Sunday 19 May 2013
Kolli hills – the ugly or the ‘real’ part
On a recent visit to Kolli hills (also projected as the Herbal mountain) located in Namakkal district in central Tamil Nadu, I had high hopes of going to an hill station secluded away from the world, all pristine and beautiful. Kolli hills is not yet popular as its famous counterparts, the Yelagiri hills or Yercaud but of late is slowly becoming popular with the weekend crowd and the distance from Bangalore is just lower than 300kms, a potential tourist spot in the making. Reaching there is a driver’s delight as you need to counter 70 hairpin bends to reach the small village at the top of the cliff and nevertheless to say the highway is neatly laid out and is a cruise from Bangalore.
Mid-way, while we stopped to enjoy the views (it was dry and hot being summer), a look below the walls and the scene was petrifying. Beer bottles grew on trees and the ground was plastic’d completely. Further, the next couple of stops that we did and the scenes repeated…slowly I began to realize the place been infested with plastic bottles and beer bottles!
With uncertainties and sapping in the hot sun, we reached our place of stay ‘Nallathambi Resort’ that looked quite clean and well maintained or I thought so! On the outlook, everything looked fine until I looked over the compound wall in disarray, again a plastic trash city over there. I went around different directions peeping over the walls and it was the same sight everywhere. Sooner, I realized not only this resort, other resorts/hotels too bore the same sight!
Sigh! To make mockery of the situation, the bus stand had a board stating ‘No Plastics’.
With a troubled conscience hitting me hard, I set off to the ‘touristy’ places nearby and the overall situation looked grim, far worse than I thought. We walked up and down to the Akash Ganga falls (the 1200 odd steps fatigued us no end) and it was infested with hordes of people (as expected), some bathing, some relishing and some sunbathing and yes littering was common.
Arappaleshwar temple is a favored place for many visiting Kolli malai it was not anymore surprising for me to see a huge dump yard right in front of the temple. The visit to the small falls/stream opposite to the temple yielded more signs with the stream littered with clothes/plastic/bottles. What I expected was a quiet hill station offering solace to the weekend traveler and what I saw was a notorious ‘plastic station’ infested heavily with plastics and garbage. The signs of herbal mountain turning into a garbage mountain doesn’t seem too distant.
dubai shopping festival
Saturday 18 May 2013
Travel guides and tips for Indian backpackers: A quick list
Indian backpackers face the problem of plenty. With the daunting but admirable Himalayas on the north and the scintillating backwaters in the south, the tourist is always spoilt for a choice. And then there are so many less celebrated but equally, if not more, delightful corners that even a full season won’t be enough to explore this eclectic country.
So, here are a few travel guides and tips which you will find handy...
Destinations you must visit in India:
Even though the country’s every alley is full of wonderment and surprises, one has to narrow down the list for time and budget constraints. Some destinations which you, nevertheless, must check out include the following:
a. Jaipur and Udaipur: If you wish to see the real tradition-laced India with all its history and culture intact, then head to the state of Rajasthan. Its two major cities Jaipur and Udaipur are gateways to the medieval era as you saunter through havelis and palaces, forts and fortresses, lakes and gardens!
b. Agra: A short trip to Agra is strongly recommended. You cannot deprive your eyes of the magnificence of the Taj Mahal!
c. Darjeeling: Though Shimla and Kashmir too are remarkable hill stations of the north, it is Darjeeling with its quaint poetic persona and limitless tea estates which deserves your footsteps.
d. Goa: Move over to the west and you come to the best beaches in the country in the small state of Goa! Whether you wish to touch the sky through parasailing or whether you are looking to spam the churches, Goa is your coveted getaway!
e. Kerala: Down south, you need to check out Kerala which is ‘God’s Own Country’ thanks to its alluring backwaters and calm oceans. Its hill station Munnar is also a heavily-trodden corner! Opting for a Kerala tour package will be indeed a good Idea if you want to enjoy the real pleasure and nature of Kerala.
A few other friendly tips:
- Take care of your money, jewelry and belongings
- Do not accept food and drinks from strangers, especially male strangers
- Bargain hard when shopping at local bazaars
- Maintain decorum and rules while visiting temples and monuments
About Creative Writer:
Author is a traveller and adventure seeker writing about a number of Indian & International holiday destinations. Solo Travelling, playing with nature and backpacking are few more undertakings author loves to do. As a blogger she writes about travel guide and holidays packages at WeAreHolidays.
Wednesday 8 May 2013
After the previous evening siesta with the Sloth bears, the next day went in exploring Hampi, the world heritage site and some birding in between. The final day concurred with the Wildlife Week celebrations and yet we got a couple of hours birding on the morning driving around the deeper parts beyond the canal areas.
Intend to cover the heritage Hampi in a separate post altogether...
I had many first sightings on this trip and some notable were the Yellow-throated Bulbul, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Pied Cuckoo, Grey Francolin, Painted Spurfowl and few others to say. Overall, we finished the excellent trip with over 100 species of birds, about 20+ butterflies and also not to forget insects, reptiles, amphibians added to the comprehensive list.
Following are more images of birds from the trip, let them speak and I will rest!
Photoshop is a powerful and a creative tool if used in an appropriate manner. The photo above after photo-shopping yielded the result below, its all in how you use it!