Thursday, October 29, 2015

NH-7 Weekender - I was there and Shall Always be !!!

For all those who think that there is no good music fest in India. Please read through.

I completed my B-tech from Pune in 2011 and immediately migrated to Mumbai to start my professional innings.

I came to know about NH7 Weekender from my roommate and colleague and immediately decided to join him for this fest. The month was November and the place was my favorite, Pune. We were excited to see some known and many unknown bands performing live. Weekender is a 3 day fest which imparts you many unforgettable memories for life time.

The crowd here is undoubtedly the hottest and happiest. There are 4 to 5 stages on which artist perform scintillating music from 4pm to 10 pm 3days in a row.

The genre varies from Rock to classical, death metal to folk, house to techno trance and what not. You can select you favorite genre or even hop between the arenas.

Booze counters and set up in every arena to maximize your fun when “you are there.”
Mosh pit is a common sight to watch in Wolves den arena.
Weekender surely gives you a chance to forget the worldly affairs for 3 days, let loose and connect to your soul via music. After parties that follow at various locations in Pune are a must.
Trust me nothing can beat meeting an old friend suddenly, lying on the grass and listening to Indian Ocean performing live on Dewarist stage .

This year will be my 5th Weekender in a row and I know this row will never end.
As they say, Talk to strangers make new friends.     

I was there and shall always be.

Bastar - The land of whispering Mountains - Chhattisgarh

My parents live in Raipur with my younger brother. I had quit my job in Parker and still had 18 days to join TACO in Pune and trust me the best time you have in your corporate life is the layover between two jobs. No phone calls to attend, no emails to check upon, no reports to publish. The best utilization of this blissful period is to go on a trip. It had been a long time since I went on a trip with my lovely family.

So, to en-cash this opportunity we decided to explore Bastar in our Ford Eco sport. Bags packed, camera charged, hotel booked and Pendrive loaded with good music.
Bastar is tribal and cultural capital of Chhattisgarh and a home to many waterfalls, mountains and dense evergreen forest. Jagdalpur is approximately 300kms from Raipur and Chhattisgarh government has done wonders in maintaining the highways.
After a couple of pit stops to recharge our appetite we reached Jagdalpur hotel by 4pm (8 hours). After rest and freshening up in a couple of hours we left to see the Massive Chitrakote Falls aka Niagra falls of India. The beautiful waterfall is about 40 kms from Jagdalpur city and is located on Indravati River. The height of the fall is about 30 meters and it is the widest waterfall of India. The lights made the falls look even more mesmerizing and it was truly a sight to watch.
Next morning, we left for Kanger Valley National Park – One of the densest forests of India. Spread over an area of approximately 200 square kilometres (77 sq mi) consisting mainly of hilly terrain, the park derives its name from the Kanger River, which flows throughout its length. Trust me I have never seen a forest so green in the month of May when it’s the peak time of summers in India.
My father works for Central Government and hence he could get us a booking in forest resort located right in the middle of Kanger Valley.

The major attractions are:
1.     Tirathgarh waterfalls - Tirathgarh Waterfalls can be termed as "Milky Fall" because of the white colour of the water as it descends down the rocky slope giving an impression as if milk is falling. You can have a bath with small fishes around you in the clear water of this magnificent water fall. The water flowing through the various streams and crossing numerous paths along the way in a zigzag manner and finally ending up in the falls is a treat to watch. Besides the natural beauty associated with this place, Tirathgarh Falls is also an important religious place featuring a temple which is dedicated to Shiva Parvati.
2.      Kotumsar caves – These Natural caves are about 35 meters below ground level and around 1371 meters long. You can witness the stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is lack of oxygen when going deep into the caves. In view of which, for safety reasons, entry beyond certain points has been restricted. The cave is closed from 15 June to 31 October during rainy season.  The caves are pitch dark and the fishes found here are naturally adapted to be blind as they cannot see even if had eyes.

Baster is called the land of Whispering Mountains because when you are here you will continuously hear a whispering sound created by amalgamation of sounds made by bats, frogs, snakes, crickets, spiders.

Visit Credible Chhattisgarh and experience a divine connection with soil, soul and nature

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thousands stars on the sand - Diveagar

My younger brother is a ‘CA in making’ and trust me guys he deserves a break after every exam he attempts. So, it was the month on November 2014 when we planned a family trip to rejuvenate and relax. My Mom, dad and bro flew down to Mumbai from Raipur, where I dwell, work and earn just to present myself a few Roadtrips every year.

We started off quite late as my mother was in no mood to hurry-up, keeping it lazy is her idea of a perfect holiday. The destination we embarked on was, Diveagar. It is a small Konkani coastal town in Raigad district of Maharashtra state. It is about 170 km from my place and it takes about 4 hours to reach.
A small stream on the way

The roads are well maintained except for a few rough patches. We halted at one of many restaurants on the highway to taste local maharastrian food like zunka bhakar, peethla, bhakri and matki  and we were not disappointed by any of the dishes.

