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udaipur attractions - ahar cenotaphs

10 Udaipur Attractions You Won’t Want To Miss Out On

To soak in the essence of the vibrant state of Rajasthan, a visit to the capital of the kingdom of Mewar is a must. I’ve always read about the mystical palaces and seen the shimmering lakes of Udaipur in movies. It was time to write about it and witness it with my own eyes. Below is the list of 10 spectacular Udaipur attractions that I believe one should definitely visit on a trip to the city of lakes.

If this list isn’t enough, I’ve got a pack of 25 photos that will inspire you to visit Udaipur. And, assuming that you might think covering all of this could put a hole in your pocket, I have scribbled how I managed a trip to Udaipur in INR 7000. (including transport, accommodation, food, and covering all these attractions)

10 INTERESTING UDAIPUR ATTRACTIONS

CITY PALACE

The charm of Udaipur, the City Palace, is a palatial complex located at the bank of the beautiful Lake Pichola. It is one of the most alluring palaces in Rajasthan with contributions of all the major rulers of Mewar. The fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal style architecture is sure to keep the photographer in you at work. The complex comprises several palaces, pols (gateways), gardens, towers, murals, paintings, marble work, intricate glass work, and balconies that provide a splendid view of the Udaipur city.

AHAR CENOTAPHS

Upon reaching there, I was quite surprised to see myself as the only one there.  Cenotaphs are basically monumental structures that are built in honour of a person who is buried elsewhere. Ahar has more than 300 cenotaphs of the maharajas of Mewar, their wives and administrators. I found it to be the most intriguing archaeological site in Udaipur. These memorial structures of the royal families have dome-shaped roofs, huge pillars with sinuous carvings of animals and other figures. This important heritage site is one of its kind!




SAJJANGARH PALACE OR MONSOON PALACE

In my opinion, you can have the BEST views of Udaipur city from this white piece of Rajput style structure. Monsoon Palace, also known as Sajjangarh Palace, sits at a hilltop offering panoramic views of the city. The initial plan of Maharaja Sajjan Singh was to build an astronomical center that could record the movement of the monsoon clouds. But with his demise the plan could not be worked, and the construction was shifted over to his successor Maharana Fateh Singh. However, it is still partially built. It is only recently that the palace got open to public.

The way to reach their is by auto or cab (Ola and Uber). It will only drop you till the gate. Buy the entry ticket for INR 60 and a taxi ticket for INR 80. The taxi is basically a jeep which will take you further from the gate till the palace. The jeep would bring you down till the gate as well. Private vehicles can also enter but you need to pay the parking fees of course.

LAKE PICHOLA

Needless to say, a sunset next to Lake Pichola can’t be skipped. It is an artificial river named after the Picholi Village which was created in around 1300 AD. Enveloped by palaces, temples, ghats and Aravallis, it is the most picturesque lakes in Rajasthan. I’d advice you book an accommodation with the lake view to make the most of your trip. I stayed at this uber-cool Rajasthani themed hostel with balcony on each floor giving spectacular views of the city in just INR 450 per night.




BAGORE KI HAVELI

An ancient haveli converted into a museum is famous for its evening show. Every evening one can watch the traditional cultural folk dance of Rajasthan along with a puppet show. It lasts for an hour and has decent price for the ticket – INR 120 per person (extra money for photography). The seating is on a first come first serve basis so reach half an hour before the show starts. Enjoy different dance forms performed by talented artists in a semi open courtyard!

KUMBHALGARH FORT

Kumbhalgarh Fort has the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and is the second largest fort in Rajasthan. This reason alone was enough to convince me that I can’t leave Udaipur without keeping foot in this architectural marvel. The fort was designed by Rana Kumbha as a defensive fort and covers a vast 36 km of area encompassing a whole town inside. It separates the two towns of Marwar and Mewar and is strategically built in such a way that you will only get to know it’s there until few meters away. This extensive fortress is also the birthplace of the greatest warrior of Rajput clan – Maharana Pratap. It’s history and sight can put you in awe. It is around 95 km away from Udaipur city and can be reached by cab. Here is my travel expense in Udaipur to know how much I spent for a whole day-trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort.

CHITTORGARH FORT

Holding an important place in the Indian history, Chittorgarh Fort can mesmerize you with its heroic tales and talking ruins. With talking ruins I mean the ruins can tell you so much about the Rajputana bravery. The monuments and temples inside the fort take you back to the time of ancient wars and adventures. If you’ve watched the movie ‘Padmavat’, you will definitely relate more as the history of the Chittor fort goes back to Alauddin Khilji. It is around 150 km from Udaipur and is well-connected by both road and rail. I’ve covered how I made my journey from Udaipur to Chittor by rail in just INR 75 here. Also, you need a whole day to cover this fort as it is spread across 700 acres of land.




FATEH SAGAR LAKE

Another notable lake in Udaipur is the Fateh Sagar Lake lying in the north of Lake Pichola. Within the lake lies an island named Nehru Park which can be reached by a boat ride. However, to make the most of it, I’d rather go for an early morning run along side lake on Fateh Sagar Road. Also, there’s an open gym for public on a cliff on the same road overlooking the lake which I found to be the best place to burn some calories and soak in the view at the same time.

JAG MANDIR

The yellow sandstone structure is located in the southern end of Lake Pichola on one of the islands. It was used as a summer resort for the Royal family and now attracts thousands of tourists for its beauty and history. One can either stay at the Jag Mandir Island Palace or go there for lunch or dinner. It can be reached by a boat ride for INR 400 before 2 pm and INR 700 after 2 pm. A little costly but worth a visit! You could miss the traditional boat ride on Lake Pichola and do this instead as it takes the same route and has the same views. Plus, you get to visit Jag Mandir, too.

AMBRAI GHAT

Ambrai ghat is located at the bank of Lake Pichola and is exactly opposite to the City Palace. The ghat is where you can get a perfect view of the city including Lake Pichola, the shimmering Lake Palace and the City Palace. Have dinner at the most famous restaurant in Udaipur – Ambrai Restaurant. Go there for a delicious meal, amazing ambience and the serene view it provides of the glittering Udaipur at night.

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22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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UDAIPUR PHOTOS

25 Photos To Inspire You To Visit Udaipur – The City Of Lakes

Udaipur portrays the extravagant lifestyle of the ancient rulers – the Maharanas of Mewar. There’s history and royalty in the air! The city of lakes or the Venice of the East is a gateway to Rajasthan’s beautiful past. Since, not everything can be put on Instagram, I thought of doing this photo blog. Here are 25 Udaipur photos to inspire you to visit the most romantic city of India!

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Fun Fact: I’ve taken all these photos from a zoom lens (55-200mm) as my 18-55mm kit lens stopped working and I have no money to buy a new one. 😛 Took it as a challenge and here is the outcome. Let me know in the comments below which one you loved the most!

AHAR CENOTAPHS

In grateful memories of the Maharanas and their Royal family. With the sun rising till the sun falling down the horizon, they shall be remembered.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - AHAR CENOTAPHSUDAIPUR PHOTOS - AHAR CENOTAPHS




udaipur attractions - ahar cenotaphs

CITY PALACE

A diamond of Udaipur that can’t be stolen or worn, but can only be looked at and complimented for its sheer beauty.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CITY PALACEUDAIPUR PHOTOS - CITY PALACE

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CITY PALACEudaipur attractions - city palace

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CITY PALACE
UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CITY PALACE

CHITTORGARH FORT

Ever heard ruins talking!? It is like the tatters shouting out for their history to be heard.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CHITTORGARH FORTUDAIPUR PHOTOS - CHITTORGARH FORT




UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CHITTORGARH FORTUDAIPUR PHOTOS - CHITTORGARH FORT

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - CHITTORGARH FORT

MONSOON PALACE OR SAJJANGARH PALACE

Views that make you feel blessed; to be born as a human and to be able to appreciate what nature gives.

udaipur attractions - monsoon palace

LANGURS

Getting angoors. Apologies for capturing your private moment and posting it on the internet, but this is sex goals.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - MONSOON PALACEUDAIPUR PHOTOS - MONSOON PALACE

KUMBHALGARH FORT

A saga of the Royal Mewar.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORTUDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORTUDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORT




UDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORTUDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORT
udaipur attractions - kumbhalgarh fort

LAKE PALACE

Other than love and pollution being in the air, there’s royalty tinted in the air of Udaipur.

UDAIPUR PHOTOS - lake palace

SUNSET

The sky has its own game to play making the audience cheer with joy.
UDAIPUR PHOTOS

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UDAIPUR PHOTOS

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22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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UDAIPUR PHOTOS - KUMBHALGARH FORT

How I Planned A Trip To Udaipur In 7k (Including Kumbhalgarh And Chittorgarh)

Udaipur is considered to be a very luxury destination but little do people know that the most romantic city is enriched with a past that still intrigues people from around the world. And, why to pay more when you can experience royalty under a budget?

