Blog: My Yatra Diary...

Blogger: Arti
Tall trees and low hanging clouds... acres of meadows punctuated with farm houses and shimmering lakes, high towering mountains and craggy cliffs... colorful rainbows, warm hospitality, unforgettable meals... Before I could gather anything, my mind had already started dreaming of a fairy tale land of its own. That’s when; I decided, I should pen this down:What would my perfect road trip be like, how would it be, what all things would I do? So, what is my idea of a Perfect Road Trip?Here’s what I found...Tripping by the heart: Traveling soloHaving never ever traveled solo, I imagine this trip to be my first solo trip ever, a trip solely for my little naughty heart. Mind you, this is not... Read more
clicks 277 View   Vote 0 Like   5:15pm 26 Jul 2013
Blogger: Arti
22 July, 2013: Yes, My Yatra Diary... got featured again. Featured in 'The Asian Age' Newspaper, New Delhi. Incidentally, the call for the story came to me just one day after I published my article, Inked in Print: The Hindu and the Maharashtra Times and boy, if I wasn't thrilled to hear about it! The story was regarding IndiBlogger’s Indian Blogger Awards (IBA) 2013, where bloggers from all over India are competing to win the coveted title of being the best in their respective blogging categories.Today, the article has already gone live and I am so excited to share it with all of you. So, here it goes:The Asian Age, New Delhi: 22 July, 2013Appreciation is the biggest reward... Read more
clicks 259 View   Vote 0 Like   3:54pm 24 Jul 2013
Blogger: Arti
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."This is how the past couple of months have been for me. Opportunities have popped in... all of a sudden, from somewhere bringing with them a lot of surprise, joy, honor and pride. To be more precise, there have been 2 so far and I am highly thrilled to share both of them here, with you.My Yatra Diary... in 'Print'1. The Hindu: Sometime in the month of April, I was contacted for a few of my quotes on how bloggers are today playing brand ambassadors for companies and voila! The next thing I knew was that I had been featured in one of the leading national daily newspaper of India, The Hindu along with none other than IndiBlogger - my favorite!Followin... Read more
clicks 284 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 16 Jul 2013
Blogger: Arti
Our village walk peaked off with a visit to the local Shree Krishna Temple as suggested by our Kannur home stay host, Indu.Nestled quietly, a little off the village roads of Kannur, was the Shree Krishna temple snuggled in a blanket of peace. A few minutes in the precincts of the temple and I heard the words of Indu ring true in my ears,"... The temple is beautiful, do visit it."The Shree Krishna Temple: Kannur, KeralaA handful of people waited patiently outside as the temple gates were closed. Soon, the gates gave way to a radiant light of deepams (lamps) illuminating the deity along with a divine chorus of chants by the devotees accompanying it.One of the back gates to the templeA closed w... Read more
clicks 279 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 11 Jul 2013
Blogger: Arti
The day after the temple tour, while discussing the day’s plans over our early morning breakfast, Indu (Blue Mermaid homestay host) came up with something completely offbeat from Kerela’s much-hyped regular charms like the temples and the beaches– A simple nature walk to explore the nearby area, including a village set amidst palm trees on the periphery of the Thottada beach in Kannur.A nature walk?Yes, and there is a local Shree Krishna Temple also a little down the town,do visit that, it is beautiful. (next diary entry)A few more minutes and I found myself walking down the long and narrow winding roads of Thottada village devoid of any maddening crowds. A perfect tonic to get rejuven... Read more
clicks 367 View   Vote 0 Like   4:08pm 4 Jul 2013
Blogger: Arti
Uttarakhand as we all know has been in a disturbing state of gloom ever since flash floods and landslides hit the region a couple of days back. The only significant ray of sunshine has come from the brave men in uniform, from the Indian Air force and Army teams who have been working relentlessly to rescue the stranded people from the Char Dham Yatra areas. And such has been the illumination of these rays that a no-poet like me was moved enough to pen down this one. Read on...------------- * ---------------- * ---------------- * ---------------- * ---------------- * -------------O Brave Jawan, I salute you!Your works of bravery kindle my hopes anew.No fear, no wrath, no terrain seems to be... Read more
clicks 433 View   Vote 0 Like   3:00pm 27 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
