Shiva Cafe

FILE2105.JPGOn the day one of the trip, we had lunch at Trek n Dine Cafe. Post that we decided to visit Bhagsu Naag Temple and water fall. We decided to walk the whole distance.

20180309_171909.jpgTo our disappointment, the waterfall had almost no water. My friends told me that it’s not the case during the monsoons. Since we were already there, we decided to walk a little more and check out Shiva Cafe.

20180309_175605.jpgWe were already very tired from the overnight journey and walking, that’s why the trek upto Shiva Cafe was exhausting. We took many stops to sit and take pictures.

20180309_175551.jpgLet me tell you the trek is worth it. The place is so unique and has very different vibes to it. It’s the kind of place I can sit for hours. A book in hand and my music is all I would need.

20180309_175458.jpgThe place has a great view and decorated with beautiful pictures, and paintings. If I visit Dharamshala again, I will surely visit this place.

20180309_182651My friends tried Maggi and Hukkah. They loved it. I was just happy to be there. I watched the Sunset, soaked up the place, took many pictures, and said, ‘Goodbye’.

Very few places like these, where you experience some kind of peace, and your wanderlust finds a home.

 

Advertisements

Road trip

20180309_093748.jpgI wanted to go to the Triund trek for a very long time. I last travelled to Jim Corbett in the first week of January. I was feeling quite restless because of no travel in the month of February. Almost after a month of planning and deliberations, finally a road trip plan was made. We were a total of 7 people, three from Delhi and rest 4 from Ludhiana.

20180309_012532.jpgWe started from Delhi at about 11.30 pm. The first stop was Haveli, Murthal. After dinner we started off to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. It was my first overnight trip with friends. Oh, the freedom, the night and the never-ending music. Slowly the conversations wean and all that remains is the silence of the night. Sooner or later, sleep catches up with you. It’s not that sound sleep, the comforts of your own bed but somehow it still is enough.

20180309_065431-EFFECTS.jpgWe were able to see the most magical sunrise. Afterwards, we kept stopping many times on the way to enjoy the views, and take pictures. A trip is incomplete without taking a hundred memories back home. We stopped for tea and breakfast. Road trip with friends is a joy and it becomes more about the journey rather than reaching the destination.

20180309_083416.jpgMcleodganj is at a distance of 474 kms from Delhi and we reached there at about 11 am. After checking in to our hotel, we decided to rest for a while. We met our friends from Ludhiana and our trip planner, Bhawna Khanna from Free Birds. Our stay was comfortable and everything was planned well.

20180309_110221.jpgAfterwards, we went to Trek n Dine Cafe, Dharamkot for lunch. I have already posted reviews of this place. More about the trip coming on the blog soon.

 

Trek n Dine

FILE1468.JPGA visit to Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh is incomplete without visiting Trek n Dine cafe. The place has beautiful ambience. I personally prefer sitting on the first floor. It has a very soothing decor and happy vibes.

20180309_155218.jpgI have eaten the best food here. We were a group of seven friends and they decided to check out this cafe with me. I have been here last year too and had praised such rave reviews of the place to them. Needless to say, they loved the place and food.

20180309_153702.jpgDuring our visit, we tried Chicken Biryani, Veg Pasta, Hummus with Pita Bread, Chicken Burger, Lamb Burger, Chilli Chicken and Chicken Pizza. My absolute favorite is Chicken Biryani and Hummus with Pita Bread.

20180309_153452.jpgThis place is a must visit if you are travelling to Dharamshala, Mcleodganj or Dharamkot. Last year I went for Kareri trek and this year it was Triund Trek.

More about the trek on the blog soon.

Genie Girl

Genie Girl

In a world far away from realities, there lived a little girl who dreamed too much. She lived in a fantasy world and believed she was a Genie with magical powers. She could generate money out of thin air and magically appear at any place. Yet she didn’t want to travel the world. She only wanted a home. Every night she used to look at stars and wonder about people whom she could help with her money, because in her heart she knew money could never help her. Nothing would bring her parents back or the love she longed for. She lost them to an accident when she was four years old. Now all that left was memories which were beginning to fade too.

She wanted to help people who believed in love. She believed their lives were already good and money would only add to their happiness. She wanted to be a part of their lives to know what love felt like, how do you feel when someone loves you back. When you have a home you aren’t terrified of going back to. She missed simple joys of life like a kiss on forehead, Daddy’s strong arms to hold, a Mom’s gentle and loving touch, and to feel cherished.

