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  1. 11 points
    Those who say God is a great creator, I guess they forget to say He is a great painter too .... with his five fingers on each hands the way he painted Andaman in blue , green and white , one must travel himself to experience this slice of paradise in India. A destination with beautiful pristine beaches , multiple islands to explore, rich marine life and a great spot to begin your water sports in India. Andaman has two options to reach - Flight through Chennai or Kolkata or take a ship/vessel from Kolkata /Chennai. The island has the beauty of Indian ocean and blessed with nature all around. I tried looking for a direct flight but had to fly via Chennai from Hyderabad. You dont need to change your flight at Chennai. Its not connecting but via Flight! . Security quickly comes and check your boarding pass and then you fly again in less than 50 minutes from Chennai to Port Blair. The total journey is four hours ( Hyderabad to Chennai - One hour and Chennai to Port Blair - 2 hours ). Port Blair has a lot of options to explore and of course a great place to visit around many other connecting islands or parts of Andaman. However I had a mission to step first in Havelock - a well known water sports and honeymoon destination for Indians. From Port Blair you can take a ferry - ( Government Ferry/ Green Ocean /Mukruzz) to reach Havelock. The travel time with Mukruzz is one and an half hour. You need to keep your bookings either online from the website or through travel agents since the seats on each ferry are limited . Once you reach the ferry , you need to get your tickets checked in and stamped to board the ferry. Ensure you double check your timings and make your flight and ferry bookings accordingly. The ferry from the airport is just 3 kms and cab drivers can charge you anywhere between INR 200 to INR 300 for a drop. The union is very strong so only option is to ensure you negotiate with calm and witty answers instead of any arguments. Mukruzz runs three times a day from Port Blair to Havelock and Neil Island. As the vessel starts its journey over the ocean, you can see the beauty of the blue water with islands around and their silver sands stretched across the shore. Once you reach Havelock, collect your luggage from the disembarked part of the vessel and exit the ferry. At the exit of the ferry itself you can see small boats which take you to Elephant beach for INR 900 and offer you free snorkelling. Other way of reaching Elephant beach is by trekking for 2 kms through muds and jungle. Choice is yours to select ! Pick whatever suits your temper or mood. You do have Taxi stand and water sports centers at the exit of the Ferry! Feel free to negotiate for both of them for a day trip. We booked our resort at Vijaynagar Beach - one of the most beautiful beaches that connects you through the beach side of all good resorts in the same stretch till Kalapathar Beach. Our booking was at Dolphin Resort. A lot of other resorts are in the same road and can be a great option for family and couples. We hired a cab and reached the resort just 3 kms away from the jetty. The reception was quite welcoming after a long traveling . The sea facing cottages will not only take your breath away, you can see haven of heaven and beauty of sea all around in the stretch of the beach with white soft sands, Mohua Tree and gentle cool breeze! The skeleton of some old big trunks, beds of wooden sofas, green lawns with beautiful flower and trees all around just bring out a fresh you after a long journey! The island has no network as such and have to be away from the technology . In a way its a great thing to reconnect with people around you and not with those who are away from you! You are forced to look back at the beauty of nature and interact with the people around you. It is a great moment to speak and discover that you have been pet of technology so much, this liberty if gives you nothing but atleast a light mind and a great mood to focus on your travel and trip with your companions. The options of dinning is actually very less. The timeline for all courses - Breakfast, lunch and Dinner are strictly within mentioned time frame and it is followed almost across all the islands in Andaman. If you have an idea to drink and fish out any bottle from any bar anytime . I am sorry, you have to rework on that attempt. All licensed bars have rights to sell drinks only thrice in a month and no liquor is sold outside the permission day . The sunrise in Vijaynagar is the best! The beach is so clean and clear, you would not mind sitting and bathing in the water, soaked in the sun over the white sand for hours. Time is such a luxury in Havelock - no matter how much you spend, you still see time left in your pocket for the day. Havelock is a place to book two wheelers for INR 500 a day and go around exploring the island. Ensure you fill petrol from the pertol Bunk at fairly cheaper rate of INR 68 instead of paying INR 80 at the bike on rent outlet. From Vijaynagar beach, Kalapathar beach is very close . It is on the same stretch and connects you through a nice shadeful road. Kalapathar on a cloudy afternoon will remind you of your ride towards Chapora Fort drive in North Goa from Sinquerim Beach after Taj Resort! From Kalapathar beach you can head directly to Radhanagar Beach. This beach is known for its sunset. I did see some videos on Youtube before but my first sight at the beach blowed million cucumbers in my eyes for its cooling soothing effect. The crescent shape beach with trees all around and sea so blue and shimmering is just too good to be true! The white soft sand , less people and clear water is strong reason enough to sit quietly and enjoy the breeze and the sunset. If you want to have lunch before Radhanagar beach entry, you can pick up one of the small outlets offering typical meals and a non veg menu of your choice. I would recommend for a stay at vijaynagar beach over Radhanagar beach because Radhanagar beach will cut you off from every thing else in the world. The 3rd day was to take a cruise again and reach Neil Island in the morning. The travel time is one hour. Neil island is a 7 km island with three places to visit Sitapur, Lakshampur Beach I , Lakshmanpur Beach II and Bharatpur Beach. Bharatpur Beach is for water sports and Lakshmanpur Beach I is for Sunset and Lakshmanpur Beach II is for visiting a natural bridge formed of rocks . You can also visit Mangrove close to Sitapur beach. In my opinion best option is to book a jetty in the morning for Neil Island and then return by afternoon to Havelock or Port Blair. Other than the blue water, I didnt find much to get excited or spend money on! Bharatpur beach is a place for water sports -you can go for snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Paragliding, Glass Bottom Boat ride , jetsky all at a package or select and make your own package. As the day pass, the demand for water sports decreases and your negotiation power increases. However you do miss the beauty of water sports that can really thrill you in the early morning over late afternoon. 