Krya organic detergent India

Krya Detergent Review – Organic Detergent Powder In India

Krya detergent review

I have been on the constant lookout for reducing the total toxic waste that we generate in our homes on a daily basis. Detergents, cleaning products, soaps and so many chemicals generate plenty of non recyclable waste water. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad often reel under the pressure of water crisis during the hot summer months. Wouldn’t it be nice if we used eco-friendly organic detergent powder and other cleaning products that would double up as compost for plants too?

That’s when I found Krya! A casual search at www.amazon.in for  “organic detergent powder India” displayed Krya right at the top.

Krya All Natural Organic Detergent Powder – India

Krya Detergent Review

Ingredients

Indian Soapberry or Reetha is the main constituent of this organic detergent powder. These soapberries are certified organic. Usually most of the chemical detergents available in the market use petroleum as a base. This 100 percent natural detergent powder is made from the fruit of soapnut trees. It works great in both front-load and top load washing machines.

How to use Krya detergent?

The detergent powder comes with a small cotton pouch. For a full load of clothes, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of the detergent powder into the pouch and securely tie its mouth with a double knot. Put it in the washing machine along with the clothes to be washed.

To wash off tough stains, make a thick paste of this organic detergent powder and scrub the area lightly with a brush.

I usually soak dirty clothes in a bucket of warm water along with some detergent tied within the cotton pouch. After 30 minutes or so, I put them into the washing machine. The clothes come out sparkling clean and smell so fresh. The grey water that remains behind in the bucket, I use for watering plants.

Why Krya?

The Krya Classic detergent powder is a non toxic, green cleaning product that is a safe alternative to other polluting synthetic detergents. It is suitable for all kinds of delicate fabrics and normal fabrics like wool, linen, silks, and naturally dyed fabrics.

Krya helps your clothes stay brighter, retains their colour and prolongs their life. This is the best choice for those who are allergic to synthetic detergents. Baby clothes and cloth diapers can be washed clean too.

The Krya Classic detergent is free from Enzymes, LABSA, Bleaches, Phosphates, Fragrance and other Additives since it is made from carefully harvested, sun dried organic, whole soapberries. No other extracts, additives or chemicals like lye and baking soda are used in the detergent.

My experience with Krya

I used Henko before Krya. It was the best but weighed heavy on my conscience as it was definitely not green. I have replaced it with Krya classic detergent powder. It works great. I spread the soapberry residue left in the cotton pouch over the base soil inside my plant pots. The water left over from soaking the clothes is used for watering the plants in my balcony. It is a small but important step towards contributing towards a greener environment.

camp noel resort review

Camp Noel Munnar – A Perfect Holiday Destination

Every year we plan a get together with close friends and family to not so oft-visited places. This summer was no different. We zeroed in on Camp Noel Munnar, which is a solitary mountain resort located in the serene wilderness of Western Ghats at 7000 feet above sea level, in Idukki district, Kerala.

Camp Noel Munnar – A perfect getaway from home

How to reach here

I was in for a minor disappointment though when I heard of route and accessibility details. As it is we were to drive all the way from Karunagapally to Munnar, covering at least 600km, taking 8 hours. This place is a further 2 – 3 hour journey from Munnar town, near Pazhathottam village. It is advisable to travel in your own private vehicle instead of a tourist bus. Also note that, Idukki is not connected to other parts of Kerala by rail. We had a good lunch at SN restaurant at Munnar before going on our way.

national_park_pambadum_shola

mattupetty dam

The drive from Munnar to Camp Noel is breathtaking! You can get scenic views of tea plantations, the river along Mattupetti Dam, Kundalae Dam and the final stretch right through Pampadum Shola National Park. Roads are in good condition, except for a couple of turns with slopes when you reach Camp Noel. Make sure you get your vehicle refuelled at Munnar itself as this place is isolated and it takes you a good 2 hour trip downtown for fuel refill.

Camp Noel, Finally!!!

camp noel review
I looked around in awe and soon felt that the place was worth every effort taken to reach there. It took a few seconds to let the immense feeling of peace and calm sink in.

