Friday, November 30, 2007

TURTLE GROUNDS-escape beaches


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Travel like Mahatma Gandhi

Before taking up any tour to any country it is very important to know and read up about the country you plan to visit, you are more warmly welcomed if you take an interest and speak even a few words of the local language.

Increase your vital imagination and also think on much smaller aspects when booking a holiday - for example bed and breakfasts, village houses and locally owned accommodation benefit local families. Travel like Mahatma Gandhi - with simple clothes, open eyes and an orderly mind to become the part of Tourism.

Assist the local economy of developing countries by purchasing local products in preference to exotic items.

It is important to understand that the people in the country your are visiting have different culture, time concepts and thought patterns from your own, it doesn't mean that they are inferior to others in any way just they are little different.

Go for public transport where as possible- hire a bus, rickshaw or walk where convenient, you will be encountering with the local life and will get the opportunity to know the place.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Coming soon to India: Tickets for space ride

New Delhi, Oct 17

Mountaineering, skydiving and rafting are passé. It’s time for all Indian adventure tourism enthusiasts to don a spacesuit and whoosh off to a weightless state at thrice the speed of sound. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, a global commercial space tourism group, on Tuesday entered the Indian market with an eye to woo Indians out to space - albeit at a fee of $200,000 for a two-hour ride.

Virgin Galactic, in collaboration with Deluxe Travel and GD Goenka World Travel, has opened its Indian office in New Delhi and will act as a facilitator for Indians to book tickets to space. The spaceship will be launched at a height of 50,000 feet above earth and on release from the mother craft will take a vertical trajectory at three times the speed of sound.

Carolyn Wincer, head of astronaut sales of Virgin Galactic, told reporters that nearly 300 people including four Indians have bought tickets to travel on the spaceship. “India is a growing market and we are hopeful that people who are not astronauts will venture into space via our commercial spaceships,” Wincer said.

She said four Indians have already booked their tickets and one of them is in the top 100 list of voyagers-to-be. The Spaceship 2, as the commercial flight has been named, will be ready for a test run in January 2008. Santhosh George Kulangara, an Indian- based in the US, has booked a ticket to experience space in the first year of the commercial operation of this adventurous venture.

“It will take at least 18 months to start commercial operations. Initially, the spaceship will fly once a week, taking six tourists on board. In the second year of operation we may go for two flights a day,” Wincer said. The mother ship carrying the spaceship will fly to 50,000 feet and then the rocket will be switched on. In 90 seconds the flight will reach a height of 110 km from 50,000 feet (16 km). The flight will last around two hours including a period of weightlessness.

“The tourists will have the opportunity to leave their seats and enjoy the pleasure of weightlessness (micro gravity) for a period of four to five minutes,” said Bernhard Stingl, a joint managing director of Deluxe Travel Europe. People with a healthy heart and lungs will be able to go on this voyage.

Authorities explained that since these are short duration flights, tourists would not face space sickness. “Each flight will carry two pilots and tourists will undergo a three-day training under micro gravity situation to get accustomed to the space situation,” said Wincer.

Every passenger will have access to large windows to enjoy the amazing views of up to approximately 1,000 miles in any direction and the curvature of the earth, authorities explained. They said the spaceship would adopt unique wing feathering technology to slow and control re-entry and thus help in smooth landing on earth.

Extending good wishes to Virgin Galactic, Aviation Minister Praful Patel said: “I am sure with disposable income increasing among Indians, many will go to space. The adventure spirit of Indians will get a further fillip by venturing into space via commercial spaceships”.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Road to Siliguri and Sikkim

September 2007 saw a large number of landslides in these hills(in Darjeeling&Sikkim).The lifeline to Sikkim -NH 31 A, however brought to normal but still faces trouble in restoring it.Every half kilometer is with a big or small land/rock slips,making the travel to and fro from Sikkim and Siliguri troublesome.Traffic congestion and jams are a common sight .The two hour journey from Rangpo to Siliguri now take three hours ,depending on your luck and patience.

