What all things to keep in mind for a solo travel in India

‘I love to travel but have to wait for my friends to get free time which would match mine’

‘I love to travel but want to experience a solo trip but am too scared about it’

‘I love to travel and want to travel solo but don’t know where to start from and how to do it’

Sounds familiar?

Most of us want to travel, rather love travelling. But when those friends and family are not available when you are available to go then you keep postponing the dates as per their availability.

Sometimes, you just want to have the experience of ‘solo’ travelling but somehow never started off.

So what are the things that you need to know before stepping out for travelling solo?

Here are some important pointers based on my own experiences which you would find useful while travelling solo in India –

Know your place

A little bit pre-researched information about the place where you are going is always helpful. Example, the kind of weather conditions, culture, dressing sense, food, transport availability, etc.

Transport

All places in India are mostly connected by trains and bus. So after you have selected the place you want to go, see the rental options of four wheeler and two wheeler if you want to avoid public transport.

For trains it is better to book beforehand. For the bus transport check for the State run transport first as it is much faster and budget friendly.

If you are moving from one destination to another then check the connectivity. For example, when I went to Rajasthan, I rented two wheeler at Jaipur and covered all the nearby places with that.

Food

Best way to enjoy the foods and have the hygiene factor covered is by having the local authentic foods. You get the fresh fruits and vegetables and also the processed items intake would be less when you are tasting the local delicacies. And given India is majorly a vegetarian country, you would get all types of food at almost all states.

Take your own reusable bottle with a filter attached (although it’s a bit expensive). This will help you to have pure drinking water. Buying water every time if you are on a long trip would weigh down on the budget.

Clothes

India is a vast country with tropical climate. Whatever destination you travel to, better to check the weather conditions prior to that. Especially the clothes you will require at the Northern India is different from Southern India.

However, it is good to have interchangeable clothes and light multi-purpose jackets which you can mix and match and wear anytime.

Another important thing is to wear clothes which does not attract unnecessary attention (especially for women travelers). Prefer to wear clothes covering more than 70% of the body. Not all places are same but just to be on the safer side you would like to take this into consideration.

Also keep in mind, while visiting most of the religious places, wear a fully covered dress and better to cover the head.

Be a Responsible Traveler

Traveling is not just about fun. It’s also about experiences and learning. Wherever you go ensure that you respect not just the people and culture but also the place. Do NOT litter around even if you find litter lying here and there. It will not only help you have a satisfied journey but also you might inspire and encourage others to follow the same, you never know!

Hacks & Tips

Ladies, it is a good idea to fake a ring on your finger! It works most of the time. This peculiar trick keeps away unwanted men most of the time.

Keep a whistle, key, spray(any deodorant will also do) and torch handy always for safety purpose.

Keep emergency numbers handy. Local police and hospital details should always be with you wherever you are traveling to.

While India is a diverse country with a diverse culture, it is always advisable to respect and be humble and empathetic while traveling towards the locals and the fellow travelers.

If you have some other tips and experience do share it in the comments below. Would love to hear.

Happy traveling 🙂

Some natural beauties of Sri Lanka. Birds of Sri Lanka

With a rich history and culture, Sri Lanka has its uniqueness in own way. Traveled to Sri Lanka for 7 days and captured some beauty of nature in my frames.

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White Throat Kingfisher

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Intermediate Egret
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Grey Heron
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Indian Cormorant
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Oriental Darter
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Common Kingfisher
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Chamelion
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Golden fronted Leafbird
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Black Crested Bulbul
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Oriental White Eye

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Crested Serpent Eagle
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Brahminy Kite
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Female Leafbird
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Peacock
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Great Malabar Hornbill

Along with birds, some animal too! 🙂

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Giant Squirrel

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White Rumped Shama

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Giant Squirrel

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White Rumped Shama
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White Bellied Blue Flycatcher

Sri Lanka in 7 days under INR 20,000. Solo trip from India

Tear drop shaped island country, one of the nearest neighbors of India – Sri Lanka holds the same historical relation with India in context of Ramayana. Covering Sri Lanka in 7 days under INR 20,000, that too Solo trip from India needed a bit of planning. Although in size it is smaller than a state of India, Sri Lanka has diverse flora and fauna, food and culture. The innumerable National Parks, beaches and hills make its an ideal holiday destination for people across the world.

Caution – Long post ahead 😉

I started from Mumbai on a Friday and reached Sri Lanka on Saturday. It is not much of a distance but my layover was for around 4 to 6 hours at Chennai.