4th day, we had a ferry booked to Port Blair. We decided to stay at Mega Pode . Thanks to Sruthi for recommending this resort. Megapode is just a little over 1 Km from the jetty. The resort is big and faces the ocean and jetty. The maintenance and room services are also great! It has multi cuisine restaurant, Bar and also garden area to sit and relax your evening or late afternoon looking at the ocean. The same afternoon we booked a cab and traveled almost 29 kms from the resort to a spot known as Chidiyatapu! There is no entry fee for this sunset hilly region. You get to explore a lot of places on your way to this destinations. You get to run next to the airport runaway and can click take off or landing of flights! There are few really nice off beat photography location on your way to Chidiyatapu! There are spots where you need to little conscious to ensure its not a landing for crocodile and if not can have great photography of the sea and you together . Try to reach the spot by 3 PM so that you can hike/treck for 2 kms up hill and look at beautiful andaman, the ocean and the sunset ! I am confident like many you will enjoy the beauty of the place. If you want you can go to Cellular Jail for lights and sound show , Mahatma Gandhi Water Complex for sport Activities, Handloom Industry at port Blair. In the interest of time, we decided to go and relax in Karbon Beach and spend time watching others enjoying the waves and water sports. The time we visited , Andaman was hosting a festival known as Milan ( meeting ) having all neighbouring countries brought their vessel in Port Blair. 5th Day. We wanted to visit Jolly bouy island . This island comes under Mahatma Gandhi National Park controlled by Forest department . There are multiple islands that comes under this region and also controlled by the forest department. To travel to the permitted island , we would need to have permission from the forest department and you cannot carry any plastics. Your bags are checked and permits are stamped. You can get your permits by travel agents . Jolly Bouy speciality is - the island remains closed for 6 months and remains open for 6 months -October to March every year. The break of six months is to increase the richness of marine life in the sea. The season when Jolly bouy remains closed, Red Skin island remains open. You are not suppose to carry any plastic bottles. You can rent two water bottles for a security deposit of INR 200 for each bottle you rent and fill it up with sealed water bottles . After security check you board the boat and journey through the clear water for close to 40 minutes. The jetty is close to 40 minutes drive from the resort . It is close to wandaroor beach almost 29 kms away from Port Blair. The journey can be fascinating since you get to hear and see a lot about Andaman during Tsunami and its impact and effect and other islands around. Jollu Bouy island is really beautiful like any other untouched island. You dont get to eat or drink anything at this island. The three hours trip includes swimming, snorkelling and glass bottom boating! The charges are usually INR 200, INR 500 & INR 1000. The crystial clear water and marine life is so so rich in this island, one really needs to see it to believe it! The school of fish of different color and sizes, the huge size of oysters , variety shades of star fish and corals are breathe taking and of course quite an experience. Incase you want to do any other trip , you can definately go to Ross Island, Twin Island, Ross and Smith Island, Batarang Island Trip and have Mud Volcano experience. Though we do have multiple choices to go and explore in Andaman, it is still an island with certain restrictions like lots of island across the globe. Keep these in mind - Night life is zero after six PM. No Drink options unless your hotel keeps bottles . Meals are kind of tiring to eat and have very limited options across the island. So dont be particular or choosy. Keep an open mind. Water Sports -discuss and judge your sense before paying and jumping in the water. you should go for snorkeling and scuba diving early morning. Union is strong for cabs and bikes. Prefer to take two Wheeler for your trip in every island. Book your ferry before you reach Andaman . Opt for online or Agency support to book them. Population is good enough to speak in Hindi and English. Pick a hotel next to the beach or else your trip will lost the purpose and have no value of return Try visiting during Full moon day or just after full moon day. You will experience high tides and water just next to the beach resort. Or else you get to see only dead corals. Try Chidiyatapu for a drive, learn about culture, business, life style of the locals. This was the last view of Andaman from the flight!
  2. 10 points
    Hyderabad to Coorg / Kodagu Exploration Drive - Pre-Monsoon drive meet up - July 07/10, 2018 Start point - Gachibowli (ORR) End point - Coorg Start time - 5:00 am Total Distance - ~800 kilometers (one way) Objective - Drive to thank the monsoon showers and explore self while being in raw nature away from Luxuries Participants: 1) Tata Tiago (Expresso Brown) 2) Volkswagen Polo (Red) 3) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno 4) Hyundai Creta (Star Dust) 5) Hyundai Creta (White) 6) Renault Duster (White) Route Taken: Hyderabad (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) ---Bangalore --- Mysore --- Coorg Places covered: 1) Tribal Style Stay in Coorg 2) Irrupu waterfalls 3) Mandalpatti Peak Plan: Day 1 (July 07th, 2018): We start off from the meet up point (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) towards Mysore Stop by for breakfast at Food Pyramid, Kothakota We stop by for lunch just before entering Bangalore at Amaravathi Gardenia, Devanahalli We reach Mysore to break down for the day Day 2 (July 08th, 2018): We start off from our Mysore accommodation towards our Resort in Coorg Have breakfast en-route and reach Evergreen County Resort, Virajpet, Coorg We will check in into our resort, explore the resort and places around, Camp Fire & Dinner and break down for the day Day 3 (July 09th, 2018): Coorg exploration drive, check out Irupu Waterfalls Drive back to Mysore by End of the Day and break down for the day Day 4 (July 10th, 2018): We start early to escape the Mysore - Bangalore traffic and proceed towards Hyderabad Things to carry: 1) Carry umbrella and rain coat (Must)2) Toiletries, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Mosquito repellent cream and Glucose / Electrol (personal medical kit)3) Camera kits and Telescopes if any star gazing enthusiasts or night photography enthusiasts4) Most importantly loads of energy and positive attitude I will let pictures speak more than words from here on, watch and enjoy! Evergreen County Team welcoming India - Drive Team: Exploring the Resort, It is a treat to eyes and nestled in to Nature! We have planned to explore Irupu falls after exploring the resort, we understood from the locals that there is a huge Tea Estate on our route to Irupu Falls, Couple of cars went ahead to check it out (Polo & Tiago) and we were the only one's to look at this beautiful View! We had to go back to the convoy with a bad news "Visitors are not allowed" We continued our drive towards Irupu Falls, One should not miss this falls in Monsoon! Reach the falls, close your eyes and surrender yourself to the Mother Nature!! ❤️ We have reached back to the resort by the time light faded and gone for the Nature walk around the Resort and had a wonderful time with India Drive Members introducing themselves at the Camp Fire session followed by delicious Dinner at the Resort Restaurant (Secret Spices, Rest O cafe)! After a Sumptuous Breakfast and an unforgettable Morning Coffee (Pictures Below) we checked out of the resort and headed towards our exploration drive towards Mandalpatti Peak (Heaven, I call this after exploring the place). We came across a Landslide en route Mandalpatti and we could not take our cars any further, for a moment it was a disappointment but that's when we got to know from the locals that we have to hire 4x4 vehicles to be able to reach Mandalpatti Peak. Without wasting any time, we parked our cars, hired those beasts and started enjoying some pure off roading fun and reached the Heaven!! We have spent considerable amount of time exploring the place with literally zero visibility and clicking pictures. We have reached the car parking location back by about 5 pm with a super Maggi break (Special Thanks to our Instant Chef Bhargav) and started our drive back too Mysore! Like all the other Drives, we had to end this Drive too wishing if we could have continued it for another Infinite number of days!! Aideu from Sridhar Tandra until next Drive Meet!!❤️❤️
