A Lifetime Trip

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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


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Best Time To Visit Spiti Valley

Spiti valley is accessible by road throughout the year.

There are two ways to enter Spiti valley- one via Manali and the other via Shimla. Usually the best time to visit Spiti are the summer months of May till Mid October when the temperatures are great and there is no snow or ice on the roads.

In case you plan to start the trip from Shimla and exit from Manali, you should plan in the summer months, since there are two main passes enroute i.e. Rohtang pass and Kunzum Pass which remains closed due to snow in winters. The route starts clearing up in the month of June.
If you plan in late October or later, you can take the road from Shimla upto Kaza and you would need to exit via the same route.

Weatherwise

April to Mid May is a good time to be at Spiti, however the route via Manali is yet not available. Snow starts clearing up, the guest houses start opening up, the peaks are yet snow studded for those perfect shots and roads by now become bearable.

Mid-May to Mid-July is one of the best times to be at Spiti. The days are pleasant. Hotels are running full fledge. Chandertal is accessible post June. Loads of campers and trekkers prefer this time of year to be here.

Mid-July to August is not really a great time to be here. Monsoons are in flurry and roads are in horrible state. Offlate Spiti region has started receiving good rains in these months despite being in Trans Himalayan region thats generally rain shadowed.

September to Mid-October is a great time to be at Spiti. ALl roads are open, running, connected and accessible, be it the remotest village. Its cold, so carry woollen wears. Do not expect snow in this month. The peaks are mostly naked. You would also find the amazing Kinnauri/ Spiti apples in this month. Do not forget to taste/ buy them. They are the tastiest apples you would ever have.

Winter in Spiti is really harsh with the temperatures dropping to as low as -30° Celsius. Locals celebrate a lots of festivals at this time to keep up the spirits. People are generally house arrested in these months and they stock up food well in advance for the survival. But yes, this is the best time to spot the snow leopard or the wild ibex.


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5 Best Yoga Moves To Stay Fit While Travelling

5 Best Yoga Moves To Stay Fit While Travelling

“A sound mind in a sound body”, this is a never-failing theory and this holds good even while you travel. However, travel makes the fitness schedule lopsided. So here’s a quickie on five of the best yoga moves one can do to stay fit while travelling. Don’t let that extra fat sag around you and upset your travel plans. Do these simple yoga moves to rest and revive you with new energy.

1. Neck stretches and hand rotation: When you are back after a full day, a tight scheduled trek or sightseeing in a bus, or you had to be upright for too long, sit back, relax, breathe in deep and slowly start rotating your neck. Rotate your neck clockwise and anticlockwise repeatedly for 2 minutes. Then touch your right ear to the right shoulder and stretch and let the muscles tighten. Do it for a minute and repeat it on the other side too. The neck will feel lighter and better.
Also rotate the fists slowly in clockwise and anticlockwise direction. Then rotate both the hands. This will loosen the tight muscles and help you relax.

2. Forward bend: The back gets cramped and too stressed and we might feel uncomfortable to continue to travel with the onerous back. You can do this posture: forward bend. Raise both your hands and breathe in deep and slowly while exhaling the air, touch the ground with your hands and make sure the knees are straight. Do not bend the knee. This will strengthen the calf muscles and help your back restore its strength.

3. Tree posture: This posture helps to stretch and strengthen the back and sides of your legs that gets stiff while commuting long distances. In this pose, you have to plant your one leg on the calf muscle of the other leg, or just above on the thigh. Join your hands and make sure to keep the forearms parallel to the floor. Then breathe in and out slowly and repeat this on the other side too. Do it alternatively. This will improve your balance, ankle stability and opens your hips.

4. Garland pose: Hip flexibility becomes an issue after a long journey in train or plane. Sitting for long periods can tighten the inner thighs and groin and hip flexors. This can cause poor back posture and back pain. Step your feet as wide as the mat, if you have, bend your knees and lower your hips, coming into the squat. Drop your torso slightly forward and then bring your upper arms to the inside of your knees. Bring your palms in prayer position and keep your forearms parallel to the floor. Garland pose will help you stretch the ankles, groins and back.

5. Half gas release pose: With better digestion comes better energy, and for better digestion exercise is a must. While we travel we are haunted by the digestion related problems. Worry no more. Do this simple pose that will help better digestion. This pose compresses the ascending colon on the right side and the descending colon on the left, stimulating the nerves to help elimination. First hug your right knee in toward the right side of the ribcage. Keep pressing your straight left leg into the earth as you hold your hands around the right shin to pull it closer to the earth. Hold for 1 or 2 minutes and then repeat on the other side. This will release the gas and help you get rid of the accumulated gases due to indigestion.

These yoga poses will surely rest your body and muscles and prepare you for a new day with great zeal and energy to enjoy the travel to the fullest.

Remember do not over do with your body. Every body has his/her own limitations and do not try to pull your way to that extra mile if your body doesn’t permit you to.
Stretch in your limits and see that the moves prove to fructify your travel and help you take care of yourself better. When the body is fit, the travel will never make it feel cranky.
Feel rejuvenated with the power of the YOGA.


