Category Archives: Travel

The Delhi Tour/Happy New Year

The end of ’09 looked good for me, with  three trips to three awesome places. The first being to Wayanad, then a quick official trip and finally, the best in a few years. A superbly satisfying 8-day trip to New Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura and Agra. The weather was quite chilly, which added to the pleasure. A much-welcome respite from the humid, sweaty climate in Cochin.

Jaipur, the Pink City, had fortifications and walls all over the town. Nearly every other building looked like a heritage monument. And the road traffic is just horrific. Agra made me stand in a big queue for over an hour to see the Taj Mahal, which was worth it anyway.

Also visited Mathura, the birthplace of Shri Krishna. It is one  big struggle to get to the temple successfully. The whole thing looked like a typical video game. You’re in a taxi. There are tons of random roads, all dusty and crowded. Your mission is to reach the highly controversial Janmabhoomi temple, and there are no sign posts anywhere. Almost every person in the road is waiting to divert you from your destination, luring you to visit their own small temples, and ten people point to ten different directions when asked the actual route to the temple. At last, if by some luck, you do manage to reach the temple, there’s a mile-long queue for security check which moves at snail-pace. Thank God, our taxiwala bhayya was a pro in these matters!

Now coming to Delhi. The Corporation officials of my city can well learn about maintaining a clean city and ensuring minimum traffic congestion with good roads from the folks there. Lovely roads, especially in the important parts of the city. The Metro Rail is excellent, and I seriously doubt whether such a thing would ever come in Cochin, in spite of the brains behind the projects being the same. Blurdy land acquisition problems. There would be Hartals and Strikes from day one, if the plan ever did materialise. And the roads, well, there seem to be more craters in the roads in my city than in Moon or Mars!

We had to cancel the Haridwar/Rishikesh trip mid-way because of the heavy fog. The few kilometres we went before we cancelled were mind-blowing! It was zero visibility and total blank view, and there were upturned vehicles and fog-related accidents at almost every corner.

Anyways, let’s hope the year ahead is good, serene and calm. Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and fruitful 2010!

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The Wayanad Tour

Just got back from an amazing tour to Wayanad. Wayanad is a spectacularly beautiful hill station/forest area in northern Kerala. A must-visit place for nature-lovers.

This is a synopsis of the tour, arranged in numbers. And I clarify, this is not because of the popular conception of CAs being mad-about-numbers people. Heh.

1 – One bus. Twenty people. One rocking tour!

2 – Number of days spent in Wayanad. 

3 – Number of movies watched in the bus during the whole journey. All yucky movies, sadly.

4 – Hours spent at Kuruva Dweep. Awesome four hours. Lovely place. One of the best experiences for a water lover. And one of the rarest clean picnic spots we can see in India.

5 – Number of people who went out for a walk at 11 PM along a totally empty road in the middle of a forest in Vythiri, with no houses or habitation around for kilometres.

6 – Time (in minutes) the above walk lasted before the team got shit scared and ran back to safety.

7 – Number of guys who were interested in getting their snaps taken beside the rocks and water in Banasurasagar Dam, and got busted by the cops for entering prohibited area.

8 – Minutes the above-mentioned cops spent advising (Of course, in Kerala Police terms) the above-mentioned law-breakers about Godknowswhat.

9 – Time (in hours) taken to reach Wayanad from Cochin.

10 – Minutes my chappals lasted before breaking apart on our 1.5 hour trek atop Chembra Peak till the supposedly-never-drying lake.


One-day Picnic

I’m not a huge fan of one-day school/college trips. One-day trips are enjoyable for people who find fun dancing in the bus/van, singing random songs with loose lyrics in loud voices/out of pitch tones, and the like. Sorry, not my cup of tea.

And a usual one-day ‘picnic’ destination is like approx four hours, one-way. You know right then it’s going to be a boring eight hour journey for me. Eight long hours inside a stuffed bus with all the above-mentioned cacophony fun going on, and the number of hours spent at the actual destination? Three. Maybe four. At the max five. Worth it?! And there also has to be a mandatory person on every trip who looks ready to puke at any instant.  Travel sickness sucks!

Once before such a trip I asked my friend whether it was all worth it. His response was “Who cares about the destination! Its just a day to be totally carefree and shout out and have total fun! Who knows whether we’ll all have such a day like this again in our lives” And I guess this is the way 90% of the people might feel. Good logic. But its the interpretation of ‘fun’ that differs here.

People mistake this emotion of mine for ‘jaada’ (Ego). I tell them to carry on dancing or whatever they were attempting, and that I’m not interested, and the general reaction is like – ‘Oh,Jaada thendi. Avan varilla’. <Oh, he’s an egoistic nut. Don’t bother>

Why don’t the poor souls realise I’m just not interested in the crap!

Anyway, went for a one-day trip from my firm the other day to Munnar. Surprise surprise! I could say it ended up being my most enjoyed trip ever 🙂 I seriously did not expect it to be so good, considering my aversion to such stuff! A good bus, some good people, an awesome place and tons of fun! We were a bit late to start, at 7.15, but still managed to get some four splendid hours at Munnar.

Munnar, the Switzerland of India, was as beautiful as ever. This being the monsoon season, there were comparatively less tourists, which meant more time to admire the beauty.. of nature, for a change 😉

There was some debate whether to visit the Munnar Top-Station or not, considering the limited time that we had. We eventually decided to give it a try, and what a good decision it turned out to be! Around 6100 ft above sea level, the view from the Top-Station is simply stunning. It sure is one spot I’d make sure to come on my future visits to the place.

The organizers did a tremendous job. The trip, bus, entertainment, co-ordination, everything! Three cheers, guys! The food part to be specially applauded. 😀

We got back by like, 10 at night, and it surely ended up being a day I wouldn’t forget in the near future! 🙂

The only flip-side being dragging myself back to office right the next day!! That took some trouble!