My little sister and I planned a trip to Udaipur for 3 days and 2 nights around my birthday but we wanted it to be a budget trip. Below are the trip expenses and how we managed a trip to Udaipur in 7k. (INR)

Disclaimer: All these expenses were made by two people but I’ve mentioned what per person expense was and how you can cost cut if you’re traveling solo. Also, since we are Indians we had a different (and lesser) price for entry to palaces and forts. The rest remains the same. 

GETTING THERE

Train from Delhi to Udaipur costs INR 1100 that leaves Delhi at 7 pm and arrives at Udaipur City railway station at 7 in the morning. This is when you book the tickets well in advance because general quota gets full very quickly. Tatkal tickets cost around INR 1500.

To save INR 400 (general quota was full), we booked a sleeper bus on our way back from Udaipur to Delhi in INR 1100 which took 12 hours to reach Delhi. The bus was comfortable and way better than traveling in railways. It had a private washroom, too. You can find the same bus by the name of RS Yadav Travels on redBus.

TOTAL COST OF TRAVELING TO UDAIPUR AND BACK = INR 2200

udaipur trip cost

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is not as expensive as it seems. Of course, except if you stay in Taj or Udaivilas. I stayed at an extremely cool hostel – The Bunkyard. The best part about the hostel was that it has 4 floors, each floor has a balcony with a view of Lake Pichola, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir and Sajjangarh Fort. The design and interiors are done in a typical Rajasthani way. Its per night cost is INR 450. Also, what better way to explore a place with a bunch of like minded travelers?

TOTAL COST FOR 2 NIGHT STAY = 450 * 2 = INR 900

udaipur trip cost





udaipur trip cost

GETTING AROUND IN UDAIPUR

Ola and Uber in Udaipur cost cheaper than auto rikshaw but there’s a slight hitch. There are areas like Lal Ghat where cabs are not allowed, only autos are. Be prepared to walk if you wish to save money. Cabs can be easily found on the app and autos are readily available in almost all of Udaipur making it convenient for us to get around the city.

Our total cost of commuting within Udaipur was INR 640 which was divided by two.

Solo travelers can share cabs, autos, or hitch hike. Staying at hostel brings you closer to people with the same aim as yours i.e. to explore. Almost everyone at hostel wants to explore as much as possible by spending the least amount. Talk to people, get along, explore the city together, and save money.

So, TOTAL COST OF TRAVELING WITHIN UDAIPUR PER PERSON = INR 320




FOOD

Food in Udaipur is pretty cheap. We mostly ate at the rooftop café at our hostel. I swear it had a stunning view, and food with a view makes the food taste even more delicious. A famous restaurant you must have food at is Ambrai which may cost INR 1500 for two. Being a budget backpacker, you can even your food expenses by having breakfast or lunch at a low cost restaurant or probably have maggi and chai. Save up for a dinner at the Ambrai Restaurant. It really isn’t that costly.

Our total expense on food was INR 2500 for 3 days.

TOTAL EXPENSE ON FOOD PER PERSON = INR 1250

ENTRY TICKETS

The entry ticket for City Palace is INR 300 per person. (for Indians) For students, it’s INR 100. It’s mandatory to carry your student ID card to avail the discount. My sister is a Mass Communication student and luckily had college ID on her.

For Sajjangarh Palace or Monsoon Palace, entry is INR 60 per person. There’s a point above which you can’t take your own auto/cab. A government jeep takes you up to the palace and charges a nominal rate of INR 90 per person.

The distance from Udaipur to Chittorgarh is around 150 km and a taxi costs around INR 2500. Instead of traveling in a taxi, we talked to a few locals and got to know that we can reach there by train, too. The local train leaves at 9:30 am from Udaipur City station every morning. It will drop you at Chittor station in 3-4 hours in just INR 25. Locals in Udaipur are a little conservative but friendly.

Chittorgarh Fort is quite long and can’t be covered on foot. We met a local lady from Chittor in train. Chit chated for a while and that kind woman booked an auto for us in INR 400 for the whole tour of Chittorgarh Fort. Entry to the fort is for INR 30.

The train back from Chittor to Udaipur was an express one, so it charged INR 60.

Kumbhalgarh Fort is around 95 kms from Udaipur city. Buses do operate but those aren’t direct buses and they drop you till a village far from Kumbhalgarh. The best way to reach Kumbhalgarh fort is by cab. We enquired at a lot of tour offices and checked the fare at Ola outstation, too. None asked for less than INR 2200. Fortunately, staying at a hostel has its own perks. The hostel arranged a taxi for us in INR 1800 for the whole journey. Entry ticket for the fort is INR 60 per person.

TOTAL COST OF ENTRY TICKETS PER PERSON (INCLUDING TRAVELING TO KUMBHALGARH AND CHITTORGARH) = 200 + 150 + 255 + 30 + 60 + 900 + 30 = 1625

I hope by now you know how economical it is to explore the lake paradise of India.

TOTAL UDAIPUR TRIP COST PER PERSON 

FOOD = 1250

ACCOMMODATION = 900

GETTING AROUND = 320

ENTRY TICKET = 1625

GETTING THERE = 2200

MISCELLANEOUS = 700

TOTAL = INR 6995

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Enjoy and let me know in the comments below if you were able to make it in this budget or not!

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22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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GOA IN MONSOON - FONTAINHAS

Things To Do In Goa In Monsoon – A Guide On What To Expect

The month of July’18 was booked to explore Goa differently. For it meant to see Goa like I’ve never seen before. Touristy places are touristy for a reason. But what happens when it’s off-season in Goa? What do travelers do in Goa in monsoon? What to expect from a place popular for its party and beaches in the month of July when it rains every single day, every single minute?

Goa in monsoon unfolds itself into a story of multiple genres. Every part of Goa has a different tale that speaks for itself! I visited South, North and Panjim (basically mid-Goa) during the month of July. My aim was to cover as much as possible, explore as much as possible, see as much as possible, irrespective of it not being ‘popular’. I wandered as per my heart and not google this time. This means I didn’t read reviews of any place. Instead, I just went there and checked them out myself. Now, for all my next trips, this is going to be my approach! Accommodation being an exception, though.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN GOA IN MONSOON?

  • Two things that you should expect from Goa in monsoon – no party and no blue water. Areas like Titos Lane and Baga beach are happening but that’s really not my kind of scene. If you’re visiting Goa this time of the year, get ready to see a different side of Goa – a less happening and a more peaceful side.
  • Dirty beaches. June, July and August are months when you’ll find majority of Indians in Goa. We Indians are known for the lack of civic sense. It’s quite evident at Baga beach! 😀
  • You can’t swim due to high tide. On smaller beaches like butterfly beach in South, the sand isn’t visible as the water touches the shore. I’ve never seen water touching the boundaries of the cafes in Anjuna. The sea gets rough af.
  • Don’t expect a budget trip. Comparing it with on-season rates, flights and hotels are definitely cheaper but rest everything remains the same. I always end up spending the most on travel. Taxis in Goa are always a rip-off! The cost of renting a car or scooty is also the same around the year.
  • The lushness. I’ve never seen Goa so green! I don’t know if it’s just me or the colors appear more saturated when the sky is grey.
  • In July, it rains every day. You can’t escape rains, instead welcome it with open arms. 😀
  • Shacks are mostly shut. I’ve listed down below the ones that would be open and are worth going. Beaches in South Goa like Palolem has 2-3 shacks open. (the ones constructed on a platform) Agonda is all shut! If you go way south i.e. Talpona where I stayed for 4 days, everything is shut. It is when locals come to the rescue! 😀 Although, same is the case with beaches like Morjim and Arambol in the North.

CAFES AND RESTAURANTS OPEN IN GOA IN MONSOON

Here is a list of restaurants and cafes that are my personal favorite and are open all around the year.

