Thursday, May 28, 2009

But i don't WANT to go!

We were planning a holiday to Leh-Ladakh for a few days. I was cribbing to a friend about how the expenses are way above our budget for this holiday. She asked me "How much are you spending on this?" I gave her the figure. She said "Arre itne mein to aap foreign holiday kar aao!" (you can do a foreign holiday with that much money)
I looked at her with very wide open eyes and then said "But i don't want to holiday outside India!"

I still have to do Shillong, Sunderbans, Musical pillars at Hampi, Ajanta Ellora, Khajuraho, Kaziranga, Belur, Pondicherry....there is so much to see in this country! Way more than other countries where, usually, the only thing we see are the joy rides and the malls. (Come to Gurgaon or Noida for that too)

Do we take a "foreign" holiday just for the heck of it? Is it about what we want to experience or about what we want to tell our friends?

Want help? Here is what you can do in India this summer:

Kashmir: Enough said. A houseboat cannot be explained. A pashmina cannot be described. It can only be experienced.

Ladakh: Stark, high, lovely.

Sikkim: Green, beautiful, pristine. Dont miss the Gurudongma lake.

Uttaranchal: Get off the beaten tracks, and you will like it.

Manali: The eternal favorite. Though i prefer areas around Manali more.

Chamba: Lovely hills.

Eastern Himachal: Kinnaur district in particular, is beautiful.

Vindhya Hills: in Madhya Pradesh.

Goa: Off season discount too!!

Assam: Its too green to be hot. Likewise for Sunderbans, methinks.

Chail, Himachal: Its in the middle of a reserve forest, and its incredibly nice.

Mount Abu: If you have not seen the Dilwara temples, you have not seen craftsmanship yet. They take your breath away, and more than anything, made me realise how this country is FULL of incredible things everywhere you go!!

if you are planning a summer break, this is a shameless promotion of India. Do go!


Anonymous said...

"A pashmina cannot be described."
True...Coz real Pashmina isnt available anymore... Its all semi pashmina now... and sold at atrocious costs :(

Z said...

Let's see - I've been to Madras several times, and visited various places around there (never been to Pondicherry though), Bangalore and Mysore, Kerala adored the houseboats there too), toured across Rajasthan,visited Jodhpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur, been to Delhi, Agra and Dehra Dun ... but none of the places you mention. You're right, I need plenty more visits to India.

Mind you, I have never been on holiday for joy rides or malls, in any country. The most magical place in Europe I've visited has been Venice, and you'll see neither of those there, and not even a car.

G said...

I would like to add to the list:

Maharashtra: The coastal strip called Konkan includes Alibaug, Ganpati Pule, Tarkarli, Amboli (I could go on. Then there are numerous forts and hill stations too. :)

Karnatak: There is Hampi, Coorg coffee estates, Karwar.

The Mudumalai, Wayanad, Bandipur national forests..
Talking about national forests, there is Jim Corbett which you can club with binsar, kausani,nainital...
Sigh! After jotting down these places, I too feel like planning a trip pronto.

J P Joshi said...

Agree with you. India has all the right kind of destinations. However, they do not have the hype, and the people and government have made no effort to capitalise on these tourist destinations.

Leh is beautiful - an arctic desert. Enjoy your holiday. A drive by road from Leh to Udhampur via Kargil and Srinagar is out of this world. We drove this route in 1984 by the officers bus - it was breathtakingly beautiful.

Travelled to most of the destinations listed while on duty, thanks to the fauj. Enjoyed the picturesque Himalayas, hills, deserts, sea, forests, extreme temperatures on both sides - all in one country - India.

Foreign destinations are good in that one gets to meet other kinds of people and get to see why, what and how they do things differently from us. You gain a different perspective.

(¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

take what you will enjoy. Go somewhere you can find peace of mind. If you are going to keep worrying about expenses the entire way, you might as well stay at home.

Anonymous said...

I have very similar thoughts on this subject...

I do want to visit Zaire, the Amazon, serengeti, Lake superior... but above all I want to see my own country...

I dont think any country can offer as much diversity as we can and there are some breathtaking places in this country... we being near should visit them first... !!

we have a photoblog trying to highlight some of India's beauty... and since u want to go to Ladakh I suggest you visit it !!! !!

kj said...

it's about time i've come to visit your interesting blog. i can't tell you how much i would like to visit india. your recommendations, especially the house boat, made me sit up in my chair and start plotting and scheming!!!


Mayz said...

u workin for ITDC by any chance??

BK Chowla said...

I have had the oppurtunity to have travelled extensively in India and overseas.Without going into the specifics...there is so much to see in India that can surprise the world.However,I wish the tourism deptt had developed the areas of cultural,social and religious importance.

The Phosgene Kid said...

I'm still trying to just get across the AZ border!!

Oreen said...

ah, so refreshing... we took our bikes to manali and dharamshala last April, and the entire trip of 15 days cost us a whopping amount...

with the himalayas and the seas and the jungles... and the warmth of indian people... why should we go abroad?

i have kerala to do next... why do SE Asia?

White Magpie said...

Add Mansarovar, Khajuraho to that and it's semi complete. Sahi bola tu..Heaps to see here. But there are some pretty good spots to see out too..

