On the Bucket List- Goa!

In the Span of past 4 years, I have been to Goa 3 times and Everytime I fell over in fall with place. This Place has magic in itself, setting itself apart from rest of India, Goa definitely is God’s Vacation spot if not his own country.

From Beautiful Beaches, to filmy scooty rides to beach shacks to amazing clubs to long drives to Mountains to Waterfall ,Goa has everything one wishes for and resort to perfect vacation.

According to me, here are few of the places that are must visit whenever you plan for your next trip to Goa:

1) Bagga Beach- Probably the most popular beach in Goa with amazing Restaurants, beach shacks,lip smacking food, cheap and good liquor and sea, the breathtaking view of the sea. Most prominent place there would be Tittos club. Visit there but just a reminder this place is bit expensive but worth it.

2) Aguada Fort- You walk for about 300m from where you park your vehicles. You see Sea in front of you and guarding the border line, is the Magnetic Aguada fort. While you are at it, you can hear the water splashes ob the Wall and sometimes the current is so high, water gently hits you on your face. This for me ,on all three occasions has been my favorite place.

3) Cohiba Karaoke Bar- Wednesday and Saturday are the best nights to visit this place if you are in a mood of crazy party. With live singing to great music and delicious food, this club has everything to offer. A must visit.

4) Au Bau Rham- Run and managed by a French lady, this Cafe lies on the kind of a lake side. They serve authentic french food and some locally brewed beers as well. Go there for a peaceful lunch overlooking lake and watch yourself walk to serenity.

5) Chapora Fort- Most Iconic fort in Goa ,because of the that iconic scene from Bollywood movie Dil Chahta hai. Since the movie, it has become one of prominent spots for photo shoots, get together and relaxing as well.

6) Curlies Anjuna Beach- For me more than the place, the ride to this place was far more exciting. With trees all around you, Cool breeze, thoughts yourself, one would surely love a ride to that place. This place offers some great American HamBurgers and beers. With Trans music and right on the beach feels, give it a try for sure.

7) Purple Martini- Here I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets on life. This place beautifully decorated and on the beach.

8) Thalasa- Go there just to relax ,have couple of drinks, delicious lunch and stay there for some time. This place gets into you.

9) Marbella Beach Resort-A must must visit. A place with Trans music, Open air atmosphere, opened till 5am in the morning.

10) Dudh Sagar Waterfalls- A visit to this place has been registered as one of life changing experiences for me. Won’t be able to explain here but probably next blog just for this. But do visit.

Apart from all the places listed, being on the road with friends on your scooty, with beers and wonderful view around, there isn’t a moment where you will get bored in Goa.

And if you are just into parties, this is the right time to visit because all the major festivals would be happening in next 2 months.

Happy Traveling !

Road Trip to Shimla

Three Friends, car, music, beers and road trip to Shimla. What else can someone ask for! With all eagerness we planned this for a perfect weekend and some soul connecting.

342km long road trip with friends was all I wanted at that time to rejuvenate. We started our trip from Delhi and reached Shimla via Panchkula expressway. It takes about 8hrs to reach Shimla depending on how many times you stop for munching. Well we didn’t stop much but traffic got better of us and we were stuck there for almost an hour. Anyway after that hindrance it was Mountains all over with their Majestic Posture.

Perhaps the most beautiful road trip with wonderful scenery, wonderous valley, majestic peaks, alluring trees and us. Mountains speak to you and all you need is to hear and you will be at peace.

We had booked our hotel on Shimla -Kufri road which is about 20km ahead of Shimla. Just a hotel in midst of the Mountains with stunning view from the room and chilly evening. It was just going smoothly. We had planned 2N, 3D trip.

With the whispers of the birds, Breezing of trees, Sun shinning upon us, the mountains couldn’t have looked more beautiful.

There are lot of things you can cover in Shimla but importantly for us atleast it was all about relaxing time. But still we covered few places and here are my recommendations:

1) Mall Road- Perhaps the busiest street in the mountains with all the restaurants,sight seeing, Local food,culture, Schools, colleges and everything Shimla has to offer.

2) Church,Mall Road- A must visit for the architectural side to this place.

3) Jaku Temple- According to Hindu mythology, God Hanuman had stopped here while he was carrying medicine for Laxman who was injured in Sri Lanka during the war. So when he had stopped at the temple, he had promised the Monkeys he will come back and since then Monkeys have been waiting for him.

4)Kufri- For some activities if you are travelling with family.

