Saturday, December 15, 2012

Manali - Leh Motorcycle Trip- A PhotoDairy!!!



There are few journeys that change the way you look at fellow travellers or strangers as we call them. A journey that makes you understand that life is all about exploring more, trusting more, growing more and living each day of your life to the fullest.  For me, this adventure journey gave me such a learning that I feel no structured team building program or a highly trained consultant would have been able to embed deep in me. We were 6 strangers on this adventure trip from Manali to Leh on our motorbikes. All new to each other, met each other only a couple of days ago and to some of them the same day we started our journey.

I had this trip in my bucket list and had been trying to tick it off for quite a long time but somehow things did not materialize every time I tried. The year we finally travelled, I had made up my mind that even If I don’t get a partner, I’m going to do it all alone. I had almost lost hope but then everything started to fall in place and finally we formed a PRIDE of 6. We formed a complete team, a team better than the A- TEAM. This is a collection of photos of our journey which made us F.R.I.E.N.D.S for life!!!! 


Some Facts About Ladakh- A land of freezing winds and burning hot sunlight, Ladakh is a cold desert lying in the rain shadow of the Great Himalayas and other smaller ranges. Little rain and snow reaches this dry area, where natural forces have created a fantastic landscape. Surrounded by rugged mountains this land is completely different from the green landscape of many parts of the Himalayas. Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karokaram, it is a land which has no match.

Average annual rainfall is only 90 mm (3½ inches). The temperature can range from −28 °C (-18.4°F) in winter to 33 °C (91.4°F) in summer. The principal access roads include the 434 km Srinagar-Leh highway which connects Leh with Srinagar and the 473 km Leh-Manali Highway which connects Manali with Leh. Both roads are open only on a seasonal basis. Although the access roads from India are often blocked by snow in winter, the local roads in the Indus Valley usually remain open due to the low level of precipitation and snowfall.



 


















From L To R- Dr. Priyank, Me, Parth, Dr. Anil, Diwakar, Chander











Jispa- The First Night Halt

























The Landscape Changes With Every Turn You Take
































Priyank Struggling His Way Thru













Heros OF The Trip- At Sarchu














Sarchu














Sarchu



























Tented Accomodation At Sarchu
















Down But Not Out!!!

























Diwakar Joshi- On Way To Nubra Valley




























21 GHATA LOOPS



























View From Khardungla Top- Said To Be World's Highest Motorable Road














Tso Pangong- The Beauty Of This Place Is Beyond Explanation














Tso Pangong- Prayer Flag















Tso Pangong
















Tso Pangong














Flight Of Freedom- Tso Pangong

















  

Since the time I have come back from this Joruney there has been a continious burning desire in my heart to go back, to experience the thrill all over again. This journey was an experience which is very valuable and dear to my heart. I know the whole PRIDE is listening and is ready to do the epic journey once more..

 




Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mauritius- A Country So Beautiful That Sometimes It Seems To Be Too Beautiful To Be True!!!

Mauritius- The place will enchant you, will make you feel  you are one of the chosen few. It’s a small island in the African continent. An oasis of  peace and tranquillity, it compels you to come back to it’s shores. The island has a coast line of 330kms. I was there for 5 days and had thought that it will be enough to soak the place but I was so so wrong.  After spending 5 days I felt like staying here for couple of weeks more. I was so disappointed while I was leaving the place. The place is so beautiful that I feel  I have not able to do justice to the beauty of the place with my Lens..

























The Grand Mauritian Resort










Private Beach At The Grand Mauritian Resort














































































































Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goa, India- A Different World


Goa- All that comes to mind when one thinks about Goa is Ocean, Beaches, Party, Boat Cruises, Casinos but wait there's lot more to it. Even I used to think of all these things when I used to think of Goa until recently I discovered another part of it. As you will be able to see in the photographs below a very different Goa. Imagine Goa with Green Mountains, Waterfalls, Lakes, Wild Life... Yes, I'm talking about Goa. Explore area around Chorla Ghats and you will fall in love with the place. There's also a Beautiful Resort in Chorla Ghats by the name of Wildernest Nature Resort. Have a look.... And if you want to know more about the places drop me a line.







Early Morning Walk, Varca Beach, Goa





















View From Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant- South Goa









Chorla Ghats, Goa









Chorla Ghats, Goa









Infinity Pool at Wildernest Nature Resort











Wild Life!!!!










On Way To Chorla Ghats













Have You Imagined Goa Like This???





