Day 1:

Colombo – Negombo

Since I reached in the morning, I had booked a homestay at House of Le Meridien at Negombo through Booking.com. The distance was very close to the airport, hardly 30 mins. Traveling to short distances is really cheap using the cab services like Uber and PickMe.

The Colombo city can be visited in a day and you may spend sometime by the ocean near all the big hotel chains. Especially in the evening the Ocean line looks beautiful!

Lots of sea food available anywhere that you travel.

The entire country is surrounded by water on all sides hence, there are some good places for beach lovers. To name a few- Mirissa beach on the south, Trincomali on the east, etc.

Since I have seen lots of beaches, this time planned to explore something else.

Day 2:

Sigiriya-Habarana

Traveling is cheap by local transport across the country, but it is quite time consuming. I took a bus from Negombo to Dambulla (there are AC and non AC buses, both with reasonable cost Ask the locals/ at the bus station about the AC buses if you want to travel in that). And from Dambulla to Habarana another bus (here only non AC buses).

Accommodation : Jungle Paradise

I would especially like to mention about the accommodation here. All nature lovers would love this place! It is simply amazing! There is a tree house, mud house, camping. All in the lap of nature. Everything there is eco-friendly…in literal sense! The electricity is generated through the owner, Rukmal’s personal solar panel.

The food, stay everything will give you an authentic experience about how we should treat and respect Mother Nature. He is an amazing person who would help you in deciding your further journey and also might accompany for an adventure trip!

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A special memory – Since I didnot have any company for Minneriya National Park where I wanted to see the ‘gathering‘ of Elephant herd, it was too costly for me to have the Safari alone and most importantly I wanted to see Elephants in a natural way. Hence decided to go on a real raw adventure…at night, in the jungle!

Rukmal has his tuk tuk(auto vehicle). Around 9:30 pm we decided to go in the middle of the jungle (this accommodation is just beside another small National Park) to see Elephants.

Next moment, we found ourselves in the pitch dark path of the Jungle with just a torch to spot Elephants 🙂

Within 5 minutes, the 1st small Elephant family was spotted – 2 big and one small kid. As soon as we were looking at them for around 30 seconds, the largest Elephant among them started to move towards us! Next micro second, we vanished from there!

Within next 2 minutes, we spotted another single Elephant who was waiting like a gentleman just on the footpath to cross the road. We waited in front of it just hardly 5 metres away until it smoothly crossed the road.

Next within another 5 mins, we spotted two Elephants together. We paused, they paused. We moved, they moved. It was as if we were playing ‘copy-me’ game 😀 Next second, one of them started to advance towards us and again we ran from there within a micro second!!

The final Elephant we spotted was a bit scared of us it seemed. It moved away instead of coming towards us.

We could get this experience just within a few metres at night without any guide or restriction. We just saw them and came back! It was a great feeling and experience! Not disturbing or using Elephants as in Safari and getting the real experience of simply watching them in their natural behavior is something I was looking for, and see…got it! 🙂

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Day 3:

Ritigala-Pink Quartz- Sigiriya- Pidurangala

There are some places in Sri Lanka which are extremely famous tourist spots and you will find those everywhere on the internet and most of the people visit only those. Due to this the entry of foreigners to these specific tourist spots are extremely expensive!

But there are certain places where only a handful of travelers go and explore. I did that. These have equal importance and significance in history and are some of the most beautiful and adventurous places you can go for.

Ritigala – It is believed that it is one of the places where parts of the Himalayan mountain fell while Hanuman was carrying it to cure Laxman, as per Ramayana. It is the ruins of an ancient monastery with beautiful ambiance and environment. It has around 70 rock caves that were believed to had been inhabited since first century B.C.!

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One of the many caves in Ritigala
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A portion of the ruins of the Buddhist Monastery

Pink Quartz – This hill range is entirely made of pink quartz! The view from the top is mindblowing! You have got to visit this place once you are near Habarana.

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Pink Quartz

Sigiriya – The famous Lion Rock of Sri Lanka. Famous for its giant structure and the ruins of ancient rock fortress at the top of it. It was formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. The entry fee here is approx INR 5000! Yes, it’s pretty expensive!

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The Lion Rock – Sigiriya

Pidurangala – Climbing to Sigiriya and Pidurangala are different experiences and cannot be compared. But when I was climbing Pidurangala, the Nature was at its best! Just near the top, the incoming black clouds of the monsoon engulfing the entire green stretch in front was a mesmerizing beauty! Waited near the giant sleeping Buddha structure for around 45 mins for the heavy rain to stop so that I can climb the top of Pidurangala.

