Month: June 2007

Valparai – Very, very green!

Located in the Annamalai range in Tamil Nadu, Valparai is a tiny hill station that is home to several tea estates and plantations.

We spent a lazy and green weekend in the first week of June enjoying the beauty of the place. Cyberscorpion had organized the accomodation in a bungalow, situated the middle of a tea garden.

In search of the quiet life

A long weekend at Nersa, a village on the Goa Karnataka border The bamboo tree flowers once in 12 years. And once it does, it’s of no use anymore. The bamboo flowers attract rodents, which also tend to eat up rice grains, thus increasing the chances of a famine. That’s why bamboo trees are destroyed once they flower. This is only one of the stories that our guide, David, recounts as we walk through the jungle, enjoying the feel of the fresh air, walking under the shade of the magnificent trees around and listening to the different bird calls. It’s rejuvenating, exhilarating and something I can never tire of. As we walked up what is called Bear Hill, David tells us to wait till we reach the vantage point. From here we can see the whole expanse of the Londa range, a part of the Western Ghats, in the Goa-Karnataka border. I savour every moment; the brush of leaves and branches against my skin, the sunlight filtering in through the trees and the “ra-ta-tat-ta-tat” of …

Wild, wild, east: Kaziranga National Park

North East Chronicles: On March 21 and 22nd we are in Kaziranga : the sanctuary that is home to the Indian one-horned rhino It’s been a while since I’ve visited Kaziranga. More than 20 years to be exact. “Be careful,” warns by dad when we are starting off on the trip. The reason for the warning: the first (and last) time I had visited the sanctuary, while on the elephant safari, the elephant I was on… slipped. I have no idea how an elephant can slip (it’s a little difficult to imagine) but I am supposed to have fallen off the creature. There was a lot of slush and mud and the elephant lost its balance taking us down with it. I have rather vague recollections of this slippery episode, but my dad with his super power memory remembers everything. And never forgets to mention it, like he did. ~~

Pending travel tales

Well we’re coming up to the half year mark (already!), and I’d made pretty grand travel plans in the beginning of 2007. Among, my ambitious plans was the North East, Ladakh, Gujarat, Kerala backwaters, Hampi, Bandhavgarh, a coast-to-coast road trip and one destination out of Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Lakshadweep! Now that I look at it, except the North East, it’s looking ambitious all right. I’ll be happy if I can at least do Gujarat, the Kerala backwaters and Lakshwadweep this year. But on the bright side, I’ve spent almost every other weekend on the road in the last two months after coming back from the North East and covered quite a bit of travelling in and around Bangalore. The country side is lovely this season despite the heat. Though the temperatures are rising and you’re probably thinking that it’s the wrong season to travel, it’s actually quite pleasant when you’re on the move and there’s a cool refreshing breeze in the air. So those of you who are quite fazed by the heat, I’d …