This is my 16th book. It is available from Pothi.com, Amazon and Flipkart.
May I invite you to click at the following link to thumb through a few pages of the book? https://publish.pothi.com/preview/?sku=SKU7325
I am happy to share the following email received by me.
It is a good way for Fifty Plus friends to learn more about Chennai.
Japanese are admired the world over for their impeccable behaviour and consideration for others. One can surely learn from them.
In this connection you may like to read a Japanese Region’s New Anti-Flatulence Brochure for Tourists, suggests Cara Giaimo. This booklet, which is now available in English, counsels tourists on how to “understand the Japanese mind” by refraining from screaming and farting. …….Read on by clicking at the link below:
Photo by K.J.S.Chatrath, 2015
Here are some tips for safe travelling – nothing strikingly original, but good to keep these in mind:
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1. The Western Ghat Saunter (Karjat – Lonavala)
The Western Ghats are rich in biodiversity, and during the monsoons this journey gets even more magical. The greenery looks refreshed with numerous streams and cascading waterfalls. The train passes through the village settlements of Thakurwadi before hiking up Monkey Hill, then crossing Khandala and reaching Lonavala.
2. Malnad Magic (Hassan – Mangalore)i
The best stretch is from Sakleshpur to Subramanya where the trains chugs past rice paddy fields and Areca nut palm trees. It passes through 57 tunnels through the journey offering views of the misty mountains and sparkling waterfalls.
3. Arakku Valley Railway (Vizag – Arakku)
The route passes through the most beautiful landscapes including coffee plantations. This line would previously transport iron ore from Chattisgarh to Vishakapatnam.
4. Flavours of Assam (Guwahati – Lumding – Silchar)
The train inches into the lush greenery of the adjoining valleys of Haflong, before joining the banks of River Jatinga and meandering along with it. A few hours later you will witness the wonderful tea plantations of the Barak Valley before heading towards Agartala.
5. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Mettupalayam – Udhagamandalam)
Running for over 110 years, this is a train journey you should definitely have on your bucket list. Going through rocky terrain and meandering its way through tea plantations, the steam locomotive covers 46 km to Ooty in four and a half hours.
6. The Goan Experience (Vasco Da Gama – Londa)
A train ride from Vasco da Gama takes you from the serene beaches to the precarious curves of the Western Ghat Mountains offering a breathtaking sight of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, one of India’s highest and most exquisite falls.
7. The Konkan Railway (Ratnagiri – Mangalore)
The magnificent Sahyadris join in to make this one of the most sought after journeys for any railway enthusiast in India. The Konkan Railway is also an example of the expertise of the engineers of this country, who constructed this marvel battling against a hostile loose terrain with frequent landslide tendencies.
8. The Kangra Valley Odyssey (Pathankot – Jogindernagar)
Starting from Pathankot in Punjab, the train covers 164 kms to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, meandering through numerous passes and rivers of the Kangra valley. It is a laid back option for traveling across the Kangra valley. Yet the views it offers compensate for the speed.
9. The Snow Sojourn (Qazigund – Baramulla)
It is a refreshing ride through the Kashmir Valley, weaving through the snow capped peaks at a distance and the Chinar trees all around. The best time of taking this journey is during the winters when the surroundings are covered with snow.
10. The Kashmir Railway (Jammu – Udhampur)
The extremes of winter and summer along with the unfavorable terrain make this route one of the most thrilling of all Indian train rides. This route has 20 major tunnels and 158 bridges which offer astounding views of the rivers and valleys around the beautiful Shivalik Mountain Ranges.
11. The Chilka Route (Bhubaneshwar – Brahmapur)
The train route runs between the Eastern Ghats and the Chilka Lake providing all the stunning views of Orissa. The Chilka lagoon is a sight for migratory birds and is a perfect place for birdwatchers.
12. The Desert Queen (Jodhpur – Jaisalmer)
If you thought a desert route from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer would be dull, you couldn’t be more wrong. The sight of painted mud huts and numerous camel grazing is just so typically Rajasthani and magical. Witnessing a sunrise or sunset from the train is pure delight to the senses.
13. The Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey (Mumbai – Aurangabad
This train runs from Pune to Delhi and takes ten days in total. Not recommended for the business traveller but for the luxury traveller, as it comes complete with a library, ayurvedic massage centre, steam rooms and a gymnasium. It stops at stations which are close to tourist destinations and sights like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves and the Taj Mahal.
14. The Sea Bridge (Mandapam – Pamban – Rameswaram)
Running on the second-longest bridge in the country, this route is considered one of the most thrilling and dangerous as it is a thin bridge. It connects the Tamil Nadu mainland to the island of Rameswaram.
