Thursday, November 3, 2016

If Nepal was on your Bucket list - Check this !!

My good friend and neighbor @sanjay is organizing the below Treck to Nepal..if interested you can reach to him on Hi! Here's something I wanted to do for a long time. I've been going on Himalayan treks alone. But I always wanted to share it with others. So me and my cousin Bhaskar Bhattacharya in Nepal have teamed up to take travelers in India to a journey we love and cherish, an experience that can change you for good. We are conducting a trek to the Himalayas in Nepal, in the Langtang region. Almost all trek organizers in Nepal charge in dollars, and that escalates the cost as there are hardly any exclusive planning done for Indian travelers; almost double than what we have achieved. Also, I will be travelling all along the journey. Since I live in India and I am from Nepal, I have an understanding of both cultures and languages, and good local contact. So, no ambiguity, no inflated or hidden costs. Plus loads of personal attention, conversations and friendship. Though by profession I am Creative Director, I am doing this because I love trekking, I love Nepal and I love the mountains :) (All pics taken by my cousin) This is a beautiful trek in the Langtang region, through Langtang National Park. And November is the ideal season. Below is the itinerary. Anyone with moderate fitness can do this.
The land of the Lamas – A 7-day Himalayan trek in Nepal Fitness level: Moderate Total no. of days: 10 Itinerary for Max.10 members: Nov 11th (Day 1) - Fly to Kathmandu (KTM) via Delhi/Kolkata Nov 12th (Day 2) - Reach KTM, Check in into 3-star hotel, shopping, relax Nov 13th (Day 3) - Start for Sayabrubesi (1,550m) after breakfast, 7Hrs drive from KTM, night halt Nov 14th (Day 4) - Start trek to Rimche (2,240m) after breakfast, 6Hrs trek, cross rivers BhoteKoshi and Langtand Khola, if lucky Red Panda sightings on the way, night halt Nov 15th & 16th (Day 5 & 6) - Trek to Langtang Village (3,430m) after breakfast, 6Hrs trek, visit monastery, beautiful views on the way, night halt, 1 day rest and sightseeing, local culture and exploring surroundings Nov 17th (Day 7) - Trek to Kyangjin Gompa (3,870m) after breakfast, 3Hrs trek, through yak pastures, explore the area, night halt Nov 18th (Day 8) - Trek back downhill to Lama Hotel, 6Hrs trek, Sherpa and Tamang villages, relax, night halt Nov 19th (Day 9) - Trek back to Sayabrubesi, 5Hrs trek, night halt Nov 20th (Day 10) - Drive back to KTM, check in into Hotel, shopping, relax, farewell dinner Nov 21st (Day 11) – Fly back to your destination (Travelers interested to stay back can book hotel accordingly and do shopping, local sightseeing, which can be arranged separately on request) For an all inclusive cost (including all meals, rooms and local transport, excluding air fares) write to or PM me on FB Do share it with your friends, family and colleagues. Thank you :) #himalayas #nepal #trekking You can reach him on

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pedalling in South Chennai

We were planning for a ride for a while, but as usual a long planning does not work if every one were working in same project and office. Multiple commitments pushed our planning for some time. 
Then came a day when we got a leave in the mid of the week , that was for Ramzan, Officially ramzan is being celebrated today by most of the people but as our company holiday calendar was prepared long before it didn't predict this surprise.

Vijay tossed the idea of going a long ride and we were looking for our other friends as time was less we didnt make it big just restricted within me , +selvam vijayakumar and +Alwin Koshy. We just wanted to make a 100+ Km ride that was our prime agenda and should be on the outskirts of chennai covering a scenic route. Vijay took his help from our Chennai trekking club friends and pulled out a trail between Vandlur and Chengalpettu covering offroad and onroad. We decided to meet at pallavaram @ 5.00 PM and left the office.