If there was one temple I knew I had to visit during my Kannur Yatra, it was this – The Rajarajeswara Temple of Thaliparamba.Why? Because a bit of research on the internet had informed me that it was ancient, historical, mystical and filled with legends - adjectives enough to arouse intrigue and kindle an interest to include the temple in our Kannur itinerary right from the very beginning. Come along!One among the troika in the temple group of Shree Krishna Temple and  the Vaidyanatha temple, the Rajarajeswara Temple also occupies a prominent place amongst the 108 ancient Shiva Temples of Kerala. What makes it unique amongst the many Shiva temples from all around the country is its locati... Read more
clicks 370 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 24 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
To be frank, I was a bit wary when I had taken this on. A photo album contest as a giveaway? Would this work?30 entries, a warm bundle of wishes and a fortune of support later... today, I am a happy blogger. And proud to see that all it took was a few bloggers from all around the world to banish away all my fears and make this contest what it was - A fun venture and a delightful success!A heartfelt Thank You to everyone who dug in their albums and shared their pictures with all of us and to everyone who stood by with their blessings, wishes and support. Everything meant a lot to me and I hope to have all of it again, the next time we have another contest here.Who is the Winner?It was fun to ... Read more
clicks 293 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 20 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
After around a 20 minute drive further from Shree Krishna Trichambaram temple, we arrive at the next temple in our temple trail of Kannur in Kerala: The Vaidyanatha temple.Located at Kanhirangad, 6 kms from Taliparamba and revered as one amongst the 108 ancient Shiva temples of Kerala, stepping in the temple is like stepping back in time.A flight of stony stairs running through an unkempt plantation, the simply structured temple looking from over from the top and absence of any sign of human life – when you witness scenes like these, it becomes that much more easier to believe what the legends say...Way to the Shree Vaidyanatha TempleThis place once served as the hiding abode of Karaskaras... Read more
clicks 271 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 17 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
Around 20 km from the town of Kannur in Kerala, 5 kms south of Taliparambu town and a short drive of around 15 minutes from Shree Muthappan Temple, is situated the Trichambaram temple.Entrance to the Trichambaram Temple compoundDescend a fleet of stairs and you are led to the temple compound in the center of which stands the main temple.Dedicated to Lord Shree Krishna in his child avatar, the Trichambaram temple, like majority of temples in Kerala, exudes a high degree of calm and serenity the moment you enter its blissful shade.A pair of weighing scales in the temple compoundThe main Trichambaram templeLong strings of Tulsi malas and scores of non lit deepams line the way to the sanctum san... Read more
clicks 378 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 10 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
Have you ever gotten up early to watch the sun rise only to find it hidden behind a misty veil and then waited for it to shine in its entire splendor? If you have, you’d the joy of all those moments and if you haven’t then... you have got to try it out someday. Really. It is something so beautiful; that it never fails to inspire, to leave you in awe.Sunrise in KeralaSo when my fellow blogger friend and an ardent traveler Santosh of Huchchara Santhe asked me for a guest post on completing 5 years of his blogging journey, sunrise was the first topic to come to my mind analogous to a wish that his blog continues to explore and discover something new and exciting each day, every morning!Here... Read more
clicks 295 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 3 Jun 2013
Blogger: Arti
Resonating true to the nature of Kerala, its Temples too painted a picture of peace and calm. So peaceful were its precincts that there were a few instances when I was discouraged even ringing the bell so that its tranquility could be maintained! Presented in the following series are a few temples we visited while our stay in Kannur. Come along!Shree Muthappan Temple, Parassinikadavu, KannurHighly recommended by our Kannur homestay host, Indu, we started our temple tour of Kerala with Shree Muthappan temple dedicated to a highly revered deity of northern Kerala - Shree Muthappan, characterized by Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.A narrow lane lined by hotels and shops selling different kinds of to... Read more
clicks 362 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 27 May 2013
Blogger: Arti
