Tajpur Beach

All that glitters are not gold but Sun rays

Morning Rays turning the virgin Tajpur beach into gold.

Varanasi Ghats

Floating Life

Idle Boats floating on River Ganges

landscape in pedong

Exotic Blues

Blue in Nature

athirapally falls

Thundering Gigantic water spout

Growling Athirapally Falls jumping with tremendous intensity

tibetan prayer wheels

Om mani padme hum

Tibetan Prayer Wheels in Kalimpong Monastery

Monday, 30 May 2016

5 Lesser Known Destinations in India

India has always been a traveler's paradise. It beacons numerous travelers all over the globe every year giving its economy the much needed boost. But the travelling limelight of most of the domestic & international explorers gets attached to the pretty common and known places of India. There are specific places which does not fall in the common travelling map but has got ample beauty to offer. Today let's take a look at some of the places which are not very common but still can be an ideal spot for you next honeymoon or summer vacation.

Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh : Now all you must know this is a place inside Great Himalayan National Park, but still this place is simply awesome with panoramic views of snow clad mountains, great wildlife siting chances. This little known place is not crowded like other places of Himachal Pradesh and offers peaceful atmosphere. You can do trout fishing on the Tithan River, or you can do trekking which is a famous here in Tirthan Valley. Ultimate refreshment of you body & mind is guaranteed in this picturesque place.

Tirthan Valley in Winter

Loktak Lake, Manipur : North East India always comes in second place while choosing a travelling destination. Manipur has impeccably beautiful places which is not much explored and can made you summer vacation a special one to remember. Its India's only floating national park and if you are lucky enough you can see the endangered Sangai Deer. This place is inhabited by nearly 300 species of bird, hundreds of species of Fish and animals.

Dhanuskodi, Tamilnadu : A ghost town which was destroyed by a Cyclone in the sixties has close attachment to Ramayana having been connected with the famous Ram Setu which was smashed by Lord Ram with the end of his Bow. This place does not have places of stay but one can hire a cab & get around this famous place. Still this place is forbidden after dark. Beautiful corals, sea creatures, fishing along with enjoying the serene beach attracts a lot of travelers these days.

Dhanuskodi Beach

Lonar Crater, Maharashtra : This salt water lake was created by a meteor impact around 50000 years ago. The lake has smaller lakes around which was created by the splinters from the meteorite. There are intense jungle around the lake with good bird population along with several temples which have splendid carvings in their body structure. This is a picturesque place which is very much uncommon to tourists but it seems it is the largest crater formed by meteorite in the world. So why miss a chance?

Lonar Lake

Bhimbetka, Madhyapradesh : One of the UNESCO world heritage site Bhimbetka is the home of oldest cave painting in India. It uses rock as the painting base & also used some prehistoric pigments. Still its a matter of discord how those paintings are made at that time. Still the painting have not been greatly affected by natural corrosion which is another point of discussion. Zoo rock, Boar rock & auditorium rock are in particular the main attraction. They are still not very much a tourist spot but can take you back to time when human & animals were not very distinguishable.


*Bhimbetka image courtesy www.gounesco.com
rest of the images taken from Google, HolidayIOU does not hold any copyright for these images.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

5 Best Scuba Diving Destinations in India

India has got around 8000 Km of coast line which is very rich with under water life. Great visibility underwater makes India a coveted scuba diving destination. Scuba diving has become very popular recently which greatly refreshes mind & body and rejuvenates our soul. The beauty of under water sea life is enchanting and a lot is still waiting to be discovered. The vibrant colors, unknown marine life, mundane tranquility must hold on to give you the most formidable experience of a lifetime.

Here are 6 most out of the world Scuba Diving Destination in India where you can free your soul

1. The Wall, Havelock Island, Andaman & Nicobar Island : 35 feet down the sand channel existing between Peel & Havelock Island, this is India's most famous diving point with clear water & great visibility. colorful corals, fishes which you may have seen in books only will attract you to this spot every time you are in Andamans.

