Meghalaya-Land of clouds

While I was searching for some information for my trip, I rarely found any descriptive blogs about it.

Since I have explored it now , sharing my experience with everyone.

Days needed= 5 days (long weekend+2days leave). This was one of my short trips.

One can reach shillong from Delhi by taking a flight to Guwahati and then a 2.5hr drive by cab. If you book a cab it costs Rs 2000 and if taking a shared cab it costs 500 each for 4 people sharing one vehicle.

The drive is smooth, it was warm in Guwahati and I was just waiting for the ascend to get some pleasant breeze.

I was a privileged as this time I had somebody known at the destination. And fortunate to have two, my aunt and a college freind. I just had to book my flights and the rest was taken care of. This trip was the most convenient and the safest. The iternerary was pre-arranged by my uncle and home cooked food was an added perk.

Let me show you where was I staying,  it is a holiday retreat in itself.

Day 1 was at leisure enjoying the surroundings of the “Assam rifles” cantonemnt area. The weather is beautiful, as the name suggests ‘Meghalaya’ it is bright and sunny in the morning and starts raining by 3pm. It gets cold at night that a sweater in necessary to go out, may be because this area was 7 km from the main city.
Day 2 was a trip to Cherapunji. About which I read in my Geography or General knowledge classes. “Which place in India recieves the maximum rainfall”. However it is no more topping the list.

The attractions were:

Seven sisters– A place where 7 waterfalls, signifying the 7 states of North East. (A sight to be visited in monsoon, else a waste, since they are dependent on rain water)

Mawsmai caves – Calcium caves, USP of meghalaya. They are only found in the North East. (These can’t be visited as they are flooded)

So one needs to make a choice between the two or visit twiceπŸ˜‰

It’s important to note that there are not many public transport in Meghalaya and it’s always better to hire a cab. 

In the evening I went to visit my freind, we met at the ‘5th mile’ cafe, located in Upper shillong. From there we walked to her place.  I stayed overnight, met her family, got to know the traditions and ate Khasi food.

Day 3- it was Easter, my freinds family was all dressed to ho to church but I had to go back to my aunts place, to push off to Mawlynnong.

It was a 3hr drive, also because the roads were busy with celebrations. But it was a sight, I was getting familiar with a new culture.

Living root  bridge one needs to climb down about 150 steps to reach the bridge. There is a double decker bridge in Cherapunji which is 300 steps. These were created by the natives by entangling the roots of the trees and later settling mud over to make a pathway. 

The cleanest village of AsiaIt deserves the title, nobody can say that these people are not horticulture and landscaping experts. The food is available in  one or two restaurants. It is bit expensive as the resources are limited and it is one of the means for the locals to earn.

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Tourist in my own city

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What a start of a Saturday.. Got up at 5:30am, no cabs available,  had to go to the New delhi railway station to board a train to Saharanpur (my grandparents place)at 6:45 am which I booked in tatkal ,none of the auto drives interstate, finally took a metro till qutab minar, hired an auto, paid him double to convert hus auto in a jet plane and make me reach the station in 15 min, on the station ran like a dog, panting, my calf muscles shaking and I see the train leaving. So many efforts made and all in vain.

“Jab we met” part 2

But why to get disappointed, I decided to explore Delhi which I would have never done if it was a usual weekend.

Had a sumptuous breakfast in Paharganj.

Observed the foreign tourist, overheard there experience throughout their travel in India

Roamed the narrow lanes, looking at the old structures.

Got the ” Basil plant” for which I was looking for long.

Walked towards the metro station which was one km away.

Fought with the Metro Security for not allowing me inside with the plant.

This was just the starting of the day, let’s c what this weekend brings for me….

HAPPY WEEKEND

Don’t know

How time and situations have brought a turmoil. Uncertainty of what do I want in terms of my career and in my personal life.
A person who was so determined at her head once is lacking direction, moving in every pathway, which anybody and everybody mentions .
On top of it when I need my love to be there, he is present but is not exactly here.
I don’t know if being with him brings me stability or is setting me bizzare
Though he tries his best to keep my back in despair.
I sometimes feel guilty that I am unable to give him the love he deserves, coz he is the one who let’s me be weird.
I do not want to hurt him, but I know with my every action , he burns
I am a free bird which can never return.
I know my journey but don’t know where to start.
God I want you to show me the way , to set the spark…


At this point of time, I am so confused about everything, after I came back from my one  month travel  on 8th feb 2016 I was unable to cope up for almost 5 days. Post that I brought myself together and started to think what I wanted. The only thing which came to my mind was to get out of India and explore, whether by STUDYING, VOLUNTEERING OR WORK.

But after so much of search on Internet and talking to people I realized, everybody wants money. So did I for all the above.

Every volunteering has a fee attached
If I want to work outside india, I have to pay the consultants
And if I study, there is an additional fees for all international students, except for some colleges in germany and Finland. Still if I have to pay in euros or usd, it will surely burn a hole in my pocket.

Then I decided to take up work from anywhere, but no success on online application.

Lastly I decided to earn and spend during my leave time. Traveling forever cannot bring stability and monetary back up for emergency.

Everything comes like a phase of life & passes by.