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The Giant Buddha @ Pidurangala
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Sigiriya – Pidurangala

Trust me, you HAVE to climb to the top, the view is speechless! And not to forget, the ‘climbing’ part is more than a trek, you literally need to climb like a monkey! It’s way to adventurous. Wear a good grip shoe so as not to slip.

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A view from the top of Pidurangala – The engulfing monsoon clouds pacing towards us!

Day 4:

Kandy

Next day the journey from Habarana to Kandy took around 3 hours in bus. In Kandy stayed at a place near the Kandy Lake. Reached around 11 am, freshened up and went to see Temple of The Tooth. The entry for Indians or in general foreigners is INR 1000. Yes it’s comparatively expensive again.

It is a Buddhist temple with houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. It’s nice inside. But personally I felt it is not worth INR 1000 to visit.

After that had lunch at . In the evening roamed around the market. There are lots of beautiful flower shops. You may buy local stuffs but see to it which are local and which are imported as lots of things are imported from Chennai.

Day 5:

Ella

Now when it comes to traveling to Ella from Kandy, 99.9% people would tell you to take the train from Kandy Station. It is known as the most picturesque train ride. And yes it is! The train ride took around 6 hours! Yes, traveling takes a lot of time in Sri Lanka as compared to the given distance.

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A view from the Train window during the journey

Few tips for the train ride:

  • Even if you go early to book the ticket at the Station, it’s of no use since there is no seat reservation system.
  • It’s hell crowded. Yes, just like Mumbai local, you have to travel. If you are lucky enough then you might get a seat in between.
  • But all passengers manage to sit somewhere on the luggage or on floor given the journey time.
  • Take some snacks and water with you, although you will get some snacks on board by the vendors.
  • If possible, then get on the train prior to Kandy i.e. one stop before Kandy just to try your luck for the seats! And yes, it works for most of the people.

The people are very humble and helpful, so the train ride is not of a big problem even if you don’t get a seat. Some good people offer their seat turn by turn.

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Train Journey to Ella

In Ella, I stayed at a place known as Rodger’s Hideout. It is a bit far from the main Ella center. You get bus from the station easily. But I just cannot say what an ultimate experience it was. I will detail it out in my next article. Just in brief, it is a place where you will be completely in the middle of nature – jungle, free flowing river, natural river pool, paddy fields, hills all around and a great host/owner of the place with his amazing dog named TJ.

The train ride takes about half a day, so reached Ella in the evening and explored the next day.

Day 6:

Little Adam’s Peak, Ella Rock, Nine Arch Bridge

Started early in the morning. From Ella Station stop, it is walking distance. Trek up to the top of Little Adam’s Peak. The view is mesmerizing! There’s a Buddha status on the topof the hill. Climbed down and then Ella rock. It was too tiring altogether, given the weather was too hot 😦

Have food at Flower Cafe. As the name depicts, the entire cafe and its surroundings are filled with plants and trees. It is a treat to the eyes and soul.They have their own Avocado tree and you get to drink the juice in the cafe made from that.

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Downhill, there is a path, in a way short cut leading to Nine Arch Bridge. It is considered to be one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in Sri Lanka.

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Nine Arch Bridge

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Day 7:

Finally the day back to Colombo. Took a bus from Ella since it takes less time than train. Sri Lanka in 7 days under INR 20,000 can be easily done by anyone. Go and explore for yourself!

Entire trip was a mix of adventure, relaxing, tiring and fun altogether. If you want to cover all the beaches, definitely choose to visit North eastern and Southern part of the country.

Happy traveling 🙂

How to travel frequently having a full time job

How many of us wish to travel often but are pulled down due to our full time jobs? We all have at least one friend who fits in the above scenario. Or rather, some of us are the exact ones. Just imagine if you get the trick to travel frequently even with a full time job, how brilliant does that sound? Amazing right!

I have been working in a full time job since few years now, but the urge to go and visit new places, meet new people and most importantly try out amazing delicacies, has always kept a fire burning in my heart since a long time. In simple terms, explore the amazing World given to us by Mother Nature! In most of my travel stories shared with you all in my blog, maximum have been done during weekends, be it with family/friends or solo. You can check out all those with budget and itinerary!

Trips with friends and family are always welcome, but the problem comes when the time adjustment as per their availability does not match with mine and vice-versa.

Hence, I decided to take the plunge and raft with the flow. But the entire planning authority and freedom is mine for these trips and it gives an amazing sense of accomplishment and freedom!

