Coming soon….

WordPress message.

So today i have completed 8 years of blogging or rather i should say 8 years of having a wordpress account. Eight years ago, all i knew was a website called bloggers where people would write a diary (mostly about their love stories) which would be public. I got to know about wordpress only because of darling sister. She is a writer and her blogs were private. To read her blog post, i had to request her to give me access code. And just to read what she is writing i made an account on wordpress.

This website doesn’t look 8 years old as I have not been active. Also, when i created the account, i had only one thing in mind and that was a photography blog. But then Instagram happened and this photography blog was lost. I started traveling, and then i used this space for travel blogging. In this pandemic situation when people are more safe in the house, travel blogging will be on hold. Not that i won’t be posting about my travel stories but right now i am taking a shift. I have been reading novels and recently i started collaborating with kitaabaurkoffee for book reviews.

I have been planning a new section in my blog which will be related to cooking. I know what you all have been thinking now. Very clumsy blog, not dedicated to a particular topic or subject etc etc. But just like my instagram page, i want this blog to have anything and everything. I do not want to limit myself to a particular subject. This cooking section will go live this Sunday. I have been working on it from the past some time. And the posts will go live every Sunday.

I am also working on two secret projects, one may go live in December and the other will take more time as i need more time for RnD.

Dearest George

Copyrights reserved.

This is perhaps my second read this year. I am really upset I haven’t read any good book so far (I know its too early to comment that). There is a very famous proverb “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But how often you don’t judge the book by its cover?? I was at a bookshop (Crossword) going through the books, shelf by shelf and I encountered a hardbound book wrapped in a plastic so that no one can see what’s written inside. The illustration on the book cover compelled me to buy it. Also, the name “Alicia Souza” was little familiar all thanks to Facebook. I have seen a few ads on Facebook about Alicia Souza. They sell nice stationary (I have not used it, but that’s how it looks like).

I was in a hurry to unwrap the book and start reading it. I sat in a coffee shop and started reading the book. This book is a light and quick read. One can finish the book in an hour or so. It’s Alicia’s gift to her husband who does not likes PDAs. The book is about an over expressive girl [wife] who is madly and deeply in love with a boy [husband]. It’s about their day to day life and their pets, a dog named Charles-Brown and a guinea pig named Henry Oats. The book is quite illustrative but lacks the context.

My rating:

2.5/5

Hashtag Instagram

A lot of my friends are confused about the hashtags on instagram. Many of them don’t know the use of hashtags, some know but they find it irritating and few don’t know what hashtags to use. So I thought I will pen down my thoughts on hashtags.

The Hashtag “#” is just a sign or symbol but when added before a word or a phrase the meaning changes. The word or phrase does not lose its literal meaning but the content  gets categorized. The hashtag words are more easily discoverable, hence your content reaches to more number of users. Some hashtags become quite popular or trending, using them with your content can improve the statistics of your posts. Also, your content starts appearing in that particular category of hashtag. When someone clicks on a particular hashtag, all the contents having same hashtag appears in the result. Or in other words, user is directed to a page where all the contents have same hashtag. The latest post with that hashtag is always on the top of the result. One can include hashtags anywhere in their content but usually a lot of users prefer puting the hashtags separate from the message of the content just to make the post readable apart from being discoverable.

Hashtags on Instagram serves the exact same purpose. Generally these hashtags are used by brands for customer engagement and of course marketing purpose. But that does not mean we should not use. If you want your content to be viewed by people beyond your followers, you should use hashtags. Without hashtags your content will be limited to your followers and won’t be discoverable on a large scale. The hashtags and discoverability are very useful for budding artists / photographers / writers / models / entrepreneurs and anyone who want their work to be seen or recognized by millions of people.

Not every word or phrase can work as a hashtag. If you have added space in your hashtag then it will be treated as two different words. For example, if I use #food photography in my content, then my content will be discoverable only in the #food result and not in the #foodphotography result. Instagram will not take space as part of the hashtag.

