Travel Experience

Reflecting Reality or Creating a New One!

This week’s theme has no boundaries, the reflections mirror what we want to see 🙂 I’m sharing beautiful interpretations from our travels here

Floating Market

This one captured on Dal Lake while enjoying our Shikara Ride, the reflection seems to have created two shops 🙂

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Republic Day (2017) celebrations at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi

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The Golden wires in water culminating in a beautiful shape, seems like those colors were used to paint a picture 🙂 This one was captured at Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflecting

Categories: Travel, Travel Experience, Udaipur, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Betaab Valley Memories

Agog heart at ‘Betaab Valley’

Betaab Valley, lies few kilometers ahead of Pahalgam in Srinagar. The bike ride to Betaab Valley was part of our 5 days trip to Srinagar. The flawless green mountains, pristine Lidder river, archaic houses and rustic villages made such a impression on our hearts!!

I have shared details of Betaab Valley earlier too, this post is dedicated to fond memories of this fascinating and picturesque valley.

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We began our bike ride from Srinagar in the morning, the roads were still quite and clouds serene. There was some checking at few points, the army is stationed at almost every place in Srinagar but they don’t trouble tourists. The road is breathtaking as the Srinagar is located in the valley, fortunately there’s straight road & hence it saves time 🙂 Lidder river keeps moving along as if it’s leading the way, we crossed many hamlets on route & stopped at few points to interact with the locals & have the legendary ‘Kahwa’.

Read A cuppa of story from Kashmir, India

We discovered lot of beautiful gardens and interesting points, took beautiful shots, rested a bit & kept on moving. We touched Pahalgam in about 2.5 hours (~96 kms from Srinagar) kept moving & found some solace at Betaab Valley.

The valley is so engaging that one could spend whole day here looking at myriad things happening around and basking in the nature.

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Happy Exploring with Untraveled Routes ♥♥

Categories: Srinagar, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Surprises on the road in Himachal, India

Our fondness for backpacking has taken us on lots of road trips in past five years and maximum of them have been to some location in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal is like assorted bouquet of exotic flowers, you just can’t have enough and can’t get over it, the more you explore, the hungrier you become 🙂

So, in all the road trips we did, primarily Mcleodganj – Dainkund, New Delhi – Spiti, New Delhi – Shimla / Manali / Rohtang, there were few things absolutely common!!

  • The School Gang – You are going to witness pure happiness when you’ll run into little kids going to school in blue uniform. So cute they all look !! They have to walk really long distances on a daily basis.

Kids Dainkund

  • Be prepared to meet unexpected companions on the road – You are going to find the roads inundated with pashima goats, yaks, cows and sometimes monkeys too 🙂 (though at regular intervals).  A must watch short clip here from our Dainkund trip when our bike waded through the goats covered route!!

Goats in Spiti

  • The Natural Springs and StreamsHimachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The perennial rivers of the region are the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. The road trip in this region will get you to witness beautiful streams at unexpected places and do they look beautiful!!

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So people ‘Travel more to find your surprise’ 🙂

Marcel

Categories: Adventure, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Feeling ‘Dense’ in Rajasthan, India

The weekly photo challenge theme this week – ‘Dense’ is quite interesting. There could be so many interpretations and perspectives that can define ‘Dense’ from a photographer’s lens. I decided to focus on elements that elucidate a particular region, hence sharing beautiful pictures from one of the favorite destinations – ‘Rajasthan, India’.

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This is a capture from ‘Jodhpur’, the blue jewel in Rajasthan’s crown. The houses look as if sticking together tightly!!

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Being embraced by lot of Camels while on our way to Jaisalmer, the Golden City, a moment that I will never forget. Read more about the road trip to Jaisalmer here – The Desert Safari

Pristine morning at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur with UR mark

Beautiful Taj Palace against the backdrop of luscious hills in Udaipur, the city of Lakes!!

Hope you enjoy the photos!!

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Cheers 🙂

Categories: Photography, Travel Experience, Udaipur | Tags: , , | 31 Comments

The Pretty FACES!!

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To Travel is to make New Friends!! We met these beautiful women at a random Dhaba (eating joint) en route to Nako. They are so pretty We had a great time chatting with them and they were more than happy to pose for the click. As they were chatting, they were enjoying afternoon tea and snacks.

 

Categories: Photography, Tour Spiti, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Give your child the gift of ‘Travel’

It may positively impact brain development!!

Who doesn’t like vacations? We all do!! But how many times we put it off because of other priorities? How many times the ‘quality time’ is substituted by the coolest toy available in the market?

Well, you might want to rethink your family vacations after considering Dr.Jaak Panksepp’s findings.

Go for a Road Trip!!

What is the best way of learning in life? Experience, right? Then why should we deny our kids to have that.  I was intrigued by this research and found it interesting to share.

When you travel with your family or in simpler terms go on a Family Vacation, the time spent together is invaluable to kids as it lays down the base for positive affective memory process.

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Us, right in front of entrance of Tabo village in Spiti Valley. This is a capture shared from our 11 days long road trip from New Delhi to Spiti Valley and back, Aayansh was just about 11 months old at that time.

As a matter of fact, in most regions of the brain, no new neurons are formed after birth. Instead, brain development consists of an ongoing process of wiring and re-wiring the connections among neurons. New synapses between cells are constantly being formed, broken or pruned away. In early childhood the brain is genetically programmed to produce more synapses. For instance, a child’s brain (from 0 to 3 years of age)—produces 700 new neural connections every second

According to the Panksepp’s research, the PLAY system and the SEEKING system are areas of the brain that are exercised best when kids are exposed to new surroundings. Kids, have strong urges for physical play (running, chasing, pouncing and wrestling); these aggressive assertive actions rarely get triggered when kids are at home or left alone with their toys.