So, most of us have 5 days job. But few even have Saturdays working. So what you can do is –

  1. First, look for long weekends where you can combine 1 or 2 days extra along with Saturday and Sunday for your trip, if not even then it’s fine
  2. List down all the nearby destinations from your location (you can always include the far off destinations with one night journey if you feel like)
  3. Check the train/bus/flight availability

If you are on a budget, then better to take train/bus. Some good websites to book online – IRCTC (I guess foreigners without user id cannot book from here, but there are other options) 

Yatra (some good offers are available round the year, just keep an eye on it)

MakeMyTrip (again look out for offers and discounts from time to time)

Goibibo (good discounts especially during the festive seasons)

Easemytrip (they don’t charge for the convenience fee)

4. Do some research about the place – Now this will be according to your taste and likeness which means if you are an adventure seeker, look out for what you can do in that place or if you are going with your family then what all options are available to explore

5. Set your budget for the entire trip including tickets

6. Calculate your travel time. If you are at a place say for example, Mumbai or Delhi and after office hours if you have to catch the train/bus at Friday night, then how many hours will be taken to reach your destination next day morning. I would suggest not to waste time beyond morning of the next day (Saturday), then you can utilize the max amount of time in the destination

7. If you are more of an explorer like me instead of a tourist, then checkout for hosts/travelers in Couchsurfing . The locals give you the better information about places and activities that tourists don’t get easily

Check out sites like TripAdvisor , LonelyPlanet, Tripoto . There are forums where you can even post your queries and get answers from genuine travelers.

8. If you are fine with not booking in advance for your accommodation, that’s okay but only if that’s a non-peak season. It’s advisable to book accommodation in advance especially if you are traveling in peak season

Booking.com (this is amazing to book good accommodations including homestay, hotel, resorts with excellent deals and you can even book without any advance booking fee and can cancel anytime before a specified timeline!)

My travel is mostly – start friday night, reach Saturday morning, Sunday again start for the return journey and Monday morning back to base. But if there are some mondays or fridays that can be taken as leave or clubbed with any National holidays, it’s more beneficial!

If you need any help or brainstorming regarding any place/trip, do get in touch with me. Always ready to help 🙂

Happy traveling 🙂

 

Why Travel? 11 Benefits when you start traveling

“Not all those who wander are lost. “

— JRR Tolkein

Why travel? Why do people travel? Why do you travel or want to travel? There are different kinds of answers to these questions by all of us. But the fact remains same that traveling open the doors of our brain, mind and soul. It channelizes our energy to understand deeply about things that we otherwise fail to understand.

We all have come across many articles, stories, videos and blogs on people of various culture, different age groups who travel the world for their own desires and thirst for exploration. Some do it for fun, some for the adventure while rest to get the experience of a lifetime.

Let me tell you why traveling is so important and why everyone should be doing this more often. (Am talking about traveling for self – not the compulsory work/business travel that the respective people get frustrated and fed up with 😦 )

  1. Travel teaches us problem solving skills in any situation
  2. Travel teaches us to be more compassionate towards fellow human beings and animals
  3. Travel allows us to be friends with amazing people, some for lifetime
  4. Travel shows that there are more good people everywhere than what we see on TVs and virtual world
  5. Travel teaches us to be punctual, disciplined and responsible
  6. Travel makes us more creative
  7. Travel boosts happiness and satisfaction
  8. Travel makes us happy which in turn help in lowering depression
  9. Travel makes us more smarter
  10. Travel teaches us to be reflective upon the situations we come across, thereby helping in making wise decisions
  11. Travel helps us to be independent when we think we cannot!

Whatever and to what extent the benefits are, we should always keep in mind to respect Nature by not littering any places or misusing the resources that are provided to us by Nature for our own existence. Happy traveling 🙂

 

10 ways to get paid to travel the World

‘I need a break! Let’s go somewhere.’

‘I wish I could travel 365 days without worrying about paying rent!’

Sounds familiar? We, who simply love travelling but are pulled sometimes due to the burden of the routine life and expenses, often wonder as to how can we simply travel and earn at the same time. Today, in the 21st century there are lots of ways to get paid to travel the world. Thanks to the internet ofcourse! For those who seriously want to travel and earn simultaneously, here are the options to choose from. Have a look.

Blogging (Travel Stories/Food Reviews/Offbeat Places etc)

If you are a good writer and can express well about your travel stories, then travel blogs are a way to earn. Have your own blog and pen down whatever information you got with your experiences. Uniqueness and originality is preferred since people can connect with the same. But in this case, it takes quite some time to get established fully into it.

