August, 2010 Archives

Delhi – Rudraprayag – One crazy ride on a weekend (Dec ’09)

This one was an unexpected ride and it contains a crazy part too. Since my better half has went to Chennai on this particular weekend and I had planned for a ride to ‘Pokhri’. Destination was decided and thought about companion for this ride. As I don’t have any travel companion in Delhi, I made a call to my friend who was in Chennai. It was around 8.30 AM in the morning and I enquired about his weekend engagement. He said he doesn’t have any plans as such and then came my next statment, ‘Why don’t you join me for a ride this weekend?’. At first he didn’t understand what I said, when he realised, burst out in laugh and didn’t stop for a minute.

I didn’t interrupt him and when he asked again I said the same thing. He thought I am gone nuts and after 30 mins of severe discussion, he finally agreed to come down to Delhi and I booked the tickets for him in another 30 mins and sent it over to him. The flight was scheduled to leave by 1.30 and I booked the ticket by 10.00 and sent it over to him by email immediately.

I am so excited about all the happenings over the past few hours and awaited eagerly for the evening to pick him up from the airport. He boarded the flight and the flight was delayed by 30 mins and it was the perfect time for me to pick him up as I don’t have to leave office early. So, left office by 5 and picked him up at airport by 5.30 and headed to Faridabad.

Once we reched home, we both were in the same mood and excitement as he couldn’t believe all the happenings since morning. Had a nice chat about the conversations he had with his family to convince his travel to Delhi. Everybody thought us as we are out of our mind. After all we need something like this once in a while to make our life exciting.

So, had dinner and dozed off quite soon as we had planned to leave early. Left home by 5 AM and it was so cold outside. But then we had managed to wear 3-4 layers to protect ourselves from the shivering cold. The ride was nothing but usual as we shared the ride between us. We coudln’t reach Pokhri as we had a small accident enroute somewhere near Srinagar. Rear brake got damaged and a leakage in engine oil. So, that slowed down us for a considerable amount of time and we reach Rudraprayag by 7. There was no way we can reach Pokhri after that time as there was no assured accomodation.

So, stayed at GMVN guest house for the night and returned the next day. This trip was all about riding riding riding and some breaks for photography. Hope to conquer Pokhri this year.

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Monsoon Photographs from Delhi (Aug ’10)

Monsoon has been so good this year in Delhi. Never experienced this chillness since I landed in Delhi and needless to say I am enjoying it so much. Much to my liking had to go out for couple of times around Delhi during heavy rain. You all know how it is when you go out during heavy downpour as roads will be waterlogged for most of the time with traffic snarls all over. But still it’s been a good experience travelling around the city during such a heavy down pour.

So, here are the photographs taken this season.

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Monsoon Drive to Chail (Aug ’10)

The climate in Delhi nowadays seems to be quite good with regular rains keeping the city cool. So, we decided to go for a monsoon weekend drive to Himalayas. Also, there was a discussion going on in my favorite travel portal BCMT and people are discussing about the possibility of spending the Independence day weekend in Himalayas. Finally after have a voting system in place, the place was decided to be ‘Chail’.

I have been there already but haven’t visited in Monsoon. So we all geared up for the trip. They have formed a 7 member team and planned to come with a Qualis and we as usual with our Zen. Another couple has plans to join us in Chandigarh as they reside there.

So, everything was setup and we started our journey to Chail by 14th of August around 6 AM. The climate was very pleasant and there was an indication that it’s about to rain anytime. The drive was quite relaxed and beautiful with less traffic. The entire road stretch was good and we reached Ambala in quick time, where we met our friends. Just had a chit chat and continued our Journey to Kalka as they headed to pick up another friend.

We started from there and headed to Kalka, and around 9.30 we reached Pinjore where we had breakfast. Very close the hotel, you can see ‘Pinjore Gardens’ and slight drizzle made the atmosphere quite beautiful. We spent an hour shooting photographs and headed towards Kalka.

We all assembled at Kalka where another family from Chandigarh joined us. Then we all headed towards Chail via Kandaghat. We planned to have lunch at Sadhuphool but then the restaurant doesn’t have sufficient food for 11, and we had no choice other than head towards Chail.

We all reached Chail at 3.30 PM straight away check out in the hotel. As everybody was hungry then, all freshened up and went to the main market to have lunch (late lunch). As usual had Onion & Aloo paranthas with curd and it tasted divine :). Once done with the lunch, everybody discussed about the next plan and after a lot of discussion, all agreed to pay a visit to ‘Kali Ka Tibba’.

I haven’t visited the temple during my earlier visit and so eagerly awaited to see. Once we reached the temple, the 360 degree it offered was fantabulous. Everyone started shooting the view around like crazy and no camera can capture the views it offered. The pictures can’t do justice to what we have encountered there. It’s an amazing place and a must visit if you are heading to Chail.

The climate changed dramatically in half an hour and the entire place was covered by mist in no time. We all feared about our return as we have to navigate through the jungle road with less visibility. But we all reached safely and retired to our rooms. After some chit chat session we all headed to have dinner to the mall road and had the same paranthas for dinner. Needless to say we were all in bed in next 10 minutes.

