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Showing posts from January, 2008

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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Siddheshwar Temple, Solapur

Solapur is an important city in Maharashtra most well known for its textile industry, and bed sheets in particular. I remember my mother waiting to buy Solapur bed sheets at the Solapur station en-route to Chennai (then Madras) during my summer vacation. All other bed sheets were considered inferior quality than the Solapur ones, and to do them justice, they outlive all the other varieties. There is still one Solapur bed sheet with a beautiful peacock pattern, one that was bought almost 20 years ago still occupying the pride of place in my mother’s house. We visited Solapur en-route to Pandharpur, Tuljapur and Akkalkot, and stayed overnight there for the purpose of catching the train back to Bombay. We had a few hours free and decided to visit the local Shiva temple, called the Siddheshwar temple, as it was a Shravan somvar (i.e. a Monday in the Indian month of Shravan, which is considered auspicious for Lord Shiva). We hardly knew what a treat was waiting for us, and I regret not taki

Kodaikanal-Two trips-Two experiences

Kodaikanal is a well known hill station in Tamilnadu, and much has been written about it. I don’t intend to write this as a travelogue. For more information, see An Indian Bureaucrats diary . I came across the blog when I was looking for something, and it brought back lots of memories about Kodaikanal. It is exhaustive, and well written, and contains almost all the information anyone would want. What I am going to write about is my own experience in the princess of the hills. Yes, Kodaikanal is considered as the princess of the hills - Ooty is the queen of hills- now, why anyone would classify a hill station as female, is beyond me (unless maybe, because it is so very beautiful, and pleasing to the eyes). Usually, mountains and hills are referred to, as male… the Himalayas –for example, and the Govardhan hill are referred to as masculine. I have had the pleasure of visiting both Ooty and Kodaikanal , and I definitely enjoyed Kodaikanal a lot more. The climate was superb in Ooty, but th