  3. 10 points
    Hyderabad international airport (RGIA) offers you convenient parking facilities. It has around 3000 car parking facilities at different zones. Car parking pricing at Hyderabad airport RGIA(personal cars): Rs.50.00 for first half-an-hour Rs.80 for half an hour to one hour Rs.100.00 for one hour to two hours Rs.40.00 for each subsequent hour or part thereof Rs.300.00 for 24 hours Hyderabad international airport parking fee for two days? For first day it is 300/- and from the second day maximum charge is 200/- (or based on number of hours) So the price for two full days is 500/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for three days? Price: 700/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for four days? Price : 900/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for five days? Price : 1100/- Where is the long term parking area in Hyderabad airport? There is a separate parking space for the long term parking beside Go-Karting. But you can park it any place you want. No one cares at the exit, you just need to pay the amount based on your check-in time. Personally, i would suggest to park in the busy area for better security (close to McDonalds) Less parking fee for the people who came for Go-Karting? You will be charged 40/- for four hours, many people are not aware of this discount. Is it safe to park long term at Hyderabad airport? Last year there are few allegations about the theft of nifty parts like wiper blades, side view mirrors etc No major issues reported so far.
  4. 10 points
  5. 8 points
    About fort: Kondaveedu Fort is in Kondaveedu village in Guntur district, It is located around 30 kilometres west of Guntur city. It is a hill fortress located 1,700 feet (520 m) above sea level. Apart from this main fort, there are two other forts (names not known) nearby. Efforts are in progress to classify Kondaveedu Fort as a UNESCO world heritage site. Road to Kondaveedu fort: Previously, this place is known for trekking, there is no proper road to the hill top fort. Now they have laid new road, which is fantastic to drive and has beautiful views. Activities around the Kondaveedu fort: Once you reach the hill top, you wont find any activities on the hill top. Shoes are must to this place, If you want to explore. No proper paths, you need to trek, difficulty level is very low. You can find guides, they will help you in navigation. Without guide, it is difficult to explore around for the first time. Carry food and water. Best time to vist Kondaveedu fort? Early in the morning and evenings are best times to visit. Avoid this place in summer. Panoramic view
  6. 8 points
    Dear friends, This is my very first travelogue in India Drive. Though I have made several trips, I didn't write anything up here. Travel Date 03/31/2018 – 04/02/2018 from Hyderabad to Gokarna & Murdeshwar in Ford EcoSports. This must have been one of the most exciting and in a way unplanned vacation, I had with my office team. Though we had marked the dates almost a couple of days ago, we were a little unsure till the last minute whether we wanted to really go to Gokarna or not. Finally, on Thursday we decided to go and informed my team to come to office on Friday along with their luggage. Friday Morning, I had a good Sleep so that I can drive in night. My team works in EST timings, so we planned to start our trip by 1AM but due to some work it got delayed to 3.00AM and Finally we hit the road at 3.15AM. Route Taken: Hyderabad - Mahbubnagar - Raichur - Sindhanur - Hubbali - Sathoddi Falls - Shivapura Hanging Bridge - Yellapur - Gokarna - Murdeshwar – Raichur -Mahbubnagar – Hyderabad. Total Distance: 1600 kms Day 1 : Sathoddi Water Falls and Shivapura Hanging Bridge. Day 2 : Gokarna & Mudeshwar Night Stay at White House Beach resort (Tent Accommodation) - Gokarna River Kali Murdeshwar Beach Shivapura Hanging Bridge Sun Set time at Murdeshwar Beach Murdeshwar Night view
  7. 8 points
    As civilization got us out of the jungle, it’s funny – how we keep running back to the jungle floor often to experience the best in life. The package of adventure, thrill, safari and simplicity together have a very different taste. The balance between wildlife and green nature have unparallel beauty to offer for those who enjoy such life. Just when summer was reaching its height, I hit the hot iron to get the best out of it. Without a second thought, I knot Tadoba for one night and brought my untouched experience to an end – burst the balloon of Safari, adventure, thrill, wild life, everything you can imagine in the jungle to enjoy them for next twenty-four hours. Tadoba has main four gates for the safari experience. There are many guest house and resorts that will suit your taste and budget. However, it is recommended you do research online before selecting a location for stay. The government guest houses are also neat and decent. We picked Svasara Jungle resort at Korala Gate which is just a stone throw away from the resort. The road trip from Hyderabad to Korala ghat just 8 hours’ drive ( 450 KMs) . The National Highway 44 is not only smooth and brilliant, it has amazing scenic beauty. As you drive as early as the sunrise, you will get smitten by the scenic beauty for most of the stretch of the drive. I would recommend after Adilabad , take a turn through Maregaon ( SH 6 ) which is equally beautiful and have smooth road till you enter Maharastra. The track from MH border to Tadoba Korala Gata is unfortunately under construction and need your patience . It not only slows down your speed, it can literally eat up your fun and energy for one hour! However remember all comes his way he who waits! Just cross this hell and you are right at the gate of Svasara Resort. The resort is very decent and has close to 20 cottages. Best thing is all of them are same , so you don’t need to worry on look and feel. They do have a great social area for meeting all the residents of the resort. This brings a lot of dialogue and sharing of experience among the residents after or just before the safari. Both Ranjit and Nandita are the managers of the resort and they are extremely down to earth, customer focused ,interactive. They spend considerable time talking to everyone and build up a rapport. The place is neat, well maintained with modern facilities and antic show pieces. They arrange fresh face towels, lemon juice , tea and water every time they welcome you at the resort. The preparation for lunch, dinner, breakfast are also great!. They do load your jeep with plenty of munching and eating options along with bottles of water, juice, tea and coffee. Our First safari was at 3.00 PM. It was an experience to remember, document, repeat and share with all for sure. At the entry gate your ID card is checked for verification if the booking details match with the ID document. I didn’t go and present myself at the office. The driver from my resort took care of it. If you want you can wear forest dress which one ideally should do during these safaris and go ahead and explore the forest. The safari runs you through either buffer zone or core area. The first safari was at buffer zone but we still