Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

Barsey or Versey is a small hilltop in Sikkim. Located at an altitude of 10,000ft, Barsey is renowned for its Rhododendron Sanctuary. The sanctuary falls in the West Sikkim district and is accessible by road via Hilley, Dentam or Soreng from Geyzing. If you want to try trekking in India, it would be an amazing idea to proceed up (4 kms) the hill from Hilley. The sanctuary falls in the Singalila range, and is a starting point to Singalila Ridge trek route.

Trekking in India

Trekking in India is one of the famous adventure sports in India for one who are fascinated by the unexplored beauty of this part of the world. The mountain ranges of India offer breathtaking, enthralling trekking routes. In the vast valleys of the Indian Himalayas and Karakorams, there are limitless possibilities for trekking tours, mountaineering, skiing, and river rafting tours. in Inida. The wild flowers in the Indian mountains add more prizes for the trekkers in India. The trekking routes in India often pass through the mountain water falls, a great attraction in its own.

Kovalam Beach, Travel to Kerala

The Kovalam beach in Kerala is one of the biggest attractions for visiting Thiruvanantapuram. The golden sand and the azure water make it perfect for beach holidays. The morning belongs to the fishermen, who bring the fishing boats from the sea using thick coir ropes. As the day progresses tourists and sunbathers throng the beach. By the time the sun is overhead the beach wears a deserted look only to reemerge with all its glitz and glamour in the evening. The festive-like ambience fills the air of Kovalam beach till late in the evening.
Kovalam beaches are excellent for swimming, surfing and boating. However, such activities are not encouraged during the monsoon.

Tour plan of Bandhavgarh National Park

A short tour plan to Bandhavgarh from Kolkata

Day1: Train(both the trains Upasana express and Mumbai mail departs from Howrah in the evening).
Day2: Reach Katni in the afternoon and go to the resort(my preference, White Tiger Forest Lodge, the forest jeep  driver Yadavji is very good).
Day3: Early morning forest trip; return to resort and take lunch, after some rest the afternoon forest trip.
Day4: Early morning forest trip; take train from Katni railway station in the afternoon.
Day5: Reach Kolkata in the noon.

Since on Day1 you will start in the evening and on Day5 you reach kolkata in the noon, you can well think of the tour as 4.5 days journey. If you get time, you can alter the tour and add Bedhaghat, the boatride thorugh the marble rock at Bedhaghat near Jabalpur is fabulous.

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Travel Bandhavgarh National Park

The Bandhavgarh National Park is located in the Sahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. Together with the high faunal density Bandhavgarh has a rich history and mythology in its own. There is a fort up on the hill of the forest. It is said that the monkeys who created the "setu", between India and Lanka to enable Rama to cross over and kill Ravana, were also the architects of the Bandhavgarh fort. This is still belong to the maharaja of Rewa, whereas the forest was handed over to the Govt for protection. And after the formation of Project Tiger the wild life here is very much safe from the poachers.

The Forest at Bandhavgarh National Park

Forest Zones at Bandhavgarh
There are four zones or entrances to the forest of Bandhavgarh, namely,
  1. TALA,
  2. MAGDHI,
Tala zone in Bandhavgarh is the best place for spotting a tiger, you will have better chance to photograph wild animals in this zone, as they are more used to with cars and humans but if you find a tiger in the other 3 zones, you can have a better and prolonged sighting, as there is only a few car, no disturbance for the tiger. A big problem is the last three zones has less number of chitals, in a whole morning I heard alarm only once, so locating a tiger is very difficult there. The guides mainly track a tiger by the alarm calls chitals make when they find a tiger.

Flora and Fauna of Bandhavgarh National Park

Fauna  of Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh has got a huge variety of wildlife - both animals and birds. There are tigers, the main attraction of the forest, leopards, gaur (Indian Bison-although some say this is no longer seen), chital (spotted deer), Sambar deer, Barking deers(quite rare, but I manage to find and photograph one), Dholes, nilgais, wild boars, chinkaras, sloth bears, rhesus macaques, black faced langurs, jungle cats, hyenas(very rare), porcupines, jackals, foxes, chausinghas and ratels, among others. It is the density of it's big cat population that has made Bandhavgarh really famous across the globe.

Inside Bandhavgarh National Park

Entry to the Bandhavgarh National Park
Park entry times vary according to season, depending mainly on the time of sunrise and sunset. You can visit with your own vehicle, which must be a 4-wheel petrol vehicle. It is mandatory to take along an authorized guide. Another option is to take an authorised 4-wheel drives run by the locals, which are available from the hotels and rest houses. The third is an elephant ride, available only in the morning. These should be booked in advance to avoid disappointments.

How to reach Bandhavgarh National Park

How to reach Bandhavgarh National Park

There is good transport system from all over India to Bandhavgarh, this includes rail, road and air as well. For the people coming from Delhi to Bandhavgarh, there is a direct train(Utkal Express) which gets you to the railway station nearest to Bandhavgarh National Park, Umaria(30km from Tala, the main forest gate of Bandhavgarh) early in the morning. The train takes 19 hours to reach from Delhi to Bandhavgarh. There is good Bus transport from Umaria to Tala, taking about 1hr 30mins, the road from Umaria to Tala is not in a very good condition and they do not usually take proper maintenance of of it. The reason behind is if roads are smooth, the vehicle will not obey the speed limit which is 20kms per hr, and some animals might be crossed over accidentally

Accommodation at Bandhavgarh

Accommodation at Bandhavgarh
At Bandhavgarh, there are accommodation facilities to suit almost all budgets. Ranging from lavish hotels and luxury camps to budget hotels to rooms let out by locals - all can be found at Tala. The quality of hotels and the facilities provided by them are of a generally good standard. Some of the camps offer tented accommodation with excellent facilities.
All in all, accommodation facilities are not a problem at Bandhavgarh but to avoid possible disappointments, always book in advance before reaching there.
I must recommend White Tiger Forest Lodge of MPTDC, as I loved to be there the couple of times I visited the place.

Forts in Goa

It will always be a good idea to visit the forts and monuments of Goa and try to discover the enchanting beauty of these monuments that have tales of their own to narrate. After the fun and frolic at Goa carnival, these Goa Forts and monuments come as forms of serene beauty. Goa has a rich collection of forts, churches and temples.

The kind of architecture that has been applied in building these monuments is something that Goa can boast about. When you visit the forts in Goa, the concoction of different cultures-namely Portuguese, Hindu and Muslim- strikes you at the first instance.

Travel Goa at carnival time

Among the various colorful feasts and festivals that are celebrated in Goa, the Goa Carnival is the most eagerly awaited one. The 'Carnival’ was introduced by the Portuguese who ruled over Goa for over five hundred years.

The three-day festival during February is primarily celebrated by Christians, it has also absorbed Hindu tradition revelry, western dance forms, and turned into a pageantry of sorts. Though it started as a celebration enjoyed only by the local population, it has today crossed the state frontiers and attracts thousands of people from all over the country.

Baga Beach in Goa

Baga Beach in Goa is located just 10-km west of Mapusa and extends essentially out of Calangute Beach. It is quaintly located by the Arabian Sea on the west coast of Goa. It is nestled in the rocky, wooded headland. Unlike the very crowded and busy Calangute, Baga has many unperturbed nooks with unspoiled scenic beauty that is more varied than just the plain beach of Calangute. The Beach receives most of its tourist influx from the British package tourists. It has a beautiful retreat house serenely located atop a hill.