Monday, November 16, 2009

Do you want to join Trek Sandakfu to Uttarey 6 days -26th Dec09-5th Jan10

Hi you all adventure seeking guys and gals trekkers,
Currently I am working on the exciting adventure and trekking trip in North East India. I am organizing these treks along with my friends and adventure club for 12 years. Current Trek plan covers exciting locations very near to Mt. Kanchendzonga with 360 deg view, along with view of Mt. Makalu, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Everest, Dhaulagiri range. As of now in the team for this year, it is me , my wife, my three colleagues from Microsoft, one along with his wife, one more friend total 7. I think we can have 3-4 more people in team to join us on this trip. Looking for 4 more members to make it richer.

Over all you need 10days (26th Dec2009 - 5th Jan2010) Let me know if you are interested, please write on the email id given below, i would love to share more details on cost and other details.
Location: This entire stretch of the trek borders between India (West Bengal, Sikkim) and Nepal
Trek route daywise

Day-1- Calcutta sightseeing during the day, catch the train in Night for NJP
Day-2- Reach NJP (8.45am), have breakfast and take Jeep from NJP to Ghoom to Sukiapokhri & reach Manebhanjan
Day-3- Maneybhanjan (2134m) to Meghma (2670m) to Jaubari (2750m)
Day-4- Jaubari(2750m) to Giribash to KalaPokhari (2950m) to Bhikey Bhanjan (3350m) to Sandakfu (3636m
Day-5- Stay in Sandakfu for acclimatization
Day-6- Sandakfu (3636m) to Phalut (3600m) via Sabarkum
Day-7- Phalut (3600m) to Kalizar Sabnam valley -Shinglila Pass - Overnight stay in Kalizar in tent , nature camping
Day-8- Kalizar to Achelley Dara-through Phoktey Dara, Thulodhad and Hageypani, stay in Achelle Dara in tent
Day-9- Achelley Dara to Uttarey Valley - pass through Thunki & Sherpa Villege. Overnight stay at Uttarey.
Day-10- Half day Stay in Uttarey and Dept to their destination

There would 1 day of sightseeing in Calcutta at the start of our trip, 1 day in transit from NJP to Maneybhanjan, then 6 full days (5-6hrs) of trek + 1 day stay in between for acclimatization in Sandakfu and ending in Uttarey .
Once you confirm, I will take care of arrangements and logistics on food, porter, guide, log hut stay, tents, sleeping bags, mats, utensils, Cal sightseeing etc. We would be crossing two territories. Our trek will start in WB and would end in Sikkim. There permit and other stuff we need to take as we would be along the border of Nepal. I would be working on that once I have fixed participants.
Thanks and Regards
Raj / / Bangalore / 1st Nov 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

July 2008 Pondicherry

We needed some outing desperately for at least a day or 2, and then Pondicherry came into our mind, as we heard a lot about the place so we wanted to be there as soon as possible. My husband immediately started surfing net and dialling several nos to travel agencies and hotels and enquired the same from our friend who already been there. One of our friend suggested to contact KPN travels for bus ticket, without loosing single minutes we enquired with them, we were lucky to get onward journey ticket in KPN to Pondicherry (350Kms from Bangalore) but nothing was available for coming back also we couldn’t find a single vacancy. We both decided to still proceed hoping to find one when we reach there. We planned our short trip keeping 2days & 1 night in mind so that we can join office on Monday. We reached Pondicherry around 6:00 AM on Saturday morning.

There is no better way to explore the Pondicherry than one with riding your own vehicle. No Worries! You can rent your favorite two wheeler and travel around the city independently. We immediately decided to hire a two-wheeler and first thing to book hotel for a night. We inquired with locals and found one two wheeler rental shop close to bus stand, we took an auto to reach bike stand. All he needed was ID card, driving license and advance money-Rs-500 to keep for himself in exchange for a vehicle. We took a Kinetic Honda. We headed to the city after filling in sufficient petrol. On the way to city we enquired with lots of hotel for room. When we reach to the famous beach street, we realized that the sea shore and the popular road touching the shore were filled with people at 6:30 AM. So many people – all ages – both male and female were taking a walk along the road enjoying the pure air and natural setting. Some running, some cycling, some performing surya namaskara, some sitting on the sands and doing meditation, some exercising – it was a scene to watch.

