RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Spiritual India: Trekking, Meditation and Nirvana

India is said to change people. If we are in search of spiritual guidance, greater self-awareness or a series of life altering moments, then we pack our rucksacks and head to India. People have been doing this for years. India is a place of self-discovery and contemplation. You do not need to give away your belongings and live in an ashram to understand this. There is a spiritual component to every tour of India. It does not matter if you are on a culinary journey down India’s spice trail, riding on one of the country’s historic railroads or adventuring in the Himalayas, the numerous Buddhist monasteries scattered throughout country are a reminder that meditation and nirvana are part of daily life. For most of us, meditation and nirvana are things we read about in books. Due to our busy jobs, domestic demands and fast-paced lifestyles, we are lucky to get fifteen minutes of quiet time a day. We visit India to reflect and take a breath. As a Buddhist might say, we visit India to alleviate the stress we experience in samsara.

Trekking in Sikkim

There is said to be over 200 monasteries in the Sikkim region. These monasteries, or Gompers, are part of the Niangua and Kagy sects of Buddhism. Llamas, dressed in long, flowing red robes, can still be heard chanting ancient Buddhist mantras. A trekking tour through the Sikkim region combines cultural heritage with India’s stunning natural beauty. You can hike through a rhododendron forest and camp beneath the Kangchenjunga. A stop at the famous hill station in Darjeeling is essential for anyone looking for a transcendental experience, or simply a spectacular and life-altering view.

Exploring Bhutan

Due to its beautiful and unscathed landscape, Bhutan has often been called the last Shangri-La. Its isolation from the rest of India has helped maintain its natural beauty. Sadly, this isolation and unspoiled beauty comes at a cost, and tours through the Bhutan region are expensive. However, Bhutan’s Buddhist culture, heritage and heart-stopping scenery is unrivalled. There are several monasteries in the Thimphu valley. In Bhutan, trekking routes range from 3 to 24 days. Due to the unpredictable weather, there is only a small window of opportunity to trek in Bhutan. April and October are said to be the best months for high-altitude treks, but shorter, low-altitude tours can be taken throughout the year.

India is a place of reflection and self-discovery. Around every switchback there is a vista to marvel at. Inside every monastery there is something that connects us to a greater purpose. Whether you are a spiritual person or not, there is no escaping some type of spiritual experience when you tour India.

via Spiritual India: Trekking, Meditation and Nirvana.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Travel

 

Ten essentials to carry for Adventure trip to Himalayas in Winters

Any adventure trip to Himalayas requires preparedness, but in the winter when weather is harsh and days are shorter, your margin of error is even smaller.

Here are some tips from the experts for staying safe and getting rescued when things go wrong:

1. IT’S NOT “JUST A DAY HIKE.”

Jai, Owner of Renok Adventures, says day hikers should dress and pack as if they are going on an overnight backpacking trip. Be prepared to deal with Harsh and always changing weather conditions “Plan for the worst.”

The Ten Essentials – Plus. “The Freedom of the Hills,” written by experts from The Mountaineers of Seattle in 1960, was updated for the eighth time in 2010 and lists the following as the 10 essentials:

1. Navigation: Map and compass and the skills to use them

2. Sun protection: Sunglasses and sunscreen

3. Insulation: Extra clothing

4. Illumination: A headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries

5. First-aid supplies

6. Fire: Firestarter and matches or a lighter

7. Repair kit and tools including a knife

8. Nutrition: Extra food

9. Hydration: Extra water

10. Emergency shelter

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Gulmarg to host India’s 1st Music, Adventure Festival

Indian, local artists to highlight art, culture in the 4-day, 3-nights event from March 9

Sajad Kralyari
Amid snow capped mountains and silvery pine trees, Kashmir Valley will host India’s first ever Music and Adventure Winter Festival at the world’s famous ski resort Gulmarg.

 The music will flow from the tuneful voices from the wide spectrum of Indian artists including the local Kashmiri new breed of bands while traditional artists will entertain the audience with folklore, chakri, Rouf, ladishah and sufiana kalam using traditional musical instruments.

India’s leading rock bands, reggae artists, jazz & blues bands, will bring warmth to the sub zero temperature on the white carpet at 10000 feet high snow carpet with music fusion.
The festival will begin with business conference on March 8 which will be followed by other events including film festival, extreme adventure sports, arts and culture. The 4-days and 3-nights festival will be organized by a Noida based travel company Synapses Adventures which has already witnessed a great response for the events from the tourists from different parts of India.
“The event is aimed to bring new experience to locals and showcase local ethnic culture and lifestyle. The event will also be great boost to highlight music, adventure of this place to outside world besides promoting Gulmarg as the best winter destination,” said the organizer Aditya Shinde of Synapses Adventures.

