Staying in a tree house in Katrain, Himachal Pradesh

Over the years Manali has become too commercial with over-development, and honestly, parts of Manali seem as polluted, dusty and congested as certain parts of Mumbai. While on a trip to Kulu Manali, we desperately looked for a quaint escape. We found Katrain. A small village of apple orchards. And we found our stay in … Read more

Pench National Park, Maharashtra: A Beautiful and Serene Experience

If you want to visit a serene forest, as forests should be, you must visit Pench National Park, Maharashtra.

Pench is a beautiful jungle, and the poet Kalidas wrote about the scenic beauty of these forests in his epics ‘Meghdootam’ and ‘Shakuntalam’.R.A. Strendale’s ‘Camp in the Satpura Hills’ draws a vivid pen picture of this idyllic paradise – as does Forsyth’s ‘Highlands of Central India’.

Pench National Park is divided between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. We visited the Maharashtra side, and were delighted by the quaintness, and low commercialisation. There weren’t many resorts (thankfully, at least when we visited in 2010), and tourists were also few. The forest department ran only about 21 Jeep Safaris at a time. Although we didn’t have a tiger sighting, we did enjoy the forest drives, and we managed to see the Jackal, the Fox and the Wolf, apart from many birds, mammals and ungulates. From the Maharashtra side, the entry to Pench is through the Sillari Gate.

We had an extremely basic stay at the Forest Rest House. The canteen was a few meters away from the rooms, and there was no room service. At night, the walk from the rooms to the canteen was in pitch darkness. There was a Tiger Interpretation Centre which was a very commendable attempt at telling us about the secret life of a Tiger.

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A beautiful morning at Pench.

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Panjim City

In 2006, I and a friend went biking to attend the International Film Festival if India at Panjim City, Goa. These are some images from that epic (by those days’) journey.

Panjim, also known as Panaji, is the capital of Goa. Panjim City is the oldest civic institution in India. Being such an old city, it is full of heritage and plenty of fanatic places to stay.

 

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A cup of chai at Krishna before we leave Law College Road, Pune.

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We avoided NH17, the Goa Highway. Instead we took the Pune – Bangalore Highway, NH3 and cut through the Ghats at Bhor, if I remember correct.

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Mumbai to Coorg by Road

The retreating rains call for one last time to cavort under the cloudy skies and misty winds. Just the right time when we decided to road trip to south of India, to Coorg, in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. The first stop of our journey was Belgaum as we wanted to drive through the Anshi National … Read more

Kabini River Lodge and Nagarhole National Park

August 2013. Once again in our untouristy mood we submitted to spontaneity and cancelled our home bound flights, re-routing ourselves into the jungles of Nagarhole, Karnataka. The drive from Bangalore to Kabini is about 6 hours, include half hour stop for a quick meal at midway Kamath. Try the various range of vada, idli, dosa … Read more

A one day trip to Malacca, Malaysia

During one of our work trips to Malaysia, hopped onto a car and drove to Malacca. It is a cheerful little town with loads to shop and eat. The main thing to try is the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Its a simple Chicken Rice dish with a distinctly unique flavour. The town has a strong Portuguese influence … Read more

Panchgani, Maharashtra

Panchgani is a beautiful 6-7 hour drive from Mumbai*. As you cross Pune, the drive gets better and you move ahead for another 1.5 – 2 hours and take a right. Then the ride up the hills is awesome, and best attempted on a weekday. Avoid the weekend, when Panchgani / Mahabaleshwar become as crowded … Read more

Murud Janjira

Update: I had first visited Murud Janjira about 10 years ago. I had experienced a beautiful drive by the sea, which is now gone, and sadly the sea side has been bought over and converted into private properties. I am updating this articles with some new photos.

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The Nawab’s Palace at Murud Janjira.

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The beautiful seals at the palace gates.

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This beautiful corve of the road retains its excitement event after 10 years…

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One of the buildings inside the palace compounds. Probably was servant quarters or something like that.

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An old school inside the town of Murud Janjira.

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The Murud Janjira Court. This tiny town is packed with history and has plenty of architectural heritage. I need to make another trip, this time, with plenty of time.

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Manali – Rohtang Pass in October

Manali, October 2011.  Late October isn’t the ‘touristy’ time to visit Manali, and that’s the very reason we decided to make it. After all, we had to see Rohtang Pass at least once in our lives. We found it a wee bit difficult to get a taxi to take us from the hotel in Manali … Read more