Camp Noel is definitely unlike the typical Munnar hotel; teeming with tourists. Here you can actually listen to the sound of silence! There are well furnished 8 double bedroom and 4 single bedroom cottages dotting the lush green landscape on a hilly terrain. There is a rustic elevated cottage or hunter’s cabin for those who favor adventure. Proud stately trees, flowering shrubs, succulents and terrace farms adorn the entire scenery. If you’re lucky, you can spot wild bison roaming around the place at night. We managed to spot one that night, right near the single bedroom cottage. We also spotted rare birds and a few woodpeckers on trees near the farms.

Cottage Interiors at Camp Noel Munnar

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camp noel munnar

Each cottage has tastefully done up interiors with wooden flooring and elegant, pure wood furniture that adds a certain warmth and comfort to the ambience. We booked the one bedroom cottage while our friends booked the two bedroom one. A rustic stone fireplace adds an old world charm to the living space. The housekeeping staff is friendly and has kept the place well maintained. They had a nice collection of travel and fashion magazines laid out on the tea tables.

What to do at Camp Noel

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You can pick fresh strawberries from farms nearby or feast on passion fruit. Camp Noel is a botanist’s dream destination. Lots of flowering plants and shrubs like the dancing girl, peace lily can be spotted here. You can go trekking in the surrounding forest, visit Chinar wildlife sanctuary nearby, Munnar botanical garden or shop for spices and memorabilia in the town area. Matupetti dam also offers scenic views. You can hire a sightseeing guide at the camp.

bison_hall

We just spent the entire day lazing around and exploring the place. Totally disconnected from the world with no mobile network and wi-fi (free wifi is available at the reception desk only!) we played cricket, football and badminton alongside our kids.

camp fire at camp noel
camp fire and cottage interiors image via www.campnoel.com

You can enjoy campfire in the evenings with music, with prior intimation. Camp Noel Munnar has very good facilities for conference meetings.

The night sky is equally spectacular with zillions of stars sparkling away to glory. You can watch fireflies fluttering around adding a certain enigma to the nocturnal panorama.

Food is fresh, simple and delectable. They offer complimentary breakfast. However, you need to pre order lunch and dinner as they need to get a few supplies from downtown sometimes.

Note

The only issue is hot water supply. You have to stick to their schedule. Hot water is not available 24 hours. Also, mobile networks totally conk off around here. You can access free wi-fi at the reception or use the landline available in your rooms to get in touch with your family or office if needed.

Do carry a few warm clothes as the nights can get pretty chilly at times. The best time to visit Camp Noel would be from September to May. The rainy season (June, July and August) is best avoided.

Do check out the Camp Noel Resort website for more details.

Would I recommend Camp Noel?

memory_lane

Camp Noel Munnar has my whole hearted recommendation as a must visit holiday for everyone out there who need to totally de-stress and isolate themselves from their day to day mundane and super-fast routine. This place actually heals your mind, body and spirit. It deserves a proud thumbs up!

Mattupetty Dam By കാക്കരOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20104660

The Young Scientists – Science Comic Magazine For Kids – A Review

Picture this! You have an inquisitive and smart little kid who is often intrigued by the mysterious ways of science! He may ask you questions like, “Do animals dream?” or “How on Earth did all the dinosaurs die out?” You may or may not know answers to these questions. You may be too busy to reply or you may shrug your shoulders and say, “I’ll get back to you later!” Some may even murmur a single sentence answer, which may in turn give rise to numerous other questions! That is when ‘The Young Scientists’ comes into picture!
the_young_scientists_magazine_review

The Young Scientists – Best Science Comic Magazine For Kids

Interesting Storyline And Illustrations

Apt for kids in the age group 4 – 13 years, this science comic magazine is power packed with interesting science and general knowledge concepts for kids. From distant planets and flying fish to matters as mundane as recycling stuff and keeping your surroundings clean, this magazine discusses it all. Replete with eye-catching, beautiful illustrations, it explains fascinating science concepts to kids through colorful cartoons supported by a related story line and easy to comprehend language.

Vocabulary And Practical Science Well Explained

Usually, adults and children are lazy to find meaning for difficult words. In this magazine, vocabulary for difficult words is provided at the bottom of the page. In addition, there is a ‘science scoop’, which adds value to the storyline. Besides science concepts, the magazine gives information related to “practical science”. For e.g., How to remove the bubble gum that is stuck to your dress? If an insect gets into your ears, then how do you get it out?”