Monday, October 1, 2007

SENIOR CITIZENS:Loan for Financing Trips

Planning a vacation is always a fun experience. Whether you are looking to go on a pilgrimage, travel to an exotic tourist destination or visit your grandchildren – there are a wide range of travel options available. However, sometimes you may find yourself having to postpone or cancel your travel plans due to a lack of sufficient funds. Don’t worry too much though. Today, banks are offering special travel loans to senior citizens to help you make it to the places you have always dreamt of. These travel loans help pay for all sorts of travel related expenses right from booking tickets to the cost of staying at a hotel.

One such loan is the ' Desh Videsh Yatra Loan’ of the Bank of Baroda. This loan allows senior citizens to repay the borrowed amount in as much as 36 easy monthly instalments as on March 31, 2007. Other banks including private banks offer travel loans along similar lines. You can also take a regular personal loan to pay for travel related expenses through banks such as the State Bank of India.

Apart from this, travel agencies provide special travel packages and repayment schemes for senior citizens. Such travel packages include fewer and longer stops at tourist attractions. They also involve less walking and have special buses to accommodate wheelchairs. This is available to ensure a comfortable and memorable trip.

In foreign countries, senior citizens are offered discounted rail passes for train travel, rebates at hotels and lower entry fees at tourist attractions. If you are planning to travel abroad, you can ask your travel agent about these facilities and bargain for a discount on available packages. Senior citizens may also go in for travel insurance. This is useful in case of accidents or emergency hospitalization while travelling out of your home city or country. ICICI Bank provides such an insurance plan for senior citizens called the Senior Citizen Travel Insurance plan.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Spice Jet all set to operate to & fro Port Blair from Oct 5

Port Blair, Sept 23

Spice Jet is all set to start its operations in these Islands. The inaugural aircraft of this company is scheduled to arrive here on October 5, 2007. The flight will start its operations from both the sectors i.e Port Blair- Chennai and Port Blair- Kolkata. Spice jet will operate daily from Chennai and Kolkata in Port Blair sector with its Boeing 737 and 800 series of aircrafts.

Spice Jet started its operations in May 2005 with a mission to become India’s preferred low cost airline, delivering the lowest air fares with the highest consumer value, to price sensitive consumers and its vision is to ensure that flying is affordable to everyone. It has a fleet of 6 Boeing 737-800 in single class configuration with 189 seats. Spice Jet currently flies to 11 destinations which includes Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Srinagar.

The Spice Jet flight from Chennai will start at 4 AM to reach Veer Savarkar airport at Port Blair at 6.15 AM and it will depart from Port Blair at 6.55 to reach Chennai at 8.50 AM. Similarly, Spice Jet flight from Kolkata will start at 7.25 AM to reach Port Blair at 9.35 AM and it will depart from Port Blair at 10.05 AM to reach Kolkata at 12.10 Noon.

The Islanders who earlier saw only Indian Airlines operated from both Chennai and Kolkata now can be proud of having many more private airlines starting its operations in this sector. Besides, the Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Jet Airways, and Jetlite (Sahara) connecting Delhi via Kolkata are the other airlines presently in operations from these Islands.

With the proposed start of the Spice Jet aircraft in these Islands the Veer Savarkar airport is geared up to handle as many as 9 flights in a single day. The increase in the flights in regular intervals i.e in the morning hours will not only immensely benefit the islanders but will also flourish the tourism industry with the increased number of tourists.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Passport in just 15 days

Tired of the long wait for a passport? It's about to get shorter.

The ministry of external affairs has drafted an ambitious plan to outsource a major portion of the regional passport offices' work so that once a police verification report is received, a passport is issued within three days.

Under the Rs 8-crore 'Passport Service Project', the MEA will have 68 private centres to help RPOs.

"The Union cabinet cleared the proposal for outsourcing passports on September 6. It will operate exactly on the lines of the US visa system. Of the 68 centres, eight will be set up in New Delhi and four in Mumbai," a senior official told TOI.

