A Good Morning

Tring Tring ..

The atrocious sound of my alarm wakes me up from my deep sleep. With much difficulty I reached out to my mobile to switch off my alarm. I didn’t open the eyes, I exactly knew where my phone is. It was on the bed lamp table on my right. Clicking on Snooze, I slowly fell asleep again.

I was in the examination hall. Mathematics exam it is. I took my seat near the window in our class. Received the question paper and started looking into it. “Questions on Trigonometry and Integration, I love those topics” I thought. Holding my Cello Gripper pen hoping to finish exam soon and catch the train.

Surprise! I don’t know how to solve any of these questions. Well, I know tanθ =sinθ/cosθ. But, these questions are not as simple as that.

OMG! Why didn’t i revise?

What was i doing yesterday?

Why did i appear to the exam without preparation?

What if I fail?

I was tensed and looked around. These people doesn’t even look like my classmates. My heart beats faster.

Tring Tring …

My alarm rang again..

Opening my eyes slowly, I am in a beautifully decorated bedroom. A beam of light enters my room through the window on the left and falls on the indoor plants decorated on the table. There are also beautiful paintings in the room.

I laid there questioning myself.

Where am i ? How did I do in the exam? Have I been here before?

Still being confused but not scared, holding comforter tight. I stayed in bed until the last possible moment sinking into its soft frame. The blankets wrapped themselves around me and holding me tight, making it extremely hard to move. And then, I realized a warm something on my body. Turning my face a little, I found a guy resting peacefully on my chest as if he’s listening to my heartbeat. I was surprised but not scared, again.

I was moving my right hand on his soft and silky hair, looked at him. There he is, “the apple of my eye” and “the love of my life”. That’s my husband Mike. “How long was I sleeping and dreaming?” I thought smiling to myself.

It’s a king size bed. We hardly occupied 1/4th of it not competing for space. I was feeling warm, safe and happy in the morning. We have been married for a few months now, working in IT bought this beautiful house in this society to make sure we play, swim and workout. We did our partial payment and the remaining amount by Home Loan, obviously. I decorated our home with paintings and art supplies keeping it as simple as possible and with less furniture so that our kids in future can roam around freely. We don’t have plans for kids for couple of years more. We don’t want to be totally occupied with responsibilities and financial stress. We wanted to be little more settled and have these years only for ourselves.

Now, I understood why I am feeling all drowsy this morning. Yesterday, Mike got a Red Wine of a very rare kind and insisted we drink along with French toast he made. I couldn’t say no to his loving gesture. We talked, laughed and I don’t remember when we fell asleep. “Boy! how lucky am I to have this loving husband?” I blushed.

To get off the bed, I tried to moved slowly avoiding to wake him up. Mike with his sleepy voice “Don’t wake up now, login at 11:00 AM today and I will drop you”. I wrapped my arms around and hugged him tightly and soon I fell asleep all again.

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/412290540860435136/

Last Day in Bangalore 😔

“Should I be sad that I am leaving Bangalore or happy that I am shifting to my home town Hyderabad?” asked myself. 

Woke up with mixed feelings that day. Switching on the geyser, I was sitting idle and remembering those beautiful 5 years of my life. Entered as a grad student in Bangalore, leaving now as a professional with lots of memories and life experiences. “I wouldn’t have been the same if I had not come here” I thought. Last day of my PG life. As my nightshift roomie was sleeping, I mumbled to her “All the very best dear, see you in Hyderabad”. With my luggage, I started walking to office. I was so blessed all these days to find a stay which is 15 mins walk from our office. I had this nostalgic feeling while walking on those roads. I walked on those roads twice a day for 4 years. Many things had changed. Even roads were resurfaced twice in this duration.There were few places on that road like Vishnu Veg Hotel’s Tea and Filter Coffee, Fruit Lassi from Lassi Corner, Idly Sambar & Bonda Soup from Udupi Vaibhav. I was sad that I was going to miss all these. 

I used to always walk to office at 7:30 AM, while Mosambijuice guy starts his shop in front on Cessna Tech Park. I was a regular and first customer there most of the times. As soon as I go, he used to prepare me the perfect juice of my choice (without sugar and salt). That day was the last time I had there.

Reaching office, there were many formalities to be finished. Submitting the Laptop and ID card, I was no longer an employee of Bangalore office. There was another Tea spot of my favorite kind “ADDA”. I liked the taste, thickness and that cup was perfect. My breakfast on that day was my favorite Raagi Dosafrom our Cafeteria. I had to meet my Ex- colleagues too. After finishing my formalities, I went to my Ex- Company to meet them. They were bunch of Amazing people. Oh Yeah! I had a Fav Tea spot there too 😉

We ordered strong Ginger Tea and recollected our memories. We worked for Pfizer team for a pretty long time and fun we had during that time was great. Sharath and Santhosh were our leads. I never felt that I was speaking to people a decade elder to me. They were fun and talented people. We went to Kavya’s Mango farm during last summer. We picked fruits from trees and I had enough fruits for that whole summer. Kavya and Sanjay were best buddies to me. We all used to stay in different PGs but in the same location, Kadubeesanahalli. Those weekday outings and late night dinners were memorable.

Boring were our meetings,

Coped with those Outings.

I still remember my first day in Bangalore. Just a college passed out student who doesn’t know how to behave in a corporate world. Scared and silent. Initial days, we used to go out when the trainings were cancelled. Later, manager gave a counsel reminding that we are no more students to bunk. Working in those mirrored buildings was a dream during my college days. I like myself how I transformed in these 5 years. 

As I reached my current organization, my friends were waiting for me. Why am I so lucky to have these amazing people in my life? Archana and Sudha were special. I couldn’t spend a day in office without them. Anupam also came early today. He was new to our team but a best buddy to us. My desk, my office, my people. How am I going to live in Hyd without them? My cabin was always a fun place. We had Veera, Shiva, Sunil, Archana and Anupam. I love to spend time with them. We used to share stories, crack jokes and laugh louder. Not to forget, my laugh was pretty famous on my floor. That was pure happiness. I miss laughing like that. I have tears rolling while writing this sentence. It’s being pretty long time since I laughed out louder. Archana’s newly wed fights were our starters in the morning, Anupam’s new series stories after lunch were interesting. Our lunch team was filled with Fun and loving people.

My People 🥰

On that day, they arranged a farewell to me. Cake Cutting, wishes on a greeting card were routine. I still have a video where I burst into tears. That very moment was emotional. I always imagined myself as a strong person and doesn’t feel much nostalgic in situations like these.  I was wrong. I was also happy that I have loving people in my life. Later, I received an Amazon Gift Voucher and a hand written letter from Sudha along with a pack of Lip balm and Face foam. That was the best letter I had ever received. I could feel how much she loved me all these days. That letter got me into tears. As my flight time is nearing, I packed my luggage and moved to the Gate 2 to board Cab. All these lovely people came till the gate and wished me all the best for my future. With lots of tears and love I left Bangalore on July 31st, 2019.

