Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#WanderlustWednesday - 5

Hello Everyone

And the last Wednesday of March is here. Travel pictures and stories would never cease but for now this is the last #WanderlustWednesday in the travel ‘Wanderland’ or well wonderland on my blog! 

For the last Wednesday even I decided to travel and so the feed today also has my #WanderlustWednesday post. But before all that, thank a lot to everyone who participated in this wanderlust section and who made this segment my personal favourite segment on my blog. A special thank you to Anindya Basu and Ankita Dhawan for their virtual tour every week - you guys are Wanderlust souls of the month!

I will surely come back with it again, with some theme next time. Till then enjoy the best pics of the ‘Wanderland’ for this week!

A night sight of the Bosphorous sea and surroundings taken from the foot bridge in front of it. Does experiencing an unknown city in night make it a wholesome experience? 


A feeble winter sunlight attempts to melt a frozen bank...


The Skies and the feel, It is Bombay or Mumbai?

See the World!

You know the place!



And the bonus picture of the Week is rather simple but surely speaks tons about travelling!
Idlis and Dosas synonymous to Sounth India? Best in Chennai or Udipi? Think again!!!

And yes just a small glimpse from my travel last week! Posts coming up soon!



Hope you liked the posts and hope you would participate in the next #WanderlustWednesday (when it is back)!!! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#WanderlustWednesday - 4

Hello Everyone

Another #WanderlustWednesday in the travel wanderland or well wonderland! After thinking about traveling, literally every Wednesday in the last three weeks, this time even I am travelling and so I am sharing some wanderlust pics from my own Instagram feed here today. 

My Insta Wall

But yes, the main ritual is going nowhere for at least another week and so for the fourth week in row, here are some amazing wanderlust photos through the lens of some wanderlust souls on Instagram only this time! Here are the top five pictures of this week!

On a #Sunday you also revisit the memory lanes of a railway station where you wanted to spend the rest of your life with your most loved one. We never wanted the train to come, we never wanted to leave that small railway station. On our way back from Mt. Titlis.


                                 A Windmill called de Valk or The Falcon - Netherlands and No Windmills?


Road Trips and the company of the Pacific in the coast of California! - The friend who shared this pic has a private account hence I am not sharing the link here.

History + Architecture = Wonder!!

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Hope you liked the posts!
To be part of #WanderlustWednesday next week please follow these simple rules!

1.   Post a personal travel picture on Twitter or Instagram with some trivia or a story to tell or just a thought or poem associated to it.
2.  Follow and tag @vaisakhi on Instagram for instapost or follow and tag @vishvaisakhi on twitter for tweets.
3.  Use the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday on both platforms to be considered.
4.  Post the picture between Sunday and Wednesday (5:00 pm) to be considered.

Simple right? So be part of it!!!
Hope to see some more wanderlust pics next week! I will be continuing this segment till the end of this month. Do let me know if you want me to continue the travel love in April as well because this section is for you guys! You make it possible with your travel tales. 

P.S. I do not hold copyrights of your pics, so you are free to post it anywhere else.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tirupati - A Heritage, Religious or Natural Getaway?


That is he entrance to Tirupati
India is a religious country, period! And there is no dearth of holy cities in India. But did you know two of the top five ‘Most visited religious centers of the world’ are in India? Tirupati Balaji Temple and Golden Temple, in case you didn’t know. Anyways, since a long weekend is here and summer is done, for people in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai – Tirupati is not a bad option for a getaway!

The only Part of the shrine you can click, because cameras are a strict no in the main premises

Spot the Shrine
No, I am not forcing anyone to believe in God. Nor am I asking you to get all spiritual but I have my reasons to claim why Tirumala Tirupati would be a good option for the weekend. I visited Tirupati a couple of years back, and to be very frank I had mixed feeling. Not a religious monk but I like history and spiritual aura that some places have. The history of Tirupati is one of the most complicated and unbelievable mythological stories ever (Not going to turn this article into a wiki article, don't worry). The never ending lines and the commercialization of darshan was annoying, given the fact that the complex is big enough to accommodate all the devotees and allow them to roam around freely and visit the Sanctum sanctorum. But at the same time, the calm and the positive vibes on the Venkatadri Hill or Venkata Hill is something you just can’t deny and the cleanliness of the area and beauty of nature around is just amazing!  

The Calm of the hills. This is where I stayed.
Unlike majority of the temple of South India, which are actually places where royal families held public gatherings, Tirupati was actually open to public and royals alike and had been growing as ‘the place where wishes come true’  for centuries now. Tirupati temple, the second most visited and richest temple complex is situated on one of the 7 peaks of  Seshachalam range or Tirumala Range hence is cooler than the close by areas and serves as a mini hill station. Being an important pilgrim center, devotees throng the temple grounds the year round and there seems to be no respite from the never ending crowd. But here is a secret, somehow the temple sees less footfall during Holi or Vasant Panchami and Ganesh Chaturthi so standing in the 300 INR queue would be a 2 hours affair max (it is very less trust me)! So now you know why I said this would be the perfect getaway.