We reached Diveagar and had to struggle quite a bit to find a good stay as it was a long weekend when many Punekars and Mumbaikars had the same idea to unwind as ours. MTDC’s Exotica resort is right on the beach but it was a little out of budget so we took a U-turn and booked “naughty waves resort” which is located exactly 20 steps from exotica and is 1/4th the price.
After our evening tea and Konkani poha, we decided to hit the beach straight away.

Ready to play with dolphins

Udne ki aasha


Impression - Starfish studded Beach

All 4 of us were full of zeal to be embraced by nature. While playing on the clean white sand beach, my father observed a white star shaped impression on the sand. Taking a closer look we found out to be a starfish. Yes, it was a starfish in my father’s hand. We were astonished to see a real starfish for the 1st time ever in our lives. It was dead though. There are not many exotic restaurants in the village but we enjoyed home-cooked egg-curry, roti and dal-chawal at a local mess called Patil Khanawal.
There were zillions of stars visible in the sky as there was no pollution like in metros.

Next morning we went on the beach at 8:00 am as we were told by a local that dolphins come close to the beach. Boasting our life jackets, in 15 minutes we were on a boat in the middle of Arabia sea expecting dolphins to jump out of water. And what that local said, happened so be true. Dolphins emerged; we were numb and awestruck by the naughty dolphins. They were playing, shouting and jumping out of water in regular intervals. The scene was mesmerizing and it felt as they came exclusively for us just to make our trip even more memorable.

Evening we decided to experience a parachute ride on the beach and it was a superb experice have an aerial view of Arabian sea while the sun was setting on the horizon.
Next moring we were on the beach again to bid adieu to the calm, clean and relaxing town of diveagar. While walking on the beach we observed hundreds white tiny star fishes which were pushed out of the water by the mighty waves. Many of them were alive and were trying to meet the water so that they can return back to there colourfull and altruistic world and of ocean.

Total Cost is about Rs12000/- for 4 person, 2 nights and 3 days including lodging, fooding and travel. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Raiding Mighty Himalayas – Himachal Pradesh

As you might have understood so far that I am a road trip person. 
Before getting to the trip, let me introduce to a new member – A white Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi and the owner is none other than, my brother from another mother, Sandy. He has recently shifted to the capital city, New Delhi imparting me a chance to plan and RAID the Mighty Himalayas.

Coming back to the trip, I booked myself on late night flight to Delhi from Mumbai and landed to be received by Sandy at the Airport. Trust me I was more excited to see the car than to see Sandy. We reached Sandy’s place around 2am and tried to get some sleep before the Raid, but the butterflies of excitement in our stomach had planned the other way.
We left early in the morning and our breakfast haul was at Sukhdev Dhaba in Mulchand just outside the national capital. The Paranthas are to die for and you cannot afford to miss the white makkhan (butter) even if you are on diet. Filling out tummies and satisfying our souls we are all set to hit the road again.

We stopped at Ambala to meet an old friend from the university and continued our journey. After crossing Chandigarh bypass, we were welcomed by a board saying, “welcome to great Himalayan Highway .” There we are, the commencement of uphill journey begins. After a few kms we could not control of emotions and urge to have Maggie noodles on one of the Maggie points ( Any hill u go, Maggie points are omnipresent)
In about 10 hours we reached Kasauli ( our would be basecamp ) and wasting no time we booked Hotel Pine View located off Chandigarh – Shimla Highway, towards Kasauli. It is a budget hotel, which offered us a Room for two in Rs 1300/- ( Meals aren’t included ). It is not a bad deal, being a long weekend.
The Pine View Resort

We decided to rest that night and dozed off after having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant itself.
On the 2nd day, we left after having tea and breakfast to reach Kufri, on the journey we had to cross Solan, Shoghi and Shimla ( bypass) . The dist. Is about 100 kms but Kandaghat is not easy to drive on, the average speed was about 20 km/h. We obviously stopped at some Monsoon Waterfalls and Maggie points to grab a hot tea and Maggie. Reached Kufri in around 6 hours and then our guide ( avoid hiring one )  told us to take a horse ride to see some sightseeing points ( we came back half way disappointed by the ruthless way the horses are treated and the mud slurry till knee height ) We had to pay the full amt. about Rs. 350/- per horse. Nonetheless we decided to visit, The Himalayan Nature Park. It is the home to about 30 Himalayan wild animals and birds. Witnessing this was a true delight. We started our return journey at 4:30 pm from Kufri ( as we had decided to avoid driving after dusk ) we managed to reach our base camp by 8pm. We had dinner at famous Giani Dhaba, but it turned out to be even worse than what we could have got at some other not so famous place. AVOID GIANI DHABA.
A  Monsoon Waterfall

Solan City

Somewhere on the way

Note: The area is a landslide prone, so be cautious while driving and follow sigh boards.