had an opportunity to see animals in this area. The heat in summer is so so high, it brings almost all the animals type to the pond or lake to drink water. We were lucky enough to spot whole bunch of bears scrubbing against the bark of the trees and howling loud enough to cold your blood. Had most close look of wild boar, fox, wild dogs, peacock, monkeys, squirrel, birds of different sizes and colors and of course bison and different variety of deer’s. However, the beauty lies when the action heroine walks in with her cubs and roars ! The thrill was – aww struckking! Only flash, camera and light glitter for the entire time she is around. The lady walks in, drinks water and goes away as if she sees no one around. We have Tiger Maya, Tiger Junabai and Hero Matkasur. The luck of each one of us was shining just before the sunset and the time we were to step out of the forest floor, we had this opportunity to see the mother and the cubs for 2 minutes or so. Rest of the evening went in swimming, having conversations with other residents of the resort and exploring the property and early dinner. The weather was just cool and translated to heavy rainfall later in the evening with thunder and strong winds. Though we were little disappointed wondering if we can see animals next day but who knows what is in store for you. Next day early morning we were ready for Sarafi at the core zone of Korla gate. It was dark and quite breezy from the last night heavy shower and lightning. At the entrance of the gate, your driver collects your ID card for authenticating entry in the core zone. The core area is almost 16 to 18 kms inside the forest from the entrance and has awesome view. The curvy roads with thick forest on both sides, the smell of soil and the waiting surprise of spotting a tiger or any animal is way too exciting for the travelers. Though 90% of the times its your luck to spot the tiger, the credibility lies on our guide too. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the same guide next morning and found tagged with someone who is jack of all trades but definitely master of nothing. He started giving too much details about the forest which was quite engaging but in leading his experience he took us way to too beautiful spots where no one was driving to spot a tiger. Result? We were the only fools to fool around the forest and see other timid animals all across and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the jungle and missed tiger and tigress atleast twice . We parked in lakes, we parked at the edge of a small upside hill, we parked in open farming like space but we failed to spot a tiger. However, whenever we were crossing some spots where other jeeps were parked for spotting a tiger, we spotted the thrill and excitement of the other visitors – because their guide was not our guide and they filmed, clicked, shot photographs of great Maya & Matkasur , every time they were seen and spotted. As the clock ticked each time, time was flying away for us to be back on road and return to Hyderabad. Though we knew we wanted to stay more and have another safari, another experience, another taste, another click, but still went ahead towards our car and started for Hyderabad midday…. Only two excitements were carrying with us – the on going discussion of the vision of the tigress, her cubs and of course the beauty of the road lies ahead of us again on NH 44 on our way back home. Some pictures from other sources. @friends and @resort
  8. 8 points
    Thank you Sridhar for sharing it so early. Nice pictures! I would have taken weeks to compose a log. It was a great drive. It was great meeting new members and old friends . From Sai to Krishnan, each and every member contributed to make the drive successful. All the old memories flashed up! Driving together, covering for each other on highway, discussing about the drive and the list is endless... Will share my pictures tomorrow. This time, I have used only mobile to click pictures. 😃
  9. 8 points
    DAY - 06 Manali - Solang - Manali (Local) Night stay hotel : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali. Google Map pointer After a long hectic overdose of blissful adventure for those past 4 days, all of us demanded a break into the civilization We decided to rest for most of the day and decided to do a local tour during a leisure hour. Manali is a lot spoilt than what I've heard of. All thanks to the huge irresponsible tourist crowd here. There's nothing much to do here. Costly food, costly accommodation and over populated places. Very much commercialised. We have lazed around the resort pretty late and fell out post lunch to drive towards the Solang Valley. We have observed everything to be a way too expensive. Even a cable car up the hill costed us about 800 INR per head which we felt was very pricey. Solang is a high altitude valley that lies at the top of Kullu mountain. It is famous for many activities in summer such as paragliding, horse riding and Zorbing. These are again replaced by Skiing in winter. These are a few pictures of the beautiful Solang valley from the top. Having spent some good time here, we drove around the local streets of Vashisht and got back to our resort by the evening to get ready for the next day's drive. DAY - 07 Manali - Kullu - Bhunter - Bajaura - Prashar - Mandi - Chandigarh Distance : 350 kms Time taken : 13 hours (Including break time) Breakfast stop : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali. Google Map pointer Lunch stop : VISCO resorts, Mandi Google Map pointer Night stay hotel : MAYA Hotel, Chandigarh Google Map pointer The next morning we started our drive towards the beautiful Prashar lake which is around 100 kms from Manali. We travelled for about 4 to 5 hours for just 100 kms. I shall leave the road to your imagination Throughout our drive, we could get the best views of the magnificent Dauladhar ranges of Kullu. We have enjoyed every bit of the drive while we drive towards Prashar lake. We had come across another landslide, a forest drive in the rain and also roads covered in dense fog It was quite disappointing that we couldn't get any view of the Prashar lake by the time we reached the final stop as it was all cloudy and we were covered in dense fog having all the sight around us invisible. We stayed there for about 45 mins and waited for it to get cleared. We left the place unseen in disappointment and started our drive towards Chandigarh. A view that we came for and we missed. Courtesy: Dense Fog. Source We had reached the Maya Hotel in Chandigarh around 10 PM to retire for the day. Day 08 was our drive to Delhi which was pretty smooth and back to Hyderabad to wrap it up These 8 days have ended in a moment giving every one of us some memorable moments. I would say, stop restricting Himachal only to Shimla or Manali. There are so many beautiful mountains, rivers & paths untraced around Himachal and Spiti valley is one such world where time seems to have stopped and happiness lingers in the wind. It has been over an year and a half since I have returned to the chaos of the city life and I'm still struggling to get over my post-trip blues. Now when I look back at my trip, I often relate to the memory of a face that had the same expression of joy and exhilaration as I had throughout my travel. I strongly believe that one trip to this magical land can never be enough. If you have been postponing your trip to Spiti since forever, then I hope these photographs must have heightened your wanderlust for sure I hope this guide to Spiti would be helpful for everyone and l shall come back soon with my next log to Himalayas in Nepal until then. Cheers! Happy and Safe driving.