Freelance

Online freelancing is the most flexible option. If you are good in any particular field you can charge on hourly basis based on the work. It can be anything starting from content writing to consultancy. You might want to check this out for freelance options.

Local part time jobs (specific to different countries)

Now, this is interesting and sometimes fun activity too which might pay you good amount at certain cases. The place where you are traveling, you can checkout for some activities which need a helping hand, like organic farming, gardening, poultry, minor construction etc. This is also a good way to have new experiences at certain jobs that you never thought might do in life!

Speak good English

If you are reading this article then obviously you know English. But go a step further and if you have a good grip on Grammar and command over this language then you can get the opportunity to teach at various places and countries where people look forward to learn English. Hence, you can earn on the go.

Helping Hand

If you are good in helping others, then there are options where you can offer to help and get paid in return. These include – helping someone in their homestays, day to day routine works, handling guests at their farmhouse, helping in surveys of any kind and many more. Generally the timing varies 4-5 hours a day as per the requirement and those people want travellers who could offer a helping hand too. Since, it’s not a permanent thing and the flexibility is also good enough along with the pay.

Tour Guide

Most simple, become a tour guide. If you have good knowledge about the place, history and culture, you can share the same knowledge with other travellers and tourists. This brings in good amount of money too.

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)

Volunteers are offered food and accommodation. Many people volunteer for the opportunities and flexible terms of WWOOF. It is not exactly an earning, but an excellent way to travel without much affecting your bank account. Also you get to meet a lot of like-minded travellers.

Airline

Bea flight attendant. Most of the places would be covered wherever the route takes you. It’s an excellent way of earning who can manage the long hours in the air.

Cruise

Work for a cruise line. You will get to visit some of the most exotic locations along with all facilities provided to crew members with all expenses paid for you.

Destination wedding photographer

This is for the artistic group of people who have special interest in photography. Needless to say this requires a bit of skill and should be a professional or exceptionally good photographer. The clients want beautiful and exotic locations mostly and all expenses paid for you along with a handsome earning.

Along with all these there are some sites which provide stay options and cultural exchange through meeting with the travellers across the globe – Couch-surfing , Workaway , etc. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next destination. Happy travelling!

10 Best Places in India for Solo Female Travelers – Budget Friendly

With a full time job and only few weekends to spend for myself in a year, it’s a little bit of extra work of planning for a solo trip. Although there are lots of places in India to visit solo(for everyone irrespective of men or women), here are the top most as per budget, food and traveler friendly.

Source : Mumbai

Trip Duration (each) : 2-4 days (over the weekend)

Budget : Within INR 7000

Accomodation : Through makemytrip.combooking.com (these offer some really good budget-friendly deals) and Couchsurfing(the worldwide common platform for cultural exchange with travel experiences and hospitality- the best out of all the options!).

Budget : Pocket friendly (All prices might vary from season to season and person to person. These are the ones I completed my trips within).

1. Hampi – Paradise for all backpackers

Approx trip cost – INR 2000

The land of monuments and the Tungabhadra River, Hampi is more than just scenic beauty and an ideal place for backpackers, it is an experience with best of ancient touch and the warm and mordern gestures of the locals. The ancient temples, monuments and the giant rocks and boulders of Hampi will leave you amazed. The locals there speak fluent English so language is not a problem for anyone communicating in English.

Definitely take the Coracle ride once to cross the river. It’s really fun! And it is very well within the pocket-friendly budget. Have delicious foods at Mango Tree cafe with unlimited access to wifi and great ambiance.

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Tip : Take enough cash as there is no facility of card swipe at most of the places. The only ATM is at Hospet, 10 km from Hampi.

For detailed info, check here.

2. Goa – Indian travel hotspot year round for all kinds of travelers

Approx trip cost – INR 4000

The most happening place for solo traveling. Parties, serene beauty, water sports, adventure or just chilling out – Goa offers everything and is most frequented by solo travelers. You can visit Goa at any time of the year except the Summer season(it’s too hot!) During Monsoons only the water activities are closed due to high tides, otherwise every place can be explored and it’s a scenic beauty treat to the eyes during monsoon.

Try out the local cuisines and rent a two-wheeler (rent options available almost everywhere) for an ultimate enjoyable experience.

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Tip : Take good amount of sunscreen whichever month it be. Try out all kinds of booze at cheap rates than any other state.

3. Sikkim : The abode of natural beauty

Approx trip cost – INR 7000

Known as the most disciplined state, Sikkim is the abode of natural beauty and peace. You can never get enough of its serenity. The food, shopping and people are simply amazing. Definitely visit the Monastery, Phelling, Tsangu Lake. Gorge on yummiest momos and soups!

