Category Archives: Travel

A trip to JNI (Jindal NatureCure Institute) Bangalore – Day 2

Published May 14, 2017 9:53 pm

I am sitting in my room while my mother is probably half or fast asleep on the laptop. I had decided to take her to the institute to give a boost to her abdominal issues. I was trying to pair her with someone in the family. once it did not work out – this year I had decided to take her with myself. Booking was done around 2-3 months back. We joined here on May 13th for 10 days stay. Today was the 2nd day.

There is pin drop silence in the room. I can hear my keyboard sound as well as any door that opens up on the floor. It is around 9:30pm and I will also sleep in no more than few more minutes. I need to wake for the next day at around 4:30-5pm. Yoga Kriya session starts at 5:30pm. I also need to account for some time for mom walk to the place (given her age). So far what I have liked about the place is the silence & nature. You get lot of time to listen deep within. You transcend naturally if you have inclination towards it. Nature provides you the environment. Probably there is a busy road right outside the JNI but here in my room probably 1km away from the road in the block – I hear nothing. Also the temperature also drops given the greenery around. I have not yet put up the AC yet.

Day 1 – we had landed in blore and joined JNI @ 9:30am. More later.

Day 2 – I got exposed to the following in the morning Yoga Kriya

  1. Jal neti – I did it first time in my life.
  2. Vaman – where you drink and vomit the water taken in. I have been exposed to this in past & do this at home with normal water. Here – water has something more. I could not take second glass before I flushed it out.
  3. Warm Ghee in nostrils – this I did first time.

There is juices all through the day almost every two hours. I also like the veg soups which has not disappointed with taste yet. I like tasty food. but so far I have not been disappointed with the healthy food taste here and it has been filling as well.

I got exposed to abdominal mud pack & eye pack first time yesterday. Did that today as well. cools the abdomen & eye. It is hard to not fall asleep. Full body oil massage I got exposed first time. Shock wave therapy for the tight neck muscles was relaxing yesterday & I had take today also. First experience was unique. I saw the muscle relaxing / tone change after the session. Acupuncture also I had taken a session today. It did not click for me or my issues. I also got exposed to Tratak to a lamp @ eye care session. It was unique & pushed me close to the cause of head noise.

I need to time out and sleep. Also more typing on laptop is harmful to neck & back!

A trip to Hong Kong & Macau – Part 1

Published October 28, 2015 7:21 pm

Recently I come back from a 3 + 1 night trip to Hong Kong & Macau. It has been a awesome experience & there are many observations to share.  It will likely take couple of posts to share everything. I wanted to start with few check lists & observations for the whole trip.

What type of traveler are you? I was a traveler traveling with family with 2 kids (6-8 year old). It was my first trip with family to these places & I had decided to plan it out myself & not take service of a travel agent.


  1. If you are traveling with children, It is hard to stick to timed schedule. I am not sure if a time-tabled scheduled trip from an agent would have worked better. At the very least, I don’t like to go by a fixed schedule when on vacation.
  2. We did miss couple of places to visit, If it takes 3-4 days for a scheduled trip – for a relaxed unscheduled trip – it will take 6-7 days or we miss couple of places to visit.
  3. Have patience to deal with children. With children, you can’t maneuver it at pace you typically would go when you are alone or as a couple.
  4. Ensure itinerary is interesting for them. Children liked Disneyland the most – it was a long day 11am to 12am by the time we reached back to hotel. but all of us survived the day – they watched TV back in hotel (their cartoons show) for few minutes before going to bed.
  5. I had to push through the day trip to Big Buddha. It is a scenic trip with not much action for children. While we hold good memories from a unique day trip there – it was difficult to get them moving through the day – with long queues & walking steps up the mountain to reach Buddha statue. Nevertheless – it is a good spot.
  6. We missed ocean park – for a relaxed traveler – it is a day long trip IMO.