  10. 8 points
    The beauty of Himachal is praise-worthy for its culture, holy sites, beautiful valley and it's seasonal behaviour towards nature. And to experience a small chapter in there, I had roped me my friends and started off from Hyderabad. We decided to drive down from Delhi and have rented a Toyota Fortuner (2x4) through MYLES for this trip. Itinerary: Day 1 : Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand Day 2 : Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa Day 3 : Kalpa - Pooh - Nako - Sumdo - Tabo - Kaza Day 4 : Kaza , Kibber, Langza exploration Day 5 : Kaza - Pangmo - Batal - Chhatru - Gramphoo - Rohtang - Manali Day 6 : Manali Local tour Day 7 : Manali - Mandi (Prashar) - Chandigarh Day 8 : Chandigarh - Delhi Day 9 : Delhi to Hyderabad ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAY - 01 Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand Distance : 430 kms Time taken : 12 hours (Including breaks) Breakfast stop : Amrik Sukhdev, Sonipat (60 kms from Delhi airport) **** Google Map pointer Lunch stop : Motel Golden Saras, Kurukshetra. ***** Google Map pointer Coffee stop : Don't remember the name but, we had some good coffee and snacks standing in a corridor over the clouds in Shimla. Night stay hotel : Tethys Ski Resort, Narkand. Google Map pointer We have started our drive from the airport around 7 AM in the morning towards Delhi after renting the Toyota Fortuner from 'MYLES'. By noon we got on to the ghat section towards Shimla and the vistas started to get better and better as we moved up. One of the breath-taking views which we had enjoyed during a coffee break just before entering Shimla. DAY - 02 Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa Distance : 170 kms Time taken : 9 hours (Including breaks) Breakfast stop : Tethys Ski Resort **** Google Map pointer Lunch stop : We bread, butter and jam to stop by a scenic location and have our lunch en-route. Fuel stop : Near Karchham dam Coffee stop : Near Karchham dam. Night stay hotel : Hotel Rakpa Regency, Kalpa. Google Map pointer Our stay at the Tethys Ski resort on the cliff side. The next morning, post breakfast we started our drive towards the Kinnaur district from Tethys Ski Resort in Narkand. Narkanda which is at 9000 feet high, has splendid towering tree and is famous for ski slopes, apple orchads and Hatu peak. The roads throughout this Kinnaur valley are in a good condition. Watch out your speed on these ghats as there are steep curves throughout the ghat. Beautiful view of the Kinnaur valley en-route Karchham dam. Kinnaur valley is proud to have some hair raising roads offering unending views of breath taking sceneries all along. Driving through these beautiful roads has been a real feast to eyes as every sight makes you go awe with it's beauty. These roads in the Kinnaur valley are open during all the seasons and round the year barring few days of heavy snowfall. From the month between the mid of July to August, due to monsoon, these mountains are prone to heavy landslides. The best time to visit the Kinnaur valley is between May and July. Kinnaur is basically a major stretch of road connecting the major towns of Chitkul and Kalpa in this region. We have reached Kalpa driving up hill for about an hour on a narrow mud track by 5 PM and checked into the Rakpa regency hotel which had the best view of the Kinner Kailash mountain. To be cont...
  11. 8 points
    We hit the road and found one more trail, Slat deposits! With proper 4x4(low range box) this place is going to be fun. Last picture of the day, signing off
  12. 8 points
    As the crowd started to build up, we decided to explore the places around. We took this trail, which is visible from the small bridge. We drove few kilometers inside, due lack of company and recovery vehicle...Sadly my duster is not AWD. We decided to turn back!