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Tip : Take a light jacket for the night in off winter season and definitely the woolens during winter.

4. Varanasi – Essence of Indian culture

Approx trip cost – INR 4500

As the saying goes ‘Varanasi is not just a place, it’s an experience’ is very true and you can experience this once you visit here. The Ganges, the Ghats, the Ganga Aarti , the innumerous diyas at the bank of the River – India’s culture reflects in every corner of Varanasi. At least once in life you must pay a visit. In the evening take a ride in the boat along the Assi Ghats and watch and immerse in the essence of Ganga Aarti.

Tip : Take proper care of not to get trapped by the ‘pandas’ at the temples.

5. Udaipur – The City of Lakes

Approx trip cost – INR 3000

Rajasthan has always attracted people from all over the world due to its rich history, culture and architecture. One of the safest destination for women travelers. The people are very friendly and helpful. The City of Lakes – Udaipur . The vintage car museum, the City Palace, the stroll near the banks of the lakes and getting immersed in the golden hue of sunset are just some of the many things you should do in Udaipur.

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Tip : Sit by the lakes (especially Lake Pichola) by the evening to enjoy the picturesque beauty and soothing breeze and try out the German Bakery stuffs over there!

6. Jaipur – The Pink City

Approx trip cost – INR 3000

Enjoy the Forts, palaces and vintage museums of the Pink City – Jaipur with delicious traditional foods that the city has to offer. The largest physical sun dial is located here at Jantar Mantar. It’s thrilling how the astronomy and engineering was so perfect at the ancient era in India!

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Tip : If you love walking, then can explore most the city by walking only.

For detailed info check here.

7. Jodhpur – Rajasthan treasures

Approx trip cost – INR 2500

The Blue City – Jodhpur is famous for the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the biggest in India and the Golden City. Along with that the world’s largest Royal residential heritage hotel – Umaid Bhavan Palace is located here.

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Tip : Try walking up the road to the Fort through the narrow backstreet from where the view is breathtaking, especially early in the morning and late evening.

For detailed info, check here.

8. Pondicherry – Touch of French culture

Approx trip cost – INR 5000

The French Colony of India is a place which has something that most of the place has in scarcity – peace and serenity. The delectable French cuisines, the old buildings, the small clean beautiful lanes, the Aurobindo Ashram, the simple people leading their simple lives, the shops for some great shopping experience – you can enjoy all these at Pondicherry. Do spend the evening at the Ocean rocks, it’s a beautiful experience.

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Tip : Take the direct bus from Chennai if you are opting for public transport or better book a cab for more convenience.

9. Khajuraho – Ancient architecture of India

Approx trip cost – 5000

A bit surprised? Yes Khajuraho is one of the best places for female solo travelers to visit and explore. Ofcourse a little cautiousness is needed just like any other place, but once you get the idea you are good to go ahead. The temple is the biggest attraction here and two lakes are also present nearby.

Khajuraho railway station is located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Along with that the Khajuraho airport is another option. By roadways, you can take buses which are available from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi, Delhi and few other.

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Tip : While buying souvenirs at the shops outside the temple, negotiate as much as you can as they don’t give up easily.

10. Jhansi and Orchha – History of bravery and valour

Approx trip cost – 4000

In Jhansi, the Fort is the only attraction but the Orchha Palace is something not to be missed. An official guide at this place would be helpful to understand the details.

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Tip : Take a shared tempo from Jhansi to Orchha and vice versa for a distance of around 10 kms. It is cheap and convenient too.

So step out and explore and enjoy the beauties of every part of India! This list of course is going to increase as days pass by. If you know any other places which should add up to this list, please do share in the comment section. Happy traveling 🙂

Pros and Cons of Solo traveling

It has been quite sometime now people have come to know the term ‘solo travel’, thanks to the internet. But just like everything under the Sun has its pros and cons, so does solo traveling. Before you head out, be familiar with the pros and cons of solo traveling.

