Dhanaulti – Where Tranquility Rules !

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There goes without saying that Uttarakhand is one of India’s most beautiful states with plenty to offer.
And Dhanaulti is one of the destinations that is bound to charm you.

If you are looking for peace and tranquility amidst dense forest, then Dhanaulti is the perfect destination. Not far away from the national capital of New Delhi (325 km), the tiny hill station provides breathtaking landscapes for which tourists especially from North India come to enjoy. Situated at an altitude of 2,286metre, the hill station is quite popular among tourists, thanks to dense forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak.

Is this a special place to plan a quite holiday? Yes! Being a nature lover, I really enjoyed the place. The summer could be harsh in Dhanulti, but in night the weather turns pleasant and cool. In winter, one can experience chilling weather as the mercury goes down to -1°C.

Thanks to the Uttarakhand government’s initiative, a number of eco huts have been constructed for tourists. People can enjoy various adventurous activities here.
Here, tour operators provide tents, which are quite nice (reasonable price).
One can also enjoy different adventurous activities, which the tour operators provide.

The place has also two eco-parks, which should definitely be included in your travel list. Great for photography ! These eco-parks also provide various activities ranging from zipping to hiking. A wholesome entertainment place for family.

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And the rest, I will leave it to you to explore 🙂

Coffee in Bangkok ?

There is something about Bangkok – a city which I often call ‘poor men’s Las Vegas’. It will never disappoint you even if you have visited it more than 1,000 times. Delicious food, cheap booze, pubs, street shopping, not to mention the cosmopolitan atmosphere makes the city a heaven for an impulsive traveler like me.

My two days stay in ChinaTown was memorable, though not exciting. Nothing much to share except one unique discovery – a chic coffee shop in the heart of the town.

So from where could I have started my journey after stepping out of my hotel? I had no idea, no map and I personally don’t much like the idea of guides! I thought, let’s start a random journey.

I skipped my breakfast deliberately so that I could indulge myself in food straight from the streets of Bangkok.

To my delight, I found a nice joint of prawn rice and assorted fishes where I enjoyed a served hot meal with a bottle of local beer. Sorry no picture to share. So try to imagine it yourself. 😛

I kept walking and walking with a mild smile on my face for the passer byes. The climate was hot and humid but I liked it because it nonetheless liberated me from my hotel room as I was amid a buzzing street.

Suddenly, I saw something. Wait. Is this a coffee-shop? An interesting signboard – Coffee, Tea or Me?

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The shop was surrounded by many tiny shops and it is not so easy to spot such eateries unless you have eagle eyes like me, not to mention, a stomach that is all up for surprises 🙂

I entered the shop without a single thought and slow motioned towards a seat as I grasped all the details of a shop with the interesting signboard. Now I was searching for the ME.

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I had never imagined that I would find an elegant coffee shop amidst busy streets. It was neither Starbucks nor Costa Coffee but the coffee shop managed to grab my attention, thanks to its simplicity and interiors that helped you to laze. Do we have to really mention – Anything can happen over a cup of coffee? What a dumb thought. Anyway!

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I saw two people there sitting besides two attendants.

When I queried about something, one man approached me with a smile and said, “May I help you?”

He turned out to be the ME of the shop.

I told him: “Your shop look nice. Can you please recommend something to drink here?”

Instantly, he asked a waitress in local language to serve some hot coffee to me.

It was Espresso, if I remember correctly. I checked some photographs that I had clicked in my camera during the stroll and pleased myself with the cup of coffee. I guess I have never seen such a gracious coffee shop in India.

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As I left I could feel a sense of satisfaction to discover such a nice not to mention inexpensive coffee shop in Bangkok. Wish I had noted down its address as I could not even Google it!!

Only memories are with me. !!!

When A Stranger Welcomes You !

Someone told me go to Kumarakom, Kerala while I was travelling on train. When I was on board another asked, “Is there something special?”

I quipped. Oh yes.. My fellow passengers then asked a series of questions, “So, where will you stay? Do you have friends there? Why alone? Are you married? Do you have a girlfriend?”

But I said I don’t know – most probably I will stay in a hotel.

I got down from the train and began to look here and there. Very soon I found myself surrounded by a few touts and I decided to walk from there.

Kumarakom has all sorts of resorts, expensive, as well as, budget hotels. But I failed to find a single budget hotel for me.

While I was drinking coconut water (my favourite natural drink), a gentleman asked me: Hello Sir, looking for something special?

Umm, I am looking for a cheap hotel, I answered.

Come here, he said, and I followed him.

It is hard to find a cheap hotel here, he told me. I nodded.

After a brief discussion, he proposed if you don’t have any problem you can stay at my home for one day – and I thought to myself – what a fantastic offer!

Too soon, I was in a room at his place.

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The room was neat and clean, though not great, but what could I have done in a great room anyway? I had come there to travel, not to sleep.

We chatted for sometime, after which he served me some food. I can’t exactly describe the food, but I remember it was delicious. Purrosatam’s English was not good, so he asked his son to help me during our conversation.

His son was cute and dynamic. He was reading in a local school. He became my friend very quickly and his father told him: show him our town.

The town was very picturesque, perfect for a traveller like me. That little boy told me a number of family stories. Our conversation ended in the evening and then we headed home, where his father was waiting for us.

How is the town? his father asked. “Very beautiful” was my instant reply. After some minutes, his father asked, “Do you drink?”

“Sometimes,” I told him with a great smile.

He left and came back with two bottles of ‘Kallu’ (traditional palm toddy). And we began to savour Kallu with smoking fried fish. We talked a lot, which I do not remember, but it was interesting as I came to know many things about him and his family and above all Kerala.

Evening passed and night came.

His wife had prepared some authentic Kerala dishes (Puttu with kadala curry, Kappa with fish curry, ilayada) for us. It was too much for me but I enjoyed a lot. After that, I went to my room and had a sound sleep.

Night passed, morning came.

It was time to say good bye to them but before I prepared to leave they prepared breakfast for me. What a sweet family!

We exchanged our numbers and are still in contact!

But the real question is this place worth a visit?

My answer is yes. And do not forget to visit its beautiful bird sanctuary.