I have seen a lot of users using #followforfollow and #likesforlike in their posts. These hashtags claim to increase the followers list and likes on your posts. Who would not like to have 100s and 1000s of likes on their post but I would prefer keeping my profile very clean and would love to have genuine followers with whom I can connect, learn, grow and help them grow. Users should be careful about the hashtags they are using, it should not attract unwanted attention. I remember an incident where I had posted a photo of my foot with an anklet on it. The anklet was given to my mom by her mom and I wore that on my sister’s wedding. That photo was really special hence I wanted to share that with my followers on instagram. I still can’t figure out what went wrong with my hashtags, suddenly there was a huge increase in my followers list, that post became famous and I started getting lots of message requests to repost my post. Trust me I did not use #followforfollow or #likesforlike or any such hashtags. I would trust a public profile on instagram more than a private one. All the repost requests were from private profiles. I started feeling that the sentiments with which the post was made was lost. And I had to delete that post for the unwanted attention it was getting. Don’t use random hashtags if you are not sure about it just to increase the visibility of your post. 

I hope this post would help my friends in getting an idea about hashtags. Do comment below your thoughts or experience like I had.

Alma mater

When was the last time you visited college??

I visited my grad school after eight long years. You won’t believe how excited I was. All the memories were flashing in-front of my eyes. 

I don’t know from where to start. Let me start from the beginning 🙂 

After my 12th board, I wanted to go for engineering because 

  1. Bhaiya did engineering 
  2. I thought it was really cool to stay away from parents so I would be free to do anything at anytime and no one will say a word to me.
  3. I never had an insight of what I should do with my career so engineering was an easy option. The only thing I knew was I have to study something in order to get a job!

I took a year gap to prepare for engineering entrance exams. I could not clear IIT JEE and AIEEE obviously as I was never focused. Also, because I was preparing for the above stated (1, 2, 3) reasons and didn’t really want to do engineering. In that respect, I really admire darling sister. She was focused since 9th grade about her career, what she wanted to study, from which university and where would she like to start her career from (as in which company, what job etc.). Everything was clear to her. And she made sure she was always on right track towards her dream job. 

Coming back to me now, I got some rank in Orissa Jee and was called for counselling in August-September. Meanwhile, my parents decided I should not sit idle and waste another year in order to wait for the Orissa Jee result. They suggested me to apply in the colleges for basic science / arts / vocational courses. Well, even then I had my own tantrums. I didn’t want to study “Arts”. Seriously!!! Yes, I said that. Because, again, I was not sure what would I do by doing “Arts”. 

Other colleges would take admission on the basis of marks obtained in 12th board exam but St. Xavier’s College used to take entrance test for all the branches. I gave admission test for Mathematics and Physics. I wanted to take Maths, particularly, only because Papa was a masters in maths. I never liked Physics because of the teacher who taught physics in school and, chemistry was always so confusing that I really never understood. 

The physics teacher in school had once told me that I would never do anything in my life. I will sit at home and will spend my dad’s money. Yes! That’s what he said. He made that comment only because I did an experiment wrong during our practical sessions. In spite of encouraging students to excel, he was discouraging me. I was so disappointed with his comment that I started crying. That’s why I never liked physics! 

Unfortunately or fortunately, I cleared Physics entrance in St. Xavier’s college for Bachelors degree. My name was on the third list. I was really horrified with the fact that I will be studying physics. Will I be able to understand what they teach? What if the professors in college were like my school physics teacher? What if I flunk in exams? So many things were going in my head. But, then, I thought these classes/lectures are temporary because I was secretly waiting for the Orissa Jee counselling. It was first day of the college, and I reached college an hour before the lecture time. I am the kind of person who prefers to be on time or before time. 

