Benaras…….The Photo story

Benaras- the dreamy land of majestic ganga, the land of saffron tinted Sky and sadhus, the land of exquisite street food and the land of slow talks and long walks. Call it Kashi or Benaras, while Kashi signifes the spiritual part of this land of Moksha and Karma,  Benaras is the way of life. The sun kissed ghats, the migratory birds, the humming of the mighty Ganga, the food joints that sing to call you, the serene boat ride and of course the benarsi sarees. Kashi is so much activity going on at one time, at one place that you are mesmerized with what to capture and what to live. Like a sadhu whom i asked to pose said “You can not capture Kashi in one frame”…….I don’t want to either, i will revisit Kashi again and again. So here are the pictures (Copyright- Dr Pooja Tripathi). Sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy.

The morning activity when benaras wakes up to bells and shlokas


The migratory birds and their short lived affair with Ganga
The beautiful walls of Ghaats
दो दीवाने शहर में, आबोदाना ढूंढते हैं
Chai And Benaras- Uniting a benarasi, hollywood producer, Painter, a travel blogger and two dogs.
The amazing graffitti will take you back to Benaras
I am in love with this city like a love like a crush i can’t get over it
Sarnath Buddha Temple: It is better to travel well than to arrive- Buddha
I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” Sarnath Remains, Varanasi


Will come back with Ganga Arti pictures soon…….Leave a comment if you loved the pictures.




Corbett National Park: A sojourn with nature

Image source: Tripoto

Wildlife reserves and National Parks are the best way to have an escape from the mundane urban life. They give you a holiday that is in close encounter with nature, amid the greenery and natural habitat.

Jim Corbett National Park is the perfect for nature tourism. My sojourn with Jim corbett national park was due to a shoot with National Ggeographic Channel.This wildlife park is a paradise for nature lovers. The park forms the natural habitat for a diverse variety of flora and fauna.

Corbett has been thronged by tourists and wildlife lovers for a long time. Jim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park  and was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park to protect the endangered Bengal tiger and is included in Tiger reserve.

Tourism activity is not allowed in core areas of  Corbett Tiger Reserve.. Corbett remains open to tourists only from 15th November to 15th June owing to unfavorable weather conditions.

What makes the park even more accessible for tourists is its easy connectivity to important cities like Delhi by road and rail.  If you are travelling from outside Delhi, you can get  great deals  on International Flights  or  domestic flights at 

State transport buses ply regularly from Delhi to Ramnagar. A direct train also runs from Ramnagar to Delhi. I took the train from Delhi to Ramnagar.We had earlier booked a forest resort in Dhikala. For serious wildlife viewing, Dhikala – deep inside the reserve – is the place to stay.. However, the town of Ramnagar is teeming with various hotels and guest houses which you can book with the help of Yatra.

There are many taxi or car on rent to take you from station to forest reserve. Usually the guest houses will send a taxi if you inform them beforehand. Book a tiger safari with Corbett tourism, the tiger safaris are usually in morning or evening. We didn’t take up a safari because we had camped along side the Ramganga river to sight and shoot a tiger.


Tiger sightings are not at all easy and come to rest on sheer luck, as the 200 or so tigers in the reserve are neither baited nor tracked. Your best chance of spotting one is during April to mid-June, when the forest cover is low and animals come out in search of water. Apart from tiger sightings the tourists get enticed with the variety of wildlife and birds in grasslands.

The night stay at corbett is usually accompanied with shrill of a herd of wild elephants , sloth bears, langur ,macaques, peacocks, otters and s deer including chital (spotted deer), sambars, hog deer and barking deer. Sighting  leopards, mugger crocodiles, gharials, monitor lizards, wild boars and jackals are also very common.

If you are a game for bird watching, corbett is a heaven for you..

Jim Corbett National Park other than wild safari also consists of a museum. The local villagers have also come out with innovative ideas like a mud thatch or hut with organic farming in backyard in which you can participate for a new experience.

Do visit Jim Corbett for an experience close to nature away from the addictive world of phone and internet and don’t forget to buy a jar of Apricot Jam, they are freshly made and are yummy. Plan your itinery with the help of http: //


H: How the traditional Arunachali tribal dress was born #AtoZChallenge

For the letter “H”, let me tell you how the beautifully woven clothes of tribes of Arunachal Pradesh ( A state in north eastern part of India) was born. A folk lore is prevalent in Aarunachal Tribes about how these colorful clothes were created.