Other Diving Sites : Clinque Island, Fish Rock
Expanses : around RS. 10,000

Havelock Island, Andaman
Havelock Island, Andaman
2. Princess Royal, Bangharam, Lakshadweep : This awesome scuba diving place offers a Ship Wreckage sank during a battle between French & British around two hundred years ago. Large Cannons, medieval anchors, broken pieces of pottery is added to your marine life adventure. Rich coral life, Anthias, Butterfly fish makes it a must try.

Other Diving Sites : Agatti Island, Manta Point
Expanses : Around RS. 7000 - 10000

Lakshadweep Scuba Dive
Lakshadweep Scuba Dive
3. Aravind's Wall, Pondicherry : Apart from the exclusive French Architecture this place offer one of he most scenic Marine life underwater. Magnificent corals, groupers, bat fish are largely found in this 40 feet deep diving spot. This place also has Barracudas and Sting Rays which can be deadly at times. So proper safety measures must be used.

Other Diving Sites : Temple Reef
Expanses : Rs. 7000 - 9000

Pondicherry Scuba Diving
Pondicherry Scuba Diving
4. Jetty, Grand Island, Goa : Situated at the old jetty of the island, this place is famous diving destination in Goa. This marine heaven has a large no of fish, barracuda and groupers species which enchants divers from all over the world. Although Goa is no the ideal for scuba diving still it offers a pleasant aquatic life to be seen.

Other Diving Sites : Shelter Cove, Sail Rock
Expanses : Rs. 6000 - 8000

Goa Scuba Diving
Goa Scuba Diving
5. Netrani Island, Karnataka : Coastal Karnataka offers sparkling azure water, regular sighting of whales, barracudas, sting rays to make your dive memorable. You can see a great variety of marine life along with hard coral fringing reef in this beautiful place.

Other Diving sites : Murudeshwar
Expanses : Rs. 7000 - 9000

Netrani Island Scuba Diving
Netrani Island Scuba Diving

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Flowers as we see it

Indian is a land of Flowers. Around 15000 species of flowers are found across India. Flowers are so popular in India that it is used to worship God in almost every religion. Roses are assumed to be a signature of love & friendship all over the world. The profound love for flowers made people to name their children in the name of flowers. The exotic natural beauty of flowers mesmerized travellers & tourists all over the world. Several Orchids, Roses, Daisies, Rhododendrons burst in colors during spring & summer which is a feast to the eyes. Several flowers are found in southern & Himalayan Alpine region of India which have great medicinal values as well. Here are some of the most common flowers found all over Indian sub continent.

Blue Snowball Bush Near Rishyap
Blue Snowball Bush Near Rishyap
Cactus Flower at Pineview Nursery
Cactus Flower at Pineview Nursery
Pink Chrysanthemum
Pink Chrysanthemum



Sunday, 24 January 2016

10 Birds We Hardly See These Days

There were numerous birds in our backyards even a few years back. But birds we used to see at least 10 years back are hard to find recently. Indian sub-continent used to host a lot of common birds which are rarely seen these days. Loss of habitat, increase in Mobile towers radiation, improper & abundant usage of pesticides, poaching and without permission hunting have taken a heavy toll in the bird ecology. Common birds like Sparrow, Owl, Magpie Robin, Drongo, Jungle babblers, Nightjar, Hawk Cuckoo are hardly seen these days. On the other hand rapid increase in Crow population has been observed in Indian sub continent which, as per the scientists, is due to increase in garbage & waste dump all over. Can't we do something to save these birds which used to sing just a decade back. Indian Government is trying hard to protect them but is not it our responsibility too to protect them? No government can succeed in this kind of plans without its inhabitants being actively taking part into these. We need be concerned about them as well. If they keep decreasing in number every year it'll affect the ecology & human life as well. That day will not be a good day after all.

Here is a list of most common bird used to be seen all over India but has drastically decreased in number -

1. Forest Owlet : One of the cutest and most photographed bird has been considered extinct but later found in adequate numbers in Indian sub-continent. But still their numbers are not very much satisfactory.


2. Vulture : Vultures were one of the most seen bird in the Indian and African Continent but has been drastically decreased recently. Due to increased usage of Diclofenac in Vet medics has affected the population of this bird heavily. Also usage of uncontrolled pesticides has decreased their number.


