Archive for December, 2014

Queen of the Nilgiris

December 24, 2014 2 comments

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During my recent trip to India I was fortunate enough to visit Ooty – known as the Queen of the Nilgiris .  Ooty, situated at an altitude of 2,240 mt above sea level is deep within the Nilgiri hills and is covered in eucalyptus, pine trees and coffee and tea plantations.

The road trip to Ooty is memorable.  We started from Bangalore, via Bangalore-Mysore highway, the Bandipur tiger reserve, the Mudumalai tiger reserve (known for the Bengal tiger and the Gaur),  and then the long drive up the mountains with several hair-pin curves. On the way we encountered some deer, monkeys, horses, goats and sheep.

The credit for modernising Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and making it accessible goes to the British who constructed the first railway line in the area and made it the summer capital of the Madras Presidency.

The Nilgiris have been declared as one of the 14 ‘hotspots’ of the world because of its unique bio-diversity.  Nilgiri presents a truly breath-taking kaleidoscope of visual treats and soul-stirring experiences.

We stayed at the Taj Savoy. The Hotel sprawls over six acres of landscaped gardens, offering colonial style cottages that were built between 1834-1865. There are colourful flowerbeds and gardens, giving the place a English charm and a wonderful feeling of serenity.  It offers a quite retreat away from busy Bangalore.

Activities in the area include boat-riding in the Pykara lake, horse riding at North Lake, taking the toy train from Metupalayam to Ooty. The track is 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) long, and passes over 26 viaducts, and through 16 tunnels and tall girder bridges. This railway is particularly picturesque because of the surrounding rocky terrain, tea plantations and forested hills.

Besides one can go trekking, try out the chocolates and visit the bazaars and emporiums.  Ooty is truly a memorable place and is no doubt – ‘the Queen of the Nilgiris’

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To Be Resolved

December 23, 2014 1 comment

We’re entering the final days of 2014 – how did you do on your New Year’s eve resolutions these past 11.75 months? Is there any leftover item to be carried over to 2015?

This year I did not pen down my resolutions but I did fairly well. First, the items that
I accomplished:

1) Read interesting books like “Wings of Fire (autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam), Inferno by
Dan Brown & Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
2) Blogged more often
3) Took up Area Governor position in my Toastmasters journey
4) Did volunteer work with Singapore Cancer society
5) Attended events by Chinmaya mission
6) Went to the gym and for a jog atleast twice a week
7) Gave 2 talks to high school students in Mumbai (this was not in my list)

And the items that I have leftover are:

1) Did not travel to a new destination (other than India)
2) Did not learn any new skill like Sanskrit or enroll in a new course
3) Did not go cycling, skating or swimming

Other interesting posts in this category:

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Kick the bucket

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

What are the top items on your anti-bucket list – those things you never ever want to do,
places you never want to visit, books you never want to read etc.?

Here are 10 things I would never want to do —

– eat live worms, insects or reptiles
– attempt tightrope walking
– visit North Korea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria or Saudi Arabia
– be friends with everyone or please everyone
– be perfect or know everthing
– be a drug mule or take drugs
– be a Matador at San Fermin
– swim with sharks
– stand on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro
– see every famous movie

Here are other interesting posts in this category:

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