Why I wrote this after 9 months?

I wrote this on a paper at 10:30 PM reaching AVASA hotel on July 31st, 2019. I found it in my cupboard today while cleaning. Every moment was fresh as I read it. Such a simple yet good gesture of mine helped me in recollecting those memories. Loving me more 💕

Last Day in Bhutan 🇧🇹

Last Day in Bhutan 😦

We had no places to visit as we had to leave to Siliguri. Woke up in the morning and checked out the rooms. I observed these two pictures in the reception when we went to return the keys. King and Queen are beautiful people.

 

When we were settling the bill, we noticed that the receptionist is receiving money with two hands and returning the change in the similar manner with outmost respect. Apparently, that is the tradition in Bhutan. While waiting for Lochan, we took few pictures outside the resort.

 

Got into the vehicle and started our day long road trip to Siliguri. While crossing Paro Airport, Lochan was explaining about it.

Bhutan is known to be one of the world’s most dangerous airports. I know that sounds uncool, but I was really petrified when I learned that it is so dangerous that there are only 8 licensed pilots in the world who are authorized to land at the Paro airport. For many of you, it might sound like a great adventure to fly to one of the most dangerous airports. Even the runway is one of the world’s shortest runways. Because the Paro valleys always experience strong winds blowing at high speed, almost all flights face severe turbulence at the time of landing.

Road trip wasn’t boring because of the beautiful Ghats and these amazing people. How trips make you so close to people? Vijay and Aashray were no more strangers to me. Lochan has dropped us at Pheuntsholling and assigned a different vehicle till Siliguri. After crossing Pheuntsholling, temperature increased rapidly and we started sweating. We reached OYO Stay at 4:30 PM that evening. We were discussing only about Paanipuri all the way.

We freshened up soon and started to eat Paanipuri in Siliguri. We had a competition among ourselves and I stood second by eating 45 Paanipuri.  I guess that’s the first time I ever ate so much. We then left to taste authentic sweets as West Bengal is famous in Rasgulla and others. We walked around 3 to 4 kms that day in search of the famous Mithai Store. My friends ordered Bengali Fish from Swiggy and praised the taste. After dinner, I took Akhilesh and Srujana to see if we could find Tea. I had a bad headache that day and Tea cravings. We went for a small walk and found a hotel. Tea was Bliss at that moment. After returning to hotel, we played UNO for some time 🙂

 

We took a flight from Bagdogra to Hyderabad next morning. Such five beautiful days were spent in Bhutan.  Those glacial mountains, Chilly weather, Pine Forests, Monastery’s, Cute little kids, Taktsang Dzong trek are memories now.

My little discoveries about this place, during my short trip of 4 days made me fall in love with this place.

 

Bhutan, You have my heart.

 

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Bhutan 🇧🇹 Day 4- Paro

Our stay at Golden Roots Resort was lavishing. Heaters were properly built and we were quite comfortable with the room temperature. We got ready by 6:30 AM that morning. India is 30 mins behind of Bhutan. If it’s 6:30 AM in Bhutan, it is 6:00 AM in India. These pictures were from our balcony.


Next place is the most popular one in Bhutan. The moment you google about Bhutan, you see the below picture. It is Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Monastery) which is located 2,950 meters (9,678 feet) above the sea level. It was freezing, it was coldest among all the days.

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We reached the Entry point by 7:00 AM. Temperature was -4 C. We couldn’t feel our palms or feet. I was unaware of this climate and wore breathable shoe. It was crazy. My feet was frozen like Anna’s Heart (Disney Frozen). Walking was strenuous. I was very uncomfortable with my clothing too. Not knowing about the difficulty level of the trek, I wore a long flared skirt. Thermals were not helping in such low temperature. While waiting to buy Tickets to the Monastery, I saw few people who were starting their businesses. There was this mid age couple selling Necklaces and show pieces. They were wearing thick clothes and covered their head with woolen caps. They started arranging the items on the floor from their bags for sale very nice and neat. We were in no mood of shopping at that time. We thought of shopping while returning from the trek. As soon as we bought the tickets, we started moving. First 20 mins were torture to me. Holding my skirt with one hand and stick in other hand, I was walking like an old woman with frozen feet.


I took a deep breath as we reached a point. Here comes the sun and “It’s all right, your bae is with you” I told myself. Keeping my face to the sun, I blossomed like a flower. Got rejuvenated with the glimpse of sunshine and moved forward. After walking for some time, I felt few droplets of sweat on my forehead. That little satisfaction was better than an hour spent in gym. As we walked high, the temperature became normal. There were few taps inserted on the way which provides pure Mountain water. Water was cold, refreshing and tasty. The smell of the water gets you more close towards nature.

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Few monks were also walking with us. We had short and nice conversation with them. They were students of group 10 with a teacher, seniors and juniors. The youngest of them all is around 12 yr. They showed us a huge rock with feet stamp on it. “This stone was an evil who disturbed Guru Padmasambhava when he was meditating. Angry Guru Padmasambhava kicked the evil and turned him into a stone” They explained. They were carrying tea flasks and food in casseroles. They were friendly people.

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We reached this place which was decorated with flags. And if you observe carefully, there were plastic bottles filled with sand, painted and used for decoration.

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There was a Cafeteria which had limited beverages and foods. Everything there was triple the M.R.P. We had some tea and started again.

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Here, I realized I lost the stick which was rented for the trek.
After walking for some time, we noticed few houses. Monks might be living there. There was a water pipe connected to that place. Pipe was broke and water was rushing out. Water turned into ice as soon as it poured out. Liquid turning into solid at that temperature in the presence of sunlight seemed interesting to me. As we were walking further, there were stairs to the Monastery. We met few college girls there. They were not so comfortable in English but they understood when we asked “Will you take a picture with us?” in sign language.

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As we were walking towards the monastery, it started feeling cold again. There was this beautiful and freezing place where waterfall was turning into ice. I stood there feeling like Elsa in the Snow palace 😉 ❄️