Mobile & WiFi access

  1. I had purchased two sims – one prepaid PCCW HKT sim for INR 1000 & one matrix postpaid for INR 500 rental.
  2. PCCW HKT prepaid – It had 600 min of local talk time & HKD 2 per min local call charges.
  3. matrix post paid – had incoming free. Combination of two sims allowed connectivity among both of us.
  4. Best was the handset from the hotel enabled with a) unlimited outgoing & incoming – local & international to India b) unlimited data access across HK. I did not know about this & only came to know after reaching my hotel. Good to check with your hotel. Still I need to take good care of this hotel handset since the penalty for any damage or loss is very steep.
  5. PCCW HKT prepaid also have option to enable 3 days / 2GB for HKD 38. I am not sure how good it is. I did not enable it.
  6. While free wifi spots are claimed to be available at many places like HKIA, MTR stations, macau ferry onboard but they are hardly reliable. You struggle to even to be able to connect and waste lot of time. Having a good mobile data access plan would be excellent & basic necessity IMO – at the least — to have access to google maps. I did not have one & but luckily got the hotel complimentary handset.
  7. Disable mobile data access on the sims I mentioned above unless u have bought mobile data access plan. Default data charges will be very steep & eat up your talk time in no time.

Traveler Maps

  1. MTR Map – I carried a color print of the route map here. It helps to understand the color coding & the concept of “interchange” among lines .
  2. Hongkong tourist map – is available at the tourist information desk/counter – at the arrival hall – at HKIA (Hong kong international airport).
  3. Macau tourist map – is available at the Macau ferry terminal on arrival at information desk/counter.


  1. I picked Hotel Holiday Inn Golden mile @ Tsim sha tsui (TST) considering its proximity to MTR station, walkable distance to Victoria Harbor, walkable to Indian vegetarian restaurants @ TST and getting room with two double beds.
  2. I paid price little bit on higher side I think. but it is good to watch for sales & strike a better deal.
  3. Location of the hotel worked out very well for us. We sparingly used Taxi during our stay.
  4. City bus from Airport (A21) touches Nathan Road – artery road of TST & drops almost in front of Hotel.

Vegetarian Eating @ HK

  1. It is tough. Most of the vegetarian restaurants – afaik – are in TST . They are very few.
  2. For a Indian Vegetarian – food can’t be on list of entertainment during HK trip. Sight-seeing & shopping can be on your entertainment list. Food is only for survivable.
  3. AFAIK – you get basic dosa, Idly, pav bhaji, aloo paratha etc – for lunch & dinner – at selected few Indian restaurants most concentrated in TST And it will cost equal to a good mid-high range restaurant in a India Metro.
  4. If you plan to have meals @ TST and travel – your travel plans typically won’t fall in place. E.g. we returned at 12am from Disneyland Trip, During Big Buddha day trip – we returned by 5-6 pm. At Big Buddha venue – they claim to have a vegetarian meal for HKD 98; I was afraid to experiment by paying HKD 400 for four members lunch.
  5. We had gone with enough home made food / snacks – parathas, bhujia, chips, chavana, bread, tang, gulcon-d.
  6. I found a good super market – Wellcome – on Mody road for buying fruits like Apples & water. Along with snacks, fruits also helped – to keep us going.
  7. We carried snacks, fruits, bottle of tang & water – during our day trips.
  8. Given the cleanness of the city – we ensured – we ate at few places only & did not litter it e.g. instructed kids to ensure cleanness & picked up in case of any dirt.
  9. As a side effect – it kept the food bill low for the trip – though that was not planned.

Intracity Commute @ HK

  1. Public transport system – MTR & city bus – is good.
  2. It takes little bit time to understand it. For a short journey – you may lose precious time available for you. For a relaxed traveler – it makes absolute sense.
  3. Taxi  can be  order of 2-5 times expensive depending on your group size & demographic of the group. E.g. city bus & MTR gives child up to 11 – half ticket price.
  4. It was an experience to use MTR for us – what an efficient public transport system – can look like.
  5. Octopus card & public transport work hand in hand. If you plan to use public transport daily – get one per person before you leave airport. It is available in Exit Area A @ MTR ticketing counter.
  6. Octopus card is another awesome electronic ticketing / money system. Paying money at grocery stores like 7-ELEVEN, Wellcome is one swipe away & u are saved of carrying load of local currency change. I have < 10 HKD in coins when exiting HK. Taxi are not powered with octopus card systems typically & hence you end up having some coins.
  7. Don’t forget to return & get refund for the HKD 50 deposit – night before you exit HK.
  8. If you travel out of HK & return directly to skypier ferry terminal @ HKIA (HK international airport) – you will not be able to go to area where MTR counters are there on airport. That means return your octopus card before. This happened for us since we returned from Macau to HKIA via Skypier ferry terminal.

