Mauritius getaway Day-3 (Casela park)

Hey friends,

      I am quite excited to share my Casela park experience with you. This was the best day among all days I spent in Mauritius. Casela, the world of adventures ( That is what it is known as) quite deserve its name. It is totally a world of adventures. It is a perfect spot for all age groups. I am sure no one will leave disappointed from this beautiful place.

casela-world-of-adventures (3)

You can enlarge to see what all they have to offer.

The park is spread over 14 hectares of land and offer so many activities including animal interaction programs, jungle safari, quad bike and much more. As all activities are scheduled at specific times, we have to choose accordingly what we want to do. img_3001

I started from Trou d’Eau Douce at 8:30 and reached Casela around 10. It was a 57 km drive. As I have already scheduled mountain adventures for the afternoon, morning I decided to go for jungle safari. The whole park was beautifully designed and maintained. The first sight as soon as I entered was a beautiful fish pond.

img_3062

When I walked further I came across peacocks and huge tortoises maintained in natural settings. The whole area is quite calm,neat and clean. I was lucky enough to come across a dancing peacock too on my way to bus stop for jungle safari.img_3295

The safari bus took me through that area of the park where animals are kept in their natural environment. Deer, Rhinos and ostriches were freely roaming around there. They were not scared to come near the bus too. I felt as if they were giving us a good view of them. It was a great experience for me as I have never seen an ostrich this close and not inside a cage.

img_3429

img_3397

The Safari bus took us next to tiger and lion zone. Tall observation points are built near the fence where we can get a good view of them. There were activities like walk with the lions which I couldn’t do as I have already scheduled that same time for mountain adventures.

img_3472

By the time I was done with jungle safari, It was almost afternoon. After lunch I went to the pick up point for mountain kingdom. I had already booked for Canyon swing, Nepalese bridge and Zip line. They provided me with the safety harness and helmet and took through a jungle to the platform for canyon swing. I was so excited when I saw the view. The platform was built on a mountain top, and the swing was  between two mountains with a stream flowing below. It was a breathtaking view and an adrenaline rush experience, jumping from top of a mountain and swinging to and fro on a rope above the stream.

img_6733

Platform built for canyon swing

img_6340

Next was the Nepalese bridge. Narrow wooden planks arranged in a line connecting the two mountains, suspended high above tropical lush green forests, twisting and turning when you keep your foot on it. I felt as if I was walking in air. 350 m Nepalese bridge was quite a thrilling experience.

img_6734

036-DSC_9249

After this exhilarating air walk I have been taken for Zip line where I got a chance to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the environment. There was 5 Zip lines with 5 different views. Though zip lining was less thrilling as compared to the first two, the view was quite soothing and stunning.

194-DSC_9388

The staff were sweet, pleasant and encouraging. Safety was taken utmost care along with that they created a pleasant and happy environment. They all became my good friends by the time I finished my activities.

img_6496

My pickup back from mountain kingdom was ready by the time I collected my photos. It was hard to say good bye to those amazing people I met and Casela park. It was totally an exciting day. I had my excitement and smile still on till I reached my hotel room.  A wonderful experience you should never miss if you are planning your vacation in Mauritius.

Mauritius getaway Day-1

Hey friends,

I have been searching for a vacation spot since 3 months where I can celebrate my birthday and quench my thirst of travel and adventure. You will be wondering why Mauritius? Being an Indian, Visa procedures to visit 80% of the countries around the world includes complicated procedures. Being a Cabin crew, I have another limitation in submitting my passport for visa procedures. Search for those countries where Indians get Visa on Arrival ended up in shortlisting Thailand, Indonesia, Srilanka, Vietnam and Mauritius. Having already applied for 10 days leave beforehand and the first four countries are nearby to India and can be covered in 4-5 days, I finally decided to choose Mauritius. So the country was finalized and I started my research on the places and activities I can cover during my stay.

img_2454

My flight was at 6:50 in the morning from Bombay and landed at Mauritius airport located at Plain Magnien at 11:15 in the morning. As already arranged my hotel cab was waiting for me. My stay was arranged at Trou d’Eau Douce which is located 43 kilometers from airport. The journey from airport to hotel was a feast to my eyes. Mauritius was more than what I expected. She stood with pride abundantly blessed by all picturesque wonders of  nature. Turquoise green sea on one side of the road and tall mountains in the opposite side stood there as if they were competing with each other who is more beautiful. Being absorbed in the scenic beauty en route I din’t realize that it took an hour to reach my hotel.

