8 Jaw-dropping Places In India You Must See

29 June  |  Listicles

India is a massive country and is home to some truly diverse terrains, right from the gigantic and towering mountain ranges of the Himalayas to the breath-taking coastline of the Indian Ocean. Every part of India has something unique to offer and prove to be amongst the best holiday destinations of the world.

  1. Mawlynnong – Meghalaya

Mawlynnong is located about 90 kilometres from Shillong, the capital of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya and was conferred the title of the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Polythene bags and smoking is banned here and waste is recycled into manure. Apart from lazing around in this idyllic village, the living root bridges in nearby Riwai are a must-see.

  1. Phugtal Gompa – J&K

Photo Source: Scoopwhoop

This extremely remote Buddhist Monastery is situated in Ladakh and is one of the few monasteries that can be accessed by foot only. It was established during the 12th& 14th century and consists of the main temple, prayer rooms, small homes and the original cave around which the monastery was built, with a sacred spring inside.

  1. Mohammadpur Umri – UP

This tiny village which is situated near Allahabad in UP is full of twins. Yes, you read it right. It produces twins like no other place does. There are 600 twins out of an approximate population of 2500 and this has certain fuelled many unconfirmed theories about how this could happen.

  1. Maravanthe – Karnataka

 

Picture Source: Holidify

Maravanthe Beach near Udipi is certainly the pride of Karnataka and has the NH 17 passing at 100 metres away from its pristine-white sandy shoreline. Its endless views and the unspoilt nature of the beach brings tourists in large numbers to experience its serenity and calm environment.

  1. Siju Caves – Meghalaya

 

Photo Source: Couldinary

These are the 3rd longest caves in India and are situated along the river Simsang. Known as Dobakkol or Cave of Bats, due to the large variety of bats found there, many of them rare. It consists of many caverns filled with water and yet unexplored due to its length.

  1. Belum Caves – Andhra Pradesh

Photo Source: famousplacesinindia

The historic Belum Caves lie in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and are the longest caves (3229 m) in India and second largest too. Stalactite and stalagmite formations formed over a million years ago are found here with a fresh water stream that flows all-year-round.

  1. Khimsar Oasis – Rajasthan

Photo Source: highontravel

Situated at a distance of 90 kilometres from Jodhpur, Khimsar village is home to the amazing sand dunes and the majestic fort. You will feel you have arrived in the middle of nowhere and is truly an oasis that offers silence and calm one would have never experienced before.

  1. Nighoj – Maharashtra

Photo Source: Yogoyo

Nighoj is a tiny village in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and can be reached by state transport buses from Pune. The river Kukdi flows through black and red basalt rocks, making some uniquely shaped cuts and holes in the water bed. The river water creates whirlpools as it enters the deep gorges and potholes that have been naturally created.

Plan a trip to Masinagudi

29 June  |  At Discovery Village

For all the travel enthusiasts and nature lovers out there who are ready to plan a short vacation at the drop of a hat, Masinagudi on the Mysore-Ooty highway is a fabulous option. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated right next to it while the Bandipur National Park forms the other side of its boundary. The deciduous forests in the hilly Western Ghats form a striking backdrop to this natural getaway that lies on the Tamilnadu-Karnataka Border. Discovery Village resorts in Masinagudibeckon the traveller who seeks solace and adventure in the lap of nature

Places to see

The Nilgiris are known for their pristine beauty and are a part of the Western Ghats.The entire area can be explored either on foot or using a jeep. Madumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is perfect for a day-long trek or a jeep ride if you love to spot birds (There are more than 300 varieties of bird species here). For a chance to spot our national animal, the tiger, you should head to Bandipur National Park by booking a jeep safari well in advance. The rugged terrain is bound to get your pulse racing as you revel in the jungle sounds and animal calls that surround you.

Weather

You can plan a trip to the breath-taking village of Masinagudi during winter and just before summer sets in. Set at an altitude of 1000m from the sea level, it offers a majestic holiday experience to the tourist community. One can expect temperatures ranging from 22°C- 37°C during summer while winter is extremely pleasant at a low of 19°C.

How to reach

  • Air: Mysore Airport is about 97 kilometres from Masinagudi while Coimbatore Airport is situated at a comfortable 115 kilometres for those who prefer the quickest route.
  • Railway: The picturesque Ooty Railway Station lies only 32 kilometres away from Masinagudi or tourists can alight at Coonoor Railway station that is 57 kilometres away.
  • Road: A pleasant two-hour drive from Mysore (110 kilometres) bring you to this remarkable hill station or grab a ride on the various Ooty-bound state transport or private buses. Top-notch resorts like Discovery Village can arrange for comfortable pick-up and drop if they are informed in advance.