  13. 8 points
    DAY - 09 Stykkisholmur (Guest house) - Grundarfjordur - Berserkjahraun - Kirkjufell - Arnarstapi - Reykjavik (Grettir guest house) Places to visit: 1) Kirkjufell 2) Buoakirkja (black church) 3) Hallgrimskirkja (church) 4) Sun Voyager (Steel Boat Sculpture) Our drive from this beautiful wood house in Stykkisholmur towards Reykjavik has begun after we had our breakfast. The weather was extreme on this day. It was raining heavily and there was dense fog covering all the road. We drove through the Berserkjahraun lava fields in the Snaefellsnes peninsula but could hardly view anything around because of the dense fog. We could hardly see the road during our drive. We drove through a stretch of gravel road passing through the lava fields which were about 3000 years old and the fog around slowly started to get clear but, the rain continued. We reached the Kirkjufell falls near Kirkjufell mountain but couldn't hike further to capture some good pictures because of the heave downpour during that time. A very hazy view of the most prominent and distinctly shaped Kirkjufell mountain in the Snaefellsnes peninsula. We drove towards Arnarstapi to view the extra-ordinary basalt columns and cliff formations but, the weather turned out to be unfavourable at the same time. We continued our drive towards the most famous church Buoakirkja which sits alone among a field of lave rock. This place which I earlier spoke about is a classic. This tiny black church is called the Buoakirkja. Spending some good amount of time around the place, we started our drive towards the Reykjavik city. Hallgrimskirkja is a tower church which can be seen from almost everywhere in the Reykjavik city. We decided to take a stroll up to the Hallgrimskirkja church. We fell short of time to tour the Sun voyager and just explored the beautiful art street around the church. After this we headed back our Grettir guest house to retire for the day. Having only few hours left we packed all our luggage before we started towards the airport. Our drive to the airport took about 90 minutes and we said good bye in the Icelandic fashion before the sunrise. Throughout my drive to the airport, I was just having a reel over my past 10 magnificent days in this magic land. Dreamy landscapes, 100s of water falls, incredible short hikes, boiling mud-pots, glacier lagoons, the northern lights, designated geo thermal pools, unlimited vantage points and what not. This surreal experience has all zeroed down tonight. I literally found the best way to get connected with nature with no traffic jams, no waiting around, no huge crowds piling off the buses in tandem. It was just us, the open road and spectacular scenery of the 'Land of Fire and Ice'. At this moment, I am suffering from post holiday depression after those awesome 10 days road trip around the most lovely island - ICELAND. I was thinking of a way to overcome this depression and Guess what! writing about all of these seemed like the best option for self help. I hope all the information and travel guide what I have posted here helps the members who are planning a road trip in Iceland. And please do look up for more posts to come in relative to this if I get time to draft anything more in the near future. Cheers!
  14. 8 points
    We were group of four and it cost each roughly around INR 24000 excluding Airfare. Airfare for both side cost me INR 5600 . I did block my tickets Last November . There are few hotels in Port Blair if you want to go to a nice place and stay . The cost may vary and can range high. I select Mega Pode and got 50% discount from Agoda.com being frequent user. Other good resorts can be really expensive. I didnt see much great options at port Blair. Before selecting a resort, I did try reviewing and communicating many resorts. Either there was no response or online feedbacks were negative. Havelock has some quite nice and famous resorts and pretty expensive. I decided to go for Dolphin resort and managed to got a discout through a source. The room costing INR 4700 was offered for INR 3000. Its a really good resort and sea view cottages are great! Other resorts can charge you somewhere between INR 8000 to INR 12000 per night. There are other resorts as well but I am not sure if it will have sea view, or close to the beach or any of the charm. Neil Island is very small so the options were also very slim. I consider it was a waste of money for me to spend INR 3000 for a night for a cottage which was as very small and smaller than the washroom at Dolphin Resort. The trip across island can be covered by two wheelers. There is no point having a car in Havelock or Neil Island. At port Blair you can go for a car and cover south or west Andaman and quite a new extended part of Andaman by driving. However you need to be very careful since a lot of areas require permissions and you probably wont prefer to enter them from safety purpose. A good guide can definitely help you.
  15. 7 points
    Hi All, This is my first travel story in India-Drive. I have been working in Bangalore from the past few years. Recently, I moved back to Hyderabad. My last drive is from Hyderabad to Himalayas with India-Drive team. It is my best and longest I have ever done in my Duster. Surylanka drive I have been to Suryalanka around 10 times, frankly speaking, I lost the count! Last month me and my friend decided to go on a quick weekend getaway. Plan is to start on Saturday morning and come back by Sunday evening. We all know that Suryalanka is overcrowded during weekends. So we constructed a strategy to beat the crowd. Route taken Hyderabad --> Vijaywada --> Suryalanka We took this route since we had accommodation(friend's place) at Vijayawada. Best route from Hyderabad to Suryalanka Hyderabad --> Nalgonda --> Miryalaguda --> Narasaraopet --> Suryalanka I would suggest people to visit Chirala beach along with Suryalanka, we missed out due to time constraint. We started on Saturday around 11AM. We took the famous the Hyderabad-Vijayawada section. This is one of the best section after Hyderabad-Bangalore.(my personal favorite) Maintained steady 110km/hr in my trusted Duster. We reached Suryapet by 2PM and stopped over for lunch at Hotel 7. Hotel 7 is one of the best in terms of Infrastructure/Food/Quality/Maintenance. Suryapet to Vijayawada took us around 2 hours +. Crossing Vijayawada is always pain. Multiple diversions and no proper signs leads to confusion. One of our friend stays in Vijayawada outskirts, we reached his place by 5PM. Decided to call the day off.
  16. 7 points
    I see many people talking a lot about Tyres. Recently I've been to Bridgestone dealer to get my City's wheel balancing and alignment done. On enquiring about tyres they said Michelin is the best and leading Tyre brand. Few months ago when changing my Wagon R's tyres to Bridgestone I've enquired the same with friends, they said Pirelli is the best performance Tyre. What differentiates tyres performance? What's the difference between the brands? People say there're brands to match one's purpose. I think I'd be good if people here throw some light on the details of tyres as there're very little sites that explains this. PS: My City's Bridgestone tyres are in the corner of it's life. Dealer suggested Micheline for performance. I use mostly on highways at high-speeds. So grip, braking, comfort, smoothness, and long lasting are my priorities. Please help me choose Bridgestone or Micheline. Only these two are in my reach (5k and 5.3 Bridgestone and Micheline respectively)
  17. 7 points
    I always used Bridge stone. Didn't face in any issue in 8 years..