How do we know said...

Hi Anonymous: I wouldnt be so sure of that.. but will take ur word for it.. :-)

Hi Z: Wow.. u must have some very gud friends in Chennai.. next time you come, i'll show you around.. esp. the Dilwara temples and Khajuraho.. (summer is the wrong season for Khajuraho though)

I meant that malls and rides thing, not for any place, but for Indians as tourists. Most ppl who go on a foreign holiday come back with stories of what they bought and the rides.. irrespective of where they went. I guess we get so much history inland that we kind of go for what is novel to us.. someday, i plan to come to Europe, and you really must show us around then.. will you?

Hi G: You are a travel freak like me.. admit it! Now that you have admitted it, pleasure meeting u.. lets do a trip together sometime.. i have a feeling we will like the same places.. :-)

Joshi sir: Fully agree.. but as tourists, we Indians don't bother so much with absorbing the culture of the place... we are more interested in the other things.. that was the point of that line..

Hi Raaji: ha ha.. no i never worry abt the expenses.. just cribbing that this one was much more than our budget.. we would have gone anyhow.

Hi hitchwriter: You bet i will see it. And thanks a lot!!

Hi kj: DO start plotting and scheming! And you dont even need to buy a package from there.Just pay your airfare and get to India. Then your Indian friends (me included) will travel with you. Not only will it come out cheaper, its also a lot richer that way... just keep me posted.

Hi Mayz: do i look like i work for ITDC?

Chowla sir: The tourism dept will do nothing. When even the ASI is not doing its job properly, where the old films are sold as scrap without testing them, what do we expect from the tourism board?

Hi Phos: Liar Liar! i know you went to Utah and some other places.. :-) Me, on the other hand, is yet to go anywhere!! incl. that planned trip to Leh.

How do we know said...

Hi oreen: Of all the questions, this one stumps me the most: Why SE Asia? Maybe there is sth to it.. mayb its just the lure of "foreign" holiday..

Hi White Magpie: Isnt now too hot for Khajuraho?

Mampi said...

hahaha, dilwara temples--- mine and mahesh's image of always describing something that is crude from outside and soft, artistic and gentle from inside.
you are right
even i want to do shillong, ladakh, kerala,
though i m guilty of being phoren returned when all these places were waiting for my charan sparsh.

G said...

Oye How do we know: We have met before, many times in fact! :(
Tussi bhool gaye?

P.S.: I have commented on your lovely blog a lot of times before.. I think it started with your amazing Doordarshan quiz :)

Z said...

I'm not sure I'd visit Madras so many times except to see my friends! - two different families who don't know each other at all, but happen to live five minutes walk away from each other. When their ex-pat relations come to stay, they spend all their time buying clothes to take back to the US or Australia!

What month is best for me to come and see you? - can't say what year at the moment, depends on family commitments here.

human being said...

hey... i really LOVED your attitude here...

India, a country with 72 nations...

i heard it first from my mother when i was a little kid... and as i grew up i found it so true... lots of things to discover and see... not just with your head's eyes but also with your heart's eyes...


How do we know said...

Hi Mampi: Am sure u will do all these places and much more!

Hi G: you have changed a lot of things abt ur profile.. but... that does not stop us from going off on a holiday! :-)

Hi Z: Oh, ANY month, any year is very good to see me... just come over. I'll be VERY glad to see you in person. You're the kind of person i'd like to be 50 years from now.. but i've already told u that. :-)

Hi hb: 72 nations? Wow! This is the first time i have heard that, but its so true! Have u been to India?

state of mind? said...

i just so totally agree with u....i have just landed back from a holiday abroad and trust me it was nothing in comparison to my trips to the beautifullest places in india.....our country rocks n dre's nothin like it....we can make a comparison between our country n other developed countries in terms of economy,city planning,architechture( at times!),technology,citizen sensitivity but never in terms of natural beauty n place can beat our country on that!!

shadows said...

im depressed coz i wanted to go on a holiday...would have been on it right about now.... and im down with outings for the next two months....believe me im as close to tears as im to the keyboard.... waaaaaaaaaaa

by the way apparently kutch is be-you-teeeee-foool....havent been thr but soon...
other places to visit.
bundi and bikaner (rajasthan)
lansedowne, ranikhet (uttarakhand)
cunnoor, ooty (TN)
maheshwar, mandu (madhyapradesh)
palampur, baijnath, bir, billing

and my personal favourite...manikaran... that was supposed to be my first destinatioon....


shadows said...

there are many more...many many more... cant write them all down... will take ages

Swati said...

lovely post !

How do we know said...

hi state of mind? : I am glad that you think this way.. i m not sure if we are the best in the world, but i do think that its better to at least see all your country has to offer before going outside, so that when you do go, you really opt for a novel experience, and you appreciate it that much more.

Hi shadows: Ooh typhoid! you take care and dont worry we will all take u on a virtual tour while u recover - if u want it, of course.
Re. manikaran - u might be surprised by the place. i went with huge expectations from the thermal springs et al, but it didnt turn out to be all that magical. The only saving grace was that i got Kashmiri dry fruits really cheap there. :-)

Hi Swati: Thanks! :-)

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White Magpie said...

Nah..must be nice weather...