The hurrying sound of the waves is striking, even from a distance. It is the only significant sound I hear in the otherwise quiet retreat. Juggling my steps carefully through a heap of stones, naturally arranged in a haphazard manner, I make my way to the beach of Blue Mermaid home stay in Kerala. As I come down, the undulation, the ups and downs and the definitive roar clearly becomes audible. The melody is quick to charm my attention as is the magnificence of the evening setting sun.The magnificence of the evening sunThe golden persona of the sun tells me that there is still time for the sun to set. Water shimmers and part of green leafy tree tops glisten as the soft evening yellow kisses ... Read more
clicks 282 View   Vote 1 Like   3:30pm 20 May 2013
Blogger: Arti
Wisps of wind caressed my face while my eyes remained stuck to the views outside. Palm trees ascended above the choppy blue waters and the traditional houses for most of the part through the journey. Kerala, for me, was rolling its way to glorious beauty in picturesque motion.Accustomed to the madness that local trains of Mumbai offer, I heaved a huge sigh of relief when the local train ride from Kozhikode (Calicut) to Kannur, my destination in Kerala, provided for a complete contrast, in all possible ways.For starters, there were no crowds to suffocate my space or jostle me around, something that I had anticipated a few minutes earlier when I was standing at the ticket window. Sure, the... Read more
clicks 369 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 13 May 2013
Blogger: Arti
The itinerary for our trip to Kannur and Wayanad in Kerala came pre crafted and here’s a part of what it looked like –- 2 nights stay in Wayanad in a bamboo cottage. Breakfast meals + a few activities included.- 2 nights stay in Kannur in a traditional house.- All meals included in Kannur.Keeping our interest and time in mind, wecut down Wayanad from the itinerary and added Tirupati instead.Plans were chalked out accordingly and flight tickets to Kozhikode (the nearest airport to Kannur) booked. The trip did come with its fair share of hassles though, even getting completely cancelled at one point of time because of unforeseen circumstances. But thanks to the kindness of Shivya of India ... Read more
clicks 271 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 9 May 2013
Blogger: Arti
27. 03. 2013:Palm trees extend upwards at every stretch, neatly framed against an implausibly blue sky. Soft turquoise-blue waters cut through them, every now and then. As the local train from Calicut to Kannur chugs its way through the humble settlements, the muddy tracks and the tranquil streams... the quaint countryside of the city, the traveler in mepeeps out of the window and scans the landscape; the place is a quiet retreat with no trace of chaos or commotion. Keeping in tune, I quietly slide my hand in my bag, bring out my pen and diary and start scribbling.Kerala: God's own CountryAn extract: Nature rules here...Pristine, pure, untouched and unscathed. Though it’s been only a whi... Read more
clicks 327 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 6 May 2013
Blogger: Arti
Remember those times when we enjoyed our holidays with a simple film or non-digital camera and stacked all our memories in neatly covered family albums... Special, aren't they? Now is the time to wipe the dust of them, to bring them out of the attic and to savor those lovely memories once again, and in return get pampered with gifts. Here’s how!In the festive season of Gudi Padwa and Ramnavmi, My Yatra Diary together with the kind folks at CupoNation, a publishing website offering a variety of discount coupons for a number of leading retailers like yatra, cleartrip, etc. in the travel section, takes huge delight in hosting its very own contest cum giveaway! All you have to do is blog and y... Read more
clicks 284 View   Vote 0 Like   2:30pm 17 Apr 2013
Blogger: Arti
Some 15 years ago, as a small kid I saw my grandfather start a change. Moved by the plight of the heat stressed and water starved people of our native village, in the desert state of Rajasthan, he installed a water cooler from his pension money and hard earned savings. Closer, in the balcony of our home, he always kept a plate filled with water for the thirsty birds outside, never ever letting it go empty.It is said that the things you see as a child are the ones that carve deep impressions on your mind eventually forming your character. It is true. Today, if there is one social issue that I feel for strongly, it is– clean drinking water or the lack of it. Lack of drinking water in villag... Read more
clicks 293 View   Vote 0 Like   1:50pm 21 Mar 2013
Blogger: Arti
It’s been long...almost 1 year since I came back from Japan and close to 7 months since I started blogging all about it. Today, 40 posts later, as I finally get down to drawing the curtains on this virtual journey of ours... there is a feeling of content and happiness but at the same time, there is also a strange feeling of parting that is hard to ignore.The flight of time has done its job andtoday, I'm back in the busy sprawling metropolis I call my home, yet... a small piece of my heart continues to beat, loud and clear, for a sanctuary, some 4190 miles away from it all.Seeped in silence and serenity, I know this sanctuaryis there... waiting, to welcome me again with open arms, loving sm... Read more