  • Café Lilliput – Anjuna – go there for a pint of beer and pizza by the beach
  • Artjuna – Anjuna – artsy décor, vegan food, and shopping
  • Curlies – Anjuna – beach, beer and fish!!!
  • Baba Au Rhum – Anjuna – a breezy and open décor, the best French food in Goa
  • Thalassa – Little Vagator – a greek taverna with a lovely ambiance
  • Antares – Little Vagator – excellent ambiance and vibe
  • Pink Chilli – Arpora – bollywood themed funky setup, local Indian and Goan food
  • Martin’s Corner – Salcette – known for the best Goan food
  • Silver Sth – Palolem – I’ve completely forgotten the name but that’s the only shack open in the middle of Palolem beach, serves the best pizza, classic cocktails at INR 200.
  • Bombay Coffee Roasters – Palolem, Panjim, Vagator – coffee at its best.
  • Desbue – Panjim – European fine dining in the Portuguese quarter
  • The Verandah – Panjim – Goan food at a quaint heritage property
  • Café Bodega – Panjim – for pancakes and relaxing atmosphere in a typical Goan setting

THINGS TO DO IN GOA IN MONSOON (DON’T MISS THEM)

THE FORTS:

You should not miss the not so majestic forts in Goa in monsoon. Forts in Goa are merely ruins from the past and should be visited only for the views it provide and not the architecture! The rains make the landscape even more magnificent, I swear!

CHAPORA FORT – NORTH GOA

AGUADA FORT –  NORTH GOA

CABO DE RAMA FORT – SOUTH GOA






FONTAINHAS, PANJIM:

Another facet of Goa worth exploring is the Fontainhas in Panjim. The history of Goa goes way back and can be experienced in this old Latin Quarter of Goa. The colorful Portugese colony transports you to a part of Goa that is totally different from the rest. A walk through the narrow winding lanes flanked by lambently colored houses is not only a treat to the eyes but a whimsical experience one should not miss.

 

I loved this area so much that I stayed in this quaint quarter for a couple of days. Since Fontainhas has been recognized as Unesco World Heritage site, a lot of old homes have been converted into beautiful guest houses. I stayed at the Old Quarter Hostel, which is the best option for budget travelers in Fontainhas.

Don’t forget to try beer at Joseph Bar. It looks really shady but is quite popular among both tourists and locals as it serves beer till late at night. Also, the famous Immaculate Conception Church of Goa is walking distance from this colony.

One can easily spot the Portuguese influence with names written in blue on white tiles.




DUDHSAGAR WATERFALLS

I cease to understand why but locals and agencies will always say that Dudhsagar is closed during monsoon, but it’s not true. Even the official Goa Tourism website promotes Dudhsagar in monsoon. However, the only way to see the falls is by trek. Jeep safaris or motorbikes are closed during the monsoon season. The only access is via the railway track and I can assure you that will be one of the most scenic routes you’ve ever walked on.

The good part is that it’s not steep and you can complete it in 3 hours. I’ve answered all the questions about the Dudhsagar trek in monsoon here.

DUDHSAGAR TREK IN MONSOONDUDHSAGAR TREK IN MONSOON

BIKE RIDE

Needless to say and very obvious, you have to rent a bike and enjoy the rains. Buy a plastic body cover from any local shop, hop on to your bike and simply wander. Not that you won’t get wet, but you gotta save yourself as much as you can. Use transparent plastic zip pouches which you already have at home or get while shopping online to put your phone and navigate alongside.

GOA IN MONSOON

One of the most beautiful roads in Goa is Parra. Flanked by palm trees, it’s like a road taken straight out of a movie!

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If you go more towards the South, you’ll witness the rice fields in their finest form. It is a breath-taking sight!

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WHERE TO STAY IN GOA IN MONSOON

South Goa has lots of options ranging from backpacker’s hostel, luxury resorts and uber cool Airbnbs. I’d never suggest you to stay at a hostel in South during monsoons. Monsoons are more for staycations, and South Goa is known for it! I stayed in Canacona and I absolutely loved my Airbnb. It was next to a river, completely isolated from the bustle of the city and markets, and devoid of tourists. I guess I saw just one tourist around that area now that I try recalling. Everything is anyway far in Goa and you can rent a car simply any where. So, why not opt for a more secluded, offbeat and a beautiful property instead? Take a look at the property here. You can avail INR 2200 of travel credit if you sign up using this link on Airbnb.

North Goa again has lots of options to choose from. Independent villas, Airbnbs, hostels, etc. Consider staying around Baga and Calangute area if you want to stay near the happening zone. 😛 Else, I always consider Anjuna and Vagator. My favorite remains Pappi Chulo in Vagator – one of the coolest hostels in Goa.

Panjim has a bucket of options but stay only in the Fontainhas area if you wish to experience the Portuguese vibes. A budget friendly option is the hostel I stayed at, the Old Quarter by thehostelcrowd. You can choose between Welcome Heritage Panjim Inn and La Maison Fontainhas for a more comfortable stay. Both of them are well-located and have elegant buildings.

BOTTOMLINE – SHOULD I VISIT GOA IN MONSOON?

If you have the ability and the will to explore Goa from a different eye, yes, go for it. But if you are hunting for parties and water sports, I’m sorry it will disappoint you. Happy travels!!!




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Goa in monsoon
Goa in monsoon

 

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22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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DUDHSAGAR TREK IN MONSOON

Dudhsagar Trek In Monsoon – A Complete Guide On What To Expect

Considering that I make it to Goa almost every year, it’s a shame that I’ve never witnessed the mighty Dudhsagar waterfalls. My will and my work got me to Goa in the rainy season of July when it rains EVERY single day. I knew there is no way I could escape rain for 12 whole days so instead, I had to embrace it come what may.

Motivated by the fact that the Dudhsagar falls is in its full flow during monsoons, I planned a visit to the falls. There was not much information available online except that the falls look beautiful in monsoons and several other blogs which weren’t that useful. I asked a few locals about how to reach Dudhsagar falls but all I got was ‘it is closed during monsoons, you can’t go there’ which is NOT TRUE!

Due to late hours, I could not manage to see the falls the first time. Yes, I went there twice! This might be getting a little vague so let’s go question by question. I’m putting questions the way I ask them.

WHAT’S IN HERE FOR ME?

Everything you need to know about the Dudhsagar trek in July. If you’re looking for train schedules to Dudhsagar or information about jeep safaris/guides taking you on motorbikes, then I’ve got nothing in here for you. Apologies! However, the point to note is that jeep safari is shut in monsoons, and half of the charm of the mighty falls lies in the trek. (in my opinion)

Dudhsagar is accessible from Goa and Karnataka. This article only has information on how to reach Dudhsagar from Goa NOT Karnataka. Keep reading to know how to reach Dudhsagar from Goa side. 

HOW TO REACH TILL THE STARTING POINT OF THE TREK?

The starting point of the trek is Kulem Railway Station. The distance from both North and South Goa is around 80 km. The distance from Madgaon is around 40 km.

The best way to reach Kulem is self-drive – by car or two-wheeler. The route is smooth, safe, and absolutely beautiful. Saying this after traveling on both the routes. (from North Goa and South Goa) Don’t hesitate going that far on a scooty. I don’t know what is the deal but the landscape appears even more attractive on a two-wheeler! 😀 Don’t forget to put on a raincoat! Although you’ll still get wet but save yourself as much as you can. You can park the vehicle at the station parking.

Trains do operate from Madgaon to Kulem but there’s no chance you’d get it on IRCTC. Those are local trains and the only way to book is to go to the station yourself and buy the tickets.

DO I NEED TO HIRE A GUIDE?

Ah! Sadly, yes. I don’t think I could have made it to the falls without a guide. It is a 10 km trek on the railway tracks and through the forests, and there’s no way you could know the routes unless you’re a local or probably god! 😛 If you think google maps can help, you’re wrong. It’s NOT that easy! Also, the railway track is operational. Trains pass through the track after short intervals which is when you need to step off the track. So, yeah! Guide is very much needed to tell you when is the train coming.

As soon as you reach Kulem, the guides will find you right outside the station. They charge INR 400-500 per person for the whole journey.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TREK AND COME BACK THE SAME DAY?

Yes! The trek is for 10 km which took me around 2.5 hours to complete. I don’t consider myself fit at all plus it wasn’t a steep trek. So, fairly easy! On the way back, our guide made us trespass into a malgadi (a boxcar) reducing the time to 1 hour for the whole journey back to Kulem.

AT WHAT TIME SHOULD I REACH KULEM?

By 0930 hrs maximum if you want to finish the trek by 1430 or 1500 hrs. The story behind why I had to visit Kulem two times is because the first time I went there I reached at 1300 hrs. We didn’t want to trek for 10 km as we had bags full of equipment like camera, lens, etc. The only option we were left with was to take a train from Kulem at 1630 hrs and come back by train at 2000 hrs which the guides claimed is not even certain will operate or not.

So, make sure to leave Goa by 0700 or maximum by 0730. The early, the better!

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TREK?

1. 10 km of sheer beauty.

2. 6 km walking on railway tracks. Basically, 6 km facing down because it’s impossible to walk on tracks looking straight. That might seem useless a tip but really my neck still hurts thinking about it!

3. Passing through tunnels devoid of any light.






4. 4 km of trudging through a dense forest on a sticky mud. It could suck me in, I swear!

