Author: Niraj Yadav

Raja Ram temple, Orchha: Where Ram is worshipped as King

Finished with the sightseeing of Orchha Mahal we moved towards Raja Ram temple. Both the places are walking distance apart. The architecture of the temple is as fascinating as temples in South India.   Some centuries back, one night King of Orchha dreamed of Lord Ram and received inspiration to build a temple/palace dedicated to Ram. The construction was finished soon and opened for worship. A peculiar thing of this temple is that Lord Ram is not worshiped as a god but as a King. The temple too was constructed more like a Raj Bhavan rather than a temple.  Even today, Police stand at the gates pretending to be guards of Lord Ram. The temple is revered by devotees throughout India and they pour in large number throughout the year. From Bloggers desk: A place where the beauty of rural India is at its best. Read here.. Raja Ram temple Temple is built of golden brown stones and has lots of rooms. We had just finished the ground floor and were about to leave the temple when I noticed …

Orchha Palace, Incredible India

Orchha Palace: Pride of Bundelkhand

I am sure Orchha and Jhansi series travel blogs have been refreshing for you. If you haven’t read them, here is the link  Betwa river side, Jhansi Fort. For quite a time, Orchha Palace near Jhansi was waiting for its mention on this blog. Joking 🙂 The Palace commands a very strong connection with history. Let’s take a small refreshing dive in the past. Vir Singh Deo and the Orchha Mahal Vir Singh Deo was one of the finest Rajput rulers of Bundelkhand particularly Orchha province. A contemporary of Akbar, Vir Sing Deo kept raising his voice against the Mughal despotism. To hold back the uprising, Akbar sent his son Jahangir with a sizable army towards Orchha which was the nucleus of rebellion. Vir Singh Deo lost the battle and had to surrender to Jahangir. The palace erected by Vir Singh Deo on the banks of River Betwa became Jahangir Palace or Jahangir Mahal. — You may like this: Auli in Uttarakhand has an artificial lake at 7500 feets. The lake water is used to create artificial snow and spray …

Jhansi Fort and Rani Laxmi bai: Shuffling the pages of history

Jhansi – the ancient city of fearless Bundelas and housing the magnificent Jhansi Fort. The city of Jhansi is remembered for the female warrior Rani Laxmi Bai, popularly called Jhansi ki Rani. I was sharing the same connection with Jhansi. How can one forget the words of Subhadra Kumar Chauhan   चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।। Undoubtedly she was and still remains a hero for children. After so many years I was having an opportunity to witness the land of Laxmi Bai, the opportunity was in the form of a wedding invitation. Akash Gupta my friend and native of Jhansi was going to be groomed in November 2014. He was kind in making advance reservations in Hotel Chanda facing Rani Laxmibai Park. I was accompanied by a jolly group of three other friends Swapnil Mhatre, Amod Karve and Viren Shah.Before leaving from Mumbai, I was ready with the list of must visit places in Jhansi and Orchha. With …

places-to-visit-in-jhansi-budgetyatri

Betwa river side: A lesser known marvel near Jhansi

Betwa river is one of the prominent river in Madhya Pradesh apart from Narmada i.e. Maa Rewa, Chambal and Son. Betwa flows gently on the Malwa plateau before merging into the Yamuna in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh. Orchha is a beautiful ancient site along the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh. The history of this place is traced back to the Ramayan era when Lord Ram stayed here during his exile. Then, Betwa was known as Vetravati. A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ram popularly called as Raja Ram Mandir is located some few meters away from Betwa banks. How to reach Orchha? Orchha is in Madhya Pradesh. The closest railway junction to Orchha is Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is some 20 Kilometers from Orchha. Jhansi railway station is well connected to all the metros and other big cities of India. Once you are in Jhansi, hire an Auto Rickshaw for Orchha. They charge around 80-100 rupees one way and 4 people can easily get in. Where to stay in Orchha? If you are …