Attracts Attention Instantly

In this age of smart phones and speedy internet, kids tend to key in their queries and get precise, to-the-point answers. They do not have the patience to read huge encyclopedias and general knowledge books. However, ‘The Young Scientists’ grabs their attention instantly. Children would prefer reading this science comic magazine over a huge, monotonous and sleep inducing encyclopedia with lots of text. In fact, this magazine works really well for kids with low attention spans. Children are able to recollect the concepts and apply later when they want. It is never boring to read the magazine repeatedly.

Top 10 Plus Points Of The Young Scientists Science Comic Magazine

1. Amazing illustrations
2. Attention grabbing ‘Contents’ page that gets kids hooked on to the magazine instantly
3. Story based explanation of science concepts in an animated, comic style
4. Available in 3 levels according to different age groups
5. Scannable QR codes for watching related videos on YouTube
6. Excellent paper and printing quality
7. Encourages children to take up or participate in science related activities
8. The end of every page has a tiny, interesting information tidbit related to the particular concept it features.
9. Improves reading habits in children to a great extent.
10. Encourages scientific thinking and elicits interest during group discussion among kids.

My 9- year -old son liked the magazine at the first look and he has become an ardent fan of this magazine. With that, I have decided to subscribe right away!

‘The Young Scientists’ helps kids to grow into responsible and knowledgeable young individuals. You can visit www.sciencecomics.in for more information.

Amazing Hanging Pillar Of Lepakshi Temple, India

The Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, or the hanging pillar temple in India, is an exemplary work of ancient Indian architecture, Vijayanagara architectural style to be precise. Located approximately 120 km i.e. a 2 hour drive from Bangalore, Lepakshi is a small village in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.

lepakshi hanging pillar
Photo Credits

Lepakshi Hanging Pillar

lepakshi-temple-hanging-pillar

Photo credits

This beautifully carved stone pillar hangs from the ceiling and reaches a few millimetres above the temple floor. Nobody has been able to find out how exactly the kings architects managed to suspend such an immensely heavy stone pillar from the ceiling. In fact, you can easily pass a cloth under this pillar, an act often shown by the local guides. During the British regime, a British engineer got his men to shift the pillar to find out the secret. Unfortunately, this caused the pillar to touch the floor at one corner besides altering the structure of the roof to some extent.

Lepakshi Temple Attractions

Monolithic Nandi

Lepakshi_nandi

Photo credits

Lepakshi is also home to the famed temple complex built by Vijayanagra kings way back in 1583. This temple is built on a rocky hillock called Kurma Sailam or tortoise hill. The first marvel you encounter is a colossal Nandi located almost a mile before the temple. It is 27 feet in width and 15 feet in height and rumoured to be the largest monolithic Nandi in India.

Ganesha and Naga

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lepakshi_naga
Photo credits

The temple also features a huge structure of Lord Ganesha carved in stone, leaning against a rock. Near this is a huge Naga with seven hoods and three coils, towering over a black Shivalingam, protecting it.

Fresco Paintings

fresco at lepakshi temple

Lepakshi Temple Ceiling” by Pp391Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

You get to see some intricate and beautiful specimens of fresco paintings on the ceiling just before the main sanctum sanctorum. The 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the main deity of this temple, is spectacular. The famed Shiva Parvati Kalyanam (wedding) is also depicted here. These frescoes have been painted using natural shades of green, brown, white, black and ochre on a lime treated surface.

Natya Mandapam and Kalyana Mandapam

shiva parvati kalyanamandapam at lepakshi temple
Photo credits

Other eye catching attractions are the Natya Mandapam with 100 pillars and an unfinished
Kalyana Mandapam with intricately carved stone pillars. The ancient artisans who sculpted these pillars have given attention to detail resulting in a spectacular display of ancient mythology and architectural designs in this structure.

Lepakshi temple is a must visit site on your itinerary if you happen to be near Bangalore or Anantpur. Ancient Indian Architecture has given birth to many such marvellous structures in India. Visit this site on ancient Indian monuments for more fresco paintings and inscriptions at Lepakshi .

Inside Golden Temple Coorg

The Golden Temple Coorg

Do not miss a visit to the famed Golden Temple Monastery at Bylakuppe if you happen to visit Coorg! Bylakuppe is home to the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. This small town is in fact a part of Mysore district of Karnataka state, but it shares its border with Coorg.