img_6363

I had already booked for catamaran sunset cruise at 3:30 in the evening at Grand Baie, 41 kilometres from where I stay. I got fresh and rushed through my lunch so that I shouldn’t be late to reach there. I reached 10 mins before the specified time and was transfered in a small raft to the watercraft ‘Calypso’.

img_6535

We were greeted by a spontaneous set of crew and were seated. Once they started sailing they introduced themselves and gave a brief description about the cruise. I chose a spot at the forward edge of the Catamaran to have a better view of lifting the sail. Snacks and drinks were served throughout the cruise.

img_2529

Crew were quiet friendly and cheerful. They were singing, dancing and were putting all their effort to entertain us. It was totally an amazing experience. It was difficult to stand as the waves were trying its level best to shake our watercraft. Our captain was efficiently steering and ensuring smooth sail.

img_2517

Three hours passed like a second and the sky wore an orange shade. After viewing the beautiful sunset, we headed towards the shore. After saying good bye to those amazing people I started my journey back to hotel.  thus my first day in Mauritius met with an end.

img_4895

Little concerns…

Every living thing in nature crave for love, care and long for attention of someone in their life. A friend to share their problems, a shoulder to cry on, a person who enjoys our presence and companionship, one who love to share our good times and badtimes without any complaints and above all a partner to give hope to move ahead in life especially during the toughest times we encounter, where one’s life and death stands on either sides of a weighing scale awaiting judgement.

Is it just humans, who need someone to lean on during their hard times? Even other living beings in nature sometimes hold on to others for support, just like these creepers clutching firmly on to this huge rock.

Grew up in this glorious forest

Where sunlight was a visitor

Engulfed by the shadows of dark

We were scared and terrified souls

Fragile, frail and delicate beings

Our life was always under threat

Stamped by all without any mercy

Till we found this massive rock

He is bold and brave and strong

Courageous, masculine and manly

Together chose him as our saviour

We trifle around fearlessly now

Feeling safe and sound in his arms

Leaving our life in his mighty hands

Glorious | The Daily Post

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glorious/

Ugrana caves…

Nature always surprised me with a bundle of knowledge, excitement and bliss. Ugrana caves are situated near Karinjeswara temple located near Bantwal, Mangalore. ( I have already did a blog post on Karinjeswara a month ago – “way full of surprises” <- you can read how to reach there and more about the location here).

Ugrana caves were also part of my plan during my last tour. Unfortunately adverse weather conditions forced me to postpone it to another day. Thankfully my wait was not too long. Day before when my friends asked me to plan a short getaway nearby Mangalore, there was no second thought. So finally yesterday morning we were on the way to this amazing destination hidden under the deep forests of Kodiyal hills.

IMG_1838

The way to the caves was quite easy with proper steps to climb. After climbing around 100 steps we reached the cave, which is totally inside the forest. The cave was comparatively a small one (around 2 meter) where you have to crawl and there is no light inside. Outside the cave we saw a demolished wall which might have been constructed to make a cover for those who might have stayed inside the cave. I searched for the history in google, unfortunately couldn’t find any. The temple Karinjeswara near this cave has a history connecting all 4 yugas  ( Satya/Krita , Thretha, Dwapara and Kali ). So we can assume that even this cave is part of these historical stories.For your information, a yuga is considered as an era in epics of Hinduism.

IMG_1712

Ugrana cave entrance

More than the cave, the huge rocks and forests fascinated us more. We walked around exploring the place and found a small way through the rocks which led us to a breathtaking forest area surrounded by tall trees, huge rocks and creepers.

IMG_1796

IMG_1726

It was difficult to climb these rocks and find the way out. Our excitement to see what is there ahead of this passage kept us going. the nature didn’t disappoint us. a spectacular view of a dense forest was awaiting us.

IMG_1766

We walked further ahead through the forest, capturing images and admiring the beauty and wondering about those people who would have occupied this area years before..

IMG_1750

Just like you, even I was wondering whether anyone lived in this area before. I got the answer for that question there itself. We found carved stones in different shapes, but couldn’t interpret and guess what it might have been used for. If you have any idea what this might be, do share your views with me in the comments column. I am really excited to know.

IMG_1769

Though the magnetic charm of the place was holding us there, we were running out of time as already evening sun rays started kissing the forest and the place was getting dark. After making the promise that we will come back soon to explore more we said good bye to Ugrana caves…

Weekly photochallenge – Waiting

When the rain clouds are swallowing the sky to form a beautiful painting, the green and orange tints of nature creating the ambience…Rustling of leafs and cool breeze playing the most romantic music on earth.. Here he spread his extravagant feathers to attract her..to impress her with his beauty and write a poem of love together.