5. Passing through rough streams of water in the forest.

6. Dirty and wet clothes. Even my dry cleaner could not take the stains out!

7. Dudhsagar Temple.

8. Snakes!!!

9. Nothing to eat. Nothing at all. No restaurant, dhaba or thela! I loved this, though. The route is kept the way it is. However, the priest of the Dudhsagar Temple might serve a cup of chai with biscuits on the way.

10. A lonely route which will make you feel unsafe at times, but really it’s fine!

11. As it rains almost all the time, carrying food is quite a task. AND IF YOU DO, I BEG YOU TO PLEASE KEEP THE PLACE THE WAY YOU SAW IT. NO LITTERING EVER, ANYWHERE. My advice would be to have a light meal before the trek.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE TREK?

A sight to behold!

You trek only till the Dudhsagar viewpoint and I CAN’T EXPLAIN IN WORDS THE BEAUTY OF THAT VIEW. Ironical, because it’s my job to express it into words but I CAN’T. Its first glimpse can make you go speechless!





DUDHSAGAR TREK IN MONSOON

You can have a full view of the falls and if you’re lucky you can spot the train passing through the falls. It is an out-of-the-world sight! The falls stand true to its name, Dudhsagar – it’s white as milk.

Avoid visiting Dudhsagar falls in monsoons if you wish to take bath in falls pit area. It is closed in the rainy season and not advisable to go.

HOW TO GO BACK?

Either walk back on the same path or crash into a malgadi illegally. That can only happen with the help of a guide as he knows the timings and the way to break into the boxcar. It is one of the things I never thought is on my bucketlist until I did it. Buhaha!

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS TO CARRY?

Here is a list of things you must carry for the Dudhsagar trek in monsoon to ensure a smooth 10 km walk.

1. Get rid of the ‘rain is getting on my nerves’ attitude. That is number one essential you must carry. The rain makes this journey all the more thrilling.

2. Raincoat – buy it before you embark on this whole journey from Goa to Dudhsagar. You won’t get it anywhere on the way or in Kulem. It is easily available in north, south, Panjim or Madgaon for INR 100.

3. Umbrella – if you’re carrying a camera/tripod with you.

4. Plastic zip pouch – to keep your phone and money covered. Whenever I had to travel on scooty, I used the transparent plastic zip lock pouch bags that I got from shopping online. Turn on the navigation and put it in the pouch with a battery bank, you’re all set to go! You can purchase these tiny plastic zip pouches online, too. However I will always advice you to reuse the ones you have at home or find anywhere stranded here and there. 😀

5. And needless to say, wear sports shoes and comfortable clothes.

This going to be one of the most thrilling treks of your life, I shapat!

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Dudhsagar Monsoon Trek

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is my experience of the Dudhsagar trek in the month of July, 2018. Things might change in the other months – routes can be closed by the police, less water during the summer months (before monsoon) , and so on. Certain things like breaking into the boxcar is illegal, and is at ones own risk. If you get caught, you will have to pay the fine. This blog or the owner of the blog will nowhere be responsible whatsoever for anything that happens to you on the trip. I’ve written this post to share with you all the information I could about the monsoon trek. Safe travels!  

22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh – Taj Mahal From A Different Perspective

Capturing the most well-shot places is always challenging for you have to look for angles that might bring that spark in the photo. To shoot Taj Mahal, the most photographed place in India, is a devil of a job but once you do that it actually feels as if you’ve conquered something.

Not writing this post solely for photographers but also for people who wish to look at Taj Mahal from a different eye. Because going offbeat is the new black, haha!

I was on a three-day work trip in Agra which required me to sit and observe, basically research work. I had to kill my time and not just kill, but kill it worthy enough of the death. 😛 Born and brought up in Delhi makes you a frequent visitor of the Taj Mahal. Ditching it, I went to Agra Fort and Mehtab Bagh to take a fresh panorama of the city.

Mehtab Bagh, also known as the Moonlit Garden, lies in the North of the Taj Mahal next to river Yamuna. Like me, if you too always wondered where people get that Insta-famous photo clicked while sitting on a boat with the backdrop of Taj Mahal, it’s Mehtab Bagh!

MEHTAB BAGH HISTORY

It’s hard to gather the history behind this garden due to lack of information provided. Upon struggling on the internet, I found out that Shah Jahan found this garden as an ideal place to view Taj Mahal because of its perfect alignment with it. It was designed beautifully as a Charbagh complex with water fountains and colorful trees. After Shah Jahan’s imprisonment, the garden was ruined by frequent floods from River Yamuna and villagers taking away its chunks. It was forgotten until Archeological Survey of India (ASI) restored the garden in 1990’s setting new patterns and guidelines.

ABOUT THE GARDEN

The garden is very basic. Don’t let your expectations reach the sky. I went in the evening to spot the sunset and spent good two hours sitting next to the river on a platform. The river, of course, is not clean. 😛 Also, because there was not much water, boating was closed. The month of May, it is. However some locals told me that boating is illegal here yet private tours are carried out by local agencies. You will find trails of different kinds of trees and plants in the garden. But again, nothing exclusive.

The only reason you must go here is to marvel at the white wonder of the world from a fresh perspective. I’d love go boating around midnight to capture the Taj Mahal in white moonlight.

MEHTAB BAGH TIMINGS

It is open from sunrise to sunset

MEHTAB BAGH ENTRY TICKETS

Entry ticket costs INR 15 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners.




PHOTO GALLERY

mehtab bagh

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Mehtab Bagh




Let me know in the comments below if you made it to this place, and how much did you like it?

Pin it for later! 

Mehtab Bagh

22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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adventure in india

Adventure In India – An Ultimate Thrill Seeker’s Guide

Back in time if an opportunity came to leave India and settle down somewhere else in the world, it would have been happily received. Today, I can’t imagine myself leaving this country and live elsewhere. Maybe because I saw it from a different perspective. A positive perspective! India is full of surprises – while it’s – 40 degrees in Ladakh, it will be a perfect time to take a sunbath in Goa. Not only the weather but every fraction of India will amaze you. One possible source of amazement is the endless number of adventure options that India has. I’ve made a list of adventure in India – things I’ve already done or wish to do in the coming years.

BUNGEE JUMPING

I went for it despite having second thoughts about how safe this is going to be in India. The atmosphere at Jumpin Heights is unlike how I pictured in my head. The crew is friendly and will only motivate you to let out your fear. Take the leap of faith from the height of 83 mtrs – approximately 22 stories high. At Jumpin Heights, you can find more adventure options which are equally thrilling like Giant Swing, Flying Fox.

WHERE – Rishikesh, Uttrakhand

RIVER RAFTING

The adventure capital of India, Rishikesh, offers plenty of thrilling experiences one could think of. Besides Bungee, people head to this spiritual town for white water river rafting. If you’re planning a trip to Rishikesh, you could even buy a package which would include camping, bungee, rafting, body surfing, cliff jumping, and so on. In India, Rishikesh is number one weekend adventure holiday destination for youngsters. From picturesque spot for cliff jumping to swinging between the two ends of the mountains, Rishikesh is full of options.

WHERE – Rishikesh, Uttrakhand

WATER SPORTS – PARASAILING, KAYAKING, WATER SKI, BANANA RIDE

Goa attracts travelers through its serene beaches and raging coastline which makes it a perfect spot for not only peace seekers but adventurers too. Live the entertainment and indulge in these water sports at the same time, same place! Every sport comes along with a guide to teach in case you’re a complete beginner which a lot of us are.  I’ve done parasailing, jet ski, and banana ride. If I get a choice right now, I’d straight away go to Palolem Beach for Kayaking. I went there last month but couldn’t do it as I was on a work trip, and seeing people do it made me feel awful. Kayaking at Palolem is not a big deal though because the waves are not that rough. But, since I’m a little hydrophobic, I felt it’s apt for me.

WHERE – Goa

SCUBA DIVING

The best way to explore the marine life is scuba diving. The best places in India for an enchanting dive are Pondicherry and Andaman. Since Andaman is off the track and a bit expensive to reach, Pondicherry can be easily ticked off! Temple Adventures provide one hell of a diving experience in Pondicherry. A group of highly trained professionals – extremely friendly and always set to look after your requirements. They have created an artificial reef which is said to be extremely beautiful. You can check out a bunch of diving courses on their website. A major thing I’ll soon strike off my list!

WHERE – Pondicherry

SKIING

India is home not only to the picturesque beaches but to massive snow-capped mountains which makes it an ideal ski destination. From mid December to mid-April, it’s the best time to enjoy skiing in Gulmarg, Kashmir. Experience the beauty of the mighty Himalayas first-hand! If you’re an amateur like me, you could head to the Ski Club of India and try this activity under the guidance of trained instructors. However, the terrain of Gulmarg is more suitable for advanced riders. Beginners should definitely try this under surveillance of an expert.