Following the Chinese invasion in the year 1969, thousands of Tibetans fled Tibet and took refugee in India. Bylakuppe was the first refuge camp for Tibetans in exile that was set up in South India.  This small town is spic and span and well organized. It is dotted with Tibetan eateries, small houses and shops. Bylakuppe is peaceful and quiet by all means.

The Golden Temple Monastery – Interesting Tidbits

The Golden Temple Monastery Coorg
The Namdroling Monastery also known as The Golden Temple

About the monastery

Of the other monasteries present here, The Golden Temple Monastery or The Namdroling Monastery is the most well known one. It is home to more than 5000 monks and nuns. It is dedicated to the teachings of Buddha and the Palyul Lineage belonging to the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling or Namdroling in short is the actual name of the monastery. Initially, it was a small  bamboo temple built by the throne-holder Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in 1963, with an area of 80 square feet approximately. Now it houses a religious college as well as a hospital. Dalai Lama in association with the Indian Government organized refugee camps for Tibetans in exile in India. This is one such settlement.

This monastery is almost an hours drive from Madikeri, the main town of Coorg. You can hire taxis, autorickshaws or catch a bus from Madikeri to reach here.
Inside golden temple coorg
Inside The Golden Temple at Bylakuppe, Coorg

Inside the monastery

Once inside the main temple, you feel humbled by the presence of three colossal and magnificient statues of Gautama Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitāyus. Each of these gold plated statues is approximately 8 feet tall.

inside golden temple coorg, wall painting
By Sahyadri H S (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The walls are covered with beautiful hand painted Tibetan Buddhist illustrations.
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Bylakuppe 07
” by Sahyadri H SOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This is the place where the monks study, meditate or read religious scriptures.
The monastery has a peaceful, serene atmosphere. You can buy trinkets, feng shui articles and Buddhist souvenirs from a shop located  at the main gate of the monastery. You get an interesting glimpse of Tibet, its people and culture when you visit this monastery at Bylakuppe.

kalavantin durg

Kalavantin Durg – Can You Climb This?

kalavantin durg
source: Rohit Gowaikar via cc SA 2.0

Kalavantin Durg – Trekker’s Paradise

One look at this magnificiently gigantic  and beautiful mountain top will make you want to be there! The question is Do you have the guts to climb this? This is Kalavantin Durg, 500m high peak standing proudly on the northern edge of the Prabal Plateau, in the Western Ghats, Maharashtra. A trekker’ paradise, this peak is not as easy to climb as it seems. With steep sides and a treacherous, rocky surface, climb this one at your own risk. There are steep steps of less width, carved into one side of the mountain, with no protection at the sides,whatsoever. A few trekkers reach the base and looking at the steep steps give up right away. This structure was used as a watch tower by troops.

kalavantin durg trek
Carved stone steps leading to the top

Kalavantin Durg Trek

Where is Kalavantin Durg

Kalavantin Durg is located bang next to Prabalgad fort, between Panvel and Matheran and can be easily seen from Panvel.

How to reach Kalavantin Durg

Driving along the Mumbai-Pune expressway, deviate towards Thakurwadi village when you reach Shedung Phata at Panvel. The trek begins from here and it can take up too 2 – 3 hours to reach Prabal Machi village which is at the base of this steep mountain. Food and water can be arranged here. Ascend the steep rock cut stone steps, slog for another 4 hours and you will reach the top. This is recommended for experienced trekkers.

Kalavantin Durg Trek – Blog

Read this interesting version of Kalavantin Durg trek by an experienced trekker to get valuable insights.

If you have gone up there, do let us know about your experience at the top of Kalavantin Durg!

Places to visit around Mumbai - Dahanu beach

Dahanu Beach – Places To Visit Near Mumbai

Weekends are just the time to put on your boots and set off to places seldom explored. Talking of places to visit near Mumbai, Dahanu  is a good bet. It lets you get away from the maddening crowds of Mumbai and goes easy on your pockets. Located in Thane district, Dahanu lies in the Vasai Virar belt, where Gujarat touches Maharashtra. A quaint old seaside town with sprawling beaches, the Dahanu-Bordi stretch is around 17 kms. Dahanu is famous for its fruit orchards especially sapodilla or chickoo orchards. The beaches with swaying palm trees are stunning, offering mesmerizing views at sunrise and sunset.

 Dahanu beach

 

Places to visit near Mumbai

Bordi beach, Aswali dam, Bahrot caves, fruit orchards and tribal tourism in villages nearby promise to add plenty of excitement to your Dahanu trip.