weekend getaways near mumbai

Tansa lake: An offbeat place for solitude seekers

Hunting for another spot to ride on the weekend, I stumbled on Tansa lake or Tansa dam. It is more of an offbeat place. Hardly anybody visits here. There is not much to see there. But some photos on the internet were quite interesting. What’s then, pulled up my bike on Saturday 5:30 AM in the morning and vroomed to Tansa. The total distance of the ride was about 200 Kilometres. It can be very easily done in 1 day or can be stretched to two days if night camping is planned. Mumbaikars, here is how you can reach Tansa lake Route 1: Via Vajreshwari Road Get on to NH8. From NH8 take a right turn for Vajreshwari. Better ask anybody on the highway after Vasai. When the Vajreshwari road ends take left turn from Zidke towards Ambadi. This brings you on SH 35. Now from here, there are two options. One, get onto Dinkarpada-Kondhale road and finally take the right turn from Kambare. Tansa is straight in front of your eyes after some kilometers …

Digital India

Using technology to restore faith in gods

What happened on 16 July 2013 in Uttarakhand are still fresh in our minds. Thousands of lives lost and millions of property perished. Destruction was the consequence of unchecked construction of hotels and houses next to river beds. Nature knows balancing itself. Unfortunately, the innocents suffered the most. But the question is did we handled the situation well ? No. People are scared of returning. They fear that they could have been one of the unidentified dead bodies. They could have been one of the families having no clue whether they should consider their parents dead or not. I know sitting at home and talking is easy than being present at the scene. But, Yes we could minimized the losses if we had an fair system monitoring the pilgrims and disaster management plan implemented. After analyzing how things went from bad to worst, broadly two things come into picture First point is that the government didnt had any information of the number of pilgrims on char dham yatra. Pilgrims were the biggest victims of the …

Auli ski resort skiing in India

Auli Ski Resort Uttarakhand – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 4

Auli Ski Resort is a wonderful Skiing location in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The snow-white Ski slopes of Auli and Skiboarders were waiting eagerly for my appearance 🙂  I was staying in the dormitory of GMVN in Joshimath. The distance between the Auli Ski Slope and the small town of Joshimath is not more than 15 Kilometer. Yesterday’s bike ride from GMVN Gopeshwar to Lambhgadh near Badrinath and back to Joshimath was exciting and fabulous, but it had drained all my energy. I was the only soul in the GMVN dormitory of 10 beds. The freezing night was in its last phase. The winter morning made sure to keep me underneath two woolen blankets apart from body thermals. Mind it winters in Uttarakhand are really cold. Checked my mobile it was around 7 AM of the morning. I could see the dawn breaking from the GMVN window. Chirping of the birds, soft footsteps of the waiters in the corridor, men with sweater and muffler pushing the bicycle pedal hard on the hilly road …

Bike trip to Uttarakhand

Rishikesh to Gopeshwar – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 2

I was on my Bajaj Avenger hired from Mountain Fox motorcycles in Rishikesh. Today’s halt was Gopeshwar  220km from Rishikesh. Luggage loaded and geared up, left the place. Went back to Hrishikesh petrol pump and filled up the tank. This was the first time I was riding in the Himalayas. Basically, it was Raid de Himalaya for me. The morning was quite chilly. To make myself comfortable, I decided to ride first 25-30 kilometers with a decent speed. Near Byassi Rishikesh – Ganga flowing down the mountain Rishikesh – Night camping tents on the shore of Ganga 25 rupees Kadhi Chawal in a Dhaba in Srinagar: Roads turned worst after Deoprayag and continued till Srinagar. It was 1:30 PM and I was hungry. I was looking for some small Dhaba to have my lunch. Found one just before the Srinagar town starts on the right-hand side of the road.   Kadhi chawal was ready. Every bit was delicious and the quantity was much more than what I had expected. In the 15 minutes discussion with …