DDDEB2B3-4A42-46CB-8521-EC3BBE93E027I got down and got into my coats as others were taking pictures. Meanwhile, Akhilesh had given me a stick which he picked from others bundle. He told that it was left idle. I said okay and took it as I lost mine on the way. In a minute, a guy approached me and told that it was his stick. I was surprised, told him that I got confused and picked this as every stick looked similar and gave it to him immediately.
What does he think about me?
A thief?
A liar?
Oh No!! May be both of them?
I heard Akhilesh laughing out loud behind me. This was his plan. He gave me the stick intentionally. L
We sat on a bench beside the stairs to eat Chikki(Peanut Truffles) and reached Taktsang Monastery which is also called as Tiger’s Nest. This monastery is one of the most venerated places of pilgrimage in the Himalayan. We submitted our bags and mobiles and went in. They assigned a guide to us.
The history of this sacred place goes back to the eighth century when Padmasambhava, an extraordinary saint who founded the Mahayana school of Buddhism, visited the site. He assumed the terrifying form of Guru Dorje Drolo and cleansed the place of evil spirits to preserve the integrity of Buddhist teachings.
An account has it that Yeshe Tsogyal transformed herself into a tigress(with wings) and carried the Guru on her back from Singye Dzong in eastern Bhutan to Taktshang. In a cave there, the Guru then performed meditation and emerged in eight incarnated forms (manifestations).
The Shrine of Self-Speaking Guru
The story goes that the statue of the Guru was sculptured by Pentsa Deva at Punakha Thangdzong and taken to Taktshang. On arriving at the entrance of the sacred site of Taktshang, the statue is supposed to have spoken: “Do not worry, for someone shall come to carry me to Taktsang!” The statue was miraculously transported and, thereafter, the place is known as the Temple of the Self-Speaking Statue of the Guru.
She showed two idols of women and told that he had one Indian wife and a Tibetan Wife. She told “Nobody can reach this Tiger’s Nest without Guru’s Blessing, You guys are here because he wanted you to be here”. My friends were making fun of those lines but I was mesmerized. That very moment I was thinking about my whole trip and how was it possible to arrange everything in such a short duration and this trek at such low temperature. Wow! This moment listening to guide I felt calm, relaxed and returned with some positive vibes. Such kind of places are peaceful. I loved it. Trek was totally worth.
While returning, I had difficulty in breathing for some time. I met this old man while I was halting. He asked me if I am ok. I said “yes”. He asked me if I need any Glucose toffee or biscuits. I thanked him and took a Toffee. He asked me to take a few deep breaths as it will help the chest congestion and helps me to move further. I did as he guided me. Yes, it helped. Those few deep breaths were lifesaving and stimulated my lymphatic system. He introduced himself as Prasad, 72.Yr.old. “I came to Bhutan Trip with my Wife. As she was not feeling well, I am doing this trek by myself” he explained. I asked him if he’s a frequent traveler and a hiker too. “I had been to uncountable treks all over my life” he expressed proudly. We were inspired.
It was lot easier while walking downwards. Srujana, Akhilesh and I were talking about our college days, jobs, technologies, managers, bosses etc.


How can we rate a trek?
Depending on the difficulty level?
Depending on how beautiful the Peak is?
Depending on how much fun we had?
Depending on how we challenged ourselves to complete the trek despite of the weather and health condition?
For me, it was all of this. I had been for trekking in Western Ghats previously. But here, challenging myself to finish in such low temperature for the first time wasn’t easy but totally worth.
Those few hours of trek through beautiful, shady pine forests was memorable. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.

We were starving by the time we reached down. Lochan took us to an Indian Restaurant. We quickly order some food and occupied a 6 seated table. There were benches instead of Chairs. It was more comfortable like this. The ambience was great. Restaurant was empty but well organized. It had an ember which is a glowing hot coal and few stones on top of it. They were hot. May be they were using them as natural heater. Kudos to such ideas. Restaurant was built in Bhutan style and had beautiful designs on the walls. As soon as the food arrived, we ate like Kumbhakarna. This is the picture taken in the restaurent.

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Reaching our stay, we rested for some time, played UNO and had a sound sleep.

Bhutan 🇧🇹 Day-3 Thimpu- Punakha- Paro

People must be very lucky to wake up to this view. It was beautiful. Freshened up quickly and took some hot water from the kettle and prepared Black Tea for myself. Having some tea in the morning awakens my brain cells. We got ready soon and took these amazing pictures in our balcony.

We headed to Buddha Point next.
Buddha Dordenma Statue
Thimphu, Bhutan
This giant Buddha statue has 125,000 smaller Buddhas hidden inside it. There was no Entry Fee when we visited as it was under renovation and there was no one in the morning except us and couple of dogs J. The view was great and we spent more than an hour. A massive, golden Buddha sitting on the top of a gilded meditation hall. Google said “The monument holds an invisible secret: Unbeknownst to many people viewing the statue, they aren’t actually looking at one Buddha, they’re looking at 125,000 of them. Inside of Thimphu’s 169 foot Buddha Dordenma statue, there are 125,000 miniature Buddhas encapsulated of its enlightened bronze chest, ranging from 8 to 12 inches tall”. This means that in Thimphu, which has a population of around 100,000, there are more Buddhas than there are human beings. Interesting!

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Our next plan is to finish breakfast and start to Punakha. Lochan has taken us to an Indian restaurant and left for getting Permits to Punakha. Hotel was filled with Hindu God Pictures. It also had Alcohol section on the right. Food was tasty there. We started to Punakha in sometime after some street shopping. Shopping is costly in Bhutan. Next place was Dochula Pass. It was on the way to Punakha. It was covered with snow, a beautiful mountain pass, which is about 20 km from Thimphu is a concentration of 108 memorial stupas.


Often a violent history and dark times encourage people to create something inspiring and beautiful, and this is exactly what the people of Bhutan did. They created Dochula Pass, Bhutan in honor of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who died in a 2003 military operation.

There was no entry ticket to this place. Around stupas, there’s a garden which is covered with a layer of snow. We walked very carefully as the ice was slippery resulting in no friction. We played with ice for some time and took beautiful pictures on Gimble and on our phones. It was too hard to resist from taking multiple pictures there.

Oh God! This tee has saved me from freezing that whole day. I wanted to thank Decathlon at that moment. “The mountains which you see from here are Himalayas” Lochan said. “Wow!” we mumbled.

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Next is Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple

All the Dzongs here are beautifully built with fine art. Every wall is decorated with intricate details and has their history. We had no entry to this temple though. We viewed it from outside with our eyes wide open. After entering this place, we stood on a bridge which is built on blue lake which is filled with thousands of fishes. We had few biscuits and cakes with us. We saw monks often feeding the fishes there. We took food from our packets and started throwing them into water. All the fishes were rushing to collect the food. It was pleasing to stand there and enjoy watching those fishes hunting for food.

2B579A78-8304-40C9-A000-985B88A52951We then started to Suspension bridge.
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On the way to Suspension bridge, we stopped at a Bokhara Plum tree (Regi Pandu in Telugu). I love those fruits. I started collecting them on the ground. It reminds me of my childhood memories at my grandmas place. They were so tasty that I came here while returning again. We were not carrying any bags with us. I filled my pockets and ate on my way.
THE HIGH MOUNTAINS AND DEEP gorges of Bhutan lend themselves to suspension bridges. Punakha Suspension Bridge, which was adorned with colorful prayer flags, is the perfect example of this.

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Linking Punakha Dzong to Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha villages across the Tsang Chu River (aka Po Chu), this is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan. Yet, for a roughly 520-foot-long suspension bridge, it’s surprisingly stable. The bridge offers a spectacular view of the river and valley, and the east bank is a good starting point for multi-day treks in the nearby mountains. I also observed Cables on the either side which are supporting the bridge. We saw many local people there. Most of them were School and college students. There was a young couple who were taking multiple pictures on the bridge. Guy was holding a professional Camera and girl was very beautiful with fair and clear skin and black shiny silky straight hair.

