Valley of flowers

Valley of Flowers is one of the most beautiful places to visit in India.

Valley of Flowers is visited by tourists, pilgrims as well as adventure seekers. Located in the state of Uttarakhand – India, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in the middle of tall mountains and is famous for its vast meadows that have several varieties of rare and exotic flowers and various kinds of flora.

Valley of Flowers trek is highly sought after by trekkers, botanists, photographers, foreign tourists, and adventure seekers alike.

Apart from the valley of flowers you also visit Hemkund Sahib, a Sikh place of worship and pilgrimage site. Hemkund Sahib is a gurudwara devoted to Guru Gobind Singh who was the tenth Sikh guru. It is s the highest gurudwara in India at an altitude of 4,329 meters.

Next to Hemkund Sahib is the Hemkund Lake. Hemkund Lake is a serene lake in the heart of the mountains and is fed by the nearby springs and waterfalls. Spend some time sitting next to the lake. Sitting on the banks of the glacial lake surrounded by seven mountain peaks, it is a treat to the eyes and refreshing to the soul.

Itinerary to reach Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib

Day 1: Govind ghat (1,828 m) to Ghangaria (3,049 m)

Day 2: Ghanghria to Valley of Flowers (3,460 m) and Back

Day 3: Ghangria to Hemkund Sahib (4,329 m) and back to Ghangria or Joshimath

Khapoli camping – rock your world

Hey there! I know of a great place where you can camp, trek, hike, and witness a waterfall which is just a stone’s throw away from Alibaugh (64 KM). I will tell you why I chose to visit Khopoli out of all the places when I finally got to travel after such a long time after lockdown.

Camping brings various joys, like discovering how to make a tent, relying on yourself, and gaining confidence through such physical and fun activities. If I had to recommend just one such place where you can have these fun activities, beautiful sights, and the serene atmosphere of the Sahyadri hills near Pune is the Khopoli Camp.

It has mesmerizing views for all whether you are camping with your family for some relaxing and bonding time, experiencing the serene atmosphere, or if you are camping to have fun with your friends. This trip is sure to make you and your travel mates forge a closer and deeper bond.

See the shades of the sun from your tents

We were served refreshments as soon as we finished setting up the camp. The site was so good for panorama shots and drool-worthy Instagram photos. Luckily for a foodie like me, the whole day’s meals were covered in their package. By the time evening was ready to roll around we were ready to light a bonfire for a magical evening.

We played games like charades, antakshari and had a very pleasant evening. I lost track of time because I was having so much fun. It was a very memorable trip that I had and it was all possible with ease because of the trip leader’s expertise and experience.

19 Must-Read Books That Will Help You Bridge “The Creativity Gap”

I’ve always believed that consuming a lot of content is a surefire way to develop the creative muscle. The more we feed our brain, the more we get this itch to create something of our own. But there’s an issue with this. As Ira Glass so eloquently stated, we have developed taste, but there’s this disconnect between the quality of the content we consume and the quality of the content we produce.[…}

19 Must-Read Books That Will Help You Bridge “The Creativity Gap”

Visapur fort trek – the trek to do in & around Mumbai (if you love waterfalls & rain)

The Visapur fort trek ranges from easy to moderate depending on your level of fitness. It’s at an elevation of 1084 m above sea level and has a higher altitude from its twin fort in the plateau, the Lohagad Fort.

The twin forts are enriched by history. It was built by the first Peshwa of Maharashtra, Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath. Although he protected the forts valiantly they eventually fell to the siege of the British East India company.

Apart from the rich history that it is emerged in, there are many temples located here, which are dedicated to Lord Hanuman believed to be the patron deity of the region. We even get to see a shrine dedicated to Mahadev!!

The thing Vistapur fort is most famous for is the waterfall, especially during the Monsoon. The waterfall cascades down on stairs like stones which will look so good on your Instagram.

Who hasn’t thought of going to Lonavala during the monsoon season? We all have right? Additionally, the beautiful sights like the caves where Buddhist monks meditated, the Mahadev shrine, and the Hanuman temple add so much more depth to our trip. It’s a one-day trek and fun to do with a big group.