Where to stay

Masinagudi and the surrounding picturesque locations offer many stay facilities from the basic accommodation to homestay in Masinagudi. Discovery Village is one such getaway that has been designed to keep you aligned with the breath-taking nature and the serene environment. Well-appointed rooms in beautiful cottages offer a homely ambience. To complement the salubrious weather, hot and delicious meals will provide you with the local flavour and satisfy any hunger pangs in a jiffy.

Adventure activities

Go trekking in the nearby hills, or spend time bird-watching during an early morning walk. Jeep Safaris that take you deep into the Bandipur Forest and Mudumalai Jungles to spot the wildlife are popular among visitors too. If you would rather stay indoors, you can engage in an exciting game of cricket with your friends in the vast fields, or pitch your skills against each other in a rapid table tennis match. Offering a range of well-designed games and activities conducted by experts, Discovery Village is not the perfect destination to plan an eventful family outing, but the ideal destination for corporate outings too!

6 amazing boathouse destinations in India

21 June  |  Listicles

A vacation on a houseboat offers all the comforts of a hotel on your very own private boat, while being surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. Crisscrossed with rivers, hemmed in by oceans and home to expansive backwaters, India has several locations where you may experience the novelty of living on a boat. Here are 6 destinations you may head to is you are looking for a vacation at a boathouse destination.

  1. Alleppey

The backwaters of Alleppey are deemed the ‘Venice of Kerala’,are situated in the southern state of Kerala and should definitely feature on your list while considering popular boathouse-vacation destinations. Known for it’s beaches, boat races and Ayurvedic spas, this is an ideal vacation spot for those looking for relaxation and rejuvenation.

  1. Sundarbans

This gift of nature has been declared as a World Heritage Site, is a National Park and one the largest Tiger and Biosphere Reserves in the country. Travelling the distance through this park on a houseboat will give you access to sites and moments that no land safari can provide you with. It is also a better way of standing a chance to sight the elusive Bengal Tiger.

  1. Kumarakom

Picture Source: keralatravels

A small village in the backwaters of Kerala, Kumarakom has an extensive web of waters which make it an ideal spot for houseboats to ply. Being a prominent migratory spot for birds, travelling by houseboat will give you unrestricted access and unobstructed views of a variety of these magnificent creatures.

  1. Kollam

Picture Source: keralahoneymoontourpackage

Situated about 70kilometres from the capital of the state of Kerala, Kollam is a beautiful houseboat destination. Extending over a comparatively large area, a trip through these backwaters will give you views of the Portuguese fort, various duck farms, villages formed along the sides of the backwaters and the lighthouse.

  1. Chunnambar

Picture Source: globalvisiontours

Situated about 8kilometres from Pondicherry, along the Cuddalore main road, a trip down these backwaters should end in the beautiful ‘Paradise beach’, which is located at its mouth. If you choose to venture a little further down, into the sea waters, you might even get to see a few of the resident dolphins playing around in the waters.

  1. Mudaliarkuppam

Picture Source: blogspot

Located about 92 kilometres from the southern city of Chennai, in Tamil Nadu, this is a good spot for bird watching. Further, being blessed with good weather through the entire year, it is perfect for any kind of travel schedule.

Vacationing on a houseboat is perfect for both friends and family. It is also a good way of breaking away from the very overdone, mainstream holiday ideas. You save yourself from missing out on beautiful sunrises and sunsets while being surrounded by the best that nature has to offer, the food is often some of the best as most of the resources are the freshest of the lot, and the pictures are truly going to be the envy of everyone on your friend list. So consider making this the agenda for your next vacation and be sure to check out one of the listed options for the best experience of the backwaters.

Rishikesh-The Adventure Capital

21 June  |  Adventure & Travel

Picture Source: haridwarrishikeshtourism

Situated at the base of the mighty Himalayas, Rishikesh is a picturesque town in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district and is surrounded by many large and small rivers and serene valleys. It is a hub for pilgrims and tourists alike, as it has been frequented by sages and saints from ancient times who aim to seek higher knowledge.The town has earned a reputation for adrenalin-pumping adventure sports and activities. Visitors to Rishikesh have a plethora of activities to choose from. From tranquil templesto historical monuments, and from breath-taking sights to adventure activities, thereis a range of experiences the town offers. In recent times, Rishikeshhas also come to be known as the Adventure Capital of India, and rightly so.