She remembers one night very clearly. There was no electricity at her place and her Uncle and Aunt were fighting again. There was no love between them and it broke her heart. She was standing outside in her balcony listening to the sounds of insects, looking at stars and tall dark green trees around her. She remembered a conversation which had happened at school that day. One of her classmates, a boy whom she had never noticed before told her she looks beautiful when she keeps her hair open and not in a ponytail. She was fighting with one of the girls in her class and she had pulled open her hair. She was angry and was sitting at the last bench. Then this boy paid her a compliment, her first ever and it changed everything. It brought her so much joy. For the first time in her life she felt like she mattered too. She went back a happy girl and couldn’t stop thinking about it. That night she asked universe for a soul mate as she cried. She just couldn’t wait to grow up and find him to live her own happily ever after. Then she will stop being a Genie. Then money won’t matter.

Till then she would live in this dream world of hers. She would keep telling her friends stories about her amazing life. She told her friends she had her own room filled up with her favorite things, her books and things she loved the most. She never brought any of her friends to her place though because she was scared of her relatives, and wanted to run away. But go where?

How a girl could who was hardly nine years old know about love but one could see the hope in her eyes. Her heart was full of love and kindness. She refused to see the ugliness around and only the beauty of Nature. At a very young age, she had learnt that everyone deserved kindness and respect, even fallen flowers. She used to go out in heavy rains to rescue small insects and fishes while people would laugh at her. But it didn’t stop her.

Life had other plans for her though. Good things didn’t happen to her. God made her pretty and that became a curse too. She loved dancing and one day her Uncle’s friends came home. They asked her to dance and she danced her heart out. She forgot where she was. Everyone clapped, and her Uncle whispered in her ear to go to her room immediately, and not come out again. She was terrified and ran to her room. She sat shaking there, unable to breathe. She was scared when her Uncle’s friends will leave he will come looking for her. She prayed to God and promised she would stop dancing. That night her Uncle got too drunk but she couldn’t sleep all night. She waited for the morning to come so she could run away to school. It was an irony of her life. She never wanted to rush back to home like other kids.

She believed in God, never stopped praying but she didn’t asked for impossible things. She knew God too had his own set of limitations when it came to her. She looked for happiness in simple things and she asked Him to only grant her one wish, her Soul mate. She wanted a fairy tale but she didn’t realize stories had villains too. Life is full of predators that prey on little girls coming from broken homes. They knew how to read the signs of little lost girls whom no one loved.

For most of her adult life she repressed the memory of that day and believed it was only a bad dream, and nothing really happened to her. But memories, they never really go and leave you alone. They keep waiting, a small little trigger and they come back when you are vulnerable, and then you remember every detail like a clear blue sunny day even though you don’t want to. The day it happened, she was playing in the garden and getting her hands dirty. She loved the feel and smell of wet soil. There was this teenage boy who used to stay above her floor and whom she used to avoid. That evening he asked her to come to his place as his sister wanted to see her. She was naive; she believed him and went to his home. He closed the door as soon as she was inside. She was scared and she tried to run away. But he was stronger than her and he touched her in ways her mind couldn’t understand. She kept fighting for she was used to getting slapped around by bigger men. At first opportunity she got, she ran for the door. As soon as she was out, he pushed her down the stairs. Her mind was numb with pain. He threatened her not to tell this to her anyone. They both knew she wasn’t going to because no one would trust her anyway. In spite of the pain, she came back to her garden and began to cry. There was no one to tell her it wasn’t her fault, hold her, and tell her she is safe now. She grew up that day.

This moment was going to decide the rest of her life. Will she ever trust, find happiness and experience Love? Most importantly, will she ever believe she deserves all these things? Maybe she wasn’t good enough. Will life be a fairy tale for her or a never-ending nightmare? Her name was Maya, an illusion.

 

Why do I travel?

IMG_20180107_093206I am so glad, I sacrificed my sleep and went on this morning walk.

Why do we travel?

We all have our own reasons. Some people travel for peace, looking for an escape from the ordinary life, explore this beautiful world, meet new people, relaxation, or probably just for the sake of it.