I had last visited this place with a big group of trekkers from a travel agency, they provided us with breakfast and refreshments in the base village and we stopped at one of the many shelters during the trek for Lunch. I had so much fun that I didn’t even realize that 2–3 hours had lapsed when we finally reached the peak. And the view was so enthralling and aesthetic that the whole trudging up the hill was worth it.

I hope you can get to experience the calm and tranquility of this place and envelope yourself in the sacred aura of devotees worshiping and go back with fond memories and new friendships, leaving your heart behind like I did wanting to visit again.

Kasol- Amsterdam of India

With regards to discovering a location that is delightful, quiet, daring, and accessible as the year progresses, Kasol in India has effectively held down its top destination spot. Kasol’s claim to fame is plenty, a dime a dozen, the prime reason being the sort of tranquil excellence that encompasses the city situated in the Parvati Valley and also the exercises that you can do here. This quaint little town in Himachal Pradesh is arranged on the banks of the Parvati River and has kept a degree of immaculate excellence as the years progressed, the sort that draws in individuals from India, yet additionally from various corners of the world.

Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, is very notable amongst the traveler’s community for being a sanctuary for hikers and budget travelers. Packed with encounters that will retain the heart of a lot of visitors and occupy their fond memories, Kasol is something more than a destination where your objective is to reach, it’s an experience meant to revel in and share with your family. It can without much of a doubt be declared to be an entire adventure package experience in itself. with a wide number of spots to visit in Kasol, it tends to be called the place to be in. The reason is that the many instances that a traveler comes across they experience – physical, visual, profoundly spiritual, and sometimes ground-breaking encounters. It is a humble community in the Parvati Valley. Kasol isn’t only a focal point for backpacking adventurers or a destination set in the green hills. It is a must-visit place for all the individuals, looking for a break from their regular office desk lives and take to the Himalayas for a remarkable encounter, one which you will remember for a lifetime.

The motivation behind why Kasol is renowned among such a vast number of travelers is that it has something for everybody. Be it the ones showing up for adventuring and touring, setting up camp, boating, having gatherings, or looking for a spiritual retreat, Kasol never lets anybody down. Kasol is a travel paradise especially for novice travelers and experience buffs alike.

Beginning from Kheer Ganga, Kasol has made this meadow high in the Himalayas their #1 spot. A 12 km journey that leads through the backwoods of Oak and Rhododendron, traveling on this path in Parvati Valley is probably the best thing to do in Kasol and is one of the top recommendations as well. Starting from Kasol, the journey passes from Barshaini and Rudra Nag waterfalls, it closes way up on Kheer Ganga which is a hotspot for campers. Kheer Ganga is additionally an area of one of the many hot springs in Kasol with water coming from the ground pre-heated up. Prevalently known as the Parvati Kund, it is an extraordinary spot to unwind on top of Kheer Ganga following a monotonous day of journeying in Kasol. From Kheer Ganga, the way can either return you to Kasol or on a splendid detour to the town of Tosh. Settled in a side valley to the Parvati Valley, and arranged in the banks of a little creek of a similar name, Tosh is an unconventional traveling experience and a peaceful modest community. Lesser known and practically uncrowded, the exquisite views from Tosh of the Dhaulandhar range of Himalayas are all that that you can ask for in Kasol. Likewise renowned in Tosh are the numerous little eateries entertaining the small stream of visitors who decide to travel there.

Sula Vineyard trip- A trip to remember

Last year, I went to the Sula, to take a trip to their Vineyard. The vineyard is the heart of Sula and a must-visit place when in Sula. It is India’s largest producer of wines. It is located amidst the rolling hills of Nashik. Whether you are a wine lover or a travel junkie a day trip to this place is a must-visit. During the hot day, you can take cover in the Pandavleni caves, which have lots of ancient history that you can learn if you are captivated by story-telling. It’s something wine drinkers and non-wine drinkers can enjoy alike. The USP of the caves is the view that it offers you can see the entirety of Nashik from the vantage point. You will be lucky if it rains when you are in the cave. It will give you such a romantic view of Nashik and sweet sensations that are ephemeral experiences that you are going to want to share with your loved ones.