WHERE – Gulmarg, Kashmir

ROCK CLIMBING & RAPPELLING

The presence of mountains calls for all sorts of adventure. Rock climbing, rappelling and bouldering are few amongst the list. Since the Himalayas are so widely stretched out, one can possibly climb a rock or descend anywhere in Himachal Pradesh or Uttrakhand both alone or with the help of experts. The good thing is it’s very cheap and extremely safe. Jim Corbett, Tirthan, Manali and Sitlakhet are places where I tried these adventure sports. Rock climbing is fun but requires a lot of body strength. Can you reach the summit without falling? Go try!

WHERE – Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand

PARAGLIDING

One of the finest aero sites in the world is Bir Billing – a small village surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain ranges in Himachal Pradesh. A lot of records have been made and broken by paragliders around the world in Bir Billing. It can be reached by bus as well as train. Few direct buses run from Delhi to Baijnath. (around 10kms from Bir Billing) If you somehow don’t get a chance to visit Bir, you can head to Solang Valley for a thrilling ride too. I did paragliding while coming back from Rohtang Pass on my way to Manali. So, yes! You can catch hold of gliders there and enjoy the breathtaking view Manali offers from above.

WHERE – Bir Billing and Solang Valley (14km North-West from Manali)

TREKKING

India can spoil you trek lovers with the list of options. Be it South India or North India, India offers endless number of paths for nature seekers. Even if you spend one year in India, it will be impossible to cover all the paths because believe me the list is endless. The most popular and worth-trying are the Triund trek near Mcleodganj, Kheerganga starting from Kasol, Magic Valley again from Malana, Chadar Lake in Ladakh (Frozen River), Mt Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, Valley of Flowers in Uttrakhand, Rupin Pass in Himachal, Hampta Pass in Kullu Valley, Prashar Lake again in Himachal, Chembra Peak in Kerala, and Mullayanagiri in Chickmagalur. These treks are sure to leave you awestruck!

WHERE – Everywhere 😀 😛

BIKE TRIP IN THE MOUNTAINS

If given a chance, I would spend at least one year of my life in the mountains of India. The views they provide, one can only dream of. One of the most adventurous things to do in India is to go on a bike trip in the mountains. Preferably Uttrakhand for the adrenaline seekers as it has treacherous roads marked by frequent landslides but the views it offers are beyond words. Now, I don’t advice you to play with your life. Check the weather always before going, take all the precautions you can. Adventure is fun only if you’re alive to experience the thrill. 😛 Other than Uttrakhand, a Leh-Ladakh bike trip is a must. It is probably every Indian’s dream to travel to Ladakh on a bike. Go, go, gooooo!!!!

WHERE – Ladakh, Uttrakhand

CAVING

Although India is gifted with tons of beautiful caves, I’d love to try out caving in Meghalaya. This place has magnificent caves in every nook where you can go for thrilling caving expeditions. Caving is considered to be an extreme sport as it involves exploring the caves with no light, patchy paths and often walking half inside water or even swimming. There are professional guides who would help you carry out this extreme adventure. Walk and marvel at the different limestone caves for an ultimate adventure.

WHERE – Meghalaya




I’d love to see your comments below if you ticked off anything from the list above or want me to add something else to my bucketlist. 😀

 

22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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The Ideal 8-Day Kerala Itinerary For Backpackers

I was skeptical about Kerala because lately I’ve been traveling to places I’ve heard such good reviews of but came back disappointed. Keeping my expectations on the floor, I booked a flight to Kochi and planned to explore Kerala for 8 days. Not to forget, I traveled with my not-so-little sister who just turned 18 and has never traveled alone, backpacked, hitchhiked, or even stayed at a hostel. This trip had to be flawless! Now my definition of flawless is a trip full of unexpected situations, no planned itinerary, no idea about where and how to travel, and so on.

However, like always, in this article I will be mentioning how I traveled from one city to another, where I stayed, cost of the trip, and alternate options if my way doesn’t meet your convenience.

The itinerary goes as follows: ALLEPPEY -> MUNNAR -> THEKKADY -> KOCHI

So, if you plan to go anywhere else in Kerala other than these places, stop reading! There’s nothing for you in here. But if you intend to cover these places then read more because I’ve got it all covered for you.

Kochi was off the list for us since we had only 8 days. Upon hearing that there’s not much to do or see in Kochi and that it’s just a regular city, we decided to skip it. Our flight landed at 11:30 am in Kochi. The moment we got off the plane, we were searching for cheapest ways to reach Alleppey.

The distance from Cochin International Airport to Alleppey is 90 km. The cheapest option was to reach Vytila or Aluva Bus Stand and take a bus from there to Alleppey. But it turned out the last bus which was in our budget left few minutes ago. We could have taken the next bus but it would have cost the same as a taxi would. Thinking wisely, we took a pre-paid taxi from the airport. (Only because the amount got split into two)

How to reach Alleppey from Kochi?

Option 1: Take a pre-paid taxi, Ola or Uber (all cost the same from the airport) and reach Vytila or Aluva bus stand. Enquire the tourist information counter at the airport about the bus timings and decide accordingly.

Approximate cost of traveling this way = cost of taxi till the bus stand + cost of bus from Kochi to Alleppey

= 600 + 250

= INR 850 per person

Option 2: Take a pre-paid taxi from Cochin International Airport for Alleppey. Seems so easy right? Well, it is!

Approximate cost of traveling this way = INR 2300 

I recommend this option if you’re not solo. The price gets divided and is much more convenient than traveling in a local bus.

ALLEPPEY – 2 DAYS

We checked in at our hostel at 1:30 am. Not wasting any time, kept our bags, went out for lunch and Alleppey darshan. Our hostel was at the beach, so we strolled there for a while. Cutting all the crap I will straight away list the things we did and you can do in Alleppey.

Alleppey is all about The Great Backwaters. It’s called the Venice of the East as the canals pierce through the city and connect to the magnificent Backwaters. One can book a stay at the house boat too. We didn’t because 1. it was out of budget and 2. I could not stay restricted to the waters. That’s just the kind of a person I am. 😛 and 3. both shikara and house boat cover the same region so it’s not that we would miss out on any scenic spot.

Kerala Backwaters - Kerala Itinerary

3 hours of peace.

Kerala Itinerary - Kerala Backwaters

Having the shikara all to ourselves.

Now, booking a shikara ride is a task in Alleppey because every person has a different quote and package. One of the many perks of staying at a hostel is that you meet people who have already done that and in a price that a backpacker can afford. Call 8089119111, talk to the guy, book a slot! He is reliable and would not charge unreasonably. I forgot the name of the guy. I saved it on my phone in the of ‘backwater boy’. 😛

A girl at the hostel wanted to go for the ride too. So we booked an early morning slot for 3 hours in INR 600 per person. It was heaven to have the shikara all to ourselves. I read on the internet about a village in Alleppey, named Kuttanad. Being a lover of experiencing the local life, I desperately wanted to visit it. Turns out, the shikara gives you a tour of the village. The unique thing about the village is that there are no road connections. People commute through boats. Like we have bus stops or taxi stand, they have boat stands.



Kerala Itinerary - Kuttanad

Boat stop at the village of Kuttanad.

Kerala Itinerary - Kuttanad

Preparing the dinner.

Beaches are good for a walk. Okayish for sunbath in a bikini. You will spot locals in sarees at the beach. So, it’s totally up to you what wish to wear. There’s a beach 15 kms from Alleppey, Marari Beach, known for its white sand, less crowd and beautiful sunset. I didn’t get a chance to visit it. Probably because the auto takes INR 300 to reach there and like ALWAYS I was broke. It was the first day and I should not have been out of money but due to unexpected circumstances, we had to cut down on our budget. Please go there and let me know if my decision of not going to Marari was right! 😛

I stayed at Zostel which is situated at the Alappuzha beach. Best part about the property is its location. Everything is in close vicinity and look at that gorgeous sunset in the picture below!

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How to reach Munnar from Alleppey?

Option 1: Take a bus. If you’re traveling in Kerala, favorite these three websites: Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation and Kyros Connects. There is no other bus service that operates in Kerala other than these. While the first two are state buses, Kyros is private. This would not cost more than INR 450 per person. In case of a state bus, it’s way less. Trains don’t go to Munnar.

Option 2: The most obvious option of all, taxi. Got money? Go spend! Taxi costs INR 4500 from Alleppey to Munnar.