Essentials to pack for a month long solo women backpack trip

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For all the pround first timers starting with a month long backpacking trips, below are the list of things to pack if you are heading to warmer regions :

Clothing
Trouser/jeans/lower – 2 no.
Tshirts/tops casual – 5
Party wear top- 1
Shorts- 1
Scarf- 2
Towel-1
Undergarments- 3 sets
Bikini – for the beaches
Thin jacket-1
Night dress- 1
Spread sheet

Cosmetics
Body lotion
Sunscreen cream
Kajal/eyeliner
Lipbalm
Nail cutter
Nail filer
Nail paint remover
Nail paint
Small scissor
Razor
Washing powder small sachets
Shampoo – small bottle coz it’s less messy than shampoo sachets
Shower gel with loofah- prevents you from keeping wet soap in your bag
Facewash- 50-100ml bottle
Cotton roll
Toilet roll
Tooth brush
Tooth paste

Electronics
Mobile Charger
Earphones
Battery backup/power bank
Kindle/Novels to read

Accessories
Sunglasses
Hairband
Ruberband

Footwear
Shoes
Flipflops
Trendy but comfortable flat sandals/ballies

First aid
Medicine for vomiting and stomach ache
Paracetamol
Painkiller
Band aid
Dettol
Paper soap

20 Destinations, 30 days , INR 40,000

The very first step taken by me was to quit my boring, routine, sales job. I planned a one month backpack solo trip. For an Indian girl – even thinking about it gives jitters to the family and friends. And the same happened with mine. But I was very determined. One day I sat with the map for south India and Google. Jotted down all places where I wanted to go. It took me 5 hrs to chalk out the same.
It was still 15 days left for the beginning my trip, and as the days came closer I started to become hesitant. But there was no getting away. I had my flight ticket booked for MUMBAI.
In this article I would only share my itinerary and keep my experiences for later.

Mumbai – Lonavala – Goa – Gokarna – Chikmagalur – Madikeri – Wayanad – Ooty – Kochi – Munnar – Thekkady – Kumarakom –Alleppy – Varkala – Kanyakumari – Madurai – Kodaikanal – Vattakanal – Pondicherry – Chennai

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It had been a life changing experience for me. Being in my own country, I did not understand the local language but the world is not a scary place as it is thought to be. Every girl if given enough support, exposure and determination is capable of traveling alone. The best part about travelling alone is that you are not restricted to your own small group, I made strangers my friends, stayed with the locals and saw all the interesting places around.

Udaipur- long weekend getaway

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People call it city of lakes, talks about the culture , true it is.  But udaipur is much more than this, in one word it is a “DREAM”. It has the oldest mountain range- the arravalis, the water bodies, forts, hippie yet ethnic style,  temples, roof top lounges, lake side restaurants and If there are tourists who are still looking for a city feel, udaipur has decent multiplex and malls as well.

COMMUTING

The airport  is 30 km away from the city where in the railway station is located within the city. Most convenient is a train from H.Nizamudin Station to udaipur at 1900hrs and the same train can be boarded from udaipur at 1830hrs

The best thing about the city is that it is not spread out,  each and everything is approachable by a tuk tuk or on foot.
*Unusual but they do  not have manual rickshaws.

LODGING

Luxury- the three big brands stand at the Pichola lake. The world famous Taj Lake Palace, Udaivillas by the Oberoi group and then the Leela. Romance hovers Taj lake palace. (If one wants to propose and doest not want to be disappointed by the answer, this is the place for the grand proposal)

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Upscale- the royal family has converted there palace into two hotels. Laxmi villas by the lalit, radisson blue and the Chunda palace are other options.

Budget- there are multiple options to choose from , personal havelis turned into lodges between the price range of INR 500 – 4000 per night.

DINING

EXPENSIVE:Jagmandir- the food is excellent and gives you a royal and unique  experience of dining in the midde of the lake.  The cover charge per couple is around INR 4000 which also includes the ferry charges.

MODERATE:Ambrai- breathtaking location,  panoramic view of the palaces and the Pichola lake with traditional Indian food, what else can someone ask for, being in a city of royalty.

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ECONOMY:Little prince- is a seasonal ‘little restaurant ‘ on the banks of the cannal connecting the two lakes. Serving majorly international cuisine with all sorts of liquor.

The city has a wide variety of cafes and rooftop restaurant serving breakfast starting from a Gujrati dish to a cappuccino with Danish pastry.

SHOPPING (ethnic)

City palace market or the old city market- this is a place for tourists. One can find rajasthani traditional artifacts here.

Haathi pol (haathi means elephant and pol in rajasthani is gate, strage but true)- this is the market area for all the localities. Majorly for apparels.

SIGHTSEEING

The City palace- the main fort which is still the residence of the royal family.  Part of the palace has been converted into a museum and hotels.

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Jagdish Temple- beautiful carvings on the walls will make one awstruck.

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Monsoon palace- A palace once built to keep a track of weather conditions. Is known for its two sided view, the Aging Arravalis and Udaipur city’s arial view.

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Fateh sagar lake- is another lake within the city which is a picnic spot for all the locals. Also the shacks along the lake are called Bombay market as you will get, local delicacies of Mumbai here. Do not forget to try “khullar coffee”.

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Very rightly quoted Udaipur is the ‘Venice of India’. Boating in the Pichola during the sunset, view from the  Tripolia bridge, watching locals on the ghats during ‘Gangaur’, walking through the narrow lanes, exotic breakfast at the cafes and the enriched history will spellbound you in the mystic world. It happened with me, its time for you to explore the beauty…