Business Conference:
“In the business exhibition, the distributors and retailers from outside the state will showcase the adventure gear. The exhibition will also be attended by local tourism fraternity including the people associated with travel and trade and the community from social media to promote business and create networking opportunities,” said Aditya.
The exhibition will primarily boost the sports industry around the country and Kashmir region.

Music @ Gulmarg Winter Festival
The event will enliven the snow bowl with, mix of classical, sufi, jazz, fusion, rock performances by renowned artists.
“Besides artists from outside the state, the local music bands and artists will also perform. They will highlight local music. Locals will perform folklore, chakri, rouf, ladishah and sufiana kalam. This will also be a biggest platform for the upcoming talents of the country and also locals.”
“The event also offers opportunities for local artists, musicians to be showcased amongst some of India’s leading artists. Local talent can also interact with the upcoming generation of artists, musicians.”

Film Festival
Synapses Adventures will showcase eight short films on subject like music, adventure, culture and environment from the best in new cinema and creative films.
“The films will also be a chance to promote Gulmarg as a winter sports destination.”

Kashmir Art and Culture
Kashmiri’s mouth-watering traditional cuisine -Wazwan- will also be the main highlight of the festival. The tourists will get to taste Wazwan and also local popular beverage Kawah which will be showcased by locals.
‘Wazwan and Kahwa are the pride of Kashmiri and its identity. The tourists will be enjoying best of the most authentic and delicious delicacies during the event.”
The locals will also be highlighting their handicraft including carpets, shawls, paper machie.
“The local will also show their skills to crave out master pieces of Kashmiri art and craft. This will be opportunity for them to promote the traditional trade.”

Gulmarg Winter Sports
Synapses Adventures will also organize adventure sports competitions in skiing, snowboarding through competitions and exhibitions.
“There will be no other place than Gulmarg to host competitions in skiing and snowboarding which has world’s highest Gondola,” said Aditya.
The organizers have roped in the local skiers especially from Tangmarg who earn their livelihood as adventure sports guides and trainers during winter months in Gulmarg.
“The competition will be open for local and India skiers. The adventure sports competition will promote Gulmarg as the winter sports destination besides promoting tourism.”
The organizers will first hold preliminary rounds on Gulmarg slopes and the shortlisted skiers will be taken to Mary Shoulder on ski-lifts for final competition.

Green Event
“This will be a zero plastic event. We will encourage visitors and guests to use their own bottles instead of buying plastic bottled water,” said Aditya.
The organizer will be using renewable sources of energy, using minimum power (bio fuel) for lights.
The festivals will begin from 11am to 5pm which will feature culture and food fiesta, flea bazaar, photography workshop, music, adventure and recreational activities while as from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm will feature one hour movie screening as part of the Soul Film Festival.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

India Discovery Adventure Organized By Unicef

The UN agency that looks after children, Unicef Open Unicef in a new window, is organizing an adventure motorcycle trip in India.

Planned for November 2012, 20 odd adventurers will be setting out on classic Royal Enfield  Bullet motorcycles (plus vintage Ambassador cars) to discover parts of India.

The week long itinerary will see you go past several Unicef projects in the country, so you can see the good work they do.

This is a quote on part of their program:

The 1,000 km route takes you along Kerala’s coast, inland to Mysore, through the tiger reserves of Bandipur and Mudumallai and up through 36 hairpin bends to a vast expanse of tea plantations. The trip ends back in the serene backwaters of Kerala – an exquisite conclusion to a remarkable adventure.

Charley Boorman

The trip is planned for 30 November to 9 December. It’s not cheap, since it the trip supports the Unicef work, so it’s worth it.

Cost: UK£4,995 (including flights, accommodation, most food and bike rental). The trip will be accompanied by mechanics and a doctor. Unicef will give you plenty of ideas how to raise money to fund the trip.

So if you are in for a motorcycle adventure holiday, and eating loads of Indian food, this is your chance. On top of that, you are contributing to one of world’s leading children aid agencies.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Renok Adventure, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Go kayaking, wall climbing at Indian ‘activotel’!