After driving couple of more kilometres we finally reached to Sir Aurobindo ashram as expected room was not vacant. The hotel receptionist told us to wait for sometime and come back after 1 hour. As we didn’t want to waste our crucial morning time in waiting there for a room, we took our bike immediately and left towards the beach. After couple of hours we came back to the ashram, we got fresh in waiting room, had our breakfast in Aurobindo ashram. Pondicherry is famous for Aurobindo Ashram. There are lots of foreigners who come here to experience Indian spiritualism at the ashram. We were lucky to get a room. The room was fantastic. On the second floor with a great balcony overlooking the garden and off to views of the promenade and sea. Being higher up, we had the benefit of having fresh breeze. The ashram set, lots of rules that guests have to follow such as no smoking, no alcohol, a 10pm curfew, no music, no TVs, no Room service, silence after 9pm and such. We took some rest for a very short nap (more like a power nap) and suddenly, I realise my husband is not around and I slept for awhile due to tiredness. I immediately called him he was at Sharma travels for our return ticket booking. By the time I got ready. He came after inquiring about nearby good eating joints, had coconut water, walked on the beach side for a while and also booked our returned tickets to Bangalore through Sharma travels.

We both left the ashram after lunch to look around the city, We drove around the whole community and didn’t stop at any specific places from one end to other end. In the south end of the beach road, where the fish market is active – bulk quantities of fishes are being sold to small retailers.

Due to limitation of time we drove to straight to Auroville, a conceptual town about 9KMs from Pondicherry town. We reached Auroville after 1 hour drive; we went to the reception Centre where we were shown a film on Auroville. Auroville is a town conceptualised around the fact of Universal Brother-hood. Everyone in this town is equal, no sorrow, no bonding for a country, not bounded by any borders, rules, no tears, no fears rule over. After the film show, we were asked to collect passes to visit Matrimandir. We walked over a kilometre to visit the place, It was a very peaceful place surrounded by beautiful gardens made of very old and odd trees and gorgeous bright colored flowers. The Matrimandir, which is not a temple but a place for individual silent concentration, is set at the centre of the emerging township which covers an area of 62 acres and is seen as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection". The walking tour to the remarkable monument was very pleasant from inner but very hot outside, the monument was a form of massive golden globe structure that is constructed with a huge auditorium space, with the inner surface of it, lighted by a divine crystal that is the whole of this temple. Unfortunately, it was under renovation and we were not allowed to go inside.

While coming from Auroville, we stopped at nearby restaurant. This was located above the solar kitchen and was a very nice restaurant in Auroville. They have a variety of Italian and French items and also some special Vegan items. The only hitch was that you need to have an Auroville account and only Auroville cards (given for resident Aurovillians and for some guests) is accepted and no cash will be accepted. We drove back to city. On the way back, we stopped in nearby restaurant to have evening snakes. This hotel was really good and they had sceneries on wall which excited us a lot to preserve for lifetime. We reached ashram around 8pm. After bath we walked out from ashram for dinner, we had dinner in nearby restaurant as we have to come back before 10.30pm to ashram.

Next day morning, after a quick breakfast, we started from hotel and been to Aurobindo Ashram. Located on rue de la Marine, it is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India, with devotees from all over the world coming for spiritual salvation. the main ashram building is where the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother are kept. Their ‘Samadhi’ or mausoleum, which is generally surrounded by supplicating devotees, is in the central courtyard under a frangipani tree and is covered daily with flowers. We sat there for sometime and offered flower to Samadhi’s and prayed for peace of their souls. we got free by 1pm.

We just kept riding into the city, purchased couple of little mud made item from local market had our lunch in Swarna Bhawan.

We drove a little from the Ashram and explored very well known massage centre called “Ayurveda Holistic Healing Centre”. As we wanted to experience the same we booked our time from 4pm onwards to 6pm. In between we had two hours so we came back to our ashram, took some rest and drove back to massage centre, me and my husband both enjoyed the massage, during the course they were singing some Mantra and gave steam to your body to relax. But over all it was not that great as we expected seems.

When we left from centre we took one road which leads us to Srimanakula Vinayakar Temple. This temple is more than 300 years old and is dedicated to Ganesha. It has a golden spire and walls portraying forty different forms of Ganesha. The temple also has a smaller shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, who is Ganesha’s younger brother. The main attraction at the temple is the temple elephant, ‘Lakshmi’. It takes coins from people and blesses them by placing his trunk on their head. You can even feed the elephant here. It is a hungry little thing, always waiting for food from passersby and sniffing peoples hand as they walk by. The temple has been there even much before the French came to the city. We been to temple and prayed there for sometime. Outside the temple there was small market from where we purchased few things which attracted us a lot.

In the evening, Sunday market was ON and we loved cloth shopping there on street and that's the one the best part which we liked about Pondicherry.

In the late evening, we have to catch the bus so we rush to our hotel, packed our luggage and drove back to return the Kinetic and got our document back. We rushed quickly to bus stand and finally our journey started back to Bangalore and memorising our 2days spent in the company of sea and bike