Of things that you chose to miss…

I happened to check the AP tourism site yesterday. Believe me. I literally dropped my jaws seeing the first intro page. I guess finally the government has realised the tremendous potential tourism has and decided to tap on it. AP tourism and development corp. is now having the facility of customised tours. Can you beat that? The site lists most of the places in AP and has been developed with the traveller in mind.You can plan your travel and the places that you want to visit and just drop them a request. They’d soon get back to you on that. Such a drastic change is highly commendable! We’re a bit late on this front but thankfully, there’s at least noticeable progress.

It’s a shame to the third degree that we Indians, do not have the interest to explore our own homeland before we proceed to cross the seas during our vacations.There’s so MUCH that there’s to see in India, that believe me you wouldn’t cover one eighth of it in even a two month long vacation.You could have a much more memorable vacation here than shelling out thousands of rupees on an Hawaiian beach or Mauritian visit.Agreed each place has got it’s own splendour and inviting features, But how sane is it to look for paradise thousands of miles away when you have one right in your backyard?

I would primarily attribute the influx of tourists to India to word of mouth than to the publicity campaigns by the government. We’ve a long long way to go to reach the international standards in tourism and that definitely is a mammoth challenge. It’s high time we pull our socks and get things rolling.

I was lucky to be posted in Pune for close to six months last year and am myself shocked to see the stats in front of me at the end of the stay. I’ve never stayed home a single weekend all through my stay there but still, I’ve not even covered 30 percent of the sight-seeing spots close to the city! If a small city like Pune in the western region of India has so much to offer, I leave it to you to judge what whole lot of things we’re missing out in ditching our own boat and jumping over to the ship sailing past us.

Click on the image below to have a peek into a few places that I’ve covered during the last year. [ 90pc of the pictures in the second half of the presentation are taken in places around Pune. ]

Where are my feet?

I’m off to B’lore this weekend on a fast paced adventure trip 😀 . This is going to be HydVentura’s second outing, majorly organised by AdVentura folks in collab. with a few other professional groups in Bang. So it’s gonna be mighty interesting :-)!

Twenty one of us from the Hyd DC would be reaching Bangalore tomorrow morning, where we’d meet up with ppl from Mysore and Bangalore and move to Hoskote for a Parasailing stint. Once that’s done, we’d drive down to Anthargange for cave exploration, Rock climbing , Rappelling and brief treks en-route. In the evening we’d move over to Kalvarhallibetta base for a night camp 🙂 ! Sunday morning – 1:00am to 4:00am we’d trek up the hill to catch a glimpse of Sunrise at the and then we’d get back to the base and move to Nandi Hills as the final destination before we board the train back to Hyd from Yeshwanthpur. All of this in just two days :-)!

This is the first time, Hydventura folks would be meeting Adventura folks ( The Bang. adventure club) officially before we merge with other similar groups in India ( Pune, Chennai, Mysore, Jaipur, Chandigarh et al) to form one single entity – AdVenturaIndia :-)!

Just hoping, I don’t get that expected mail from the HR asking me to report to Pune on Monday ! And, there’s also loads of work to get done before EOD 🙁 .

Wishing for the best! 🙂

Up in thin air! – Parasailing

There are so many places and occasions where you can sit back, relax and rethink on your strategy and future course in life. I wonder why it’s always the other way round for me. Above 450m from the ground, where you have no control on yourself and have vested your dear life to the hands of some unknown person is definitely not a place to plan you next move!

I’d been to Bangalore yesterday and it turned out to be just for Para-sailing! 🙂 I left from Hyderabad on Saturday evening at about 3:30 pm. I was fortunate enough to get tickets by the state bus service, which by itself was quite surprising given the short notice that I had. Sheku, Shilpa and Vairav were to join me in Bangalore. Reached B’lore on sunday morning by about 6:00 am and made it to the Infy Ecity campus by around 7:30 am. Vairavan had come down from Chennai the previous day and could arrange some accommodation. He, his friend Sharada and myself left for silk board by 8:00 am. Sharada had to pick up some stuff from her house so both of them got down midway and promised to get back ASAP. I’d asked Shilpa and Sheku to be there at the Silk board bus stop by 7:30. Poor sheku was well before time 🙂 ! You should have seen the reaction on their faces the moment I was there! Not finding the other two added just some more adrenalin in their bodies 🙂 . I’m not to be blamed for that 😉 !!