unknown places in india for bike trips

In the land of Badri Vishal – Bike trip to Uttarakhand -3

Yesterday’s tiring ride from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar resulted in a nice peaceful sleep. Opened my day with a shivering bath followed by packing and loading. Tying ropes in a winter morning is what I don’t like. It was around 7 AM, I came down in the GMVN restaurant to appreciate a hot cup of tea in the winter of February. Finishing tea geared myself and left the GMVN. Avenger started with the first hit of self-start. Didn’t faced any cold start problem throughout the journey.  Day 2 route map  Morning view from GMVN Gopeshwar  Reached Joshimath around 12:00 in the afternoon.   Alaknanda – Enroute Joshimath Just as I was to start for Badrinath scene changed and dark clouds hid the mountain. It started drizzling and finally raining. I took shelter under a military ration building.  Playing with time and timer  ITBP training center Joshimath Asked to return:   Two men jumped from a truck which came from Badrinath direction. One guy who seemed army guy very strongly suggested me to return from here. He …

Trek to Devariya tal Uttarakhand in winter

Deoria Tal trek – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 5

What an awesome day I had yesterday, bike ride to Auli Ski Resort and getting the basic lessons of Skiing was great. Today’s plan included the trek to Deoria Tal. Deoria Tal has its reference in Mahabharat. It’s the same lake where 4 of the Pandavas dies by drinking lake water without answering to the Yaksha’s questions. They were brought to life only when Yudhistir answers all of his questions. I  like that part, especially the question and answer between Yudhistir and Dharmraj. Gopeshwar to Ukhimath via Rudraprayag: In the above map, the route marked in black is a direct route between Gopeshwar and Ukhimath. Chopta, Chandrashila, and Deoria Tal lies between this route. However, the road was closed due to heavy snowfall. Direct road i.e. via Chopta is 60 km and the longer one via Rudraprayag was 130 km. I had no options but to take the longer route. Prepared for the longer route followed by trek after that, I left the place around 8 AM. Reached Ukhimath around 12:30 PM. Construction work and …

Maharshi mahesh yogi ashram and sanyasis

The Beatles Ashram and 3 Sanyasis in Rishikesh – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 6

What a fresh morning that was! All the tiredness from yesterday’s Trek to Deoria Tal had vanished. It felt like I was never tired and this is my home. No worries no plans no mobile no network, just nature and I. But then, today’s plan was to reach Rishikesh and handover bike to Ashok Ji 🙂 Followed by local sight seeing in Rishikesh and attend Ganga aarti in Haridwar. Checked out from GMVN, Ukhimath and left for Rishikesh at 9:30 AM. Two times Aloo Paratha, 4 coffee, 4 Tea cost me Rs.120.   Enroute Rudraprayag from Ukhimath Did my lunch at the same place in Srinagar. This time, it was Rajma Chawal. They were happy to see me and asked if my journey was good. Ukhimath to Rishikesh was around 182km. As I always say returning is always quick. I was aware for the first 20-30 kilometers later everything switches to Auto Pilot mode. When the time ceases to exist we tend to enjoy things the most. The journey was so involving I didn’t remember when …

bike trip to Badrinath in winter

Planning – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 1

Before starting the travelogue I would like to introduce myself a little. Describing myself I am not the one zipping and speeding at 120kmph. I respect machines and believe motorcycles are best when it comes to explore places. It balances the fuel and fun well. I term myself as budget yatri. My bike trips are extremely cheap but equally meaningful and I feel good about it. I prefer basic accommodations and eat what locals eat. I never rush towards my destination as doing so do not let us enjoy the journey. I like to connect those small dots enroute and make a final picture of the journey. Lets start.. Himalayas always fascinated me. I used to wonder of huge mountains and greenish rivers slipping through the deep valleys. I dreamed of shining snow clad peaks standing one behind another and locals busy in their daily routine walking up and down the mountain. Literature’s of mystical Yogis wandering in Himalayas in search of ultimate truth always motivated me. Somewhat with the same intention and to see …

