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Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation package tour to Mysore, Ooty, Coonoor

In Travel Pics, Travel Writeup on July 4, 2011 at 4:26 am

Although we Wanderers are strictly against packaged tours, sometimes when the time is short and your company is not so young, packaged tours comes handy. Sanjukta shares with us her travel writeup on a weekend package tour with her mother. Originally published in her personal blog ‘This Is My Truth

I took mom for a 3 day conducted tour arranged by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation to Mysore, Ooty and Coonoor. I never thought of very highly for state conducted tours but when it’s just two people traveling, it’s not very economical to hire a cab. Surprisingly, the whole trip went great and I was pretty impressed by KSTDC services and arrangements.

The Delux Non AC bus tickets costs you INR 1930 approx and covers 3 days journey and 2 night stays in pretty decent hotels.Our guide told us, they actually put the tourist in Hotel Mayura which is under renovation these days. We started on 31st Dec at 7 am from Bangalore Corporation Bus stop near Unity building. The itinerary included Secundrabad, Tipu Sultan’s fort, Mysore, Mysore palace, Vrindavan Gardens, Bandipur wildlife sanctuary (we only passed through this while on our way to Ooty) Ooty and Coonoor.

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Live Blog Ooty Coonoor trip – By Sanjukta

In Events, Travel Writeup on August 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm

3.40 am

9 of us are on our way to Coonoor. Right now we have stopped over at a Barrista. Behind the wheels we have Vinayak in his Honda City and Vicky in his Honda Civic. Amongst the other let’s goers we have Snigdha, Myself, Danish, Sanjay, Sunil, Sree and Suresh.

Suresh is the most quiet guy, followed by Danish. Sunil and Vicky are like the pranksters, I and Snigdha are the glamour factors. Sanjay is one guy I can communicate in pure Delhi style. We have ordered for coffee. Time for a group photo.

Vicky seems to be the center of attraction here, everybody is trying to guess the place of his origin. (No he is not a wildlife item)

The Let's Go gang on the way to Ooty and Coonoor

The Let's Go gang on the way to Ooty and Coonoor, we have stopped over at Barrista

8.46 am

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All that Jazz and Twitter – By Sanjukta

In Travel Pics, Travel Writeup on August 24, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Sanjukta’s Report on Let’s Go trip in the true techie style… Twitter log.

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I had pre warned all my twitter followers that I would be frantically twittering the whole trip. So here’s the summary of the trip as obtained from my twitter log. Pay attention on the time stamp, time is the essence this story 🙂 This is inspired by this post of Thejesh.

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Snigdha’s write up on Pondi trip

In Travel Pics, Travel Writeup on August 24, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Some of the Pics taken by Vinu, on his Flickr Set.  

 

The trip started with some shopping plan. Wanted to buy a pair of shorts because I and Sanjukta wanted to cycle around the city but when I saw myself in a short, I thought I might as well, stick to jeans lest they stop me from entering  a pub in Pondi because I was looking like a school girl in that silly shorts. Never the less bought a red duffel bag. 😀

After a lot of planning, 12 of us gathered at Vinayak’s pad, well, apart from being a group administrator he also had to attend to our occasional tantrums. A nice cozy house, where we all ate fried rice and Manchurian, and I tried to feed wasabi to many people but only Sunil liked it and found it sweet.

As usual I allocated jobs to various people. Vishal was the official accountant, Sunil was our official showman, Sukumar was the assistant accountant, I wanted to be the official bar tender but my talent was never really appreciated, Sanju was the official real time message twitterer which I was finding very bugging and Sukumar concluded my thoughts by saying, “Twittering is online littering.”

2 cars, 13 people…but we all were eyeing Lola.  In case you do not know who Lola is, lemme take this opportunity to tell you that Lola is our administrator, Mr. Das’s girl friend, a red Honda City.  He is head over heels in love with Lola. Vinayak, me, Sunil, Vinu, Srividya hopped on to Lola and the rest went in Qualis. Before that we all had paid 1000 each to our finance head Vishal.