Know Before You Go
Punakha Bridge is only about half a mile from Punakha Dzong, but it can easily be missed, as it’s not on the main road. To find it, head north from the dzong. We headed towards west and realized it later that we were on wrong path.


We found a small pond near the Dzong. Location was beautiful. We clicked few pictures which reminded me of college days.

Next place is quite interesting!

It is possibly, the only place where Phalluses are worn as charms! I swear! They are!
Chimi Lakhang is a fertility temple in Punakha. It is believed that any childless couple who visits here is blessed with a baby.
To walk to the temple, you should be crossing the beautiful open fields.
As soon as we got there, we had an embarrassing smile on our faces.

And if you find this first line shocking, well, then a quick alert before you proceed to read about this.
While there is nothing obscene about the post, it could get you uncomfortable. People consider Phallus as a sacred thing. They painted their homes with those drawings. They have them carved and placed them on their doorways. They believe that it has strength to ward off evil. And yeah, they wear it as necklaces which are probably their “divine art forms”. We saw people selling them in the shops.

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Though it might seem extremely different culture for us, it is quite sacred for them.
We then left for Paro. On the way to Paro, Aashray and Akhilesh were sharing their school memories. They told us with all the funny stories happened with them and their friends. They entertained us for solid 3 hours. We saw Paro Dzong in the night from distance on the way to our stay. It looked beautiful in those lights. We bought some snacks and water bottles and reached Golden Roots Resort, Paro. This is the coldest place in Bhutan. Lochan helped us to bring us luggage down and we then carried to our rooms. Rooms were ultra posh and indeed that was a Hifi resort. The best thing was heaters. We freshened up and ordered food from the same resort. Food seemed to be little costly but it was tasty. Specially, the omelet curry which we ordered was super tasty. We then played UNO for some time and slept thinking how beautiful Tiger’s nest gonna be tomorrow.

Bhutan 🇧🇹 Day 2-Phuentsholing to Thimphu ⛰

Morning in Pheuntsholing 🙂


I woke up bit early that morning. Realizing I have no tooth brush with me, I asked Malathi if she has any. She gave me and left for kitchen to prepare breakfast for us. I asked her to give me a cup so that I can fill hot water from the Kettle. She pointed towards an old fashioned cupboard which has multiple cups of different sizes and designs. I chose a simple yet beautiful one among them. I filled cup with hot water while she was cutting vegetables. I started conversing with her about the climate and how she learnt those amazing cooking skills. She prepared Veg fried rice and Alu Parantha. We packed our luggages and left to collect VISA Permit. Malathi has helped us in filling the visa forms. This was us busy in filling the details.

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We took local cabs to VISA Office. The charged Rs.70/- I gave him 100 Rupee note and he returned me Bhutanese currency 10Nc and 20rs. I immediately took a picture of that cash.

F428C6A9-7962-442B-89EC-DF001C953691 Initially, we were surprised by seeing long queue near the office. We later realized that queue is for Work Permits.

9F718A1C-F9AE-45AE-A2B8-CD0CC84320ABWithin an hour, we got our permits and returned to our stay. We submitted Copy of Passport which is valid for next 6 months, trip details form which includes addresses of hotels booked and Tour guide details. Rajesh has discussed with us about providing another vehicle for our trip as his vehicle doesn’t have Luggage holder on the top. He introduced us to Lochan who was going to drive us for the rest of our trip.

We started to Thimpu. Drive was beautiful. One should be thoroughly trained to drive on those roads. During the journey, Aashray was asking Lochan about the must have foods in Bhutan. Lochan explained about Datsi for about 10 mins. It is made of Yak Cheese which is very famous there. “They marinate that cheese for a longer time for authentic taste” he explained. We stopped at a small hotel on the Ghat Road. As we got down from the car, it was freezing. We ordered some Maggie and Mushroom Datsi. There were two adorable kids playing around. We wanted to take a picture with them, but they denied 🙅‍♀️ 😒  I love this picture which was clicked outside that restaurant.

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On the way to Thimpu, we stopped at David Falls and this longest bridge. It is called as David falls for a reason as our driver said “The person who showed these water falls didn’t mention the name. So, apparently he named after that person David :D”.


While driving to Thimpu, Lochan also asked us to notice the climatic differences between each mountain. While crossing a mountain, it was drizzling. They call it as Cherrapunji as it rains always in that region. After crossing couple of mountains, it was sunny and warm. It was evening when we stopped for nature call. I met these cute kids outside the restaurant. The elder girl was trying to tell me something in their language. I didn’t understand anything and I couldn’t talk to her in any language they knew. We exchanged few smiles and kisses 😘 💕

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We entered Thimpu in sometime. Thimpu is a well-developed city with beautiful mountains in the background. The architecture was beautiful. They followed the same format of constructions for most of the buildings there. We headed to Tashichho Dzong. This dzong is located close to Thimphu town, next to the banks of the Wang Chhu River. It is an impressively large structure, surrounded by well-kept lawns and beautiful gardens.
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Tashichho Dzong has been the seat of the government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government departments are housed in buildings nearby.
King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck had it completely renovated and enlarged over five years after he moved the capital to Thimphu in 1952 in traditional style using neither nails nor written plans. The current King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk is the grand son of Dorji Wangchuk. We observed that Bhutan people keep their King and Queen’s pictures in their houses, vehicles and their hotels. These names remind me of Phunsukh Wangdoo from 3 idiots Bollywood movie 😀


We took the passes and entered the Dzong. We were not allowed to stop anywhere in between and not to look on the right. “King’s palace is around and down the hill on the right” they explained. We had permission to enter into only one building among few. There are around 1000 tiny Buddha’s well-kept in the temple. They didn’t allow us to use Camera inside the Dzong. It was very cold. I sat on floor for some time until my friends returned.

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We next visited Memorial Chorten, Thimpu. All these Dzongs looked similar to us.

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We reached out stay in Thimpu. It was a beautiful triple bedroom flat beside a market. They served Tea as soon as we reached. We went for a walk on Thimpu roads. We were expecting to find good hotels with Yummy Momos. We found couple of general stores and small hotels. We entered a hotel and it smelled like Rotten meat. We came back immediately. We went to a nearby supermarket and bought Bhutan Chilly Powder. All the vegetables were wrapped in plastic covers. People use plastic quite a lot here ☹️

Chilly tastes different and it is actually a good different 😉 I liked the taste. We ordered food from the same building that night. I had Veg momos and red chutney served with them was amazing. Not too spicy or tangy. It tasted unique. Later, everyone were singing songs and I enjoyed listening to them.

Bhutan 🇧🇹 Day 1- Hyd to Pheuntsholing ⛰

How it all started?
Bhutan was definitely in my To-Do list since a couple of years. When my friend and myself were discussing about trips on a weekday afternoon, she suggested Bhutan. Initially, we two planned to visit and started searching for tourism info on many blogs. I was hanging out with my college friends a lot those days and asked them if they can join. Few said yes and yay 😁 we started planning  📝. We are 6 people now. What happens next?

