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SIKKIM: THE SOUL OF NORTH-EAST INDIA
This was when my class 10th board exams were over. My father planned for us all a visit to north-east India. Sikkim was finally chosen as our destination. Actually in class 10th I had a chapter in Hindi textbook, a travelogue by Mahadevi Verma. Her description of the scenic beauty of Sikkim influenced me the most.
We left for Sikkim at 8 o’clock in the morning from IGI airport. That was the first time I traveled through an aero plane. That was an amazing experience. The flight brought us to Baghdogra airport of west Bengal, in about 2 hours. We hired a taxi for the capital of Sikkim- Gangtok. We reached the beautiful city by 5 p.m.
I belong to Uttaranchal, but haven’t yet seen a city situated across the mountains, as beautiful as Gangtok. I must say that the Uttaranchal government must learn to build infrastructures as magnificently as the government of gangtok has built.
Actually at that time if you don’t have enough time left with you and/or find the journey unaffordable, an option is given to you to either visit north-Sikkim, or to visit some other particular places.
North Sikkim trip was of 3 days.
Sikkim-Gangtok-North Sikkim- 1) Lachen 2) Lachung
(1) Lachen: we had the first day’s stay at Lachen. Our cottage was in a very scary locality and the dark night added to our fear.
But when a small bird woke all of us up with it’s tattering we were all spellbound by the beauty residing outside our window. The sun was visible from behind the Himalaya range, spreading some of the rainbow colors in the sky. That day we were taken to an altitude of 16000fts. in a hectic and backbone troubling 5 hours journey. It was to a lake called- Gurdongmar Lake. The exertion of the journey instantaneously washed away from our minds. Have a view at the snap of this lake. Believe me if you are visiting Sikkim you must go to visit this place and this would prove to be a lifetime experience for you. But the only limitation is that if you want to see the beauty of this lake at it’s fullest, it would be around May-June, and at that time you won’t be able to enjoy a proper snowfall.
(2) Lachung: a very beautiful place and the spirit of Sikkim is believed by me to be here only. Our cottage was in the vicinity of a river.
Then we had a visit to a flower valley called- Yumthang valley. But at that time there were very few flowers left.
Then we planned to visit zero point, a place situated at the indo-china border.
The next day, we returned to Gangtok. During the course of our return travel, we captured the snaps of thousands of waterfalls.
One waterfall was very huge and we were told by the driver that it is called Amitabh Bachchan fall.
When we reached Gangtok, we all said goodbyes to our group members and apologized to the driver, the fun of whom we made throughout the journey and he didn’t mind us doing the same as we had nothing else to do to spend time.
I was waiting from my friends to get back from the amazing Jaisalmer Desert Festival to write again. My two colleagues - the sprightly Roli and the intrepid traveler and photographer Abhishek had a fabulous time at the festival and have provided me with their experiences and photographs to share with you all. The travelogue has been written by Roli and the images are all Abhishek's.
And lo! We were on the wide open highway to Jaisalmer..
Abhishek and I went to attend the Desert festival this year held in Jaisalmer on 7, 8 and 9th of February. The
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I started out wanting to be a fighter pilot like my dad, but when I was finishing school, the Indian Air Force did not have women pilots. So I studied, finished my hotel management and then went on to work for a short stint in hotels. During my formative years I had a love of reading Mills & Boons (yes, you can continue to read without worrying about this turning out to be a eulogy of a tall dark and handsome man) where I had read a wonderful story about a woman who leads a tour group to Greece. I was hooked and wanted to know if it was possible for me to get into the travel industry – all that travel, the beautiful hotels, the romance of possibly meeting someone, and of course self discovery. Cutting a long story short, for this very reason, I joined a travel company and many years later have travelled through
We are proud to be associated with the Live Journal Community - India Travel, and will be putting up stories of travel in India, about people who are making a great difference, about wonderful destinations that you just must see and of course about some great hotels that you can visit. I am also here to help anyone on the community with information, help and advice on travel in
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Pushkar is a town which many may have heard of due to it being one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites or as the destination where every year where over 5,00,000 camels are traded. Pushkar is also famous for its holy lake believed to have been created and blessed by Lord Brahma which is said to provide salvation for all those who take a dip here. Thus the multitudes of camels are replaced by multitudes of Hindus as the camel fair ends with a religious festival. Though the town is rumoured to have over 400 temples and palaces, the temple of note is the one dedicated to Lord Brahma, which is the only one of its kind in the world.
The town is quaint in all its aspects – a lake, surrounded on all sides by temples & palaces, small lanes dotted with silver, antique and temple-ware shops, cafes catering to tourists and pilgrims crowded with people from all walks of life. The evenings start with a magical sunset and as the last rays of the sun touch the water of the lake, the temples come alive with the evening arti ceremony. The sounds of the temple bells are accompanied by chanting, smell of incense and the showering of flower petals.
Located just a ten minute drive from the center of town is the luxury resort Orchard. The resort was so named because it was built on an actual Amla (Indian Gooseberry) orchard. The resort is spread over 33 acres with the accommodation available over 12 acres. In keeping with the ethos of Pushkar, where all pilgrims and traders live in tents and carts, Orchard too provides its guests with tents for accommodation. Unlike those used by the locals, the tents at Orchard are a statement in luxury. Each tent is almost 700 sq. ft. with an attached permanent bathroom. All tents have a bedroom, a living area and a dressing area. Interiors are kept contemporary with traditional touches brought in by the famous Jaipur blue pottery and marble lamps from the neighboring marble mines of Kishangarh. Each evening the resort does its very unique Orchard Aromatherapy Turndown Service with incense and rose petals providing a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.
En-suite bathrooms are equipped with hot & cold water, herbal accessories and fine linen which include beautiful Orchard signature bathrobes. All rooms have a hair dryer, telephone, hardwood furniture and a private veranda with chairs.
Meals served are a mélange of Indian and international cuisine, though being a holy town no meat or alcohol is served at the resort.
The resort offers a huge number of entertainment options from Hot Air Ballooning, to yoga, its very own dance troupe that performs in the evenings and camels and camel carts to take people to Pushkar or surrounding areas. Apart from these the resort offers a huge array of outbound training and exercises.
What is also commendable is that the staff of the resort comprises of locals who own the land on which the resort is built, thus the service that you get there is that much more personalized and warm. There is always someone who is available 24 hours to look after any needs a guest may have. The resort also offers people an opportunity to give back to society as it arranges special lunches for a neighborhood school which has approximately 300 children.
Thus Orchard offers you a luxurious vacation filled with as much or as little activity as you may want in a place which is amazingly interesting.