Morning we woke up at 5 AM and decided to visit the place again, but no one has woke up at that time and we started alone to view the place in golden hour. The place was so divine and the views around are impeccable. After couple of hours of photo shoot headed towards the hotel and joined the rest of them. Had breakfast in the hotel itself and took a small nap and by the time others got ready and they had plans to visit the Cricket ground, which is located at the highest point.

So, we all headed towards the ground and after having shot some photographs, left for the Sidh Baba temple. It’s another beautiful temple located in a quite place. Once done, we all bid good bye as the other family went to Chail palace and the other gang headed towards Delhi. We reached Delhi around 10 PM with frequent stops in between for photography.

Places of Interest:

Kali Ka Tibba (Must see)
Sidh Baba Ka Mandir
Cricket Ground
Sadhupul (between Kandaghat and Chail)
Chail Palace

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Morning Photo Shoot @ Hauz Khaz, New Delhi (Jun ’10)

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South Indian Hotels/Food @ Delhi

Having spent around 28 yrs in South India, I am used to authentic South Indian food. Initial 15 days in Delhi was a nightmare as I couldn’t find out a good hotel to have South Indian food. Initially I was put up in a guest house located in South Extension for couple of weeks and routine was ‘parantha’ in the morning, roti + dhall & evening dinner at guest house – mostly egg briyani.

Then we moved to Kalkaji Extension and it took another week to get our things from Chennai. Till that time, we managed to find good South Indian mess in Munirka and were relieved a bit as we had dinner every night. After a month we bought our cute little car and started our hunt for South Indian restaurant. Finally managed to find a bunch of them and thought of sharing.

If you would like to have the similar cuisine served down south then you have to head Connaught Place or Green Park Market where ‘Hotel Saravana Bhavan’ and ‘Adayar Ananda Bhavan’ is located respectively. Both serve excellent food and don’t miss out ‘Mini Tiffen’ in both the places which is GVM. Other speciality dishes served are different varities of Dosas, Uttappams, Appam with Coconut Milk.

Second set of restaurants ‘Neivedyam’ in Kalkaji/Green Park, ‘Tamilnadu Tourism’ hotel in INA – Dilli Haat & ‘Sagar Ratna’ near Sarita Vihar serve South Indian food but can’t match with the taste of South. But still for a change you can have food there. I had food in ‘Sagar Ratna’ once and didn’t like the taste and never visited again and ‘Tamilnadu Tourism’ is no different from Sagar Ratna and hence not recommended for frequent visit. ‘Neivedyam’ serve food cooked with coconut oil and the taste is something different and good. Out of the dishes served ‘Tamarind Rice’, ‘Appam & Coconut Milk’ and ‘Kesari’ stand out. Don’t miss the ‘Rasam’ & ‘Papad’ served at the beginning.

Third set of restaurants server similar food as South India but it was more cheaper than the previous set of restaurants. The prices of the food were at par to the price down south with excellent taste. Most of these restaurants are located in and around Munirka. ‘Chennai Mess’, ‘Tamilnadu Mess’, ‘Kadirvel Mess’ in Munirka & ‘Chennai Briyani Center’ in R K Puram (near Delhi Tamil Sangam) to name a few. We visit all these places regularly as the serve more variety and excellent ‘Non-Veg’ food.

Last but not least, there were couple of state guest houses which serve authentic south indian food. ‘Tamil Nadu Illam’ in Chanakyapuri & ‘Andhra Bhavan Canteen’ near Ashoka Road serve good South Indian food. Don’t miss ‘Briyani’s’ in Tamilnadu Bhavan & ‘Fish Curry & Prawn Curry’ in Andhra Bhavan Canteen.

Enough details and now its time for some photographs.

Note: Most of the restaurants mentioned here are in South Delhi as I reside there. There might be more restaurants around Delhi, will update once when I pay a visit there.

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Weekend ride to Deeg – Rajasthan (Mar ’10)

This ride happened when I took a day off from office. When I was searching for a short getaway from Delhi, bumped into this destination and initial information looks interesting. Moreover, it is one of the lesser known destinations and couple of hours ride from Delhi, which pushed me towards this place.

It was hot outside and traveling in bike seemed a bit difficult as most of my travels done in my car. But then I love to ride bike that too alone and hence started without any big hesitation. The plan was simple, ride to Deeg, spend few hours and ride back to Delhi. It doesn’t look simple as I was riding on a hot and humid day and consumed couple of water bottles before reaching the destination.

To my surprise, not a single soul was around the Deeg Palace and I doubted my decision for choosing this destination. Got the entrance ticket and entered the palace. Once entered the palace, I am lost in the beautiful architecture in front of my eyes and started shooting with my hungry camera.

Few places are not maintained well and monkeys occupied most of the places near the entrance. The place was stinking so much but the views it offered are quite beautiful. Then visited couple of exhibition halls, but to my disappointment photography is not allowed inside the halls.

Then roamed around the Garden and shot some colorful trees. By the time I finished 3/4th of the palace sightseeing, legs started begging for rest. Also, felt hungry as the time was around 2 PM. Hence packed my things and started my ride back to Delhi with a short lunch break enroute.

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