Yes! a Whatsapp group named “Bhutan 😍”. Myself, Sudha (Bangalore), Srujana (College friend), Akhilesh (College friend), Aashray and Vijay (Akhilesh’s friends). We took the mobile numbers of drivers from a blog and discussed fare with them. We had finalized with Rajesh Pradhan (9775297976) for Rs. 27,500 for 5 days.
We can go to Bhutan either by road or by flight. We had chosen to go by road as it is cheaper to commute from Bagdogra to Pheuntsholling by road. If you are not a fan of road trips, then flying to the Paro airport can be lot easier for you. We took a flight from Hyderabad to Bagdogra and travelled from road there on. I know it’s a terrible plan with lots of travelling on road.
Bagdogra to Pheuntsholling: 163 km
Pheuntsholling to Thimpu: 164 km
Thimpu to Punakha: 85 km
Punakha to Paro: 126 km
Paro to Pheuntsholling: 155 km
Pheuntsholling to Siliguri: 154 km
“Wow! We are going to cover a lot in these five days” I thought.
Bhutanese accepts and offers Indian currencies at every place. I mostly carried currencies worth 500 and below which I could easily use during my stay there. People traveling from countries outside India can convert your currencies either to Indian or the Bhutanese currency.

We started early in the morning by 5 AM. Packed few warmer clothes just in case. Initially, I was proud about myself that my bag is lighter than everyone’s luggage. But realized lately that I haven’t packed proper winter gear with me. I, Akhilesh and Aashray took a direct cab to the airport. My mom woke up with me that morning and prepared Upma to carry for breakfast. When the cab arrived in front of my home, Mom wished me “Happy journey”. I hugged her and left in hurry. We reached airport early, checked in our luggage.

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Fortunately, our 3 seats were allocated together even though we booked at different times.

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Within couple of hours, we reached Bagdogra airport and met Sudha who travelled from Bangalore to Bagdogra. I introduced my friends to her and we started waiting for Rajesh’s Cab 🚕. Bagdogra airport wasn’t neat. Facade seemed more like a railway station than an airport. They put up lottery posters to the airport walls. Washrooms were unhygienic. It started drizzling while we were waiting for the vehicle. As soon as the vehicle arrived, I occupied the front seat 💺 😅. Who wants to miss the drive with a view?

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We started to Pheuntsholling and reached by 5 PM. We had packed food on our way. I have to admit that the Tomato pickle which is brought by Vijay is the best pickle I ever had. We also bought masks on the way as we started hearing about Corona a lot these days. Driver stopped at a small hotel on the way to Phuentsholing for nature calls. That climate is forcing the nature to call multiple times 🤣. Those washrooms were horrible. We didn’t understand why the driver has to stop at this restaurant despite of it being so unhygienic. We bought few oranges 🍊 and started again. We reached this homestay at Pheuntsholling which is near by a Market. This flat has a beautiful view.

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They served with complimentary Tea. I was so relieved 😅 I actually had two cups of tea ☕️ . We also ordered some homemade food from them. As Pheuntsholling is the border city of Bhutan and India, we already started noticing the differences in these streets. No more India network. It’s TASHI Cell.

6C8C0ED0-2332-4F81-A779-C0AAB0F64949We went for an evening walk to visit the below temple and returned after couple of hours.
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As you can see in the picture, temple has many of those golden cylinders on which some mantras were written. Local people who visited that place were enchanting mantras and touching those cylinders with a sacred respect.

61A28D40-F090-46A1-BA72-8724D9706014Food was ready as we reached. They prepared food and left for their stay. A 25 year old woman who is taking care of  this homestay has prepared rice, dal, potato and peas curry and Beans Datsi. Beans Datsi is a Bhutanese dish which is made of Cheese and Beans while the rest are Indian cuisine. I was impressed by her cooking skills and managing business at this age.
We played UNO for some time and played Pictionary that night. Playing Pictionary always reminds me this scene from Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is Love 💕 😅

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Gokarna Trek with college buddies <3

A Monday morning after a beautiful trip sitting at my office desk still thinking about the weekend. That’s when I thought to write down my memories. I know this will bring a smile on my face a few days later 🙂

 

We cancelled few plans and wasn’t even sure if it’s gonna happen this time. I booked Gokarna trek with GoAdventure team and waiting for the day.

It’s Friday yay ! 💕 17th Jan, 2020.

 

Feeling excited since morning, I packed my luggage and decided to go by Metro to Miyapur. I called my friends and started. My mom with a sweet smile and happy face sent me wishing happy journey and travel safely. I hugged her and said “I am gonna miss you guys for the weekend, but I want to do this. Bye ”

She said “Ok, make sure you wear decent clothes not shorter than knee length ”🤦‍♀️

I said running towards the gate shouting “No way” 😂. Dad called me saying he’s gonna be late and wished me a happy journey.

After taking a couple of autos, I took the metro to Ameerpet to meet my friends first. Reaching Ameerpet I saw my friends waiting near the Tickets counter. With full of excitement, I greeted them. They got their huge trekking bags.🎒 After speaking with them for a couple of minutes, we started moving towards our next metro. With three well-built guys around me (Puppy, Goutham and Vinay) I looked tiny🤦🏻‍♀️. We got into the Metro. We were standing with luggage as we didn’t find seats. I met Puppy and Goutham after college. But I saw Vinay after 6 years. I never spoke with him much all these years. I wasn’t even sure if he’s a good company for trip :D. At the end of the trip, he became one of my besties 🙂

 

Next is to meet Srujana and Sri at Miyapur. After a few confusions and delayed bus timings, we got into the SRS pickup bus.  To take the main Bus, we started taking our luggage and moved out. After 10 mins, I realized my jacket is missing. Oh no! I have a very bad habit of forgetting things especially when I go on trips. Agreed that I am excited, but I need to be careful too :(. I got it later by contacting the bus driver. 🙂

 

We were happy and excited to meet after a long time. We spoke for some time about our work, office and just routine things and soon fell asleep. Around 8:00 AM the next morning, we reached Hubli. We got into the Kamat hotel to freshen up and finish our breakfast. With less salt and spices in their food, I felt the food was tasteless. I didn’t like much. Not even coffee was strong. I ordered Uttapam which was so tasteless. I never ate boring Uttapam as such. This picture was taken outside the Kamat Hotel.img1

 

We got into the minibus  which goAdventure team hired for local commutation. We introduced ourselves to the group with whom we were traveling. We played Dumb charades for some time with everyone on the bus and reached OM beach by 2:00 PM. I would suggest booking a direct bus to Gokarna which starts early in the evening so that the bus can reach Gokarna by next morning which won’t be much tiring. I am not so happy with such long hours of traveling. Especially during the daytime. But with Goutham’s jokes and Puppy’s sense of humor, we easily spent hours without any boredom. Vinay is a shy guy. He didn’t speak much. Personally, I feel visiting any place during the sunrise or sunset gives the best feeling. I and Srujana behave so crazy when we are together. I wouldn’t have enjoyed my Btech days without her.