These are my recommendations but there are lot of other things to be explored there. For us, we stopped at random points, saw the beauty, were there for some time, took in and moved ahead. The Journey was what mattered to us rather than the destiny. It was the off-beat trip we hadn’t planned but were able to witness.

Shimla has been the go to spot for all the summer vacations for Indian Families in North but I believe we lived what truly mountains are for. More than the crowd, we chose peace and trust me we discovered things while on the road. So that’s why Road trips with friends is something worth doing and for me, something off my bucket list.

Happy Reading and Keep Traveling & exploring!

Landour- Where Soul Connects!

Landour is located in Mussorie,Uttarakhand,India and Approx 300km from Delhi. Landour is a small hilly area just 3km from Mussorie and is a perfect spot for Weekend getaway for Peace and Stress Buster.

How to Reach Landour:There are two ways to reach Landour;

First is you book yourself a road trip via Car,Temp Traveller or Bus(which is a good option if you travel in groups?

Second is Take a Morning Shatabdi Express from New Delhi Railway Station to Dehradun and book a cab or take local bus till Mussorie and from their walk towards your hotel.

I discovered Landour 4 years back when one of my fellow traveler friend suggested me this place. Never heard of this place before but thought of giving it a tree just because of my love for Mountains. It’s a beautiful place with breathtaking view, wilderness,greenery, Heritage Hotels, Brilliant food and cafes and rich background.

What all not to miss in Landour:

1) Cafe Ivy: Located at Char Dukkan this Cafe is a perfect spot for chill winter morning breakfast. Right on the cliff,it offers stunning view of the Valley and delicious food.

2) Anil Momo’s: Located at Char Dukkan, this small joint offers scrumptious Momo’s and Mountain Maggi. A must try.

3) Cross Cliff: It’s a prominent spot right next to Cliff Hotel. You need to trekk down to that place. It’s a 500m trekk. Once you reach there, you will know why it was worth it. As dense as a forest goes, that’s the view from there.

4) Laal Tiba: About 1.5km from Char Dukkan, it’s a perfect spot to catch some eye breathing view of Mountains right in front of you. There are few Cafe joints which offer you a view via Telescope for just 50rs per person which can be redeemed against some food item. Win Win deal I must say.

5) Landour Bake House: This one is my favourite spot. Located near Char Dukkan, this place offers the best bakery items I have had in my life. From Pancakes or Lemon Tart to Muffins ,this place has it all. Beautiful decore,no Wifi( there is a quote there that reads like-” no wifi, pretent like it’s 1857 and talk to each other”

Apart from these prominent places , if you are into off road trekking, this place has that in store as well. You can skip the normal and go off beat and enjoy the wilderness with the Trekk. Though I haven’t done the Trekk myself but it comes with good feedback from the friends.

It’s been 4 years and every year I visit this place just to get away from all the hustle if life and take in the peaceful time, refresh myself and come better.

If Mussorie is the Queen of Hills, Landour definitely is the Royal Guard.

Kasol-Tosh-Kheerganga

I wanted my first post to be the most memorable trip I have had and the time I cherish the most. Kasol-Tosh-Kheerganga!

With the mighty mountains to the restless river, we come fall in the lap of Nature. As for the journey to begin,Steps were in the right direction. Although I have been to Kasol before,but because of my less knowledge about the majestic beauty ahead, I had restricted myself to Kasol on my first visit. But that was a different time and to the time now, I can only say I was Soul touched.

Me and two of my best friends have been planning this trip for a long time and finally we made it happen. We boarded our Volvo bus from Majnu ka Tilla,Delhi(Pick up point for Kasol).It takes about 14-15hrs to reach bhuntar from where you can either take a cab or local bus to reach Kasol which takes additional 1hour. We shared our cab with 3 other guys so it was very cheap and comfortable. We arrived at our hotel, checked in and took in the fresh air of Mountains,Peace in our mind, Bashing of River against the mountain and our Souls. There are few things one cannot explain and in this journey there were many. We had booked our hotel right next to the local market so that it becomes easier for us explore the place. My recommendation book Alpine Hotels in advance.

First day was just about exploring the nearby places, get acquainted with the culture,food and people. There are very good restaurants to enjoy the food there. Israeli Cafes are quite popular there and we were fans too. Few recommendations- Little Kasol,Little Italy,Jim Morrison Cafe and German Bakery for quick munching. After a quick tour of the place,we went back to our hotel,got ourselves a nice massage, relaxed and took our sound sleep.