Well, history seemed too much to I enjoyed the architecture.
Also if you are not a big devotee, you can always enjoy the beauty of the hills and the spirit that whiffs in the winds there! The Hanuman temple complex near the main temple, Chandragiri fort, Akaasa Ganga and Kapila Teertham Falls and numerous hike trails might also interest you and who knows you might spot a free wild spotted deer somewhere which are abundant in the area!


Structure at Swami Pushkarni Pond in the Tirupati Temple Complex
There are somethings to keep in mind when you visit this pilgrim town – book your tickets for the darshan online and make advance hotel bookings without fail and take the guest house a bit far away from the temple complex (reasonable rates and awesome views). And yes stay on Tirupati Hill and not in Tirumala. Local food stalls are open for almost 24 hours and are very reasonable.


Lord Anjaneya aka Hanuman's Massive statue at Tirumala
This was my experience and my take on why you should visit Tirupati. How was your experience? Or would you visit this place? Let me know in the comments below.

For Bookings, Please check these links:
http://www.tirumala.org/darshan.htm
http://www.ttdsevaonline.com/



Wilderness, Spring and no Flowers? Can't happen right!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#WanderlustWednesday - 3


What I saw - The Wanderlust Images from all around the world this week on typing #WanderlustWednesday on Instagram
Hello Everyone

Yet another #WanderlustWednesday comes to an end and I am still lost in the virtual travel world, wondering about the wonder that is our world! Third week in row, I have had the privilege I would say to travel virtually to places through some amazing wanderlust photos by wanderlust souls on Instagram and Twitter. Here are the top five pictures of this week!
Hope you liked the posts!


I climbed the mighty height.
Only to find endless mountains to scale.
With each step my legs may weaken but my soul won't tire,
Upwards I surge as my heart's on fire.



The mist of light and spirit of light basking in the beauty of this world!


Travelling without a #DSLRand only with #iphonecamera? - Happens a lot these days right?

 

Let there be light! Ek Omkar Satnam!


If you are in Mykonos then you cannot miss these windmills. Built centuries ago these are a major tourist attraction.


And the bonus picture of the week! 

A friend of mine posted this picture of us from our first trip together to Goa! So many new and dear friends, so many wanderlust souls. This was a trip to remember!


To be part of #WanderlustWednesday next week please follow these simple rules!

1.   Post a personal travel picture on Twitter or Instagram with some trivia or a story to tell or just a thought or poem associated to it.
2.  Follow and tag @vaisakhi on Instagram for instapost or follow and tag @vishvaisakhi on twitter for tweets.
3.  Use the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday on both platforms to be considered.
4.  Post the picture between Sunday and Wednesday (5:00 pm) to be considered.

Simple right? So be part of it!!!
Hope to see some more wanderlust pics next week! I will be continuing this segment till the end of this month. Do let me know if you want me to continue the travel love in April as well because this section is for you guys! You make it possible with your travel tales. 


P.S. I do not hold copyrights of your pics, so you are free to post it anywhere else.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

With Love, Pickles from East

Pickle fruits and vegetables on the roadside of Meghalaya is a very common sight
Do you always remember a place for some wildlife value or some historical connection? Or is it always the Natural beauty of a place that you associate with?
Remember those sunny and much awaited summer holidays that used to be our highlights months during childhood? Wasn’t waiting to go to your native place, spending time with your grandparents one of the best memories of your childhood? Well, I don’t know about you guys, but it surely was for me.
I am from Orissa but we stayed in Gujarat for most of my school days and I loved it when it was time to go to Orissa during summers – to Cuttack, my home-town, and our ancestral village – Jharia – near Puri, Orissa. (Oh yes, I am not a total urban chick and I still love my very typically laid back village). Are you wondering why I jumped from destination appeal to childhood memories? Well, Orissa for me is a lot of things – culture, temples, architecture, traditions, nature and food!

Guess what this is?!? - From East, but my Mom's Kitchen!
Summer is here and it used to be a traditional thing for my grandmothers to make jars of pickles for all of us post the holidays. How I loved randomly eating the sweet tangy pickles kept in ceramic jars or Barnis. In India, in traditional houses, you would always find big glass or ceramic jars filled with freshly made pickles sitting on windows to mature and become better with time. My mom has kept that tradition alive and yes she did make three very typical pickles from East this time! So this post is about some classic flavours of east that might lead you on a virtual food tour to Orissa, like it did to me!