I went there with a tour group and they provided us with a sommelier, who is guaranteed to quench your thirst for knowledge, of the wine-making process, and more. Watch it all happen in front of your eyes and you can even opt-in for wine tasting for just Rs 200/- Rs. You can indulge in sipping some wine overlooking the alluring panoramic view of the pristine Gangapur lake. You can have a relaxed and copious lunch in one of the restaurants and stay at ‘Source at Sula’, India’s first heritage winery resort.

It’s an ideal destination for youngsters but it’s fit for all ages. You can kick back and truly relax in this gorgeous place with your family and work colleagues. Its picturesque view will be sure to make others want to join in with you and leave your competitors in envy.

The Jannat on earth: Trek to Tarsar-Marsar in Kashmir

The best of the journeys are the ones that are least planned. This strikes me as the minibus
we are traveling in winds through the snaky and precipitous road inside Aru National park.
The drive brings back the memories of the fear I felt when I first journeyed in a recklessly
driven and rickety Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam bus along the treacherous, hilly stretches of
Uttarakhand. But what breath-taking surroundings!
Aru, the base camp of the trek, looks spectacularly beautiful and serene in the fading
evening light. The orange-colored tents are pitched in a glen, away from a small hamlet.
We are a group of twenty-three, mainly from Bengaluru, Pune, and Delhi. Our trek leader is a
passionate, bearded young man, Ankit, who is in love with the mountains. The trekkers’
exchange pleasantries, strike up conversations with each other and when darkness finally
envelopes all by 8.30 pm, slip into the tents.
The next morning, the sky is clear and the mood upbeat as we begin the trek. A slushy climb
along a village track. Then we enter the deodar forests and occasional pines. A comfortable
walk through the conifers. Most of us have offloaded our rucksacks and carry a light
backpack. We walk in and out of the forests and the slopes are gentle. Lunch break is near a
stream. Water is clear and clean and none of us have any hesitation in quenching our thirst.
Our campsite in Lidderwat is in a large grassland. There is a government department
building nearby that looks like a forest guest house. Two more groups are camping a
hundred metres away from us. Lidder river gurgles downhill. We gorge on hot bread
pakoras. A cricket match is on in the backyard of our tents. A lone woman trekker from
Europe sits atop a rock and watches the proceedings with interest and occasional smiles.
She is trekking alone to Kalhoi glacier which is the source of the Lidder river. During an evening
walk, I come across another lone Western trekker who is sitting at the mouth of his small
tent, painting the vista in front of him. He doesn’t notice me or doesn’t care. I take a quick
peek at the small canvas and get a glimpse of trees and snow peaks.
The next morning is bright at five and damps and dulls at six. Ankit takes the tough call
of going ahead with the trek hoping that the weather would improve. It doesn’t and we walk
in the constant drizzle. Ponchos and raincoats are out. The climb is a bit tedious today and
there are not many trees now. A few trekkers are tired but march on bravely. The toughest
part is crossing the rivers. It is not dangerous but the water level is slowly rising. The chill
freezes the bones and the force almost sweeps us off. After wading through rivers and
streams four times, the sole of my right shoe comes off. Nagendra lends his gaiters to me
and it makes a good job of holding the sole in its place. By noon, many are exhausted and
all are hungry and we invade a small Gurjar house on the way. There are several Gurjar
habitations dotting the terrain. What lovely people. Men are tall and handsome, women are
exceptionally beautiful and children are angelic. The ladies serve us Kahva tea and we
polish off our packed lunch savouring the warmth of the house and the hospitality. A Gurjar
woman shows an abscess on her shin and pleads for medicine. A child has a gash on her
leg. A man asks for a stomach-ache reliever. It is a tough life up here in the mountains. What
in case of an emergency?
Rain relents briefly when we reach Shekwas, our campsite. Draught horses, with their forelegs tied together lazily graze in the meadows. The landscape is bewitchingly beautiful and