Mumbai Dahanu Distance By Road

Distance from Mumbai to Dahanu by road is 145 km. It takes roughly 2.5 hours to reach in case there is no traffic.

Mumbai Dahanu Map


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Dahanu Resorts

We stayed at Sea Shell Resort, located right on Narpad Beach. Drive along Narpad beach till you find a lane winding inside to your right. Read the sign boards carefully else you might miss this resort, as it is hidden well by trees and foliage. Directions to reach Seashell resort, Dahanu. The resort stay was comfortable. The staff was good. They offer fresh seafood on request.

The only problem was nobody working here had any idea on places to visit near Dahanu. We relied entirely on our GPRS and asking the locals for directions.

Places to see near Dahanu

Bordi Beach

 Dahanu beach

Bordi beach is approximately 18 km from Dahanu Beach. Aswali dam and Bahrot caves are near Bordi. This beach is cleaner and free of clutter as compared to Narpad beach.

Aswali Dam

Aswali dam, dahanu

To reach the dam, you need to reach the base of the mountains near Bordi. You’ll find a Marathi primary school here with vegetable farms on either side. Leave your car here and trek upwards for 5 minutes. The dam in on a lake surrounded by imposing mountains of the Western Ghats. This place is so peaceful and the view so stunning that it leaves you speechless. This dam was constructed by hand several years ago and is the source of water to several villages nearby. Make sure you go here in the morning as it is very hot later in the day. However, the Bahrot caves are at a distance of a good 3 hour climb from the dam. We had kids with us, so we dropped the idea of getting to the caves. It is said that in ancient times, Parsis escaped from Iran and hid in this cave to protect their faith from Muslim invaders for 13 years. There is a holy fire kept burning till date in these caves. Know more about Bahrot Caves, Dahanu.

Tribal Tourism

Dahanu is also home to the Warli tribe. While getting to the Aswali dam, we drove thru one such village. The Warlis live in ingeniously built mud and bamboo huts with mud floors covered in cow dung.

Warli village,Dahanu

These huts are very neat and tidy. A few have shops in front of their houses. These people are poor but clean and polite. We took permission before clicking a few pictures inside their hut.

Warli Art

Warli painting, dahanu

The Warli people are very artistic. Their paintings offer an insight into their daily lives. The walls of their hut are first smeared with cow dung. Red mud paste is then applied to provide a base. They dip bamboo twigs in rice paste to draw intricate patterns depicting people, birds, animals, rituals, trees and practically everything that they deal with during their life span. Every hut has a decorative warli painting on its walls.

Weekend trip organizers like The Blueberry Trails offer a wonderful experience of interacting with the tribals and learning their art forms. Tribal tourism is slowly gaining momentum in Dahanu.

Agro Tourism in Dahanu

Visit fruit orchards in Umbergaon and Gholvad to get a feel of agro tourism.

Kalptaru Botanical Gardens

Practically every travel site you Google out will have some information on botanical gardens in Dahanu. Be warned however, it is not near Dahanu. It is ahead of Umbargaon, inside Gujarat. If you are put up at Dahanu, you cannot combine all these places in your itinery. Keep the botanical garden visit for another day.

Best Time To Visit Dahanu

The best time to go to Dahanu would be any time of the year other than summers. Monsoons will offer scenic views of overflowing canals and lots of green foliage.

Dahanu was a refreshing experience. Overall, a nice weekend getaway to visit with family and friends. Check out other places to vacation near Mumbai – Ganpatipule.

The Perfect Road Trip – From Calicut To Wayanad

Planning the perfect road trip doesn’t have to scrunch up your brows. In fact, all avid travel freaks will agree with me on this! The destination has to be awesome enough to lure us, in the first place. But the journey makes the actual difference! And this includes your SUV, a crazy gang of friends who share your passion for travelling, a bunch of hyperactive kids and of course the final stop over – the destination. Adding up to this list are vital extras like GPS on your smartphone, an online travel guide, munchies (I would starve to death without them), peppy songs, lot of fruit juices, water, games for kids, my Sony Cybershot (that has clicked most of the pictures below, I find D-SLRs too heavy to handle…) and of course, a fragrant car perfume – Ambipur, to give you a whiff of fresh, invigorating fragrance. In fact, with all these must haves, a lot of adventurous road trips have turned out to be adrenaline pumping, memorable outings for me!