Waterfalls as seen from Wildernest Nature Resort


South Goa is the place where I head to whenever I'm in Goa. Following are the tried and tested places


1. Zuri White Sands , Varca

2. The Leela, Cavelossim

3. Park Hyatt Resort and Spa, Cansaulim

4. Head to Palolem and find your self a goodbeach hut. I haven't explored that area yet but will add specific info next time I go there.


For North Goa, I would recommend following


1. Ozran Beach Resort, Little Vagator ( Beautiful Property with breath taking view!!!)

2. Vivanta by Taj - Fort Aguada

You can also check out my latest trip report on Goa for 2013 http://karantraveller.blogspot.in/2013/09/goa-in-monsoons-this-time-it-was-palolem.html

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Home Stay In True Sense- Prem Sadan, Lansdowne


PREM SADAN- House Of Love!!!













How can I be away from mountains for so long??? Well, I thought to myself, this is a good enough reason to escape the so called fast city life and explore a new place. It was around 6.00 pm on Friday when this thought crossed my mind. I had this small place called Lansdowne on my mind for quite a long time but always been in two minds about going to the place. But this time I thought of giving it a shot as I had 2 days at hand. Finalized a property called Prem Sadan which turned out to be an intelligent decision!!!! Beautiful Property and all the more Amazing people living there. Wrapped up my work quickly and headed straight for home. Packed a few things, the most important of which is my camera and the music dock. Had two glasses of wine before retiring to bed. I was as excited as a kid who has studied everything for his exam the next day but still has butterflies in the stomach.

 

It was 3.30 am in the morning when the alarm rang. Hate waking up to the sound of the alarm clock but this was different. I was on my feet the first time the alarm rang , usually alarm is snoozed a couple of times and its only after a few curses that I get up. Picked up the stuff and I was on my way. It was 4 .30 am when I cranked my beast. The route that I decided to follow was GURGAON- MEERUT-BIJNOR-KOTDHWAR-LANSDOWNE. It’s about 270 kms from Gurgaon. 





Drive was smooth with no traffic jams thru out the journey, thanks to my habit of leaving early specially for long drives. Cool morning breeze outside and Better Together playing by Jack Johnson was the perfect combination for a good long drive.

 

It was time for my bed tea. 7.30 am by my watch and I was standing by the side of River Ganga just before Bijnor. The Tea vendor had just started putting up his stall. Started for onwards journey after enjoying my tea and by this time road was starting to get busy. Crossed Bijnor, Kiratpur, Nijababad and Kotdwar following NH119 thru out. Road was good thru out apart from few kilometers of rough patches here and there.   



A few kilometers before Lansdowne














It is after Kotdwar when you feel that all the effort of waking up at 3.30 was actually worthwhile. Lansdowne is around 40 Kms from Kotdwar. The hill road starts and landscape changes. There's a river running with you and clouds play hide n seek. Took a small break and parked my car near to river. With Mohit Chauhan singing BABAJI HUMKO DEDO PARVATI SE JO LAYE HO.. it was a feeling which is hard to be put into words, a feeling which you have to be there to feel it, soak it. It was all cloudy with a little drizzle. After stopping there for almost half an hour, I decided to move on to the destination..... LANSDOWNE!!!!! 





When You Enter The City You Are Greated By None Other Than CLOUDS!!!!









One of the two Churches in Lansdowne











This is the other one!!! Beautiful..













Clouds playing Hide and Seek with the Mountains





































Prem Sadan at Sunrise











Prem Sadan at Sunrise



Few words about Prem Sadan- It's a 100 year old bunglow which is now home to this beautiful couple Mr Rajeev Anand and Mrs Neera Negi Anand. These guys relocated to this beautiful place from Gurgaon leaving the so called fast life behind. Mr Rajeev Anand is from the corporate world and a very learned man and Mrs Neera too is a multi talented personality. She is a trained kathak dancer. You will love the evening conversations with them around the bonfire. I will like to add one thing here, if you looking for luxury then this is not the place for you. It's basic but has everything neat and clean to make your stay comfortable.

 

Contact number for Prem Sadan- Mr Rajeev Anand- 09458623305, 09458376714













Other places to stay in Lansdowne only if you don't get accomodation at Prem Sadan are-


 Kasang Valley Resort- Phone:   +91 9810324080, +91 9818692005


Hotel Blue Pine-   +91 9899599229


Hotel Fairy Dale- Mob:   +91 9412081837, +91 9412025206