Magical Mysuru in 1 Day

Mysuru is a lovely city with cooler temperature, not so crowded and colonial era buildings all around (now used as government offices and educational buildings).

Since we had only a day in our hand, we decided to take a tour bus next day which was supposed to take us to all the tourist places including Sri Chamundeshwari Devi temple which was on Chamunda hills (13 kms from Mysuru city).

We soon realised taking a tour bus was probably not a wise decision as they covered all the sites however not necessarily giving enough time to explore them at our pace.

We also visited a town Srirangapatana which was Tipu Sultan’s capital near Mysuru. We were shown Tipu Sultan’s fort, where he was killed by British Army and his summer palace all in ruins now.

Chamundeshwari temple was very crowded and took almost three hours to get a darshan. The highlight of the tour day was a breathtaking Mysuru palace.

The Palace is built in the Indo-Saracenic style with a touch of Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic architectural styles. The palace was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and was designed by the British architect Henry Irwin.

The grandiose of the palace and a beautiful architecture amazed everyone visiting this palace.  We bought tickets to visit inside the palace and the intricate designs on its pillars, ceilings and windows were feast to our eyes.

In the evening, we also took a horse carriages ride on the roads around the Mysuru palace which kids enjoyed thoroughly.

We also visited the Brindavan Gardens which is situated in Mandya district and spread in an area of 60 acres beside the Krishnarajasagar dam across the Kaveri River.

We arrived at the garden in twilight when all the evening lighting and the musical fountains were in action. Overall the Mysuru was a beautiful city and we created some lovely memories here.



We took a train from Trivandrum to Kanyakumari but unfortunately the train was late and we arrived to Nagercoil (the train terminates at Nagercoil) by midnight.

We learned that Nagercoil was 17 Kms away from Kanyakumari so we decided to take an auto to Kanyakumari and arrived at our hotel by 2 am.

Luckily our hotel was at a walking distance from the Vivekanand Rock Memorial which is a popular tourist monument in Kanyakumari, India. The memorial was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock.

According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity. The memorial is not approachable through land and requires a 10 minutes ferry ride.

At this time, we were quite excited to touch the southernmost part of India however our happiness was soon dampened when we realized there was a very long queue to get to the ferry.

Since the weather was really hot, we decided to pay 4 times and take an express queue instead. Luckily, it only took 45 minutes to get to the ferry through the express line.

The ferries were overcrowded and rocked through waves and we arrived at the memorial. The Rock memorial is surrounded by the Indian Ocean,

Bay of Bengal and the Pacific Ocean and it was a great feeling to be there. The rock memorial has an art gallery as well on Swami Vivekanand life however we decided not to visit the art gallery as we were to catch a train to Bangalore from Nagercoil.

There is also a very tall statue nearby, the Thiruvalluvar Statue, or the Valluvar Statue – a 133-feet tall stone sculpture of the Tamil poet and philosopher Valluvar.

We boarded the train from Nagercoil that evening and arrived to Bangalore the next morning after 14 hours of train journey. When we got off the train, we were treated by a comparatively cooler weather in Bangalore.

As I mentioned earlier, at Bangalore station we changed our mind and decided to go to Mysuru first (luckily we hadn’t booked a hotel in Bangalore). We took a train and arrived in Mysuru late afternoon.



The travel to Trivandrumturned out to be an adventure.

We first decided to travel by a local train and went to the train station.

Being A Maverick on the way

Once arrived at the train station we learned that the next local train was 4 hours later so we decided to catch the bus and returned to the bus stop.

At the bus stand, we discovered the KSRTC buses to Trivandrum were all jam-packed with only a few air-conditioned private buses available and to our surprise these too were jam-packed.

We finally decided we couldn’t go by bus with two kids, a handful of baggage and uncomfortable hot weather.

Funnily enough, we decided to make a U-turn to the train station one more time.