dazzling blue Aconitum flowers are everywhere. There are many more too, of different hues.
White, blood red, yellow, and blue.
Cloudy skies clear by 7.30 the next morning to a collective sigh of relief. A stream hugs the
trek path throughout our walk, giving us the company of its murmur. It is a moderate climb of
five kilometers and the weather gets better as the day progresses. Butterflies bask on
flowers and a skink briefly mirrors sunlight on a rock. What a panorama! Green undulating
grasslands interspersed with clear brooks. Mountains all around. Ground carpeted with
blossoms of indescribable beauty. It feels wonderful to walk slowly during a trek and more so
if you walk alone. You don’t need words. There is so much to see, so much to appreciate, so
much to soak in. As Ankit says, the trek is about the walk and not about reaching the campsite
quickly. We are at Tarsar lake before lunchtime. All of us try our hands in pitching the tents
and it is easier than imagined. The tranquil lake beckons. The rocks and boulders are strewn
around become the royal seats. The blue waters are crystal clear. This and Marsar are holy
lakes for the Kashmiris. No one is supposed to touch the waters. Stone-throwing and
polluting in any form is prohibited. Our Kashmiri guide, the ever-affable Bilal warns of terrible
weather in the event of sacrilege.
As I walk in the vicinity, I notice a trekker from another small group of youngsters, spit into
the lake. I am aghast. So are my trek-mates. I confront him and sparks fly. The literate
hooligan feigns ignorance and apologizes. Later, the same group throws stones into the
lake, plays loud music, and dances at the banks. This time, I keep my counsel.
On the fourth day, we cross the Tarsar peak in the morning. This is the highest point of our
trek, at around 13,400 feet. All rejoice at the successful scaling. After the ascent, the steep
downhill walk is tricky. And then it is rolling grasslands all the way till we reach Sundarsar
lake. The campsite is next to the waters. The weather is windy and chilly. Anup has pitched
and reserved a ‘lake view’ tent for me and Sanjeev. After lunch, we head towards Marsar
lake, a small distance and a sharp climb away. The blooms are everywhere. Delicate,
creamish Saxifraga flowers with red and yellow center cloth the lakeside rocks in all their
splendor. We walk past the boulders, streams and more flower beds and begin the ascent.
The hill which looked innocuous from far seems intimidating now. Once atop, it is a leisurely
stroll of twenty minutes to the viewpoint. Marsar is mesmerizing and we enjoy the view from
the hill overlooking the lake. The lake is supposed to be almond-shaped but I am not so sure
as one side is a straight line. The skies continue to disappoint the shutterbugs and clouds
clear only in bits and pieces revealing a reluctant blue underneath.
Later in the evening, a game of cards in the dining hall followed by checking of blood
pressure and blood oxygen level Ankit. Then the much-awaited, lip-smackingly delicious
food cooked by Kushal. We wonder how this man manages to dish out Gajar ka halwa,
custard, and cake at 13,000 feet!
In the night, I try my hand at sky photography, aided ably by Kishan. Not a bad beginning but
the results are not entirely satisfying. The chill in the air brings out gloves and thermals and I
snuggle cozily into the sleeping bag.
Sonmasti is our last camp and the downhill walk is easy and relaxed. Again we reach early
and have lots of time to explore the area. Some people decide to take a dip in the cold
sparkling waters of the rivulet nearby. Later in the evening, I spot several Himalayan marmots
on the hillside. They look healthy and alert. They let out a shockingly shrill alarm call on
spotting me and scurrying towards their burrows. Sonmasti waterfall is not much sparkling, as I would imagine it to be.

Andharban Forest Trek – review and experience

If you are looking for a unique trekking experience near Lonavala, Andharban Forest Trek is the place to be. If you use your own transportation to the base village, you will be able to capitalize on this great one-day trek experience on your own time. It’s unlike any other trek you have been to.