While existing RPOs would function as usual, the new centres would be entrusted with the entire work, except signing the passport, while the delivery of passports would also be completely outsourced.

Currently, passports are delivered through the postal network or collected in person at the RPO. It is also proposed to link major police stations with RPOs so that police verification reports are delivered quickly. For setting up the 68 centres, tenders will be invited to ensure that the agency provides quality service.

"Our attempt is to cut down the existing waiting period of 45 days to 15-20 days. One-and-a-half months is a very long period, particularly when we claim that we have adequate technical know-how in all the sectors," the official said.

The official said the proposal would take final shape once the minutes of the cabinet meeting were approved. "We expect the final guidelines within a fortnight, and the new project is expected to start functioning within a year or so," he said.

As per the new proposal, if all formalities are completed, new as well as duplicate passports will be issued within three days, while change in name and address will be done on the same day.

Of course, one will have to pay a stiff fee for quick delivery of passports. "Fees will be decided later by the MEA," the official said.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Sikkim has its own unique dietary culture with specific cuisine and food recipes. Like anywhere else in the world, food habits here have evolved as the result of traditional wisdom and empirical experiences of generations. Today in many parts of the world these traditional foods have entered commercial production, and their recipes have become popular among people of different ethnic origin. In the Sikkim Himalayas traditional foods are an integral part

of the dietary culture of the various ethnic groups of people consisting of the Nepalese, Bhutias and Lepchas. Rice is the staple food. Meat and dairy products are also consumed depending on availability. Besides these, various traditional fermented foods and beverages, which constitute of about 20 per cent of the basic diet for long centuries (Table 1 & 2), are prepared and consumed.

The dietary-culture of this region is mostly reflected in the pattern of food production. Depending on the altitudinal variation, finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetable, potato, soybeans, etc. are grown. Some of the common traditional cuisine with their food recipes has been presented for introduction of dietary culture of the Sikkim Himalayas, as well as for product diversification.

Momo, steamed dumpling prepared from wheat flour and meat/vegetable is very common Tibetan food. Momo has already entered commercial production and is well placed in menus of all local hotels/restaurant.

Thukpa/ Gya-Thuk
Thukpa/Gya-thuk is a typical Tibetan style noodles in soup. Thukpa/Gya-thuk is very popular local cuisine also available in all restaurants and hotels of these regions.

Kinema is a traditional fermented soybean food having characteristic stringy property with unique flavour, commonly consume as a main side-dish curry served as meat substitute along with cooked rice in meals. Kinema serves as an inexpensive high source of plant protein food in the local diet. The word Kinema might have originated from the Limbu (one of the major castes of the Nepalis) dialect Kinambaa, Ki meaning fermented, nambaa means flavour.

Gundruk & Sinki
Gundruk and Sinki are traditional fermented vegetable products prepared during winter when fresh perishable vegetable is plenty. Gundruk is a fermented product of leafy vegetable such as rayo sag (Brasicca rapa spp. campestris variety cuneifolia), leaves of mustard, radish and cauliflower. Sinki is prepared from radish tap root only. The quality attributes to Gundruk and Sinki basically depends upon the typical flavour and sour-acidic taste which is developed during natural fermentation by lactic acid bacteria, mainly spp. of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. Gundruk and Sinki are sun dried after fermentation and stored for consumption. Due to high content of organic acid and low pH, these products can be preserved for a year or more. This is a good example of biopreservation of perishable vegetable. Gundruk and Sinki are good appetizers due to high content of lactic and acetic acid developed during fermentation.

Chhurpi is a fermented dairy product prepared from cow milk. Chhurpi is a traditional cottage cheese which gives a texture of a white soft mass with mild sour taste. It is fermented by spp. of lactic acid bacteria. Average consumption of Chhurpi is 9.9.g/capita/day with annual production of 1469 ton in Sikkim.