You get to do amazing activities like:

White water rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping, Kayaking, Flying Fox, Giant Swing, Mountain biking, Rappelling and cliff jumping are a few popular adventure activities that are guaranteed to set your pulse racing and your heart pumping. Here are a few activities you would love to try while at Rishikesh.

35 kilometres white water rafting in Red chillies:

Rishikesh is probably the best places to enjoy the thrill of white water rafting as you take on the might of the River Ganga with your team egging you on to push your endurance limits. This highly popular water sport takes you across 35 kilometres of surging water levels and freezing cold water that is bound to bring out the best of the manoeuvring skills you possess. Remember to carry an extra pair of clothes and leave behind your valuables such as ornaments or mobile phones while embarking on the best rafting adventure you would have experienced.

Bungee Jumping at Jumpin Heights

Bungee Jumping is considered an extreme adventure sport and is definitely not designed for the faint-hearted. The stunning landscape of Rishikesh offers a wonderful back drop to this action-packed activity with River Ganga at the base. Set at a height of 83 metres, the bungee jumping platform at Jumpin Heights gives you the opportunity to test your courage to its maximum. Excellent safety precautions and one of the best teams in the world ensure that your jump is perfectly timed and you come back for more.

Camping at Byasi

The serene and awe-inspiring locale of Byasi is surrounded by hills and mountains, with fresh and cold river water gushing through it and tall trees standing on guard throughout. This place becomes an ideal location for camping as you get to commune with nature while enjoying the wonderful weather that Rishikesh is blessed with. You can stay at well-appointed camps and enjoy wholesome meals while making new friends and bonding over adventure activities.

Enjoy nature while you are at it!

Rishikesh boasts of some truly spectacular sights of the mightiest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas, and as you spend a few days in nature’s abode, it becomes evident that you have left behind the stresses of the world and have metamorphosed into a complete being. Don’t miss this fantastic experience for anything!

7 Amazing Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

16 June  |  Listicles

Sometimes, passing unnoticed, the greatest jewels are in our backyard. As Indians are rediscovering their country and the beauty she encompasses, Wildlife Sanctuaries are slowly becoming popular hotspots with good reason. With modern lifestyles, a touch of nature now and then is exactly what the soul needs. With these sanctuaries dotting the country, the peace of nature and wildlife is right around the corner. The 7 sanctuaries are:

  1. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarkhand

The first national park to be set up in 1936 in India, Jim Corbett National Park was originally called Hailey National Park. Founded to protect the Bengal Tiger, an endangered species, the national park is in the Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The headquarters of the expansive reserve is the town of Ramnagar, reachable by train from Lucknow and Allahabad via Varanasi. It is also well connected to New Delhi, Haridwar and Dehradun. The drive from Delhi is just under 300 kms. The season to go to this highly protected land is from April to June.

  1. Bandipur National Park, Karnataka

Picture Source: Jayanth Sharma

The Bandipur National Park was originally the hunting ground for the Maharaja of Mysore. A reason it is so popular is its proximity to other parks like Nagarhole, Madumalai and Wayand Wildlife Sanctuary. The park is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and sees its fair share of wildlife enthusiasts especially for its birds and butterflies. The protected flora includes the giant clumping bamboo, a magnificent sight.

  1. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Located in the Kodagu district, the national park was established in 1999 as the 37th Project Tiger reserve in the country. Part of a sub cluster within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the national park is especially famous for its scenic beauty and its healthy sightings of endangered species, including tigers, elephants and Indian bison. Nagarhole also has a unique culture, courtesy the tribal inhabitants.

  1. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka

Picture Source:  Travel Highway

This Tiger reserve boasts of approximately 33 tigers across the expansive area of almost 500 square kilometres. The scenic sanctuary has two rivers flowing through it along with a few peaks including the MSL HebbeGiri of 1875 m elevation. The sanctuary covers hills and peaks across the Chikkamagaluru district and is a tourist’s delight on account of the tributaries of the Bhadra river and the waterfalls, Hebbe and Manikyadhara. The sanctuary is 38 km from Chikkamagaluru town and 163 km from Managalore.

  1. SundarbansNational Park, Bengal

The world famous sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of being the largest mangrove forest in the world. The unique flora, small archipelagos included, led to very interesting fauna to be endemic to the area, including the Bengal Monitor lizard. The mangrove forest is situated on the delta region of the Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna river basins, making it one of the natural wonders of the world. While the Royal Bengal Tiger is one of the biggest attractions of the Sunderbans, the sanctuary is an experience as a whole and a national treasure.