 

We freshened up and started trekking to OM beach. Wow! Beaches are beautiful. After walking for a while, the trek Organizer asked us to get into the water if we want to. Initially, I thought I will get into the beach after the entire trek so that it won’t be difficult with wet clothes. I was wrong. It was okay to trek with wet clothes 😀

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I gotta express how I felt. The waves, the breeze, saltwater in our mouths  It was awesome. I started to swim for some time. After I learned swimming, this was the first time I got into the water. I love swimming and want to keep learning freestyle swimming and underwater swimming ‍🏊‍♀️ After shifting to Hyderabad, I never went for swimming 😦 .

Swimming in the sea is an entirely different experience. Pretty tough and scary. 😮

We did the regular stuff, throwing water on each other and pushing others in water  Vinay was too strong. We couldn’t push him in water 🤦🏻‍♀️

Puppy had taken a few amazing pictures in his professional Camera  and Srujana has misplaced my goggles and we couldn’t find them  😫

Sunscreen, shades, hats and decent dressing, Chuck them all. All we wanted is to be free today. We played for some time and started moving towards half-moon beach. We ordered some food and got into the beach again. I wished I could have known swimming better. We went back to the restaurant to have food. As the lady at the restaurant knows only Kannada, I was the one who communicated with her. Proud feeling to talk in their regional language and I personally love Kannada.

As soon as I entered the restaurant, I saw a familiar face. Oh god ! Now I remember, it’s Satyendra from getBeyondLimits team, Bangalore. I had been to Nishani Motte trek with them. It was so much fun with those trekkers. It surprises me sometimes how people become so close on trips/treks. It was nice speaking with him, and he invited for few other treks with their team. Meanwhile, food was ready and we headed to have lunch. It was a simple lunch. A veg fried rice, egg fried rice, and chicken fried rice. We were so tired, and food was served hot fulfilling our taste buds and hunger.

 

We wore our sports shoes again and started to trek for the Sunset point. We took some amazing pictures on the way.

 

We climbed these rocks to get the perfect view of the sunset. The rock here doesn’t have enough friction to hold us tight. We had to climb very carefully.

 

 

After the Sunset point, we headed towards our stay. Before that, we stopped at Paradise beach to have Maggie and Bread omelet. I, Srujana and Puppy were sitting near the shore as Vinay, Sri and Goutham were near the Maggi Bandi.

Just sitting idle, sleeping on the sand, staring at those stars and the sound of the waves was amazing. Wow! Beach, Stars, Food and friends. I and Srujana were disturbing Puppy asking all the stupid questions about his trek experience and all. Puppy with lots of patience somehow tolerated us and answered questions 😀  Our dresses carried so much of sand. Pockets of my jumpsuit had at least 1/2 kg of sand 😀 After a few moments of pleasantness, we started night trek with the help of mobile torches. I was happy in every bit of the trip with these people. I love you guys ❤ :).  I and Goutham were talking about Shakini, Dakini ghosts. Just meaningless conversations :D. On the way, we met a few young people who were trekking on their own and asking us for the route for Paradise beach camping. They wanted to camp on their own. I was surprised by their guts.

 

Very soon we reached a tea stall and had good Elachi Tea. We played Truth and Dare with the ball which they bought at Half-moon beach. This was the only picure taken. Sorry for the poor quality. But, it reminds us of our memories 😀paradse

Regular questions on breakups, crushes 🤦🏻‍♀️ When will these guys become advanced :P?

We boarded our Minibus and went for dinner followed by Camping. It was like a resort with a beach view. We camped near the beach. It was a different experience.  After freshening up and arranging the tents, we sat together to chitchat. As Vinay was sleepy, he went back to his tent. We were discussing things happening in our lives and general conversations. Puppy and Goutham has got Haldiram Peanuts 🥜. We started eating them and shared ghost stories but not many. We weren’t sleepy at all. We went out and sat near the trees in the resort. We were just roaming.

After a few minutes, we saw the fire from a very long distance. There were three people moving around that fire. But why did I see those three personalities as white human structures instead of actual humans? Not sure what it was. I think Goutham and Puppy still remember the incident. We heard them shouting, moving around the fire. Later, we saw many of them. Still not sure if they are some supernatural creatures. I wasn’t much scared because I have people with me 🙂

We could see millions of stars. Puppy was showing 3 consecutive stars and said he used to notice them for a very long time. There were positioned in a slanting line. In cities, we do not see any stars because of extreme pollution. Looking at the stars late night was beautiful. I and Puppy noticed Goutham was talking to someone for more than an hour. I went to him and took his phone. To my surprise, it was Ravi from our college whom we used to mention as 6’4” based on his height. I wasn’t sleepy until 3:40 AM. I was fully tired after that. I reached my tent by 3:52 AM and fell asleep in a few minutes. I could hear people talking at 5:00 AM and they were getting ready to go to Murudeshwar temple. We woke up for an exciting day. Less sleep didn’t matter to me this time. I am super active and very happy on this trip.

As shorts were not allowed in Indian temples, I made my scarf as a wrap-around skirt  which can be also called as lungi :p

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This temple architecture was great. The Shiva’s idol is the best tourist attraction. I love temples. I feel pleasant there. There’s definitely some positive energy around. We also visited Bhukailas museum in the temple. The artists who made those idols are extremely talented. The faces are very expressive. They depicted happiness, sadness, anger, love, confused facial expressions in a very right manner. I was very much impressed by their talent. We next went for breakfast at RNS Cafe behind the temple. Breakfast and coffee were good there.

 

We bought few Prasadam laddus and headed to board our minibus. We started our journey towards Vibuthi falls. We walked for around 15 mins to Vibhuti falls from where the vehicles were parked. As soon as we reached the falls, we were not so happy to see huge crowd. We got into water. Rocks are very slippery, and we couldn’t depend on them for support. Water is very cold and the average depth was more than 7 feet. I didn’t have guts to swim in that chilling water. Our Organizer provided Life jackets and I was super happy. I could easily balance myself and started swimming and floating around. Puppy encouraged me to dive into the water. Initially, I was very much scared. Eventually, I loved it so much that I repeated multiple times.CF7657E1-F48B-4876-A132-FAB991E904B7

 

There were professional swimmers too. They dived from heights. Sitting beside the waterfalls was nice. Water rushing through my body and pushing me away didn’t scare me much. As the water was very cold, I was shivering. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying or swimming. I had that shivering feeling even after coming out of water. We also saw weird insects and tiny fishes near the waterfall.  After a couple of hours, we came out of Vibuthi falls and headed for lunch. The food wasn’t good. It reminded me of my PG food in Bangalore. As we were hungry, we ate without any complaints. We got into our Minibus again and everyone was tired this time. After sitting silently for a few minutes, we started talking again. We were cracking jokes on each other. The best jokes were between Srujana and Puppy about common interests. She asked the reason for him not texting much to her. He replied saying “We don’t have any common interests to talk about”. Then started discussing things they like and there was nothing in common

They entertained us to the fullest.