Chhurpi - Ningro (wild edible fern) Curry
The people of the Sikkim Himalayas eat many varieties of wild ferns commonly grown in these regions. Some of the common edible ferns are Diplazium polypodiodes locally called "sauney ningro", iplazium spp. "kali ningro", etc. Recipe of wild fern is unique in these regions which is mostly mixed with Chhurpi to taste. Ningro, an alpine fiddle-head fern and its tendrils when sauted with Churpi( form of cheese) makes an irresistible dish. Normally it is not served in the restaurants but is prepared as a household dish.

Mesu is a traditional fermented bamboo shoot product with sour-acidic taste eaten as pickle. In the Limbu dialect, me means young bamboo shoot and su means sour, the word Mesu is directly derived from the Limbu dialect. Young bamboo shoots are fermented under natural anaerobic condition for 7-15 days, initiated by spp. of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus to get Mesu. It has high content of organic acid and low pH with rich mineral contents.

Tama is a non-fermented bamboo shoot product. Some varieties of bamboo shoots commonly grown in the Sikkim Himalayas are Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis and Bambusa tulda locally known as ‘choya bans’, ‘bhalu bans’ and ‘karati bans’, respectively are edible when young. These bamboo shoots are collected, defoliated and boiled in water with turmeric powder for 10-15 min to remove bitter taste of bamboo. Tama is ready for consumption. Tama is commonly sold in the local markets during the months of June to September when young bamboo shoots sprout

Masauyra is a fermented black gram, ball-like hollow product consume as spicy condiment. Masauyra is mostly common among Newar of the Nepalis. It is similar to the Punjabi Wari.

Khalo Dal
Khalo dal is very common dal prepared from black gram (Phaseolus mungo).

Sidra ko Achar
Sidra ko achar is a flavoured pickle prepared from dry, small fish Sidra.

Widely prepared during Nepali festivals, Saelroti is normally eaten with potato curry or non-vegetarian dish. Normally not available in restaurants but Saelroti is prepared from well-mixed fermented rice batter which is deep fried, ring-shaped, spongy, pretzel-like product commonly consume as confectionery bread in festival and special occasions. The batter is fermented by spp. of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria.

Silam ko Achar
Silam ko achar is a pickle prepared from Silam seeds, and is usually served with Phulaurah.

Sishnu (Nettle leaves) Soup
Sishnu soup is prepared from leaves of edible wild varieties of nettle. Sishnu soup is a typical Himalayan cuisine served with cooked rice. Many wild varieties of nettle are grown in these regions some of which are edible such as Urtica dioica locally called "ghario sishnu", Laportee terminalis "patle sishnu", and Girardinia diversifolia "bhangrey sishnu".

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bed & breakfast scheme

New Delhi, Sept 03

The Union Ministry of Tourism has launched a Scheme to classify fully operational rooms of Home Stay Facilities as “Incredible India Bed & Breakfast (B&B) Establishment”. The basic idea is to provide a clean and affordable place for foreigners and domestic tourists alike, including an opportunity for foreign tourists to stay with an Indian family to experience Indian customs and traditions and relish authentic Indian cuisine.

81 Establishments have been registered in this Scheme in Delhi, out of which 23 are in the Gold category and 58 are in the Silver category. The total number of rooms registered under the Scheme is 221. The number of establishments registered in the National Capital Region (NCR) is 94.

In view of the positive response received by this Scheme and the potential it has to create additional accommodation, the Govt. of NCT of Delhi has passed the ‘National Capital Territory of Delhi (Incredible India) Bed & Breakfast Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Ordinance, 2007”. This Ordinance extends to the whole of National Capital Territory of Delhi and exempts Bed & Breakfast Establishments from levy of Luxury Tax and Value Added Tax. Earlier the owners of these establishments had to pay 12.5% Luxury Tax. Moreover, it ensures that the establishment shall not be treated as commercial one and shall only be liable to pay –