Among the Apa Tani people of the Ziro plateau, the story of cloth begins from a time in the remote past when there was nothing except cloud and water until fire was born. Following this the first man on earth, Abo Tani emerged out of the soil. In an account by Hage Pilya in his book Ranth Pigeh, Abo Tani was not born in the present form and passed through many epochs until he reached the present form. He was capable of fighting with gods and goddesses as he had Koga-Miiri, a third eye at the back of the head. He also had two spikes, one at each end of the heels. In this way he captured almost all the fertile land, rivers, the useful trees and plants and chased away all the spirits to the mountains and desert regions of the earth. AboTani even captured the daytime and left the night for the spirits until the gods, fed-up with the unending fights over land captured AboTani. His third eye and the spikes on his heels were eliminated and he was cursed to remain on earth with his dual nature of both good and demoniac works.

Apatani women weaving the fabric (Source- Flickr)

A delegation of Village Elders called the Bulyang summoned a meeting to discuss the terrible fate that had befallen man and appropriate cloth to signify the importance of the meeting was required. It was at this time that pulyeh– cloth, first came to man. It was made by an industrious lady whose name was Ami Tamang Binyii. Binyii was the first woman to identify the seeds of cotton. She wove a white cloth but it was rejected and thrown away. A bird, the white eagle picked up the cloth and draped himself with it so he remained white forever. Binyii roamed in the forest wondering what type of cloth would please the elders. One day she found a yellow dye from a tree and an idea struck here. She possessed the red dye of a creeper and mixing this with the new colour she wove a design that received the approval of the gathering and is today identified as the famous Jilang shawl motif of the Apa tani.

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The Jilang is meant only for the most revered shaman and is appropriately worn during religious ceremonies when deities are invoked to visit the homes of the descendants of Abo Tani. A white shawl, like the one the eagle picked up is given to men during marriage celebrations.


I am participating in AtoZ challenge with .

Change the way you travel……….Be a responsible tourist.



Photo courtesy:

When an area starts being visited by tourists, there are bound to be some social and cultural impacts of those tourists on the host community. Look at the above picture .You know what does it depict? It shows the crowds that swarmed the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, in northwestern Guanacaste, and disrupted the nesting ritual for a number of olive ridley sea turtles, which are listed as a vulnerable or threatened species.
As they gathered in the hundreds, the visitors stood in the turtles’ way as they swam ashore and even placed children on top of them to snap keepsake photos, causing many of the creatures to return to the sea without laying their eggs.

With travelling becoming a contagious epidemic,responsible Tourism is gaining ground as a newly emerging and growing global trend worldwide. It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
Remember – The responsibility is two sided.
Responsible tourism is a tourism management strategy in which the tourism sector and tourists take responsibility to protect and conserve the natural environment, respect and conserve local cultures and ways of life, and contribute to stronger local economies and a better quality of life for local people. (Responsible Tourism Requirements – SANS 1162:2011)
1) The first rule : Do not disturb the wildlife, It’s there home you are entering.
There is no doubt that the mere presence of humans can disturb wildlife and have negative consequences for conservation. A good example would be walking through a seabird colony, causing many of the adults to leave the nest and cease incubation or temporarily abandon their chicks, which could increase their chances of being taken by predators.

No tourism is perfect from an ecological point of view. However, responsible wildlife tour operators and tourists should do their best to follow all of the rules regarding wildlife protection and to choose in-country partners (who provide transportation, accommodation, and other amenities) that operate as sustainably as possible and do not have major deleterious consequences to wildlife or their habitats.Do not smoke-It may catch forest fire, Do not shout,It may disturb nesting animals and Yes don’t take selfie unless it is:

2) The world is NOT your dustbin
We as a responsible tourists should start with a fundamental rule- Put the waste in the bin, have the patience to find one and trash your empty bottles, lays packets in the bin.


Photo courtesy:
3) The craving to be ethched in pages of history
Oops……some people get it wrong, totally wrong. Its not scribbled in historical sites. Do something worthwile to have a name and meanwhile don’t spoil the beautiful architecture.
Shown below is a love story scribbled on charminar.


Photo courtesy: GossipMonk
4) Go Local and promote the indigenous economy
Responsible tourism is also about enabling local communities to enjoy a better quality of life, through increased socio-economic benefits and an improved environment. It is also about providing better holiday experiences for guests and good business opportunities for tourism enterprises.


Photo courtesy:
It offers opportunities to develop products that can contribute to national socio-economic objectives by providing livelihoods for local economies and contributing value to the maintenance of local heritage, culture and traditions. Responsible Tourism also generates revenues for environmental conservation and management.
So next time, stay at a local’s home stay, believe me its a moment worth cherishing and makes you a responsible one too.
5) Go Green
Ecotourism is what is the need of the hour, Contribute your part in reducing the carbon footprints of an area.
Dump your vehicles and take a cycle to stroll around.Its not only good for your waistline but gives you peace and time to enjoy the surroundings.
Conserve water.
Don’t honk, Have mercy on the natural fauna around.
Don’t damage trees or natural plants.