College campus
College campus

For an hour I was just roaming around in the department, going through the noticeboard where there was the  admission list. I got a chance to look at it to know who all will be attending lectures with me. I got my eyes on the anti-raging notices saying ‘senior students are not allowed to rag the fresher, in case of any ragging complaints the student will be suspended for that semester’, the syllabus for first semester, attendance notice warning students if they fail to achieve 80% attendance then they wont be allowed to sit in the semester exams, and previous semester’s result list among other things. After doing time pass for one hour it was time for me to attend my first lecture. I was getting goosebumps and exactly the same feeling as Lucky gets in the movie Main Hoon Na, when he visits his college library first time ever.

The first lecture was taken by Prof Dipankar Dey (DDey sir we used to call him), head of Physics department. I really didn’t know at that time who he was until one of the students sitting next to me told that he’s the HOD. He took the lecture of Mathematical Physics. He made that session so interesting that my hatred for physics vanished in the very first lecture. 

After the first lecture, I thought there won’t be any more lectures. But we had all the scheduled lectures. I had an impression that normal colleges would not be regular in terms of classes and students would be more free to roam around. But I was wrong. St. Xavier’s college, being an autonomous institution, was very strict in terms of lectures and discipline. With each passing day, I started enjoying physics. I didn’t make much friends because I thought I was there for some time only. By the time my Orissa JEE counselling came, I had already attended two months of college and got busy with the assignments and practical stuffs. 

I went for my Orissa JEE counselling. My turn was in second half of the day, but there was a big screen where we could see the seats filled in different colleges. Till the time my turn came to fill the form for the desired college and branch, almost all the seats in good colleges were filled. I had two options: Engineering from some random college in a branch which i never thought of or Physics from St Xavier’s College. I was just thinking during the whole counselling process and was discussing with Papa about future plans. Then all of a sudden I stood up and asked Papa to come with me. He somehow sensed my decision. The only thing he said was lets wait for your turn but since I was not ready to sit, we came out in the middle of the counselling. The only thing Papa asked was whether I was sure about it? Would I not regret later? I confidently said I won’t regret. I came back to Ranchi with a happy heart. Next day I went to college and everything seemed so good. I sat with new girls and became friends with them (Ankita, Rafia and Spriha). For the next three years, these three girls and I were inseparable. We would come to the college together, sit together on first bench, would prepare for semester exams together. I made other friends also from my department as well as from other departments. But these girls were special. Mummy would pack lunch for me and she would ensure she packed something new for me everyday. After the lectures in college I would ensure I reach home on time and get back to study. No roaming around in college after lectures. Sometimes after college if we would want to spend time together then either they would come to my place or I would go to there place but no hanging around outside. No movie, no birthday treat in restaurants, no shopping, nothing. It was not that our parents would restrict us from all these things, it was just that I wanted to spend more of my time in figuring out what next. Three years passed in a blink without realizing when and how. It felt like yesterday I was there in the college as a fresher and today I was an alumni. But I was somehow happy that college got over and I got admission in NIT Rourkela for Masters in Physics. I was more happy because of the option 2 I stated in the beginning of the post. 

After a few days Mummy moved to Kolkata with Papa and after a few months of their stay there, they moved to Mumbai. After completing my masters, I came back to Mumbai. I got a job in Mumbai and then in Bangalore. I never went back to Ranchi after my graduation.Two years back Mummy Papa moved to Jamshedpur. Since we are now working professionals, our vacations depends upon manager’s yes/no and if there is any important deadline to meet. With all these things my frequency of visiting home has reduced to twice / thrice a year. For some it may be sufficient but I feel if I could visit home more often. 

There are two ways to go Jamshedpur from Bangalore: a) take flight to Ranchi and from Ranchi take bus/cab to Jamshedpur, b) take flight to Kolkata and from there they can catch a train to Jamshedpur. Till last year I was taking route b. Only this time I thought of going home via Ranchi. This is the less tiring route. I have decided that from now on I would take this route only. After spending a few days in Jamshedpur, it was time for me to be back to work. Since my flight was from Ranchi, I decided to go a little early and meet a very dear friend (Rishabh) who got engaged just a day before. Due to some function at my place I could not attend his engagement. Rishabh is an Art of Living student and Geologist by profession.

