About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What kind of a traveller are you? - Tavel safe and stay healthy!

Am not talking about solo, group, nor am I talking about mountains, beaches or nature.. Am asking if you are the well informed, do some research before you head to a destination or just get there and figure things out kind of traveller? Don’t tell me you don’t know, ‘cos I wont accept that!! :D

The reason I started writing this post is what I witnessed during my recent trip to Sikkim. Yes, that is where I was for 10days, completely disconnected and lost in the hills [Sikkim diaries shall follow soon,I promise]

In this post, I wanna share some thoughts with those who think the hills are just another destination to go chill in… They are, but then they also teach us lessons about ourselves… So be prepared~!

  1. For those escaping to the hills just ‘cos they are cool/cold, go with warm clothes. Do not think just ‘cos you are from a warm/hot region, the cold weather symbolizes wearing skimpy outfits.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings… always! If you are in the hills, especially if the altitude is above 8000ft, you need to listen to your body extra carefully.
  3. Oxygen levels up there is lesser than what it is in your home/base, and so you might feel tightening of chest, breathing difficulty, dizziness or any other unusual sensations.
  4. For those headed to The Himalayas Leh, Spiti, Sikkim or other high altitude places for a family holiday, it is advisable to carry Diamox [ a tablet] and pop it a day ahead.. Carry warm wear and do take something to cover your ears.
  5. At Lachen [North Sikkim], when we were buying snacks and some essentials, a man next to me came asking for “chingam”[ chewing gum] and picked up a kilo of it. When I looked at him, he said they were headed to Gurdongmar Lake, and since the oxygen levels were low, chewing gum would help them deal with it. Friend & I were stumped, we then told him to buy the pill and pop it at night and maybe one next day.
  6. During the Sikkim trip, a fellow traveller told me she suffered partial facial paralysis ‘cos of cold wind in her ears. So, a woolen cap + muffler/shawl is best.
  7. Do not take small children or elderly people to high altitude places, unless they have gotten clearance from doctor /physically fit. We saw so many families with babies and the babies were bawling their brains out [guessing ‘cos of ear ache due to cold winds] and the families had no clues how to deal with it. Make sure to also carry extra warm clothing for these two categories… No harm layering up and feeling warm in such places- remember the saying “better safe than sorry”.
  8. Drink more than the usual amount of water you consume. Also carry ORS or electrolytes, cos sometimes when you feel light headed or dizzy this will help restore sugar in the system…  
  9. Do not waste water- be it drinking water or otherwise. Since my USA trip, am a fan of the toilet paper and learnt to restrict use to one sheet for every toilet visit. [Yes Yes, trees are felled etc, but then am not killing a fresh tree or depleting new resources. You can also use newspaper as well.] #We have been reading news about how there is severe water scarcity in Shimla and Spiti…locals are getting drinking water supply once a week or lesser only.
  10.  Do not trash, do not throw litter wherever you go. We get that you were hungry and so munched away on million snacks and drinks, but do carry an extra bag or use the bag these packets came in to chuck trash in. Carry them with you till you find a trash-can and empty them. Also, reduce use of plastic as much as possible…

Well, do add on if you can think of other points…

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bags are packed... off I go...

Its time to pack my bags and head off to explore a new destination...
Couldn't have come at a more perfect time, especially considering how hot it is here and the fact that am on a full on nostalgic USA trip mode.. :-) 

Got myself a rucksack, about time I owned one, considering the amount of travel I do and my love for backpacks.. And this is the watch I wear when i travel.. Love it!! 

Headed to a state I haven't been to before
It is raining and cold there...
The scenes and sights around here are known to be breathtaking. 
I might get to ride or drink milk off this animal... [ will be yet another 1st time experience]

So, go on, put on your caps and guess. The first 5 who guess right, will get something from the destination!! :) 

See you all on the other side.... 

Clue- it is popular for its hot water springs...... 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kedar Gauri Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Bhubhaneshwar, my trip in a nutshell - a jist of all that I did while in Odisha

One friend said Bhubaneshwar is a "City of Temples" and I thought to myself, "Oh my, not another one!!" Years ago when I visited Kumbakonam, I walked around the small town and visited 4 temples, only to be told there were few more... Realised in our country before you can say "hello, how are you" you will have passed not one but two places of worship... 

It is therefore not surprising that Bhubaneshwar was one.. The old town part is filled with many beautiful temples which are reminiscent of a glorious past.

After exploring the Parasurameshwar temple as I walked towards Mukteshwar temple, I noticed one more on the right side. These are all within few yards from each other. The temple was white with red structures and I walked into the gates ... Said to have been built in the 9th Century by King Lalatendu Kesari to commemorate the ill fated lovers who eloped against the wishes of their communities- Kedar and Gouri. Apparently Kedar is said to have killed by a tiger when he went hunting for food, while Gouri committed suicide in the pond when she heard news of his death [the pond today is inside the temple campus].. This has evolved to a point where today lovers/couples come here to pray for marital bliss..This is also one of the eight Astasambhu temples... 

The main deity is Lord Shiva "Kedareswar" and his consort Goddess Gouri. The highlight of this temple is the 8 feet tall statue of Hanuman and Goddess Durga standing proudly on a lion. The temple has a Panch-Rath sanctum and is quite tall at 13+ feet in height.

After spending about 45mins around the temple, I walked towards the gate to head over to the next one. There were quite a few families in the temple, and a couple with a man who claimed he was a guide. They were from Kolkatta and carried a ready reckoner book of sorts that spoke about the temple, the architecture and some stories around it. It was amusing to watch them walk around the temple with the book in hand, comparing notes to the actual sculptures and architecture. Chit chatted with them a while and then we made our way towards Mukteswar temple, which is literally hop skip away. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ethel M Chocolates' Botanical Cactus Garden, Nevada

On the way back from Vegas towards Los Angeles, the bus was to make few stops, one of which was Ethel M Chocolates' that included a visit to the Botanical Cactus Garden within their campus.. And this was supposed to be Nevada's largest and one of the world's largest collections of its kind.  So, the excitement levels were quite high. I am not a big fan of Chocolate, but always curious to know how it is made etc and so the walk through the factory was interesting, but nothing I hadn't seen before. After spending a few minutes exploring the store attached to the chocolate making unit, I walked outside towards the gardens.  

Spread across four acres, the Botanical Cactus Garden shows off the drought-tolerant ornamental, cacti, and other succulents. Apparently, the place contains over 300 species of plants, not sure how many I saw in the 45mins I wandered around. Many of the cacti and succulents are native to South West America while some are from South Western regions of USA, and from Australia and South America as well. They are all well suited for the weather here in Nevada and some cacti had pretty flowers on them as well... 

For more info, visit here