Author: Niraj Yadav

एक कहानी थार से

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintचाय पियोगे भाईसाब  कोने में उकडी मारे बैठे हुए आदमी ने मुझसे पूछा | हालाँकि बैठा हुआ था पर देख कर ही लम्बी कद का पता चल रहा था| मैल से पिली हो गई धोती कुर्ता उसके मुस्कान को फीका नहीं कर पाई। । चाय के लिए, ऊंट का दूध था।  मैंने कभी ऊंट का दूध नहीं पिया था पर बकरी का पिया था, बकरी के दूध की सुगंध मुझसे सहन नहीं होता, यही ख्याल मुझे ऊंट के दूध के बारे में भी आया | मैं उसे निगल नहीं पाउँगा ये सोचकर आग्रहपूर्वक मना कर दिया। पीकर देखो अच्छा लगेगा | जी इस रेगिस्तान की गर्मी में मुझसे चाय हज़म नहीं होगा | जैसलमेर की गर्मी मेरे काम आ गई, बहाना चल गया| कोई बात नहीं, हम तो पियेंगे | ये बोलकर उस छोटे से पिली पत्थर से बनी खोली के एक किनारे में चाय का तसला गरम होने लगा। कहाँ से आ रहे हो । मुम्बई से  मैंने जवाब दिया। अच्छा । मैंने सुना है यहाँ रात में भूत आते हैं । कुलधरा के बारे में उत्सुकता थी | इन्टरनेट …

motivational letter to a friend

Letter to a friend: I know you can do it!

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintTo the dearest friend, Time flies by and we shall remain friends forever. Life will have many turns and we shall meet at every turn. I want and wish, that when our face gets overlayed with wrinkles and probably no teeth left, when our hair turns grey and our hands shake, that we shall pass the same warm smile the day we do today. Whether side by side or miles apart we be friends always close at heart. I define the life as a struggle. A struggle which someday will make you stand in front of yourself. When you will be out of hope and find no light. When you will feel why me and why life is so unfair? When you will be plagued with the feeling that nobody, nobody cares for me. Stop there! Pause for a moment. Think of the best thing you loved, think of the happiest moment you had. Widen your lips a bit and pass a smile to yourself. You deserve it. You have improved isn’t it? …

Sleeper class stories strangers kindness

Sleeper class stories: A strangers kindness

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint This story is from my travel to Benares in 2011. It is a simple real life story of an unexpected kindness showered from a stranger. And the kindness became worth mentioning because he shared whatever he had without looking for his comfort. The story taught me to ask for help and believe that somebody will surely care for your request. The world indeed has exceptions! So, let’s begin with the story. Hope you like it 🙂 The story taught me to ask for help and believe that somebody will definitely attend your request. The world indeed has exceptions! So, let’s begin with the story. Hope you like it 🙂 My college days were back in BHU hostel I was in the city of Benares lately renamed as Varanasi. The holiest city of all. People from all over the world flock here in search of mind and peace of mind. I was here for my Airforce SSB. I could not clear it though. So took refuge in my friend’s room in BHU (IIT …

The perfect vacation I always dreamed of

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintPerfect Vacation. Really, can we have an obstacle-free vacation? Doesn’t problems make the Vacation spicy? After all, what fun would it be to have such a plain and boring vacation without messing up something? Everybody has their own definition of perfectness. Me too 🙂 I cannot live without Vacation. That’s true! I need breaks. My brain needs fresh oxygen, eyes need space to gaze and ears need soothing sounds of nature. And vacation is the valve which eases the pressure.  This is as necessary as eating a food and workout. How wonderful it is to imagine yourself in the narrow alleys of a historic city or in the wilderness of the mountains. I like being lost in the imagination sitting on my desk. It gives me the much-needed break and strength to continue my work 🙂 My vacation starts much before I start the travel. Planning the itinerary My leaves are precious and I don’t want to mess up things. I just sit down and plan sincerely. I am talking here about a bird who gets …