3. Sparrows
: The most popular bird in every house hold is seen rarely these days. Mobile towers in locality, decrease in vacant space due to lesser number of trees, decrease in insects due to high use of insecticides which happens to be their food have summed up to their disappearance.
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
4. Hawk Cuckoo : Used to frequently seen at Spring all over India this bird is commonly known as Brain Fever or Chokh gelo In Bengali. But suddenly the number has gone down drastically. Increase in temperature, deforestation to make human civilization enriched fatally affected the bird population.

Hawk Cuckoo
Hawk Cuckoo or Brain Fever

5. Himalayan Monal : A common bird in upper Himalayas has been substantially decreased in number due to hunting and poaching. Very colorful feathers have always attracted men & it is very popular to use the feather in Hats. Due to excessive killing this beautiful bird is currently an endangered species.

Himalayan Monal
Himalayan Monal
6. Munia or Avadavat : These small but extremely agile bird was frequently seen in all over Bengal even 5-6 years back. But again high usage of pesticides, lesser open space has lowered the numbered heavily. Specifically Red Avadavat number has gone very less.

Red Avadavat
Red Avadavat
7. Indian Roller/ Neelkantha : It is said the famous Bengal Durga Puja is not complete without this bird. But poaching & superstition has almost put this beautiful bird species on the verge of extinction.

Indian Roller
Neelkantha Bird
8. Drongo : Commonly known as Finge in Bengal was very popular & distinguishable by its divided tail. But recently there has been frequent decrease in the number due to pollution, increased temperature etc.

Finge / Drongo

9. Great Indian Hornbill : There are several legends about this bird, it has been hunted all over India. Loss of habitant & poaching has put this majestic bird into real danger. We need to act real fast if we really want to see this bird in near future.

Indian Hornbill
Indian Hornbill
10. Chestnut Tailed Starling : A common variety of Myna widely seen in South eastern part of Asia is now rarely seen. These birds likes to stay in a flock and feeds on fruits & insects. Rapid destruction of trees & increase in pesticides has affected their lifestyle to a great extent.

Chestnut Tailed Starling
Chestnut Tailed Starling
Apart from these there are a lot of other birds which needs real attention. Its still not too late when we can't do anything to save these beautiful species. Its our responsibility being the most intelligent mammal in this world to take care of other species. Let's support the wildlife habitat by increasing the open space protection, planting a good amount of trees, making people aware of how chemical pesticides are affecting them and by increasing global awareness through campaigns involving social media. Else this planet will soon lose the balance Eco-system must need in order to survive. The what will happen to us?

** most of the pictures are taken from Google.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

12 most Essential Apps When You Travel

Travelling is a not a hobby any more. It has grown more than this. It was a few years back when travelling to off beat locations were too risky as mostly no info was available on staying there, travelling options, renting a car, fooding or parking availability etc. I have seen several travel operators around 90's and 2000's who severely faltered in coordination due to lack of info. Obviously there were better travel operators but most of them lacked the required info.

These days we don't need operators to arrange our trips. Event some of them are frequent flyers for their office or business activities. There are several websites & apps available which erased the gap between countries and information. Here are a list of some of the apps (surely smartphones have gone beyond laptops & desktops these days) which can make your life easy while travelling or arranging your next trip

important travel apps
Apps You Need

Booking Related

Oyo Rooms : One of the best apps in the market to book hotels of home stays during your trip. You can search & book thousands of room through this app, get hands on info & other user feedback about the room to ease your decision.

Booking : Another great app for booking hotels & find best deals. This can give you tremendous value for your money with all sort of first hand user feedback to make your choice viable. You can also find unique rating option for services of the hotels.

Car & Travelling Related

Uber : Great app to book cars whenever you go. The prices are quite suitable for pocket & recently they have improved their security options in the app. Also there are a lot of offers which can sometimes make your ride free of cost. They are currently plying in 300 cities across 58 countries.

Google Map ; Travel using your GPS to reach places unknown to you. This map gives you great precision to find locations & directions to reach there from your current position.