The dazzling view of majestic waterfalls against an azure and lush green backdrop is so enchanting and riveting that you will love the time you spent over there. Your camera roll will be a source of envy for anyone who witnesses its beauty and simplistic, natural charm.

Trekking through a forest may seem daunting at first that’s why I chose to go with a group of trekkers. Expert guides were provided by the touring company as well. It did placate my anxiety having a big group of experienced trekkers and local guides as well. And to my surprise, it was a descending trek and went as smooth as sailing. It was like a cruise through the jungle.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the natural sounds of the forest, of the insects and spotted some exotic birds as well like the Malabar Parakeet! The adrenalin rush I felt traversing through the alive forest was ecstatic. After staying couped up in my house for such a long period, it was a much-needed break to feel like myself again.

I feel that you will have the same great experience that I had if you travel with a group of experienced trekkers.

Binsar travel guide

The Trisul Mountain of Binsar


Binsar is a hill station tucked in between the towering peaks of the great Himalayas with echoes of vibrance and excellency. God did smile while blessing this land with the best of everything in nature. It resonates with the soulful meaning and message of abundance and is a boon for any traveler irrespective of whether he is on a personal quest to find himself or is there with his family for emotional bonding. Here you can experience tranquillity and find within yourself harmony. Discover the great joys of surrounding yourself with this scenic beauty and the consequent healing that follows by being present in between such natural energies.
Subsequently, look at your children radiate with blissful expressions on their face when they recount the epic events of spotting a deer go nearby in a bush, a white silver fox passing by, and looking at a Himalayan Bear from afar in the deodar valley to his friends, family, and grandparents. The cost of the ticket to enter the Binsar wildlife sanctuary is 40 rupees with an extra charge of 50 for parking your vehicle.

Why visit Binsar, the land of the gods (and also known as a bird watcher’s paradise)? For people looking other than solitude and being at nature’s lap with harmony Binsar has many things to offer.
The Binsar Forest Retreat is the place to go for any company team bonding exercise since besides being a destination for spiritual enlightenment seekers that it has been for centuries, pulling countless sages from the west and the east it, offers Adventure sports for the enthusiast, wildlife sanctuary for photography and see the mingling of rich and diverse cultures that take shelter at its oak trees forest and a museum to see and explore.
Upon going a little further, we arrive at a location called the zero point for viewing the Himalayan mountains. This vantage point is located in the Binsar bird sanctuary where one can savor the view of sacred mountains Kedarnath, Shivling, Trisul, and the group of Nanda Devi peaks.
You can wash away your problems and worries in the river Kosi. Let the dense thick foliage of greenery empower you to follow your dreams and passion zealously, let your emotions flow through you like the smell of the orchards you shall see. Let this scenic beauty serve as a reminder to just simply be yourself. Come along to experience the majestic splendor of this place or take it as an opportunity and gift your family, this iconic trip in which you can share the most beautiful and bountiful views of the world.
What’s more, is that you can watch the pious people of the region engaging in social customs and ancient traditions of the great and famous Nanda Devi Festival. It is world-renowned and usually happens on the premises of Nanda Devi Temple. The Nanda Devi Mela is a fair dedicated to the worship of the local deity and Goddess Nanda Devi. She is believed to be the family goddess of the Chand Dynasty which ruled the region from 11 A.D to 18 A.D.
Historical Significance
It was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over the Kumaon region of present-day Uttarakhand from 11th to 18th Centuries A.D. Binsar wildlife sanctuary was established in 1988 for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak forests of the Central Himalayan region, and it has over 200 bird species.
You can get to stay at the following iconic places other than local family-run homestay and restaurants (these are some of the tourist attractions):
Grand Oak Manor: It is the former home of Sir Henry Ramsay, who used it as his summer home and administrative center as the commissioner of Kumaon. It has now become a heritage property.
Khali Estate: This was also one of the estates owned and built by Sir Henery Ramsay who was the commissioner of the Kumaon region. He was often called the king of Kumaon by his British counterparts. Vijay Laxmi Pandit, the sister of Jawahar Lal Nehru, also lived there. Other prominent people who have been guests/owners of this estate include Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi.
Mary Budden Estate: It is located at 8,000 feet and is a restored colonial home and a temple to Shiva.
Binsar welcomes you to the kingdom of peace. Listen to the birds chirping and the wind chiming (as if alive). Watch the Birds Dance and flutter around on the ground. Experience the beauty of Uttarakhand!!