Srividya whispered to almost everyone, “Tomorrow is Anupama’s birthday.” And I whispered back, “Yes, and we all stop at 12 midnight to celebrate her birthday.” Everyone agreed. Usually, people do not disagree with me. 😛

We bought a cake from a cake shop near Ulsoor lake and then rolled. All through the way, Sunil was being bugged by me, as I kept pestering him to play different songs. I kept screaming, “Volume, Volume” and Sunil looked bewildered and was continuously giving blank looks to Vinayak, who was at the steering.

At the back seat Vinu got beaten up by me and Srividya for no apparent reason. At 12 we stopped and waited for the Qualis to reach. In the meantime, we decorated the cake with jeera (yes you read it right “jeera” means cumin seeds) which Vinu had got. As soon as the Qualis arrived I ran towards it and told Vishal and Danny to carry Anupama to the cake which they were too scared to do.

After the cake cutting ceremony and usual photos I smeared cake all over Anupama and got the taste of my own medicine from her. The ha-ha hee hee continued for 20 minutes then we started again. We heard, the Qualis guys had beer also (Sanju will talk about it later) and we, the Lola gang,  had jelly beans again thanks to Vinu.

The blaring music continued and it started raining all of a sudden when I asked Sunil to pull over. We all stood in the rain for 10 minutes and I and Vinayak ran in the rain. After sometime, we had tea at a local road side dhaba.  In the mean time we received a call from the Qualis guys that their tyre is punctured and that we need to wait. My reaction was, “Stepny nahi hai kya? Stepni lagao aur chal pado, ismei tension karne ka kya hai.”

Morning we reached ECR beach to catch the sunrise while the Qualis guys were far behind us and they had to be far behind us after all we were at 150 to 160 km/hour. 5 of us started walking towards the beach and saw how it is to be a part of community beach side potty collective.  Ok, lemme put it straight, people  and
potty, that’s all we could see for some time then we kept walking towards the other end of the beach till we found a clean stretch.

Sunil had gone missing with his machine and  Srividya was taking care of our belongings while, Vinayak, Vinu and I were playing in the sea like some 5 year old.  Before all this I had become a little philosophical at the sight of sun rise.

By the time we were done, hunger pangs had already started to knock on our stomach lining and we were frantically searching for food but in vain. Saw the Qualis arriving, and found all sleepy heads coming out of the Qualis one by one.

After a lil chitchat we started again and stopped at a small time eating place, had idlis, sambhar, poori, chutney and suddenly I saw a bullock cart, I had to run towards it, as if the bulls were calling me so that I could hop on to them. I just had to do it. Took a small ride on that bullock cart and again started for Youth Hostel of Pondicherry.

The Qualis guys had already reached the dormitory and were relaxing. After a shower we decided to have breakfast and I went outside the hostel and stumbled upon a small tea shop who had a hotelier friend who could understand Hindi. So the process was, the chai wala calls the hotel wala, the hotel wala then call the PCO number which the chai wala has and then I place my order in hindi. Ok Process complete, results awaited. 30 minutes after, parantha and sambhar gets delivered for the hungry souls and before that I carry 12 cups of tea on an aluminum tray which almost burnt my fingers.

After  all khana shana, I had to return the tray to the chai wala as he had kept 51 bucks as security for it. Confusion begins:- We all want to do different things. Sanju and I stare at “ground zero” read Ayan, who was blabbering something. We wanted to cycle, some wanted to take pictures, we also wanted to party. Vinayak was given the task to find out about a place where we could party whole night. Seeing all this chaos, 2 strange looking men arrive in on their bikes as God’s messenger to our call, with an invitation to some party which had all that we needed plus French girls. Ok now, this looked like a shady party to me and I was not really interested in going to a party where I will be hooked up with a French girl.  After lot of brain storming in the hot humid sun, we started moving here and there.  Finally, like an oasis in the desert, spotted Promenade, a restro bar, to our rescue.