MUNNAR – 3 DAYS

I’ve never seen a place as green as Munnar. The perfect description of it would be a home full of carpet of tea plantations. No exaggeration whatsoever, Munnar will give a feel of being at home as the people of Kerala are so warm, welcoming and humble. No matter where you take out your camera, the picture will be beautiful. Every corner of Munnar is breath-taking.

This plantation-covered hill-station has tons of viewpoints, dams, and so on. But I’d still say to make the most of Munnar sit back, relax and let the place work its magic. Walk for miles to soak in the vibes.

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Exploring Munnar is a bit confusing because of its topography. You can refer to the map I have made which I’m sure is everything you need to know about Munnar sightseeing. 😀

There are four routes:

One, ending at Chinnar covering Anamudi Peak, Marayoor Sandalwoods and Thoovanam waterfalls.

Two, ending at Top Station covering Mattupetty Dam and Echo Point.

Three, ending at Anayirankal Dam covering Lock Hart Gap, Devikulam Lake and Periyakanal waterfalls.

Four, Valara and Cheeyarappa waterfalls.

Munnar town is the center point from where the four routes dissect. Take a taxi or auto to explore these four routes as they are around 35-40km from the town. There’s no way you can walk obviously. I tried though. 😛 Both taxi or auto would charge INR 1500-INR 2000 for one route. So, yes! It’s going to be shit expensive.

During off-season, there will be no water in the waterfalls. So, make sure to pick a route which has less waterfalls and more viewpoints. And, don’t worry if you miss out on any waterfalls. Kerala is known for three things – backwaters, greenery and its people. (according to me) And, the greenery in Munnar is splendid.

 

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Kerala Itinerary - Anamudi Peak - Munnar

Thaz Anamudi Peak.

Kerala Itinerary - Matupetty Dam - Munnar

Mattupetty Dam.

Consider hitchhiking too. Locals in Kerala are safe and very helpful. On our first day in Munnar, we got lift from a super cute family. They had come from Alleppey to spend the weekend amidst the tea plantations. Turns out the man runs a luxury resort named Fog Resort and Spa in Munnar. How cool is that? We ended up spending the day with them, and covered the second route too.

Munnar - Kerala Itinerary

Thank you so much!

In Munnar, your accommodation can either make the journey or break the journey. There’s no way you should stay in Munnar Town. It’s a very dull market place. Believe me you don’t want to spend your evenings there. I stayed in a hotel cum homestay – Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus in Chithirapuram.

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The area lies somewhere between the Attukad waterfalls and Valara waterfalls on the map above. I could not have asked for a better accommodation. There’s no other place I’m staying next time I head to Munnar. I usually don’t mention this much about any stay in my articles. But this is worth all the space on my blog. You wake up with a sunrise surrounded by tea plantations on the left and spend your evening sipping hot coffee with a dazzling sunset on your right. IT’S MAGICAL! They even give a free 3 hour tour of the plantations.

The rooms, the location, the staff – PERFECT!!! Stay there and you’ll thank me later!

How to reach Thekkady from Munnar?

Option 1: There are no private buses that go to Thekkady. Ask locals for a direct bus to Thekkady. The state bus site will show Thekkady as a destination but then it shows no service available. There’s a bus stop outside Orchid Highlands Hotel in Chithirapuram where a KSRTC bus operates daily at 7 am from Munnar to Thekkady. It costs INR 90.

Option 2: Taxi of course. Cost is approximately INR 2500.

THEKKADY – 1 DAY 

Thekkady is famous for Periyar National Park – an elephant and tiger reserve. Honestly, I went there to take the elephant bath and watch Kathakali dance. Due to off-season, a lot of things were shut in the National Park and there was no assured way that I could spot a Tiger. So, I obviously skipped it.

However, the elephant bath is putting me in guilt now. I had no idea what torture an elephant goes through in order to obey people’s instructions. They are kept in captivity, exploited and abused. I blame myself as I too am responsible for it. People are consoling me that I at least realized that I do no want to be that kind who tortures animals for my own good. What can I do is not encourage others to engage in such activities. I am not going to put any pictures of it no matter how good they are because frankly the experience is quite normal. It’s like taking a shower in your bathroom at your own place! NOTHING SPECIAL. NOT FUN. NO ADVENTURE.

There is a reason why god made us humans and them animals.

If my words don’t make any sense to you then please read this before going for the ride or bath: The tragic lives of India’s mistreated captive elephants

#SayNoToElephantRide #StopTorturingElephants

Now you might feel then what is the point of visiting Thekkady? Well, you could always feed the elephant, walk with it, or give him a bath. NOW THAT IS FUN!!!

We booked a homestay and as usual met an amazing host who booked everything for us. You could book the same homestay here.

KERALA ITINERARY -THEKKADY – ELEPHANT FEED

We went to Navarasa Kathakali Center to watch a one hour performance. Entry ticket is INR 200. Our host however got it for INR 150. I assumed how much of Kathakali can we actually watch and that one hour is too much. But those artists proved us wrong! It was not just dance. It was drama and depiction of dance through various face expressions and body movements. A must watch on a trip to Kerala.

Kerala Itinerary - Kathakali Dance

Kathakali Dance.

How to reach Kochi from Thekkady?

Option 1: Kochi being the capital city can be reached from almost everywhere. Hop on a local bus at the Thekkady Bus Stand also known as Kumily Bus Stand. Cost is INR 150. Timings you have to ask the conductors at the bus stand.

Option 2: Taxi. No idea about the cost this time because I didn’t even bother to look at the fare. *too broke*

KOCHI – 2 DAYS

We thought of going to Varkala but then we had our flight back to Delhi in 1.5 days. There was no point traveling so long for 1 day. So, kept Varkala for the next time.

The best place to stay in Kochi is the Fort Kochi area. The area has beautiful homestays and super-cool backpackers hostel. The best way to explore Kochi is by cycling through the city. Fort Kochi is a photographer’s dream. It’s all about artistic cafes, museums and art galleries. Rent a bicycle in INR 50 for 6-7 hours. Don’t forget to keep your Id card with you. Cycling in Kochi was quite similar to cycling in Pondicherry. It has the same vibes and similar French architecture but with more amount of greenery. 😛

Eating in local restaurants or at the hotel is not something that you should be doing. Fort Kochi is full of intriguing cafes that deserve attention. My personal favorites are Kashi Art Café, Qissa Café and The Drawing Room. Moreover, you can rent a bicycle right outside Qissa Café.

Kerala Itinerary - Kochi

Cycling through the city.

Kerala Itinerary - Kochi

Whatte cute lane!

Kerala Itinerary - Kochi

Don’t leave Kochi without visiting this café.

Kerala Itinerary - Kochi

I spot this wall while cycling and I HAD to stop for a picture!




Watch the sunset at the Chinese fishing net. Kind of mandatory.  😀

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ESSENTIALS TO CARRY IN KERALA

Go to Kerala for its flora, backwaters and its people. There’s no way you could come back disappointed, it’s THAT beautiful. Also, I guess I’m going to take another trip to Kerala as I’d love to explore more of Malabar coast and lesser known hill-stations.

In case you try anything from this itinerary, do let me know in the comments below. Nothing makes me more happy than my work making sense to people. 😀

PIN THE KERALA ITINERARY FOR LATER!

kerala itineraryKerala itinerary

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and purchase that product or service, I will be paid a small commission, however your cost will be the same. It is just to keep this blog running. 

22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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Things to do in Gokarna

Kick-Ass Things To Do In Gokarna In 3 Days

Gokarna, which started emerging as a tourist destination a decade ago, is on the bucket list of every traveler. Well, it deserves to be! One thing I can certainly assure of Gokarna is that it’s not a place where you go for 2 or 3 days to cover all major attractions. You need to at least spend a week to soak the tranquility of Gokarna.

Gokarna is not a place, it’s a vibe! 

However, for some of us, time doesn’t allow us to travel for more than a weekend. So, this itinerary is for people like you who wish to make the most out of Gokarna in 3 days.

A little disclaimer – The day I arrived was Maha Shivaratri and upon reaching there we found out that Shivaratri is celebrated with such great enthusiasm in Gokarna. As a result, I spent half of my day being a part of the procession. I was skeptical to even write an article on this since not everyone will travel during this time. But because I have a lot other things which I can help people with, I will go for it. And, like always I can give you alternate ideas of exploration. 😀

DAY 1 – SHIVARATRI FESTIVAL/MAHABALESHWARA TEMPLE, YOGA, SUNSET AT KUDLE BEACH

Upon reaching Gokarna, I realized this coastal town is all about Lord Shiva and unspoiled beaches. Gokarna is in fact a temple town with a religious significance. Hence, Maha Shivaratri – festival in the honour of Lord Shiva – is celebrated with such eagerness and love.