There is more. Let’s talk more in next post.

A Trip to Botanical garden hyderabad

Published October 27, 2013 9:41 pm

Today’s trip to botanical garden @ kondapur, Hyderabad was impromptu when we woke late to go to WP_001996-002Necklace road. Hence, we decided to visit there instead. I have gone there many times. It indeed needs a mention and things we like about it.

It’s place providing breathing space midst the busy area of Kondapur & Gachibowli. Since the time we moved to kondapur, this garden has gone through quite a few changes for good and bad. The Good first. The maintenance of the garden has improved. Activities has been started for children. The Bad: Garden lost significant portion; that has been controversial and in news; I have not followed the happenings closely. but I came to know that there is hold order on the development work that is considered threat to the garden.

There is a nominal ticket INR 10/- and 5/- per adult and child-above-5 respectively. Entry for children below 5 is free. Regular morning walkers can get a monthly pass also. Park opens early morning and closes by 6PM. You need to park in the parking area on the opposite side of the road – in front of the main gate. There is a parking fee of INR 10/- for four wheeler.

`Right after entry in the garden, there are little rabbits which my children love. They spent few minutes watching them, dropping leaves for the rabbits. There are 4-5 rabbits out there. For a first time visitor with children, this is typically the first stop. We typically move to the open area behind the cage which is wide open space with green grass. Children run around there. There are few up and downs. Keep moving from there, you hit area with a set of children activities.

The most used activity is a big Trampoline installed there. WP_002000At a time, 3-6 children can play inside this comfortably. For my son, this has been attraction for the last two visits. They spend order of 10-20 minutes there. After that, I need to get them out to move to other areas. Another activity is rope mesh climbing. This can be used by children > 4 years. Child is given a safety support. which also helps him climb up the mesh. This is also fun activity and children find thrill of accomplishment when they touch the red ribbon at the top; Certainly they need the parent and friends encouragement to keep going up during first climb. WP_002012After first successful climb, my daughter wanted to do it again. I have to deny it multiple times to move on. She wanted to repeat the climb. She wanted to give up in the middle while on the first climb.

Apart from this, there are two other climbing activities but there are sparingly used afaik. There is a shooting area also (I think). I have not used it.



From here, we walked over to children play area. WP_002656Children play area is not kept very clean. but still has some attraction for kids. There is a big mean really BIG swing. It is hung of two big trees. Even elders can swing. WP_002654It is advisable to be used by 2-3 people at a time to keep it in good condition. It is still working though it is overloaded by visitors often. I would say this is the main attraction for elders in this area. Children can find slides, see-saws, merry-go-round, and two other kind of climbers. This is another area where we spend nearly 20-30 minutes.

Next we came back to area near main gate. On the right side, there are a WP_002718tortoise kind of concrete structure which houses various kind of cactus plants. Children do funny things. Instead of cactus, they found the pebbles in the nearby garden interesting. They picked some, threw some in the little pond area besides; it is formed by the rain water. I have to set limit. otherwise, they would have been at work to get all pebbles in the pond until evening! Next, they picked into the cactus housed in another room. All of them are under water.

Apart from this, my son loves this wooden bridge. WP_002706He wants to go across it whenever he reaches garden. We sat on tree made benches. There are people who are leaving leftover after eating there including plastic bags. It will certainly help if we can take our junk out along with us after enjoying the minutes midst nature.

In summary, if you are nature lover – this is a good place to explore. but good to get there in the weekends or morning/evening hours. your children will likely love the place. Give it a try. There is certainly more from my past visits like the rose garden, a big pond etc. there. but I need more time and words. For now, I need to get out. more next time.


A trip to Srisailam – safari ride into Farahabad tiger project

Published August 7, 2013 10:39 am

WP_001566This is likely the final post on Srisailam Trip. After the fun of rope way and boating in the Krishna river, we started straight on our return journey to Hyderabad and wanted to take safari ride in the Farahabad forest area. We did not take any break and reached there by around 1-2 pm. There are commander jeeps for the safari ride. They had taken other people in the forest. We need to wait.

