Slow Travel, Immersive Tales

Heroes of Trikkaipetta

Beginning with a honeymoon trip, continuing with popular destinations such as Nainital, Khajuraho, Munnar and likes, travel acquired another meaning of “going to live and experience life differently” in addition to its earlier meaning of “going to see something”. This change has been a major deciding factor to finalize travel plans since long. Of course I do not have a complete freedom, as kids have their own likes and dislikes, suitable to their age.

With all these limits and the unlimited flight of dreams, I zeroed on Kerala once again. Yes, once again, after our first trip in 2008. Back then, we covered some popular destinations like Munnar, Thekkady and a lesser known place ( at that time) Kollam. This time it was again a balance between known- Kochi and lesser known- Wayanad.

Wayanad itself is not much explored and the place which we decided to stay in Wayanad – the village of Trikkaipetta, was even less explored. Even we did not know what to expect there, except that there was a bamboo craft centre.

Famous loops to Wayanad

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कैसे बना मोर राष्ट्रीय पक्षी

मोर की खूबसूरती पर हम सभी फ़िदा हैं. मोर के राष्ट्रीय पक्षी होने पर हमें नाज़ है. उसके सुनहरी हरे नीले पंख, राजसी कलगी, सुराहीदार गर्दन, चमकता नीला वर्ण, और उस पर पंख फैला कर, घूम घूम कर, थिरक थिरक कर, रुक रुक कर नाचना। फिर उसके कनेक्शन भी बड़े ही महत्वपूर्ण हैं हमारे मानस में- कृष्ण मुकुट में , कार्तिकेय का वाहन, शक्ति के एक रूप- कुमारी देवी का वाहन, इन्द्र देव का रक्षक। लिखने को तो और भी बहुत हैं किन्तु इतने में ही उसकी हमारी संस्कृति में क्या महत्ता है इसका निर्णय हो जाता है.

भारत की सर्वप्रिय और आर्थिक रूप से महत्वपूर्ण वर्षा ऋतु में तो हम सभी का मन-मयूर नाचने लगता है. तो जाहिर है कि वर्षा ऋतु से भी मोर का गहरा रिश्ता नाता है. ये अलग बात है कि नाचता वो मोरनी को लुभाने के लिए है, सयोंगवशात उसका प्रजनन कल वर्षा ऋतू में आरम्भ होता है. कौन जाने, कालिदास की नायिकाओ की तरह वह भी उमड़ती घुमड़ती काली घटाओं, ठंडी रिमझिम फुहारों से अपने प्रिय को याद करता हो.

तो क्या इसी लिए मोर राष्ट्रीय पक्षी चुना गया?

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Kareri Lake trek with kids: Day One

As you have read in prologue about Kareri Lake Trekking, the plan for first day was to trek from Satobari (1700 mt/5600 ft) to the Kareri village (2500 mt/8000 ft), where we were to have our first night halt of the four-day trek.

We reached Satobari village with Arvind, our tour guide and tour operator. Arvind gave us lightweight hiking sticks. He gave a short stick to the youngest trekker who was seven-year old then. Our luggage was loaded onto jeep to be dropped at kareri village.

Bunty was our other guide who was solely to guide and supervise the young one’s adventures, acrobatics and talking tongue. Everyone traversed the trek according to their age; kids mostly jumped and hopped and slid and walked only when none of these activities were feasible; we mostly walked and at times had to sit to get down on sloping stretches.

Slippery Pine slopes

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Patal Bhuvaneshwar cave – Treasure trove of Indian Mythology

“If you will not visit these caves, you are not a true Indian”. Some other time, I would not have liked this absurd comment to my eight year old kid from a stranger lady. It is difficult for me to digest how someone may consider visiting a cave complex as a test of person’s love and loyalty for his country. However, on that day, I was not really unhappy about the comment.
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Kareri Lake Trek with Kids: Prologue

Mcleodganj in Himachal Pradesh has all that Himachal offers; scented air, blue skies, white peaks, tall trees but it is heavily touristy as well. His holiness Dalai Lama also calls it home and you get a heady cocktail of people. Everywhere. To make it off beat or to say customise it to our palate was not that difficult. We threw some ancient ruins and a high altitude trek to Kareri Lake in the itinerary. The base was of course touristy Mcleodganj, which offers delightful people watching time and tasteful food to make for its hopelessly crowded space.

Kareri Lake- the destination.

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Spoilt for choices at Chambal National Sanctuary

I also live here in CNS

“It is not a season for Chambal. The best season to be there is from October to March when migratory birds make it their winter home. All the migratory birds have, well, migrated. Mugger crocodile and Gharial only are not alluring enough for me to make a trip. ” Reasoned Manish, my husband.

“I know. But there will be resident birds and I want to see our National Aquatic Animal, the Tiger of the Ganga.” Argued me.

“This ‘Tiger of Ganga’ is more difficult to spot than the ‘Tiger’ itself. And there will be a few, only a few, local birds.”

“Yes, but you know, places when visited in off-season, reveal their true local colors. And I do like solitude. With all the birders having gone, Chambal will be entirely to ourselves.”
He did what he always has to do- surrender to the wishes of the travel organiser of the house and that set us for an off season trip (in mid-April) to National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS).
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