my perfect road trip - ford ecosport

via www.zygler.com

Armed with a newly acquired driving license, here I am fantasizing about my idea of the perfect road trip. I have had many before, but of course, the expert at the wheel was my best friend and better half. This time though, I want to be at the helm and go full throttle with our brand new fiery, Mars red, Ford EcoSport Titanium AT. We can’t wait till it arrives next month. Spacious and sleek, this compact SUV has appealing exteriors, beautiful interiors and a host of superb features like a multi functional steering wheel, ABS, bluetooth telephony, up to six air-bags, rear parking sensors, climate control, hill launch assist and a lot more. What I liked best in this version is its fully automatic 6-speed powershift twin clutch gear box that’ll make all kinds of slopes easy for me on this road trip. That takes care of my apparent laziness, I guess 😉

My Perfect Road Trip
I would like to embark on a mesmerizing road trip from Calicut to Wayanad in my Ford Ecosport AT with my impish 7 yr old son, a few outrageously crazy friends, their kids and of course my hubby dearest. The reasons are compelling. Wayanad, with its idyllic valleys and mist covered mountains makes an ideal destination for this road trip. Look at all the fun we had there, a month back.

Calicut to Wayanad by road


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Driving along, we reached the Thamarassery pass that connects Wayanad to Calicut district. This 14 km long pass  has nine, thrilling hairpin bends offering amazing views from the top. Driving up to Wayanand lets you have fascinating views of scenic mountains, forest life, lots and lots of rubber, coffee, tea and spice plantations. Spanning three days, our road trip covered most of the places in Wayanad including Mananthawadi, Kalpetta, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri.

thamarassery pass, wayanad travel review
via Dinoop Dayanand

Iruppu Waterfalls, Brahmagiri

irrupu waterfalls, brahmagiri, coorg - wayanad travel review

A trek up the Irruppu waterfalls located at Brahmagiri is a must, if you come here. An old peepal tree marks the beginning of the trail. This waterfall is actually a part of Coorg, Karnataka. All you need to do is to drive over to Karnataka from Manantawadi, covering a distance of 34 km approximately, in 40 minutes.

Kuruva Island

kuruva island - wayanad travel review

We had a wonderful drive from Kalpetta to Kuruva Island, with lots of coconut trees and paddy fields dotting the landscape. For some distance you have to use your own legs to reach the island. We had to cross trenches using single logs. These were meant for trapping elephants, set up by locals to protect their farms. At such places, I usually don’t lose my cool, but my maternal instincts made me go weak in the knees when I watched my little boy cross the trenches. He was quite cool about it, though.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

kalpetta - wayanad wildlife sanctuary

I would love to explore the rugged terrains of  the wildlife sanctuary at Kalpetta, yet again, in my majestic Ford Ecosport (it’s a pity private vehicles are not allowed inside). It would be great to capture on film – deer, tigers, elephants and bison, seated inside my wild beast – The Ecosport.

kalpetta - wayanad wildlife sanctuary

Wayanad is home to some exotic home stays and resorts like ‘The Pachiderm Palace’ , right in the middle of the forest, among elephants.

wayanad homestay

Old world charm – A beautiful homestay at Kalpetta, Wayanad…

Road Trip Gastronomy

wayanad homestay - kerala cuisine

Home stays, resorts and tiny eateries along roads offer lip smacking Kerala fare – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

local food - wayanad travel review

Inside a local toddy shop…

On road trips, it is foolish to be fussy about food. In case, there are no restaurants lining the roads, make do with what the locals have to offer.We were right in the middle of this long stretch of a road amidst paddy fields, the kids were hungry, it was around 3 pm, we hadn’t had lunch and we spotted a toddy shop! We went right in and were lucky enough to feast on a simple meal of boiled tapioca, fish curry and rice.

To be frank, small eateries  in Kerala are cleaner than an average Mumbai restaurant. They even serve clean boiled water.

On a last note – Road trips are also meant for shopping stuff available locally. We bought fresh spices, honey, tea, coffee and lots of unni appams (a sweet, southern delicacy) along the way in addition to carved wooden artifacts and mementos.

