New camera!

Past few weeks have been a crazy roller coaster ride for me! So many things have happened.. I have not been putting up posts due to exams and work.

Since I have taken an hour long break from “Family Law” and now that I am sitting in front of my laptop trying to make a firm choice between a number of shows to watch (this process usually takes about 20-25 minutes, which is frustrating because I can never decide!), I figured that in the meanwhile, it is time to update my blog and get some work done.

I have two amazing news!

Firstly, I got a new camera!! Now, I have been using a borrowed camera for my blog posts and frankly the camera wasn’t a brilliant one to pursue photography. Cannon PowerShot SX530 HS boasts of a 50x zoom ratio. An SSLR with 16 megapixels resolution. No, it is not a professional camera but it is an extremely convenient option for traveling which also happens to take pictures beautifully. I am yet to get used to the camera functions and technicalities but I am so excited to use this baby for future travel endeavors.

Speaking of travel endeavors, I have planned a trip for the coming weekend! So my exams are getting over this week and what better way to rejuvenate yourself than going on a road trip?! We were planning for this particular trip for a month. I have been feeling so restless the entire month as there was not a single trip lined up until June. Ahh!! I am beyond excited.

Also, now that I have this new camera, I was thinking of branching out into photography rather than just having my blogs focus on travels. Let’s see if this works out. 🙂

My visit to Ganpatipule (Part II)

Am I religious? No, I am not. Do I believe in God? Yes, for the mere reason that I refuse to believe that this glorious universe did not come into existence on its own. It has to be a work of a GENIUS! Not being religious do I not visit temples? Of Course I do! Not because I believe that it is where the Almighty resides, but just the sense of positivity the entire area emits. I believe that people greatly influence the environment around themselves, they emit an aura which cannot be comprehended but can only be felt. It is in these sacred places, by whatever name we call them, temples, churches, mosques etc. people come with heaps of hope believing that, they are safe and that good things will follow. This positivity, I believe spreads across the entire area which just calms me down and relaxes and revives me, makes me content.

Also, I love history. Most of the temples in India are old, some even ancient. I am greatly fascinated by the stories behind every temple, the engineering behind it, the intricate designs, the symbols, the carvings, etc.

A while ago I went on a road trip to Ganpatipule. I got to visit the ‘Paschim Dwar- Devata’ (Western Sentinal God). It is the temple of Siddhivinayaka- one of  the names of Lord Ganesha from the total of a Hundred and Eight names.

So the legend of the temple is- Lord Ganapati came to Pule from his previous residence ‘Gule’ when he was insulted by a native lady. The temple was built around him after he took the form of a stone.

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On our way back home, we decided to stop by Pali, a town in the district of Raigad in Maharshtra. Our main purpose was to visit ‘Ballaleshwar’ temple. It forms a part of ‘Ashtavinayaka’. In Sanskrit, it literally means ‘Eight Ganeshas’. In Maharashta, there are eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha which are collectively referred to as ‘Ashtavinayaka’

DSCN6249 DSCN6257I love how every place has a story to tell and how we add another dimension to it while we are reciting the same to our friends after a trip! 🙂

Liebster Award!

Thank you Karina and Alice for nominating me for the Liebster Award! You guys can find these beautiful ladies’ amazing blogs at: Karina- https://karinateuma.wordpress.com/ Alice- https://kiwi1nkorea.wordpress.com Okay, so let’s get started. Ten random facts about me:

  • I am obsessed with cats
  • As a teenager I wanted to study history and wanted to be a curator
  • I was also obsessed with Harry Potter series and would often daydream about my admission confirmation letter from Hogwarts. 😛
  • I have a water phobia and I don’t know to swim.
  • I am currently interning at a legal firm, my specialization is Foreign Exchange Management Act and Merger/Acquisitions and Amalgamations.
  • I just started playing violin, it was my new year’s resolution
  • I love sketching/drawing/painting. There was a time when I would paint 1-2 paintings daily.
  • My favourite Band is Led Zeppelin
  • I have a tattoo, which I am not very proud of (I got it done when I was in my rebellious teens)

Based on the timeline of nominations, I am answering Karina’s questions. 🙂

1. What is your favourite pastime?

Many. I will list them:

-Watching series and movies (mostly Sci-fi)

-Listening to classic rock music

-Cooking

-Working out

-Sketching and drawing

-Watching history documentaries

2. If you were free as a bird and money was no object, what would you be doing right now?

I would be on the other side of the world far away from home.

3. What thing/s make you the most happy?

The kindest comments that I receive on my blogposts, as cheesy as it may seem, it is the truth!

4. What is your favourite genre of film?

Action/Fantasy

5. What is/are your favourite food/s and drink/s?

Food- South Indian cuisine

Drink- Tea/Coffee

I am not much of a fancy food girl, I love traditional delicacies.