15. The Dooars Voyage (Siliguri – Newmal – Hasimara – Alipur
The train route which recently converted to broad gauge has minimum traffic but passes through notable wildlife sanctuaries that are rich in flora and fauna. It crosses Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Chapramari Forest, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Buxa Tiger Reserve along with numerous stream crossings.
16. The Matheran Hill Railway (Neral – Matheran)
The only heritage railway in Maharashtra, Matheran still is a favourite among locals and visitors. This narrow gauge rail line was built by Akbar Peerbhoy between 1901 and 1907. It runs through large patches of forest and covers a total distance of 20 km.
17. The Island Express (Kanyakumari – Trivandrum)
A short train journey, but one packed with visual delights, this journey takes you through tightly packed coconut trees, and past coastal architecture. This train ride is through South India’s most picturesque locations.
18. The Mandovi Express (Mumbai – Goa)
The train that connects you to both these lovely places is one that gives an equally stunning view of what is sandwiched in between the Sahyadari hills and the Arabian Sea. Rumbling through 92 tunnels and on 2000 bridges, this route gives you Instagram moments every five seconds.
19. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Siliguri – Darjeeling)
Running from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, the journey takes you as close as possible to the tea pickers with baskets strapped on their heads and the smell of tea leaves that wafts in the air. An interesting thing to note about this train is that it runs on the metre gauge and is also a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999.
20. The Himalayan Queen (Kalka – Shimla)
The heritage railway between Kalka and Shimla features in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 km. It passes through 102 tunnels and 864 bridges, flanked by the picturesque Shivalik Mountains on both sides. The fresh air, and the whizzing views of oak, pine and maple trees are just some things that make this journey memorable.
21. Shindavane and Ambale (Pune-Satara)
The railway cuts deep through the barren and lofty Sahyadri mountains and passes through loose rocks on all sides. This lies in the Pune-Satara section of the Central Railways.
I am sharing a message received by me from GIO Adventures. I went with them as a full paying participant for a short trek to Chopta in Uttrakhand last year. I would give them 6.5 out of 10 for that trip.
Of course you should fully satisfy yourself before taking any decision.
I was going through INTACH Delhi Chapter’s website about its forthcoming heritage walks and look what I found: “Plans are being finalized to add seven more heritage walks to this list in time for the Commonwealth Games, 2010.” http://www.intachdelhichapter.org/heritage_walks.php
INTACH Delhi Chapter is really steeped in history!
Come Holi season, and Mathura beckons us. It’s been so, since we came across photographs three years ago of celebrations in a town called Barsana – where women wield laathis to beat up men as per tradition! That was the famed Lathmaar Holi of Mathura.
It’s not a one-day Holi in this sleepy, temple town. In fact during the one week preceding Holi day, the town and its folk are anything but sleepy!
While Lathmaar Holi is played in one town after another, each day until Holika Dahan, the festival finally culminates a day after Holi. And that’s one tradition more *unique and quirkier than Lathmaar.
At a short distance from Mathura, a local temple sees a comical game being played between local townsfolk. While the men drench the women with colours, the women work together in groups to divest these men off their shirts! This little kept secret is an age-old tradition unique to the village, and we think, worth a trip to capture on your camera.
Thirty five km. to the north-east of Puri lies the World Heritage Monument, the Sun Temple of Konark. Twelve hundred craftsmen had toiled hard for 12 long years to erect this monumental wonder where 12 year’s revenue was spent. Modelled after the floating chariot of the mythical Sun God, the temple is a quintessence of imaginative craftsmanship of ancient Odisha. The temple architecture was designed as drawn by twelve exquisitely carved stone wheels and seven galloping horses. And the kings, queens, generals, foot soldiers, sages, priests, elephants, horses, courtiers and courtesans depicted on the walls and the panels with finesse open a window to the nostalgic times of medieval Odisha.
All types of tourist cabs are available from Bhubaneswar and Puri. Further tourist luxury coaches are being operated by Odisha Tourism Development Corporation.
Besides, OTDC is also offering Special Tour Packages from 1st to 5th December 2014 to witness the Konark Festival. Click here for more details..
|Manipuri||Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy|
|2.12.15||Satriya||Jatin Goswami & Group|
|Odissi||Suprava Mishra, Ahmedabad & Group|
|3.12.15||Odissi||GKCM Odissi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar|
|4.12.15||Bharatnatyam||Kalakshetra (Priyadarshini Govinda)|
|Odissi||Ashis Das & Group|
|5.12.15||Odissi||Orissa Dance Academy|
(Source of photo & text: http://www.odishatourism.gov.in/Festivals/SpecialFestivals/KonarkFestival.aspx)