Rishabh and I
Rishabh and I

We decided to meet at college. I was really excited to go back to college and see how much the college has changed. I was also excited to be back in Ranchi after 8 long years. I got down from bus and took a cycle rickshaw to college. Every single thing took me back to the time spent during the year 2000 – 2010. It reminded me of so many things. Going to Papa’s office, shopping with Mummy Papa in church complex, spending summer vacation at Tripathi uncle’s place, eating ice cream at Firayalal, going to wool house or Kashmir vastralaya with Mummy during winters because she would knit sweaters for us, that New Lords tailor where Papa would give his shirt and pair of trousers to get stitched, Punjab sweets from where we would buy sweets, Hanuman Mandir where Mummy would take me to every Tuesday, Daily market where I used to go with Mummy on Sundays to buy fresh vegetables. I don’t remember when was the last time I had cycle rickshaw ride so I ensured I get on one of them. Later I realised I was smiling like an idiot. 

Church complex
Church complex

With all the memories flashing in front of me I reached college. I didn’t see much crowd in the college maybe because of exams or maybe because of summer vacation. The college has changed a lot but the scooty stand and Xerox counter is still the same. The very first change I noticed was the auditorium, they have named the auditorium in the loving memory of late Father C De Brouwer. He was an inspiration. The second change that I noticed was they have changed the library entrance. The college has expanded and new buildings were there. Construction is still going on. Now they have new building for Arts, Humanities and Mass Communication. The boundary wall between the old St John’s school and our college is no more as the college has taken that part of the school. Some departments have been shifted to St John’s school premises. The chapel has been renewed and shifted to a new place. Earlier the chapel used to be open for students also. In fact, darling sister has been to chapel. But the year I joined college they closed chapel for students as they found that students were missing the lectures and doing time pass in chapel. The old canteen has been renewed. And the new canteen has a playing area too. They have kept indoor games also. The owner of old canteen now sits near the St John’s school premise. After roaming around in the college for one hour we decided to sit in the canteen. It was then I realised that in my three years in college I never visited canteen. When I confessed this to Rishabh he said you missed the fun. He, then, started telling me about the time he spent in college canteen, about his elections and college fest. While he was telling me his stories of college canteen, the only thing that was coming to my mind was – can I just go back to my college days? In order to focus on studies and career I somehow missed enjoying the college life!! 

Me
Just outside the college canteen. Happy me!

It’s very important to enjoy every phase of life without getting stressed out for the future. Be focused towards your goal and dreams but don’t forget to enjoy the present. With this, Baba Nimisha Kashyap is signing off with a hope to write another blog post soon.

 

Diwali

late-night-after-diwali-018It’s quarter to 4 in the morning, I’m still up, watching lights in my room which I decorated for Diwali, and sipping coffee. My love for coffee and lights will be eternal. I want to see my room decorated with fairy lights throughout the year. The fairy lights in the room keep channging its position with time. Sometime its simply hanging on the wall, at times it just hangs around my pic collage. Fairy light decoration makes me extremely happy. May be that’s why I like Diwali (the festival of lights) more than any other festivals. This was my third Diwali away from home, first time it was in the year 2011. I was in my final year of MSc in Rourkela, and Mom Dad were in Mumbai. Just a day off on Diwali stopped me from going home. Second time was in the year 2016. I had some urgent project deliveries hence couldn’t make it home. Third time was last year i.e. 2017. I was in Mountain View for some project!I miss Diwali at home. Mom would prepare the puja thali, Dad would wear dhoti and do evening puja. I used to be busy all day checking out for easiest rangoli design. I used to draw rangoli every year without a fail. Every year my design would be the same except for the colours. When we (bhaiya, darling sister and I) were in school, Diwali meant bursting crackers, playing with different kind of sparklers, anaar (flower pot), chakri, rocket, eating lots of sweets and helping mom in lighting diyas. Fairy lights were not common in those days. There used to be a secret competition among the kids on whose crackers would be noisiest. Mom and dad would stand in the balcony to see us bursting crackers and ensure we don’t hurt ourselves. Now that we are grown ups, we understand that bursting crackers is nonsense. It might be a way of expressing happiness or a symbol of celebration but with time it seems more like adding to the pollution and mere waste of money. People celebrate Diwali as a symbol of victory. Victory of good over evil. I think the major festivals in India (Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali) has the same significance “victory of good over evil” but with different stories.  With this I’ll end up this story hoping to write new stories soon.