  1. Gir National Park, Gujarat

Picture Source:  Gujarat Tourism

The 258 square kilometer is located across the Junagadh District, GirSomnath District and Amreli District in Gujarat. It is 43 km from Somnath and 65 km from Junagadh, located in the south –west of Gujarat. The major attraction of the Park is the Asiatic lion. The land was the hunting ground for the Nawabs of Junagadh until the 1900s. The protection status of the land coupled with the water reserves within the sanctuary has led to an increased conservation of flora, making this national park unique in the country.

  1. Periyar National Park, Kerala

Picture Source:  Indian Holiday

Periyar National Park is the epitome of Kerala’s beauty. The elephant reserve may see tourists hoping to catch glimpses of the largest mammal on land or a tiger sighting, but its true beauty lies in its flora. Located 120 km from Kochi, the forests are transcendent and make for a peaceful drive.

Taking a trip to anyone of these sanctuaries is a must do for the urban traveler. A visit to these pockets of nature, within our country, will leave you with a renewed respect and love for national heritage, which is our wildlife.

A 10 Minute Workout Plan to Increase your Core Strength

16 June  |  Miscellaneous

Activities like trekking and rock climbing are right on top of the list for adventure junkies and nature lovers. However, not everybody realizes that activities like river rafting, rock climbing, and trekking require a good amount of stamina that can only come with being physically fit. In this blog, we give you a quick round-up of exercises that will help you build strength and prepare you for when you’re actually outdoors!

A majority of us have tonnes of excuses when it is time to begin an exercise routine. The most common one is “I don’t have the time” followed by “Gym fees are too high”. We all would love to lose that tummy fat, have a flat stomach and build stamina, provided there is some way of avoiding hitting the gym. Here’s how investing only 10 minutes from your time-starved day will help create a new you and enable you to tackle outdoor activities with ease:

Crunches:

Picture Source: Goqii

Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees or keep them parallel to the floor depending on your comfort level and cross your arms in front of your chest. Slowly lift your shoulders making use of abdomen muscles and stop at the peak. While you are easing back, make sure you go down slowly and avoid a quick action, inhaling as you do so.Wasn’t that quick and simple?

Push Jacks for shoulders:

Stand upright with both feet together and palms resting on the shoulders, facing upwards. Jump while flaying your legs outwards and pumping arms skywards. Reverse and repeat as quickly as you can.This will to improve your body posture and make you look slimmer.

Exercises for the Abdomen:

Photo Source: Goqii

Lie down facing skywards with your legs and arms spread outward, forming an ‘X’ with them. Lift your upper body off the ground and move your right hand towards the left foot while the left hand moves towards your right foot. Watch your digestion and circulation improve as you do this regularly.

High Plank Position: Place your hands directly under your shoulders as you would while doing a push-up and ground your toes firmly so that the body stabilises. Move your feet around to check their flexibility and range. Put your head in the same line as your back as you look down and hold this position for atleast 20 seconds. This exercise will strengthen your spine giving it a natural shield.

Fire-fighter: Begin the exercise by standing with feet perpendicular to the shoulder width. Move your weight to the right leg by lifting the left knee and bending it to a 90-degree angle. Keep your arms in front of your body mimicking the ladder-climbing action. Just as you push your right foot, extend the left arm over your head as your right knee comes to hip level in a quick and swift action. Move your hand down while lowering the right leg and repeat the same with the left side.

Bicycle Crunch:

Photo Source: Gym Inspiration

Using a soft mat, lie facing the ceiling putting your fingertips beneath your ears, bend your knees to 90°, lifting both the feet. Pick up your neck and shoulders off the ground and try to bring the right elbow near your left knee and the right leg points out straight. Continue the routine by alternating the left and right foot to complete the repetitions. This builds up your core strength allowing your body to move about with ease.

Take time out of your busy schedule to invest in yourself with this 10-minute workout which builds core strength, and experience the liberating experience of a fit and healthy body. What’s more, you won’t be huffing and puffing when trying to scale your favourite mountain or trek for miles!

5 mountaineering essentials

08 June  |  Listicles

Attempting to hike up a mountain is no easy feat in itself, but carrying a bag full of heavy and unnecessary stuff just because you didn’t know what to take on the hike isn’t practical either. So Here’s a list of life-saving essentials, that you absolutely have to take with you while hiking up a mountain, to make your planning a little easier:

  1. Navigation:

Rule one to a successful mountain hike is to head in the right direction. Carry along a detailed and updated map of the region you are hiking and also a compass to help you navigate effectively. Additional technology like GPS devices, altimeters, etc. can also be considered to help you stay safe and on the right path.