We stopped for a Coffee break. Ordered a few snacks and Coffee. I and Srujana targeted Puppy asking about his trip experience. We were not accepting even when he told multiple times that he had enjoyed the trip. He lost his patience and asked for more Bhel Puri. Only we understand this joke. After snacks, we stood near our bus for some time discussing about who can lift whom. Srujana lifted me, easily 😀

 

We finally reached Hubli. We weren’t so hungry for dinner. We were searching for a juice center in Hubli. After walking for a while, we found a decent place to have juice. We felt so safe to walk on empty roads after 8:00 pm because we have guys too this time. They were our pillars of strength. I enjoyed that walk too.

 

As Goutham left for Bangalore, we started missing him already. While Sri and Vinay were chitchatting on the bus, I and Srujana went to Puppy’s seat asking him to show pics from his DSLR. We couldn’t wait until next morning 😛 Sri’s pictures which were taken during the sunset were very beautiful. Her fair tone, wavy hair, and her red t-shirt and obviously amazing photo skills added beauty to the picture. We got back to our seats and realized that our vacation was over ☹ How sad 😥

But Yeah 😀

We returned to Hyderabad with lots of memories. ❤

 

The Fault in Our Stars – Hallucination

I read this book a few years ago. I wasn’t so involved. I have reread it again in Nov 2019. I was listening on my commute to work on Audible. When Hazel (the lead character in the book) was explaining her difficulty in breathing and carrying an oxygen tank with her all the time at a very young age 16. I was just imagining the situation and felt really bad for the character. People love to roam around and play at that age. She also explains her family’s love towards her despite being sick, they are proud of her all the time.

I finished a few chapters in the book and reached home by then. I had my supper and fell asleep.

Well,  I woke up at 3:20 AM. It was hard to breathe. I started searching for my oxygen tank and thought about how I forgot to put on my nasal cannulas while sleeping. I was breathing really hard and kept searching with my hands in the dark. I found my mom sleeping beside me. I was trying to wake her up if she could help me in getting nasal canulas.

I realized looking around in my room “Omg !! I am Akshitha, not Hazel Grace”.

This always gets a smile on my face. I loved myself at that moment getting so close to a character in the book. Few people call it mad. Nevermind, I am happy.

Hazel’s character is an Inspiration. Her mother’s care is wonderful. Last but not least, Augustus Waters’s love towards her is unconditional. Every line he mentions in his eulogy is Epic. I am totally in love with these characters and the book.

Author of The Fault in our Stars: John Green.

Great Job !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Break – Nishani Motte Trek

Note: I  write down my complete experience and don’t just concentrate on the place 🙂 .  It’s nowhere a travel blog.

I would say it is more of an adventure with leeches 😆

A Paradise of Leeches ⛰ IMG_3271

That’s the Nishani Motte Peak from the picture.

Why it all started ??

It was October 2019. Lots of changes were happening in my life. Moving to Hyderabad from Bangalore was the biggest change. I was bored with a routine lifestyle of office-commute-home thing. Since the Monsoon started, I was planning for a trek but couldn’t actually implement.

How it all started ??

I called Sudha, one of my friends/colleagues in Bangalore. I just told her that I am willing to come to bangalore to do a trek. Initial plan was to Dudhsagar. But couldn’t find any trek that week. We found Nishani Motte Trek in getbeyondlimits website and booked them. It was quick. My teammate/ friend Archana joined us too. Booked tickets. I was all set to explore Western Ghats during Monsoon.

I was so happy that I am gonna meet my friends after couple of months and the most exciting part is to trek with them who has inspired me from all these years. I missed them almost everyday at my new Workplace.

Oct 3, 2019 10:15 PM – Started from Hyderabad.

It was an overnight journey in bus (Obviously 🙄 – 560 kms). I reached Bangalore on Oct 4 morning. Spent a day with all my Bangalore colleagues met my so close sister. It was great.

Oct 4, 2019 9:15 PM – Started for Trip.

We had to board the vehicle at 10:15 PM at HSR LAYOUT, Bangalore. We were all super excited for the trip. While leaving office, we had a formality to sign on the declaration form for all women team members who’s leaving the office premises after 7:30 PM. Mentioning the time and destination on that record as 9:15 pm and Coorg instead of HSR Layout was crazy 😜.

We boarded the vehicle in front of a restaurant “Swaad-e-Punjaab”. Three others also boarded with us. We were all silent in the starting. We started asking few doubts to the trek organizers about the place. Few others boarded at Domlur. It was a group of young and energetic people.

Our trek Organizer, Arun introduced himself and asked us to introduce ourselves too but in slightly different way.

If my Name is Akshitha, I should tell a Food Name which starts with first letter of my name followed by my first name.

I remember few of the names with food items 😀

Apple Arun

Sambar Sudha

Akki Roti Archana

Mango Manoj

Raspberry Rajat

Samosa Satya

Namak Neha

Ruthvik 🤔

Sachin  🤔

Jayashree 🤔

Devnath 🤔

It was fun !

And we also had answered a question “What was the last thing you did for the first time ?”

They all told about their last treks/ trips or something crazy they did recently. I told about the Rope Cycling which I did recently at Siddipet. Most of us are Software Engineers. Two people (Manoj and Sachin) from our group are working for PhonePe. We kept calling them as PhonePe guys instead of calling by their names😀 And Devnath teaches IAS aspirants and also an amazing singer.

It was 10:30 pm and people soon fell asleep. It was a tempotraveller of 13 seater.

I was aware that semi sleeper/ pushback seats are not so comfortable to sleep. I took the place on the floor 😆 Yes, I slept on floor near the vehicle door. I wasn’t too shy because I felt rest is more important ✅

I was comfortable and I think I was the only one to sleep that night 🌝

We reached Bhagamandala Homestay at 5:37 AM. We took a quick nap again and got ready for the trek.

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Having our morning coffee at that place was so pleasant.

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We had our breakfast and carried packed lunch along with water bottles and enough fruits.

My earphones were missing. I couldn’t find them since that morning. Got into the vehicle searching for them. No luck. I think I lost almost 10 earphones in my life 😥 Irresponsible me.

We reached a forest office and submitted our Govt ID Photo Copy to the forest Department and signed the declaration form.

A guide from forest department accompanied us. His name is Arun too. We all started to trek. Climate was pretty good. Not so cold, not too hot.

There was a trail path in the starting and the difficulty level increased as we went further. We were scared about the leeches as they are very common in the Western Ghats. Our organizers advised us to check for leeches on our shoes every now and then.

Those creatures were creepy. They stick to our shoe/ socks/ legs and removing them with bare hands was a challenge for me in the starting. I was so scared and started screaming as soon as I saw a leech on my shoe 😥

I saw other people who handled them very carefully without screaming, unlike me 😁

Inspired by them, I eventually started getting rid of leeches without being scared.