(a) Power and water tariff as applicable to domestic or residential use; and

(b) Property tax as applicable to residential tenanted premises with respect to the portion let out to the guests, restricted to the period of occupancy thereof, fully or partly as the case maybe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


While travelling carry a small shortwave radio .At least you can listen to the news headlines,so that you can get warned about any natural calamity,short notice evacuation alerts,etc.You may think that ,it is unnecessary because you are not going to keep the radio always on in a place where you went for a visit,you don't know whether it is a rumor or fact..there radio comes handy to confirm things in this uncertain world where information is power.I experienced it and the Radio was the sole source of information when everything goes TV...BUT the RADIO works,it worked for me during the TSUNAMI.I recommend the SONY WORLD BAND SW RADIO(as shown in this picture) a small sized manual tuning radio.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Landslips are common during the monsoon in the hilly regions of India.Traffic jam.. a common sight in the Plains.

1)Traffic jam in Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Road ,...2)long wait at Chitrey Landslide,...3)A land slip at Central Pendam -Sikkim

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Dear Nokia Customer,

This is a product advisory for the Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. This product advisory does not apply to any other Nokia battery.

Nokia has identified that in very rare cases the affected batteries could potentially experience over heating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge. Nokia is working closely with relevant local authorities to investigate this situation.

Nokia has several suppliers for BL-5C batteries that have collectively produced more than 300 million BL-5C batteries. This advisory applies only to the 46 million batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006. There have been approximately 100 incidents of over heating reported globally. No serious injuries or property damage have been reported.

Consumers with a BL-5C battery subject to this advisory should note that all of the approximately 100 incidents have occurred while charging the battery. According to Nokia's knowledge this issue does not affect any other use of the mobile device. Concerned consumers may want to monitor a mobile device while charging that contains a BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory.

While the occurrence in the BL-5C batteries produced by Matsushita in the time-period specified is very rare, for consumers wishing to do so, Nokia and Matsushita offer to replace any BL-5C battery subject to this product advisory.

The BL-5C batteries which are subject to the product advisory were used with the following Nokia models or separately as accessories:

Nokia 1100, Nokia 1100c, Nokia 1101, Nokia 1108, Nokia 1110, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1255, Nokia 1315, Nokia 1600, Nokia 2112, Nokia 2118, Nokia 2255, Nokia 2272, Nokia 2275, Nokia 2300, Nokia 2300c, Nokia 2310, Nokia 2355, Nokia 2600, Nokia 2610, Nokia 2610b, Nokia 2626, Nokia 3100, Nokia 3105, Nokia 3120, Nokia 3125, Nokia 6030, Nokia 6085, Nokia 6086, Nokia 6108, Nokia 6175i, Nokia 6178i, Nokia 6230, Nokia 6230i, Nokia 6270, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6631, Nokia 6670, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 6682, Nokia 6820, Nokia 6822, Nokia 7610, Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N72, Nokia N91, Nokia E50, Nokia E60

“Nokia” and “BL-5C” are printed on the front of the battery. On the back of the battery, the Nokia mark appears at the top, and the battery identification number (consisting of 26 characters) is found at the bottom.