Finally, we caught the local train and luckily the general compartment of the train had lots of empty seats to choose from and we had a comfortable trip.

Places to visit and its rules

In Trivandrum, there were two main attractions: The Kovalam beach (17 km from the city) and the Padmanabhaswamy temple.

The temple only allows the people from Hinduism faith and has a strict rule for visitors to dress up traditionally (Men and boys in Mund (Lungi in North) and no clothes on upper body and saree for women).

We decided to visit the temple the next morning as early as possible in order to beat the crowd.

We thought we were the smart people but, we were surprised to see the hordes of people in the temple (probably everyone had the same strategy….hahaha.).

It took 4 hours in a queue to avail Darshan.

My husband outside the temple in Thiruvanthapuram

The Padmanabhaswamy temple is one of the richest temples in India with worth 10 billion dollars.

The temple had a beautiful architecture with wide corridors all around and amazingly crafted pillars.

After the darshan, we changed our clothes to the beach clothes (luckily our hotel was nearby), had some lunch and took a bus to the Kovalam beach.

The Kovalam beach was a beautiful beach where kids played with waves while I enjoyed looking at a beautiful sunset and taking photos.


Cover Alluring Alleppey In A Day

Alleppey is another city on the Laccadive Sea in the state of Kerala and the visit to Alleppey for backwater (a network of tranquil canals and lagoon)houseboat cruise experience was the most awaited one as we had heard heaps about it.

Initially, we had planned for a two days stay, however, later we shortened it to a day after the advice by friends and locals.

As per their advice, one day was sufficient for this experience as the houseboat travelled in close vicinity of the shore and the scenery did not change significantly.

Lessons to be learned

Unfortunately, it was a peak season in Alleppey ( 24-25 December) and we hadn’t booked any houseboat in advance ( based on the review provided on travel websites that one should not just rely on photos on websites but inspect the interiors personally as the pictures can be deceptive and this approach also provided the opportunity to bargain).

How we actually managed

In our case, we ended up paying a bit higher price (9000 rupees for one night) but definitely got to see few houseboats and choose the one we liked.

What was my experience?

On a side note, there is a budget-friendly option available too where a medium-sized boat (like shikhara in Srinagar’s Dal lake takes people around for few hours). The experience on houseboat cruise was worth every penny.

The cooks on the boat cooked local cuisines on our demand and we had the whole houseboat with two air-conditioned room all for us.

Kids had fun running around the two decks and watching their favourite movie while we enjoyed some us time on the top deck sipping toddy(local beer).

We also got to see an amazing sunset.


Experience Mesmerizing Munnar in 2 Days

this turned out to be our most favourite destination. We travelled in Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus from Cochin to Munnar and would admit it was not as comfortable journey.

Opening the door to nature and its strength, magic and wonder

It took almost 5 hours of climbing up in humid and hot weather however once we reached the height, the weather pleasantly changed for a comfortable 23-24 degree centigrade.

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.

Our hotel was remotely situated in a valley and took another 45 minutes of the ride in an auto-rickshaw to arrive. Most of the hotels and resorts in Munnar are located interiorly in the valley and the inwards roads to the hotel were in appalling condition (we were told this was due to 2018 Kerala floods).

The distance of 4 km from the Munnar central town to the hotel felt so far and shook our internal organs like a blender, however, once we reached the hotel, the view was amazing and which made us forget all the discomfort we had in past few hours.

The hotel was right in the middle of tea gardens which looked idyllic. Once again we were lucky that we had included breakfast in our hotel package or else it would have been a big hassle to go back to the town early in the morning.

The next morning, we hired a jeep (unlike Goa, self-driven vehicles were not available in Munnar) and the driver already had a tour plan in a handout where we were provided with an option to choose the places of our interests.

The kids were super excited to travel in a jeep and even for us it was a thrilling experience. We chose to see a waterfall, a botanical garden, a couple of dams(kids had fun doing paddle boating), elephant feeding, tea factory and a visit to a tea garden.