A wall climbing session underway at the Latitude 30*N Ganga resort near Rishikesh in Uttarakhand - IANS

There are ‘ecotels’ and ’boutique’ hotels, but ever heard of the ‘activotel’? For those seeking an active, adventurous vacation – and not wanting to wake up late or sip a cocktail with lunch – this is it. “We are not looking at those who want to just chill out. We are looking at families who want to share an outdoor adventure together. Thus, parents can happily go kayaking, secure in the knowledge that their kids are being put through a range of activities under expert supervision,” said Sachin Bhatia, co-promoter of Latitude 30*N Ganga, located just above this pilgrim town. “I’ve always been an outdoor type and wanted to explore the options of marrying a business venture with something that is my passion,” Bhatia, who was co-promoter of travel portal MakeMyTrip.com before he decided to move on, said. “We aim to introduce city folk to the outdoors; to combine adventure with comfort. There are, no doubt, quite a few companies that offer river rafting in Rishikesh but then, many people would rather not stay in tents. We want our guests to experience the great Indian outdoors within the comfort of a resort-like setting,” he explained. To this end, the resort, which is spread over a five-acre plot, offers an array of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts of all ages. These range from rafting, wall climbing, mountain biking, hiking, astronomy, yoga, kayaking and a world-class high-ropes course, or even camping out for a night within the property. “The activities are conducted by certified ‘active officers’ with a separate outdoor schedule for kids while using world-class equipment,” said Bhatia, who has co-promoted the resort with his wife Sharmila and Vaibhav Kalra of Active Vacations and Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, a pioneer in India’s adventure and outdoor space. Surrounded by reserved forest and with over 200 trees spread over the location, the resort also boasts of an al fresco swimming pool overlooking the Ganges valley and indoor play area for children with a collection of board games and books. But then, it’s not just families that the resort is targeting. “We are also eyeing individuals, couples, corporates and even groups of schoolchildren. In fact, we are fully booked by a corporate group on March 3,” Bhatia said. “Our ideal mix would be corporates on weekdays and families on weekends but it all depends on our guests,” he added. The resort has 22 well-appointed air-conditioned cottages with a breathtaking view of the Ganges valley and the mighty Himalayas. All cottages offer ample room for privacy with a personal deck and are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities. The resort offers Indian and Continental cuisine at its 60-seater White Water Cafe, with options of both indoor and outdoor dining. Conferencing facilities are also available. “Great care has been taken in drawing up the menu. For instance, the lunch is kept deliberately light, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to participate in the afternoon activities,” Bhatia said. A two-night/three-day stay for two adults and two children aged between six and 12 costs Rs.35,000. This includes three meals, a snack and soft drink in the evening and five activities spread over two-and-a-half days. Tailormade packages are also available at Rs.6,500 per person per day. Rates for children vary according to their age.

Where: 30 km from Rishikesh, 285 km from New Delhi. How to reach: By bus/car from New Delhi; by train to Haridwar and another 60 km by bus/car. Cost: Rs.6,500 per person, per night. Children: under 6 – free, 6-12 – Rs.2,500 per night, 12-16 – Rs.3,500 per night.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Adventure, Renok Adventure, Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Citizens could scale India’s best climbing wall again

Pune: After almost a year’s of lying idle, the Raje Shivaji climbing wall at the Shri Shivaji Vyam Mandal in Shivajinagar would be functional soon.

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) general body (GB) on Thursday took the decision to allow the Shri Shivaji Vyam Mandal to work out a revenue model for running of the wall.

DNA, in its report of May 5, 2011, had reported how the wall, which is touted as India’s best indoor climbing wall, was lying idle for want of a proper revenue sharing model. Constructed by the PMC at a cost of Rs1.25 crore, this wall was hailed by mountaineers in the city.

However, as the wall was constructed by the PMC, the Vyam Mandal was not allowed to take charge from users. Sans a proper revenue model, the wall was lying idle as the Mandal did not have funds to maintain it. Post-DNA report, the civic body had put a proposal before the standing committee of the PMC, which was tabled before the GB on Thursday. As per the proposal, the Mandal has been allowed to charge users Rs100 per hour. Also, the Mandal has been directed to deposit Rs1 lakh with the civic body as security deposit.

Welcoming the move, Pimpri Chinchwad Mountaineering Association secretary Surendra Shelke said, “It will immensely help mountaineers in the city.”

Source:Dainik Bhaskar

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Travel

 

Tags: , , ,

Renok Adventures @ Jaipur Literature Festival

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Travel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: