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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Travel Diary : Meghalaya

Meghalaya, originally uploaded by atanu.maity.

Created in 1971, this state is the home for Khasia, Janita and Garo tribes people. The hill station of Shillong is the state capital wile Cherrapunji, 58 km away, was until recently said to be the wettest place on earth, with an average annual rainfall of 1150 cm, nearly 40 feet! In one year 26.46 rain fell. Nearby Mawsynaram recently took the title from Cherrapunji.

It's no wonder Meghalaya means Adobe of Clouds.Other palce of inteest around the state include Jakeram with its hot springs, Kayallng Rock at Mairang, Mawjymbin Cave at Mawsynram and Umiam Lake.

Going Around


The capital of the state of Meghalaya, known as the Scotland of the East - Shillong is a pretty hill town with lakes, grassy downs, pine scented hillsides, English cottages and a fine golf course.,This pleasant hill station, standing at 1496 meters, is renowned for its climate and breathtaking views. The state museum covers the flora, fauna, culture and anthropology of the state. The town has number of parks and gardens.

The town has a number a number of parks and gardens. The Crinoline Waterfalls and near Lady Hydary Paerk and there are various other waterfalls around Shillong. The town takes its name from the 1960 meter high Shillong Peak, from where there are fine views, its almost 10 km from the center.

Getting There

A good road runs the 100 km from Guwahati in Assam to Shillong, You can also take a chopper ride which will take about 30 minutes from Shillong helipad to Guwahati Airport. From Guwahati you can take buses which is run frequently and also can take sharing taxi to reach Shillong.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Travel Diary : Matheran

Hill View, Matheran, originally uploaded by atanu.maity.

Matheran is the nearest hill station to Mumbai, The names means Jungle Topped or Wooden Head. It is a city and a municipal council in Raigarh district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat Tahsil. It is the tiniest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located at 18.59° N 73.18° E, around 90 km from Mumbai and about 120 km from Pune. Matheran's proximity to the two cities makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents.

Matheran was discovered by Hugh Malet in 1850. The British developed Matheran as a popular tourist resort.

At an elevation of around 800m (2,625 ft) above sea level Matheran is a hill station located about 100 km from Mumbai. Matheran literally means jungle on top. All vehicles (Except emergency vehicles) are banned here. The only modes of transport are on Horseback, by man-pulled rickshaw, or on foot. Every one living in cities needs this sort of change once in a while.

Old British-style architecture has been preserved in Matheran and most structures are now heritage structures.

Matheran has been declared an eco sensitive region by the Union Environment Ministry (GoI). Quite uniquely, Matheran is free of all forms of motor vehicles, amking it in unbelively tranquil repite after the congestion of Mumbai. It is ringed by many km of walking tracks, while lead to lookouts that drop sheer to the plains. On a clear day the views are fantastics.

Getting to Matheran is the half the fun; from Neral junction you take a tiny narrow-gauge toy train up to 21 km route to the hill station. It's a two hour ascent as the train winds its way up to steep slopes and, at one point, passes through tunnel.

Going Around

Porcupine/Sunset Point is a good place for ctaching the sunset, but Panaroma Point, at the extreme north, is said to have the finest views. The western side, from Porcupine to Luisa point, is known as Cathedral Rocks, and Neral can be seen far below, straddling the central line, At the south, naer One Tree Hill, is a trail down to the valley blow known as Shivaji Ladder.

Getting There

Train from Mumbai CST, only a few of the Pune express stop at Neral Junction. If you are back to Pune or Mumbai after Matheran, It is best take local train first to Karjat and then pick up one of the frequent trains from there. From Neral you can take share taxi or Toy train to reach Matheran. Most of the year the tpy train leaves from Neral to Matheran at 8:30, 11:00 and 17:00.

Travel Diary : Trimbakeshwar, Nasik

Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple, originally uploaded by atanu.maity.

Trimbakeshwar or Tryambakeshwar or Trambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Nashik District of Maharashtra.

Trimbakeshwar - one of the holy places of not only Maharashtra but the whole India is near Nashik. Trimbakeshwar is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India. There is no sacred place like Tryambakeshwar, no river like Godavari, no mountain like Brahmagiri etc. The reasons for its being so sacred are - Godavari river originates in this place, its a place of Tri-Sandhya Gayatri, the birth place of Lord Ganesha

Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra.

Travel Diary : Bramhagiri, Nasik

Bramhagiri, originally uploaded by atanu.maity.

The first peak of Sahyadri is called Brahmadri. The story associated with this is that Shankar was pleased with Brahmadev and said “ I shall be known by your name”. Hence it is called as Brahmagiri. The mountain is 1800 feet high . Its height from sea level is 4248 feet. Five peaks of this mountain are called Sadyo-Jata, Vamdev, Aghora, Ishana and Tat-Purusha and are considered as five mouths of the Lord Shiva and they are worshipped.

Gangadwar is half way to Brahmagiri mountain. There is a temple of Ganga, now known as Godavari River. Ganga appears first time here, after it vanishes from Brahmagiri Mountain. Godavari comes to Gangadwar from Brahmadri

Original Ganges and Trimbak Tirtha are on Brahmagiri mountain adjacent to Trimbakeshwar temple.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Travel Diary : Panchavati, Nasik

Panchavati, Ramkunda and Tapovan - Nasik

The 'Ganges' of the south, Ramkund in the sacred river Godavari, draws countless pilgrim every year. The popular belief is that Lord Ram had his bath here, at some stage of his exile. To commemorate that the devotees frequents here to have a holy dip.

In 1696, Chitrarao Khatarkar built a holy tank on the spot where it is believed that Rama and Sita took their bath. Devotees gather here to plunge their beloved’s ashes on the strong belief that it will help the dead to get salvation.

One among the alluring picnic spots, at Ramkund the river Godavari takes a 90 degree bend and that spot is considered as the most holy by the pilgrims.

Panchavati is a famous religious and pilgrimage place in India. he name is derived from the Sanskrit for Banyan Tree. It has been proposed to identify it with the modern Nasik, because Lakshmana cut off Surpanakha's nose (nasika) at Panchavati. According to Hindu legends and Ramayana Rama, along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman, stayed in Panchavati during their Vanvasa period. The famous Laxman Rekha is located in Panchavati about a kilometre away from Sita Gupha. It was from here that Ravana abducted Goddess Sita. Today this area is a major pilgrimage and tourist attraction. Panchavati is one of the coolest and cleanest area of Nasik. It has got many temples like Kalaram Madir, Goraram Mandir, Sita Gupha. There are many temples in Tapovan which is very close to Panchavati and can be considered to be in Panchavati.