I set my alarm for 4.00 , planning to get up and pedal. But when i started it was already 4.45 and got a call from +Alwin Koshy  that they have already started. So i rushed to the Nungambakkam station and took a train ticket and surprisingly the ticket counter guy informed me to take the luggage with the TT, as none asked me i landed safely in the pallavaram and joined with our guys , who reached 10 mins earlier and have completed a Tea.
As we  regrouped we checked the map and we know we have to follow the road till Vandalur and started our pedaling. The highways did not have much traffic, but we took the service route/ highway in a mix to manage the traffic did our first pit stop in a petrol station to refill our water bottles continued our pedaling on the vandalur - medavakam route and took our left towards the mambakam road. After few distance i found that my wheel was not smooth and noticed my rear wheel had less air, i was worried for a flat Tyre but guys were strong and encouraged me to pedal further as we where fully equipped.


    This route was the first offroad we encountered and we were pedaling along the banks of the mambakkam lake, it was huge and other sides were complete green small forest. we crossed small mountains and the sounds of the birds were accompanying the complete stretch. we crossed the mambakkam reserved forest along with many paddy fields and mango farms on both sides.  It was already 8.00 AM so we planned to stop for a quick break fast.It is another reason for this rides to eat some simple village foods. So we checked into a 4Start restaurant( Since only 4 person including the owner) and had nice dosai with some fruits that we carried along and we continued our tour.
  We crossed many reserved forest (RF) like Kayar RF , Kalvoy RF and we decided to detour from our original plan of reaching 

As we were crossing many fields we witnessed lot of open wells , old houses , small schools, and we were discussing about how life is so peace and pollution free just away from a hour drive from the city. We stopped at few places for re fueling and also got a chance to get drenched to cool ourselves on a road side water tap.

 The wetness didnt last for few minutes and we were completely dry in few mins. we have already covered 65 + Kms we were discussing if we need to ride back or get into a train with our cycles and travel back. So we decided to reach the kuduvanchery station and check for the options. Our navigator +Alwin Koshy  checked for the routes and we were close to our original plans and we started following the map, at one place we lost our trail and landed in a dead end. When we were checking for the alternate route, the pleasant smell of the mangoes pulled  us into a Mango farm and we were pleased when we found that they have plucked mangoes just now and they were ready to go to market. The person there 

 offered us a rate of 100 Rs for 3 Kg looking all 3 of us. But we requested her to charge us for that we eat and we took 2 rounds of fresh mangoes and paid her 60 Rs. The pleasant climate inside the mango farm gave us a good break and the fresh mangoes were like a good refreshment. We rechecked the route for Gudvancherry and pushed ourselves to reach there around 12.00 PM. 

As we approached to the GST roads we were again feeling the foul smell of the garbages on the road, sound horn, busy people, rash traffic etc. we reached the railway station and enquired for the transport cost , for which the Ticket Checker offered us 200 Inr per cycle, which is 20 times the cost of ticket. We spoke about Go Green, Cycling etc with him and later which he gave a 20 Ruppes offer and said that it will be 180 Rs. So we decided to take this up with the Railway miniisted Mr. Suresh prabhu ( Kidding) and left the station and decided to pedal back. 
More than the  heat and the traffic, the crazy look of people towards us was very funny to me many times and few did respect us on the highway , when many of us didn't consider as a person on the road. We reached around 1.00 Pm at the Pallavaram where all of us separated towards our direction. And we all reached back home @ 2.00 PM. 

The over all experience was wonderful in exploring the south chennai. We did not take much pictures as we were focusing in covering the places.

In case if any one likes to follow the original  trail you can use the below link.,80.0800047/12.8273842,80.164712/12.6778912,80.0070291/12.7253278,80.0262602/12.7410921,80.0239792/12.7211474,80.0782458/12.7126493,80.0991026/12.7773491,80.0639733/12.8038276,80.121584/12.8600376,80.0735423/@12.7780147,80.0203288,12z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e2?hl=en

Happy and Safe Riding :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cyclone Cycling - Nov 2015

When every one where worried about the continuous rain because of the Cycloses in Novemeber 2015 few of us planned to do the Cycling in the rain and tossed the idea of "Cyclone Cycling".

I rode till guindy to meet aditya and ezhil as few other dropped out hearing the early morning thunder @4.00 AM. There was little drizzle but was no signs that there is going to be a down pour. When we all 3 assembled and discussed that we will hit the semmozhi poonga, Valluvarkottam, kasimedu bridge and then move to besant nagar and comeback to guindy to disperse. 