Super Blue Blood Moon

January 31, 2018 was a lunar eclipse. It was an important day scientifically and historically. It was second full moon of the month, hence Blue Moon. Also because the moon was closer to the earth, it was brighter and bigger in size than usual, therefore, the Super Moon. The moon wqs red in colour due to the Earth’s shadow, hence it was also called Blood moon. All the three phenomena occurred at the same time hence the name “Super blue blood moon”. Thats what my understanding is. Please feel free to correct me by dropping your comment in the comment box below. It was important, historically, because it was seen after 1866 as per the reports .

I have always been fascinated by the moon. Looking up in the sky and gazing the moon without a blink  is my favourite thing to do. And I strongly believe “Moon is a loyal companion“.

My sister always asked me, “why don’t you click moon, my friends keep taking photos of moon”. I never had an answer to her. I used to believe that taking a photo of moon required a highend camera and lens, so i never tried with my camera.

But this time I decided to give it a try from my entry level dslr camera (canon 700D) with the kit lens 55-200 mm, without a tripod!!

Trying to capture a lunar eclipse without a tripod is very challenging because the moon is dark during eclipse and if you try to increase the ISO, it will add to the noise, shutter speed and aperture has to be carefully chosen so that the pic is not blurry or extra white like a bulb.

As it was my first attempt, it took time for me to get the settings correct but by that time I lost the photo of the blood moon. I could not capture the blood moon cleary because I was still trying to get my settings done. But I did capture the other phases of moon after blood moon and eventually full moon at the end. Here is my version of Super blue blood moon.

I have made a video of different phases of the moon. Do let me know how is it.

 

 

 

 

Kodaikanal

I had a chance to visit this beautiful place in Tamilnadu with my girlfriends. We were a group of five girls from Bangalore. Before going to Kodaikanal we planned our trip, as in how much budget do we have, where would we want to stay, how would we like to travel, etc. Since all five of us were busy in office we decided to split the planning so that everyone has an equal amount of job to be done and no one is overloaded with the planning.

Since I have been travelling a lot, I decided to travel cheap this time so that I can save some money for my upcoming trips. I have always travelled in an AC bus, never tried non-AC bus for such a long distance. This time we decided to travel in a non-AC bus for a different kind of experience. We booked a non-AC bus with KPN travels from redbus.in. My experience with KPN travels was not great so I would not suggest it to anyone. They had charging point but it was not working. They don’t provide blanket even for a long-distance journey. No water bottles as well.

On the way to Kodaikanal
On the way to Kodaikanal

We wanted to stay in a cottage in the mid of the hill station to get a feel of the place. After doing a lot of search online, we decided for Pink House. It is in Vattakanal, seven kms from Kodaikanal. We reached Pink House in the morning and I was so mesmerised with the view that I felt my two days’ stay would not be enough to absorb the beauty. It felt as if we were staying amidst the clouds. But one has to climb a few steps (actually a lot) to reach this cottage. There are other cottages also on the way to Pink House. It is located exactly opposite to Altaf’s Cafe. Dolphin’s Nose is quite close to the cottage. The cottages here provide breakfast and dinner on request. In case you want to enjoy bonfire, they will provide you woods for which they charge as well.