Went inside but again the chaos continued, “to be or not to be, that is the question.”  Meanwhile, our super enthusiastic man, Sunil Kumar wanted to check out this funky place, but was a little skeptical in expressing himself amidst all the chaos. So I see him, coming and leaning over and asking me, “lets check the lounge.” And like partners in crime, the 2 of us sneaked out, leaving all the chaos behind at the mercy of the Moderators, Sanjukta and Vinayak. 😛

Upon entering the lounge, I induced greed in Sunil’s mind, “Sunil yaar ek ek beer maarke ke chalet hai.” And like I had mentioned before, people usually do not disagree with me, so we rest ourselves on the bar stools and decided to have Vodka instead. We had just placed our order and I see Mr. Das entering the scene with a hopeful look in his eyes, as if he has seen God. 😛

The cocktails went on for sometime, and Sanjukta felt all dejected and left in lurch by her school time buddy that’s me. She took charge and managed with the rest of the gang. The sinners along with Vinu and Lavanya had our lunch at Rendezvous while the non-sinners ate at Madame Shanty. Then we went to Auroville, which was already closed, after that to a beach again, photographers took a lot of pictures, Sanju twittered, I again went in water with Sukumar, Vishal.

Later we decided to sin more, so all sinners, read, me, Vinayak, Sanju, Sunil, Danny , Ayan hopped on to Lola while the non-sinners were sent in Qualis to look for a restaurant where we could have dinner. We sinned (censored) laughed like crazy and had dinner till late night. Later that night, Ayan, me, Vinayak, Sanju, we all sat on  the terrace of the Hostel and talked, giggled while a song from the film Guide kept playing in the back ground.

Next day, the photographers were missing when I woke up. They had gone for sunrise. So Vishal, Sukumar, Sanju, Vinayak and me, we lazed around, fought with pillows. Before that Vinayak and I went to that chai shop had cake and chai. The breakfast was at Promenade with rounds of cocktails. Later, we danced inside the restaurant and were called “Polar Beer” by Ayan.

Evening we went to see a Jetty, and on returning I saw an old uncle on a lady’s cycle, so I had to run after him. There is this freak side of me which may shock many. So I ran after him, “Uncle, Uncle Uncle…..(he stopped) huff!! Huff!!, Uncle I want your cycle.”

Uncle replies, ‘But I can not work without my cycle.”

Ok now this was an insult. Uncle thought that I probably will take his cycle never to come back to him again. But then I explained  that I wanted to cycle but could not find any cycle so I wanted his  cycle to cycle. Sanjukta also joined hands with me. I went to a point and she rode back. Since I was cycling after more than 15 years, I forgot to put the breaks and I thought what if I keep going on, it would have looked like a Priyadarshan film. Me on a cycle, Sanju running after me, Vinayak with lady’s
purse in his hands running after Sanju and that Uncle running after Vinayak for his bi-cycle. But that plan did not work, you see I am too humble a soul to do that.

Evening we started for or return journey, Lola had her admirers all over over. But the chosen ones got to sit inside. Sunil, Vinayak, me, Sanju and Sukumar. Stopped at a place for dinner, had boiled eggs from a road side vendor. In the meantime, Sanju lost her cell phone, (it was a pseudo loss actually) and had gone berserk, seeing all this Sunil and Vinayak got scaredand stopped talking, while Sukumar was bearing the brunt of Sanju’s constant cribbing. I was acting like this kewl chick who has seen it all, have done it all..Sanju kept crying, “Waaaa…waaa..waaaa” and I was laughing at her and interrupted, “lets have beer”. “Hum jaise dost ho to dushman ki kya zarurat hai.”  After 30 minutes of holding everyone by the noose, she says, “guys, I just remember that I had kept my phone in my camera pouch. I have not lost it.”  after that, rest is history, she got beaten up by me.

The guys had bullet beer and Sanju played the DJ, while I, Sukumar, Vinayak danced like crazy. I screamed at every 5 minutes, “Volume, Volume, Volume” Sunil drove at 150 km/ hour.  We all behaved like hooligans, lost our way somewhere in Chennai. Found our way back. Stopped at a road side joint again, had goat brain, beer and tea made from cow milk, freshly milked from a sleepy cow.

