Adventure

goNews: India’s First Underwater Bullet Train to Run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad

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India’s first bullet train that is proposed between the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is expected to pass through a long 21km sea tunnel. Though most part of the 508km long corridor will be on an elevated track, the stretch after Thane creek towards Virar will pass through a tunnel built under the sea. This distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is expected to be covered within two hours as the train will run at an estimated maximum speed of 350 km per hour.

Bullet Train
Image for Representational Purpose Only | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/88277742@N00/257855533/in/

The ambitious and first-of-its-kind project in India is likely to cost a whopping Rs 97,636 crore. This includes possible cost escalation, interest during construction as well as import duties. Alignment of the corridor is almost finalized and around 81% of the funding will come from Japan. Early this week, railways has informed National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited to go head with this much awaited project. A study supporting the Bullet Train Project stated that the train should provide 100 trips a day to cater to as much as 43 million residents of the country.

Bullet Train
Image for Representational Purpose Only | Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel#/media/File:A_crossover_on_the_south_side_of_Zhongxiao_Xinsheng_Station.JPG

At the same time, Ministry of Railways has proposed a tariff for the upcoming bullet train. The bullet train fare is said to be 1.5 times more than the current first class AC fare of express trains. For example, at present, First Class travel by Duronto Express between Mumbai and Ahmedabad costs Rs.2,200. The same distance via dedicated high-speed corridor covered by the bullet train will cost around Rs. 3,300. In Japan, a similar bullet train ride between Tokyo and Osaka measuring a distance of 550 km costs Rs.8,500.

Countries like Japan and China already have express trains that run under water. Now, incorporation of such a means of transport in India will definitely bring pride to the nation and make inter-state travel hassle free.

Weird Things that Make Your Vacation an Affair to Remember

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A good travel expedition is usually the result of something that has gone (terribly) wrong.“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”- Mark Twain

The “Huh oh” moments revolving around those local bill boards, Dhaba menu cards and many such weird things can make you chuckle, but you instantly know that these will make an excellent story for years to come!

Is that a Shower?

weird things
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/heylj92/3564685946/

There are times when I enter the bathroom of a funky hotel and Woah! The mysterious technological shower awaits! I have no clue how to make this thing work. Believe me, I have actually been like “eh? What the hell odour will not kill anyone. Deodrant for today maybe”. If you are a OCD, travel will surely make you more laid back and appreciate times when things are not perfect or planned.

The Thai Massage or Torture Satan?

weird things
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddalasta/2164542245/in/

Would you like a massage mister?!” It can destroy your dreams if an old lady comes up and says “ I think you need the full two hour”. The voice in my head mumbles Nooo! Just the one please (teeth screeching in terror). Beware on who you put your trust in. A relaxation massage turned into a Karate match against an old Thai lady. Who is going to be the winner?

Chased Down by Some Stalker (or Maybe a Cow!)

Weird Things
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/maciejdakowicz/14944189486/in/

This one time on a trip to Varanasi I saw cows pop out of nowhere. There you are, sitting quietly in an auto with 5 folks and loving the streets and Bam! MOOOO! There she is with her entire mouth munching right at my face and her eyes staring at mine! I was scared to death I swear she could smell me 😛

Cows and I share the same MOO chemistry till today.

Funny Outrageous Pictures!

Weird things

Everyone while travelling clicks dozens of such quirky, bizarre, outrageous, funny, absurd, ridiculous, truly off the chart moments.

I will let the picture do the talking. They are sure to bring a chuckle when you relive them.

I am Bear Grylls Adventure!

There comes a time when a man sitting at a boring desk job has a moment of enlightenment, a sudden calling “Maybe i Should Trek To the hills via the forest like that dude on National Geographic. The next thing you know you are thirsty, sweaty and covered in insects, reptiles wondering ‘Damn you bear grills! You make it look like treat!’. Those near to death moments will give you the chills years later.

Culinary Experiments!

weird things
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/61460757@N05/7243212238/

Local food or delicacies are most sought after things while on a trip. In a similar event of trying the local cuisine, a friend of mine learnt how to eat a rat! You read it correct ‘A Rat’! These bizarre ‘Huh, is that food?’ moments will bring lots of laughter, and bag full of ‘wow! that happened to me one time’ experiences in your travel kitty.