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Pink House (view from the entrance), Vattakanal

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Pink House, Vattakanal

The owner / care taker had a dog. The dog’s name is Luci and she had a cute baby too :-). Both the pets were very friendly. It was fun playing with them.

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Luci

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Luci’s baby

After getting fresh, we had our breakfast (which was prepared by the owner / care taker of the cottage), we headed towards Pine Tree forest. Our cab driver was also our tour guide.  After Pine Tree forest, we headed towards Pillar’s Rock. It was disappointing. When we went there the place was covered with fog and we were unable to see the Pillar’s Rock. They have entry fee also and we felt our money was wasted as we could not see anything. Maybe it was a bad day for us to visit the place. There is a small market outside Pillar’s Rock. One can explore the market. The shops had many handmade toys, chocolates, essential oils, coffee and tea powder and other decorative items. I bought homemade chocolates from there and it was yummy 🙂

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Pine Tree Forest

After exploring the market near Pillar’s rock, we went to Sheep farm. Well, even that was a disappointment. The place was stinking and i could only see rabbits in the cage. Sheeps were having fodders at a distant place where we were not allowed to go. From that farm, we could see one lake and my friends wanted to go there.

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View from Sheep’s farm

So from the farm we went to Mannavur lake (it’s exactly opposite to Sheep’s Farm). At first I was a little skeptical to go because I was tired and I could not see the lake at all. One has to walk a kilometer or two to reach the lake, the weather was sunny and above all we were hungry. My friends somehow convinced me to walk down to the lake.

After a good walk, we reached the lake. The location was beautiful, I forgot I was tired and hungry. I sat calmly on a bench and was absorbing the beauty of the place. It was serene, I just wanted to be there. I could see people boating, some people sitting quiet and enjoying the nature, some like my friends, who were busy taking selfies and photos. After a while I also joined them in taking photos and getting clicked.

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Boating in Mannavur Lake

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Mannavur Lake View

After spending an hour at Mannavur lake, we decided to take a break and grab some food. There was a small tea stall near Mannavur lake entrance but we wanted to have lunch so we didn’t stop there. Our cab driver took us to a small restaurant. By the time we reached there, the lunch was almost over. We had biryani (biryani is always a savior). All of us were tired and it was getting dark so we decided to go back to our cottage. The cab driver dropped us near Altaf’s Cafe and left for the day.

After taking rest for a while we decided to visit Altaf’s Cafe. This cafe is famous in Vattakanal. The cafe was full and we couldn’t find a seat for ourselves.

We went to a nearby cafe and had some snacks and coffee. The distant city lights from the cafe was looking like a sky full of stars. We asked the care taker / owner of the cottage to prepare dinner for us and asked them for woods for bonfire. We had dinner by the bonfire and after that we called it a day.

Next day we woke up with a beautiful sunrise. Trust me I have never seen such a beautiful sunrise in my life so far. We got ready for Dolphin’s Nose. I would suggest you to visit this place early in the morning when the sun is not that bright. Also, wear a pair of shoes as you would have to walk for some 20-30mins.

The view from Dolphin’s nose was beautiful, it was covered with trees full of greenery. There is a deep valley on the edge of the Dolphin’s Nose. It’s dangerous to go near the edge of the rock. Please avoid going near the edge if you are afraid of heights.

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That’s me trying to go near the edge of the rock while posing @Dolphin’s nose

On the way back to Dolphin’s Nose, there was one more view point – Mountain View. There were small stalls for breakfast, tea and coffee. We had lime juice there to buck up our energy.

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Mountain View

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Mountain View

Now was the time for Vattakanal waterfall. I had read tourist reviews about it and, therefore, kept it for the last place to be visited.

It was cold and knowing the water would also be chilled I was reluctant to go inside the water. But my friends dragged me in. The water was crystal clear and we went inside water till the rocks. The rocks are very slippery, I had a bad fall there. Fortunately, my friends held me back from falling in the water. Of all the waterfalls, we saw in Kodaikanal, Vattakanal waterfall was the best and it had more water than any other waterfalls. There is one more famous waterfall, known as “Liril waterfall”. Apparently, the liril ad was shot there but now this waterfall has very less water.