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Photo courtesy:

6) Athithi devo bhav
An initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to harness the potential of the tourism industry in India. It aims to create awareness about the effects of tourism and sensitise people about our country’s rich heritage and culture, cleanliness and warm hospitality. It intends to instill a sense of responsibility towards tourists among the stakeholders of the tourism industry.

The main components of the campaign are training and orientation of taxi drivers, guides, immigration officers, tourist police and other personnel directly interacting with the tourists, while simultaneously creating brand equity for the trained persons. This concept was designed to complement the “Incredible India” campaign.

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Change the way you travel……….Be a responsible tourist.

“I am blogging for#ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

Happy Travelling

A Kiss of life called Goa

This blog post is about a journey, a holiday taken after months of hard work ,an escape from the thing called competition, performance ,results   etc etc So we boarded Goa Express (Mind it if you are not in a group or with a romantic partner when days seem into minutes, don’t try this train 38 hours of journey can take your nerves out)

30 of us went to Goa and all credit goes to Ankit sir for handling not some little kids but grown up adults who every passing minute wanted to do something different from the group Amid Aantakshari, dumbshall act, mimicry our journey proceeded disturbing our fellow travelers when cards start world comes to a halt and non players (yeah it was me) look as the most foolish ones .The train journey was a roller coaster one with swords drawn out on the movie names ,enmity feeling which can beat India Pakistan ,mimicry by Sarika which left people wondering “Am I actually like this”, the ever so pathetic train ka khana ,some facebookites updating every single second and cherry on the cake was ghost stories until midnight

Goa gives you a liberating experience ,a kind of break free attitude that strikes you the point you deboard the train as we reached ,I was enlightened that “What happens in goa ,stays in goa”(does it remind you of some other place?? Forget it…………J )

We stayed at South Goa’s Palolem beach and if you are looking for a serene ,quiet place, beaches that remind you of a distant island ,a romantic sojourn then south goa is what you are looking for thday had already ended when we reached so we just sat on the beach talking, dreaming There is something about beaches that make you dream ,dream not of materialistic gains but something deep ,something spiritual

Next day was planned a trip to North goa and inspite of waking up the earliest we were late (we means the three girls-Nova, Prema and me) Finally on being threatened that we would be left behind we rushed secret is we always were late because………ha ha ha u actually believed I will split out beans of our girls talks, no way

The bus proceeded to Basilica of Bom Jesus church amid lungi dance and fevicol types item songs and here was Gaurav Agrawal,he never sat on a seat for a minute ,always dancing its people like them who never let the dancing mood die down The church is marvelllous ,visit it not for the story of a miracle called St Francis and his 400 year old body but for beautiful gothic architecture ,don’t rush,absorb the intricacies of architecture ,its lovely Agauda fort was next stop ,initially used as a water tank the age old walls face sea and I could find some guides telling tourists about the movies being shot there ,we can never come out of bollywood the continuity ,the walls with small windows make Agauda Fort so splendid as if it challenges Sea,questions its mightiness and still stands tall

Yipee. North Goa and  its water sports ,the fun part actually began I was very terrified about the banana ride and the prospect of being thrown into the mid sea and these friends of mine assured that they will save me if I drown The person   standing at the edge of banana was holding my life jacket and I thought he was such a saint to support me suddenly I saw God in him Mid sea he held my jacket and threw me into sea and took the steamer with the rest of the people along I was like WTF !This demon actually left me here, well life jackets were there and Sid and Vishal screaming that keep cycling and yes inspite of that demon ,I was alive we went deep into sea later for an hour and I know I was a headache by being a non swimmer and always ending up coughing salt water after every wave, my friends never thought of leaving me and made sure someone or the other was always around to hold if I lost balance…..Love you doston for that

The main adventure was not water sports but finding out that we were left behind as we were late after changing and the bus headed to cruise as the tickets were pre booked (We here again refers to the three of us) we called ,bus waited midway and when we reached we could feel whispering and angry eyes penetrating us and then again friends ,Pankaj,Sidd,gaurav,vishal and shiva made us feel that”Ho jata hai” nothing to worry ,making us laugh which we did not until we said sorry to sir While everyone assured us that  nothing to be sad ,sir made it real being the sweetest person

The late night talks were all full of planning for the next day,a group wanted to explore casinos, we wanted to go to Disco ,someone wanted to have a lone time at the beach and the day dawns ,we all took a boat ride to honeymoon island ,At the middle of the sea was carnatic music with Akshara Damle and when we returned a big wave splashed over all the plans made a night before ,after discussions, road safety ,distance issues, girls safety each and every plan was headed towards a no (he he) and evening was spent in biking ,trying local cuisine, buying cashews and Mallikarjun Temple (Krishna – mere ghar waale bolenge tu Mathura se Goa mandir dekhne gaya hai………;-)  and here came the shocker of the day-Silent disco now I really want to know who came up with this idea ,Dance is a community feeling,to celebrate joy,togetherness ,happiness or just to enjoy ,Keeping headphones on and dancing is something I could not understand and so did others When we perform classical ,its said that you have to make the audience believe that he/she is actually radha and is longing for love and then this silent disco-something very individualistic, very isolated  and very silent