Packing Tips: How To Pack The Right Way

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintEvery person has a desire to travel paths less trodden. Somehow, this poem from Lord of the Rings starts to ring every time we talk about National Parks: The road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can… Although, the movie was actually shot in New Zealand, we have some truly beautiful trails here in the US as well. Large lakes like the Yellowstone Lake, which is situated at 7700 feet above the sea level and even the largest tree in the world, all exist in the US. Alas, very few people truly take benefit of these natural wonders. We highly recommend camping at the Yellowstone Lake. Just spending some time away from the toxic city life can actually bring about a beautiful change in a person. On the other hand, Sequoia National Park is perfect for some tree gazing.. The General Sherman Tree can be accessed by a short hike from through the Sherman …

quechua camping tent t2 t2 user review India

User review: Quechua T2 and T3 camping tent in India

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintQuechua is well-known in India when it comes to hiking and camping. I travel solo on motorcycles and with friends on treks. To experience camping we purchased two tents Quechua T2 and Quechua T3 from Decathlon, Thane. You can buy Quechua tents in India from here. I would suggest you to visit their store rather than purchasing online. When I bought the tents, it was Rs.1000 cheaper in the store. We got T2 in Rs. 2000 and T3 tent in Rs. 3000 in 2015. These are not 2 seconds popup tent, they are different. The excitement to set the tent and get inside it was making us restless. Soon the monsoon arrived in India and with this our trekking season started. I live in Maharashtra. A significant part of Maharashtra is covered with Sahyadri mountain range. That is the reason we have too many hills and forts to trek. Check out some of the spots here and here . Review of Quechua tent T2 Tent is much lighter than Quechua T3. It weighs around …

user-review-sigma-70-300mm-nikon-telephoto-macro

User review of Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO macro telephoto lens for Nikon

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint  I own a Nikon D5100 Camera with 18-55mm kit lens. And I am kind of amateur photographer, always keen to experiment and learn. I was not happy with the 18-55mm kit lens since getting adequate depth of field was not possible with this lens. Hunted for some cheap telephoto lens for Nikon for a couple of days. That is where I encountered Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO macro telephoto lens.Sigma AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO macro telephoto lens. Image source I purchased the lens for around Rs. 8500 from Fort, Mumbai around 1 and half-year ago. According to the seller, the optic elements present in Sigma 70-30mm Telephoto Macro lens is better than Nikon 55-200mm. I had no idea what he meant at that point of time. Later on, I discovered what his words meant. I am using the lens for past 18 months and it has become my primary lens. The lens offers good zoom and decent depth of field. The lens is recommended only for beginners and intermediates on choice. If you have …

travel-tips-to-stay-fit-healthy-on-motorcycle-ride

5 travel tips that will keep you healthy on motorcycle tours

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintHow wonderful is the feeling of being surround amidst snow-capped mountains, swift running streams, clean air of high altitudes and the vast open stretch of plains? Superb!! Right. But the same scene looks unpleasant when our health goes down. However, some simple tips can help us in the long trips to stay fit. When the health strikes, we literally have no option, but to return. The planning of several months, all the gears and accessories purchased, the reservations, fight from the manager for leaves, everything seems hopeless and a waste of effort. Just not ourselves but our sickness becomes a burden for others too. Staying healthy on the road is as important as the trip itself. We can try our best to avoid falling ill by following simple travel tips.  Let’s take a look at the important factors responsible, for making us sick during the journey. Change in the climate/weather Change in food Fatigue Yes, the list is this small. Preparing ourselves to defend the above factors is not enormously painful. So, what is the secret of being …

Normal tyre pressure for motorcycle

Why tyre pressure is important for motorcycle riders

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintTyre pressures are the most important check that is plainly ignored when it comes to motorcycling. Do you remember when did you check your tyre pressure consciously? Do you know what should be the normal pressure of rear and front tyres of your motorcycle? A lesser or over-inflated tyre does not only risk your motorcycle but can also be fatal to your life. But no worries! We will go through the bare minimum that every bike rider should be aware of, particularly the long distance tourers.   Considering the fact that the whole motorcycle runs on tyres, it makes extremely important to gauge the health of tyres timely. A less/over inflated tyre may reduce the handling capability and loss of traction and in some cases bursting of tyres. I will share you my story, which made me realise how important tyre pressures are. I was riding an Enfield Thunderbird 350cc loaded with around 190 Kilogrammes on the Yamuna Expressway. The 165 km stretch from Greater Noida to Agra is certainly one of the …