We were pleasantly surprised to find an added attraction when our driver pointed out to the wild elephant herds on the hills. The herd looked chilled out and people enjoyed watching them from a distance.

I cannot forget how coconut water had become our favourite drink from Goa itself and we continued to enjoy it throughout our journey which also served the purpose of keeping us well hydrated in humid weather.

The tea gardens in Munnar were spread around to as far as our eyes could see and the greenery from it was so calming on the nerves. We visited one of the gardens which were on the top of mountains and had clouds floating in it which created a beautiful, mystic environment.

While we enjoyed taking lots of photos, kids were running around and even tried smelling the crushed leaf and taste it but to their surprise, it was nowhere near to the tea smell we are used to (later we learned in the tea factory that the tea flavour and smell only comes after processing and fermentation).

Surprisingly, we had covered most of the tourist attraction in one day. We decided to spend the next day as a quiet day in our hotel among the tea gardens however then we changed our mind and decided to do some local shopping and visit a spice garden.

We started with local shopping and bought some banana chips, spices and tea from the local market which are not only the speciality of Munnar but whole Kerala state.

The tour to the spice garden was an informative one. It not only provided us with knowledge of our daily spices but also an appreciation of how learned our ancestors were to have known the medicinal property of these plants thousands of years ago.

On day 3 we took another KSRTC bus to return to Cochin. We were sad to be leaving Munnar but excited for the next destination.


The unveiling of Glamorous Goa in 4 Days

This was our first destination and i was happily Unveiling Glamor of Goa. Our resort had a comfortable one-bedroom apartment with a big swimming pool; the package also included breakfast.

Over time, we had realized that included breakfast deal was always handy as it not only saved time but gave a
head start for the day.

How we spend Day 1

In Goa, there were plenty of scooters, bike or car rental facilities and we decided to hire a scooter for commuting in Goa. We could have opted for a car rental but the scooty option appeared enticing; it was not only 60 % cheaper but presented as more fun for us including kids (kids had never been on a scooter in Australia).

Soulful Day 2

On day 2, we travelled to Panjim and South Goa and visited famous churches.

Day 3 was for Goa beaches.

Beaches appeared to be the tourists’ favourite place. These were flocked by people and the atmosphere at Goa beaches by the dusk was like a night party.

I found water in Indian
Ocean to be warm and pleasing (our experience in the Pacific Ocean in NZ and Australia had been different where the water around the year stayed too cold).

With two of my sunshine’s enjoying Indian Ocean

The shacks on the beach were something which I experienced for the first time with this being something beyond imagination on NZ and Australia beaches.

girl at goa beaches
Time for some personal reflection and meditation

What are the Shacks ?

For people who do not know, shacks are the restaurants set in tents right on the beach. These shacks are decorated with ferry lights and loud music played in each of these shacks. This was a unique beach experience overall.

The other thing we could not ignore was hundreds of cashews shops around the Calangute area and all over Goa. The cashews were not cheap as such but were claimed to be of good quality.

The Koorg area apparently has the best climate to grow cashews. In terms of food, there was no dearth of restaurants in Goa however we found these restaurants comparatively expensive.


A Memorable trip to Southern India

I migrated to Australia fifteen years ago in 2005 with my husband soon after our wedding. I soon developed a love for travel influenced by my husband who has keen interests in subjects like Geography, Culture, People, and Food and yes the mix of all types of travel.

My husband had been to South India multiple times for work purposes before we got married but never from a tourist perspective. On the other hand, I did not have any opportunity to visit South India with Mumbai being an exception where I studied for 3 ½ years.

Scrumptious food served on Banana leaf was feast to our eyes

In these fifteen years, we had expanded our family with two boys, who are now aged 10 and In November 2019, we were planning to go to India for our regular trip; this was when we thought we could also include a fun family trip to South India.

We decided this was a good opportunity not just for some family fun but also to introduce our children to the rich culture of India. We were so excited to visit places other than beaches this time.

