Amusement Park

Thrilling Adventurous Roller Coaster : Things To Do In Manali!

Hi Guys! This is Siddhartha Kaushik belonging to the beautiful state of Haryana. I consider myself to be an ace photographer. My pursuit and passion to capture the best places in India has given me the opportunity to travel extensively across India.  Though I can boast that I have been to many exotic locales; this beautiful country has lots more for me to explore. One such destination which I am surely gonna visit very soon is Manali!

Manali Attractrions

Manali Attractrions | Image Resource : kalpanamanali.com, shimlamanalitravel.com

I have read so much about the beautiful Kulu valley that I am waiting to capture it in my lens. This beautiful hill station is located in the Himachal Pradesh. It is well connected by road, rail and air. I think I will opt for taking a bus from Chandigarh as it will turn out to be more economical. Moreover it will also give me the opportunity to click the pics of my road travel which I will surely post on my blog.

Kullu Valley Manali

Kullu Valley Manali | Image Resource : rovingturtle.com

Adventure Sports are the best Things to do in Manali :

One of the other prominent reasons that I wish to go to Manali is it is packed with action packed adventure sports. This is definitely any 25 year old like me will enjoy. When we talk about adventure sports there are plenty of things to do in Manali. The most prominent being river, rafting, hiking and mountain biking! I have already gathered a lot of information on all the three activities so that I am well prepared when I reach Manali.

In case of water rafting I have options of White water rafting at Siyal which is priced at just Rs 500/- .Rafting at Vyas river on Mall road is also very famous. It has multiple timings but I have read that it is a little expensive.

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Next I have plans to go for hiking. My friends have suggested that I take the hiking experience at the Jogini waterfall and see the snow-clad mountains. I have also short listed the hiking adventures at Solang Valley. The final thing on my list of things to do in Manali is mountain biking. My best buddy has suggested that I go to Ram Bagh or old Manali for the purpose.

Ram Bagh Manali

Ram Bagh Manali | Image Resource : cleartrip.com

 

Old Manali

Old Manali | Image Resource : manalitaxiservice.org

So friends I am saving the money of all my assignments, so that I can go and have a blast in Manali. I will keep you posted. Till then Bye folks!

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Best Weekend Getaway At Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Pune

Zoo parks are always mentioned in the list of must visit places by the travellers, irrespective of the city you are in. They are thrilling and educative for both children and adults. I have visited many parks and zoos of India, so I was excited to see what Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park of Pune has to offer for it tourists.

The resort we stayed in had many luxury cars for the guests to roam around the city. We took one for ourselves. We were all set with caps, shoes, camera, and some snacks from the resort’s restaurant as we had to spend our entire day in the zoo.

Entrance of Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park Pune

Entrance of Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park Pune | Image Resource : pebblesii.com

Within one and half hour, we joyfully arrived at the park. We took the information from the resort manager about the zoo that it is open all days but not on Wednesday, and the timings are 9.30 to 5. The entry fee was 15 per head; we took the tickets and entered the zoo.

We read from the huge boards of the zoo that the entire place of 130 acre is parted into three categories, they are Snake Park, zoo and animal orphanage. We all were eager to explore each phase of the zoo. Well, the zoo had made many efforts to collect some enormous and rare species of animals. Though I am scared of reptiles, but I was startled with such a variety of snakes here.

Russells Viper in Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park

Russells Viper in Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

Leopard, barking deer, monkeys, snakes, cobras, vipers, crocodiles, python, elephants, bears, tigers, and so many animals. I filled my camera with amazing animal shots, that I will definitely share with you my friends.

We were having fun wandering around and munching our snacks. It was 4 pm by now, and our legs were aching in pain. We then moved out of the zoo as we finished seeing almost every corner of the zoo. Our driver from the hotel was waiting for us, and now we only wanted to reach our resort and give rest to our bodies.

Tigers at Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park

Tigers at Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park | Image Resource : aroundpune.com

It was the most exciting and at the same time exhaustive day for all of us. After reaching the resort, we took spa therapies so that we get set for the next day of our trip.

Peaceful And Serene Atmosphere At Saras Baug!

While my friend was chatting online with his Pune friend, he was told that Saras Baug is one of the beautiful attractions of the city. It not just has a historical essence, but is a great place to spend some leisure time with friends as well. When inquired about it with the locals of Pune, they too suggested us to visit the place.

There were so many positive facts given about the place that we had to visit there. We planned to go there. Even one of the staff of the hotel accompanied us to Saras Baug as he was a devotee of Ganpati whose temple is in the garden or Baug in Marathi. It is good to have some local as lot of information can be learnt from him or her about a new place in the new city.

Entrance Of Saras Baug

Entrance Of Saras Baug | Image Resource : nevertiredoftravelling.wordpress.com

On the way, he told us a story about the place. This place had a lake in earlier days, and while Parvati (our next destination) was in construction process, Peshwas used to come here and inspect whether the work is going on properly. They ordered the workers to make a 25 acre land, which should have a pond and a beautiful garden. Eventually, the lake dried and the garden is left now for the visitors. It was a sweet and nice story, and by the time he finished we arrived at the place.