Later I felt asleep in the car, while the rest of the gang kept singing, screaming, shouting..we reached at 6:30 am and crashed at Vinayak’s place. The Qualis gang had reached way before us.  I went back to sleep, woke at 8, and left for my home.

This was the story from my side. I am sure each one of you would have a different version.  Letsgo and BWS trip to Pondi has been like merger of the equals. Would like to listen to each one of you  about your experience.

And lastly thanks to Sunil, Anupama, Srividya, Vinayak, Danny, Ayan, Vinu, Lavanya, Tanmay, Vishal, Sukumar for bearing with our hooliganism, tantrums and eccentricity. Believe me, I have found some really great friends in you people.

Ok lemme stop now, am getting all senti 😀

Kalsi Trip Write Up by Snigdha

In Travel Writeup on August 5, 2006 at 6:06 pm

Wanderers 3rd Trip. This time it was Kalsi. Tavera was the vehicle of the wanderers and this time the cab came on time unlike Rishikesh Trip.

Amit Gupta (2) made all the arrangments for the cab, Santosh made arrangements for the accommodation and Sanjukta and I, as usual, were following up with people.

Kakan could not be a part of this trip because she was down with viral and Santosh all the time was saying, “keep me as a last minute add-on”. Ramit was in a fix, “kya karu, kaha jao, but after lot of persuasion and Amit Gupta (1) some secret magic words, Ramit finally joined us. Though we had promised Ramit that we would take good care of him and would make sure that he enjoys the trip.

So, Amit Gupta (2) Chhota Amit as we now call him, got picked up 1st then was Sanjukta, Santosh, me, Amit Gupta (1) NOIDA wale, Deepak, Aneesha and then Ramit. NOIDAale Amitji had come back from Saudi Arabia the same day and everyone was looking forward to his Jack Daniel that he promised to share with all of us. I got Coke for everyone and Tambola too as I badly wanted to gamble and make some money however, could not make any as no one played any Tambola 😦

I would write a looooong post mentioning about the beauty of the place that we visisted as one would have to personaly visit the place to experience how it is like to be close to nature, to be driving through pine covered serpentile hilly roads with a groups of crazy friends cracking silly jokes and laughing at every thing. How it is like to walk through lush green meadows, sorrounded by herd of sheep and young local girls sitting on a rock along the main road.

For this I am giving the Flickr links of my fellow Letsgoers….in the mean time while you click on the link you can also read the informative piece that Aneesha has sent on Chakrata.

Our stay was at Dak Patthar, at a GMVN Guest Hosue. We initailly tried Asan Barrage for its cottages but since it was booked we stayed at Dak Pathar, another beautiful place close to the River Yamuna.

The breakfast, the 1st day was chhole Puri, Bread Omlette in the Guest House, lunch was at a local dhaba, dinner again was in the guest hosue. The next day breakfast was Asan Barrage, Parantha, bread Omllette, lunch was at Poanta Saheb Gurudwara and dinner was at a high way resturant, forgotten the name though. In between snacking were on all the time with regular rounds of chai, pakora, vodka, etc etc….

To sum it up all, it was a great fun, and Ramit and I had extra doze of fun as we also got to enjoy the rains early in the morning.

Thoda jhagda, thodi ladai..lots of masti..lots of fun…that is what this trip was all about.
Being close to nature and being with friends.

Pictures taken by Anisha:-

of Chakrata 

of Himalayan Blooms 
of Yamuna

of Dak Patthar

of Kalsi

of Ashoka Rock Edict

Amit Gupta NOIDA wale

Chhota Amit’s take on kalsi

All Let’s Go Pics on Flickr

Lansdowne Trip 16th June – 18th June 2006

In Travel Writeup on June 22, 2006 at 2:05 pm

[Following Trip write up by Abhishek Bhawsar]

In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines…
I shivered where the cold winds blow…

Lansdowne Trip 16th June – 18th June 2006

Lansdowne is a pine covered retreat far from the maddening crowd of Delhi. The nearest railway station is Kotdwara, 41 Kms by road. We set off for our journey at 10:15 PM on Friday night 16th June from the Old Delhi Station by Mussorrie Express. The excitement of the journey kept us awake, and of course there was a lot to talk as well.