Pickles and Spices
Mango Pickle – Yes the most common pickle in India I guess but trust me when I say raw mango the eastern way has a slight bit of twist that makes it very special. In Orissa specially the pickle mix is cooked with ‘Amula’ or dried mango center and has dried mango powder or ‘Aamchur’. Mango over dose right? Started day dreaming about mangoes already? Don’t worry, they will hit the market in a couple of weeks. Now moving on…

Mango Pickle from traditional spice garden
India Plum or Barakoli Pickle – Well this is a specialty of Orissa as far as I know but it is pretty famous in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhad as well, as Kuller Achaar. Dried plums seeped in tamarind juice and sugar along with other spices. You can imagine the tanginess right?

Indian Plum or Barakoli Pickle
Bamboo Shoot Pickle – This might sound odd and weird, but believe me when I say that it is one of the most used pickles of east and very famous, even in the north east. Spicy pickled baby bamboo shoots chopped and marinated in mustard oil with lemon juice and fenugreek powder – this mix, known as Karadi Aachaar, sure originated in the Kosal region of India but with time has become an integral part of many ancestral houses of East India, including mine!

Bamboo Shoot or Karadi Aachaar

So well this was my virtual tour of the week, does food trigger memories and travel tales for you? If so tell me what in the comments! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

#WanderlustWednesday - 2

Hello Everyone!

I know I am a day late for the #WanderlustWednesday post but well sometimes work just gets overwhelming. Anyways, I am here now with the top 5, actually 6 this time (just loved so many!) Wanderlust pictures of this week’s wanderlust Wednesday!


Muffled in the cold breeze
From beyond the vast horizon
Carried a story to be told.


How I love the mountains! 

The Jungle of another kind 


Bask in some dancing sunlight!

The Barren Heights of UAE

The Doors and Windows of Grandeur from Gwalior 


Hope you liked the posts!

To be part of #WanderlustWednesday next week please follow these simple rules!

1.   Post a personal travel picture on Twitter or Instagram with some trivia or a story to tell or just a thought or poem associated to it.
2.  Follow and tag @vaisakhi on Instagram for instapost or follow and tag @vishvaisakhi on twitter for tweets.
3.  Use the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday on both platforms to be considered.
4.  Post the picture between Sunday and Wednesday (5:00 pm) to be considered.

Simple right? So be part of it!!!
Hope to see some more wanderlust pics next week!


P.S. I do not hold copyrights of your pics, so you are free to post it anywhere else.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Photo Walk: Velankanni, Uttan

Just a random place next to a secluded beach
Not all places you see need to be elaborate or have a very defining appeal to it. Sometimes a small story, just calm, and the sense of something new can be a wanderlust thing and that is exactly what happens to me, a lot of time.

The View, the Cross from Gorai
I live in Mumbai, in Mira Road – a place very close to Global Vipasana Pagoda and Essel World (yes now you got the location right) and love going out on weekends, if not far, atleast to the close by areas. So on days when weekends are short and I am too bored or just feel like going out for an hour or two I usually resort to spending time at Vipasana Pagoda, Sanjay Gandhi National Park or Gorai Beach. Been doing this ritual for almost 5 years now. But every time I visited Gorai, a big cross on a small hill used to catch my attention. So one day recently, after 5 years of wondering, I finally decided to trace the location of the cross – and the quest led me to Velankanni Church and Uttan Velankanni Beach.

Velankanni Church
The Beach
Velankanni Church is a thirty year old church, about 30 minutes away from Mira Bhayandar Area. And though it may seem just like a random church out of nowhere, this church apparently holds a lot of meaning for the locals. Like a lot of areas in the outskirts and western suburbs of Mumbai, Uttan was also a Portuguese area till the end of 19th century. The locals of the area say that the church was initially a small missionary spot where a lot of locals were tortured and converted but soon after the Portuguese left the converted locals preached peace and stopped conversion but decided to dedicate more area and set up a small church for those who were willing to embrace their faith. 
The Cross up close, finally!
About 30 years back Monsieur Francis Correa decided to make the church bigger to accommodate people from nearby areas like Gorai and Madh and now the current structure, remodeled in 2000, stands peacefully next to the sea, in a locality that comprises of Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike.

The ornate interiors and detailed fresco 
The church, the place have definitely left their missionary past behind and welcome all who visit. Huge green grounds, ornate details inside the church and the peaceful and beautiful location make it a delightful place to be on a lazy Sunday evening. For me finding out a local offbeat place and experiencing a stunning sunset made the whole quest worth it. The Church is right at the base of the small hillock with the Big Cross that I used to see from Gorai, and the Cross also has a name – Cross of Brother Herman. 

A view from the promenade 
There is a rocky promenade in front of the church and a small (maybe one kilometer long) beach right next to it. Being secluded and almost unknown to a lot of people, this place is a silent getaway for a couple of hours and would definitely not disappoint you, at all!

Some sunset to remember
But like I said this was just a photo walk of Velankanni, Uttan – hope you liked it.

Just couldn't get enough of that beautiful sunset.

P.S. - There is a small lighthouse nearby also worth visiting.