Lansdowne (India)

February 2012

This was my second visit to Lansdowne. My last visit to this small hill town was exactly three years back, in February 2009, and I had not come back with a great opinion of the place back then. This time the experience was much better, largely because we drove down in our car, and stayed at a very good place located a few kilometers before the main town. The town, however, is still as sleepy and laid-back as ever.

My travel group comprised of four people. We started from Gurgaon early morning in my friend’s Ford Fiesta. The regular route is:

Gurgaon –> Delhi –> Modi Nagar –> Meerut –> Mawana –> Bijnor –> Najibabad –> Kotdwar –> Lansdowne

A key bottleneck on this route is Continue reading

Mumbai (India)

December 2011

I went to Mumbai with a group of friends during the Christmas vacation in 2011. Two of my close friends living in Mumbai were getting married next month and the idea of this vacation was to catch up with them and have fun in and around Mumbai. Our loosely-planned itinerary looked like this:

Fri: Fly to Mumbai in evening, go out for dining/clubbing
Sat: Trip to Alibaug and Kashid Continue reading

Rishikesh (India)

May 2011

Rafting: Check
Cliff-jumping: Check!

River rafting in Rishikesh is among the first things that come to mind when thinking of weekend getaways around Delhi. It is funny how long I had to wait to get my hands on it; this was my umpteenth visit to Rishikesh and even this time it seemed I’d have to return from Rishikesh a raft-virgin as our plans almost went horribly astray.

My travel group this time was a mix of friends and friends-of-friends. Three of us drove down from Gurgaon to Rishikesh on Saturday morning; four others were already in Rishikesh since the previous day. Although the distance is just around 270km, it takes a good 7-8 hours to cover due to traffic bottlenecks near Meerut bypass and Purkazi. The road condition is also not great; perhaps the only thing to look forward to is the famous Continue reading

Jim Corbett National Park (India)

January 2011

I recently went to the Jim Corbett National Park with my office gang from Delhi. This famous tiger reserve is located in the Kumaon region of Himalayas in Uttarakhand state, and has become a popular weekend get-away from Delhi.

So we were exploring the jungle in our safari jeeps when all of a sudden there was a ruffle in the bushes and this huge tiger came out of nowhere onto the track right in front of us. It was absolutely majestic, and it did not look dangerous (you can guess by their body language). Even as we were struggling to decide if we should breathe, hide or click pictures, voila! Another one came out of the thicket, moving ever so slowly and royally, to join his pal on his lazy evening jungle walk.

Suddenly someone shook me up, Continue reading

Sat Tal (India)

October 2010

I’ve just come back from an amazing weekend get-away near Delhi.

The place is called Sat Tal (Hindi for seven lakes). It is located near Nainital in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand state. It is 350 km from Delhi and 20 km from Nainital. The main attraction of the place is that you can stay in a tent on the hills and do adventure activities near the main lake.

There are two ways to reach Sat Tal – by road and by rail, of which Continue reading

Mumbai, Goa, Pune (India)

September 2010

Why would anyone go to Goa in monsoons beats most people.

Are you most people?

A full-blown family vacation had been due for quite a while when we decided to visit my uncle in Pune in early September. My brother and I took a week off from office and began searching for what we could include in our Pune trip. When you search for “monsoon tourism” destinations in India, the first few places on the list are all around the Mumbai-Pune belt. These include Matheran, Lonavla/Khandala, Bhandardhara, Malshej Ghat and Mahabaleshwar. Outside this zone, the other monsoon destinations include Konkan, Western Ghats and the Malabar coast, which roughly translates to Goa and Kerala.

This made life easy for us – we drew up a circuit to cover the whole Mumbai-Pune zone. The map looked somewhat like this (approx. distances from Mumbai): Continue reading