Flight, Railway & Bus Booking

Indian Railway App/IRCTC Connect/ERail : Find about trains, book online, get their running status on the go using these apps. Both the apps are very helpful and once of the most used Apps in India. Get time table of local trains commuting from different suburb of Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai etc.

ClearTrip/Skyscanner : Both the apps are equally good finding right flights for your trips. You can find both domestic & international flights. Both the apps provide cheapest air travel tickets and can help finding hotels car hire as well.

Abhi Bus/Red Bus : Book bus online using these apps. They provide mostly all the bus routes in India. They provide option to choose your seats & book bus online by making payment directly from the App.


Trip Advisor : The best app in the travel domain provide valuable info about the hotels, places, direct feedbacks form thousands of customers will help you in finding the right choice for you. You can communicate with fellow travellers, ask them questions about the places. Also you can search what to see in places where you are travelling to planning to travel.

Google Translate : Although World is nowadays is not a big place to travel, the language barrier is still creating havoc. Google has offered a great app which provides real time translation in numerous languages. This can be a very obvious choice for you when travelling to countries with lesser English population.

Zomato : best app to find fooding option wherever you travel. This can give you first hand experiences of fellow foodies to rate hotels, restaurants & foods which you must try or must not.

Parking Panda : A very good app to search for parking spaces when you are travelling abroad and book online parking slots. This can ease you pain for parking in unknown countries and can save you from getting fined parking in no parking places.

Expansify : Track & manitain your expanses using the app and create expanse reports quickly. Its a great app for business & corporate travellers and helps to sync your credit cards, provide currency conversion. This can help you integrate Excel, Salesforce or Xero.

So whenver you are going for your next trip, be it holiday or business meet don't forget to get these apps with you which can actually save your valuable time. You can also search for other similar apps which can come in handy.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

10 Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

When it comes to wildlife we all like to see them in their natural habitat. National Geographic, Discovery channels has made them alive in our bedrooms. Growing awareness (which is a great thing) towards saving wildlife & forests has multiplied in manifolds recently. India is always abundant with green forests & wild animals be it the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger or masculine one horned Rhino or beautiful Red Panda. There has been several projects taken up by the Forest Department, Govt of India to save several species which are endangered. Tiger population has increased in last ten years due to the enormous efforts put forward by Forest department officials. As a result tourism & wildlife photography is also in its peak here in India. Here is a list of most acclaimed wildlife destinations where sighting are very common. So what are yo waiting for? You know, you have to book well in advance to get a proper seat in the safari Gypsy.

1. Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand : This was Asia's 1st national park and an ideal place for tiger lovers. Other than tiger, chital, elephant, sambar, flying fox, hedgehog, common musk shrew, Indian Pangolin, King Cobra, nilgai, gharial, wild boar, and also nearly 600 species of birds like crested serpent eagle, pied kingfisher, fishing eagle and Himalayan grey headed fishing eagle are resident here. Apart from this animals, 7 species of fish and amphibians, around 33 species of reptiles and 37 species of dragonflies also live here.the park is open from 15th Nov to 15th June.

Corbett National Park safari
Corbett National Park

2. Gir National Park : This is an unique national park dedicated toward Asiatic Lions . This beautiful park hosts 532 lions and still counting. There are also 300 Leopards,2 different species of deer,Sambar,Jackal,Nilgai,the four horned Antelope,wild boar, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine,Grey Musk Shrew found. Apart from this more than 200 species of birds have been found here.

Asiatic Lions at Gir
Asiatic Lions at Gir

3. Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan : Situated in Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan state, it is named after Ranthambor fort. This is one of ideal place for wild life and nature lovers. It is mainly famous for the big cats. World famous & most photographed Tiger ever Machli & her children has made the national park so famous that its quite hard to get tickets even 3-4 months earlier. This place is also perfect places for bird lovers. Almost 275 species of birds are found here. apart from tigers and birds there are also found Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Desert Cats, Fivestriped Palm Squirels, Indian False Vampires, Longeared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose,  Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Sambar deer,Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats etc are found in large number.

