Travel

We travel, my wife and I. Some of the places we/I have been to are:

Kerala

Coming from Maharashtra I had thought Karnataka is green. Kerala is .. much greener. We traveled from the hills of Munnar to the backwaters at Alleppey, and it was a completely different experience at each place. We first visited Munnar – tea and spice plantations (mainly tea though, rolling hills covered with tea every where you look). Next we went to Periyar lake (Thekkady). We didn’t get to see too many animals in the wild though – no elephants, no tigers. The lake is lovely, as you can see (for a change) from my photos :). After that came Kumarakom, where we stayed on an island resort on Lake Venyambadi. Then the backwaters of Alleppey. This was extra fun, because we got to see the practice sessions of the snakeboat races (for the Nehru trophy). Finally to Cochin where we stayed at Cherai Beach Resort – a lovely resort a little outside Cochin. The only snag in the whole trip was – everywhere we went, we got paneer butter masala and the like. Vegetarian Keralite food is just not to be had in restaurants!

Pondicherry

About six to seven hours by road from Bangalore, Pondicherry turned out to be much nicer than I had expected. We stayed in a hotel called “Calve something”, right in the middle of town – preferring that to staying in a beach resort. This turned out to be an excellent move! Rather than being a usual resort holiday, we spent time wandering around Pondicherry on a rental bike, and the easy slow pace of the place is enchanting. We also found a beach to the north of the town, and visited Auroville as well. Unfortunately I have no photos at all of the beautifully kept French quarter, but that is something I plan to rectify on my next visit 🙂 Excellent food, easy slow living made this an enjoyable trip.

Ooty

An easy, restful trip. The road to Ooty goes through the forests of Bandipur and Mudumulai – we were fortunate enough to see a baby elephant with its mother, snakes, and hordes of monkeys and langurs. At Ooty itself, the hotel (Danish Villa by Zest Resorts) was quite comfortable and friendly, with very nice food. We stayed off the beaten paths as much as possible, and anyway, being mid-season, it wasn’t too crowded. The train ride from Ooty to Coonoor is highly enjoyable – as is the drive back which goes through a golf course.

Sikkim

Starting from Calcutta, we visited Tinchuley (in West Bengal), Biksthang, Pelling and Gangtok, and of course, the places around and on the way. Sikkim is beautiful, really beautiful. Lovely countryside, interesting monasteries and very friendly people. The nicest stay we had was not in a posh hotel, but the homestay at Tinchuley. The Gurung family (each and every one of them) took very good care of us. I wish I could have taken the photos of the places we visited from Gangtok – Tsomogo lake and above. But photography is prohibited by the army – it’s just 30 odd kms from the China border. All in all, a memorable trip!

Hampi

A six hour drive away from Bangalore, Hampi turned out to be a lot more than I had expected, or even hoped for. The drive itself was rather nice, even on the state highways. After some minor hiccups at the KSTDC, we managed to get a room there and went wandering around the place. It is a veritable open air museum. Hampi, for those not in the know, is where you can find the remains of the Vijayanagara empire. It’s a city of stone, and the architecture style is rather unique. We definitely want to go back there ..

Ranganthittu
Ranganthittu is a bird sanctuary about 30 kilometers from Mysore. A very peaceful place, definitely worth a visit even for non birdwatchers. If the birds don’t grab your attention, the crocodiles will! 🙂

Yelagiri

Very sleepy place in Tamil Nadu. See the lake (it’s artificial), eat, sleep. Food’s good, weather is nice and the road from Bangalore is lovely!

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