bike trip to bhandardara

Solo bike ride to Bhandardara hill station – Day 1

Weekends were coming and going. Friends were busy. Not much interested in watching television. My best friend (that’s me) told not to stay this weekend at home. That’s what I did, charged the camera put some clothes in the bag and picked up my bike on a fine Saturday morning 6:30 AM and started my bike trip towards Bhandardara hill station. The morning was chilled and calm as usual. Roads were empty. Reached Thane via Ghodbunder in no time. Took the left from Toll towards Mumbai Nashik Expressway. This road is one of the most nicely maintained highways which has made the Mumbai Nashik distance easy. Sometimes you may face too many lorries and trucks plying on this route, but that is rare. Usually, I ride at 60-70kmph but 85-90 on this road seemed an average speed. There aren’t many curves before Kasara Ghat. Take right from Highway after Ghoti Budruk. The good road ends at this turn and the crater begins. But instead of riding and cursing throughout, I feel one should enjoy every …

bike trip to malvan

Malvan to Goa – Konkan bike trip – 6

Day 3 and Day 4 Morning struggle: We had to start early from Malvan. Today’s plan was to visit Sagar Sangam and via Vengurla reach Goa. Woke up early in order to capture the shared bathroom and toilets. This is what we do when these things are shared. Morning was chilled and so the water. There was no warm water facility for shared bathrooms. With my shivering body and shivering hand lifted the mug and placed down. Repeating this reluctance multiple times gave me the needed warmth which made my bath easy 🙂 Packed up and left the lodge, took road which goes to Sagar Sangam. Sagar Sangam is at the mouth of Devbag backwaters, a 10 KM peninsula like stretch. Road were misty with fogs. School going children on cycles made the scene interesting.   Off to School Sagar Sangam: At Sagar Sangam the silent Karli river meets Arabian sea. Beach is not too long but white sand and water sports are active there. There are options for Dolphin show, they take you in …

Malvan scenery

Ganpatipule to Malvan – Konkan bike trip – 5

Events from Day 1:Thane to Dapoli Dapoli to Anjanvel Lighthouse Dabhol to Guhagar Beach Events from Day 2: Guhagar to Ganpatipule temple    Ganpatipule to Malvan: Finished from the walk-through in Prachin Konkan, without wasting any time we started towards Malvan as we were already late. This phase was one of the most scenic in the whole tour. High mountain roads on one side and vast ocean roaring on the other side. It’s very much like the Pacific highway map we used to play in the NFS.  Scenic road after Ganpatipule – Sagari Mahamarg  Scenic road  – Sagari Mahamarg  Tree canopy  Road to Malvan  Rock cut roads – Sagari Mahamarg After Ratnagiri, there isn’t much ghat and mostly the roads are straight on table tops. But you get to see fantastic stretches of green and yellow fields.  Konkani Pahaat  Landscape – Malvan  Near Malvan  Landscape near Malvan  Landscape near Malvan  Near Malvan  Sunset scene near Malvan  Reflections Sun was coming down fast and we were 20 kilometers behind Malvan city. Suddenly the whole landscape took …

places to visit in konkan

Ganpatipule Temple – Konkan bike trip – 4

Today was the second day of my Konkan bike trip. Yesterday, we started from Mumbai and stopped in Guhagar for night stay. Mumbai to Guhagar was very scenic particularly Dapoli and Dabhol. Today, we were ready to take the adventure to next level. Guhagar to Ganpatipule was going to be riding in the ghats and rural roads. Guhagar to Ganpatipule coastal road Route Scarred with the horror of yesterday night, we wanted to leave the place as early as possible. Took the ice bucket challenge in the morning and left the room.  Mountains were misty and winds were chilly. Silent hills and curved ghats made the ride more interesting.  Ghat roads just after Guhagar  Misty morning  Bagulas Morning life  Shallow and silent river before Tavsal jetty  Konkan scene which has always been in my mind   We were targeting Vengurla for today but didn’t want to compromise with nice spots. Tavsal jetty    Tavsal Jetty   Reached Tavsal jetty and had our hot chai and spicy kanda pohe. Frequency of the Ferry is good here. …