Weekend Bike trip to Dahanu & Bordi beach: Day 2/2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintThe night was unexpectedly cold. Yesterday’s ride from Mumbai to Bordi was not much tiring. Woke up at 5:30 AM and left for Bordi beach to watch the Sunrise. Bordi beach was almost deserted except for some fishermen and joggers. You can take your motorcycle or 4 wheeler on the beach. It’s wide enough to practice drifting 🙂 The morning was spectacular.   Bordi Beach: Spent an hour practicing photography. I was silly enough to forget my camera battery in the room though managed with Vishwanath’s camera battery. Spotted a Neem tree on the shore. Used twigs for cleaning the dental. It felt so nice to sit under the open sky in front of the blue ocean on the white sand and moving the twigs swiftly round and round in the mouth. My heart whispered this is the moment you keep looking for. And it happens, we go a long distance in search of something. And ultimately spot the happiness in some tiny moment. I feel this is what the moment of life …

sigma lens review

Weekend Bike trip to Dahanu and Bordi beach: Day 1/2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintDahanu and Bordi beach are popular weekend getaways for Mumbai folks. The place remains less crowded compared to other tourist spots like Lonavala, Alibaug and Matheran. And therefore, it becomes an ideal place for people seeking a peaceful, quiet and beautiful place Mumbai to Dahanu Beach: It was around 12 PM on Saturday that Vishwanath and I decided to leave for Bordi beach. Packed bare minimum and left Mumbai at around 3 PM. The distance between Mumbai to Bordi beach is no more than 160KM. That means around 2.5 hours of a bike ride. NH 8 was excellent throughout. Took left from National Highway towards Dahanu. The road from Highway to Dahanu beach is just awesome. The unexpected cold wind on this road made us feel the winter. Wide road with invisible traffic and big trees on both sides of the road made the ride pleasant and engaging.   An evening at Dahanu beach: Reached Dahanu beach around 6 PM in the evening. Sun was half into the ocean gleaming dark red over the horizon. …

Vasai Fort – A living remnant

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintSituated in the coastal part of Vasai town, the huge walls of Vasai Fort, also known as Bassein Fort certainly shows the test of time it has stood. The Fort overlooks the Vasai creek and had several watch towers. Although there is nothing more than the ruins of huge entrance and arches left, still the place has a unique charm. The inner room probably the biggest one is used as a nice underarm cricket playground. Other locations are very creatively used by wedding photographers. The fort is protected under the ASI. Ride to the Vasai Fort: It was the 21st February 2016 when Rajkumar and I decided to spice up a lazy Sunday afternoon. The distance of Vasai Fort from my house was no more than 30 KM. Hence, it was possible to have a quick bike trip. Left Bhayandar around 2:30 PM and rode straight to Tungareshwar temple. Tungareshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated on a hill in the interior of the Vasai village. Spent an hour and …

Bike trip to Invincible Maratha fort : Kille Raigad : 2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWaking up in Sahyadri has always been memorable for me. Fresh smell of air the and chirping birds set a positive environment. It was 7 AM now. Day 1 – Mumbai to Raigad Fort on bike As planned yesterday, if we find a small waiting queue, we will tour the Fort again via Ropeway. Took our bikes and rode to the base village Hirkanewadi. Got to know that it will take one and half hour waiting. Said No to the Fort plan and instead of going up, went down the village. Little did we know that a different world was waiting down the village. Greenery everywhere and crystal clear water flowing down the terraced farm plots. Sometimes beautiful places are hidden a few steps away. I don’t mind going few steps ahead 🙂 That is the reason I love to explore the untouristy places. I believe, it is the odd places where we seek solitude. Returned from the village and began morning routines. Packed the stuff and we were ready to leave for …