There were three of us. One by one, all of us dozed off as the train got split and joined and split and joined… finally arriving the destination at 6 in the morning. We woke up at
5:30 to lush green jungle around us – train cutting through the rain washed trees. Spotted few spotted deer. Reaching Kotdwar, we quickly boarded a Jeep to Lansdowne. 41 kms were covered in 1 1/2 hours of spiraling through the mountain roads.
In Lansdowne, we went to Mayoor Hotel. What we were seeking was peace and nature, not luxury or proximity to the market. So Mayoor was off the list. Then we walked 1Km up the hills to the GMVN resort. Being a sarkari resort, it was booked by the babus… It sounded like By the babus, From the babus, For the babus. Well… We then went up 1Km to the Fairydale Resort. That was full too, being the only okish resort in the area. The owner directed us to Anand Retreat, a secluded resort saying that only one room is available. And sent off two aunties, who came after us, to the same resort. They had a Jeep, we were barefooted.

Anand Retreat was surrounded by nothing but pines pines and pines. It was a beautiful morning for that hill top, the sun dancing behind the clouds (or was it the clouds dancing over the sun?), it had rained overnight, adding to the tranquil the resort boasted of. The aunties had arrived before us, and had got the only room available. Rest were either occupied or to booked. Fighting, yelling and begging, in that order got us their reception with two beds. No toilet attached. Further begging got us one booked room to complete our daily chores. We had a bath and slept to cover up for our back log of sleep. And of
course, before sleeping, filled ourselves with good, heavy breakfast, done in shadow of the pines.

In the evening we took a tour for local site seeing, in the same jeep in which we had come up from Kotdwara. We went to a small, sick blockage of water, called a lake by the locals, we visited a beautiful Church, reminding me of Kipling’s times. And then to a typical Tiffin Top, characteristic of the hill stations in north India.

Coming back, we had tea as the sun slid down the hills, sitting on a slope, looking at nothing but the wilderness… Peace crept in.

In the night, took booze by the side of bonfire, and talked and talked. Watched the stars, another add on to the mesmerizing effect the place has on the mind. And meteors… in bounty.

Retiring to the cottage was difficult, given the desire to stay out, and given the tarantulas and bugs under our bed sheets. I slept sound, as my buddies chatted till wee hours in the morning. The next morning was amazing, in the sense, that we realized that we don’t have anything to do, anywhere to go, any responsibilities to complete. Passed the hours chatting and relaxing. The peace that was, can never be attained in the place where we live/ work… Its all about the place. And for that matter, any place, secluded as this one was.

We wanted to set off on our way back, but we realized we don’t have any conveyance to get out of this place. Talking to all the cars over there was futile. Then we asked a family, who were locals and had come to visit temples. They offered us lift till Lansdowne. On our way back, we visited two temples. Both were in contrast to each other, one being the oldest and another being the latest addition, big and marbled, and yes, prosperous. We were offered to be dropped till Dugadda, and were told that from there, Kotdwar is only 15kms. We found this a good offer, and we were soon to realize it was not. The seats were the back seats of the Jeep and we were giddy, pukish all the time.

Dugadda was yet another typical town, with youth on the only chowk, roaming aimless… Lots of Jeeps parked, none of them willing to go to Kotdwar. We were all this while cursing those who gave us lift till this place. And lift? Is it a lift when people generously offer to drop you, talk politely and in the end ask for Rs. 125? Half hour, full of tension of how to get out of this place and catch our train at 2200 from Kotdwar, passed by, not even a single vehicle coming our way. Finally we took a lift from a drunk man being chauffeured by a driver. The dark roads and black hills against the blue skylines were enough to prove us wrong – that we could have covered these 15 kms by foot.

In Kotdwar, we came to know that the train on our way back to Delhi would stop for 3 hours at a station. We bought AC seats for ourselves for that duration. And talked again. Reached Delhi 8 in the morning, 19th June. All fresh, peaceful.