mumbai-to-go-bike-trip-travel-photography-blog-

Memorable sunset of Guhagar beach – Konkan bike trip – 3

From Dabhol lighthouse we moved ahead to Guhagar. Guhagar is around 15 km from Anjanvel. Guhagar is a pretty small and straight town with an awesome beach and windy surrounding. Search for the night stay in Guhagar Our priority was to get in a decent hotel/cottage anything and then proceed with sightseeing. We had around 1 hour to settle ourselves before the sun sets. Soon the search started getting troublesome. Every hotel lodge we visited, turned us down. They were not ready to listen. Just kept repeating that there is no room for singles and only family is allowed. Half an hour passed and we were still on road. My eyes went on a wall next to road ‘rahnyachi uttam vyavastha aani gharguti jevan milel’. Called that person, the wall which had the advertisement was nothing but his store. We settled the deal for Rs.500, it was much cheap in that area when compared with other hotels in Guhagar. That man opened the mystery why we were rejected from all places. He said ‘aap jaise hi …

bikers travelogue

Why we loved Anjanvel – Konkan bike trip – 2

Read the previous and the first post Thane to Dapoli here.  From Dabhol jetty, we rode towards Anjanvel gaon. And from there a road goes to the left towards a small village. Some photos from the Dabhol I believe this brings lots of memories for many of us! En route lies the controversial ENRON power plant. After the village, a kutcha road on the left takes you to Anjanvel lighthouse.   Anjanvel lighthouse   The lighthouse is at the end of the plateau. Gates leading towards the lighthouse was closed. I waited outside with bike and luggage while Vishwanath went inside and returned with the good news. Almost all the lighthouses remain open from 3 PM – 5 PM. And we were there around 4:15 PM. Took my bike inside and parked it there. The place seemed deserted but it was nicely maintained. ……. Loved by readers: 5 travel tips that will keep you fit on the road ……. The compound had beautiful flowers blooming. But the keeper was nowhere there. I was wondering who did Vishwanath …

bike trip to goa

Planning and beginning – Konkan bike trip – 1

Konkan has always fascinated me with its soul-soothing coconut gardens and pristine beaches. Bike trip to Konkan was certainly something I wished to do. Sagari Mahamarg Some 20 days before the trip, as usual, I was going through travel and biking forums when my eyes got stuck on a word  ‘Sagari Mahamarg’. To me, it sounded like a fiction word. It was making me restless. Next day in office I went through the list of national holidays. Got my leaves approved for the long weekend in October. Initially, the Konkan Darshan was a solo for me but later my friend joined me. Planning the route: Luckily this was the most beautiful part of the tour. None of the Jetty made us wait.  Just as we used to do during Engg days, figured out the routes and halting stops in the last week very loosely. This becomes quite difficult when you struggle between the time you have and locations to explore. I started several times but left the job hanging as things didn’t balance out well. As the route …

places to visit in pune in a day

Haunted Shaniwarwada Fort Pune – Photologue

I was in Pune from last two days. Today was my last day in Pune with nothing to do. I was looking for some exciting place in Pune that I could visit. Then my friends and I decided, why not go to Dagdu Seth Mandir since it was Ganeshotsav and later sense the haunted Shaniwarwada Fort. The weather was cool today and it remained cool the whole day. We three left for Pune city from Kalewadi phata. We arrived there and saw the place massively packed. Devotees and tourists from nearby places were buzzing all around. Dagdu Seth Temple: During Ganeshotsav, Dagdu Seth temple has its special distinction. It is not only famous in Pune but in entire Maharashtra. People pour in large numbers during this week. Took blessing from outside the temple as standing in the queue and taking darshan required courage. We were standing on the footpath opposite to the temple. A boy with painted face approached us and asked for something to eat. Though he was small his face bore a kind of theatrical emotion. …