Well Goa trip came to an end and I was at the beach at 6 in the morning for I knew I will miss the beach ,the  splasing sound of waves the most when I reach back to hustle of Delhi and sitting there clicking pictures of couples who were trying after every failed attempt of self clicking, I observed something that I would carry with myself back” A Russian Father and his 2 year old son at the beach, waves come,the boy falls and he puts his hand towards father but the father does not hold, the child walks on hands and legs ,again the wave comes and he fells The father stands there just saying get up and finally the child stands on two feet ,again to be splashed by a wave and again trying ,Father never ever holding his hand and only boosting verbally “……………….so on the southern most end of Goa at sunrise ,I got life’s little lesson-lesson of parenting

Back to the train ,everyone was tired, exhausted, sleeping, exchanging numbers and in the process of one or the other person getting down in between at their home towns,almost everyone got down ,hugged, waved goodbye  ,promised to stay in touch ,This made me believe that we may have missed visiting a casino or a beach but we did not miss making new friends

This is for everyone there………………………

“I couldn’t find the right words
Nothing seemed to rhyme
To write something for you all
I think it will take time

Because when you have friends
That are very hard to find
There’s so much to say
Because you make everything alright

So I will tell you right now
exactly what I need to say
To show you how much I appreciate
You all being there everyday

You’re worth more than anyone
even a million pounds
Because you always know what to say
When I am feeling down

You made me smile big smiles
And my days so very bright
And when I was sad

we talked the whole night

I sometimes wish I could explain
How much you all mean to me
But its just not possible
To list a billion things

So I just wanted to say
I love you so so much
And I hope you never leave me
promise to stay in touch………

Go travel some place , get your own dose of optimism and visit

for your own peck of motivation.


Oman- a traveler’s delight ,nature’s paradise .Why on earth would one want to go to Oman for one single thing, don’t go to Oman for sight seeing ,visit it for living the experience.
DESERTS- Deserts the mysterious creation of nature from extremes of temperature to the vastness of beauty. Bawshar Sands- Go there for sand biking amid the hills if you are an adventure freak and if you are just a nature buff visit the place to see the sun kissing goodbye at the evening to the orange tinted mountains. The empty quarter signifies the emptiness, vast unexplored lands of Oman , you never know you may find some hidden paradise there 😉 .Ramlat Tawq ,is an area of beautiful sand dunes the landforms that distinct Oman.
BEACHES- Beaches make me swoon and they hold the first place in my post retirement plans. when in oman I would love to visit the private,serene Al bustan beach ,the images of one of my friend’s honeymoon made me burn with jealousy. Reading about the “Ras al had” beach and its historical underpinnings at website makes me wonder how many stories this beach has to narrate .Mutrah cornice ,the famous beach at Muscat overlooking mountains that can give you the perfect facebook and instagram pics .
STRAIT OF HORMUZ –Do you remember all that we read about the strait of hormuz in our geography textbooks . Who would not want to pass through the “Gate of lion jaws” which is not only picturesque but also boasts itself of the busiest waterways in the world.
LAGOONS- My curiosity and desire to see lagoons ,the foggy beautiful mix of water bodies goes to the time when I read all the novels with an Arabian story at the backdrop, lagoons played a very important role in story creating that perfect romantic backdrop to let the love blossom .Visit for a peek into the jaw dropping beauty lagoons has to offer from Khwar albatah ,Khwar al maghsayi to the world famous Bandar Khyran reserve.
AL DIMAYAT ISLAND- Ok !you may accuse me of going greedy but have you seen the beautiful pictures of this heaven’s little abode ,I know my own story ,may be a novel I have longed to write may come out of this island as the sprawling seas and the nature at its best reminds us we can’t compete ever with nature in creating that perfect painting.
Thank you sultanate of Oman for giving us a peak into your beautiful world with

“Walking thru these streets
meeting crossroads of hope and some of loss
will i take the right road
will i venture into the curves and bumps carved into the foundation formed from years of repetitive travel
I am not the only one who travels these roads
passing by with tears in their eyes are ones who travel with hope in their hearts to find that glimpse of happiness and sanity in for which they look 
I must indure my sentance of weary travel 
my friend we shall not travel this road alone
take my hand for we shall walk this road together till we reach the end. “………Amanda Testino