Sunday, August 3, 2014

Friends and being friends...

God chose your parents... you choose your friends!

Well, I've been blessed with some to the best I could wish for and our journeys have been nothing short of being adventurous and memorable.

Friends constitute an important part of my life and this post an ode to the best of my buddies!

(we have traveled far and wide... to the jungles)
(here at KGudi-BR hills)

(and in pursuit of many falls...)
(here at Magod falls, Yellapura)

(through the streams...)
(here at a stream in Sakleshpur trekking from Rottikallu homestay, Sakleshpur)

(commuting by train...)
(train journey to Londa, near Ganeshgudi)

(rejoicing on accomplishment...)
(here at Sathodi falls, Yellapura)

(helping hands in water...)
(here, river rafting on river Kali, Karnataka)

(for the conversations and discussions...)
(here at Bandipur National Park)

(relaxing times after a long day...)
(here atop Kodachadri peak)

(rejoicing moments...)
(here on a break en-route conquering Kodachadri peak)

(wandering through the fields...)
(here wandering through a field in Sakleshpur with Gaitonde, hero from Karavali region)

(posing with the best buddy...)
(here with Raja...a prince in true sense)

(going downhill with backpacks...)
(here descending from peak KumaraParvatha)

(the camping spirit...)
(our best camping atop peak KumaraParvatha)

(together in search of the elusive tiger...)
(here at Tadoba tiger reserve...)

(moments of joy and togetherness)
(here with Guru... a guru for us for many things!)

(for the joy of sunsets...)
(here at Jenukal view point, Yellapura)

(and during the fatigue of climbs...)
(here ascending a steep cliff en-route KP)

(visiting heritage places...)
(here at Doddamane-Malgudi house, Agumbe)

(or on a trek...)

(or helping out to relax...)

(rejoicing in unison over an accomplishment...)
(here at Hidlumane falls, Kodachadri)

(friends are forever... an extension of yourself... truly!)
All I can say is thank you for being a part of me!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Deserty Rajasthan - Skyscanner

(Desert and dunes - that's Rajasthan. Photo from web)

Well, I would be the last person to submit this post..., I had no inclination and just about an hour before close thought of doing this. Yep, and that's how my travel plans also unfold almost everything at the last minute :)

(Umaid Bhawan Palace. Photo - from web)

Where I want to go - Rajasthan has been off my radar for quite long now and winters are the best months to visit the place. I would love to indulge myself in the palaces and forts and also enjoy the wildlife over there.

So, using Skyscanner, I have planned a week trip spending leisure time at Jodhpur and Mount Abu, I plan to do a leisure, luxurious, laid back trip that would help me best to enjoy the Rajasthani tradition, folklore, palaces and importantly food. My tentative schedule would be from Nov 21 over a period of 6-7 days.

My schedule would be simple and easy:-
At Jodhpur
> Reach Jodhpur flying directly from Bengaluru
> Explore Mehrangarh fort and Mehrangarh fort museum / Local cuisine / Jaswant Thada
> Explore Umaid Bhawan Palace / Osian (Khajuraho of Rajasthan) / Local markets
> Balsamand lake / Kalyana lake / Machiya safari park
> Relax / Shopping / Bazaars

(Mount Abu. Picture from web)

At Mount Abu
> Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
> In pursuit of the Green Munia (only found here)
> Crocodile Park
> Achalgarh fort
> Temples / Sunset Point
> Shopping

(Green Munia - A strikingly beautiful bird found only here. Photo from net)

Browsing through the Skyscanner website, I found the airfare picker tool quite easy with lot of options and below would be my choices flying from Bengaluru to Jodhpur.

Booking cab was also quite simple with the option popping up on the left display asking 'Do you want to book a cab'. You click and it searches for the best deals on the same set of dates you booked your flight tickets. Easy.

Again, booking hotels was made easy with lot of options thrown in for the user. You can select based on the ratings, price, distance and popularity and you can book from the best website offering the best prices. Interesting and good analytics I should say.

With a budget of 1Lac, I would seriously consider this as a royal vacation and intend to save some to indulge in some wonderful shopping getting souvenirs, Rajasthani handicrafts and clothes.

Air fare = 10,740/- round trip
Cab for whole duration = 13,640/- Hotels = 39,691/- + 20,619/- = 60,310/-
Food & Misc = 10,000/- (obvious that I can't show here)
Total = Rs.94690/- and I still save about Rs.5310/-

Well, dreaming isn't bad and if Skyscanner can fulfill those, I would love to dream all day long.

This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#ZestUpYourLife with Zest and Adda in Goa

(at the registration desk at the Goa airport with Aravind)

Was pleasantly surprised when Harish from BlogAdda sent a mail asking if I was free on a certain weekend. Having missed attending the WIN ceremony, I was keen and jumped in not knowing what was it all about. Then came in all the news in bits and pieces that kept me excited of the real chance of driving a new vehicle, the Tata Zest. Thus, finally on 26th July, 50 top bloggers from various streams descended on Zuri resorts and colouring it literally white (Blogadda) and blue (Tata motors).

(it was all blue and white... Pic -self)

The staff from Adda were very warm and hospitable and patient enough to answer all of your questions and guide you through the entire event, a family of bloggers coming together. Special thanks to Ankita (the adda girl), Hari (the adda man), Anand and Preethi (the backbone) from BlogAdda and to the entire team of Tata Motors and for getting in Narain Karthikeyan to grace the occasion.

(Narain was there and the MC Miss Malini, Picture-web)

Zuri Resorts was a perfect place being an high end resort, we had all the space in the resort for the activities but the tiring part was moving around between the lobby and the rooms that was at the far end of the resort. Ok, without going in detail (I’m sure lot of others would be doing that…) let me put it in a photo-story format and keep it crisp & simple :)

(Ankita was honest in expressing here love... errr for us! Picture - self)
(an ice-breaker session)

(Ms Minari from Tata telling us about the vision and mission of this project)

(Mr Anand Kulkarni and the new benchmarks of Tata)

(the Adda family during a break -Anikta, Harish and Preethi, happy to be part of this family)

(Anand, from Adda with Nivedith and Aravind)

(we consumed the Social media too... :))

(the Revotron was impressive)

(the flagging off next day, we drove both the diesel and the petrol cars)

(Zest's were all around...ahead)

(... and behind)

(I enjoyed the cruise... and the AMT too...)

(pit stop posing... we had 2 stops one each drive, with Senthil)

(we were surely zest'ed up with 140Nm of torque gushing through...)

(back at Zuri, time for some live blogging action...)

(and some hogging (this was just a sample though!), desserts occupied most of my plate :))

(and catching up with some wonderful bloggers - Siddhartha, Stephen, Deepak and Keyur)

(and a lot of selfie's... here with Ankita, the adda girl)

(and the group photos...)

(before we were deported back from where we came :))
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