The staffWP_001631 gave us option to take our bus into the forest. The road is mud road; bus driver was scared and told us to not take the bus. Bus would have taken the toll of the road; the mud road is not as nice during the whole 1 hr journey. secondly, there is no discount to take your vehicle; we need to still give the full price of the package. We decided to wait and go in two jeeps.

WP_001634In the meanwhile, kids took some kurkure etc. from the snacks shop out there. We had exhausted our mineral water 20l bottle by now. My brother has loaded one 20l bottle in the bus. It costed us INR 30-40. Now, we were purchasing mineral water for INR 25 per liter. For a bigger group, that big bottle saved money and time. We took little walk on the road also. In about half hour, jeeps returned and we boarded two jeeps to get into the jungle. By this time, 2-3 more groups have come and waiting. It is good to probably do this in morning or early afternoon. By evening – traffic of visitors increases. Afair, it is open up to 4 pm.

?;K{??4xV4xV4xV4`????IB???CALZKFI07Cur.ZKFJ03CML018001001509FD120109010B010D010D01240967?+2?&TUNA?{==0????U???????ML????[?V???FLFLSVN#g??{K==KZDe?}8?R??8JKJKm?T??s???B?{=??0????U???????ML????[?V???JKJK"""""""""""""""""""""??"""""""""""""""""""????"!" """"????!"!"!"!"""!"!""!"!""??????!"!"!""!"!"!"!"!"!"????????""""""!"!"?????????""""""""!"????"""""""""???"??""2w2w2w"2w2w2w""??""2w2w2w2w2w"2w2w2w2w"2w?2w"2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w"2w2w2w??2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2w2wJKJK? ??%h???b????0???A????A????A????H?PBH?AFAF?[????6?|t?ht9]T??T??4?l4?PXXx—x?!4???7???????????R???-?????e?7??>?,Q????z?D????????AFAF?ZK??AFAF??? X?xR?)?)?ss&??6n???????F?W????%4:z@@????I had very low expectation of the safari – to see wild life. That helped. We had cited only few deer at one place; that is it. The climax of the safari ride is a hill top point; From here – one can have 180d wide open view of the valley. We spent order of half hour here; took snaps. Everyone wanted their family;solo pictures here with the nature background. There exists remains of then AP tourism hotel which said to be have been blown by naxals; only pillars remain now. WP_001639There is great wind blowing and view is very picturistic. This view point was the ‘paisa wasul’ for the safari trip.

We stopped once more for lunch after the safari on the way back. Nobody had any expectation for the quality of lunch. We were also late for the lunch time nearly past 3 pm. We got some daal; rice; and once bowl of vegetable biryani; that was the last bowl dhaba had. Everyone wanted more biryani but that was over! We were looking forward to Hyderabad/home for decent food. My belly was already giving me signals for the abuse. I was careful in eating this last meal. Btw, I forgot to mention the local zeera juice drinks we had in one of the dhabas. They are local made; they were chilled; from outside the bottle resembled a beer bottle; some of us kept away thinking local beer; one of us tried since pepsi bottles were taken by kids and over. It taste pretty good and thereafter we took nearly 3-4 zeera drinks.

Most of us were tired and took short;long naps during the journey after that. Some of us befriended during this journey. Once we got onto ORR; it was farewell time with in the group. Finance also needs to be settled as biggest expense was bus that needs to be settled by my brother who will be dropped last by the bus. It was interesting that it got settled pretty quickly with everyone reporting their share to one person. We reached our first drop point where everyone bid farewell to each other. By then – we have exchanged email ids; promised to stay in touch; ladies gossiped their personal matters; gents talked over professional matters; job etc. Interestingly – until the last hour of the journey – some of us who has met first time during the travel (friend of friend) – have not dived into each others job, what do you do etc. I promised to share the pictures on skydrive with others; same others did.

It has been order of 6 weeks since the travel. I wanted to share the trip in detail then; it got done today. I have been long waiting to host the blog on its own domain. I decided to start it with this trip report. Today – it gets concluded. Net net – short, sweet, exhausting, but nice and memorable trip.

Did you travel to Srisailam from hyderabad? How was your experience?

