Monday 23 February 2015



 If you are someone who hate dust, heat and crowd and not someone who can enjoy something good in between these, then this is not something you should visit.
Yes. I started the blog on the event with a negative opinion since I have heard more negatives about the event than positive.

But if you ask me, the show is not something to be missed if you have not witnessed till now. After all it’s the second largest air show of the world and it cannot be that bad… J And I have visited after watching overnight drama “Malegalali Madhumagalu” the previous night and I enjoyed in spite of having no sleep the previous night. :)

But whatever it is, you will have to wait till 2017 even if you feel like witnessing it..!

AERO INDIA show is an air show that happens once in 2 years and organized by the Ministry of Defense in Yelahanka Air Force Station. It’s something unique. When it’s unique and good, what else do you need to go and give a try. But it’s organized once in 2 years and goes for 5 days including a weekend. Weekends, special attractions are added is what I heard.
It is one opportunity to watch war flights taking off and landing from very close. I am very weak in identifying war planes and Helicopters. If someone loves it and knows to identify it, then they would appreciate it better.

The stunts and formations the pilots do with the planes is fantastic and makes it worth a visit. But, be informed that you will get bored looking at same stunts repeated multiple times. But, let us understand the effort they put. It’s really hard for them too to show a stunt in a minute and land the plane again. If that’s the case, the show would get over in less than an hour.

Unfortunately both the organizers and the people have taken least care in keeping the area clean. Organizers have not placed enough dustbins and have made people litter all around. I bet you - you cannot walk in the area without stepping over a water bottle or some paper plate..!!! This is something I always hate whenever I visit any place and thought it would be an exception here since it’s a little sophisticated event. But actually is not..!!!

Note –
The show tickets require an online registration to be done and the pass cost was Rs 600 for AERO SHOW 2015. After registration, you need to collect tickets from the centers assigned or directly in the venue.
Take all that is required to cover yourselves from Dust and Sunlight. Without goggles its really hard to enjoy the show.
The eatables and water is available inside, but the cost is exactly twice of what is available outside. I bought a Kulfi for Rs 70 and 750ml Water bottle for Rs 40..! :P
There are 2 sessions – One in the morning and one in the afternoon. It’s the same show being repeated even though the pass is for an entire day. Hence unless you love the show like anything, visiting one of the sessions is more than enough. But make sure you plan your travel since it will be very crowded and you might spend a lot of time in the entry queue or in the entry for parking area.

How to reach?
Yelahanka Air Force station lies off New Airport road hence not much of confusion in reaching the place. Go to Yelahanka and from there the venue of Air show is around 3 Kms further in Nitte Meenakshi College road.


Cant get a better sight than having Tri Color displayed like this..!!!

Seriously...??? Flying Upside Down..??? 
You Crazy..!!! How much ever secured, needs some guts to dance over a flying plane..!!

Tri Color has that power to bring Goose bumps.. :) 

Monday 9 February 2015


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Out Of Office - Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer - The most touristic place of the touristic Rajasthan..!!!

This blog post is going to be little lengthy and may be boring too. I would suggest skip to the Photos part if you feel lazy to read or bored once you start reading :)

Sand earns money..!!! Yes... Be it is the Dubai sand or our Indian ones.. They are earning money these days. Because these days people are becoming little wise and spending money on travelling more than they used to earlier. Call it lifestyle change or people have more money or for whatever reason it is. I see a positive change.. :) 

Jaisalmer is One of its kind in the entire country where we find a desert and Sand dunes. A total dry land with lot of tourists flowing in and the city owns a legacy too..!!! The fort, the temple, the Hawelis everything here is so wonderful.

For the first time I travelled beyond Mumbai and off course was a dream travel for me. Thanks to the Company shut down which let me plan this and go. After a really bad experience of travelling in Bus from Udaipur to Jaisalmer in biting cold, I was here in the city which I was longing to visit. For me the main destination was the Sand dunes. But I did not know Jaisalmer has lot more to offer.

As the day proceeded, the place was getting warmer and then turned out to be Hot. But, nothing could stop me from wandering alone in the streets of Jaisalmer to all those great historical places near by. At first look, every building here looks like its some old palace. The hotels are built in such a way here. (In fact in all touristic places of Rajasthan)

All most all the major destinations are at a walk able distance. Unless you are so lazy to walk even a mile, do not take auto or hire a touring taxi which are offered by Hotels for around 300 bucks per head.