College fest culture in Mumbai

Mood Indigo – IIT Bombay

Mood Indigo – IIT Bombay

‘Mood Indigo’ is inevitably India’s largest cultural fest, with nearly a footfall of 1.3 lakh every year. It has a number of exciting events every year to cater to all your excitement and expectations like night concerts, dance shows, plays, competitions and quizzes etc. Big time singers like Shankar-Ehsaan- Loy, Arijit Singh, Amit Trivedi, and Salim Sulaiman have graced the grand festivity. These events are also accompanied by kickass EDM nights, metal bands, rock concerts. ‘Mood Indigo’ thus the go to fest for mumbaikar students.

Second College Fest you must Visit in Bombay

Malhar – St. Xavier’s College

Malhar – St. Xavier’s College

‘Malhar’ is second largest college fest in Asia. Malhar has arrayed the talents of the best in arts, dramatics, song, dance and literature. The 3-day candid affair organized by the students of St Xavier’s College is held around Independence Day. This festival has been graced by the presence of many prominent personalities like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Celebrate being young, wild, carefree, frivolous and exuberant at this bohemian getaway!

Third College Fest you must Visit in Bombay

Kaleidoscope – Sophia College

 Kaleidoscope – Sophia College

This magnum opus fest of Sophia College for Women has a carnival sort of an ambience with music, sports, photography, drama and dancing events galore. The fest ends with a big bang on the last day with a majestic musical concert by celebrated Indian bands. It is frequented quite ofent by Bollywood celebrities and thousands of fans swarm this fest to get a view of their favorite celebrity.

Forth College Fest you must Visit in Bombay
Kshitij – Mithibai College

 Kshitij – Mithibai College

The annual cultural festival of Mithibai College is a 4-day-long festival, attracting participation from over 60 colleges of India, with professional shows, competitions, theater, fine arts and performances by amateur rock bands. The ‘Pro Night’s’ – Performances by various renowned Bollywood stars and singers is the epicenter of the fest. Last year Deepika padukone and Ranveer Singh came to khsitij to promote their movie.

Fifth College Fest you must Visit in Bombay

Umang – Narsee Monjee College

 Umang – Narsee Monjee College

From fanciful events to mind boggling quizzes, from workshops to starry nights, this festival has every catchy aspect that will appeal to everybody. True to its name, this festival pulsates with a contagious oomph, enthusiasm and a lot of moxie in deeds of derring-do. Since both Mithibhai are close by Deepika and Ranveer had promoted their movie Padmavat in the JRM ground.Umaang is usually a star studded event.

Sixth College Fest you must Visit in Bombay
Detour, Entourage, Taalash – Jai Hind College

Detour, Entourage, Taalash – Jai Hind College

Jai Hind College outmaneuvers every other college in organizing cultural fests, with each department of the college hosting their own festival related to their department in the most suave and disciplined manner. These include some of the best fests in Mumbai such as ‘Entourage’ (Cultural, Sports, and Academic Events), ‘Talaash’ (Management Festival), ‘Kani’ (Creative Fest), ‘Arthanomics’ (Economics Festival), ‘Detour’ (Mass Media Festival), ‘SHOUT’ (Dramatics). This year Ansh Maria and Vyom won the 1st place prize in drama and were offered a chance to work with filter copy.

These college fest have big sponsors like wai wai noodles, dominoes and many other stalls for entertainment and refreshments. These stalls usually pay around 10-20 grand for permit. Such big sponsorship funds the streamers, flyers , ball drop for the events and PR activities like hosting the other contingents. To maintain anonymity colleges don’t use their own name but instead make up a contingent. This method prevents any undue influence from being exerted. This also promotes fair judgement and a merit based system.

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