Saturday, August 11, 2007


Stranded passengers showing their tickets-Times of India kolkatta
There was chaos on Circular Garden Reach Road on Tuesday (7th August 2007)evening after Port Blair-bound M V Harshvardhan sailed from the Kidderpore docks without nearly 200 bona fide passengers.The stranded passengers blocked the road before demonstrating outside South Port p0lice station. Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) officers,however, claimed the passengers
were to blame for the imbroglio.Trouble broke out soon after 1.30pm,when the last of the passengers were still arriving.Even before they could complete formalities, they saw the ship depart. The passengers rushed to the lockgate where the ship waits for some time before entering the Hooghly.They were not allowed to enter the premises by Central Industrial Security Force personnel on duty. Passengers were furious when they saw truckloads of soldiers boarding the ship from the lockgate. Rumours began to do the rounds that bona fide passengers
had been leftbehind to accommodate soldiers."This is incorrect. While issuing tickets, we tell passengers to check newspapers (of the day before the voyage)for the exact time of departure.
This has to be done as we don't know the tide timings when tickets are issued.We published the sailing schedule in two English and Bengali dailies on Monday.Passengers were supposed to report by 12 noon on Tuesday as the ship was to leave berth at 2 pm. Though only 280 of the 800 passengers had boarded the ship till 2pm, we had no option but to set out," an SCI officer explained. About 400 bunks in the ship were booked for soldiers. Instead of boarding the vessel at Kidderporedocks,they climbed aboard at the lockgate. "There is no way the CISF can prevent soldiers in uniform to enter the premises.They can enter'and board the ship if they have valid passes. However,due to the ISPS code, civilians cannot be allowed to enter the lockgate without permission.The ship left the lock gate at 5 pm as per schedule and will anchor at Garden
Reachtill 4amon Wednesday," the officeradded. .After stranded passengers lodged complaints with the police, the latter tried to contact SCI. Kolkata Port Trust even offered the services of its launches to ferry the stranded passengers to the ship anchored at Garden Reach. SCI officers were not ready to comply.
This is a news report from Times of India-Kolkatta

Now my comments: 1.If the SCI doesn't know the Tide timings then how it functions?
2.More than this, passengers has to face Union problems often.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.

Key interventions to control malaria include: prompt and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies; use of insecticidal nets by people at risk; and indoor residual spraying with insecticide to control the vector mosquitoes.

Travelers must carry a mosquito net or repellent to prevent malaria.Once it was believed that, it is caused due to mal air(bad air) thus this name! Avoid exposing your body(legs/hands) from 5 P.M to 7 P.M. in the evening,it is the period of time (outdoors),when these mosquitoes roam.

The above map shows regions where Malaria is common,dark to light colours shows more prevalence to less,respectively.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Tourists can only visit the Andaman group of islands and not the Nicobar,as it is a restricted area.
You can reach there by ship or by Airplane.Ships are available every week from Kolkata,once in a month from Vishakapatnam,every week from Chennai.Airplanes available everyday from Kolkatta and Chennai..private operators also provide service.Once you must tarvel to the islands by the Ship.While returning you can take a plane.The ships are the cheapest.MV Nicobar,Swarajdeep, Nancowry are good ships compared to Harshavardhan & Akbar.

You can buy the Ship tickets from the Shipping Corporation Office at Strand Road Kolkatta,but confirm the dates for the issue of tickets before leaving.Another important thing is the Strikes called by the Unions-it is very common .I suffered it for ten days once,better take the Chennai route or by plane while going.Ships are not boring,it is the ultimate travel experience one can get in India.see some links at
For ship/airfare,ship schedules,addresses,telephone numbers go to:Ship details andaman
Bookmark this blog for more on visiting andamans..see you here .
To see my photos: pukunas photos

Friday, August 3, 2007


A newly-wed couple are heading for Darjeeling for honeymoon by train. A well-dressed co-passenger soon befriends the couple. Later, the gentleman offers tea to them. He himself goes to the one end of the compartment to fetch it from a hawker. A few sips, the couple become unconscious and the gentleman decamps with their luggage.

This can happen to anyone traveling in India .Awareness and alertness from the traveler is the only remedy.

If a stranger shows friendliness beware,don't accept Tea or Biscuits,.

Generally, these anti-socials use AT Vamm tablets or spray to make passengers unconscious. These tablets are dissolved in tea or cold drinks or mixed with cream biscuits.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Skimming is a hi-tech method by which thieves capture your personal or account information from your credit card, drivers license, or even passport. An electronic device used to capture this information is called a “skimmer,” and can be purchased online for under $50.00. Your card is swiped through the skimmer and the information contained in the magnetic strip on the card is then read into and stored on the device or an attached computer.