Saras Baug Pune

Saras Baug Pune | Image Resource : orphansponsorship.org

After spending some cool moments in the garden, we headed towards the temple. It was Sarasbaug Ganapati Mandir of Siddhivinayak. The temple was crowded and we came to know a fact that around ten thousand devotees come here each day. We offered our prayers and sat in the corner of the temple. Well, though I am not so religious, but I was felling at peace here.

Sarasbaug Ganesha Temple, Pune

Sarasbaug Ganesha Temple, Pune | Image Resource : sarasbaug.in

It was in 1784 when Sawai Madhavarao Peshwa constructed the temple and used to worship here. Now, the temple is popular and lots of Punekars come here often. It was a good place, and all of us had a good time listening to various stories of Peshwas. Peshwas played a key role for Punekars, this is what we summarised from the old stories.

Bund Garden- Offering A Way Of Getting Close To Mother Nature !

Our next destination in Pune was the Bund Garden. After collecting some beautiful memories and amazing pictures from the Aga Khan Palace, all four of us headed right towards Bund Garden Pune. Since it was just a little over 3 kilometers from the Aga Khan Palace, for this reason we decided to try public transport in Pune.

Somehow we carefully managed to hop inside a government bus, which took us through the Samrat Ashok Road. In a matter of just 15 minutes, we were in front of Bund Garden. Being a photographer, locations like gardens and zoos have always been my favorite places. It is where I get to take pictures of the different colors of the nature.

Bund Garden Pune

Bund Garden Pune | Image Resource : puneinandout.com

It was good for us that the Bund Garden remains open all through the week. The gates open for the public at 6 in the morning, whereas by 9 pm, the garden closes. Since there is no entry ticket associated with this garden, therefore we stormed inside straightaway. Once we went inside, I came to know that this garden has one more name, and it is- Mahatma Gandhi Udyan.

The greenery spread across the garden was definitely a treat to the eyes. If you are tired after a busy day or want to breathe in some fresh air then Bund Garden is one of the best places to be. The range of tree species and the different sorts of flowers were absolutely perfect for my camera to capture them. We also took a boat ride that allowed us to explore the beautiful elements of the garden in a much better way.

The crowd inside the garden comprised mostly of families, and most of them were busy enjoying their picnic. When our legs gave up, we sat under a tree, and allowed our restless mind to attain some peace under the cool shadow. Without any doubt, every moment spent there was quite soothing.

Away from the chaos, Bund Garden offers a perfect setting to relax with your friends and family members. In the end, we had some snacks from the food joints located nearby, and it was good though.

Desstination Of The Week : Rock Garden Darjeeling

Rock Garden Darjeeling

Rock Garden Darjeeling | Image Resource : wikipedia.org

Description : Rock Garden! Came as a surprise during this trip. We thought of skipping this place and if we had done that, we would have regretted. Amazing place with beautiful artificial waterfall and flowers surrounding the falls. Any without a photographic experience can take wonderful pics in this place such is the magic of this place.

Destiantion Of The Week : Observatory Hill View Point Darjeeling

Observatory Hill View Point Darjeeling

Observatory Hill View Point Darjeeling | Image Resource : wikipedia.org

Observatory Hill View Point Darjeeling :  Being a photographer I strongly associate myself with nature and one can see me around with my SLR! I spent a whole day capturing different shades of sun rays from dawn to dusk at the Observatory Hill in Darjeeling. There was even a small temple here which attracted few people. The nice atmosphere here still stays in my heart.

Destiantion Of The Week : Jhandi Dara Sunrise Point Darjeeling

Jhandi Dara Sunrise Point Darjeeling

Jhandi Dara Sunrise Point Darjeeling | Image Resource : wikimapia.org

Description : Sunrise is one of the best things about nature and especially to see the sun emerging amidst the snowy mountains of the Mount Everest is truly unique. It was a golden opportunity for me to see the beauty of golden rays of the sun over the snowcapped mountains at Jhandi Dara. One of the best memories!

A Beautiful Blast From The Past – Thirumayam Fort, Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu!

Ancient history and archeological monuments have always fascinated me. They are like a real life present structure to connect to the past. These kinds of monuments are also great photo opportunities and being the shutter bug that I am, I had to visit the Thirumayam Fort in Tamil Nadu.

Constructed as many as 328 years ago in 1687, the Thirumayam Fort is evidence of the architectural brilliance the older civilizations could accomplish even with primitive tools and building materials. The fort was used as stronghold by the chieftain during the Polygar wars. Although seven walls were originally constructed in 1687, only 4 of those remain, the rest of them destroyed by the forces of time and war.