He waited there graciously

His heart filled with excitement

He spread his feathers wide

Freezing the time in its beauty

He turned round and searched

Every second felt like an year

His mind clouded like the sky

Every moment evoking anxiety

He waited there longingly

He was not tired standing there

Awaiting her was never a pain

He was not alone in the wait

Whole nature accompanied him

For that divine moment of union

Cloudy sky formed the roof

While breeze played the music

Fragrance of love filled everywhere

When the two hearts became one.

Waiting | The Daily Post

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/waiting-2017/

Enamored of his touch…

Don’t you think even other living things around us also will be having their dreams and fantasies. Are they just sitting idle? Have you ever thought about it? Frankly speaking I didn’t till I saw this capture. A tree enveloped by the green mountains and a thick fog building up around it. This sight made me think. I felt that the tree was waiting for this moment since long.

The tree is waiting for her beloved with thousand thoughts running in her mind. When the sun rose in the morning, her beloved fog went out of her hugs and disappeared into the sky. She was waiting since then. She knew that he will come back soon to her in the evening. Her mind wandered in to the thoughts about him.

She remembered his velvety touch on her leaves. How he arrives and extends his arms towards her and she happily holds him with her beautiful branches. She play with him by trapping him in between her leaves and then letting him go. He enjoys the moment and pamper her more. He thickens up himself to cocoon her fully so that no one else can see her…No one can touch her…She remembered how safe she used to feel in his hugs. A trust that he will protect her from all harms coming to her. A belief that he is there for her…He wont leave her alone in the darkness.

Her thoughts were disrupted with the buzzing sound of cold winds which announced the arrival of her beloved. She looked afar and saw him coming towards her slowly. She moved her branches in happiness. She realized that this is what she want. Her whole day of wait is finally over. Their reunion was celebrated by the nature. Slowly the twilight peeps in and they unite into one. Emotions sublimed and feelings reached its heights and…they became one…

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/enamored/

Killing beauty…

Sparkling in the gleam of sun

Donning the crown of beauty

She is strong, bold and fierce

Nothing can stop her journey

She is fearless in her deeds

And heeds no one but herself

Her magnetic beauty matchless

Dragging towards her countless

Her magnificence pulls them

Close to her means kill oneself

Still one can’t stop themselves

Their mind under her evil spell

Dragging you to her killing surfs

She is known to take many lives

Still you ignore the warning signs

And you go into her cold hands

Her kisses waiting to wish one

A good bye from this lovely world

A way full of surprises..

The wonders hidden in the heart of nature are uncountable. Few places are well known and explored by people while there are few places which is only known to the natives and unknown to world beyond that area.

During my search of those places in south India, I found one such place, Karinjeswara temple, which existed since a thousand years hidden by the lush green hills in Bantwal, situated 35kms away from Mangalore, Karnataka. I was also quite surprised when I came across this place in the map. I have been living in Mangalore city since last 4 years and have explored all nearby attractions in and out the city but never heard about this place.

It took me 45 minutes to reach the destination in my bike. Except for last 3km, road enroute was perfect. The last 3km ride was totally through dense forest. Though rain was trying its best to trouble me, I reached my destination without much delay.

The temple is situated on top of a hill and you will reach the top after climbing 555 steps. I didn’t realize I climbed that many steps as each and every step takes you through a magical world. A magnificent area embraced by greenery with rocks adding flavor to it. Apart from that fog was creating an ambiance which will get you into trance.

I was already in a hypnotised state mesmerised by the magical beauty of the place, but whatever I experienced was not the end. There were more surprises awaiting me during the climb. On top of the hill a beautiful pond with crystal clear water was awaiting me. Covered by the trees on one side and rocks on other side, it was only partially visible till you go close by it. With rainwater creating small circles on the surface of green water, it was no doubt a breathtaking view.

There was another trail which led me to a cliff which is kindof a view point. Again the whole area was filled with fog and light green grass which actually created confusion in my mind whether I am on earth or in heaven.

It took me some time to pull me away from this spot to continue my climb to the temple.The whole area to the temple was covered with tiny green grass giving the feel of a carpet. In between there were trees filled with yellow flowers adding an additional touch of spice to the sweetness of the view.

The last leg of the climb consisted of steep steps. Which finally took me to the temple of Lord Shiva. Just like the place, the temple was also quite peaceful without much visitors. More than people I could see monkeys all over the place. There were hundreds of them around the temple. I sat there along with them, my mind filled with fulfilment, heart filled with euphoric feeling and lungs filled with fresh air.