Next day, our third friend joined us and without wasting any further time, we left for Tosh. Again there are two ways to Reach Tosh: Either local bus or Cab. This time we took some adventure upon us and boarded the local bus. It takes about 1.5hours to reach outside Tosh. Tosh is constructed in a way where no transport can be allowed. It’s a small village with about 100 houses and out of which few were guest houses. We started walking towards our hotel,Shiva Power(True essence of Shiva Power). But yeah before that, we stopped at Cafe 360 with the most beautiful view of the mountains and amazing food. Soon we had our food and headed back to our Hotel. We checked in, had our peace and ended our day with some soft music.

Next day, we explored Tosh. So there is nothing much to explore here except for the cafes such as Pink Floyd. But the place is so magnetic that it just attracts your towards itself. So Tosh is about how to reach that point of Peace. The entire day we just sat our hotel balcony, had food,tea and breathed in the purity.

Following day was our Journey to Kheerganga. In order to reach Kheerganga, you will have to come back from Tosh to point called Basera Dam from where the Trekk starts. Basera Dam to Kheerganga is about 13km and takes about 4-5hrs depending upon your speed. There are two ways to reach Kheerganga: via Forest or via Village. We took the one via Forest. It was rainy season there and we were walking on the edge of the mountains while taking in the breathtaking view,peace, Soul-searching and serenity. About half way into our Journey, we reached a Cafe Point where you can stop to munch in. But just a heads up,A bottle of Water for 150rs and Gatorade for 300rs. So be prepared once you leave for that trekk. Well we enjoyed our time there with waterfalls, took in the view and then moved ahead. After another 2-2.5hrs, we finally reached out destination. And all thay efforts were paid off with the Heavenly Touch of Kheerganga. We had a booked a tent for ourselves, 2500 per night. With no electricity, no proper food, no toilets, that was one hell of an experience. We played chess under the stars, had something to munch on and slept off.

Next morning, we woke up to this view I just can’t explain. It was like being on the top of the world,flying on the clouds, Almost touching the sky. We sat there quietly for about an hour,had our tea and then left for our trekk back to Basera Dam. This time we took route via Villages. On our way, we came across Waterfall so loud that it scared us to bits. Two mountains,closely intact and in between running mountains water. It was like water is breaking the barrier and making its way for it’s journey. We had couple of stops this time in villages where we could have a cup of tea and some snacks and at reasonable rates. After 4hrs of trekking, we finally reached Basera Dam and booked a cab to Tosh. Reached hotel,had our food and slept off.

This morning was suppose to be out last day in Tosh,but we were in love with that place ,so we extended it for another day. For next two days, we just had our food,sat in the balcony,enjoyed the beauty, and took in The Green Stuff to give us the feeling of Salvation.

We finally left tosh and headed back to Kasol. We had planned it in such a way so that we have 4-5 hours in Kasol before our time to catch the bus for Local Shopping. We shopped some local stuff, headed towards Bhuntar and headed back to Delhi.

This trip was definitely the one where I can justify my name: Soul who travels and I wish you guys can be at the place and witness what I expressed.

At last I would like to add a poem I wrote:

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Pahadon ki mehak hi kuch aur hai,
Har waqt uski vaadiyan kheeche apni aur hai,
Aaj bhi Vo naadiyon ke behte paani ka meetha shor hai,
Vo Ucchi Ucchi imaaratein Pragati aur Ruhaniyat ki dor hai.

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Vo raaton mein chalti vo thandi thandi hawaa,
Yeh logo ki meethi boli yahan ki hai fiza,
Dil mein us khamosh sadko ki hai razaa,
Kyun na pahadon mein janma main khud se hi hai yeh khafa.

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Vo Paani ka jharna, Pedho ke geele patte,
Vo Jungle ki aur chalna, vo tutte hue se raaste,
Yahan khushiyon ke pal bahut hi saste,
Yahan katt jayein din aur raat haaste haaste.

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Chaha kar bhi vahan bas na paana,
Yaad rehta hamesha vo logo ke ghar ka khaana,
Pahadi Jharno ke neeche vo thande paani se nahana,
Pahadi dil ke log aur unka Pahadi ‘Chambe’ gaana.

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Vaada raha laut kar ayenge tere pass,
Din guzarte bas dil mein liye aass,
Tera mera rishta hai bahut khaas,
Teri meri baatein aur humare kahin pyaare raaz.

Yeh jo Pahadon ki baatein hain,
Kya khoobsurat aur haseen raatein hain.

Thank you and happy travel!

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