Charger: Bandhavgarh’s Beloved Tiger

Like Marathas and Mughals, like British and French, the tigers have their own Dynasty. Bandhavgarh National Park had its own Emperor, Charger.
The tiger was named so as he was famous for charging towards unsuspecting tourist vehicles and elephants. He fought a battle with the then ruling tiger, Banka, to claim his territory. Vicious and with a long mane, Charger was one of the most fearless and frightful of Bandhavgarh.
He raised a family with Sita, one of the most photographed tigress in the world. They ruled their territory for almost a decade and are legendary amongst the locals and wildlife enthusiasts.
After the death of Sita, Charger became very lonely and pale. Unfortunately he had to fight his own son B2, who then become the Emperor of Bandhavgarh
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His burial spot
Charger Point, is where his body is buried. The memorial attracts visitors from all across. Especially those who have experienced his charge.

Riding up the Manakamana Cable Car

The Manakamana Temple is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Parvati in Nepal.
The word ‘mana’ means heart and ‘kamana’ means wish.
The Temple is around 1302 mts above sea level and can be reached only by a cable car which overlooks the entire valley.
It is one of the most spectacular cable car rides in the world with a total travelling distance of 2.8 kms
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View from the Cable Car
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One of the most stunning views
Scary as hell!
Scary as hell!

 

-Nupur

*I own the pictures

Face to Face – Mt. Everest

I am 24, slim built, with low HB level. Climbing Mt. Everest is a farfetched dream. Hell, seeing it up close is also like building castles in the air!
I travelled to Nepal on a family trip and there is where I learnt that one can go see Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha, as it is known there) for a few thousand bucks. They take you up on a 16 seater plane as close as possible to the Everest. I would be stupid to not take that opportunity. So, it was decided then. I was going for a ride to the Everest!
We reached the Kathmandu airport (which is more of a bus stand) at 5 am in the morning.

The flights start early morning to catch the sunrise over the magnificent Himalayas. Looking at the airplane I had absolutely no sense of security whatsoever! They looked fragile for the harsh Himalayan environment. And Everest is above 8000 mtrs tall! I was wondering the whole time whether I would be alive at the end of this exercise. Well, I was. Thank god for that!

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Our ride to the Everest
I climbed last onto the plane so I got the seat near the pilots’ cabin. All the seats are single seats BTW. There was a loud roar as the engine kicked off and it did not in any way help in boosting my confidence. I was even more apprehensive about the idea of seeing Everest in a plane ride.
We flew over Kathmandu towards the far east of Nepal. That is where Everest is located. On the Nepal – China border. The pilot was announcing the different peaks as we were passing over them. The large window in the plane helped immensely. And so did the weather. Finally the pilot called us into his cabin one by one to take a glimpse of Mt. Everest, the tallest and youngest peak in the world. OMFG! Mt. Everest! Right in front of my eyes! I was on the Top of the World (literally). It was the most spectacular feeling, soulful and spiritual. Every mountaineers dream and nightmare. Every individual’s ultimate goal. In front of my eyes. Standing there mightily as ever. Phenomenal!
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The tallest peak – Mt. Everest
The total ride lasted for almost an hour. After landing on the Kathmandu airport we were then given merchandise and a certificate which is now proudly hung on my wall.
This tour is a must see for everyone. It’s an experience you’ll never wanna forget!
You can directly book a ticket at the domestic airport in Kathmandu. There are several airlines providing this service. Choose wisely.
 
-Nupur

Not so Dancing Stars!

I could move myself to music but was never much of a dancer. I have been wanting to take Salsa lessons but never came through.
On my recent short visit to Goa, the resort where we stayed had organized a special Salsa Dance class. My husband (reluctantly) and I went to take classes. Even though I was well aware that my husband has two left feet!
We reached late. (I am kinda used to that now thanks to my husband) So we missed the start. Our instructor, a pretty young lady from Himachal Pradesh, north of India, thankfully taught us without a frown.