Take Back a Souvenir!

Weird things
Photo Credit: Ujjal Deb Roy

On every little venture of mine I try and bring something back ranging from antiques to scarves/hats to local treats. The time when you see a funky cigarette holder and think, huh, maybe I should smoke (kidding) so I have this uber cool piece.

The take-away from every place, even the smallest pendents or hats I get from a trip take me down the memory lane.

All these remind me what joy it is to travel! How much happiness it brings to me and maybe why I should plan something really soon.

This Is What Your Choice of Vacation Says About Your Personality Type!

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According to a report by the researchers of the University of Virginia, an individual’s choice of vacation depends on his mindset, perception and attitude towards life. So, if you are wondering why you end up taking holidays to specific places every single time (in my case I always, ALWAYS, choose a place that has beaches), here’s the answer. Read and know what is your personality type.

Personality Type
Divided by Personality, United by Travel. | Photo Credit: Aditi Bhardwaj

1. Mountain Lovers = Introvert: Do you always dream of relaxing and unwinding in the mountains? Well, the study says that people who fall in love with the serenity of the mountains, are introverts. Though the trekkers and mountaineers are considered to be creative folks, they are more often than not shy by nature. Goibibo recommends you to explore the beauty of Manali, Kasol, Ladakh and McLeodganj this summer vacation.

Personality Type
The breathtaking mountains of Ladakh. | Photo Credit: Piyush Sharma

2. Architecture Lovers = Arty and Intellectual: Does your itinerary has more of museums, historical sites, palaces and memorial places than anything else? Then, according to the research, you definitely have an intellectual personality. So why not explore Golkonda Fort, Mysore Palace and Salar Jung Museum  this summer vacation!

Personality Type
The artistic beauty of a historical monument. | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfreund1/9717877088/in/

3. Beach Lovers = Influential People: If you hit a beach on almost every vacation of yours, then the research define you an influential person. The study reveals that people who love walking and taking strolls on the pristine and sandy beaches usually have an influential personality. Why don’t you go and take a beach vacation to Andaman Nicobar, Maldives or Gokarna to beat the heat this summer?

Personality Type
The alluring beach of Maldives. | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130033639@N08/16991780000/

4. Cruise Lovers = Extrovert: The luxury cruise rides are not everybody’s cup of tea. But those who take up cruise vacations are definitely extroverts. Meeting new people, having fun and making the most of the holiday are the signs of people who fall in this category. Mexico, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and New York, where are you cruising this summer?

Personality Type
A cruise sailing on the blue ocean. | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/104417532@N04/15177287527/in/

5. Hippie Travel Lovers = Trendsetter: Travellers who always look out for a popular movie location, love exploring the local places and do quirky things are nicknamed Hipsters. The Argentinian researchers say that these travellers are trendsetters and visit the hidden and unexplored destinations of the world. Goibibo recommends you to explore Amazon Rainforest, Gangkhar Puensum and Pelling.

Personality Type
A walk into the serenity of nature. | Photo Credit: Aditi Bhardwaj

Now, the next time you are planning your vacation, make a note and give yourself a new traveller identity, may be!

4 Movies Based on Solo Women Travellers

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I think one travels more usefully when they travel alone, because they reflect more.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Solo travelling indeed gives you the much needed time to ‘reflect more’ on your life. As women are always busy in making a balance between office work and household chores, they usually never think about taking out some ‘me’ time. So, it’s high time that all you women (read superwomen), start planning for your first solo trip! Because, what can be more amazing than coming back richer with new friends and interesting experiences to share? Still not convinced? Check out these 4 best travel movies and I bet after watching these, you’ll surely pack your bags to travel solo around the world. Read on.

1. Eat, Pray and Love (2010)

travellers
A scene from the movie Eat, Pray and Love

Based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert, this Julia Roberts starrer movie takes you through the transformational journey of Elizabeth, from a painful divorce to a quest of self-discovery. In her travel, she finds happiness by eating in Italy, praying in India, and falling in love in Bali. Follow your heart, woman!

Interesting Fact: The ashram in India where Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, actually spent 4 months, was replaced in the movie by Hari Mandir Ashram of Pataudi, Haryana, as shooting was not allowed in the former.