The procession started at 12:30 in Gokarna city. Shivaratri is celebrated for many days, and it’s a peak time in Gokarna. However, I reached on the day of the parade which took place after 4-5 days of Maha Shivaratri.

A beautiful chariot is built by the locals and is stood in the middle of the city.

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SHIVARATRI IN GOKARNA - THINGS TO DO IN GOKARNA

The chariot.

Avoid the parade if you’re not a fan of pushy crowd. I’m not that patient myself, but everything appeared to be so bright and colorful, I decided to stay for few hours.

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The Brahmans sit inside the chariot, and the locals throw bananas at them through the window. That’s what we did too! If the bananas make their way through the window (which is hard btw), the Brahmans throw it back at the public.

SHIVARATRI IN GOKARNA - THINGS TO DO IN GOKARNA

Throwing bananas at Brahmans inside the chariot.

SHIVARATRI IN GOKARNA - THINGS TO DO IN GOKARNA

Brahmans throwing the bananas back.

I have another great option for the ones not traveling during this time. Head to the famous Mahabaleshwara Temple – the most essential part of Gokarna. Facing the Arabian Sea, this temple is built in classical Dravadian architecture.

Why is it so famous? It is said that the great evil king of Lanka, Ravana (from the epic – Ramayana) carried the Shiva Ling from Mount Kailash in the Himalayas and placed it here, at Mahabaleshwara Temple, Gokarna.

That is the major reason why tourists or devotees started coming to Gokarna in the first place, and with time it became a not-so-popular tourist destination.

I was staying at Namaste Yoga Farm, which is famous for its yoga and breakfast, and its peaceful environment. If you are in Gokarna, you must try yoga. You can take up a yoga course, do it in groups at various resorts or alone at a beach.

yoga - things to do in gokarna

Yogay.




I am not someone who could think of doing yoga as I could never imagine myself to keep shut for an hour and focus on one thing. Quite unlike my personality. 😛 But the #GokarnaVibes made me try it. I did yoga for the first time, and it was the first time in my life I met my solitude.

yoga - things to do in gokarna

That’s just a pose. I could barely stand on one leg for more than 2 seconds.

The next stop was Kudle beach which is 5 minutes walking from Namaste Yoga Farm. Gokarna is a small town. Nothing is far off. We sat at Little Paradise Inn, a shack at Kudle beach, at around 5 pm and left at 8. One, because the service was too slow, but the food was delicious af. Two, we could not have missed such stunning sunset. It was by far the best sunset I’ve ever seen. I could literally see sun falling down the horizon. The colors of the sky were beyond words!!!

sunset at kudle beach - gokarna

The sky was insanely beautiful.

sunset at kudle beach gokarna

The colors were changing with the blink of an eye.



DAY 2 – YOGA, BEACH TREKKING – KUDLE BEACH TO OM BEACH TO HALF MOON BEACH

Start the day with rejuvenating your soul. Get out of your selfish head, and say hello to the present.

We had our breakfast, took shower and left our accommodation to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach.

Gokarna is situated between the hills and Western Ghats on one side and the beaches i.e. the Arabian Sea on the other. In order to reach the beaches, you literally have to trek through the hills.

The trek starts from Kudle beach – a nice, clean, not so crowded beach. It has pleasant views of the ocean, and has the perfect waves for swimming. There are a lot of shacks here for munchies or beer.

kudle beach - gokarna

Kudle beach.

Trek up the hill from Kudle beach to Om beach – one of the most popular beaches in Gokarna. This beach has comparatively less food options than Kudle. Yet, it is quite famous amongst the tourists as well as the locals.

om beach - things to do in gokarna

Walking it out.

Upon hearing so much about Namaste Café at Om beach, we stopped there to have lunch. The food is okayish, but the view is great! After eating, we took a ferry/boat to Half Moon beach. You can trek from Om beach to Half Moon beach, but we wanted to experience the boat ride as well. The best part about the boat ride is that you can spot dolphins on the way. They are quite far, but you can definitely spot them. The boats run at INR 250-300 per person.

namaste cafe gokarna

Namaste!!!!

View from Namaste Cafe Gokarna

View from Namaste Cafe, Om Beach.

Half Moon beach has only two shacks, so don’t go there with a purpose of eating or drinking. It is quite small, more like a lagoon! My personal favorite in Gokarna. It’s average for a swim because of the rippling waves. I found it best for a sunbath. If you are looking for a hidden spot in Gokarna, Half Moon is the place to go!

half moon beach gokarna

Half Moon Beach, Gokarna.

I spent around 3-4 hours here, and for that reason, we couldn’t make it to the next beach, the Paradise beach, which is said to have no cafes at all. It is the most secluded beaches of all. You can trek up or take a boat. The boats run until maximum 6:30 pm, so make sure you plan your way back beforehand. You can find boats at every beach, and if in case you don’t, not to worry, there is always a way back through the trails.

sunset in gokarna

Beautiful sunset on our way back.

After chilling for hours at Half Moon, we took a boat till Kudle, and had dinner at Le Pizzeria. The pizza here is delightful. 😀

BEACH ESSENTIALS

DAY 3 – MASSAGE, EXPLORE A BEACH – PARADISE/NIRVANA BEACH

Again, this was my first time getting a massage, and that Russian lady broke my tailbone into pieces. Not literally but it felt like. I’d advise you to ask people around or check the internet for good massages in Gokarna else you will be in pain for days. However, a massage is a must. Not giving much thought to the pain, it was kind of soothing. Kind of!

relax - massage - things to do in gokarna

I kept laughing because it was paining SO much! I’m a weird kid!!!!

It was our last day here and all we wanted to do is chill. So, we went to Little Paradise at Kudle again and sat there for good 6-7 hours. Haha! Now that I am typing it, I actually feel that’s a lot of time spent at a shack. 😛 What you can do is, explore Paradise beach or Nirvana beach. Sit there, relax, and do nothing. For once, just be, not do!

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING IN GOKARNA

1. There are only 3 ATMs in Gokarna and it’s rare that all three work. Sometimes not even one works. Most of the hotels, resorts and beach shacks do not accept cards. They only accept cash or charge 2-5% if you pay by card. Make sure you carry cash with you.

2. The only mode of transportation is auto or hiring a scooty/bike.

3. Alcohol is banned in Gokarna. However, beer is served at few shacks at the beach but they charge double the price.

4. If you are looking for parties and nightlife, don’t go to Gokarna. Gokarna is just like South Goa – people go there to enjoy its beauty and peacefulness.

SEARCH ACCOMMODATION IN GOKARNA



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Looking for places to travel near Bangalore? Read about my trip to Coorg.

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22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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Monkey Temple - Galta

Jaipur Things To Do, Where To Stay, What To Eat

A profusion of ancient history with an influence of modern life is what I call the pink city, Jaipur. It’s sometimes sad to see how the influx of tourist and the western influence is turning this historical capital into a metropolis. Ironically, it turns out that even I’m so inclined towards this ‘café culture’ that I plan my itinerary in a way that includes all the pre-historic gems and the fancy places.

I’ve been to Jaipur quite a few times and know this city well enough to chalk down a detailed two-day itinerary incorporating everything – Jaipur things to do, what to eat in Jaipur, how to commute in Jaipur, every minute details like where and at what time could you enjoy the sunset or go clubbing in Jaipur. 😀

Here’s how you can make the most of your Jaipur trip in two days.

DAY 1

BREAKFAST: Start your day with a cup of tea and vada pav at Tapri. Tapri serves varieties of chai and exceptionally delicious food with a gorgeous ambience and a stunning rooftop. Next thing, take a cab and leave for Galta Ji (or as most of the tourists call, Monkey Temple). Both Ola and Uber work in Jaipur!

best cafes in jaipur

GALTA JI: Famous for its natural water springs and countless monkeys, Galta Ji Temple is one of its kind. This pilgrimage site is a souvenir of the former age offering awe-inspiring views of the surroundings. The site is abode to temples, natural springs and thousands of monkeys. I was so intrigued after watching an episode of Monkey Thieves on National Geographic that I just couldn’t skip it despite of being monkey-phobic. 😛 Thanks to the guide at site for making it easy. Galta Ji has surely not lost its religious and rustic charm amidst the bustling city life.

jaipur things to do - galta ji

Galta Ji Temple

jaipur things to do - galta ji

View from Monkey Temple



jaipur things to do - monkey temple

Monkey Temple

jaipur things to do - monkey temple jaipur

Feeding the monkey

JAL MAHAL: Head to the three famous forts – Jaigarh, Nahargarh and Amer Fort. These forts are at a far end of Jaipur and the cab might cost you around INR 400. But you obviously can’t miss out because heylo, going to Jaipur and missing the forts, are you crazy!? Stop en route at Jal Mahal and click like paparazzi!!! There’s not much to do or see here. Stroll alongside Man Sagar Lake if you wish to kill time but I’d suggest to MAKE A MOVE because history awaits you up the hill.