As we just completed our plan and ensured for other safety the rain started pouring down.

Deserted Road
@ the Start
We were only people riding on the road in the heavy rain and many were looking at us crazy and were surprised to see us with the cycles. We went crossed the Semmozhi poonga, then valluvar kottam, Parrys and then reached kasimedu bridge. The weather was perfect here as the rain stopped and were little drizzle across. There were many people on the boat back from the sea after shipping. We found the waves were little rough on the shores and we experimented few photo snaps standing on the rocks.

After our kasimedu bridge visit we started to besant nagar beach. Intrestingly whenever we stopped the cycling the rain also stopped and when we planned to move the rain started again. When we were near the War memorial we had less visibility as the rain was downpouring. We spent some at the war memorial and talking of all the subject we know about the world war 1 and 2 and if 3 will come etc.  We crossed the Napier bridge and we reached the Marina beach.

War memorial
Napier bridge
We were surprised to see our shores were even full of water. We were not able to user the service lanes, as they were fully submerged. There were kids playing on the rain water and few bikers cleaning their bikes and few zooming in the water and testing the power of their bike. We found it was perfect location for photo shoot. But the conitinious showers didnt give us enough time to click well. But we managed to click few pics and we planned to pedal back after a soup from the beach.
Marina Beach @ the serice road
Once again these guys proved to be crazy and we all had a very interesting time and great satisfaction on completing our "Cyclone Cycling"

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spiritual Trek Series 2 - Velliangiri Hills

It was during the end of our last trek to Paruvatha Malai we decided to go sathuragiri hills and later to Vellingiri hills. Though i missed the sathuragiri hills it was lucky to make it this time.
During the end of December the plans to vellingiri hills were drafted with my office colleagues. The initial plan of train was dropped  and we took a Van to reach the place.It was planned to be a week end trip and preparatory plans for procuring the required things,preparing our team mates with the essentials geared up from the beginning of the week.Every one were very excited. We started on the Friday evening 6.30 from office and we took the Kanchipuram,Salem to reach Coimbatore. Our first destination was to reach the Isha Yoga centre for refreshing and start our onward journey. It was 6.30 AM in the morning when we reached the foot hills of vellingiri hills, which is called as Poondi. The snacks, waterbottle, biscuit, glucose, banana, bread every thing were unpacked and was provided to all the people to carry them along.The Sky was very clear with few colorful clouds and gave us a very warm welcome.

As we landed the foot hills we went to the velliangiri andavar temple and since it was very early morning. we didn't find much rush here. We were actually looking for the sticks , which will help us to climb the hill. Surprisingly there were  no place to purchase the sticks and later we were informed that the watchman of the temple have few ones. we rushed to him and paid 20 Rs/ Stick and started our onward Journey by 7.30 AM.

First Hill


The shrine of Velli Vinayagar

The entrance of the hill is on the right side of the temple and you will find steep steps infront of you. The first hill is full of steps and people say it is around 1000-1500 steps to cross the first hill. The early morning breeze was pleasant for first few steps and people were in different paces. As you move few meters the steps begins to change in the shape and the path became little tough to start climbing. After  half an hour of walk we found a small curve to take rest and also to start preparing our hydration with glucose lemon salt etc. The first hill is full of steps and we were able to see the increasing altitude as we kept moving.
At the end of the first hill we have the velli vinayagar shrine. This is a small place where you can take rest or hide in case of raining. After this there is no proper place for rest or shade.

  Second Hill


Pambatti sunnai

As we reach the second hill, it was a big relieving for every one because of the end of the steps. The second hill continues to with the steep but intrestingly there were no steps nor any smooth surface. It was full of boulders and stones. Any many places had small carvings made on the rocks which helped the people to walk on it. Every one were informed to walk carefully on this rocks as they were slippery. This place does has a  natural spring which is the one of the source of water in the hills. The water was very tasty  and we decided to have our breakfast here. By here the 14 member gang has already got split into 3 groups based on the pace. But at this place we ensured every one were there and the first pack of chappatti with jam was almost over.