Ranathambore - Land of Tigers
Ranathambore - Land of Tigers

4. Bandhavgarh National Park : Around 400 sq KM of lush green forest situated in the hilly areas of Vindya range provides the highest probability of Tiger sighting in Madhya Pradesh. This age old forest has its long history originated from Ramayana to Maharaja of Rewa and is currently more than 55 tigers. Due to its high tiger concentration & elephant safaris has made this place best to see this wonderful creatures in their natual habitat. Apart from Tigers, leopards, sambhar, spotted deer, re-introduced gaurs, around 200 species of birds has made it a popular tourist destinations.

Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park
5. Kaziranga National Park, Assam : This park is a world heritage site since 1985. This is mainly famous for masculine one horned Rhinoceros. other than one horned rhinoceros many animals, including tigers,elephants, panthers, bears,wild buffaloes,pangolin, Indian gaur, sambar, barking deer, golden jackel, fishing cat are living here. A large variety of bid habitat is also watched here.This park remains open from November to April every year.
One Horned Rhinos at Kaziranga
One Horned Rhinos at Kaziranga
6. Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu : This park is mainly famous for elephants. It is also a good place for Gaur, Chowsingha , mouse deer and sloth bear lovers. These park also have 50 species of fishes, 21species of amphibians, 227 species of birds and 55 species of mammals.apart from this Tiger, Panther, Sambar, Blackbuck, Common Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Wild Dog, Jackal, Mongoose, Jungle Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Leopard Cat Striped Hyena, Leopard-cat, Small Indian Civet, Striped-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Indian Giant Squirrel,Wild Boar, Porcupine, Striped Hyena, etc are also found here. February to June being the most favorable time to visit this park.

Chowsingha at Mudumalai
Chowsingha at Mudumalai

7. Pench National Park : Do you remember Ka, Baloo & Bagheera? The famous jungle boy Mowgli and his fight with Sher Khan? Yes the land of Jungle book will be real in front of you in Pench National ark. Famous for its tiger population and migratory birds this national park is situated near Pench river & Satapuda hills. Beautiful landscape & dense forest will enrich your weekend holidays.

Pench National Park
Pench National Park
8. Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh : Famous for it Tiger and barasingha population this national park is another feather in the Madhya Pradesh tourism's hat. Beautiful sal forest with great landscape enriched with meadows & hillocks makes this a best honeymoon destination.

Kanha national Park
Kanha national Park
9. Sunderbans, West Bengal : The largest mangrove forest in India elongated upto Bangladesh is signature of most dangerous tigers found in India, the Royal Bengal Tigers. Continuous depletion of forest, rise in saline content of water has pushed several species found in this natural mangrove forest to extinction. Apart from the big yellow cats, ghariyals, crocodiles, several species of birds, spotted deer are also found. extreme poverty of the nearby inhabitants has compelled them to risk their lives and go deep inside the jungle for wood, honey and makes them prone to tiger attack. Its the only jungle where man & animal shares the same area.

10.Periyar Wildlife Santuary : Gorgeous scenic landscapes of western ghats with deciduous forests, Savannah grasslands and super famous Indian giant Squirrels, Malabar Hornbills makes this wild life sanctuary a must among weekend holiday dream destinations. A lot of migrant birds, giant Indian elephants, Nilgiri flycatcher can be seen in this beautiful national park.

Elephants at Periyer National Park
Elephants at Periyer National Park
** Photos are taken from internet. HolidayIOU does not have copyright over them.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

They Feel like Us

Though they are not like us but trust me they have all the human qualities in them. You can easily find their different moods if you watch them for a while. Animals speaks a different language well mostly a body language to express their emotions. Some of them are quite easy to read & just like us when we feel anger, sorrow or joy. Humans are not very friendly to them, well mostly with some exceptions. That's why probably we have some of the animal species only left as stuffed art works in museums or as pictures in books. We need to understand killing animals for personal needs or for money is not a solution. Its a luxury we can't afford. If we don't culminate the habit of leaving them in their world, (obviously we need to take care of stopping deforestation as well) probably in our next generation will see them in books only. Check out some of the moods of some really known animals.

Chipmunk on wall
Spell bound Chipmunk

Barking Deer Kid Gulping a mouthful

Lonely Chimp

tiger flehemen response
Tiger making faces

white tiger
Jovial Albino
lion king
Sad & lonely Lion