August 24, 2012

Andaman Travel Guide...

Hotel :
I booked a total tour package 9 days at seashell .. both PB and Havelock..
The hotel in PB is at a good location provided you are taking the Deluxe Sea View rooms.. I suppose those are the only rooms from where you can get the awesome view of the ocean..
The staff over there is courteous but but but they are very very slow.. If you order something to the room, they might "forget" or even take an hour to send it up..

Check if you are going in the offseason.. if thats the case then you can always ask for discounts..
I was not offered a single penny discount as I was there during the peak season 25th dec to 1st jan..
The only complimentary stuff that they offer to a couple is a "candle light dinner" at havelock..

Are you going to Havelock also?

August 15, 2012

Kankeshwar.. the God of Gold..

Kankeshwar when split Kanak-Ishwar literally means God of Gold... Kankeshwar is a temple of Shiva on a hill very close to Alibag..

There are 650 steps which one has to climb to reach the temple on top.. The first 350 steps are a bit tiring, but the next 300 steps are really easy..

To reach the temple one has to go through the really crappy roads of NH17.. The roads between Pen and wadkhal and even after that are in a really bad shape.. it was a roller coaster ride all the way... The roads after Wadkhal towards Alibag are also in a dilapidated condition.. the only saving grace was the weather and the darshan we got  in the temple..

From Wadkhal one has to take the Alibag road..  Take a right at Karlekhind.. That road takes you to Revas.. As you keep going on the road, you would see a HUGE arch which reads Kankeshwar..

Total distance from Matunga to Kankeswar is nearly 100kms..

It took us nearly an hour and a half to reach the top ..

View of the hill from the parking lot.

June 27, 2012

the 1650km road trip... End of the trip..

What we had missed on Day 5 had to be covered on day 6..

Ruins of the Church of St Augustine..
We reached there around 10am today, but it was still locked.. I have no clue if they ever open the doors.. We checked from all sides, but could not find any other entry point.. So decided to just click and move along..

Next was Santa Monica.. Not sure if we could go inside and it was written Private Property.. Instead we went to a Museum where I always get bored :)

Our lady of Rosary Church..

We spent major part of the day shopping.. getting t-shirts for people back home and a lot of Kajus :)

Took the GTDC Boat Cruise in the evening at 7.30-8.30.. It was ok.. not really worth a visit..
The floating casinos on the Mandovi...

I had seen this Church in the night before and I sooooo wanted to click atleast one photo..
Its the Mae-De-Deus Church at Saligao.. Closer to Calangute beach..
But going in the night meant the Church was closed for visitors and had to be content clicking from the parking lot..

Next day morning we decided to leave for Ganapatipule.. Its about 250kms from Panjim..

Road till Ratnagiri was 90% bliss and 10% patched... From ratnagiri we decided to take the Aarey-Warey road to Ganaptipule.. This is a must do route for anyone travelling to Ganaptipule..

Left from Panjim at leisure after having breakfast.. Reached Ganaptipule around 2ish.. MTDC had only one non-ac room left.. Decided to have a look at some other staying options but none could come close to MTDC.. 
What a view from the room...

Visited the temple and found no one inside... what an amazing darshan...

A visit to the waters is a must :) but be careful as the sand is really loose...

Last day was a uneventful drive from Ganapatipule to Mumbai... Started from Ganapatipule at 10am and reached Mumbai around 4pm...

June 24, 2012

the 1650km road trip... Day 5 : South/Old Goa.. Churches and Temples..

On the menu..
- Se Catherdral, 
- Basilica of Bom Jesus,
- Ruin of st. Augustine Church,
- Santa Monica,
- Our lady of rosary,
- the Mangueshi temple and
- the Shantadurga temple.

Se' Cathedral.. This is said to be the largest Church structure in Asia.. One part of the Church remains the church , the remaining part has been converted into a Museum.

Basilica of Bom Jesus.. 

Se Catherdral and Basilica of Bom Jesus are just a road apart..

The Basilica of Bom Jesus clicked from Se Catherdral compound..

This was the first time I have seen such an idol of jesus..

Some more click of the Se Catherdral before we leave from there..

We left from there in search of Santa Monica and the Ruins of St Augustine church... I did not ask the locals and we kept driving on the lovely Goan roads..  We reached a point where I thought its good to ask :)
The locals said, both of these are in Old Goa from where you just arrived :D, so I asked if there is anything which I can visit which i towards the direction we are driving.. He said you can visit the Mangueshi Temple (Lord Shiva temple) and the Shantadurga Temple..

So here we go to the Mangueshi temple first..
The temple is really beautiful.. looks like its been repainted very recently..

And then the Shantadurga temple..

We saw this Church on the hilltop from the Shantadurga parking lot and decided to visit.. We went in rounds in search of the road which goes to the church... One of the roads was blocked so might be that would lead to this church..

Wasted a lot of time today... Came back to the Se catherdral are for some shopping and saw the information board for Ruins of St Augustine.. *sigh* how dumb of me :)
We went to Santa monica/St Augustine, but it was already past 5.30.. and all these churches close at 5.30pm..
Tomorrow is anyways a rest day.. So we decided to visit these places tomorrow morning at leisure..

the 1650km road trip... Day 4 : North Goa.. Beaches..

Leaving behind what happened yesterday evening, I decided to make a good start to the day..
First destination we covered was what we could not cover due to the rain yesterday evening.. Dona Paula.. locals call it Don-Paul :)

People in Goa dont get started around 9 it seems.. the streets are deserted and so are the tourist destinations.. the shops are yet to open and we find ourselves among a very few tourists at Dona Paula..
We roamed around Dona paula for some time assuming the shops on the road side will open and we can buy some things.. but it was past 10 and still people were not there and to add to that it was raining.. a slightly heavy drizzle coupled with winds..

Finally we moved from Dona Paula and visited Fort Aguada, pronounced as Agvada :)

Had heard about a beach close to the fort, so decided to visit the beach too.. Vivanta by Taj is at this exact location... Sinquerim beach...

Next we decided to visit the beach triology.. Calangute/Baga/Anjuna.. Calaugute and baga are very close to each other, while anjuna is just a bit further... the view from all three beaches are awesome ! Calangute is a bit more crowd puller than the other two..

The first thing I noticed at Baga.. the Gori Chamdi Fascination ! I just hate it when people gather around foreigners to take just one photo.. and here it was a photosession going on.. I really admire the patience of the girl in the middle who was happily posing in a bikini will all my fellow countrymen...

At the right most end of the beach there is a creek which joins the arabian sea.. its absolute tranquil and serene..
a resort just on the banks of the creek..

The view from top of the Anjuna hill at Anjuna beach.. There isnt a sand beach as such at Anjuna.. it is mostly rocky area.. so be extremely careful when venturing out into this ocean...

We decided to walk down and just soak in the atmosphere..

With the waves in full glory, i decided to walk up and get the filter just so that I could get this..

Things people do to get the thrills... some are absolutely crazy...

Day 4 ended with the north goa beach darshan.. it was a well spent day.. 

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