bike trip to Raigad Fort

Bike trip to the invincible Maratha killa : Raigad Fort : 1

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintRaigad is a beautiful hill fort some 180 Kms from Mumbai. This is the same fort where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire was coronated in 1674 and he declared Raigad as his Capital. This was the inspiration behind the trip. We (me and Sudhanshu) made out the trip during monsoon in the month of August 2015. Mumbai to Raigad Fort: As decided, we met him near Oberoi Mall flyover and rode towards Navi Mumbai via Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR). Later, took Pali Khopoli route before entering NH 17 i.e. Mumbai Goa Highway. Rode till Mahad, from where we had to take the left turn for Raigad Fort. Mahad to Raigad Fort was another 30 Km. Though the whole ride was quite scenic and beautiful because of the monsoon but the last 25 Km till Raigad fort was splendid. Some photos from Mahad to Raigad Fort route Uphill ride to Raigad Fort was quick and steep. Nice view of the plains can be seen once you reach a certain height. …

Jaipur in a day: Amber Fort and the charm of Sheesh Mahal

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintI was on a one day tour of Jaipur on my Rajasthan trip. The day started with Hawa Mahal and later Amber Fort. Hawa Mahal was a gorgeous to visit.  Masterji picked us from Hawa Mahal and left for Amber Fort rather Amer Fort as called by locals. The fort is a bit at a distance from the old city of Jaipur. Road leading to the fort is shaded with trees on both sides, nicely laid tarmac sort of a curvy hill road. Within half an hour we were at the base of Amber Fort. The fort has two options to arrive at the main entrance gate. One makes use of elephants and another one is for motorcars. People take the Elephant ride from the base to the entrance. The elephant walks up a narrow slope zig-zagging to the entrance. But it costs on the pocket. Masterji dropped us near the entry gate. Punched our composite ticket which we had purchased from Hawa Mahal. Took a guide to get the things explained. Right after …

Jaipur Hawa Mahal photo

Jaipur in a day: See the unseen at Hawa Mahal

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintIf you happen to be in Jaipur, you cannot miss the Hawa Mahal. It is such a gorgeous place to visit in Rajasthan. A technical marvel and historic grandeur. This post is the continuation of my Rajasthan trip. My journey in Rajasthan started from the blue city of Jodhpur followed by a motorcycle ride in the desert of Jaisalmer district for 3 days and now I was in Jaipur. All I had was one day to tour Jaipur. Though my time was limited but I was determined. And luck was on my side. Hotel, car and a driver all in Rs. 800   We were late by 2 and half hours. The Jaisalmer to Jaipur train reached at 7:30 AM at Jaipur station. Just as we came out of the station, an auto driver reached us and asked ‘kidhar jaaoge?’ We said ‘kisi saste aur ache Dharamshala me lekar chalo? ‘Dharamshala me kya karoge ji, aap ko 500 me acha hotel aur 700 me Indica karwa deta hoon. Ek din me pura city ghuma …

Jaisalmer fort traditional musician

Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh – Rajasthan bike trip – 7

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWhat a ride it was from Longewala border post to Jaisalmer. We reached Jaisalmer before evening. Sun was still in the sky. Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh was on the list but only after we secure a room. You would like to read the first 6 parts of the Rajasthan bike trip Jodhpur – Part 1          Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer – Part 2         Kuldhara abandoned village – Part 3 Sam Sand dunes review – Part 4          Tanot border – Part 5        Longewala border post – Part 6 Hunted for rooms and finally moved inside Maheshwari Seva Sadan near Hanuman circle. Maheshwari Seva Sadan is a Dharamshala run by Maheshwari samaj trust. Rooms were quite cheap just Rs.75 per person. Rooms were okay but the water was yellow and hard. Who cares? Filled up a bucket full of yellow water and har har gange 🙂 Vyas Chhatri or Bada Bagh Next, we left for Vyas Chhatri. Vyas Chhatri also known as Bada Bagh …