Next Morning was the most pleasant morning, I have experienced in my lifetime. The Sun was playing Hide and seek with the clouds and the fog was waiting to embrace us. Wasting no time we head started our journey to state capital – Shimla. Crossing Kandaghat was not as difficult as the weather was clear.
Do not forget to take an apple break in Solan Market.
Reached Shimla in about 5 hours and had to struggle a lot to find a Parking place. We headed straight to Mall Road, which is a must visit when you are in Shimla. Bought some Pashmina Shawls and stoles for our loved ones, after a lot of Bargaining. We were mesmerized to know about the history and importance of Gaity theatre. This theatre was constructed by British and is one of the six theatre left on the planet to be built on Victorian Gothic Architecture. After wandering around and having luscious Chole bature and Chole Samose, in a local Stall, at Mall road. We decided to explore Shimla a little more and click some pictures (Instead of penning it down, I would let you explore yourself).
We were back to Kasauli by 8:30 pm and decided to have dinner at Haveli, trust me the food was delicious and far better than Giani Dhaba.
An Apple Break

Toy Train Track

An Ancient temple on the Hill 

A beautiful day on the Hills

Shimla City

Shimla Church

Gaity Theatre- Balcony

Another Fall

Next morning, we started our downhill journey to New Delhi and believe me we were in no mood to do that. But we had to return back to work and earn some money for our next trip.

Trip Duration: 4 days 3 nights

Expense: Approx. 8000/- pp all inclusive. Ex-Delhi

The Roads are as smooth as Sukhdev’s Makkhan. Kudos to Himachal Govt.for that.

If you want to plan this trip, write to me on or leave comment below.

I will be happy to help.

Friday, September 5, 2014

CITY WALK - Local Tour Guide

Hi, I hope you like the blog post in my Travel Segment.

We shall be more than happy to take you ( individual / group ) for any of the tours you like from this blog in the very best price. 
For tours we recommend Public transport / self driven cars

A.) Walk the City: Mumbai

Our Standard Weekend tour will cover the below: 
1. Fashion street market
2. Victoria Terminus
3. BMC HQ Building
4. Flora Fountain
5. Rajabai Clock Tower
6. Siddhi Vinayak Temple / ISCON Temple
7. Any Irani cafe
8. Carter Road
9. The Antila Tower (World's most expensive home)
10. Haji Ali
11. Bandra fort
12. Kala Ghoda
13. Marine Drive
14. Nariman Point
15. Colaba Causeway
16. Gateway of India

17. Elephanta caves

It is highly recommend that you take our Shopping tour to avoid buying certain materials that you regret upon reaching home.

We recommend you share your interests and tastes with us so that we can develop a customized tour of Mumbai.

Hotel Bookings
We also arrange hotel bookings / Stay with the locals in any city across India.

Kindly Contact me for any details.

email :
Mobile : +919975712713

Monday, July 28, 2014

Matheran - No honking hill station

What can be a better escape on a rainy weekend from Mumbai than Matheran ? Matheran is the only hill station, where vehicles are banned and you can clearly listen the sound of breeze rustling leaves and the sound of the horse shoes.
Yes, you can commute and explore the hills either on your own feet or on a horseback. This is a perfect place for Digital detoxification enjoy on the lap of mother nature.

How to reach : Matheran can be reached by road from Mumbai or Pune via Road or Train with ease.

We decided to take the railways + roadways - You can take a karjat bound train from from CST and get down at Neral. Then either go for toy train ( narrow gauge ) from Neral to Matheran. The toy train is not fully functional during Monsoon season ( from July to September) due to heavy rains. After having some light snacks (vadapav is a must have) at Divdekar food stall at Neral station. Board a shared taxi available at Rs.70/- per person, which shall take you uphill to Dasturi car parking (it is the last point for the vehicles). 

Where To Stay: You can stay in Hotel Cecil, which is a very calm place and fits in budget. Cecil is a heritage building and is about 100 years old.

The rooms are spacious, the toilets are not very well maintained and the food is 9/10. Although they do not serve nov-veg food and alcohol. The rent on a weekend for 1 night was 3000/- for a double occupancy room, which includes all meals.

We booked it through

What to see : Matheran has about 22 points for tourists listed below. All developed by Britishers.
Important points are Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Olympia Race Course, Lords Pt, Charlotte Lake,Celia Pt (a water fall mouth), Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station, Louisa Point, Mayra Point, Pisarnath Temple.

It takes about 3 days to cover all the points and having time constraint we decided to visit only.
Charlotte lake , Echo point and Monkey point. So that we have enough time to click some of the best shots.

Breath taking view from Echo Point

If you want to experience adrenaline rush, you can also try Valley crossing from echo point.
And trust me nothing beats hot maggie and corn ( bhutta) at on the mountains, which is a must have thing.

Its advisable to reach back your resort before it gets dark as the hill terrain is not equipped with street lights.
So to catch up with time, we decided to hire horses, with funny names as hawa hawai and champion, which took us to Hotel Cecil before dusk.

After reaching hotel, nothing can beat hot masala Irani chai with bread butter.

After sound sleep during the night and delicious Morning breakfast and tea we left for Mumbai. Took a Toy train (15 mins journey) from Matheran to Aman Lodge, then shared taxi to Neral and then Local train to Thane and finally back home after experiencing a much needed Digital Detoxification.