6. Have you travelled? If so, what was your favourite country?

Yes, I have as you can say from the name of my blog. 😀 However, outside of my country I have only traveled to Thailand. I want to travel to many other countries. Hence, I am not in a position to choose my favorite country. But if I have to, I will chose India- because I have seen a lot of it. 😀

7. What makes you feel most proud?

Having the best people around me.

8. If you were to be an animal, which animal would you be and why?

Oh my, I have always been fascinated by the ocean. So I would be some exquisite oceanic creature, yet to be discovered by humans. 😀

9. Can you remember your childhood? if so, what was your favourite childhood memories

That amazing sense of freedom after my final exams after which a two month long vacation would prevail.

10. If you were to look into your future, what type of Grandma or Grandpa would you be? i.e. Young at heart, daredevil, laid back, etc

Young at heart, of course.

11. What is your greatest strength?

More recently, I am beginning to have my own mind, I guess that is a strength for me.

Nominations:

Given below are the authors whom I want to get to know better, hence I have nominated them (Apologies if you have more than 200 followers):

Nancy Shao- https://theartisticallychallenged.wordpress.com/

https://thebloggingbeebleeds.wordpress.com/

Aby- https://kadamakudy.wordpress.com/

https://indiafoodtour1.wordpress.com/

Colin- https://travelmeblue.wordpress.com/ kristin- https://kristinkingauthor.wordpress.com/

Skelsor- https://skelsor.wordpress.com/

Vasu Dhasahgal- https://vasudhasahgal.wordpress.com/

Udaya Suresh- https://perfectphoenix.wordpress.com/

Carmi- https://thefashlearner.wordpress.com/

The Rules:

  1. Thank and link back to the person(s) who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer their 11 questions the nominee asked.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  5. Notify the bloggers you chose for the award.
  6. Make a list of 11 different questions for your nominees to answer

My questions: 

1. What is your home country?

2. Best thing about staying in that country?

3. What did you want to become as a child?

4. Hobbies?

5. Favourite movie genre?

6. Favourite music genre?

7. How many languages can you speak? List them.

8. The best moment of your life?

9. What do you want to do 10 years from now?

10. Favourite cartoon as a child?

11. Best childhood memory?

My visit to Ganpatipule (Part-I)

So last week was my birthday. Yay! So of course, I decided to go on a road trip far away from the city and further away from all the chaos. I have been wanting to visit Ganpatipule for quite some time now, so I decided to seize this opportunity.

Ganpatipule is a small village situated at the Konkan stretch in the district of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra with a fascinating story- Ganpati, the Hindu Elephant Lord walked through the beaches of the Pule and took the form of a stone and settled there, hence the name Ganpatipule.

It has the most magnificent beaches. The water is so pure and clean that you could just see through it. They are not very crowded, in fact, rarely crowded and that is why it is the best place for some soul searching, connecting with oneself and the Almighty.

For the reason of time constraints, I decided to explore three of the most famous beaches of the land.

The morning after I arrived, I drove to Malgund beach. There was no one else there, just me and the magnificent ocean. Of course, there were few security guards, but as a tourist, just me. It was the best feeling in the world. So calm… Just me listening to the waves talk!

Malgund beach

Malgund beach

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Patterns of the sand

Patterns of the sand

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Later that day, I visited Areware beach. The sun was right above me, however, it just felt so pleasant. There were arrangements for water sports there. I have a huge water phobia, but after watching my friend have a ball, I decided to try the speed boat. Best decision of my life! 😀

En route to Areware beach

En route to Areware beach

Areware beach

Areware beach

Faced difficulty in walking as our feet would sink deep into the sand

Faced difficulty in walking as our feet would sink deep into the sand

The feet marks left by us

The feet marks left by us

Speed boating! :D

Speed boating! 😀

It was evening, and the sun was just about to go down, so I walked to Ganpatipule beach. I got excited like a child and ran as I got closer and took the most amazing and reviving walk along the coastline.

Ganpatipule beach

Ganpatipule beach

I also visited temples and farms, which I will be covering in the next blogpost. So stay tuned and keep smiling!

My visit to Tapola (Day 2)

Waking up in the morning was a delight as we had planned for an early morning walk through the narrow winding roads of Tapola, and I LOVE early morning walks. After that refreshing walk, we had some tea and got ourselves cleaned up, went straight into the restaurant for breakfast and without  any further delay we started the days adventure.

Strawberry is a staple food in Tapola/Mahabaleshwar, so we decided to give strawberry fields of the land a visit . The field that we visited was organic. The farmer there was growing onions, green chillies and strawberries and he had a  small section for the red berries. Yes, I did pluck out some of them and popped it into my mouth. Hey, who would want to miss a chance like that?! 😀

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We checked out of our hotel, got into our car and drove to a place down the valley where our next stay was to be. “Tapola Eco Agro Tourism” is an unique travel organisation that offers unusal stay experiences. There are no conventional rooms, the tourists are to stay in tents! that is not all, the tents are situated just where the lake begins and only a protective fence separating the two.  The organistion also arranges amazing treks, water sports etc., it also has good arrangements for indoor games.DSCN5301_BDSCN5266_BDSCN5269_B

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Trying a hand at archery and failing miserably! 😀

After another tasty lunch and a power nap, I was all set for some water sports! Initially I was a bit apprehensive, having water phobia, but eventually I gave in. The travel center’s authorities also permit tourists to swim in the beautiful blue water, with supervision, of course.DSCN5459 Without even noticing the wheel of time, it was late evening. We got ourselves out of the water and decided to go to Mahabaleshwar market, where we had the most delicious Strawberry and chocolate with cream, Mahabaleshwar’s specialtity.