The Fort
The main attraction is the fort and the fort are is so large that I initially refrained taking a guide but later felt without a guide I would be missing most part of it. There are plenty of local guides who take you around the fort for around 150-200 rupees. The Jain temple, the museum, and the entire fort area would easily take around 2 Hrs to visit even if you race. The fort has temples, museum, at least 50 shops, a few restaurants, Lodges and now you can imagine how big the area would be. The architecture of Jain temple in the fort is something to be witnessed and to capture it in your camera you will have to buy a ticket of Rs 50. There is a view point in the fort from where you see the Golden City of Jaisalmer and the horizon you see is our Country's border shared with Pakistan.

I started at around 11am and I had to go back to Hotel by 3 pm to join the Safari Trip and by then I had cover as many places as possible. Completed the havelis and the Palace quickly and raced back to the hotel where the Jeep was waiting to take me to safari. Got some friends in safari since I was travelling alone.. Thats an advantage of travelling alone.. You tend to speak to strangers :)

Jaisalmer Desert Safari
This is the major attraction and the most unique one in entire Rajasthan. But very much touristic, lot of crowd during season yet wonderful. The hotel where I stayed arranged for safari in a non touristic desert (Yet atleast 150 people were there and in Sam dunes which is the touristic one, thousands of people will be there.) It was 2+ Kms of Camel ride to the sand dunes and actually not a pleasure to ride camel.. Only  the 'take off' and 'landing' is exciting and if you are suffering from backpain dont even think of taking it.. :D Its a different experience to see the breeze setting back the sand into the wave kind of pattern inspite of people walking over and changing the pattern.. The sunset over there was nice one to experience. Got a few nice photos and next was the resort where some Rajasthani folk program and a buffet was arranged. And these much was a package for ~1600 INR. An option of staying back in the Desert that night was available for extra 1000 or 1200 INR but I opted to go back to the hotel. 

Gadisar Lake
 Visited the lake next day early in the morning and got some photos. A normal lake but serene early in the morning. The structures around the lake adds to the beauty and the History of the lake is something to be heard about. There is a huge arch built by some prostitute of the then king and even today the King's family does not come to the lake via that arch since they believe it to be an insult..!!! Oh yeah.. There are many such stories you hear about when you are in Rajasthan since it has got a huge history. From here I headed towards Jodhpur. My next destination in Rajasthan again filled with lot of excitement... :) Blog on that some day.. 

Put in bullet points, these are the places you should not be missing if you are in Jaisalmer.
  • The Jaisalmer Fort
  • Patwon ki Haveli (This is a must visit amongst 3 main Havelis including Natmal ki Haveli and Salim ki Haveli)
  • The Mandir Palace
  • Gadisar Lake (Visit here early in the morning to feel the serenity)
  • The Badha Bhag (I missed it. :( )
  • Most Importantly the Desert Safari..!!!
Note - Hotels here are pretty cheap. You can easily get good accommodation for less than INR 200. But be aware of touts since there are many offering Safari saying they will do it for a cheaper price. Unless you are sure about them do not go for them. Better take from some hotel Every hotel offers a safari Here. 

The golden City - Jaisalmer. Guide said the dead end what we see from this point is India - Pak Border..!
Sand... Sand and..??? Sand...!!!

Patwon ki Haweli
Sunset in Sand dunes of Jaisalmer

Camel Safari..!!! (You are in Jaisalmer hence you gotta do it.. if not its not that great.. )
Gadisar Lake - Jaisalmer

Sunday 1 February 2015

Must visit places near Shimoga

Info on Meghane Trek , Kundadri Hills ,  Jog falls, Kuppalli , The lion Safari, Sakkare Bailu 

I truly don't know how did I miss writing about Shimoga till now..! One of my favorite place in Karnataka (Not the city but the places in the district). Starting from the world famous Jog falls to a few of the least explored forests of Sharavathi valley, everything Natural here is beautiful.! A small list of places I have visited in the district is here. There are more places in Shimoga and will add it as and when I visit, cos I am sure I will keep visiting the place again and again. Lot more to explore here.! 

