This was a wonderful space to hang out in and share our thoughts! But now we've all moved on and simply left our memories behind :-) ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Holiday Spots that stole my heart:AmitL

(Note: This post might be 'add'ited in a day or two)

Hi,all!After a brief hiaitus, I'm back..and,let me say,I really missed checking out BUF daily...firstly,happy birthday again to all the June celebrators...Keshi,Ishi,Jeetendra,Loon Gal!!:)

Thinking of holiday spots, I love Rajasthan,as I said in my comment on Sam's post.But,the three holiday spots which really stole my heart,were:

1. Matheran:


This dream place..for those who don't know about it, it's a place in Maharashtra.There's a special train which goes from Neral(near Mumbai) to Matheran, somewhat like a toy train, which sometimes goes so slow that you can hop off and on at will,but,the picturesque route makes up for the slow speed,totally! During monsoons,the route is closed,to avoid accidents.

Once you reach the bottom of this hill station(the entry point), you can forget one of your modern amenities,i.e. anything with an engine,be it cars,scooters,rickshaws...the mode of transport is either cycle/hand drawn rickshaw or horses.

Once you enter this quaint hill station,you wonder which year this place stopped reacting to civilization...it's just like one of those quaint towns in Enid Blyton books. No pucca paths to speak of, no multi-storeyed concrete towers...

There are hotels to suit every budget,right from a jhuggi type to a five-star type, complete with pool,suites,et al. Of course,as is the case at most hill stations,restaurants,and all the stores,curio shops,et al,have prices which are much higher than normal. But then, people think-we don't come here everyday,so,why not splurge?

There are a number of 'points', like echo point,panorama point,King George point,et al, where they take you on horse back(If you have a bad back,better you walk). And,of course,when you reach there,there's the vendors waiting with open arms to sell you everything from Makkai to cold drinks to chips.

So,ok,the place is commercialized,yes,but,the absence of any motor vehicles is such a great plus point! I wouldn't mind retiring there someday!
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2. Kodaikanal:

We had been to Kodaikanal quite a few years back,and, it was right after visiting the highly commercialized Ooty(once the favorite shooting location of all Bollywood movies.). We were put up at Hotel Kodai International,and had the pleasure of meeting the owner,a very NTR-type orange robed politico guy, who used to greet all his guests personally.The place,at that time,was totally natural. Very less concrete,lots of waterfalls(I remember one particularly lovely,gigantic waterfall),lots of greenery...something like a 'back to nature' experience. Wonder if it's still the same? Anybody been there recently?
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3. Holland:

I was always a fan of Radio Netherlands,back in college days. Little did I know that I'd have the good fortune to visit this lovely place one day.It's everything that the tour books promote. Unpolluted atmosphere, trams taking you around the place, smiling locals who welcome visitors,the waterways with the houseboats,the glass lined boats that give you a tour of the place,while serving free cheese(Holland cheese-slurp,in spite of diet restrictions) n a few other knick knacks.
There were,of course,the shocking places,too-right from the s*x museum to the s*x shops to the torture museum,right down to(No pun intended) the red light area which had red rotating beacons placed all around. Our guide told us to avoid taking any pics in this zone, to avoid hassles with touts. Imagine our astonishment- the,err,business ladies would be visible behind a full glass panelled window,and, once someone stuck a 'deal' with them or their tout,the curtain would be drawn, for further necessary action..and,we actually saw a 11-12 year ole bargaining with one of them..whew!

There were also the fields where the famous Holland windmills are installed, which also added a lot of charm to their countryside.

Can you imagine,it was 3 deg C the day we were there,it began raining and still none of us fell ill or even got a cold. Definitely,a place which can elongate your life,if you can afford to stay there.

Perhaps I'll put up a snap or two of the place,which I had taken,when I edit this post. I have to locate them first.
Till next time, cheerio!

8 comments:

  1. hi amit... lovely places... matherans my fave place too... the best riding trails in this part of the world...

    i used to go there as a kid... i still go there now... and i have a trainer there who has taught me how to ride horses...

    for more details iv got a few things on my blog...

    http://mesmerising-eyes.blogspot.com/search?q=soul+gatherings

    http://mesmerising-eyes.blogspot.com/search?q=matheran+revisited

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  2. Amit that sounds like a really FRESH break. For me, a holiday means in a place like that. Not in a posh resort. I wanna be in a faraway village, where the birds sing to me, where ppl bathe in wells n rivers, where smiles galore and trees n flowers bloom in freshness..


    LOVELY n REFRESHING!


    Keshi.

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  3. i haven't been to any of those places :( and i have a friend in all three! sheesh!

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  4. I with michelle on this.. damn!!!
    :(
    and am about to leave pune... for good maybe!!

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  5. Hi,Messy..how nice-you love Matheran,too?I'm sure there isn't anyone who'd say they didn't like the place-unless,of course,they're addicted to cars.
    --
    Hi,Keshi-you're sooo right..that's a real break,and not a break in a 5 star hotel in a concrete jungle of a city,which is what makes many people happy,for some reason.:)
    --
    Hi,Mich..you must visit them,especially Matheran..and,how lucky that you have a friend in each of them-now,you have an even better reason to visit them.
    --
    Hi,Sam..hey,where're u moving off to,now?

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  6. Hey i went to matheran last month.

    It was true bliss!! Amazing.. really it does feel like a totally different world with the absence of engines. But I loved the feeling of that lal mitti.. it was cold and soothing.

    and the Horse back rides arent bad. I have a totally screwed up back but the horse rides dint affect me.

    Although I walked for like hours (5-6 kms at a time) and dint feel it.. it was awsome

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  7. Hi,Harsha...hey,u're in India now?Holiday?Yes..I forgot to mention the lal mitti...that was also amazing.:)Awesome place,Matheran! I agree.

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  8. For many years now India has been a very popular tourist destination, owing to the gamut of exhilarating variety and uniqueness that it offers in its expanse. In order to reap the benefits of this interest and willingness of people to tour India, it is of utmost interest that the travel and tourism industry is strengthened and accurately incised. Especially, in the cities of the developing countries like India, the revenue coming in from the travel and tourism sector that be properly tapped and appropriately utilized by grooming and employing skilled and experienced professionals in the travel and tourism industry. In the Indian cities like Bangalore the big names from the hospitality circuit have properties and are keen on opening more properties. Most of the major players of the hospitality industry have hotels in Bangalore. The rise in the number of the Bangalore hotels requires more and more trained and able professionals from the hospitality sector. As Bangalore is booming as a promising financial hub, the number of foreign business travelers and business delegates has also increased. Under such conditions it is not just enough to open world class budget hotels in Bangalore but also to have a staff that matches the international standards of hospitality. To achieve this goal it is of utmost importance that India fuels up the momentum in setting up of travel and tourism institutions that are at par with the international standards.

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