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We were giggling and laughing like school kids. Totally embarrassed to be on the dance floor. It was hard to balance each other. And very hard not to step on to each others toes! (I did step onto his feet a couple of times though)
Our instructor tried to have as much patience as necessary but it was running out. At one point while showing me the step, I was supposed to lean on her. I somehow managed to shift my entire body weight on her. She almost yelled at me, “Baapre! Kitni patli dikhti ho par kitni bhari ho!” (Oh Lord! You look so slim but are so heavy!)
It was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life!
Looking at the picture below I am very grateful to my husband for not dropping me on the floor

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We were not even half way through the song when our time was over.
The next session was on the next day. Unfortunately we were on our way to check out. We will never know what lay for us in the next session
We did manage to put up a decent show though. Feeling really proud, we treated ourselves to one of our all time fav dining places, Infantaria!
Now that we our back home, the dream of learning Salsa is just a memory of that one hour session
Valedico till then, gotta get back to work!
 

-Nupur

 

Leh Diaries – In and Around

I had mentioned in my earlier post about the low temperature in Leh. It was around 4 degree Celsius. The oxygen levels are so low that you are advised to stay indoors for at least a day to get acclimatized to the weather.
On our first evening, our driver took us to a couple of places around the town. Unfortunately, none of them were at ground level. All included a steep climb through the mountains.
Our first stop was the Shanti Stupa. It is a Buddhist white domed stupa which holds the relics of Gautam Buddha. The Stupa is situated on a hill top roughly 14,000 ft above sea level. Trust me, it gets reeeaally windy! I had to struggle to keep my foot on the ground (Yeah, yeah not so much, but still)

  Shanti Stupa
Shanti means Peace. As the name suggests, the Stupa is very peaceful place. According to Buddhism, the most important peace is your inner peace. The Stupa has an aura to itself. All one could hear was the wind blowing.
The location provides excellent panoramic view of Leh town and the Himalayas. We had a 10 minute photo session here! 😉

The view from the Stupa
Our driver Nurbu, then took us to Ancient Palace also known as Leh Palace. Situated on a hilltop it can be seen from the Shanti Stupa and in between lies the town of Leh
The Palace is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
 
The history of Leh Palace
The Leh Palace. Can you believe it is a 9 storey building?!?
A view of the Leh Town from the Palace. The king could keep a watch on his entire kingdom from his bedroom window. How cool is that!
There’s a lot more to come from my incredible Leh trip. Until then, Julley!
 

-Nupur

*All pictures are mine unless otherwise mentioned

 

Leh Diaries – The Journey & Stay

We took an early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. The journey was of roughly 2 hrs. As a custom, I dozed off soon after the take off. Luckily for me, I was unable to sleep for long. I woke up to the most breath-taking views of the Himalayan mountains from an altitude of 30,000 + feet
The sun had just risen over the mountains, making them look spectacular. Unfortunately I do not have any images!
Leh Airport is situated close to the India – China border, making it one of the most tightly secured as well as high altitude airports.
The airport, though simple, boasts of being situated in stunning landscape. Getting out of plane at 4 degree temperature from 40 degree, made us freeze!
What made us stop in our tracks was this.
My Introduction to Ladakh was at this airport. Bang in the middle of Himalayas
My Introduction to Ladakh was at this airport. Bang in the middle of Himalayas
Our pick up vans were already waiting for us. After a lot of research we had booked a place known as Hotel Omasila. With decent reviews about its stay and food on TripAdvisor, it seemed like a good choice.
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Our Hotel front
After a sumptuous breakfast, David, our cook/guide gave us a tour of the hotel. The backside had a lovely deck and an amazing view of the snow capped mountains. The same view continued from my room window.
The Hotel backyard
The Hotel backyard
Suddenly, one week seemed insufficient to take it all in.
 

– Nupur

*All the images have been captured by me

Leh Diaries – The Beginning

The day of our departure saw a lot of crazy things happening. First, I reached office late. Then, there was huge pile of things I had to complete before leaving. Then, I had to drop my dog off to his creche. After all that, I just had 30 mins to eat lunch and finish the packing. For this one time, I overpacked!
So much of planning and lists and excel sheets came to little help as I stuffed as much as I could in the time I had. Our airport pick up van had already arrived. Lunch was eaten in the van.
Thankfully, there was very little traffic on the road and we reached before time. With almost an hour to spend, the Pune airport (which is Army operated) has very little entertainment options. After strolling around we settled at what was a cozy Jet Lounge (Thanks to my Jet Privilege membership card)
 And then, the party began! This was the official start of our heavenly trip!
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