Major portion of Shimoga district is neighbouring or itself a part of western ghat. Hence no doubt it hosts some of the best naturally beautiful places in the state. Especially the beauty of the area during monsoon is fabulous. Hence the region is rightly named 'MaLe NaaDu'. The Cherrapunji of South, the Aagumbe at one side and the world famous Jog falls at another side. Overall its a full meal for the tourists if you visit Shimoga.

Places near Agumbe - 

Agumbe ghat it self is one of the major tourist attraction in Shimoga, the hair pin curves, the less than 5 Meters visibility during Rainy season, the mist, the cold weather, the greenery, the sunset, the rain everything is beautiful here. But you have to choose either the rainy and misty feel or the sunset. Cant get both. I would any day prefer rainy and misty feel of Agumbe.. :) 

Kundadri Hills - To be frank, I am not a great fan of this place. May be the season or the time we visited gave made me feel so. But still its a nice place if you do not want to trek but get a wonderful view from Hill top. The hill top has a small temple, a small lake and some huge rocks where you can spend sometime. The hill is covered by forest and a narrow road goes till hill top. So you don't have to struggle even a bit.  (Thirthalli is 36 Kms from Agumbe ) 

If in Agumbe, then a visit to Kuvempu's Kuppalli is a must according to me. The museum is pretty decent if you would love to see how the great writer had lived. A very neatly maintained space and a calm area. Can visit Kavi Shaila and speand sometime there too. Govt has put a lot of effort in making Kavi Shaila a great tourist attraction but the plan could have been executed in a better way. (Kuppalli is 16 Kms from Thirthalli ) 

One more place near Thirthalli (Not a must visit though.) is KavaleDurga Fort. If you are a trekking enthusiast and you love trekking a little secluded place, then this is a good one. Not many people trek here regularly. There is a temple half a way and only once in a year hundreds of people gather here and rest of the time, not many people visit the temple too. An old fort is present and a good 3-4 Kms trek is required to reach the peak. More info on the link provided above.

That is all that I have visited near Agumbe.

I have already written about Meghane trek. -  One of the finest forest trek in the sharavathi valley. However, now roads are constructed for villages within the forest and it has lost its 'Untouched' reputation..! For more info check the link provided above.

I do not need to write anything about Jog falls, but when I write about places in Shimoga, I cannot miss Jog falls. No doubt, its a must visit but during the right time. I have visited several times to the place - during monsoon, during winter, during summer and off course its best during monsoon provided you get a view in between the mist.!!! But if you are visiting here, then do not forget to go to the very famous 'Mungaru Male point' from where the falls starts. The view here is fantastic.
(Jog falls is 100+ Kms from Shimoga but enough Buses are available. If you are taking a train from Bangalore, then go to Thalguppa and  Jog falls is near by from there. )

As I said in the beginning, most of the attractions in Shimoga are connected with the nature. If you love animals, then there are 2 places near by Shimoga City (Other than the Bhadra Wild life santuary which I have not yet visited.)  - 

The Tavarekoppa Tiger and Lion Safari Shimoga. A zoo and Safari is available here and Safari is worth visiting once. Tiger sighting is a guaranteed one since there are good number of Tigers here and many wander close to the fencing. If you have kids with you then take them here they will love it I feel. (Its hardly 10 Kms away from Shimoga and lies in NH206)

Sakkarebailu Elephant Camp
The camp is located close to the backwaters of Gajanooru Dam and if you love elephants then do give a visit. I was extremely lucky when I visited since there was a 13 Days old Elephant and believe me, he is one of the cutest creature I have seen in my life. I have spent at least an hour seeing him..!! :) Be informed that the camp closes at 11.00 am as they take the elephants back to the forest. The camp opens early in the morning and open for a few hours. 

That is it for now. But for sure I will be adding to the list soon..!! :) 

Rain Trek in Meghane - Sharavathi valley 

Tyavarekoppa Tiger and Lion Safari

Do I need to add a caption to this pic.??? Its jog falls.. :) 

The cutest thing in Sakkare Bailu Elephant Camp

Kundadri Hills

Kavi Shaila - Kuppalli