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And just like that it was the end to another day at Tapola and the end of our trip.

My visit to Tapola (Mini Kashmir)

En route to Tapola

And the journey begins…

The Holi weekened was a perfect chance for a mini getaway. So we took off on the day of Rangapanchmi to explore a small village around 37 km ahead of Mahabaleshwar, which is another famous holiday spot in Mahrashtra. Tapola, which is also often referred to as “Mini Kashmir” is at a distance of 290 km from Mumbai in the district of Satara. It is down the valley and the last stop for travellers, a dead end. It is most famous for the magnificent view it offers of Sahyadri hills and the Lake Shivsagar. So, day one began with a six hour long drive which is a little more than the usual time because of the weekend traffic. The drive to Tapola was beautiful and picturesque.

En route to Tapola

En route to Tapola

We stayed at hotel Shivneri. Nothing fancy, but pretty decent for the stay tariff. The hotel served us with the most delicious local home cooked meal, which was great because I prefer that kind of food. After that hearty meal and a 20 minute nap, it was time to explore the place. Our first stop was a 178 year old house in the outskirts of Mahabaleshwar, which is supposedly haunted. The structure of the house was beautiful, a conjuction of Indian architecture with a hint of Western influence. The house has now been declared as a Heritage and ownership has been transferred to Government. No, the house did not seem spooky, however, needless to say that it was very fascinating.

The haunted home

The haunted Mansion

DSCN4998_B The second stop was Lodwick point, which, also is located in Mahabaleshwar. It offered the most stunning view of the mountains and my timing was perfect as the evening sun just beautified it even more. There are many food stalls set up around Lodwick point, so we decided to grab some food and head to the next destination. We ordered spicy bhel chaat and gola. Both were delicious.

Lodwick Point

Lodwick Point

The last stop for the day was “Sunset point”. As we walked we saw groups of people spread around the length of a narrow road waiting for the sun to go down. It was getting pretty crowded so we decided to go to another spot to catch the sunset. The narrow road led to a dead end and just beneath the dead end there was a wide open space. It was a little dangerous as where the space ended there was a ditch and no fencing for protection. So we got down onto the wide space, sat down and watched the sun go down. It was a beautiful sight!

Sunset point

Sunset point

Soaking in the Tuscany sun.

Soaking in the Tuscany sun.

We headed back to the hotel for another sumptuous meal and I went off to bed dreaming about the adventures that the next day would bring.

Why I am here.

Frankly, even I don’t know. I created this blog spontaneously, without any prior intent, one afternoon when I was down with fever. I don’t know why and what made me do it. Now that I’m here, I think I should give a brief about what I am going to do with this blog. Mainly for myself, because I’m still figuring it out.

I think I created it because I am ‘still figuring it out’- about my life. Trying to connect with myself is the prime reason, the ultimate purpose. I am at this stage of life, where I don’t know me. There are days where I am this highly career driven corporate woman. But there are these days when I feel the need to keep going back to my teenage years where life was not so serious, where I could do anything, where huge cloud of possibilities revolved around me which was coupled with anticipated opportunities. I could hope and dream about endless things, random things. Things that I would do when I grew up. Now that I have chosen this life for me, the possibilities have narrowed down. Current possibilities are, better job, better salary, knowledge development, better co-ordination skills, etc. How boring! I never thought it would come to this. This is the most confused and frustrated I’ve been. And that is why I am still trying to figure things out, but hey, who isn’t?! I would like to think that it is a fairly common situation to be in during your early 20’s and also that there is no person who has it all figured out! if you are that person, then, hi. dude, you are awesome!

Getting back to the topic of discussion, I love travelling. Even with a hectic schedule, I try to explore beautiful cities, towns, villages at least once in two months. It is my joy. My thing. Like all great things, I know my joy will increase manifold if I share it with others. In my future blogs, I will be writing down my travel experiences around India, particularly Maharashtra, because I stay in Bombay. The blogs will feature sceneries from the places traveled, details about the food, accommodation, the locals, my adventures, also a little bit of history, because I am such a nerd. 😀

Basically, this is my own personal but not-so-confidential travel diary.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing about my earlier trips to Delhi, Amritsar, Goa. Also, I will plan future trips and keep the blogs updated.

Now, to end this blog, I have to quote a clichéd, absolutely over-used, old line, again, because I am such a nerd; “Welcome aboard!’ 😀