Logistics (per person):

Delhi to Kotdwar – Time = 7.5 hrs, cost = 140.
Kotdwar to Lansdowne – Time = 1.5 Hr. cost = 40
Cottage in Resort, including food, cost = 400
Site seeing = 100
Trip back to Kotdwar = 90
Kotdwar to Delhi – Time = 10 hrs. cost = 190 (includes AC stay)

Total Cost, includes other expenses = 1200.

DISCLAIMER ::: The trip mentioned herein was purely a non LetsGo05 trip. Any resemblence is purely co-incidental and unintentional. The time and costsmentioned may vary from person to person. The objective of this mail was to bring out the possibility of enjoying a weekend trip on the motto of the words “Lets Go!”. The tickets were booked one day prior to departure, no planning and meets went into making of this trip. Also this mail serves as an FYI to things like – AC while coming back should be preferred.

Trip to Jim Corbett Feb – 2006 by Abhishek Bhawsar

In Travel Writeup on March 2, 2006 at 2:56 pm

8 strangers start off for an unknown destination…

Off to the never never land

The journey started with all 8 getting together at the Old Delhi Station. The ‘vehicle’ chosen was Ranikhet express… the train departed at almost the right time 10:45. Perhaps Laloo’s presenting the rail budget had something to do with it.
The train was full of ppl wanting to have a good night’s sleep. Destiny had something else in store for them. The great 8 started off on the right note with Monica threatening to bash everyone for every arbit reason on the earth. And she actually did it!

Booze flowed, and under the security of a lawyer (read Sanjukta), the scrutiny of the law was taken for granted. Monica went on with her crazy frenzy of clicking people and bashing ’em and then clicking pics again.

Crazy talk went on till 2 am…

Amit joined me on my seat, and we shared a phag in the dark of the train compartment… it was one amazing moment to share…

The phag took me to philosophical lands… the past week flashed by… And perhaps for everyone, the trip was an escape route from the weird presentations and sicko meetings of the office.

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Good Morning

I woke up early in the morning to the chaos, only to find out Monica was again at her bashing frenzy, this time the poor chap was Amit. well to be precise, Amit Gupta 1.

It was chill in the morning. Actually. For folks already getting sick of the already hot weather of Delhi, this was chill enough. We were not carrying any blankets and for those
planning a trip, a blanket is a must to Jim Corbett at this time of year.

I was wishing for a starry sky, the one you can never get in any metro. The sky was amazing at 5 am, with a chhota sa sexy sa moon.

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Vibhor.

Vibhor had gone out of the way in executing the responsibility for making the conveyance and lodging. His uncle and cousin came to pick us up, and we were ferried in two cars to the uncle’s home. Nice home, sweet welcome.

On the terrace, was a rising sun, with an amazing skyline, perhaps the first time in months I got up early. It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.

We all got freshened up by 730.

Tea, warm water for bath, breakfast… many a thanks to Vibhor.

Breakfast…

First came the hottie hottie hot pakoras, followed by lobia daal and moong daal. the moong daal was very light, made in an Uttaranchal style. Then came the jalebi, and to top it off an amazing khasta kachori, with aloo dahi.

A good, filling breakfast to start the day, and the trip!

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Wow!!! There is not end to this forest!

We boarded jeeps from Ramnagar, and the caravan goes into the forest… The camping site was at Dhikala, only 30 kms from Ramnagar, but the trip took 2.5 hours. The vehicles are supposed to move slowly in the forest, in wake of animal protection.

On the way into the forest, we saw Martin, a rare wildlife sighting, one herd of elephants, Tiger pug marks… But the most scintillating of all was the sight, or the lack of sight of busy cemented roads, the lack of red lights, the absence of carbon di oxide, the lack of buildings…

To be with nature was just amazing.

We reached the camp at 12 pm. after getting the bookings and the other arrangements done, we moved on to see where we would be staying. We were under the impression that we are going the stay in something kind of a dorm, with beds/cots, having around 10 beds or so… It came as a surprise, that what we were to accommodate in was a military types bunker with beds like you’ve got in a railway coach. Three beds in a column, four such columns. First looks were shady.

