Batur: Bali volcano also known as the Kintmani volcano or Mount Batur as a whole is a popular sigh seeing destination in the central highlands of Bali. The scintillating views of the Batur Caldera lakes serve as the main attractions, surrounded by the captivating Mount Batur range. You can linger around the crater or take a walk down the road along the lake shore to Toya Bungkah, Ulun Danu Batur temple and a collection of hot springs.

5. Ubud: The town of Ubud in the uplands of Bali is known as the center for traditional crafts and dance. The surrounding Ubud has rainforests and terraced rice paddies a dotted with Hindu temples and shrines are among Bali’s most famous landscapes. There are some remarkable architectural and other sights which you will enjoy. The spirit, the surroundings and the climate are so pleasant, it makes a visit to this place an excellent feeling. There are a large number of attractions such as Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Pula Kehen and Tirta Empul. You will surely enjoy the exquisiteness of this place but to make the most of it hire a guide. The magnificence here is so startling that you can stop anywhere for a while and absorb the gentle glamour of it all.

So the next time you visit Bali make sure you explore the endless spectacular geological wonders: Infinity pools from the edge of the cliffs in to the ocean will never fail to impress you. Extreme thrill and sports for the adrenaline junkies will blow their minds and etch its mark forever. This place is more than just a location; it is the feel, the mood and an aspiration.


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Quick facts to know about Spiti

Quick facts to know Spiti before you travel:

Spiti- a whole new hidden world! Visiting Spiti is like a time-travel. You travel way back in time- to the roads that are not yet modernised, to the people who are warm and selfless, to quaint villages where you have just few basic homestays. And then there is much more to this land- the barren mountains, pristine lakes, sparsely populated villages, oh-so-beautiful monasteries, some old shattered bridges connecting one mountain to the other, fascinating stories, rich culture and extraordinary lunar landscape.

1. Spiti is a district of Himachal Pradesh, that is mostly a stark desert.

2. The main religion spread over is Buddhism. A perfect place to experience the blend of Tibetan and Indian culture.

3. The locals understand and speak in Hindi pretty much. Their local language is Bhoti. People who belong to tourism industry like your hotelier would understand and communicate in english.

4. You can get into Spiti via Manali or via Shimla. Passes from Manali are usually closed from Mid October until Mid June. You might like to traverse via Chandigarh-Mandi-Rampur-Spiti instead if you intend to travel before this. The routes from Shimla are available usually round the year. The Manali route is much shorter (201 km), whereas the Shimla route is much longer (450 km). However, the Manali route quickly gains high altitudes because of the 2 high mountain passes- Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass. That just means there are quite a lot of chances of having to face AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness)on this route. The Shimla route gains altitudes gradually, giving you a lot of time to acclimatize. Hence its advisable to take this route if you intend to travel with infants or senior citizens. The route via Rohtang pass to Kunzum Pass is a sight to behold. A perfect itinerary would be starting your trip from Shimla and ending it at Manali.

5. Indian nationals need only a valid photo id card to travel on this road, foreigners require Inner Line Permits, which can be issued from Shimla, Reckong Peo, Kaza, Keylong or Manali.

6. Accommodations on this route are mostly basic, although there are few new and better hotels now available at Kalpa and Kaza.

7. Winters in the region are pretty much harsh. Locals celebrate lots of festivals at that time to keep up the spirits. And no doubt, it is the perfect time for spotting Snow leopard and Ibex of Himalayas.

8. There is no network connectivity in Spiti valley. Only BSNL works here, that too, in limited areas.

9. The big town in Spiti valley is Kaza. You find networks in your mobile, ATM and Fuel station here. In case you are heading from Shimla, Reckong Peo (headquarters of Kinnaur district) is another big town enroute.

 

Click here for Best time to visit Spiti Valley