Sheku, Shilpa and I left for KR puram. by a 500D bus service and reached the cable bridge bus stop in about half an hour. This is just a few stops after Marathalli. It was already quarter past nine and both of us were desperately looking for a hotel to grab a bite before we left for Hoskot where the Para sailing was to take place. All we could find was a guy selling hot idlis on a push cart. Each got a plate and gobbled all that we could. I bet even a three star hotel can’t beat that taste!

None of us really knew how to get to Hoskote, so we placed a call to Anand who was handling the event that day and got the requisite directions. We had to board a 317 bus from the KR puram cable bridge bus stand and get down at a bus stop called Koti. This place is about 12kms from KR Puram and you get to find quite a few buses. The most prominent landmark ( atleast all of what I noticed 😉 ) of this place is a BP Petrol bunk and a Punjabhi shack dhabha on either side of the road. We thought it would be wise to wait for Vairavan and Sharada and then move together .

They did end up coming in about twenty minutes and all five of us started walking to the main parasailing area. You need to walk over a short bridge, take the immediate left and keep walking in the direction where you get to see Parasails in the air! – These are the directions that was given to us by Anand. Hell! I don’t blame him. That was the best he could provide! 🙂 . Topographically , locating our destination was pretty interesting! 🙂 The river bed was almost dry and we had beautiful black and white buffaloes to guide us all through the path. Reached a place where the path ceased to take us any further. Fortunately this is where we caught a glimpse of one of the Parasails in the air and in a matter of about ten minutes we reached the place where the the remaining folks from AdVentura were seated.

We had to fill declaration forms before we could get the gear on us and shoot up in the air. Well, that’s just a formality that comes with any adventure activity. Shilpa was the first to get hooked with the sail. She’d done it before so she was pretty cool with that. Then was my turn. I’m not particularly afraid of heights, But then butterflies somehow manage to create a flutter once a while. That’s where the real thrill is! 🙂 There’s nothing to be afraid of , given the expertise of the team that was conducting the event but then emotions is something that is under your control! Anyways, this is how it works, you are given a proper gear to hook yourself up with the para-sail. A long strong chord is tethered to the sail to which you are hooked and the other end is jacked on to a car. Once you’re all set, the guy accelerates forward and your up in the air even before you realise what’s happening! 🙂

The real fun is in living every moment of your flight! Keep your eyes wide open , stare into the sky, look at people down there , shout even if you are not scared or the best thing to do would be to fancy having to jump from that height if nothing else scares you 😉 ! The initial tug that you get when the vehicle accelerates is just fabulous! The very feeling of helplessness and total sense of your surroundings at a height of about 400m is something which just cannot be explained! You need to experience it! Once in air , it’s not much of a scare. So as i told you, the best thing to do would be to visualize the chord to suddenly break loose..the rest is your imagination! 🙂 . Vairavan, Sheku and Sharada soon were done with! It was real fun to watch Sharada . Poor female, real light that she was, had lotsa trouble trying to come down. Heavy gusts of wind added to her misery! She was defying gravity in the real sense! 🙂

The journey back home to Hyderabad was as much good. Subash managed to get a ticket booked for me. It happened to be one right in the front. Watching the driver zip on the roads at high speeds, skillfully maneuvering through the night traffic was just great. It kept me awake for the most part of the journey. I’ve traveled quite a few times by bus but was always seated somewhere at the last.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend. Thanks to Adventura, Anand and Suma in particular for organizing the whole event. One thing off my checklist of things to do. Gotta try river rafting next!

Shall upload the pics and videos as and when Vairavan or Shilpz zips them to me!