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Categories: Adventure, Beach Vacation, Road Trip, Travel Experience, Untraveled Routes | Tags: , , , | 36 Comments

A Grandeur Celebration :)

Team Untraveled Routes’ (that’s Ashish & Charu) wishes all the fellow bloggers and avid readers a great year ahead.

Honestly I firmly believe every single day should be welcomed with much fervor and excitement. Every single day is a ‘Happy New Day’!!!

Well, this is officially the first post on the blog for 2017 and really long due, my last post was in November 2016 and other major events kept me away from blogging. But here I am 🙂

After much deliberation I zeroed on sharing the experience of witnessing grandeur decorations of the most significant event in India – August 15th, the Independence Day celebrated in 2016 commemorating the 70th Independence Day.

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Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the ‘President of India’. The incredible architecture that one witnesses is the culmination of imagination of Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. The mansion has a total of 340 rooms spread over four floors, 2.5 kms of corridors and 190 acres of garden area!! Isn’t that amazing? It is the

However I thought of sharing these pictures earlier but you know how it goes!!

August 15, is observed as the Independence Day by India. On this day, India attained independence from the British Empire in 1947. The ‘First War of Independence’ was led in 1857, since then for decades the struggle and battle to assert freedom from the British Raj continued claiming life of countless freedom fighters.

Every year this day is observed as National Holiday, glad to share some magnificent pictures captured by Ashish when the ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ looked every inch captivating.

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This one is my favorite, I get little biased with reflections and the lights!!

 

Categories: India, New Delhi, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A cuppa of story from McLeodGanj

In conversation with the smiling eyes from Tibet over a cup of tea!! 

Indian Bloggers

We were hurrying to finish the packing & leave hotel. We were quite exhausted from the bike ride (Mcleodganj – Dainkund – Mcleodganj) but the excitement kept us going. We had to catch 6.00 pm bus to New Delhi and had approximately 2 hours at our disposal which we wanted to spend wandering around the streets of Mcleodganj and do a little shopping too !!

The hunger pangs made us stop at the food stall, this one was right in front of the Dalai Lama Temple. We quickly ordered bread – omelette and tea, it was drizzling so we were waiting under this little hutment. Ashish was busy exploring his camera and stepped outside.

As I sat there, two smiling eyes greeted me. I couldn’t refrain but smiled back. It’s tough not to smile back, smile is so contagious!! Isn’t it?

She was clad in beautiful chuba and a cute cap 🙂

Her face narrated stories and instantly intrigued me. She came closer and started talking, I could hardly decipher a word but when I focused I realized she was speaking Hindi words in between in order to communicate with me.

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Jampa (JAHM – pah) came to India more than two decades back with a group of 7 others from Tibet. They were 16 when embarked on the arduous journey of survival from Tibet to India, only 7 survived.

Just a little background about ‘Free Tibet’ movement – In 1950, China invaded Tibet resulting in countless Tibetans deaths, followed by imprisonment and torture of several Tibetans.

On March 31, 1959, Tibet’s political and spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, reached India after a 15-day journey on foot from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, over the Himalayas.

HH Dalai Lama was followed by about one hundred thousand Tibetans seeking refuge in India. Tibetans moved in groups from Tibet to reach a safer second home – India.

The Indian government extended full support & immediately set up refugee camps for Tibetans at Misamari in Assam and Buxa Duar in Bengal.

Later, these Tibetan settlements were extended to parts of Himachal Pradesh including Dharamshala, McLeodganj, Dalhousie and Manali. Refuge in India gave Tibetans an opportunity to preserve their religion, culture and identity.

HH Dalai Lama has expressed his profound experience of over 50 years of exile in India in his autobiography – Freedom in Exile. He considers India his spiritual home.

Jampa also arrived in India as a refugee but now she considers ‘India’ her second home. She told me the Indian Government has been so considerate and benevolent to Tibetan community. The community has been able to conserve everything while continuing the struggle for Tibet’s Independence. The struggle of Tibetans is not concealed from the world.

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Categories: Road Trip, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Monsoon Memories – ‘Rain drops dash’

One of the most beautiful things about traveling in the monsoons, particularly going for a long drive, is witnessing the dancing rain drops against the windshield and windows.The rain drops always seem to be in a ready-for-race position. Some of them roll down faster, some of them merge with the other and few just blow away with the wind!! Have you never observed the drops on your window? I’m sure you have 🙂

When you slide down the window just a little to feel the fresh wind and soak in the wet fragrance the rains drops quietly make a way to touch your face 🙂

Sharing one of my favorites ‘Monsoon Memories’ here –

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A view of my rain soaked window!!! Captured en-route to Manali, Himachal

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A view right outside my window!! Luxurious green hills at Manali 🙂

Categories: Offbeat Travel, Photography, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Monastery at Tabo

Tabo - New Monastery

Glimpse of a new monastic complex at Tabo. The construction of new monastery is under progress.

Tabo Monastery was built in 996 AD (more than a millennium back!!) covering about 6,300 sq. m , it’s one of the oldest surviving monasteries in the world. We covered Tabo as part of our 10 days road trip from New Delhi – Spiti – New Delhi.

The premises are covered by mud structures crafted beautifully to form particular shape, as we entered the main temple, intrigued and curious , we just kept gazing at the temple!!! The main complex is manifestation of eternal Indo-Tibetan art and culture. Take a virtual tour of the oldest and divine monastic complex here – Totally Tabo -ed!!!

Happy Exploring!!!

 

 

Categories: Road Trip, Spiti Valley, Tour Spiti, Travel Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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