This particular road trip has left a memory so lasting that I wish to go there yet again and freak out. And I will, with the same gang, as soon as my new Ford Ecosport arrives!

thegang

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gang (sans the guys…)

 

ganpatipule-maharashtra

Places To Visit Near Mumbai – Ganpatipule Beach

It was ages since I longed for a visit to some place, nice and quiet, away from the maddening crowds of Mumbai. Then came a weekend with three consecutive holidays in tow, the third one being an Indian public holiday. Did a little bit of googling to find interesting places to visit near Mumbai.

That is when I happened to stumble upon  Ganpatipule, an idyllic coastal town with clean, serene and white sandy beaches, located in Ratnagiri district, on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, India. It is a must see destination amongst all other travel places in Maharashtra.
about ganpatipule

Places to visit near Mumbai – Ganpatipule Beach

This spectacularly stunning beach is devoid of bugging commercialization that you get to see on the beaches of Mumbai and Goa.

In fact, Maharashtra tourism website promotes Ganpatipule as a scenic, picturesque beach and a pilgrim center, with many visiting  the temple of Swayambhu Ganesha, which is around 400 years old.  Situated midst mangroves and coconut trees, this beach with its clear waters guarantees a relaxing weekend besides being an excellent stress buster.

about ganpatipule -  view from the Sahyadris

Distance from Mumbai to Ganpatipule

Mumbai to Ganpatipule by road is 375kms. The average time to reach Ganpati pule from Mumbai by road is around 7-8 hours. You can also travel by rail to Ganpatipule. The nearest railway stations are Ratnagiri and Karbude. From there you can take a bus or hire private cabs to Ganpatipule. But the road trip will be a much more pleasant memory than the rail trip. You can get out of your vehicle en route, click pictures, feast on local roasted corn, converse with the local villagers – most of them are hard working, prosperous farmers.

Mumbai  To Ganpatipule – Map


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Best time to visit Ganpatipule

The best time to visit Ganpatipule beach is just after the monsoon season, from mid October to February. However, we happened to be there during the monsoons. We went there by road, driving all the way from Mumbai to Ganpatipule. The natural landscape and the beauty of the scenic Sahyadris all along, was at its very best.

Places To Vist Near Ganpatipule

Include these places of interest near Ganpatipule in your itinary.

Malgund Village

This is a beautiful place at approximately 1km from Ganpatipule and is the birthplace of the famous marathi poet, Narayan Keshavsut.  You can visit a memorial dedicated to him, here.

Bhandarpule Beach

This is a virgin beach with practically no visitors, some 3 km from Ganpatipule.  Awesomely beautiful, the ocean view from this beach takes your breath away. But the sea here can be quite dangerous. Do not swim here.

Jaigad Fort

This ancient 17th century fort is built on a cliff, 35 km from Ganpatipule. Located at the mouth of  the Sangameshwar river, this fort  was built to guard the Jaigad port. Drive your vehicle till the fort entrance and park it outside the gate.  You can walk along the ramparts of the fort, enjoying a splendid view of the sea and the port. You can actually hear the ‘Sound of Silence’ here. It is so very peaceful with lush green vegetation all around. This is a must see place for all inquisitive sight seers.

about ganpatipule-jaigad fort

Prachin Kokan Museum

This museum is a treasure trove of  ancient Konkan history, artifacts, culture and cuisine. Spread over 3 acres, this place offers a view of  practically everything related to Konkan – paintings, handicrafts and indigenous products. You can buy paintings, ayurvedic products and handicrafts from here, among many other things. Feast on Konkan food at Atithya- a konkan restaurant near the premises of the museum

Shopping In Ganpatipule

Shop for local savouries like ambapoli – dried mango pancakes, jackfruit pancakes and chips, kokam kadhi – a sweet sour digestive drink and much more. You can get these from the store attached to hotel Durvankur. Visitors can buy souvenirs and other  memorabilia  from the Prachin Kokan museum.