IMG_20180110_135756_874.jpgBut for me it’s an unexplainable urge to go outside the comforts of my home. I get restless, and I long to be with the nature. I want to listen to the sounds of a river flowing by. I imagine myself sitting besides water and watch the sun rays falling on it. You won’t believe if I tell you that I find each sunset different from the other. Sunsets are magical. They calm me down and fill me up with something which is beyond gratitude.

IMG_20180106_134159.jpgThere’s something about listening to your kind of music and driving on roads with lush, green trees on both sides. It’s never about reaching the destination but enjoying the small moments leading to it. The blue sky, mighty mountains, chilly and fresh air touching your face, and invigorating your senses. I travel, to feel.

AirBrush_20180106165717.jpgI live in a crowded, polluted city where seeing a clear blue sky or stars is a luxury. It’s a sad thing but it’s a reality. So, I travel at every opportunity I get especially to the hills. Nights are early there and everything quiets down. You can watch the stars for as long as you want. They seem so close. These are feelings which you can’t do justice through words.

IMG_20180108_163135_477.jpgIt’s overwhelming, this yearning to travel. To be at some place else. I have a found a perfect word to describe how I feel, Novaturient.

Nainital

IMG_20171018_172334.jpgNainital Lake – Why sitting besides this beautiful lake is all the therapy you need.

Nainital is a beautiful little town in the state of Uttarakhand. It is at a distance of 304 km from Delhi and it takes 7 hours to reach there by road. It is a popular hill station. So, it’s better to go here during off-season or weekdays.
Like any other hill station, it has a popular Mall road too. There are many other activities that you can do while in Nainital. But I am the kind of person who stays away from shopping and doing other touristy things.
IMG_20171018_162416.jpgMy daughter insisted on taking a boat ride in the beautiful lake just a little before sunset. She was so happy to see the ducks, and the fishes. I have never seen so many fishes together.

IMG_20171018_171657.jpgPost the ride, I looked for a quiet time. I put on my earphones and took a walk along the lake. There is a beautiful path alongside the lake, wherein you can sit back, and just enjoy the calm and serene lake. I watched the sunset, and engaged in my favorite activity, people watching and wondering about their lives. I think someday, I will find my story in one of these faces.
IMG_20171018_185219.jpgThe lake looks really pretty at night too with lights from the nearby hotels and houses creating a wondrous reflection in the water.

IMG_20171019_104033_355

View from the room

There a lot of stay options to choose from in Nainital, according to your budget and preferences. I like staying closer to the lake. We stayed at, The Himalaya Hotel, which is again a budget stay option. It is on the lake only and the good thing is that they have a parking space. The food was okay and rooms are average.
Our next stop was Motia Pathar, which is 20 km from Mukteshwar. I will be sharing my review of the place and the property soon. Looking forward to your feedback and suggestions.

Budget Traveling

Budget Traveling – Corbett Machan Resort

20171022_091543I love traveling, and I like to visit one place every month. But I really can’t afford to stay at luxurious hotels or resorts, every time I travel. Because if I save money on hotel stays, I can travel to more places. Hence, I am always looking for good, budget-friendly, options to stay.

20171021_213931Recently, I went on a short day trip to Jim Corbett. I really like the place due to calm and peace, greenery, and a short break from outside world. I am yet to see a Tiger during jungle safari, so there that’s too. The place is an easy drive from Delhi, which we can easily manage with our 4.5 years old daughter.

20171022_093957.jpgI looked for places on Trip Advisor, and decided to book Corbett Machan Resort. I liked the location of the resort. It is a small distance away from the main highway, and we had no trouble finding the resort. The check-in process was easy and we were quickly shown our room. It is not a very big property, but still has ample space for kids. A few slides, swimming pool, game room, and a TV center. They had a bonfire and large screen movie night, when we stayed there.

20171021_164841There are no TV’s in room or Wi-Fi. They have mentioned this on their site too. You can access free Wi-Fi at the restaurant. All three meals are buffet and are served at the restaurant only. They do serve tea/coffee or other essentials to your room.

20171021_164925Rooms are clean, colorful and big. The attached bathrooms are spacious too. For a price they charged, Rs 2500 for Room and three meals, it’s a steal. I have already recommended this place to my friends, and family. This is not a sponsored post. I would be making more posts about budget-friendly places to stay, to help travelers like me.

I hope you liked the post.  Please leave your comments or suggestions.