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.