If you wonder why we had seen millions of beautiful beaches in NZ and Australia in the last 15 years and were craving to visit a place which had a completely different landscape.

Travel Preparation

In preparation, we started to read extensively on places of interest about six months leading to travel.

Every weekend we would watch videos of these places, kids borrowed travel books from library whereas, I started to do a bit of research on weather, making a list of what to pack, friends I could meet and creating space on my phone to be able to take photos (would like to mention here I have an interest in photography).

I was tickled for the potential photo opportunities which would include not just beaches and beautiful scenery but temples, historical buildings, mountains and palaces.

South Indian Food Provided Value For Money

Commercial tour package versus self-planned tour

We were suggested by friends to take a package tour to make it easier but we decided to plan it ourselves as we believed it would make the journey not only cheaper but provide flexibility which we needed with kids. Getting closer to the journey date we had done a lot of background research on each place, mode of travel and chalked out a rough itinerary.

Since the train journey in India demanded a well advance booking, we booked all long/overnight journeys 3 months in advance while keeping an eye for good flight deals.

Travel Itinerary

We booked some of the flights, as well as good offers, came along. We also received some useful tips from friends who lived in these places or had travelled before.

The travel plan we chalked out was for a duration of three weeks (16 Dec 2019-11 Jan 2020).

We were to take a flight from Gorakhpur our hometown to Goa; spend 4 days in Goa, take an overnight train journey from Goa to Cochin, spend two days in Cochin to meet friends and;

if possible visit Fort Kochi and get the feel of the city, travel to Munnar (4-5 hours by bus) and spend 3 days in Munnar, travel to Alleppey ( 6-7 hours bus journey via Cochin),

2 days in Alleppey and then travel to Thiruvananthapuram (4 hours train journey),

1 day in Thiruvananthapuram and then travel to Kanyakumari ( 5 hours train journey),

1 day in Kanyakumari and then travel to Bangalore (overnight train journey)

spend 6 days in Bangalore which included Mysuru visit and a visit to Ananthpur district ( 3 hours road trip from Bangalore) of Andhra Pradesh for a family get together.

From Ananthpur we planned to return to Bangalore to catch a flight to Gorakhpur. We managed to stick to our original plan for most of the trip with a minor change at the Bangalore train station when we decided to visit Mysuru first.

We took a local train and arrived at Mysuru 3 hours later. As per the revised plan we were to spend 2 days in Mysuru and then return to Bangalore.

Spend 4 days in Bangalore which would include 2 days in Hindupur town- Ananthpur district. From Ananthpur, we were to return Bangalore to return to Gorakhpur.

Travel Experience

Travel to south India has imprinted fondly in our memories forever. Most of our time was spent in Kerala with a touch of Tamilnadu ( Kanyakumari), Karnataka ( Bangalore, Mysuru) and Andhra
Pradesh ( Hindupur).

Fresh cane juice in making

The striking feature of Kerala was food. We loved variety of dosas, idlis,
sambhar vada, chutneys and of course coffees and coconut water. The added value was that food was not only authentic but cheap.

Some of the restaurants also provided refilling with sambhar,chutneys, rice and papadams. The waiters in these restaurants fed its patrons with warmth and respect and we enjoyed hearty meals every day.

The coconut water vendors always left me in awe when they cut coconuts with precise speed and skills and even made spoons with the coconut shells
to eat coconut tender flesh known as malai. The spices and banana chips were sold everywhere.

The cities and towns looked cleaner compared to North India and people came across as honest with friendly attitude.

There were also wooden craft shops in tourist places and we brought few pieces home.

Kerala also displayed a perfect mix of Hindu and Christian harmony with churches and temples standing side by side. The only downside of south India was hot and humid weather in the middle of winter however the 3 Cs (coffee, cane juice and coconut water) kept us going.


Importance of Basant Panchmi 2020

बसंत पंचमी का क्या है महत्व?