  Third Hill



After our breakfast, every one started the journey. The breakfast helped many to regain the lost energy and people started asking for the distance,climate,etc from the people who were returning back. The third hill again has complete stretch with steep and slippery rocks , atmost care is required as we walk on this. There are carvings made on the rock to provide grip to the foot. 

Add caption

There is also a natural water spring here, it is hard to believe and find the source of it. The water has a very different taste and also it is chill. So most of us refilled our water bottles and prepared the hydration pack with glucose, electral etc for the climb. It also has some shades with huge tress to take a small break or nap.

  Fourth Hill


Sidhar Ottar's Samathi

  Fifth Hill


S Bheeman KaliyruandaiHill

The next hill are almost continuous, we will have few climbs and few steep descends to manage. We had a very great natural valley on oneside and were moving on the edges of the hills during some times too. This below picture is some of the places that we pass through when we climb this hills. we actually started experiencing the chill weather as we moved to the fifth hill. After you cross the hills there is a steep descend which will land you on the sixth hills.

  Sixth Hill



If you have been very tired then the best place to take rest is in the sixth hill. This place is like a paradise, we were able to see many different types of trees on the one side and also the other side of the path had a huge valley and we can see the western ghat section and the catchment area of the siruvani dam and water falls. At the begining of the of this hill we had a cold water spring. The water was very clear and the place is like a baby pool. The moment you get into the water , the body completely becomes so chill and you actually feel refreshed. All of us had a dip in this spring and started to move forward.
Also there is one Tea shop where you get black tea. There was a complete surprise for us as we found some people have camped there and prepared food for them and also were providing to other people who were enroute to the hill top. It would have been a huge task for that team who have carried all the groceries,vessels etc. When enquired we understood they are a team who are making trip every month to different hills.

  Seventh Hill


Swayambhu Lingam- Lord Vellingiri

Once you cross the sixth hill the last hilltop is completely visible to us. As we moved up we found a small intresting group of one adult and 3 kids. We were surprised to see the kids climbing the steep boulders and enjoying every bit of it. The best part was the man who was accompanying them was patiently explaining about hills, forest etc and keeping them engaged. He was carrying all their luggage's and were slowly moving. For many of us this kids were really a motivators during the tiresome last leg. This hill actually gave us a different challenge as the boulders were steep and big. As we reached the hilltop we found the time was around 1.30 Pm. It has taken around 6 hours to reach the hill top. We offered our prayers for the Shiva Lingam there and started waiting for the regrouping of tall the people. I hit a conversation with the kids and they didn't show any sign of tiredness and they were actually enjoying the whole trip. 
The hilltop has heavy windflow, inspite of the summer the weather on side of the hilltop is to cold and we were not able to spend on this side for more time. We need to move to the other side of the rock which had a chill weather but it was pleasant. As we waited for other we discussed lot of topics including Isha,AOL,Babramdev since we had people of different faith joined in this trip. we had some snacks and food that we took over and we planned to start of return journey by 2.30 PM. The return journey also gave equal toughness but this time we need to be very careful and the usage of sticks were realized by most of us as it helped to avoid falling. After 4.30 Hours of time by 7.00 Pm we reached the foot hill in the evening hours. The First hill with steep steps will really test your patience as you see the lights in the below villages will be moving very slow to you and will take much time for us to reach there.

Over all this trip tested the endurance of many but the end every one had a great feeling of completing this trek. There were many interesting people that we met during the journey and have many memorable moments which will stay ever green for all of us.

In case if you are planning to make a trip the below can be helpful.

1. How to Reach :

* The foot hills is known as POONDI and is 30 KM from Coimbatore City.
* You have few buses plying from Gandhipuram main bus stand / railway station to this place.

2. Opening Period: 

This hill  is open for public from January mid till may end.

3. Essentilas to carry:

     Water Bottle, Torch with batteries, Little food,

4. Clothing: 

Be an comforable clothing with slippers / shoe with good grip.

5. Stay Plan: 

In case if you plan to stay ensure you have proper sheet to cover you. The nights are extreme cold over there.
Note:There is no single shop where you will be able to get water, you will rely on couple of natural spring enroute only so kindly be prepared.

Previous Treks:
A Trek to paruvathamalai. 

Shenbaka Thoppu @ Srivilliputur