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10 Travel Goals To Perpetrate Before You Turn 30

10 Travel Goals To Perpetrate Before You Turn 30

Thirties, family, work, pressure, commitments, deadlines, responsibilities, achievements, duties, obligations, more work, more goals oriented: these are usually the things we become, experience or feel in our thirties and we are so engrossed in achieving and fulfilling our dreams, we might not even be able to allot some time off to travel and rejuvenate.
That’s why so that you do not miss some of the best travel related experiences, here’s a list of 10 travel goals one must perpetrate before hitting the 30 years bar.

1. Travel Alone: This is one of the best things to do before you are 30, because you might have a family of your own by thirties. Travel alone so that you get to know yourself better, understand yourself more and learn a little more about yourself. It would be a great experience to know your own strengths and weaknesses which could be fruitfully applied to your everyday life that’ll help you grow beyond comparison.

2. Travel with your best friend: Make at least one trip to a place with your best friend. While you travel you can re-live all those glorious moments of your life and create more memories worth remembering. So plan a travel with your best friend before you both get hitched (with one another or with someone else).

3. Eat at the local eat street in the place you visit: The local food has the love in it of the common man. That food is an epitome of the hard work of the people, their occupation, belongingness and love for the place. Food at the local street is a must to make your travel complete.

4. Make a bike trip: Adventure awaits at every turn of the wheel. If you love to ride, want to feel the wind blow across your face, you want to feel your hair fly, you must ride. Ride to a place you love to. Ride on a road which is never there and let the adventure be your pillion rider. It enhances the quality of your thoughts, grinds your sorrows under the wheels it fills you with a sense of accomplishment and leaves you satiated and makes your travel experience a wholesome one.

5. Scuba diving: Travel to the nearest shore, take a dive and have a look at the corals and the underwater life. You’ll be amused to see and feel so calm. The fish, big and small, the underwater plants, the corals will make you think that how abundant and bountiful nature is. So scuba dive to become one with the blue.

6. Bungee jumping: Jump from a height with the ropes ties, the jump will set you free. It’ll be a phenomenon you want to experience over and over again. So jump off the heights and ward off your fear.

7. Go on a cycle trek: Check for the nearest cycle trek expedition and go for it. Cycling will remind you of your childhood and recreate the love for it. It’s an eco-friendly way, an innocuous way to trek. Cycling always teaches us one thing that we need to strike a balance to keep moving. A cycle trek will surely re-connect to your roots and will redefine e your fitness.

8. Sky diving: Do you want to be a bird? Dive into the sky and feel like bird. You’ll capture an image you can never forget.

9. Go to Himalayas: If you are an adventurer and if you like heights or otherwise do see the Himalayas and trek them so that you can feel their aura. The Himalayan mountain range is mighty. A trek here in these mountains will relieve you of all pressures, present you challenges so that you can overcome them in creative ways. A trek here will give an entire different outlook and will make you stronger, more courageous and a better human.

10. Witness any Indian festival in its place of origin: India is a land of cultures. People here belong to vast sectors and discipline, beliefs and faith. Make sure you visit at least one place during a festival: Durga pooja in Kolkata, Navratri in Gujarat, Dussera in Mysore, or Ganapati festival in Pune/Mumbai, Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan, Onam in Kerala, Pongal in Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry, Lodhi in Punjab : to name a few. Put this on your bucket list and experience a whole lot of goodness. You’ll see how a festival is able to indulge you in their uniqueness.

These are 10 travel related goals one must perpetrate according to me and I hope you like them and will add in your bucket list.
Travel not so that the world sees you, travel so that you can see the world.


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10 Awesome Books That Satiate The Traveler In You

10 Awesome Books That Satiate The Traveler In You

“The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page”, by St Agustine. So rightly said it sums up how important it is to travel to be able to read the entire book called LIFE. Vice versa is true too. There are a few books which when you read fills you with a different aura, different energy level and help you explore the world, the culture, the people and satiates the traveler in you. Such is the power of the words and the books written by the wise men are a synthesis of their experiences and wisdom which is so reassuring and never-failing. The traveler in you needs a nudge, motivation and that happens with some of the best travel books, these will give you an insight on how wonderful the life is and on how wonderful your journey is.
Following are the ten awesome books that will indeed satiate the traveler in you:

1. The alchemist by Paulo Coelho: This charts an enchanting story of Santiago, a young shepherd boy who finds the courage to follow his heart into the distant lands to travel to the pyramids of Egypt to find the treasure, spurred on by the knowledge that he is following the right path; his own. This beautiful parable not only has the power to uncover the long buried dreams, it also inspires us to reach them.

2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: If ever the story of any man’s adventures in the world were worth making public and were acceptable when published, this book will be accounted for. It’s the story of a wanderer who went to the sea. This story in true sense is a roller coaster ride of Crusoe where the promises for new adventures are awaited. A must read for sea lovers.

3. Three men in a boat by Jerome K: The chief beauty of this book lies not in the literary style nut in the truthfulness of all the events that happened. It’s a story about three men who travel for the sake of it to breach the boredom syndrome.

4. The pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho: It is a recollection of Paulo’s experiences as he made his way across northern span on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. The novel is not only based on an adventure story but it is also a guide to one’s self discovery.