ये आप स्वराज द्वीप समूह के उत्साहित युवाऔ से लगा सकते हैं।

पूरे एक महीने पहले से शुरू होने वाली तैयारी – लड़के सजे हुए मुर्शिदाबाद जरीदार कुर्ता-पायजामा, चमकिले जैकट मे नजर आते थे और ल़डकि लड़किया साड़ी मे जो कि ज़्यादातर पीले – नारंगी और इसी बासंती रंग को प्रोत्साहित करती थी।

हमने एक ग्रामीण प्रारंभिक स्कूल मे जाकर हवन, पूजा और आराधना की थी।

वो भी अभय जो कि हमारा टूरिस्ट गाइड था ( एेलीफेनटा बीच ट्रेकिंग का)

उसने हमे पूजा के बारे मे अवग़त कराया था ।

आपको देख के विस्वास नहीं होता कि मुख्य भारतीय संस्कृति से इतनी दूर बसा अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह के स्वराज समुह पर संस्कृति की झलक मिलती है।

यहा भले ही ज़मीन की लंबाई कम हो और पेट्रोल भरवाने के लिए लंबी लंबी कटारे लगानी पड़ती है।

छोटे छोटे कमरे के लिए खूब धनराशि खर्च करनी होती है।

आज तीन साल बाद भी अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह की यादें जिवंत हो जाती है।

आज बसंत पंचमी के दिन ही सरस्वती जी का जन्मदिन होता है और जो भी विद्या के इच्छुक लोग है उनको ए ‘ की पांच माला जाप करनी चाहिए।

इस दिन बच्चों के विद्या आरंभ से लेकर हर नये कार्य की शुरुआत की जाँ सकती है।

नयी विद्या सीखना नए कौशल विकास करना और अपने पास्ट (भूतकाल), वर्तमान और भविष्य के सभी गुरूजनों को नमन करते हैं और माँ सरस्वती द्वारा दिए गए सभी ग्यान के भंडार के आभार प्रकट किया जाता है।

साथ ही साथ बच्चों को श्लोक के माध्यम से अवग़त करा सकते है ।

सरस्वति नमस्तुभ्यं वरदे कामरूपिणि ।

विद्यारम्भं करिष्यामि सिद्धिर्भवतु मे सदा ॥

अब वापस ले चलते हैं आपको स्वराज समुह

जहा 2004 का सबसे स्वच्छ समुद्री किनारा जिसे राधा नगर बीच के नाम से जाना जाता है।

यहा समुद्री किनारों पर मैंग्रोव्स पौधे होते हैं जो तटों की रक्षा करते हैं।

इतिहास के पन्नों के अनुसार यहा सुभाष चंद्र बोस ने 30 दिसम्बर 1954 को तिरंगा लहराया था और अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह को ब्रिटिश शासन से आजाद घोषित कर दिया था।

यहा मुख्य आकर्षण है – एेलीफेनटा बीच- जहा आप जेट से भी जाँ सकते हैं और ट्रेकिंग से भी जाँ सकते हैं (वो अभय गाइड हमे यही मिला था और उसके मन में मुख्य भूमि भारत के बारे मे जानने की बहुत जिज्ञासा थी..जैसे कि यहा से दिल्ली तक कि टिकट कितने की है, जाने के कौन कौन से रास्ते है। 

दूसरा मुख्य बीच है कालापत्थर बीच यहा जलीय -जंतु से सतर्कता बरतने की सलाह दी जाती है

निष्कर्ष मे बस यही कहना है, “कि आप जहा भी रहे धरोहर को सम्हाल के रखे हुए आगे आने वाली पीढियों को उसका महत्व समझाते रहे”।..