 

A day in the Desert (cont…)

Hey all,

This is the continuation of my last post on Al Qudra lake. Apart from the 2 spots discussed in last post, there are more interesting locations at Al Qudra.  The view of hundreds of swans merrymaking in and near the lake is spectacular and In order to get the full view of the place they have built 3 storeyed wooden watch tower which totally get along with the natural surroundings of the place, built in a dome kind of shape with spiral stairs and wooden grills giving shelter for the tourists from the harsh slashes of mid-summer sun.

IMG_7826

The Watch tower, Swan lake            

I climbed the stairs to the top floor of the tall watch tower.  One side of the tower was the view to the swan lake and the other sides surrounded by desert with small bushes which I really can’t call as green in colour as most of the leaves are gone as part of it adapting itself to the summer heat . Few of the bushes were brown in colour while few are still green. I think during winters we may be able to get a better view of the place without being disturbed by heat and sun.

IMG_7479

Wooden Stairs, Watch tower. 

I stood there gazing at the beautiful green lake and the swans. They were doing their catwalk near the lake exposing their whole beauty. In between they are going near one another and whispering some secrets. I wondered are they talking about us. Are they shy we are watching them or are they proud looking at us admiring their beauty? No doubt fluttering of their wings and their cute cries filled the atmosphere with a pleasant mood and calmness. I don’t remember how long I stood there watching them.

IMG_7974

The beautiful view of lake from the top of the tower.

IMG_7505

View of the desert land from the tower

Later I moved further from the place to the desert, which is at the outskirts of Al Qudra Lake. Though it was sand and sand everywhere with a few numbers of trees for name sake , the place is quite peaceful. I could listen to feeble humming sound of some insects and birds, rumbling of breeze and the swishing sound of branches when they touch each other of the desert trees. Standing in the middle of desert I didn’t feel the heat which I expected will be there. Till sunset I spent my time near the lake looking at even spaced waves carved by the breeze and the Sun setting into the sand dunes waving good bye to the beautiful and bright day.

IMG_7869

Sunset View of Desert.

 

The hot summer desert sands

taking toll on the normal days
Harder for life to be in place
When water is more than scarce
Gold is the shade everywhere
Green is a long lost memoire

 

 

 

 

A day in the desert…

Hey all,

This is the first time I am trying to write about my travel diverting from my favourite topic of going into depth of what I see and feel. Do forgive me for my flaws. If anybody wonder why I moved from my usual topic, you will get the answer at the end of this write up.

As part of my job, I get the privelege to enjoy 1 week stay in Dubai and explore places during off days. Whichever new place I go, I usually check google and see the places of interest and try to cover all of them. I covered all known places in Dubai in first 2-3 visits and nothing gave me the feeling of gratification as a nature lover as the top 10 attractions in Dubai was all amidst the city, crowded and pure show of luxury. Nowhere I could find a calm and peaceful environment.

I started checking for not much known locations as I started getting tired of Dubai as my visits became more frequent. Thats how I came across the description of a beautiful man-made lake, Al Qudra in the middle of Saih Al Salam desert, designed in the concept of Oasis in a desert.

Al Qudra lake, Dubai.

This place was a blow to my preconceived view about Dubai, that they have less greenery. I couldn't really believe that this is a manmade lake till I saw the water supply pipes to the lake which is again not obvious. Though Dubai is in its peak summer, the weather at this place is pleasant enough and heat was bearable. I actually was so taken back by the breathtaking view of lake, may be thats why the temperature around me went unnoticed or may be because of the water body, the place is cooler compared to other parts of Dubai.

Another attraction near to Al Qudra lake was the Swan lake, where one can see hundreds of swans enjoying their swim, playing with their buddies, making lot of noise. I felt they were in some vacation. They were so happy there, least bothered about the human visitors passing by. We can go quite near them even though a low fencing is there. I was surprised that they didn't show any signs of discomfort and fear when I moved close to them.

Swan lake, Al Qudra, Dubai.

Al Qudra has more surprises. This is just 2 among them. I hope my attempt to do a travelogue is not too bad. See you soon with more details and captures.

Thank you for reading😊

Sunset view, Al Qudra.

A streak of light, young crescent moon
Sparkling waves, refreshing breeze..
Night struggling hard to embrace the sky
Pushing away the last remaining light..
and slowly the darkness engulfed the world
assuring a brighter day tomorrow..