There were few times that leeches were climbing from one shoe while you were busy in removing them on the other shoe. One by one, one by one …. Urgh !! It was terrifying.

Honestly, we had bad time with leeches. We couldn’t stop anywhere in the bushy areas as leech population was more. As we were moving forward we stopped for every five minutes to check for leeches on the shoes and on legs.

We reached a beautiful place on the way. We took our first rest stop to have some water.

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And clicked few pictures.

We started moving again. Now, the path is an inclination of 60 degree. We had to walk very carefully to avoid slipping as the path is wet during monsoon.

Even if we were completely tired, we couldn’t stop at any place because we were scared of leeches here. I know I am talking about leeches more, can’t help. They were disgusting.

We took these amazing jumping pictures at this place on the way.

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After few miles of trekking, we found a place which has rocks and boulders. We thought it’s safer to sit there as there are no signs of leeches around. That place was tremendously beautiful.

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I wanted to do a perfect Chakrasana in this kind of location. I tried to do it on a rock. It wasn’t so comfortable. Somehow I managed to do for a picture 😆

After few more minutes of trek, we reached the Nishani Motte peak.

Wow ! Just Wow !

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We were so happy to see the mountains around us. The breeze was great. We all collapsed at this place and started having our packed lunch. We had Puliyogare with Lemon pickle. I remember those moments clearly where we spent chitchatting, having food and snacks.

Now, the actual challenge has started. It was drizzling. We should start moving  down. Paths become more slippery during rains. We took our Raincoats and Ponchos from our bags and started moving. It was difficult than we thought. Each step should be taken carefully. Even when walking slowly and steadily, I was slipping. Devnath, one of the trek members, suggested me to turn right side and walk by keeping the foot horizontally to avoid slipping. That helped me to move better.

I started moving along with forest officer for sometime. Walking without a conversation was boring. I started talking to our forest guide in my broken Kannada. 😛

After sometime, I was talking to Rajat who is from Gokarna. We spoke about the technologies we work on and I got to know he’s a full stack developer. Full stack developers are so lucky and talented of course as they will have huge options when they are looking for a change. I asked him about the Gokarna trek. He suggested to take that trek as he heard it was amazing.

“My next trek 🏝 sorted”, I thought. 🌝

We were stopping every few minutes to do leech checks on our shoes. After wearing raincoats, it was bit difficult to find them. We didn’t know that they would find a path to move upwards with the help of the raincoat. On the way down, we found scorpions 🦂.

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It was raining moderately and we reached Forest department Quarters. We filled our water bottles and sat for few minutes. I had a leech bite on my feet despite being careful. Others also had leech bites. Sachin, a guy from our group had multiple leech bites and blood was flowing continuously. It was scary. His white socks turned red.

 

I was happy that I didn’t have much leech bites.

Soon we reached our home stay and getting ready for Triveni Sangamam. We had hot tea and some snacks. I was going to freshen up and realized that stomach is moist. As there was no electricity in the homestay at that time, I asked my friend Sudha to check what it is. She screamed as soon as she saw and told me that it’s a leech bite and blood was leaking continuously from more than 30 minutes may be. There was a huge blood stain on my t shirt too. I applied some cotton and a band aid.

After sometime, I realized it was still leaking. We didn’t have any choice and my friend suggested me to put a sanitary pad as it can observe more and avoids spoiling t shirts.

 

Myself, Archana and Sudha were talking to each other for a long time.

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We had our dinner and Camp fire was set 🔥 we couldn’t stop talking about leeches there too 😓

Our trek organizer suggested a game. We all sat in a circle around the fire.

Game: 

These are the three words.

Fuzzy Duck

Ducky Fuzz

Duzzy

If a person is starting with Fuzzy Duck or Ducky Fuzz word, next person can repeat the same word. But, if the next person says Duzzy, the later word should be interchanged from Fuzzy Duck to Ducky Fuzz or Ducky Fuzz to Fuzzy Duck.

It was so much fun to play. They are like adult tongue twisters which might make  you pronounce the wrong word. Don’t say it 🤫

We left to our rooms as it started drizzling.

Soon we fell asleep.

Oct 6, 2019 – Second Day in Bhagamandala.

We woke up to the morning coffee and started moving to Triveni Sangamam.

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Taking Pictures/ Swimming was not allowed here. There were tiny fishes in the river tickling our feet ☺️. Height of the river where we got in was lesser than 4ft. Taking dips in that cold water was refreshing. We spent around 30 minutes there and went back to home stay. We packed our luggage’s and started moving towards Tala Cauvery.

It is a temple located around Bhagamandala region. We left for Kushal Nagar to visit Tibetan temple and to have food at any Tibetan Hotel.

I had visited this temple couple of times when I visited Coorg. We were just posing in the temple. 😀

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Our group was talking about Tukpa which is Tibetian dish. We were very hungry by then. We ordered Tukpa, Momos and Chinese Chopsuey. They took almost an hour to serve all these for us.

  • Tukpa was 🍜 Noodles & Soup with few veggies and very less spice and salt. I didn’t like that dish much personally.
  • Momos were so tasty with the pickle they served.
  • Chinese Chopseuy was the best. It had crispy Noodles and Soup and few veggies served with half boiled egg on the top.

I was so busy eating the food and forgot to click the pictures. I told the group that my Boarding time is at 8:50 PM from HSR Layout.

Rajat asked me the bus details to look for any other boarding points and found the correct boarding time 🙄 Everyone got to know that I was lying 😰 It is actually at 9:15 PM 🤭 I told  25 mins early to be on safer side 😛

I checked in Google Maps on distance and  the time we might reach Bangalore as I have to take a bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad that night. Wasn’t so tensed as we had enough time to reach. We can’t take chance on Bangalore traffic though.

I found a pretty dress in the market and bought it. I forgot about the pact that I made on August 1 which was not to buy any more clothes. ☹️ Stupid me with no self control 🤦‍♀️ Why are dresses so pretty ??

We got into the vehicle and started to Bangalore. I started to collect all the pictures from everyone to upload on Instagram 🌝

Special Picture was my favourite jumping picture ☺

On the way back, we played dumb Charades and shared few adventure stories, love stories and the funny/ crazy things. Neha is a super active personality and Ruthvik is a calm and humble kind of person. They made a great couple.

Our bonding was getting stronger.

Realizing that we will be leaving in sometime and we might not meet each other in our lifetime was sad.

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We got down at our stops and moved towards our destination.

I boarded my bus to Hyderabad. I met this amazing personality Nalini who is a young founder of a startup www.edyoda.com who’s seat is next to mine. It was so nice meeting her and talking to her about our journeys. She’s of my age and is leading a very good career oriented path. Sure she’s an inspiration 😊

Every moment of this trip was so memorable for me. Credit goes to the people whom I met in these couple of days.

Thanks Guys ! You were Amazing !