अपनी यात्रा का एक उद्देश्य है ही किसी तिथि विशेष के रूप मे जगह को याद रखना।


Frenzy 5 Fossils

I(Praveer Mahato) happened to be in Hongkong last month. As a geology student and nature explorer. I found frenzy 5 fossils in Hongkong Natural Science Museum. We heard a lot about fossils, so let us find out about the significance of fossils

  • Fossils help to understand the evolutionary sequence of life.
  • 2.Fossils as stratigraphic indicators to understand the concept of time and evolution of the earth.
  • 3. Fossils help us to understand the paleoclimate.
  • 4.Fossils as a paleogeographic indicator(Glassopteris/Lystrosaures)
  • 5.Fossils as an indicator of prehistoric life.
  • 6.Fossils as an economic tool for the discovery of different economic resources like coal and petroleum.
Marine Brachiopods

Trace fossils

Here plant leaf is imprinted on rock layers. There are several types of trace fossils. Mould and cast (external impression of an object on the enclosing rock. Read more Frenzy5fossils

Plant leaf fossils
Ancient civilization pots
Stone and metal structure

Did you remember what we saw in Paris Louvre museum

Stone structures

Remember the gems found in the meteoritic form.


Admission Fee

Standard: HK$10
Group (20 persons or above): HK$7
Concessionary (Full-time students/people with disabilities and one accompanying carer / senior citizens): HK$5
Free admission for Museum Pass holders


Daya Anna: creating Exquisite Portrayal since 1997

What did I like in the painting by Daya Anna? Why these painting always eye-catching? Why you awestruck by the work of Charcoal?

“Faith is realizing that you always get what you need.”

Daya Anna is a Mangalore based artist who is famous for his work on Gurudev paintings over the decades incorporated with a unique expression and vital painting of Gurudev (SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI)Founder of ART OF LIVING FOUNDATION.

His painting of Gurudev conjures up a myriad of emotions and sensations! Daya Anna work is based on observations and dilettante. The significant issues and most important ideas are Gurudev (SRI SRI RAVISHANKAR JI) and his plentifulness grace.

“If you can win over your mind, you can win over the whole world.”

There is a bit of landscape. But the rest of the painting is filled up with the figures of Gurudev.

The quality is good. The painting is like ahead of its time because of its colour and figures. 

Daya Anna: creating Exquisite Portrayal of Gurudev since 1997(His beginning in ART OF LIVING)

I experienced Sudarshana in the year 1997. Since then I am happily following the Art of Living. Within a year had a blessing divine opportunity of getting an autograph on a pencil sketch of our Gurudev.

Since then I am addicted to painting Gurudev portraits. Though it’s my profession I am glued with only Gurudev’s pictures. Done more than 1000 charcoal portraits and few oil paintings.

Still going stronger enthusiastically.Under the influence of swami, Suryapadji started teaching art. I was going to Govt. schools also. But when Gurudev said to go to villages I started visiting villages.

Morning time Happiness Programme for adults day time teaching art. Several times motivated children to display art what they created and sales proceedings were distributed among art students.

That was happy and blessed moments of my life. I want to continue to work with the children in the villages

Earlier I used to raise funds to support school buildings of SSRVM Mangalore.

Mysterious ways of Master

Long back, my scooter ran out of fuel luckily it was just opposite my office. I was busy. In the evening I received a call that my client could not come to collect the Artwork and he is already at the bus station.

Urged me to deliver the artwork which he badly needed for the conference he is rushing. I took the artwork delivered it to him and in a hurry returned because another client is impatiently waiting. Just when I reached the place, to my astonishment I realised my vehicle had run around 20 km with only Guru grace.

Sachetwalker’s recommendation:

Daya Anna painting is happily a reward for devotees as if Gurudev is virtually present. His painting is really striking as Gurudev is seeing directly into your soul.

Devotees can found an instant connection at your heart for these masterpieces. After all, it is a Master’s!

So, if you interested in collecting his painting feel free to reach him on 9886065105

Daya Anna is actively taking a workshop in Urban areas at 1000 per person and in rural areas its free of cost.