Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stay in Greenville

I visited Greenville in October on a business trip and stayed there for two weeks. It was my second visit to States and my flight was via Paris again. Unlike last time it was a smooth transition in Paris to take flight to Atlanta. From Atlanta my flight was after five hours but thanks to Delta Airways, they accommodated me on an early flight and I landed in Greenville at least four hours earlier than scheduled. From Airport, taxi took half an hour to reach my hotel "Staybridge Suites".The hotel is situated in outskirt of the town but was near to my workplace. Also it is very near to shopping centers and eateries. The appearance of the hotel is decent and reception was helpful. I asked for a room on first floor. In the lobby there was an uncomfortable smell, may be due to pets. Room was very decent and comfortable for long stay. Breakfast provided is appreciable for a lot of varieties. Dinner in hotel has limited options but fine. For Indian food, nearby 'Saffron' restaurant is the best which serves true and authentic Indian cuisines. I visited this restaurant four times in my two weeks of stay as food there was with a feel like home.

On weekend I went to the downtown. Ambiance of downtown was soothing. I went to Falls bridge which is major attraction of the city. A circular cantilever steel bridge standing high on the falls is perfect photo point. I went down to the falls which is a small spring. This is located in the heart of the town. Walking on nearby roads was mesmerizing experience.

I could meet few people on this trip, had talk about ongoing presidential election, learn about customs in different societies. That is the beauty of traveling when you learn and unlearn so many things about the world you never thought exists.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kumbakonam Visit

I visited Kumbakonam on a business trip in April end. Kumbakonam is around four hundred kilometers from Bangalore and nearest airport is Trichy which is again hundred kilometers far so I traveled in KSRTC Airavat bus which is luxurious and very comfortable. We stayed in Sara Regency hotel which is very good for stay and in very quite place but not very far from heart of town. Hotel rooms are great and staff is very courteous. Hotel lobby is decorated nicely. We had great breakfast in the restaurant. Kumbakonam and nearby locality is dependent on agriculture and the land is known for its fertility. After a long work day we could get few hours off in evening so we planned to visit the town. Town is famous for its temples and it can be called a beautiful temple town. We visited Airavatesvara temple first. This temple is recognized in UNESCO world heritage site. This Dravidian temple has unique architecture and beautiful sculptures. The temple courtyard is very big and well maintained. After a short time, we visited Adi Kumbeswara temple and Sarangapani temple. The town is very clean and calm. I had a late night walk in market near bus stand as well before I took my bus back for Bangalore in night.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gir Somnath Trip

I could visit Gir in April this year, after having it in my list for long. It was a family trip to Gir jungle and Somnath temple. We flied to Ahmadabad and went to my sister's place in Nadiad. From Nadiad we took train. On early morning we alighted at Junagadh station and went to cab which I booked online. Having car booked before reaching, is always good and one can skip bargaining with touts and save time. Cab driver was a decent person and helpful in accommodating us and guiding. In next two hours we reached to Sinh Sadan in Gir which is almost at sixty kilometers from Junagadh. Sinh Sadan is the reception office for Gir forest where safaris are being allotted. Booking need to be done in advance which we had. They have three slots and early morning slot is the best to spot a lion. I booked late morning slot as we had small children in our group. As we reached early I inquired about accommodation in Sinh Sadan but they don't take request on spot so we went outside. Just opposite to Sinh Sadan, we talked to one small hotel named "Hotel Annapurna". This was a very basic hotel with clean bathrooms and rooms. You cant expect much from them. Not highly recommended for stay but as we needed it for few hours for getting refresh, it was good for us. We got two rooms in fifteen hundred rupees. In next one hour we took shower and got ready to explore nearby locality. We had Phapda-Jalebi and other stuffs in breakfast. On our designated time we reached to reception and got two Safaris allotted to us. Open jeep safari were decent ones and a guide also accompanied us.

Gir is the only sanctuary where Asiatic lions are present. There are different routes in jungle and we were taken to one. After entering into jungles we could see numerous peacocks, dears and other species. We passed through number of routes to spot a lion. Safari drivers were asking returning safari drivers if they spotted one. Finally we reached a place where three four safari jeeps were waiting. Guide told us that a lion and a lioness are behind the tree which was little far. We waited for long but could got only a very unclear view of lion once it moved. As it was day time and sunny we were sweating a lot. After more than two hour of jungle trail we came back to reception. It is highly recommended to book early morning slot if one want to watch a lion roaming. Anyway we were satisfied with a distant view and a trip to jungle. We visited nearby Crocodile center also. After coming back we started our journey to Somnath which is at forty kilometers only. Once we reached to Somnath town we had lunch before going to temple.

We reached to Somnath temple in late afternoon. Temple view was magnificent which is located at the coast. It was very hot. Standing outside the temple was tough so we quickly moved inside. Sitting inside gave the great relief. Sitting in temple premises is always very soothing. Architecture of temple is monumental in itself. After spending one hour inside the temple we went to coastal side of temple to sit along seaside and spent another hour sitting peacefully watching sea. It was evening now and then we moved to Veraval station to catch our train. Before boarding train we got dinner packed from an outside restaurant. Next day early morning we reached back to Nadiad with beautiful memories of Gir and Somnath trip.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lepakshi Visit

It was end of March, the summer was just started. We were looking for a short trip near to Bangalore‬. Lepakshi fits into that, which is just at little as more than hundred kilometers. We started late in morning from Whitefield and took the airport road. Traffic was not bad as it was Saturday. Reaching to Devanahalli took one hour. After that we moved on NH44 Hyderabad road. This road is one of the best roads we have in country, I guess. Four lane road on both sides with service roads, diverted out of passing towns and not much traffic load, make the drive excellent. Speed more than one-forty looks very comfortable to me. As there is almost no crossing road, one hardly have to press brake. Next seventy kilometers did not take much time. Then we took diversion for Lepakshi. Last fifteen kilometers road was also fine. So after total two hours drive we reached to Lepakshi.

The small town welcomes tourists with a Big nandi at its entrance. Signboards are pretty good. Then comes the APTRC run Haritha hotel. Lepakshi temple is very near to that. We parked our car there and we had to run inside temple as Sun was on top and floor was baking. Temple is well maintained. After spending one hour we came out and went to buy toy for my son. We had food which we brought from home. The return drive was again great. Driving on Hyderabad road was one of the best drives I had. In next two hours we were back to home. Lepakshi trip took only half day and take you far from Bangalore busy day to give a refreshing experience.