Aahana the Corbett Wilderness fascinating blend of nature and luxury

Aahana the Corbett Wilderness fascinating blend of nature and luxury

Aahana the Corbett Wilderness

FASCINATING blend OF NATURE AND LUXURY

Demonstrating its respect to the nature, the resounding sounds of birds, a rich cover of lush green trees, a perfect blend of nature and luxury, Aahana the Corbett wilderness resort has its own reasons to be loved and respected. The resort is situated in Sawaldesh, a 20 minutes drive to a beautiful town of Ramnagar. Offering a serene and peaceful environment and the luxury equivalent to any 5 star hotels. Aahana is a highly recommended luxury resort for families and peace lovers.

During our recent trip to Ramnagar we had a day to spend and leisure after completing the Jungle safari and that is when we thought of staying at Aahana. We had heard a lot about the resort from locals. The resort is very well crafted, curated, maintained and executed. We reached the resort around evening after completing our safari, the reception area followed by the reading lounge gives a very professional look and the staff is very courteous. As a gesture of welcome we were offered juices and hot towel. We had a short conversation with the reception staff and were answered well.

After completing the formalities we were shifted to our room, they call it Corbett club. It is more of a suite rather than an ordinary room. Consisting of multiple wardrobes, dressing table, mini bar, AC, television, a spacious balcony with sitting, a fire place for winters, a sofa set and a beautifully planned washroom with toiletries. The suite is located at 1 end of the resort where at the entrance one can view the village and from the balcony you get a beautiful view of the resort, the jungle in the backdrop and a beautiful sunrise in the mornings.

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The resort also offers other rooms such as the Den, Jim’s retreat, Jungle lore suite, Ranger suite, family suite and the villas. For more details about the rooms and tariff please refer to the resort website.

After settling down, we walked down towards the restaurant for the dinner. The restaurant is spacious and professionally maintained. The restaurant offers a lavish buffet for all the meals along with a live counter. The restaurant is segregated into multiple areas such as the dining hall where the main buffet or ala-carte is served, an outdoor seating for people to enjoy the nature and enjoy the meals, an elegantly built bar that offers a variety of options for drinks and live music during dinner time. The resort has an upper hand in terms of food quality as compared to other resorts as they have their own bakery unit, dairy farm and organic farms thus maintaining quality.

After the luxuriant dinner, we took a short walk around the resort, the pathways which are dimly lit to maintain harmony with the resident birds and humans give a mesmerising view and force you to stay there for a while and feel the serene calm of the night gazing at the starts. It reminds me of the days we used to be curious children and use the roof tops as our own observatory.

The next day was at leisure and looking at the exorbitant heat during the day we thought to roam around the resort in the morning and evening. So we started the day earlier than usual but not as early as seven. We freshened up and had a quick breakfast, the staff was there at the restaurant ready to greet us with smile no matter how early they would have woke up to prepare the food and the place to make our experience as good as possible.

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After the breakfast we took a walk around the resort and also a drive in the battery operated vehicles when our kid refused to walk anymore. The resort has some real good things to admire a well maintained kids play area which normally is the least looked after in other resorts, the play area has some good swings, a trampoline and cycling. Adjacent to the kids play area are the badminton and basketball court, within the resort premises there is a mini football and a mini golf course for people to rejuvenate. There is a separate place next to the reception for indoor games, pool table. The resort also holds a meditation/yoga room with daily yoga sessions provided to the guests. The resort holds a huge area under organic farming. The resort also holds a naturopathy centre offering various services to the guests. One of the major attractions apart from these is a buggy ride which is pulled by horses giving you a feel of the British era when effluent class people used to commute in those buggys. The ride would take you on a short village tour. However, due to some technical reasons we could not take the ride.

Post lunch, as the temperature soared above 40 degrees we went back to our room to rest and then in the evening we moved out for some more fun, after a quick high tea which is served in the lawn adjacent to the pool. It was play time with the kid.

After spending some time at the ground we went to visit another speciality of the resort and that is the Sewage treatment plant, one of the reasons why the resort is most eco-friendly resort. Unique and acclaimed to be one of the biggest in Asia, it runs on the principle of gravity. The sewage water using the force of gravity enters into two large chambers (15 feet deep and the dimension of 12.3 X 17 ft) where the sewage is segregated in to solid and liquid waste. The Wastewater from wash basins, bathrooms and kitchen goes into the Four Baffled Chambers filled with 40-60 mm gravel. These Baffled Chambers are 10 ft deep and are of 11.1 ft x 9.10 ft dimension each. This is also carried out through gravity.

Then from these Chambers the wastewater goes into the CANNA PLANTED FILTER ROOT ZONE Chambers which are Five in numbers and they are filled with 10-20 mm gravel having a depth of one metre. Cannae plants are planted in these chambers over the gravel. Their size is 49 ft x 19.9 ft each. The filtered water transparent in colour and having no odor goes in the Storage Tank having a capacity of 1,50,000 litres. We pump treated water through 2 HP Hydromatic Pumps to the Sprinklers which are located at different points throughout the garden area. The entire process takes about seven days.

This was something interesting to us and we spent some time there understanding the process. It was good to see this as the resort abides by its motto of Eco-friendly tourism.

Later in the evening had a detailed discussion with one of the directors of the resort Ms. Ayu, who told us about the inception of the idea of building this beautiful eco-friendly resort. There are lot of CSR activities that the resort as an organization takes up and ensures to keep to the values.

We were impressed to hear the initiatives that are taken up by the management such as employing local people and grooming them. They also support education initiatives for the children in the village, on a regular basis a village cleanliness drive is organized in support by the local population and sometimes the guests. Doing this they are not only connected to the local people they also earn a lot of respect and support from them in return. With all these discussions and finger licking food it was a lesson revised give respect, get respect. Not many profit making organizations take care of environment or the employees and the people around.

Next day we rose early to witness a lovely sunrise from the balcony though the most of it was in the backdrop of the trees but it was soothing to the eyes. We got ready, had the breakfast for one last time there and with a heavy heart bid adieu thinking to return again soon.

The Golden Tusk Resort a complete vacation package.

The Golden Tusk Resort a complete vacation package.

THE GOLDEN TUSK RESORT

All you need for a vacation

With the backdrop of Jim Corbett and the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, only thing you would be looking for is a nice home-like comfortable place to spend a few days far away from the hustle ‘n’ bustle of the city. The Golden Tusk Resort is a blessing in disguise for families, naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts. The resort not only offers some beautifully crafted rooms it also has a rich blend of flora and fauna. With more than 100 species of plants and trees, the resort has abundant birds throughout the year for the visitors to enrich. The resort, situated on the bank of a seasonal river is an eye candid during monsoon and give a soothing view during rest of the years. If you are nearby Ramnagar or planning to spend a long weekend then this is a not to miss, place.

We planned for an outing and a jungle safari a couple of months back and that’s when I stumbled across The Golden Tusk resort. I was a bit skeptical about the place initially but it was worth a try since this is considered to be a good season for the safari as the chances of wildlife sighting increases manifolds. We started our journey from Delhi to Ramnagar with a super excited kid, who was going to have some great experiences. Starting from his first train travel to exploring a lot of new things about the nature and wildlife. The temperature in Delhi was soaring 44 degrees when we started and expected an equivalent hot evening in Ramnagar based on the weather forecasts. However, by the time we crossed Kashipur the weather had changed and a thunderstorm had lashed the small town with sporadic rains and cool breeze. It was almost 9 pm  when we reached Ramnagar. We were picked up by the resort representatives at the station and we started our journey to the resort, located approximately 20 kms from the station. The resort representative were very enthusiastic and we had a lot of chit chat about our journey, Ramnagar, Jim Corbett during this 25 minutes drive including some chat with our kid who was excited to spot a tiger.

Upon reaching the resort we were given a very warm welcome by the General Manager Mr. Sujit and the reception staff. Welcome drink offered was the juice of Burans a famous flower in the Kausani region of the Himalayas. Later we were shifted to our country view room and we could see the village with limited movement of people. The room was very spacious, well laid out and had all facilities that would make you feel home starting from a comfortable bed, a TV, Refrigerator and an AC. Outside the room there was a neatly maintained sitting spot with a set of table and chairs for the guests to sit, relax and enjoy together with the village in their sighting.

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The resort also offers other rooms such as forest view, villas, grand villas, tiger suites, and luxury tents. For more details about the rooms and tariff please refer to the resort website.

After settling down, we walked down towards the restaurant which is built on an elevated platform and  away from the rooms. Standing on the front stairs of the restaurant one can have a clear view of the village where as the stairs at the rear side of the restaurant give a magnificient view of a well maintained ground followed by a perrinnial river bed with the mountains in the backdrop. The place can captivate any person and force them to sit there for hours cherishing the nature’s beauty.

We had a sumptuous dinner which was tasty and quality as compared to any famous restaurant in the cities. The restaurant offers a lavish buffet with Veg and Non-Veg options alongwith Ala-carte and live grill options. The staff at the restaurant was equally generous and courteous as the staff at the reception. After the dinner we took a walk around the resort listening to some of the insect and birds that we once used to hear in our native cities and are now lost in the harrowing sounds of mordenization in the cities.

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The next day was at leisure for us and we utilized the time properly by starting with a delicious breakfast followed by a walk around the resort. The resort offers a conference hall for official meetings, gymmnasium, swimming pool, indoor games, spa, cycling, bar for those who want to just relax and enjoy the ambience, nature’s beauty and spend some leisure time with family and friends. As the temperature increased we thought to cool down in the swimming pool and spend around a couple of hours there. Below are some random clicks around the resort.

Post lunch, as the temperature soared above 40 degrees we went back to our room to rest and then in the evening we moved out for some more fun, after a quick high tea which is served in the back lawn on the banks of the river and some games with the kid, we moved for some sports activities. The resort offers a few adventure sports such as military hurdle for children and wall climbing and flying fox for adults and other games like basketball, badminton, volley ball etc. It was a real fun in trying the wall climbing and flying fox.

With the dusk falling and the full moon on the horizon, it was time for the birds to return to their bases and we experienced a mesmerizing noise of the birds chirping all around the resort as if they were discussing their activities and experiences during the day, reminding me of the days we used to sit with our parents and grandparents telling them our daily experiences and question nuts and bolts of anything and everything. As my kid sat in my lap listening to the birds, It was a mixed feeling for me which filled me with joy on one hand and reminded me the pain long forgotten of being far away from our near and dear ones knowing that in times to come there will be nothing left other than memories to cherish. I gradually composed myself back to the present and starting explaining my kid about the sudden movement and chirping of the birds.

Next day we had the Safari planned and till evening we were masquerading in the resort as if we were the residents there. By evening 4 pm we were all set for the Safari, please note that the Safari is subject to prior booking and the availability depends on the permit from the government departments. Please check with the resort before planning the trip or safari. It was a real fun and a great experience, the presence of the qualified guide from the forest department and the knowledgeable representative from the resort made it more interesting, wherein a lot of information was shared by both the people. It is because of them that we were able to understand lot of things and also clear out the myths we have been growing up with about the jungle and the animals. It was a time well spent and we would  be taking up that experience in our next post.

We also got a chance to have a chat with the owner of the resort Mr. Anirudh who completed his MBA from Amity university and also had worked in some private sector organizations, it was a pretty informative meeting and he shared his vision and aspirations about the resort. He also told us about how the resort was built in that place and that the rooms were furnished differently based on specific concept in sync with various flowers. He also gave us a glimpse on the additions they would be bringing to the resort thus making it more family friendly and it becomes a one stop shop for all age groups. The resort also fulfills its responsibility towards the society and have taken up numerous CSR initiatives including a village and forest clean up drives in association with TCHRI. The idealogy being followed is to create memories for the people visiting the resort and I would admit that in a stay of 2 days i never felt away from home making some very good memories for years to come.

Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel guide to Trivandrum

Travel Guide

Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west. The scenic view of the city can be seen due to the presence of the wooded highlands of the western ghats on borders of east and north east side. The city attracts the most of the tourist due to the beaches, backwater stretches, historic monuments, mosaics, sculptures, temples and other holy shrines. Tiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is among the most beautiful cities of India due to its cleanliness and lush greenery.

 

 

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The 8th century ancient temple is built in the East Fort of the city and exhibits a mix blend of dravadian and Kerala style. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The deity of Lord Vishnu is reclined on the hooded serpent. The place where the temple is located is believed to be one of the seven Parasurama kshatras and Skanda Purana and Padma Purana also mentions about the sacred temple. The hindu shrine possesses incredible idol that is situated on a single stone which is 18 ft long and said that it was made of 12008 salagramams, bought from river Gandhaki of Nepal. There are three doors in the temple and the idol can be seen from all doors.

First door displays the head and chest, second door displays hands and third door displays feet of the Lord. The temple is carved out of stone and bronze and the interiors are spruced up by paintings and vista. Copper sheet with gold platings covering the enormous sacred dhwaja stambh which is 80 ft high. Sculptural skeleton of the temple is carved with hindu deities. On the eastern side of the temple classical form of dance kathakali is performed on the ground floor in the malyalam month during the ten day annual festival.

Note: Only hindus are allowed in the temple and the dress code for men is only dhoti with no kind of shirt and for women dress code is sari, half sari or skirt & blouse.

Pazhavanagadi Ganpathy Temple

Ganpathi temple is also situated in the East Fort and is famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is close in proximity if one is going to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple as it is just at a throw away stone distance. The main idol of Lord Ganesha is very small in size with a folded right leg in sitting posture. There are about 32 types of paintings of Lord Ganesha inside the temple. The chaturthi and jayanti related to the deity are main festivals of the temple other than vijaya dashmi, mahashivaratri etc. The main offerings to the deity is coconut and the dress code for men is dhoti only and for women any traditional attire.

Sri Chitra Art Gallery

Established back in the year 1935, the art gallery is visit most by the tourists visiting Kerala. For art lovers the gallery is equivalent to paradise as one can find here the awesome creativity of renowned painters from all over the country. The art gallery of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and preserved art works of Mughals, Rajasthani & Rajputs by Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and the ancient times Indian mural paintings are some main attraction of the gallery. The art gallery exhibits the perfect mixed blend of the ancient and modern schools of Indian Art. The gallery also holds the beautiful artwork collections of China, Japan and Tibet.

Note: The art gallery is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Napier Museum

Situated in the heart of the city and built in the 19th century Napier Museum possesses a rare and unique collection of bronze idols, archaeological and historic artifacts, ivory carvings, a temple chariot and ancient ornaments. The exhibition of Mahabharata and Ramayana by leather figures of Japanese shadow play is very curious and exciting. The museum depicts the glimpse of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum was named after John Napier the former Governor General of Madras. The place is an exceptional piece of architecture that glorifies the natural air conditioning system and a beautiful combination of Kerala, Mughal, Italian and Chinese architectural style.

Note: The museum is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.

Trivandrum Zoo

Spread over 55 acres of woodland, the place was established by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1857. With lakes and lawns the place was first planned for some leisure creation but due to excessive deforestation and danger&effect on wildlife, the goal of the place was changed to flora and fauna preservation. More than 130 years later the place got monetary and technical support from Central Zoo Authority and the place was refurbished by iron enclosures natural ambiance. There are about 82 species of fauna from all over the world.

The zoo also boasts native species like Indian Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Asian Elephants, Nilgiri Langoor and Lion Tailed Macaque. Snake farm exhibits the both poisonous and non poisonous snakes. Zoo also contains some animals from Africa like Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes, Zebras and Hippos. The zoo is a good picnic spot and also a good source of knowledge for everyone.

Note: The zoo is closed on Mondays.

Kovalam Beach

Kovalam beach is one of the Internationally famous beach with an immense headland situated on the banks making inlet of the sea look elegant and attractive. There are plenty of things to do in your leisure time like body toning massages, cultural programs, sunbathing, swimming and catamaran cruising. Visit beach in the daytime can tan your skin as tropical sun is too painful to bear. The footfalls are seen maximum during the dusk and continues till the late night. There are many places to hang around in the beach complex that includes shopping zones, ayurvedic massage centers and health resorts, swimming pools, cottages, assembly rooms and yoga centers.

There is a huge attraction of European tourists since 1930 and the place offers cuisines of all variety in different restaurants and cafeteria. The staying facility is also available starting from budget hotels to five star ones.

Sanghumugham Beach

Sanghumugham beach is the beautiful beach with magical evenings located 8 km from Trivandrum city and can be accessed easily by own conveyance or through city transportation facility. The crowd visits here in the search comfort, relief and soothing of soul and mind as the sea breeze carries cool air that rejuvenates the minds. Wooden boats and canoes can be seen in action meanwhile in the sea during daytime and resting on the golden sand in the evenings. The attractions on the beach are Starfish Restaurants, Indoor Recreation Club, Nehru Park and huge Mermaid Statue. Another attraction at the beach is Veli Tourist Village which is a renowned picnic spot located nearby and connected to the beach by a floating bridge. You can hire paddle and speed boats and have a refreshing splash in the water. The area within holds several restaurants that can be used for refreshments.

Agastyamala

The peak is a approx 1900 mt high and offers a scenic view of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and located in the western ghats. The peak is believed to be the pilgrimage center for Hindus. Statue of Agathiyar is situated at the peak and devotees offer prayer. Many rivers originates from the mountain which includes river Thamirabarani, Neyyar and Karamana. A Tiger reserve, Kalakkad Mundanthurai lies in the agasthyamala range. If you want to reach the top of the peak, the only way to reach there is trekking which has strict guidelines from the Kerala Forest Department. Bonacaud is the starting point for trekking and is 50 km from Trivandrum. Bonacaud to peak takes 2 days of trekking to reach and is 28 km in distance. Trekking is open from January to mid March. The peak is full of medicinal plant with over 2000 species and can be accessed only with the permission of Kerala Forest Department.

  • By air

Trivandrum International Airport is located 6 kms from city has more than 30 airlines with several countries. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines can be boarded for domestic travel from and to different parts of the country.

  • By road

Long distance buses can be boarded from Central Bus Station at Thampanoor whereas, short distance buses can be boarded from City Bus Station, East Fort.

  • By train

Trains can be boarded directly from all major stations of Kerala as well as of India

  • State: Kerala
  • District: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Famous for: Pilgrim, historical, leisure and adventure.
  • Population: 3234356(2011 census)
  • Languages: Malyalam, English, Tamil and French.
  • Best time: October to February
  • Std Code: 0471
  • Pincode: 695001

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A day’s trip to Warangal

A day’s trip to Warangal

Spontaneous travel plans work like charm than those you plan a long time ahead. On a weekend the urge to go on a long drive engulfed the whole family and we scrambled for nearby options to Hyderabad for a day’s trip, having a few options such as Kurnool, Karimnagar etc. found Warangal to be the nearest and could be covered in a day with maximum sites covered. We thought to start early around 5:30 – 6:00 am however, could not start before 8 am due to some reasons. However being a break period for Monsoon it was a clear day with patchy clouds.

ORR-Hyderabad

ORR-Hyderabad

Warangal, a city marked among the 12 heritage cities identified by the government on India. The drive to Warangal is approximately 3 hours at a 70 – 80 km. As usual we took the ORR cruising at 110 Kmph our first stop was Bhongir fort, was built in the 10th century on an isolated monolithic rock by the Western Chalukya ruler Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI and was thus named after him as Tribhuvanagiri. The fort has a unique egg shaped layout with two entry points protected by huge rocks. The fort now a days also houses a Rappelling and Rock climbing institute.

Going with a small kid is something one should consider because the climb is steep and the pathway is not very well maintained. Though we managed to climb a considerable part of the fort with my kid, however could not reach the top of the fort. May be next time

We then started for our next destination Thousand Pillar temple. The Thousand Pillar Temple was believed to be constructed during the period between 1175–1324 CE by order of the king, Rudra Deva. It stands out to be a masterpiece and achieved major heights in terms of architectural skills by the ancient Kakatiya vishwakarma sthapathis. The temple is star-shaped with several shrines and lingams. There are three shrines inside the temple called the Trikutalayam, dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Surya. There are 1,000 pillars in the structure, but no pillar obstructs a person in any point of the temple to see the God.

By the time we came out of the temple it was already noon and we were doubtful if we would reach the next destination Bhadra Kali temple on time as it closes during noon as any other temple. However, we managed to reach the temple just in time to get the temple. The temple is situated at an isolated place not very far away from the city and is situated at the banks of a lake, the temple is beautifully built and maintained, the nearby rocky contours give it a fascinating look. Bhadrakali is the popular form of Devi worshipped n Kerala as Sri Bhadrakali and Kariam Kali Murti Devi. In Kerala she is seen as the auspicious and fortunate form of Kali who protects the good.

This goddess is represented with three eyes, and four, twelve, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth. I was enchanted by the beauty of the idol and the way it was decorated with flowers and garlands. The glittering lamps around the idol looked like jewels.

It was time for lunch and there was no good place to eat nearby so we looked upon to Google places to suggest something good and we came across Bayleaf multi cuisine restaurant, a decent restaurant with good food and ambiance and a courteous staff, we had a sumptuous lunch with my kid enjoying the food and games in the play area maintained within the restaurant.

Then we moved to search for Rock garden but to our disappointment some locals told that it was closed permanently. I was enthusiastic to visit it as my visit to the Rock garden in Chandigarh long back was a very good experience however, we later went to the musical garden it hosts a laser show in the evenings. We went there so that the kid could enjoy and play around for some time. The garden is well maintained and popular amongst the locals for weekend picnics and fun frolics.

We then moved to the Warangal fort, if you expect it be a like any other fort like Red fort, Fatehpur Sikri etc then you may be a bit disappointed as the main attraction is the remains of the courtyard of the fort. The courtyard displays numerous architectural carvings and sculptures. It was a good experience to see these, in addition to there are a couple of more building remains in the vicinity, one of the area is now converted as a children’s park.

Around 5 pm we headed back to Hyderabad with some good memories. The road being a two lane road we wanted to start a bit early so that by the time darkness fell we would be reaching the four lane road near Bhongir.

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Top Ten Weekend getaways – Mysuru

Top Ten Weekend getaways – Mysuru

From a quiet and less known city, the city is now among the important cities of Karnataka. The city is third largest in the state and hosts the nada habba also famous as the Mysuru Dasara attracting millions of  tourists every year. The city is also famous for the sandalwood incense sticks. Thus giving the name Sandalwood city of India. With the increase in the workforce and people settling in from various parts of the country, the tourism has also gained prominence. In continuation our previous travel guide on Mysuru, we compile a list of Top Ten weekend getaways – Mysuru.

Top ten weekend getaways - Mysuru

Top ten weekend getaways – Mysuru

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Mysuru sandalwood city of India

Mysuru sandalwood city of India

Travel Guide

From a quiet and less known city, the city is now among the important cities of Karnataka. The city is third largest in the state and hosts the nada habba also famous as the Mysuru Dasara attracting millions of  tourists every year. The city is also famous for the sandalwood incense sticks. Thus giving the name Sandalwood city of India.

The city now has a young and dynamic workforce with many IT and BPO firms. There are lots of complexes, supermarkets, improved roads, many of proposed malls etc. Mysore people are too health conscious and most of them opt yoga for their good health. Ashtanga yoga has its origin in Mysuru and the city is well known for yoga centers that are also an attraction for foreigners.

 

Mysuru Palace:

The palace is beautifully designed and carved by rosewood doors and ceilings with the work done by ivory, painting of members of the royal family and marble figurines. The palace is illuminated by around 1,00,000 bulbs on Sundays and national holidays between 7:00 P.M.-7:45 P.M. Inside the palace the photography is prohibited and outside palace photography is allowed with a charge of ₹50 for indian and ₹200 for foreigners. Cameras should be left at cloak room for free of cost.

Mysore Zoo

Shri Chamarajendra zoological gardens or the Mysuru zoo is one of the oldest zoo in India. It is more than 100 years old and spread across over 250 acres. The zoo is around 3 Km from city bus stand and 2 Km from the palace. One can go through auto rickshaw (Indian version of tuk tuk) or a horse cart if interested. The zoo hosts rare species of trees and plants along with various species of animals from India as well as numerous countries as part of the species exchange program. The Mysuru zoo is one and only zoo in India that breeds the Africa elephants. The zoo also holds the tag of being the first zoo to obtain gorillas and penguins in India.

The zoo also hosts a vet hospital. The in house museum exhibiting the extinct species of animals is very popular among the visitors. For the fish lovers the zoo also has a very good display of fishes from various kinds. One can also adopt an animal under adoption program that means you can feed and take care of animal for a certain period of time by paying to the authority of zoo. In return you will be provided with certificate of adoption of animal, a complimentary pass and also a publicity in leading and renowned newspapers.

Brindavan Gardens

Built adjoining to the dam of Krishna Raja Sagar the brindavan garden is full of fountains. Spread across over 60 acres the garden is maintained by Cauvery Niravari Nigam. The garden can be visited by one and all with a certain entry fee. The lake present in the garden provides boating facility for visitors. The musical fountains with synchronization of the music and the water is the main attraction and good a huge viewership by the enthusiastic visitors.