Thirumayam Fort, Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu

Thirumayam Fort, Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu | Image Resource : tumkurameen.blogspot.in

The first thing you’ll notice when you visit the fort is that it kind of speaks to you. The struggle that happened there is quite visible even today and that only adds to the charm of the ancient monument. The fort also houses idols of Shiva and other deities, which also adds to the mysterious and ancient beauty of the monument.

The entry fee to the monument is Rs. 100 and considering that the Archeological Society of India needs funds to keep maintaining the structure, it is a small fee to pay for the preservation of a very old monument. The location of the fort is easy to miss, so keep an eye out for it or ask the cab you’re hiring or the bus you’re taking to drop you off at the Thirumayam Fort.

There are many affordable and great hotels available in the city of Pudukkottai. Sadly, I could not find any good places for camping overnight. Cheap and great restaurants are also pretty easy to come by. I would also recommend Tamil Nadu’s special Chettinadu food. It is a very traditionally prepared dish and absolutely delicious. TMV hotel is 15.6 km from the fort and is a good place to try out the traditional Chettinadu food.

If you’re like me and like great photo opportunities and monuments with ancient histories attached to them, do make sure to check out the Thirumayam Fort in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu.

Biodiversity at its finest – Mukurthi National Park, Ooty

There are just some places in the world which, even on multiple visits, still have the same spellbinding effect on you. Mukurthi National Park in Ooty is that place for me. No matter how many times I visit, I get the same excitement as my very first time.

Ooty is absolutely bustling with natural wildlife, biodiversity and scenic beauty, naturally making it any photographer’s dream destination. There are more beautiful tourist destinations here than can be counted on one hand. It will take quite some time to hit every destination, but Mukurthi National Park should be on everyone’s list. As a huge fan of trekking, camping and everything that gets me a little closer to the nature, I decided to make the Mukurthi National Park a destination on my tour to Ooty.

Ukurthi National Park, Ooty

Ukurthi National Park, Ooty | Image Resource : feelfreeorflyindia.files.wordpress.com

The national park is 27 km from Ooty, and it is a really convenient and affordable ride from Ooty. The scenic beauty and the lively natural landscapes on the way to Mukurthi National Park are a definite plus. Although prior permission is required from the forest department to camp at the park, it is fairly easy to do so, and I did not encounter any significant problems in trying to acquire my permit.

I would definitely recommend the camping experience. The dawn where you can clearly hear every bit of the nature’s sounds is an absolutely surreal experience, and one everyone should try to experience. Photographing opportunities at the park, because of its immense collection of flora and fauna, are so many that I had to change the memory card of my camera, multiple times.

Accommodation, too, is easily available near the national park, but I would recommend you to stay in the Ooty city that is roughly 27 km away from the park. It is more affordable, and the ride till the national park is one everyone must have. The Mukurthi Dam, which is around 5 to 6 km from the national park, is also a great tourist spot and it will not take long for you to trek there.

Mukurthi National Park is a place I would definitely visit again!

Ooty Botanic Gardens – Acclaimed To Be One Of The Best Gardens In Tamilnadu!

During my visit to Ooty, I was recommended by one of my friends to visit the Botanical Garden. I reached out to the hotel authorities to get to know the location of the famous garden that was laid in the year 1848.

Following the route provided, I reached the botanical gardens within 30 minutes. I was astonished to see such a vast stretch of flowers and greenery in front of my eyes. Upon enquiring, I got to know that this place was spread in over 22 acres of land, and situated at about 2250 m. above the sea level.

Ooty Botanic Gardens

Ooty Botanical Gardens | Image Resource : journeymart.com

As I entered the gardens, I found out that it was divided into six different sections, and each of them was worth watching. The first section that I encountered was the Lower Garden; this place was a long stretch of green grass. The prime attraction of this place being the carpet bed design of the Indian Union formed by the fossils that are about 20 million years old.

Government Rose Garden Ooty

Government Rose Garden Ooty | Image Resource : ootyexoduscabs.com

After enjoying and clicking some photographs, I further moved on to the New Garden, which felt like heaven. The place had hundreds of varieties of Roses and had the carpet bed emblem of the state of Tamil Nadu. I was stunned to see this masterpiece and spent quite a while staring at that. As I moved on further, I encountered the Italian garden, which was laid down by the prisoners of Italy while they were brought down to Ooty. This part of the Garden looked attractive with the variety of colorful annuals.

Flowers View in Ooty Botanic Gardens

Flowers View in Ooty Botanic Gardens | Image Resource : excitingindia.in

Moving further, I encountered the Conservatory as well as the Nursery. The latter was situated about 300 feet above the other sections and had eight glass houses. The Conservatory was constructed in the year 1912 and had a variety of Annuals such as Cineraria, Balsam, etc.

This experience and journey of the garden filled me out with an astonishing energy and made me feel fresh. I would have missed a part of Ooty if had not gotten a chance to visit this place.