In the lap of the Divine Mother ๐Ÿ˜‡

IMG_20170813_132008_736Hi again… And like always i am back after a long gap ๐Ÿค—

I am realising that I enjoy writing about my travels the most… So to keep writing regularly I need to travel regularly ๐Ÿ˜€

This time I went to this quaint, little, pucturisq valley ‘Parvati’, situated in one of the most beautiful states of India, Himachal Pradesh.

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It was a group of three women, ready to take on the mystic of Parvati valley and magnificence of Himachal. Once again, I chose off season to travel, as I have figured it quite well now, that the time when one must NOT visit a tourist place is the in season time!

Two of us took a flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh and another friend joined us there who was coming from Delhi. From Chandigarh we had an 8 hour long road travel ahead of us to reach Katagla,a small town in Himachal. Given the monsoons, slippery roads and the terrain we took almost close to 11 hours to reach our destination. But no complaints since the drive was like a drive on clouds ๐Ÿ˜€ A piece of causious here is that if you plan to go to Himachal via road from Chandigarh plz ensure that you start the journey as early as possible, max by 11am you should be hitting the road. We did not know this and ended up reaching past midnight which is not advisable due to the difficult terrain.

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The things that will stay with me forever after this visit are the majestic trees greeting us, multiple water falls playing hide and seek with us, the enchanting parvati river and her alluring music, awestriking natural hot springs and the smiling, joyous and helpful people of the valley ๐Ÿ˜€

We were staying in a homestay, honestly I did not have very high hopes but the homestay turned out to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the trip. Reaching the homestay was like a small trek in itself, which you complain about in the beginning but then that is what that gives you feeling as if you have earned this cozy, little, comfortable nest ๐Ÿ˜€

To reach Pawna house, our homestay, one has to cross the parvati river through a wooden, hanging bridge. This bridge was one of my favourite place there! It is like listening to a natural orchestra there. The highs and lows of notes that the Parvati river creates as she dances down her way, weaved in with the chatter of birds and whistling of trees. The sound that the old, wooden bridge creates when someone crosses over it is like a magical rhythm binding the entire orchestra together. Trust me one can spend hours while listening to this amazing performance of mother Nature ๐Ÿ˜€

As per Indian mythology,Parvati is the wife & first student of Godhead lord Shiva and is considered to be the centre of power and is also known as “Shakti”. Whether you believe in mythology or not but it’s for sure that the mighty river displays all het prowess as you stand watching it. One can clearly see that Parvati flows on a bed of huge rocks, making her way ย over the powerful rocks, soothing them with her calming touch, taking anything and everything that comes her way along with her! The force of the river is so powerful that you can feel the force in your own nerves if you choose to look into the eyes of river for a longtime… So powerful yet so soothing, like a Mother! You feel at peace and safe and loved at the same time while gazing at this phenomenon called the Parvati river ๐Ÿ™

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Another never to forget experience was to have a bath in natural hot springs ๐Ÿ˜€ The folklore says that Lordย Shiva and maa Parvati spent years of love & laughter together at the valley and one fine day while having a bath maa Parvati lost her ring which was very dear to her. Lord Shiva asked his people to find it but ring was not found anywhere. In rage when lord Shiva, the destroyer,was about to open his third eye, a flow of boiling water risen up the valley, reflecting all the shiney gems and alongwith them was the brightest of them all, the one that belonged to Parvati. And that’s how hot springs are still found in abundance in the valley. It is said, having a bath in one of these hot springs can cure various physical ailments, may be because of the presence of high sulphur I guess. But keeping that aside, the bath was so relaxing and rejuvenating that one would not like to come out. Though getting in needs some courage coz the springs are really hot… Some springs are even used to boil rice and potatoes in bulk for Manikaran Gurudwara! Yeah don’t worry, the ones used for bathing are not that hot ๐Ÿ˜‚

To me, Parvati valley is like a veiled ย mystical land with enchanting river, alluring hot springs with a whiff of magical air (what to expect when you can see marijuana plants in abundance everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰).

The valley has so much to offer that i won’t be able to summarise everything in one story… The place deserves to be unveiled slowly and lovingly… So stay tuned for some more doze from the land of Parvati ๐Ÿ˜€

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Mykanos – The White & Blue of It!

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I am someone who always gets enamoured with natural beauty. There is no more magnificent way to salute the beauty of mother nature than by co-existing in harmony and rather enhancing the beauty provided by nature.

Mykonos is one of the very few places that is not only gifted with stunning natural beauty but in fact the people there have taken a step forward by aligning their habitat in an aesthetic ย way that the entire landscape seems like a piece cutย outย from the heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

 

BEACHESย – The best way to explore the place is by beach hopping. Beaches here can easily be divided in two types. For the party junkies and for the wandering souls. Mykonos is known for its party beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise where popular DJs perform and the parties go on till dawn.

For the ones who love the company of nature Mykonose has some amazing virgin beaches where you can just be afloat at the pace of water and wind. Panormas, Fetiliaย  and Agios Sostis are some of such beaches.

TIPS

  • Best to have your own vehicle to hop beaches. Cars and bikes are easily available on rental basis with your driving licence as proof.
  • Else there is a bus from town to these beaches every two hours or so.

FOOD & VIEWย – There is a place popularly known as The Little Italy. It has small, cute restaurants set at a length by the Aegean sea. As evening knocks, this place becomes the most sought after area and for all good reasons. The food is delicious but my favorites were the beautiful mocktails and cocktails. Come here to just enjoy the serene sunset,with cold breeze stroking your hair gently and the aroma of good music filling your heart. We sat at The Caprice, one of the most known restaurants in the area.

TIPS

  • Ensure that you reach by early evening to get the right place.
  • Sun generally sets around 8, so better be there by 6:30 so that you get to witness the entire scenery unfolding in front of you.
  • Not to mention, grab the tables nearest to the sea ๐Ÿ™‚

SHOPPINGย – In mykonos you do not shop because you like just the products…you shop because you want to check out each and every shop because each shop is a piece of art in itself. The way they display the products with their warm smiles, all you want, is to pick everything up!!! You will find some of the biggest brands here with some local artisans as well selling from handmade footwear to paintings.

TIPS

  • Do not shop for the sake of shopping, rather consider it a walk through a stunning museum set in the lap of nature.
  • Do not miss the beautiful flower arrangements mainly bougainvillea and the aesthetic display of everything.

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WINDMILLSย – Last but not the least. There is some non – explainable charm in windmills ๐Ÿ™‚ The city has some oldest windmills standing beautifully still.Though you might not take much time here but a quick walk is a must to enjoy the nostalgia of the old!

TIPS

  • Plan windmills in the afternoon so that you can walk back to little italy by early evening to enjoy the sunset.
  • Do walk across the nearby hillocks that a lot of people miss but they offer some of the most amazing view and lovely breeze.

So whenever you plan a visit to Greece do keep at least two days to wrap yourself up in the beauty of mykonos. What will you get there – a snapshot:

  • One of the most beautiful landscapes in the world
  • World renowned beach parties that will easily keep you up till dawn
  • Breathtaking view of some virgin beaches
  • All possible water sports
  • A stunningly beautiful town that you have to roam around on your foot
  • Shops that not only sell beautiful artifacts, clothes and accessories but look great too
  • Good food but superb cocktails
  • Amazing sunsets
  • Windmills

Hope the post is of help to you ๐Ÿ™‚