Jaigad – Tavsal Ferry Boat Service For Motorists – Ganpatipule To Mumbai

We took our car on a local ferryboat service from Jaigad harbour to Tavsal village, the other side of  the Shastri river. From Tavsal, asking the villagers for directions, we drove through some villages and finally reached the NH-17 Mumbai Goa highway. This route saves 100 km i.e. approximately 2 hours of your travel time back to Mumbai.

jaigad ferry to Tavsal - ganpatipule

 

car ferry boat service jaigad tavsal - ganpatipule

Ganpatipule Resorts

Advance hotel booking is a must. It is impossible to find rooms in hotels and resorts after you reach there.  Ideally, ensure that food is a part of your holiday package. A few restaurants and hotels near the bus stand and near the beach are very very crowded at meal times, so much that you may have to wait for your turn. This is unnerving if you are visiting with small kids. Personally, I found the local restaurant food too oily and spicy. Durvankur restaurant near the bus stand and Ganpatipule MTDC restaurant serve good Maharashtrian food. I loved the “Sol Kadhi” and Maharasthrian fish fry at MTDC restaurant. The MTDC resort rooms offer the best view of the beach.

Things to be noted

Avoid swimming in the sea. It can be life-threatening. The waves are strong, huge and tend to pull away the sand beneath your feet. A local guard goes around whistling and warning the beach goers to be near the sea shore, especially  when the high tide sets in.

All in all, a memorable weekend. I would love to be here again!

Best Kids Magazines India – Top 7

Looking for popular kids magazines in India? Kids magazines that cover everything from Science, Maths, Activities for kids, Culture, Amazing Facts, Nature, Animals and plants, Literature and the like, are many. You just need to know which one is right for your kids according to their age group. Most kids have short attention spans. It is important that kids magazines are fun and engaging instead of being preachy with long descriptive stories that will elicit nothing but a loud yawn from your little one.

Check out this list of kids magazines in India that enhance your child’s learning abilities and grasping power in a wacky, fun manner. These magazine subscriptions for children offer value for money with lots of fun activities and valuable information for kids.

7 Popular Kids Magazines India

RobinAge : Weekly Children’s Newspaper

kids magazines India - Robinage

This is a popular weekly newspaper targeted at children in the age group of  4 and 15 years.  This newspaper carries information on science, social studies, current affairs,  sports, culture, careers and environment in addition to puzzles, activities and interactive projects.

Each issue has  a special Jr RobinAge supplement for very young  readers. Ranked no. 1 here as I found it to be the best kids newspaper for my child.

Subscribe to RobinAge.

Junior Explorer And Young Explorer by MET Knowledge explorer

kids magazines india

 Junior Explorer is a fun magazine for kids from Std.I to Std.IV, focusing on topics ranging from Science, Maths, Indian Culture, EVS, Places, Nature, History, GK and a lot more! I received an introductory issue via my son’s school. The language is simple yet engaging for younger kids in the age group of 5years to 8years. This kids magazine is full of activities and puzzles that improve logical, analytical and English Language / grammar skills.

Subscribe to Junior Explorer 

Young Explorer

kids magazines india

This kids magazine is targeted at children in the age groups of 10 – 15 years. It provides an insight into topics beyond school curriculum. It covers Science and Technology, Personality Development, Sports, Careers, Current Affairs, Arts and a lot more with interesting puzzles, quizzes and crosswords.

Subscribe to Young Explorer

Champak

Kids magazines India

This magazine for children is one of the oldest in India, I guess. I grew up reading magazines like Champak and Gokulam , in the 1980’s , graduating to Reader’s Digest during the later years. Published in 8 languages, it has a lot of short stories, comic strips, brain teasers and jokes. It has 24 issues per year on a fortnight basis. Ideal for kids from Std I to Std V. You can ask your local newspaper delivery agency for subscriptions or Subscribe to Champak magazine online.

Tell Me Why

kids magazines india

This is a complete reference of 100 plus questions and answers dedicated to a particular topic in each issue. The language is simple and entertaining. Kids will not get bored reading. The printed matter has lots of illustrations, cartoons and pictures making it easier to comprehend things.

Published by Manorama Publications, you can subscribe to Tell Me Why-Kids Magazine online

Magic Pot

kids magazines india

This is a great kids magazine for pre-school and primary school kids in India. It has lots of activities, stories, puzzles and interesting stuff for inquisitive kids. Also published by Manorama Publications, you can subscribe to Magic Pot-Kids Magazine online

Highlights Genies

magazines for kids in india

This is an interesting magazine for kids in the age group of 2 years to 6 years. It helps in building essential skills with the help of fun activities. Developed by childhood development experts, this magazine is a good choice for pre-school goers and first graders. Available for Rs.40 per copy, you can subscribe to Highlights Genies here.

Go take your pick!  The most popular magazines for kids in India have been showcased here. Let me know if I missed out any!

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