Skimming is predominantly a tactic used to perpetuate credit card fraud--but is also a tactic that is gaining in popularity amongst identity thieves. Skimming is a problem, not just in the U.S, but globally. As the use of smart card technology grows, as evident with its integration with drivers licenses and passports, it is likely that skimming will continue to grow as a popular tactic of identity thieves.>

Monday, July 30, 2007


While traveling or living overseas can be stimulating, individuals often overlook financial protection against illness and injury. There are several reasons for this over-site:

1.International travelers and expatriates are often unaware of the limitations of their existing health care plans back home in regard to overseas coverage. In most cases, their local plans will offer little or no medical coverage in a foreign country;

2.Individuals may not be aware of the astronomical cost of medical care overseas, especially in North America. Individuals, especially from countries with social medical care, mistakenly anticipate that they can independently cover medical expenditures overseas if need be

3.Travelers and expatriates are often not aware of the affordability of international medical coverage.

Individuals who do not seek financial protection against medical treatment in a foreign country are putting themselves and their families at risk not only financially, but also physically. Many hospitals worldwide will not treat foreigners who are not covered by an internationally recognized and rated insurer. FOR MORE DETAILS:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


SBI Vishwa Yatra foreign Travel Card (FTC), a prepaid plastic card issued in association with VISA International, is presently available in three different currencies - US Dollars, Euro and GBP. It is a safer method of carrying funds in a safe, convenient and cost effective way on your visit abroad. It takes away the hassles of going around Money changers and loosing valuable foreign currency by way of high exchange margins. It also relieves the customer of the Annual fees, joining fees, credit limits, Mark-ups, unusual transaction charges etc., usually associated with International Debit / Credit Cards


· A Pre-paid card presently available in US Dollar, EURO and GBP Currencies
· Issued in association with VISA International
· Accepted at 924,000 VISA ATMs and at over 22 Million Merchant Establishments (MEs) approximately, all over the world except in India, Nepal and Bhutan
· Available at all Branches authorized to sell Foreign currency / travelers cheques


· Any bonafide citizen of India who plans to travel abroad except Nepal and Bhutan
· Corporates for their employees whom they plan to send abroad for official purpose subject to completion of KYC norms
· Parents / sponsors of the students going abroad for higher studies, in the student’s name and can be subsequently reloaded up to the statutory ceiling prescribed from time to time
· Foreign Nationals residing in India subject to completion of KYC norms.


· Minimum amount of issue: US Dollars 500 /400 Euros / 250 GBP
· Maximum amount of issue: US Dollars 10,000 or equivalent / or any higher amount as prescribed RBI/FEMA 1999 depending on the purpose of overseas visit
· Competitive exchange rates
· Reloadable any number of times
· SMS message on your Mobile phone for each transaction
· Operatable by 4 digit PIN at ATMs and by PIN/Signature at Merchant Establishments
· Free balance enquiry at SBI / VISA ATMs(at a charge)
· Free balance enquiry and view / download details of transactions through
· Add-on cards not exceeding two in number to be used by the card holder in case of loss/misplacement/defacement of the card
· Balance information after each transaction through SMS
· Free insurance cover upto Rs.2 lacs for 48-hour pre and post card lost liability on non-PIN based transactions. (conditions apply)
· A 24 x 7 call centre to provide information and hot-list (block) the card in case of loss / misplacement.


· Copies of Pass port
· Form A2
· PAN or Form 60 in lieu thereof
· Proof of residence in case the address is different from that appearing on passport
visit for more details and forms download: lang=0&id=0,10,462

Sunday, July 22, 2007


PHOTO:Kala Subbiah
You can't see the whole sky through a bamboo tube. Japanese saying

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it won't get you anywhere. Van

Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.Aldous Huxley

A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change. Hathaway
Katharine Butler

Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order.Mansfield

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.Margaret Mead

Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.Mark Twain

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.Robert Frost

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson

To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.Sam Keen

Thursday, July 19, 2007

COUCH SURFING-The new way to stay

The CouchSurfing Project is a free international Internet-based hospitality service. As of July 2007, it had more than 250,000 members in 216 countries and territories. From various indicators it can be estimated that many members were actively using the website, with 40% offering their couches to host travelers (with another 22% saying "maybe" and others who are traveling at the moment).
Members use the website, initially designed by founder Casey Fenton, to coordinate accommodations. It features extensive profiles, and uses an optional credit card verification system, a personal vouching system, and personal references to increase security and trust. There are many other features on the site, such as interest discussion groups, meeting functionality, live chat and more.
In June 2006 the project experienced a number of computer problems resulting in much of the database being lost. It was initially announced that the project was being ended; however, within days it was confirmed that the site would be rebuilt, and users were again able to login (but not yet access the site's full functions). "CouchSurfing 2.0" was announced on 3 July 2006, planned to be operational within 10 days. As of July 7th 2006 is once again fully operational although some, mostly inactive profiles, group postings and personal messages seem to have been lost. Most functions and pages are unchanged (the biggest change is the way friend links are managed now) and the site is called "2.0" now because of a philosophical change, the site's motto is "Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time". In August a CS wiki was launched where everyone is invited to participate and make CouchSurfing better.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Motion sickness is a common problem in people traveling by bus, train, planes and especially by ship. Motion sickness can start suddenly, with a queasy feeling and cold sweats. It can then lead to nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, you can get motion sickness. For example, down below on a boat, your inner ear senses motion, but your eyes cannot tell you are moving.
Where you sit can make a difference. The front seat of a car, forward cars of a train, upper deck on a boat or wing seats in a plane may give you a smoother ride. Looking out into the distance - instead of trying to read or look at something in .Don't look at others with motion sickness.

Chewing a raw Ginger piece helps to prevent this motion sickness for some people.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Travel Checklist for easy travel

It is easy to make your own travel checklist,start from the feet upto
head ,list what you need,and then from morning to night what you
need,brushing,bathing,toilet,spending,eating etc.note down.Here is
my personal checklist.Remember not to forget the toothbrush.
1. Mobile phones with chargers
2. Camera/handicam
3. Toothbrushes and paste
4. Shaving set/simple makeup essentials
5. ATM card/Money
6. Tickets/I.Cards/documents/Address book
8. Locks &kEYS
9. Towels/soaps/extra clothing
12.First Aid Kit 0r Essential medicines
13.Inform Post Office/Neighbours
14.Lighter with torch(chinese) books
16.Mosquito nets/repellents
17.Swiss knife-multi tools
18.Dalle-cherry pepper (Iam lovin it!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wanderer Gathers Honey

First let me start with the economy class stay around the world,even in India.If you are bitten by the travel bug then this is for you.Youth Hostelling as a movement has not taken long to establish in the world. During the course of the last almost eighty years, it has spread from country to country and spanned all the five continents.The movement is based on two basic urges in the youth - love for the unknown, which includes desire for adventure and the desire to make friends.Since the movement started in Germany in the second decade of last century, there was very little opportunity for young people of limited means to travel at will and see and enjoy the beautiful places in their own country and the world around. The virtues of travel have been acknowledged in all ages and in all climes. Its hazards and uncertainities and costs used to be too great to allow the common youth to get as much benefit from it as was desired.The development of the means of communication and the establishment of youth hostels in more beautiful and attractive spots in many countries has made the opportunity of travel at a nominal cost far more easily available for youth. Go to becoming a member is very easy. I stayed in the Youth Hostels of Portblair,Ernakulam(Cochin),Chennai,Namchi,Shillong,New Delhi.It is superb to be a member.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


In this world of ulta-pulta (topsy-turvy), i decided to have another blog which can give me more space to spread my legs.i thought it can be sikkim and a man,but changed my mind.Let me make up my mind on what to post and what not to.Ok i madeup my mind ,it will be a tarvel blog.I believe that WANDERERS GATHER HONEY!(Youth Hostels-motto. )