  18. 7 points
    Dear Friends, Finally the SHIRDI trip completed . Here is the details below. 1. SHIRDI TO HYDERABD ROUTE CONDITION I took the route SHIRDI-VAMBORI-MIRI-PATHARDI-BEED-OSMANABAD-TULJAPUR-NALDURG-OMERGA-HUMNABAD-ZAHEERABAD-HYDERABAD. To my surprise this route was fantastic though little longer. There were occasional patchy stretches but you will never complain . This route is far far better than all other route (SOLAPUR-TEMBHURNI, BHOOM-JAMKHED routes). I started from Shirdi towards ahmednagar and after RAHOURI, I took a turn toward VAMBORI and crossed MIRI ,PATHRDI and join NH-52 . The VAMBORI turn is exactly after SHANI SIGNAPUR TURN from SHIRDI-AHMEDNAGar road. I actually took SHANI-SIGNAPUR turn but again made a U-TURN and took the VAMBORI turn. The entire stretch from the place where I took turn towards VAMBORI from AHMEDNAGAR-SHIRDI road till NH-52 intersection is excellent road with occasional patchy stretches.Sometime they becomes little narrow but still no complain as there is no pot holes. Though this route is little lonely but to my surprise roads were very very good. I would not suggest to take that route in night but in day time , absolutely no issue . From NH52 intersection till TULJAPUR it is DRIVER PARADISE to drive . I would bet that the entire stretch of NH-52 from SOLAPUR to AURANGABAD is going to be DRIVERS HEAVEN in 2 to 3 year time . This could be like another HYDERABAD- BANGALORE highway. The 4 lane work is in full swing . I just drove in this stretch from HIGHWAY from the intersection (where PATHARDI STATE HIGHWAY meet NH52 till TUJAPUR). While travelling to SHIRDI , I took TULJAPUR-OSMANABAD-BHOOM-JAMKHED-AHMEDNAGR route. While returning I took the above route .The only difference between two route is the VAMBORI-PATHARDI-MIRI-BEED stretch. Kindly read my blog above with GOOGLE MAP reference. I completely followed google map and at every intersection I used to ask LOCAL PEOPLE just to make sure I am in correct way.This really helped a lot . The local people's information are much much better when it comes to road condition. The intersection where PATHARDI STATE HIGHWAY meet NH52 till BEED is single lane express highway. It is very beautiful and scenic with no tolls yet. From BEED to TULAPUR (I would say till SOLAPUR) it is pefect 4 lane express highway . Occasionally the work is still going on in some stretches but that is understandable we are going to have this benefit in coming days. From TULJAPUR to NALDURG the roads are again good with 3 to 4 km little patchy but no issue at all. For me PATCHY roads are ok but there should not be any potholes. holes.From NALDURg till OMERGA it is as usual our PATHETIC NH65/NH9 mumbai highway and therafter it is again beautiful highway.However I feel this stretches keeps improving everyday where the completed good lanes are open for motorists. I started from SHIRDI at 12:00 PM and reaches in GACHHIBOWLI at 2 PM. There was 3 hr break in-between for lunch,dinner and biological breaks. I was little bit cautious while driving and never exceed 120km hr.M y car (TOYOTA ETIOS SEDAN VD-SP model) was fully loaded with 5 adults and two kids. So little bit extra cautious to avoid the touching the ground in patchy stretches. I really admired this car which was way beyond my expectation . Before starting of this trip,I was little bit worried that if my car will be able to carry this many peoples for such long distance along with luggage and that to also patchy and pothole roads. My car fully passed this load test. We took lunch on NH52 STRETCH ar SAI MAHARAJ (a road side dhaba) and DINNER at HOTEL SAI PRASAD (BETWEEN NALDURG and OMERGA). So as a summary: SHIRDI TO VAMBORI BYPASS : EXCELLENT VAMBORI BYPASS-MIRI : GOOD MIRI TO PATHARDI : VERY GOOD PATHARDI TO NH-52 : EXCELLENT NH-52 ALL THE WAY TO TULJAPUR : EXCELLENT TULJAPUR TO NALDURG : VERY GOOD NALDURG TO OMERGA : PATHETIC OMERGA TO HYDERABAD : EXCELLENT FINALLY PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE PCITURES OF THIS RTEURN TRIP ....WHICH SELF EXPLAIN MY ABOVE BLOG.... 2. HYDERABAD TO SHIRDI ROUTE CONDITION I took Hyderabad-Zaheerabad-Humnabad-Omerga-Naldurg-Tuljapur-Osmanabad-Yedashi-Bhoom-Jamkhed-Ahmednagar-Shirdi. This road seems to be better than Solapur- Tembhurni . When I say better it is not that good but manageable to drive with 60 to 80km/h Hyderabad to Omerga (before 20km to OMERGA) is excellent as usual . Actually the toll road ends around 20km before OMERGA from where the pathetic roads starts. However the pathetic roads keep improving everyday as I feel. The route from OMERGA to NALDURG is really pathetic and especially at NALDURG FORT it is really horrible. We did our breakfast at DHAMI PUNJABI DHABA (around 30km before OMERGA). Look at the picture. You can see my TOYOTA ETIOS CAR as well AP28DU5650. From NH-9/NH-65, I took the TULJAPUR BYPASS and drove straight towward TULJA BHAVANI MAA TEMPLE . The initial 2 to 3 km stretch from NH-65/NH-9 toward TULJAPUR is little patchy but there after the entire 30km strtech till temple was excellent. We spent around 1 hr in temple and started towards OSMANABAD via NH52. Just after crossing TULJAPUR you can see NH-52 (SOLAPUR to AUTRANGABAD). This route is excellent and driver's heaven. I corssed YEDASHI in this route and thereafter took the BHOOM-JAMKHED route . Actually I missed this bypass and crossed around 20km more on the highway . Then I stopped and ask some local and they suggest me not to go back and suggest to take another left turn which eventually touch the BHOOM-JAMKHED route .I followed that . This route was ok with very bad patch (around 20km). Anyway no complain. Eventually I catch the BHOOM-JAMKHED route. I will say the BHOOM-JAMKHED ROUTE is below good but better than average or poor. This route gets bettter when we get nearer to Ahemednagear. We took LUNCH at VITTAL KAMATH on NH52 before BHOOM bypass.Take a look at the pictures. So SUMMARY IS : HYDERABAD TO OMERGA (BEFORE 20KM) : EXCELLENT OMERGA TO NALDURG : PATHETIC NALDURG TO TULJAPUR : VERY GOOD TULJAPUR TO BHOOM BYPASS : EXCELLENT BHOOM BYPASS TO AHEMEDNAGAR : AVERAGE AHMEDNAGR TO SHIRDI : EXCELLENT I started from hydearad at 4:30 AM and reach SHIRDI at 8:15 PM with around 4 hr break (BREAKFAST,LUNCH, DARSHAN AT BHAVANI MAA TEMPLE & BIOLOGICAL BREAK). I did not record the disctance in both the routes ..Actually forgot to record....Anyway I follow the google map route . I hope that the above notes and pictures will be helpful for all of you to decide the best route to shirdi. Please let me know if anyone need any other details.I will try my best to help.