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Clear water of Vattakanal waterfall

After visiting some more waterfalls, we went to Coaker’s walk. As the name says, this place is more for a walk. This place would be ideal for morning walk or evening walk. They have an entry fee, and they charge for camera separately. Since we were running out of time as we had to catch our bus back to Bangalore, we took a quick walk. Nice scenic view could be seen. They have a small telescope room as well, in case one wants to have a telescopic view (it is NOT free). With coaker’s walk, we ended our trip to Kodaikanal.

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View from Coaker’s walk

Tips:

  1. Carry warm clothes even if you are travelling in summer season (we travelled in the month of May-June and the weather was cold)
  2. Do hotel/cottage and cab booking in advance in order to avoid last-minute rush and price hike.
  3. Make a list of places you would like to visit by doing some search on booking websites (the cab driver may say this place is not good or that place is good according to his convenience).
  4. Don’t forget to carry your camera if you want to capture the beauty of the place.
  5. Carry notebook and pen, in case you want to make a note of the places you visited. We have notepad in the mobile also in case one wants to use that. I would prefer notebook and pen though 🙂
  6. If you are travelling in a group, it’s better to maintain an expense report. Try Splitwise app to split the expenses.

Note: This was my experience. I would love to hear from you all about your experience. Do comment below your experience or leave a link of your story in the comment. 🙂

 

Mid year review!

This year I have decided to travel as much as I can, as far as I can and click as many photos as I can. My travel story started in march with a week-long trip to Delhi, though I don’t count Delhi in the story because Delhi is more like a second home to me and I prefer relaxing there than roaming around the places. But Delhi has got lots of places to cover, historical monuments, some old markets, places to eat.

That’s what I do in Delhi. #myclick

My second destination was Orissa, specifically Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh, Puri, Konark. Orissa holds a special place in my heart. I have lived in Orissa (Rourkela) for two years, during my masters, and that was the first time I was away from home, made new friends, learned how to live in a hostel with limited facilities, and learned the local language as well. Learning local language helps you in connecting with the local people. May be that’s the reason I have got more friends from Orissa than any other states. Trip to Orissa was pending for the last five years and I am glad I made it. It was possible only because of my friend Smita, the only friend about whom I have spoken on my blog till now. It was her wedding which took me back to Orissa that too in summer (April), when the temperature was 48° C. One more reason to travel was the desire to see Odiya wedding and a hope to capture some moments in my camera. Below are some glimpse from the wedding.

Apart from attending wedding in Nayagarh, I went to Jagannath Temple, Puri. People are not allowed to carry cell phones or camera inside the temple premise, also there are dedicated counter outside the temple for people to take off their footwear, and submit mobile phones and camera.  There were priests all around the temple, trying to allure the visitors by saying they will get a “special darshan / more close view” of the lord (it’s trap, don’t fall in the trap) and they don’t have to stand in the long queue. In return to all these services, the priests charge a hefty amount. Since I was with my friends who keep visiting the temple quite often, I was aware of all these “favours” offered by the priests and hence, my money was saved. Since Konark is just 35 kms away from Puri, one cannot give a miss to Konark Sun Temple. This temple has its own history. Konark Sun Temple is one of the seven wonders of India, also a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO.

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Konark Sun Temple

My third destination this year was in June when I went to Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, with my girl friends. Same time last year I wnet to Ooty, Tamilnadu with some other friends (again an all girls trip). I liked Kodai more than Ooty. More details about the stay, places I visited and my experience will be covered in my next blog post can be found here.

My fourth destination is yet to happen and the destination has been decided. Well, I can’t disclose the destination now. All I can say is it’s again one of the world heritage sites in India and this place is on my wishlist for the last two years. Keep guessing till I write about it further. 🙂