Had lunch and after resting a lil bit, and after a peg each, we went out for our first safari, not exactly, since the ride into the forest resort was also no less than a safari.

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Safari…

Off we go in search of the Tiger… caught a guide, who was all the time informing us of what ever flora/fauna we crossed. We saw tiger marks on trees, a territorial sign.
It was green all around… and the road flowed in midst of greenness… the sky was blue and then green … and then blue again.. .green with the trees above…as the jeep moved into the flowing road, I saw green …I saw peace, I saw soothing visions of a painless world, everyone floating on the green earth, with out the fear of earning clothing and checking mails.

Ramit woke me up. We were still on the safari. The sun was setting… again …

The scene was … Go watch it for yourself!

It was actually amazing… with vestigial remains in my mind, all i can talk about it is that’s what animals are for, to watch the sun rise and to watch the sun set. And apart from the gore animalistic instincts we have, we also have this instinct which makes us leave the techno freaky world and go back to nature.

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On booze

We came back from the safari, time for some snacks. Then post snacks rest and then a good dinner. Dinner was good!

And then booze time! Lots of it… we had opened a mini bar over there! And then I realized that the bunker I was cursing was actually a great thing, we had our beds against the wall and lots place to sit on the ground and enjoy. Booze, we started off with good good white wine, one glass each. Then applying the communist booze manifesto, (to each according to his taste, to each according to his capacity) we had vodka, gin, whiskey, rum…

There was music, thanks a million to Ramit for his lapi. And even sans lapi, we could have been singing as were actually were.

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The morning after.

Over night we had arranged for an elephant ride. It could accommodate only 4 ppl. So on Yogesh’s idea, we distributed one (playing)card each and then the ones getting the highest values would go for the ride. I was disappointed when I saw mine, I had got a nine (did it rhyme?). But then, every one except one had lesser than mine. So I was in for an elephant ride!!!

Well…The morning after.

Terrible pain in the back. No hangover… and late for the ride. Sanjukta, Vibhor, Amit, Snigdha and Tarun (Vibhor’s cousin) had already left.
Monica and Yogesh and I had breakfast and then spent the morning watching the forest waking up. Ramit got up late and then we all went for another safari, to compensate for the elephant ride.

The gang left the resort at 10:30 or so … for some temple.
On the way out of the forest we saw crocodiles and few birds, I don’t remember any names except dear old kingfisher… the ride out of forest was all the more soothing… And I was getting sick at the thought of leaving the calm and serenity.
At the temple. It was Mahashivratri. and there was long queue so we didn’t visit the temple but had more than our quota of fun by walking against the flow in a brook.

Then we went to danger falls which are now called the Corbett falls. Amit, Ramit and Yogesh took a bath there, and Vibhor and I washed our hands and feet. It was fun, but not that much exciting as the name falls would bring out …

Then opposite the falls site, was a small resort where we had our lunch cum dinner… food was ok. It was the sheer surroundings which added to the experience. we were sitting in open in midst of fields. And the orange sun sinking into the green fields was a sight I will recall for long. And I presume that it would be the same for every one on the trip.

The journey back to Ramnagar was phenomenonal. The road was dark, and there were zillion stars above, much much more than you ever get to see in Delhi, or for that matter, any other city. To add to it, we were all singing our favs, and I do recall singing “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…”

We reached Ramnagar, and in spite of fact we could have gotten late, we did make it a point to visit Vibhor’s aunt’s home and say a word of thanks for all the generous welcome we had the day before.

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Back to hell

It all tended to end well, with all of us boarding in the train in time. Long talks and discussions and arguments followed. Though everyone was tired, still I could make out the happiness and glow that the trip had brought to all of us. And the new found relations, new promises (like all will get back at Amit’s place on the next sat)…

It was just amazing.

The train stopped at Moradabad… and I had what was to be my last phag…

We all slumped wherever we could, still wouldn’t let go of talking …

And somehow we slept around 2-3.
We all reached Delhi at 4:30, after that all departed to all of ours homes.