  19. 7 points
  20. 7 points
    Day: 3 Explore waterfalls near the resort. Waterfalls name : Jhari waterfalls. Waterfall usually opens at 9AM. Since we stayed inside the forest. We took the resort jeep and went till waterfalls, around 8 AM. Don't attempt in your own vehicles, curves are too steep. No single person is present at the waterfalls, apart from us! They charged us 500/- for ride to waterfalls 200 meter walk from the road.. After spending some time at the waterfalls, we returned back to the home stay. Had breakfast and started to Babu Budangiri. Clouds! We took some off-road trails. Once the visibility is clear, we drove further. Zero crowd, we stayed here for an hour and enjoyed the view. Photo time Breath taking view Some more pictures at the different view points. Day 4: We drove back from Kuteer to Hyderabad. We started at 9AM and reached home around 10PM. Thank you
  21. 7 points
    Helpful post @Ranger. Good one. Appreciate it. I would like to add a few more points to this. For pick up at arrival and drop off at depatures, You are given a token for a limit of 5 minutes at the entrance and if you turn out to be spending more than 5 minutes at the departures when you drop your passenger, your vehicle will be towed away if you get noticed or fines will be collected. Security is high at this area to avoid clogging. Similarly at the arrival point, your time spent is calculated at the exit and charges are collected accordingly. No charges are collected if you leave the place in less than 5 minutes.
  22. 7 points
    Hello guys, I am Planning to drive from Hyderabad to Leh by road with in 1 or 2 months. Please guide me the best route available. Things to take care and carry along ? what is the process to obtain permissions ? what will be the total expenses ? Planning to take Eco Sport – Diesel – Fully Loaded , Can Eco Sport handle those roads without any issue? Can you guys help in listing the things to carry. I'm travelling with my two kids, age 10 yrs and 14 yrs. Thanks & Regards Satya Nagapuri.
  23. 7 points
    Small, Crisp and fun to read. Those Sun rise pictures are too good. Adding few pictures of Chirala beach taken from my mobile.
  24. 7 points
    If you read and think I am exaggerating, fabrication is just another style of Pinaki.... I go on my knees to say, I am little mad for beaches and this beach just unveiled the beauty of AP coastal line when I visited Chirala for the first time. I do carry the good memories and excitement in me b'coz it was planned overnight ( in less than 12 hours ) and did bring a name on my list that I can definitely visit more than once . There are two ways to reach this spot. You can either start early - take Nagarjuna Sagar Road, enjoy the sunrise , stop at Ethipothala waterfalls, click some pictures go towards Chilakaluripet and go towards Chirala. This route is not excellent or best road to drive and enjoy end to end though the first two spots are great to start your day and lose sometimes on way to Chirala Early Morning picture towards Nagarjuna Sagar Sunrise Picture. Ethipothala waterfalls inside the property of Haaritha. Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda Second route and recommended. Take ORR - Exit gate 11 - Take Nalgonda Road - Miriyalguda - Piduguralla - Narasaraopet - Chirala. Total Distance - 336 kms. The road is pretty good and have scenic beauty. You can definately mainatain a speed of 100 -120. There are three toll gates on the way. It takes 6 hours . We did start at 3.30 in the morning , had a break at Piduguralla and reached Chirala by 10.15 am. Stay Chirala has very limited options. I have tried my luck at two different spots. a) Sea Breeze Resort - Definitely a good place. Most of the travelers prefer staying here . Rooms on weekends go off soon and can be a problem if you go without booking. The resort has different varieties of rooms. Do not fall for room types. Request for information on the room location inside the resort, ventilation and facing of the room. Sea facing are only available with Deluxe room and cottages. Rest of the sea facing room are actually garden facing. Swimming Pool b) Lotus Buddha - The management is cooperative however the property is not well maintained . I was almost in depression of spending two nights at this resort. It is just in the middle of village with fishermen and local crowd. The smell and the not so maintained locality dampen the spirit and feeling for the place. Food You can definitely order your food at the resorts. The quality, quantity and the service support is very decent and well maintained. They do serve dinner on the beach at night. They charge you INR 500 for the effort. The experience is great if you go during full moon night. You see the sunset followed by the full Moon in the sky , high tide and the breeze. the variety of food is also quite grand at Sea breeze. You have options from fish to chicken to Biriyani . Atleast they serve you what you see on the menucard. A lot of people told me, they do order food from outside. Local villagers are great cook and serve you hot chicken and local dishes. Beach The beach is just opposite to the sea breeze property. My first trip was in September. The silver sand and the non sticky quality brings softness to your feet and happiness as you walk down the clean beaches. The water was so clear , it was literary blue. The beach is stretched over almost 7 kms and also have awesome tree lines across the road. Incase you feel you want a shade while you want to be on beach - simply go and take a seat under the shade and sip coconut water in the morning or in the afternoon and leisurely drink your fav one in the evening. Collect broken or new designed shell, shoot around with crabs , or just lie down on the silver sand. Check in - Check Out - Your check in time is 9 AM and check out is 9 PM. Breakfast is complimentary and includes Dosa, Idli, Kheer, Vada, Poori, Omlette, Juice , Tea, Coffee. There is no local spots to drive around. Though you can visit the local saree mill for some handwork sarees or can even drive down to Narasaoraopet for Kotappakonda Temple . The Temple is on the top of a hill and has amaziong scenic beauty. The drive up to 5kms is really amazing and can be a good disconnect for sometimes. Give Chirala a try! After all, small things bring more happiness so why you let this one go?
  25. 7 points
    Beautiful Taj Lake palace from Ambrai ghat Boat cruise on the lake Pichola View from the top of the Monsoon palace - Sajjangarh fort Ambrai ghat Monsoon palace - Sajjangarh palace Sunset from the top of Ambrai ghat Final day's Sunset on Lake Pichola