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Let’s see the cons first –

  1. Can be lonely – Solo traveling can be lonely sometimes. Especially when we would like to share any special moment with someone. Also for clicking photos selfie sticks are a savior in today’s time but still there are situations where we need to ask some stranger to take photos of us against the backdrop of the object or location
  2. Can be less safe – At some places and situations, solo traveling can be less safe, be it for a man or woman. So always be careful for own safety
  3. Can be expensive – Since we are all on our own, the expenses can get expensive sometimes, especially when not planned out well in advance

Coming to the Pros –

  1. Freedom – From A to Z typically, we plan everything for the trip, even if not the complete plan but at least the tickets, accommodation, place to visit, etc. This gives the freedom to chalk things out in our own sweet and comfortable way
  2. Self confidence – This point requires a five-star! Solo traveling not only develops and boosts our self confidence but also makes us a person with a to-do attitude in life
  3. Acceptance – We learn to accept other people and culture much easily into our lives and hence blending into the diversity
  4. New friends – Surely we make some wonderful friends, sometimes for lifetime!
  5. Broader perspective – We become (more)open minded and see things in a broader perspective with a positive attitude towards life
  6. ‘Me’ time – To get away from the daily routine, chaos or responsibility, we find ourselves some ‘own’ time just for our self, which is extremely essential for our mental and emotional being
  7. Problem solving – There are situations that we need to face and fix the problem all alone. This teaches to handle problems in our own way and how effectively we can do it

Even though there are some cons to it, yet solo traveling unleashes a whole new range of experience and exploration. All the benefits, advantages or the pros (as mentioned here) of this kind of adventure is something to be enjoyed and cherished. Personally I would suggest at least once everyone should travel and experience some destination solo in life. It is worth it! Happy traveling 🙂

P.S. – If you have traveled solo and found some real benefits/experiences other than those mentioned here, please feel free to share in the comment section. Would love to hear them!

1

Weekend trip – Alwar and Bhangarh – Listed as most haunted place in India

When we search in Google for the most haunted places in India, Bhangarh in Rajasthan tops the list. It’s been a place I badly wanted to go for a long long time! So then I finally made it. Tickets from Mumbai to Jaipur to and fro for a weekend. Started off in the evening, reached during the noon the next day. Stay was at Moustache Hostel. Whenever I go to Jaipur, prefer staying here, the ambiance is really nice!

Trip duration – 2.5 days

Trip cost – INR 2500

Day 1 (Evening):

On first day after reaching there, only the half day was left so went to Bawri, Jaipur. Had the traditional local dal bati churma for lunch near the Ganesh Chowk. Rented a bike for Rs. 600 a day and headed for Bawri. The deep well was used as a water reservoir that helped during the non-rainy season. This concept of traditional well was quite common in every parts of ancient India. You can see bawri at many other places of Rajasthan too.

DSCN5440
Dal bati churma in lunch @ Ganesh Chowk

 

Day 2 :

Bhangarh is approx 2 hours from Jaipur by road. But if Bhangarh can be explored then why not Alwar? So headed for Alwar first, approx 3 hours from Jaipur. Jaipur-Alwar-Bhangarh-Jaipur. The roads are superb.

Map

Alwar Fort :

A place whose history dates back to 1000 CE. It was a part of Matsya Kingdom as per history. It has evolved under various Rajput rulers since then. Alwar has several forts, lakes which attracts tourists. So also the Bhangarh Fort and the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The scenic beauty, the calmness of the pathway to the Alwar Fort is a beauty. Karni Mata Temple can be visited on the way.

There were hardly any tourists except 5 or 6 and the Security Guards. The Bala Quila or Alwar Fort is not completely accessible as it is restricted by Military. What I loved about the Fort is the originality with its original charm and the absolute silence. Only the chirping of the birds and the swaying of the leaves in the breeze could be heard. The view of Alwar is seen for the viewpoint of the Fort – it’s absolutely mesmerizing!

DSCN5569
A view of Alwar Fort from the viewpoint

There’s direct way to Bhangarh from Alwar via the Sariska National Park. That road is not so smooth hence you might want to start a bit early.

Bhangarh Fort :

It felt fantastic to step on this place which has been rumored as haunted across the globe. To me, it felt simply beautiful! Just when you enter the gate, there’s Lord Hanuman temple (to shoo away the ghosts may be 😛 ). Walk straight through the ruins, it will lead to the garden and the Fort. You can listen to the local guides especially kids explaining about the history of the place and the haunted activities take place every night which is quite interesting and entertaining too.

Reach the Fort and climb to the top most part through the broken stairs. On the right side there are valleys and greenery where numerous peacocks and peahens could be seen enjoying their time and relaxing. Some dancing with their gorgeous and most vibrant feathers open and enjoy the breeze in the setting sun. That’s a beauty to the eyes!

DSCN5643
The ruins of the Bhangarh Fort

On the left side there’s a hill having a temple at the peak of it (photo above).

Something was really irritating – the unnecessary hooting and shouting of the so-called-tourists which disturbed the natural silence over there.

Colorful treats (photos below of our National Bird) amidst the cool breeze and the ruins of the historical Fort.

