Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya to the Nilgiri Mountains this May

Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya to the Nilgiri Mountains this May.

If Sharukh Khan can….you can too.

The only difference….he was at work. But you can play in Ooty this May.

Nilgiris Mountains beckon all the flower, fruit, spice, tea, boat-racing, vintage-cars, horses, dogs, sports, art lovers from all over the country to participate in the 16-day Summer Festival organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu during the second-half of May this year.

The District Capital of Nilgiris District – Ooty – a Hill Station at 7350 feet altitude in Tamil Nadu, is going to play host to the Summer Festival held in May where the Nilgiri Mountain Range is going to display its proud possessions in various shows held at various locales in Ooty and its environs.

o   Flower Show: More than 150 types of imported and indigenous flowers would be put on display at the Botanical Garden in Ooty. Indian floral arrangements, Japanese floral arrangements, flower rangoli, Bonsai, vegetable carving are some of the many activities and competitions held here. The Flower Show tradition in Ooty has been in practice since 1896. A 2-day Flower Show would also be held at Kodaikanal in which florists from all over the country would participate.

o   Rose Show: More than 3000 types of Roses will bloom this May in Ooty to participate in the prestigious Rose Show which happens every summer.

o   Fruit Show: More than 25000 tourists visit the Sim’s Park in Coonoor to participate or view the tons of fruits on display – organized by the Department of Horticulture which has been in practice for more than 50 years.

o   Vegetable Show: The Nehru Park in Kotagiri is visited by more than15,000 people every summer for the Vegetable Show organized by the Department of Horticulture for 2 days. The Star attraction of this show every year is the depiction of the Map of India using red, yellow and green Capsicums.

o   Spice Show: Department of Horticulture organizes the Spice Show at Gudalur in the Nilgiris each year putting on display the immense wealth of spices that grow in the Nilgiri Mountains.

o   Dog Show: The third oldest Dog Club in India – the ‘South of India Kennel Club’ has been organizing the Dog Shows in Ooty at the Government Arts College Grounds for more than 107 years. You will get to see some of the best looking and well trained canines strut around in this show. The same event shall be held at Kodaikanal as well.

o   Boat Race & Boat Pageantry: The Ooty Lake will dazzle with countless boats which will all muster to participate in this century-old spectacular tradition of boat pageantry and competitions in Ooty. This is a jumbo crowd puller with tourists and natives of Bangalore, Chennai, Kerala and other nearby towns thronging to the Ooty Lake to see this event every summer. The Kodaikanal Hill Station would also host a boat-race organized by its Boats Club this may in its scenic Kodaikanal Lake.

o   Vintage Car Rally in Ooty is an interesting piece of the Annual Nilgiris Summer Festival where many vintage cars will drive around the main town of Ooty to display their antiquities.

o   A Marathon Race would be held in Ooty for the ‘fit and the fast’.

o   The Breeks HADP open-air stadium in Ooty will be the venue for the 9-day Summer Cultural Festival comprising dance, drama and music programs.

o   Hot-air balloon Show: In one of the largest ballooning events of India, scores of hot-air balloons shall fill the skies of Ooty in a colourful and elaborate display of hot-air balloons.

o   Amateur Photo Contest: Ooty is where all the photography-enthusiasts and amateurs get their chance to click and compete for a prize in the Summer Festival.

o   Painting Exhibition: Artists are invited to showcase their creativity in their paintings in the Painting Exhibition in Ooty.

o   Heritage Building Trek: You would be given a guided-tour of the great centuries-old Heritage Buildings of Ooty which throw insights into the history of these Mountains and Ooty in particular.

o   Eco-trekking: Where there are verdant mountains, there is eco-trekking and Ooty offers myriad such opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural lush green Mountains, valleys, forests and tea-gardens.

o   Catch-a-Fish Event: This amusing event shall be held in Kodaikanal during the last week of May this year.

o   Horse Competition: Kokaikanal which is famous for its horses would hold a competition for Horses this May.

o   Sports Competition: Kodaikanal District Sports Office would conduct sports competitions in hockey, football, volleyball and mini-marathon in Kadaikanal at the Bryant Park.

 You may not be allowed to dance atop the Nilgiri Mountain Railway Shahrukh Khan style…..but you certainly can ride this steam-locomotive-turned-diesel-locomotive – one of the rare and few ‘toy trains’ of India while you climb up the Nilgiri Mountains for an interesting summer this May.

Honeymoon in Ladakh

Honeymoon in the monsoon months

Are you recently married or planning to get married in these monsoon months? After marriage you certainly would like to go out with your newlywed partner for a sweet honeymoon in some corner of India?

The answer from your side is certainly yes! But you are little confused and puzzled about your destination, right! As most of the places in India are blessed with rain in these months of monsoon, you cannot go out freely. I believe, regular travelers too do not like these months of monsoon as it creates lots of inconvenience while travelling.

But do not worry there are many places in the northern India which do not get affected by this south-west monsoon. So plan for your trip to those places of India where you will not get caught up with rain.

In the valleys of Kashmir there is a place named Ladakh. Not much explored, but a place where the pristine beauty of nature will endear you. Here is a place where you can commune with God Himself.

Ladakh is wedged between Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas in the south. Ladakh or Kashmir as a whole can be your best destination for touring or honeymooning in between the months of June to September in India. That is if you do not like rains.

Ladakh, situated at an altitude of around 3500 m and shadowed by the world’s highest peaks, is really a land of pristine beauty. The presence of white crowned high mountains all around makes the flowing river look tiny, along with glistening glaciers making their way through this picturesque land of Ladakh.

Being sparsely populated area and not much ventured by the tourists, this place is still maintaining its natural beauty.

Ladakh hardly receives any water from the rain; the main source of water in this place is the snow-melted water. The same water is used for irrigation through small streams, which is preferred by the farmers than rain water.

This land of many passes has Buddhist monasteries all around, which are really worth visiting. Other than the mesmerizing surroundings, the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the monasteries is so relaxing that it makes you forget all your worries.After this meditation hour of the morning, you can go for different outdoor activities like white water rafting, trekking, jeep safaris and mountaineering.

Shopaholics and foodies don’t worry.There are lots of things in your store too. The place is well known for the Ladhaki artifacts.

So you can shop Ladhaki artifacts such as Buddhist relics, Pashmina and Cashmere shawls and stoles. Foodies can savour the varieties of Ladhaki, Kashmiri, Tibetan and European dishes, which the place is well known for.

While visiting Ladakh, the nearby places that you can include in your itinerary are Leh, Khardung-La ,Zanskar, Nubra valley and Panamik.

So I think I have given one solution to your problem of choosing the destination. So what are you waiting for? Plan for your trip and make the arrangements right now.

One moment, sorry! I have forgotten to tell you of how to reach the place and the precautions to be taken while travelling.

There is an airport in Ladakh’s capital Leh, in which services are provided by Indian Airlines. From the airport there are regular buses and shared jeep- taxies to take you to your destination.

There is no rail facility in Ladakh, you can go there only by flight or buses. Now hurry up! Book your stay and flight as soon as possible, as the flights and hotels are usually full in the summer months.

Some Precautionary Measures:

· As Ladakh is situated at a great height you may feel sick on the first day, as body takes time to acclimatize with the surroundings, so you can consult your doctor before starting the tour for the remedy.
· Though you are visiting in summer, you need to carry woolen garments, as the atmosphere is quite cool there.
· Do not eat much before travelling by road to Ladakh, as you may get nausea while travelling through the hilly roads.