clicks 341 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 15 Mar 2013
Blogger: Arti
I loved Japan. But did Japan love me too?In the 6 days that went by, Japan floored me. Completely. With it’s beauty, it’s artistry, its originality and it’s way of doing up things. And now the time had come to returnback to my country, India.The landscape outside had been consistent for a while with a thick fog of cloud cover underneath - white was all that my eyes could see. All of a sudden, the clouds cleared giving way to an unusual tapering structure protruding out from the dense misty cover.What was it?It was Mount Fuji -Japan's highest mountainand the sacred symbol of the country!Speechless, I gaped outside. At 3776 meters, Mount Fuji (or Fujisan) rendered a beautiful medley of a... Read more
clicks 314 View   Vote 0 Like   4:00pm 7 Mar 2013
Blogger: Arti
Nara in Japan was a different trip.It was a different world, a small place – with a lot to see and even more to feel. It was about people, people who taught me how to be generous and trusting of strangers. They shared their breads, laughters, joys and stories with us. They allowed us to sleep on their beds while they slept on tatami mats on the floor. They walked miles braving the harsh sun just so that we could have meals of our choice.  They did all that, that made us feel at home when the only thing we had to offer were words like ‘Thank you’ and ‘That is very kind of you’.This is an open letter to all those awesome people of Nara, my blogger friends who saw to it that... Read more
clicks 307 View   Vote 0 Like   4:00pm 1 Mar 2013
Blogger: Arti
Let me confess upfront, I was a very fussy eater in Japan. A pure vegetarian traveling in a country habitually relying on fish as one of its base ingredients, I had always been skeptical. What raised my doubts further were the incomprehensible Japanese signs and symbols and the unfamiliar smell that emanated from inside the eateries while passing by them.But this is not to say that I starved. Nope, far from it actually. I had my moments with food and I found in them my pleasures too! So, here is a sneak peek into my, a veggie's, food travails inJapan – a humble attempt to help all those vegetarian's out there planning a trip to this part of the world.A) TOKYO1. Vegetable Sushi PotagerA dat... Read more
clicks 326 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 26 Feb 2013
Blogger: Arti
Day 6 in Nara:New Miyako Hotel, A review - Heian Jingu Shrine and Garden - Nanzenji Temple and grounds - Nijo Castle - TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILIONWe stood in awe, watching the patch of gold shimmer brightly in the afternoon sun. There was a positive aura emanating from the ancient structure...It felt like we had approached a tremendous power radiating furnace...Guided by the lovely Nara blogger friend stardust (Yoko), we were standing at our final destination of Japan- the grounds of the Kinkaku-ji or the Temple of the Golden pavilion - one of the most sought after places to visit when in Kyoto.Kinkaku-ji or the Temple of the Golden PavilionListed among one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage ... Read more
clicks 304 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 20 Feb 2013
Blogger: Arti
Day 6 in Nara:New Miyako Hotel, A review - Heian Jingu Shrine and Garden - Nanzenji Temple and grounds - NIJO CASTLE - Golden Pavilion TempleApart from the many temples and shrines, if there is one castle that you must visit in Kyoto, it's the Nijo castle. A UNESCO world heritage site today, the castle originally dates back to the year 1603 (rebuilt in 1628) when it was built by the infamous Tokugawa shogunate (head of the feudal military government during the Edo period).The main entrance to the Nijo castleThe castle stood guard to the nearby Kyoto Imperial palace and served as a residence for the shoguns to stay when they visited Kyoto.Ninomaru Palace and GardenTwo gates at the entrance ... Read more
clicks 271 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 12 Feb 2013
Blogger: Arti
Day 6 in Nara:New Miyako Hotel, A review - Heian Jingu Shrine and Garden - NANZEN-JI TEMPLE AND GROUNDS - Nijojyo Castle - Golden Pavilion TempleWooded temple buildings peeped out from a cloak of greens...Forested mountains stood guard behind and the clear blue skies looked on.Standing fixed,I moved my eyes and took a panoramic view of the complete scenery,Nature was at it's best here.View from Nanzen-ji terraceThe Nanzen-ji Temple and GroundsWalking further from the gardens of the Heian Jingu shrine, we reached the Nanzenji temple – one of the most prominent zen temples in all of Japan. A huge Sanmon gate greeted us at the entrance, it’s magnanimity - a soft reflection of thegrandios... Read more
clicks 335 View   Vote 0 Like   3:30pm 6 Feb 2013
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