St. Philomena Church

This catholic church was built in honor of St. Philomena by a french architect names Daly in 1936 and the architecture is inspired by the cologne cathedral of Germany. The main hall of the church has a capacity of seating for prayers is 800 people. This is also considered to be the second largest church in Asia and that has the architecture of stained glass which shows the birth of Christ, the last supper, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension of the Christ.

Avadhoota Datta Peetham

Headed by spiritual leader Sri Ganpati Sachidananda Ashrama and the religious deity Lord Dattatreya this Peetham is a renowned ashram in Mysuru. This spiritual guru is believed to be the lineage of Lord Dattatreya and promotion of vedic tradition is done by his teachings. The calm and untroubled ambiance of the place with enormous and beautifully sculptured gates makes it mesmerizing. The ashram is full of greenery and the gardens inside are like icing on the cake. The compound also consist a large pond, lord venkateswara temple, herbal garden, SGS hospital and a book shop.

The 365 stone pillars or the diva stupa are spread throughout the ashram making the place more unique. The pillars signify the teaching that how everyday is important in our life, same as the every pillars for the ashram. All major Hindu festivals are celebrated in the Ashram.

Chamundi Hill or Chamundeshwari Devi Temple

Chamundi hill is located 13 km from Mysuru city, the Chamundeshwari temple is situated on the top of the hill. The sacred place that is surrounded by eight hills and is called Trimuta Kshetra according to Skanda Purana lies on the western side of the hill. Millions of devotees visit here every year from different corners of the world. Covering half way towards the hill there is a small Shiva temple, the Nandi located here is 15 feet high with bell necklace which is captivating. The Chamundeshwari temple is constructed in Dravidian style and the doorway is totally silver plated with many goddess decorated on it. The main area has an idol of enormous devi Chamundi seated. The hill overlooks the Mysuru palace, St. Philomena church, Kukkarahalli lake and many more places can be see.

Karanji Lake Nature Park

The Karanji Lake Nature Park is situated at the heart of the city and is famous as a bird paradise. The place is visited by many ornithologists and nature lovers. There are lots of species that can be seen here like egrets, rose ringed parakeets, cormorants, green bee eaters, grey and purple herons, painted storks and also around 50 species of butterflies. One can witness the charismatic view of the Chamundi hills from the park. Once you are about to visit the park keep in mind that the place is plastic free zone. The island also have beautiful butterfly park where you can find various species of beautiful butterflies.

The waterfall, trees and pond provides a homely atmosphere for birds. There is a medical plant garden at the entrance that has more than 100 medical plants. The boating point at the lake will make you fall in love with this wonderful places you can hire a boatman to take you through. You can also visit the children park and coffee shop situated near boating point.

Railway Museum

Established in 1979 under the supervision of Indian Railways and located at distance of 3 km from the city center in Mysore the Railway Museum is the second such kind of museum after National Railway Museum of New Delhi. Sri Ranga Pavillion, the two royal coaches that once belonged to the Maharaja of Mysore are also the part of the museum. The museum also exhibits the Maharani Saloon the carriage that has a kitchen, dining car unit and royal toilet. Another feather in the cap is the 1925 model Austin railway car that was bought by an employee from junkyard and was renovated to make it run on road. This was used for the inspection of tracks and had a capacity of six people the locomotive is still in a working condition.

There is a mini train in the museum for children that is operated by battery and offer a short ride around the grounds of museum. Some interesting exhibits are a 1885 hand operated crane, a 1934 steam water pump, a wooden door and pillar from the vintage old Srirangapatna railways. The museum also has a collection of priceless black and white photographs, lights, signaling signs, paintings, ticketing machine, tickets, clocks and several other antiques that were used at the inception during growth and development of railways in India. Museum can be visited entire week except Mondays from 10AM-1PM and 3PM-5PM.

Wax Museum – Melody World

This museum is based on music and musical instruments. This one-of-its kind museum exhibits over 100 life-size wax statues and over 300 musical instruments categorized in various bands and stage settings. Representing Stone Age to Modern instruments, some of the bands and genres displayed are Indian Classical North & South, Punjabi Bhangra, South Indian, Jazz, Rock, Middle East etc. It was established in October 2010.