A Trip to Srisailam – ropeway and boating in the krishna river

Published August 5, 2013 12:26 pm

In last two post, I talked about the journey from hyderabad to Srisailam, visiting places on the way and darshan at Srisailam. That was our first day of the travel. Second day, we woke at around 6:30 am and got ready quickly in 1 hrs. We reached other hotel where rest of us were staying, for breakfast. Breakfast is just OK there. Not much choice as such.

Our driver again was sleeping and we walked to the other hotel. As soon we reached there, we came to know that rooms needs to be vacated at checkout time of 8 am within a grace period of half hour. Otherwise, you may land up paying one more day of charges. Like Tirupati, this place also requires clearance by the local staff and signature on the room advance payment receipt. After that, you need to go to the CRO (central reception office) to get back the advance. We need to chase the staff for both the cottages. This process takes order of half hour. Regular tip expectation by the staff will also be there. We managed to get the checkout time of 8:30 am for both cottages. but our breakfast which was ordered at the hotel – went cold. We took whatever we can and moved to the rope-way starting point.

WP_001591Rope-way takes down to the Srisailam dam. You can take up boating in the dam hold up area of the river; There was other choices of taking a long trip to ‘Akkamahadevi’ caves which is scheduled to take 3-4 hrs; I do not remember the other options. All options are available at the ticketing counter for the rope-way station. You need to selected the package along with rope-way down. Caves ride would likely be good but we did not have time to do that. It needs order of a half to full day. We decided to take boat ride package and it cost around INR 250 AFAIR per adult; for children (5-12 years), there is lower price tag.

Rope-way has a queue and waiting well kept lounge. It took order of half hour of waiting there. IMG_9565-001I took some picture during the waiting time and savored the nature beauty from the hill top. It looks beautiful and wide angel view from there. Each rope way cabin hosts around 4 people. We were roughly 16 people including kids. We managed to sit into cabins with 1-2 families per cabin. There is not much time to decide after the cabin arrives since rope way is running non-stop. Within no time, you are down. so, enjoy the 2-5 minutes you in the cabin. I experienced a point in between the two stations where there is pin drop silence; only nature high density oxygen air; and sound – That moment will stick in memory for long; It lasted only for 20-30 seconds.

Rope-way as much is not likely the latest technology;WP_001605 I am not the best person to comment on that since I have only traveled 2-3 rope-ways; one in ambaji temple near Palanpur, Gujurat and one more somewhere. but decent. It saves long ghat travel and get your down in less than 5 minutes; awesome. We took snaps of the neighbor cabins; cheered children; enjoyed nature; reached the destination station. There is order of 400m of hill climb down before you hit the boating station from the ropeway station. The road surprisingly does not have steps! need to walk carefully. Old people with walking limitation need to be careful here. On the other side, you can enjoy the glass of fresh buttermilk for INR 10/-, some jaal muri – there are many vendors out there and very friendly; also lime soda.

People with boat package tickets are given preference in boarding. That was nice. tst_IMG_9629-001We took the best seats we thought. The boat went towards the dam gates, and round back to the station. It was nice 1hr plus boat ride. nice. On the back travel also, we enjoyed some jaal muri etc. Took rope-way back up.

?;Kt??4xV4xV4xV4`??????????CALZKFI07Cur.ZKFJ03CML018001001509FD120109010B010D010D01240967?+2?&TUNA?tQQb????U??????_L????OW????FLFLSVN#g??tDQQDlZ??TPQ*?8JKJKm?T??s???B?tQ}?b????U??????_L????OW????JKJK"""""""""""""""""???"??????"P3?????"???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????JKJK`?v??d???4???4???4???????*?AFAF???????yj??j???tV`-`)?@??@)?dd????,z?-.??$?,D?b#????D?`J?zL?HP?O"?g?p&??????????????AFAF?ZK?AFAF??? X?xR?)?)?ss&??6nwwy{}?F?W?????#48`?@????Overall, we all liked the rope-way and the boating in the dam hold up area in the morning hours. We were back up by roughly 12. I do think we missed the 2-3 boat journey to akkma devi but do not have personal account to say whether it is worth the time. may be next time.

srisailam trip is not YET over. We are yet left with the forest safari part. Need to get back to work. Let’s get there another day.