DSCN5723

 

DSCN5716

The sun goes down and people start to leave from the Bhangarh fort. Some say when you enter the Fort and its areas, you get a different negative feeling. But to me, it was one of the most calm and serene place to have visited. In other words, beautiful!

On the way near Bhangarh, these 2-horned deers were spotted on the road.

Next day breakfast at the Curious Life Coffee Roasters was not just yummy but a huge spread of healthy foods 🙂 You must try the coffee here.

Finally, time to return. But to me Bhangarh offered some beautiful scenic beauties and a soothing ambiance although the history has something else to say! Do visit this place and check yourself. Happy traveling 🙂

Weekend trip – Alwar and Bhangarh – Listed as most haunted place in India

When we search in Google for the most haunted places in India, Bhangarh in Rajasthan tops the list. It’s been a place I badly wanted to go for a long long time! So then I finally made it. Tickets from Mumbai to Jaipur to and fro for a weekend. Started off in the evening, reached during the noon the next day. Stay was at Moustache Hostel. Whenever I go to Jaipur, prefer staying here, the ambiance is really nice!

Trip duration – 2.5 days

Trip cost – INR 2500

Day 1 (Evening):

On first day after reaching there, only the half day was left so went to Bawri, Jaipur. Had the traditional local dal bati churma for lunch near the Ganesh Chowk. Rented a bike for Rs. 600 a day and headed for Bawri. The deep well was used as a water reservoir that helped during the non-rainy season. This concept of traditional well was quite common in every parts of ancient India. You can see bawri at many other places of Rajasthan too.

DSCN5569

DSCN5440
Dal bati churma in lunch @ Ganesh Chowk

Day 2 :

Bhangarh is approx 2 hours from Jaipur by road. But if Bhangarh can be explored then why not Alwar? So headed for Alwar first, approx 3 hours from Jaipur. Jaipur-Alwar-Bhangarh-Jaipur. The roads are superb.

Map

Alwar Fort :

A place whose history dates back to 1000 CE. It was a part of Matsya Kingdom as per history. It has evolved under various Rajput rulers since then. Alwar has several forts, lakes which attracts tourists. So also the Bhangarh Fort and the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The scenic beauty, the calmness of the pathway to the Alwar Fort is a beauty. Karni Mata Temple can be visited on the way.

 

There were hardly any tourists except 5 or 6 and the Security Guards. The Bala Quila or Alwar Fort is not completely accessible as it is restricted by Military. What I loved about the Fort is the originality with its original charm and the absolute silence. Only the chirping of the birds and the swaying of the leaves in the breeze could be heard. The view of Alwar is seen for the viewpoint of the Fort – it’s absolutely mesmerizing!

DSCN5569
A view of Alwar Fort from the viewpoint

 

There’s direct way to Bhangarh from Alwar via the Sariska National Park. That road is not so smooth hence you might want to start a bit early.

Bhangarh Fort :

It felt fantastic to step on this place which has been rumored as haunted across the globe. To me, it felt simply beautiful! Just when you enter the gate, there’s Lord Hanuman temple (to shoo away the ghosts may be 😛 ). Walk straight through the ruins, it will lead to the garden and the Fort. You can listen to the local guides especially kids explaining about the history of the place and the haunted activities take place every night which is quite interesting and entertaining too.

 

 

 

Reach the Fort and climb to the top most part through the broken stairs. On the right side there are valleys and greenery where numerous peacocks and peahens could be seen enjoying their time and relaxing. Some dancing with their gorgeous and most vibrant feathers open and enjoy the breeze in the setting sun. That’s a beauty to the eyes!

DSCN5643
The ruins of the Bhangarh Fort

 

On the left side there’s a hill having a temple at the peak of it (photo above).

Something was really irritating – the unnecessary hooting and shouting of the so-called-tourists which disturbed the natural silence over there.

Colorful treats (photos below of our National Bird) amidst the cool breeze and the ruins of the historical Fort.

DSCN5723

 

 

DSCN5716

The sun goes down and people start to leave from the Bhangarh fort. Some say when you enter the Fort and its areas, you get a different negative feeling. But to me, it was one of the most calm and serene place to have visited. In other words, beautiful!

 

On the way near Bhangarh, these 2-horned deers were spotted on the road.

 

Next day breakfast at the Curious Life Coffee Roasters was not just yummy but a huge spread of healthy foods 🙂 You must try the coffee here.

Finally, time to return. But to me Bhangarh offered some beautiful scenic beauties and a soothing ambiance although the history has something else to say! Do visit this place and check yourself. Happy traveling 🙂