5. Into the wild by John Krakauer: So many people live within unhappy circumstances and they will still not take any initiative to change the situation since they are conditioned to a secure, and conversational life, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. So read this book to see how adventures and new experiences fill endless joy and incredible beauty.

6. Motorcycle diaries by Che Guevara : for those of you who love riding bikes and tripping, for those who love to ride on no roads and create their own path, it’s for you that this book is meant to be. Motorcycle diaries is about two young men on an 8-month, 8000 mile motorcycle journey. This is for sure going to set you on fire and get you moving on wheels.

7. A passage to India by E.M Forster: This book documents the complex relationships between India and their colonial rulers. It recounts a fictional tale from an era gone by, called the British Raj. This book will satisfy your thirst to visit the pre-independence India.

8. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux: You cannot really travel around India without having travelled at least once in the train. And you cannot claim to be an avid reader of travel books until you have read this book. This book explains the trivial details of his travel through India and Asia in a delightful manner.

9. Hot tea across India by Rishad Saam Mehta: Two things unite us Indians like nothing else: gossips and tea. There are places and people we’ve often heard of but know nothing about. It’s a feel-good book with everything in place – the good, the bad and the ugly. So read it to feel it.

10. The art of Travel by Alain De Booton: It’s a book about the author’s travel experiences sharing the planning, execution, the joy and the disappointment while travelling.

These are those ten books which when you read is bound to satiate the traveler in you.
When you travel it leaves you speechless and then into a story teller. Travel and you might publish your own book.


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10 Reasons Why Living In India Is Joyful

10 Reasons Why Living In India Is Joyful

India, Hindustan, Bharat, these are the names we use to represent the largest democracy in the world. “Mera Bharat Mahan” is apt to represent the epitome of the mixed culture. India is a landmass that houses variety; here you’ll find an amalgam of food, culture, weather, diversity, geographical difference, all in one. Spirituality, awakening, worships you can see all this happening here. Deities, worships, devotion, festivals are celebrated with great pomp and celebration, of togetherness and uniqueness. It’s the diversity that unites the people here. People from all walks of life are united by this common string of Indianness.

Living in India in itself is a feeling of joy and celebration and celebration it with food, people, culture and work. So the ten reasons why living here is joyful are:

1. Food: variety, spicy, non-spicy, veg, non-veg, anything you like to anything you couldn’t have imagined; everything is available here. Food in the form of prasadam, in the form of buffets in the five star hotels, of along the road side, it has the essence of origin and belongingness to the place. North, south, east and west, food isn’t the same at all. Its variety makes living here an awesome feeling.

2. Festivals: 365 days in a year for Indians are festivals to celebrate. Festivals where feast is made and served, festivals where fasting is done, where wives pray for the long life of her husbands, to name a few always add colors to life, both literally(Holi) and figuratively.

3. Geographical diversity: India is a peninsula surrounded by water on its three sides. It has the Himalayan ranges, the fertile Ganga planes, the innumerable rivers, the Deccan plateau, the horrid Thar Desert, the snowy hills. The diversity has been a part of this country, so recreation available 24*7 like those perennial rivers.

4. Clothing: People do not have just one fixed clothing here. Every place you visit, you are sure to find the variety in the clothing. Saris, chudidars, lungis, Manipuri dress are to just name a few. The robe culture is so vast, and if you are a true clothes maniac, you’ll want to try wearing something new, you can hit a boutique and find that displays the diversity India has.

5. Joint Families: In the 21st century, there has been dismantling of families here, there are places where you still have joint families, and just living together is a blissful experience. The grandma’s pickle, the grandpa’s jokes, the parents’ love and affection, the cousins’ sharing and caring nature all bring you up as a wholesome person, instilling in you the qualities of a perfect gentleman.

6. Extraordinary history: Being under a number if rulers and then under colonial power, India has dramatic history. The art and architecture is greatly influenced by these factors. The Taj Mahal, the red fort, the gateway of India, Victoria memorial, etc, all these stand strong as testimony for the history of India.

7. Get away: Myriad lakes, rivers, forts, palaces, hill stations, waterfalls, forests, mountains, gardens, these are present in such numbers, that a short get-away or even a long get-away can always be planned. Picnics or trips can be planned and fixed to get the tint of Indian ethnicity. There is no room for boredom here.

8. Dance and Music: Folk, classical, Bollywood dance and music has never failed to amuse the people, because these have the power to teleport people to their past, the past of India. The music is so refreshing and enticing, it has the power to connect to the roots and touch our souls. Dance is in the footstep of every Indian, marking its significance.

9. The air you breathe at every step is never the same: With every step you take, you can witness uniqueness and a true sense of jingoism. Ethnicity is in the air you breathe here.

10. Happiness is hidden in small things: Be it at home, in schools, in trips or picnics, marriages or small functions, you’ll see that people find happiness in small things too. Charity, sacrifices, friendships, penance, meditation are a symbol of happiness in tiny things.

Living in India doesn’t need just these 10 reasons, it’s beyond.
The air you breathe in here fills you with bliss and ecstasy always.