  1. Sun protection:

Photo Source: drtrevorcates

Be sure to carry along and periodically apply a good sunscreen with optimum SPF of at least 15 and also tinted sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes. Make sure you buy sunglasses that are particularly made for this purpose as they need to do the job of keeping the harmful rays out of your eyes. Clothing with SPF protection can also be considered to keep you from getting any nasty burns from the extended exposure to the sun.

  1. First aid and Fire supplies:

Make a list of all possible scenarios and take appropriate medication and first aid supplies that will come in handy. To get you started, make sure to carry along different types of bandages including small adhesive bandages, gauze, scissors, adhesive tape, insect repellent, soap and disinfectant and prescribed medication, if any. Additionally, make sure that this bag of supplies is especially weather-proofed and kept safe.

Fires are going to be your lifeline through the cold nights up on the mountain. They will also come in handy to get your food cooked. Make sure you carry along a good supply of trusty matches and a fire starter to help you if the wood is wet. For this purpose, you can consider carrying along chemical heat tabs or even just candles.

  1. Food and water:

This is a no-brainer. While on the mountain, what you carry with you from home is all you will have to eat. Make sure to carry more than enough filling and sustaining food while making your trek. Trail mix and instant soup are good options to carry with you. Also be sure to pack enough clean drinking water which will be hard to come by on the mountains.

  1. Protection:

For your overall protection, make sure you carry a headlamp and torch, a toolkit with a sharpened knife and extra clothes to keep you insulated and protected from the cold. A whistle would also be a good item to add to your list.

All this being said, don’t shy away from taking along any item that you feel is essential to making this experience as joyous as it should be. Be prepared to be, both, mentally and physically challenged and enjoy that exhilaration that only being on a mountain can give you.

Prepare yourself for rock climbing in Karnataka

08 June  |  Adventure & Travel

Rock climbing can appear to be a daunting task at first glance and rightly so. It gives your body a major workout with a focus on upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness not to mention the calories it helps burn! A mental workout is also ensured as you try to figure out the best way to navigate and stay safe. With plenty of rock climbing destinations within easy reach, wherever you are in Karnataka, it is time to try this activity if you’ve never done so before. Whether you are looking for an opportunity to commune with nature, or looking for team building activities, Bangalore offers several options to choose from, for rock climbers,

Get Into Gear:

Using the right gear is important when it comes to rock climbing. Appropriate footwear tops the list of things you will need and of course, a belay device, and lead rope. Other things you will need to include in your kit are a harness, a chalk bag, ascenders, protection devices and a carabiner. Carabiners are usually made of aluminium, but steel ones are also available, and these are heavier and better suited for group climbs and the like. Belay devices, meanwhile, come in passive and active designs.

Roping it in:

There are different types of ropes used in rock climbing, such as dynamic ropes, low elongation ropes, and nylon webbing. Used with a carabiner, webbing can be turned into a quickdraw. Webbing can also be used to carry equipment, create makeshift harnesses or an anchor around a tree or a rock.

The Core of the Matter:

Photo Source: cruxcrush

As a climber, it is important for you to have a strong core. Besides helping you move on and handle overhangs efficiently, a solid core can help keep injuries at bay. The best way to attain this is through a mix of different exercises simultaneously targeted at different parts of your body. But be sure to let your muscles recover by resting for a day or two every week.

Pick Up the Jargon:

As you plunge into your rock climbing journey, it is essential that you familiarise yourself with some commonly used terms. This will come in handy when you are rock climbing and have to follow directions or require some assistance at any time. Apart from terms identifying the equipment, you will come across words such as these:

  • Bight – a bend in a rope
  • Biner – abbreviated form of carabiner
  • Bump – quickly shifting your hand or foot from one hold to another
  • Dyno – a move where a climber lunges or jumps to the next hold
  • Jug – an easy to grasp hold
  • Sit-Start – beginning a climb while you are sitting on the ground
  • Solo –climb alone without any protection
  • Whipper – long fall

Once you have mastered the basics of rock climbing, opting for a group climb is the best bet for a while. After you gain experience and muster confidence to explore unfamiliar territory, there are plenty of rock climbing spots with varying degrees of difficulty awaiting you across Karnataka! So get your gear together and head to Nandi Hills Bangalore for a day of rock climbing under expert supervision.