 

  • Air  Mysuru airport is 12 km away from city with just one flight of spice jet to and from Mysuru. The nearest international airport is the Bangaluru airport which is 170 km from Mysuru.
  • Rail Mysuru is well connected by rail route with many trains connecting Mysuru with Bengaluru and Chennai. Shatabdi express is the most suitable train between Chennai and Mysuru. It takes two hours from Mysuru to Bangaluru and vice versa and seven hours from Mysuru to Chennai and vice versa. Also many trains are available from Mysuru to Bengaluru and vice versa like Tippu express, Chamundi express, Yeshvantpur – mysore express and many more.
  • Road The well laid roads all around Mysuru gives it a good connectivity. Where by lots of Government and private buses are avialable for the tourists to pick from. Cab services are also readily available in and around Mysuru.
  • State: Karnataka
  • District: Mysuru
  • Famous for: Pilgrim and Leisure travelling
  • Languages: Kannada and English
  • Best time to visit: Oct-Feb
  • Weather: Summer 20°C – 35°C & Winter 10°C – 30°C
  • Pincode: 570001
  • Std Code: 0821

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9 Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

9 Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

With the holiday season approaching consisting of some long weekends, we compile a list of 9 weekend getaways from Hyderabad that you can visit.

Weekend Getaways from Hyderabad

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A weekend trip – Hyderabad to Nanded

A weekend trip – Hyderabad to Nanded

It was time to hit the road again, after a long working haul there was some breathing space and I was excited about travelling somewhere there was no preference just a thought that it should be a self driven road trip, and which can be accommodated in a weekend. Having some of my relatives visiting during that period they suggested to visit Nanded. I too gave a quick glance on google maps and some other information sources and finally decided to give it a go. Google maps suggest 2 routes, I preferred a longer but comfortable route as I was accompanied by family & an infant.

The routes suggested from Hyderabad to Nanded are:

  • Via NH 161
  • Via NH7

We started early in the morning so as to cover as much ground in the morning hours and have some rest in the afternoon, since it becomes very hot during the afternoon. The road conditions from Hyderabad to Nizamabad is pretty good as most of the part is NH7 a well maintained highway with lots of scenic views. Once can easily cruise at 100 kmph. The road after Nizamabad around Bodhan are damaged with lots of potholes here and there. We had packed some food for breakfast which we had in the car itself. We stopped at Nizamabad for food and apart from that there were stops only for baby care and natural calls only.

Around 2 pm we reached Nanded, we had already booked a room through a known person in Nanded which made our life easy as the scorching heat in the afternoon was unbearable. We stayed in the hotel till 5 pm, there are lots of budget hotels available in addition to the accommodation provided by the Huzur Sahib gurudwara.

Nanded is one of the oldest and historic cities in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra situated on the north bank of Godavari river. It’s history goes as old as 1st century BCE. It was also under Ashoka’s rein. The city was formerly known as Nanditat, Nanded gains prominence from the Sikh Gurdwara which is erected at the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the last Sikh Guru, died in 1708.  In 1708, after Aurangzeb’s death, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth spiritual leader of the Sikhs, came to Nanded. He proclaimed himself the last living Guru and established the Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal Guru of Sikhism, elevating the reverence of the text to that of a living leader.

We straight away headed  towards the Takhat Sachkhand Shri Hazur Sahib gurudwara, I could still feel the warm wind blowing from all directions but we continued, we took an auto from our hotel. The complex was undergoing construction and maintenance activities though it the place was clean and open for the devotees. The peaceful and serene environment in the gurudwara mesmerized me, it was a moment of finding the inner peace, the calm that we never find in the cities and our busy lives. The chanting of Gurbani and the kirtans in the complex is enough to wake up the god in you.

After spending some tranquil moments it was time to move ahead for another famous attraction of Nanded, the Laser show spreading the message of Oneness, that no matter what religion we follow no matter where we belong to the almighty is one. The show is approximately one hour long but it will keep anyone with any faith spellbound and will make him think atleast for once about humanity.

After the show we headed for dinner, we came to know there at some places the devotees and the gurudwara committees arrange langars (serve free meals to anyone and everyone), there is one specific place where the langars go on 24X7. The next morning we woke up early to go around some more places and taste the langar. By noon we decided to start for the return journey as staying in the extreme sun was difficult. This time we took minimum stops as we already had lunch we stopped at a restaurant called Zayka in the evening to have tea. It is a nice place with some play area for the kids, a good parking lot and a decent food. We came back to Hyderabad around 7 pm rejuvenated and happy to find the inner peace.

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