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Apparently, a lot of people are confused, even I was, which fort to visit first? And let me tell you, every fort is a must-visit!

First, take a tour of the remarkable Amer Fort. I personally loved the architecture!

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Second, get out of Amer and have a meal at the Stag Café because by now you’d be starving. This café located right across the road, opposite to Amer Fort, offers the best views in the city. They serve delicious food and amazing hookah with a view that will leave you smitten.

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Third, grab an auto for Jaigarh Fort – not as fancy and royal as Amer as it’s a defensive fort. However, it features the largest cannon on wheels named Jaivana. Don’t keep your expectations high though!

Fourth, sunset at Nahargarh Fort. If you follow this itinerary, you reach Nahargarh Fort by sunset having covered all the forts and with a full stomach. Except if you are like me, hungry all the time!

Tbh, I am fond of Nahargarh Fort because of the scenic views it provides and the most spectacular sunset and, not because of its architecture or history. I recommend you to go there to watch the sun go down the horizon and for the beautiful bird’s eye view of the entire Jaipur city.

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DINNER: Jaipur, like any other city, has a lot of food options be it Rajasthani, Italian or Chinese. You name it, you have it! The city is filled with unique and quirky cafes. My most favorite from the list is Bar Palladio Jaipur! It is classy and royal with décor no other place in Jaipur has. Expensive but totally deserves a visit!

If you are not so fond of cafés and want to have an authentic Rajasthani dish, then go to Raawat Restaurant and order Dal Bati Churma or Pyaaz Kachori. The ambience of this restaurant is quite warm and the people are so friendly and welcoming. We were so confused as to what to order that the waiter happily gave us a brief of everything on the menu. 😛 For five people, we ordered around 4 dishes including sweets, our bill was just INR 1100. It turned out to be so pocket-friendly.

best cafes in jaipur - palladio

Dinner at Bar Palladio Jaipur

DAY 2

BREAKFAST: Start the day with eggs and pancakes at On The House in C-Scheme. It has both indoor and outdoor sitting with a European touch.

OLD JAIPUR: By now you must be very curious to know why Jaipur is called the Pink City? Why not go and find out yourself?

As far as I understood, the buildings and gates in Old Jaipur are painted pink in color. Hence, it is called the Pink City. I am vaguely aware of the history of the color pink. Comment below and correct me if I’m wrong.

Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh wanted to impress the Royal Family and establish ties with them. So, when Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, claimed that he would visit India, the Maharaja painted the city pink as it historically represented welcome and hospitality.

Maharaja’s wife loved the color scheme so much that she asked Sawai Ram Singh to enforce a law which considers any building which is not pink illegal.

HAWA MAHAL/PALACE OF WINDS: Women in old days could not appear in public or in front of strangers. And, to bestow a sense of freedom on them, Hawa Mahal was built with more than 900 windows so they could see day-to-day events and royals processions in the streets. God bless us, Women!

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Hawa Mahal is quite easy to find. You’re walking down the street wondering how cool these shops are and there it is, amidst chaotic and busy roads. At first, I was totally unaware while shopping that it’s right behind me. 😛

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CITY PALACE: Walk on the same side of the road (on Hawa Mahal’s side) and take a left for City Palace. The back of Hawa Mahal is the royal City Palace. It is a historical complex with Mughal and Rajasthani architecture which is still an abode to the royal family. Although they live in a private section. Entry to public is prohibited.

jaipur attractions- jaipur things to do




The architecture is great specially if you’re a photographer, you will spend hours here.

The Mahal inside the palace displays the royal costumes. Basically, clothes that Maharajas used to wear in those days. Few paintings and the weapons that were used back in time are also on display.

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You can combine a visit to Jantar Mantar too as it is nearby. I didn’t go though! No reason in particular. I just didn’t feel like.

SHOPPING: Outside City Palace are numerous lively shops where you can buy what not – from precious stones, antique lights, Rajasthani embroidered umbrellas to perfumes, and Rajasthani footwear. Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar are two markets in Old Jaipur which you should check out! Ask people for directions or use google maps. It’s all walking walking!!

LUNCH: This place is not so showy or extravagant. Quite decent and basic with limited food options. Situated opposite to the Hawa Mahal is the Wind View Café which honestly doesn’t have great food as its all packaged food but oh god, its view – magnificent! If possible stay there till sunset because.. just see the picture below.

best cafes in jaipur

Ok. I know I didn’t tell the best option for food. So, spend as much time as you want here, click photos, order watermelon juice or a dessert, or if you wish just walk upstairs, get a picture clicked and come back.

Head to the other end of Hawa Mahal. Remember – one side is the City Palace, on the left of Hawa Mahal, the other side is where I am going to take you now i.e. on the right of Hawa Mahal. (Johari and Bapu Bazaar are on the right) Or let’s chuck all the complications and use google maps. 😛

Go to Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, sounds shady but its quite famous with a decent ambience. It serves a good deal of cuisines, but I’d say it is the second best place to have Kachoris and Dal Bati Churma in Jaipur. So, now you know what to order as well.

Now is the time when you return to your accommodation and chill for a while! I have mentioned below where to stay in Jaipur according to the area and budget.

If you have followed this itinerary, you’ve covered all major attractions, you’ve had the most delicious food along with superb view, you’ve caught the most stunning sunset, and you’ve grabbed all the souvenirs.

The last meal of the day is still left and this time it’s all your choice. I have written about a bunch of places which I felt are worth a visit during my Jaipur trip. All the places are tried, tested and then reviewed.

PICK A PLACE: 10 Fancy Cafes In Jaipur One Should Not Miss

If you’re a party freak like me, you must go clubbing at Blackout or House Of People. Whenever I thought of Jaipur, I always thought of girls in lehenga, guys in dhoti but surprisingly, people of Jaipur know how to party!

ANSWERING MORE QUESTIONS:

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT JAIPUR?

October – March

This is the perfect weather to explore the Pink City as summers in Jaipur are unbearable! Hence, tourists prefer to visit Jaipur in the winter season.

HOW TO TRAVEL WITHIN JAIPUR?

Travelling by Auto in Jaipur can burn a hole in your pocket. Auto Wallas in Jaipur will never go by meter and will demand for any amount. Specially if you’re a foreigner or an outstation, they will try their best to extract maximum from you. So, the best thing is to install Ola/Uber App and travel in AC spending less than you would spend in an auto. If you’re staying in Old Jaipur, you could also take battery riskhaws for travelling short distances. Although I’d never suggest you to stay in Old Jaipur. Umm, why? Read more.

WHERE TO STAY IN JAIPUR?

The reason why I suggest you to not stay in Old Jaipur is because it’s chaotic, you would be stuck in traffic half of the time. Also, most of the attractions like the three famous forts – Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh, Jal Mahal, Galta Ji – Monkey Temple are far off the city.

C-Scheme is my personal favorite area to stay as it is quite posh and accessible. Railway Station, bus terminal, the very famous M.I. Road, major places to eat, attractions, clubs, are within easy reach.

Jaipur has a lot of options – from budget friendly hostels to luxury hotels. I’ve stayed in two hostels – Zostel and Roadhouse, and Hotel Holiday Inn. These are some affordable options.

If you’re filthy rich and can afford INR 55,000 tariff a day, stay at Taj Rambagh Palace or The Oberoi Rajvilas. The day I have enough money is the day you’ll see me chilling at those properties. 😛 😀

Also, I am planning to open a hostel in Jaipur in 2018. Hopefully, if that happens, I’ll see you there!



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Now not everyone believes in traveling on their own, and prefer leaving the homework to an agent. To make your stay worthwhile in the pink city, you could also contact Royal Adventure Tours for a customized Jaipur Tour Package.

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

DAY 1

1. Breakfast at Tapri

2. Galta Ji

3. Jal Mahal

4. Amer Fort

5. Lunch At Stag Café

6. Jaigarh Fort

7. Nahargarh Fort

8. Dinner at Palladio/Rawat

Over.

DAY 2

1. Breakfast at On The House

2. Hawa Mahal – Palace Of Winds

3. City Palace

4. Jantar Mantar

5. Lunch at Wind View Café or Laxmi Mishan Bhandar

6. Shopping in Bapu Bazar/Johri Bazar

7. Chill at your accommodation

8. Dinner at restaurant of your choice from the list 

Over and out.

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Note: This post uses affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and purchase that product or service, I will be paid a small commission, however your cost will be the same. It is just to keep this blog running. 

22-year-old girl, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when Trippindian was found and she started finding her hobby, passion and profession in it.

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