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The end?

It was the end of what was to be the trip, but I took it as the end of a beginning. A beginning for which would take us places… which would bring us together, a trip that would induces a desire for another trip and make us say … Lets Go!!!

Corbett Uncle: Shukria by Snigdha

In Travel Writeup on February 28, 2006 at 9:16 am

I wanted to go out of Delhi…and it all started as a discussion, but I was praying continuously that it should not end just like any other discussion. Thankfully it did not. It was taking shape with each mail, with each meet, with each passing day, it was taking its shape. And finally we were all set to go. Initially 10 of us finally 8 of us. Friday 24th Feb 2006 evening at 22:45, we were to board Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi station. Most of us had attended the office but all of us were looking forward to the evening.
So we all boarded the train. Yogesh was the first one to reach the station, I was second followed by the rest. The train trip was also fun. Men drinking, women feeling sleepy. Passengers getting disturbed. Then we got disturbed with Ramit’s snoring.
Next Day at 05:45 we reach Ram Nagar and it was cold out there. We got picked up by Vibhor’s Uncle and cousin Tarun who took us to their big home, where people had even bigger hearts. We were made to feel at home at once. After Tea, hot water bath followed by a gala breakfast of pakora, lobia, dal, kachori, jalebi it was time for us to lets go.

Half of us were in Gypsy and the rest were in Geep. And through out the way, the men had all the fun because their Gypsy was more comfortable, secondly since they were ahead of us, they saw all the good things first.

We entered Corbett, and the signals were gone from the cells. It was a different world. Nature with all its special effects. The sound, the sight, the smell, everything was so different. So out of this world. Jungle has its own map, its own roads, its own geography, and terrain. Its captivating under the sun light and haunting under the moon. Its a place where one has to follow and trust its instinct to survive. Its a place where you just have to rely on your 5 senses and your 6th sense to live. In cities we take our instinct and senses for granted but I you want to feel it you gotta be here. Its here you realize, that man is not the only creature on earth, and this earth is not just a home for humans. Its a place on earth where you would realize, life is not just internet, job, parties, cell phones, its much more than that, its about living close to nature, with nature and its signals and hints.
The sound of rippling water, the sound of rustling leaves, the sound of an insect, the sound of leaves falling, the sound air moving, the sound of silence. The feel of breeze, the feel of pebbles under your feet. The sight of frightened monkey, shy deer, flowing water, sky scattered with stars, the noise of our vehicles, all of this mixed with chitchatting of friends, laughter, jokes, careless conversation, aimless gaze, carefree attitude, reckless drinking, ruthless sleeplessness, eardrums crashing snores……all of this I got to find it here. It was loud and clear from God saying I EXIST.
There were not enough rain this year so the river was not full, it was a signal for all of us to behave..before its too late..and we are left alone on this earth without such places any more.
The elephant safari was also great. We went inside the core area of the Jungle but unfortunately could not sight a tiger contrary to our room mates Ken and his buddy from Manchester. Though we could spot pug marks. We stayed in a dormitory in Dhikala and it reminded me of the movie, “Life is Beautiful” because of the bunk beds. We were most of the time accompanied by monkeys and a huge Sambar deer inside the Dhikala complex. The deer infact stood right outside our room door the next morning and I fed him a Marie biscuit.
Saturday Night Fever: How can we forget our Saturdays, so Saturday night was a party night with booze, songs, music, which ended with some special effects and nice vocabulary (censored).
All in all it was a great fun, an experience which can not be captured within 26 letters of English or any other language of this world. I can just say, Its not just a planet, its our home….and I do not want to leave my home…

Sunday night we boarded the train to Delhi, and I just wanted this trip never to end. But life goes on…its going on even in Corbett..it will go on in Delhi too…it was going for those who did not join…but there is a difference…we have come back with an experience…and life seems great…everywhere… for us. We thank God, he called us to Corbett so that he could show us..a piece of his painting….and we are all waiting to see some more of his paintings. The journey shall continue till we see the Master piece.