2. Tracks (2013)

travellers
A scene from the movie Tracks

This movie is an adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s memoir of the same name, chronicling her 9 months journey across the Western Australian desert in 1977. She trekked 1700 miles, with four camels and her loyal dog. To go on a solo trip, that too in the 70’s is an incredible inspirational real life story. Isn’t it? So what you are waiting for?

Interesting Fact: Though the actual trek had taken place in Western Australia, the movie was shot predominantly in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Why? The real locations mentioned in Davidson’s memoir were often inaccessible and distant for cast and crew to travel.

3. Queen (2014)

travellers
Kangana Ranaut in Queen

Shot over a period of 45 days in Paris, Amsterdam and Delhi, you all know the plot of this movie. A simple Delhi girl from a traditional family, sets off for a solo honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam after her fiancee calls off their marriage. This path breaking movie was commercially successful and the protagonist Kangana Ranuat won the ‘Best Actress’ trophy in both Filmfare Awards and National Film Awards. Queen shows how solo travelling can lead to a new perspective on life, and, above all, boost your self-confidence. So ladies, live your life on your own terms!

Interesting Fact: Remember the night club scene where the remixed version of Asha Bhonsle’s song Hungama Ho Gaya was played? This scene was pictured at a local club in Amsterdam called NL. The song was such a hit with the Dutch crew as well as the other guests that after the shoot, the club hosted its first ever Bollywood party, with the DJ spinning his own version of the song. This new version was used in the end credits of the film. Wow! That’s the magic of Bollywood songs!

4. Wild (2014)

travellers
A scene from the movie Wild

A biographical drama film, starring Reese Witherspoon, Wild is based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling 2012 memoir of the same name. The protagonist decides to go for a solo hiking trip along 1,100 miles of the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, to heal herself after the devastating loss of her mother. Already read the book? Watch movie now.

Interesting Fact: The young Cheryl is portrayed by Bobbi Lindstrom, the real-life daughter of Cheryl Strayed. Also, the real Cheryl Strayed makes a cameo in the film. See, if you can identify her!

Have I missed any favourite travel film of yours? Feel free to name them in the comments section. In the meantime, women travellers get set for a path-breaking solo trip.

5 Great Trips to Take under Rs. 5000 During Holi Long Weekend

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Second last week of March seems to be the most exciting one, isn’t it? Colourful Holi, Good Friday and the weekend following them! Hope you have already bracketed this L-O-O-O-N-G weekend in your office calender. If not, do it now! Pause for a moment, think for a while and imagine that four precious days are knocking at the door. Why to waste it, especially when weather is perfect for a vacation? Ummm! Not sure where to go? Wait! We have some recommendations for you, which are perfect to travel in the upcoming long weekend and that too under a budget of Rs. 5000. Yayyyy!

Chikmagalur near Bangalore

long weekend
Shravanabelagola on the way to Chikmagalur | Photo Credit: Pratik Dhar

From trekking trails to coffee plantations, from waterfalls to temples, from wildlife to interesting locals, Chikmagalur has everything for everyone. Nothing can beat the fun of golfing amid green landscape, pleasure of walking around aromatic coffee plantations and joy of trekking to Kalahasti Falls. UNESCO World Heritage sites like Shravanabelagola, Halebidu and Belur temples on the way to Chikmagalur are places to leave your footprints too.

Distance from Bangalore: 250 km approximately

Mode of transport: Ordinary and Volvo buses (fares start from Rs. 250 one way for a non AC seater bus)

Accommodation: As low as Rs. 811 per night

Suggested days of stay: 2nights/3days

Total trip cost: Under Rs. 5000

McLeodganj near Delhi

long weekend
Naddi village in McLeodganj | Photo Credit: Ujjal Deb Roy

Cheap bus ride, affordable hotels and pocket friendly food stalls, McLeodganj is the most affordable hill station near Delhi for a peaceful holiday during the Holi Good Friday long weekend. Every attraction in McLeodganj is just a walk away. So be there, visit the Dalami Lama Ashram, take a trek to Triund, camp overnight and relish the home-style Himachali and Tibetan meals, desserts, tempting coffee and affordable liquor and end your short trip on a sweet note. Book your stay!

Distance from Delhi: 478 km approximately

Mode of transport: Private and government Volvo buses (fares start from Rs.700 one way)

Accommodation: As low as Rs. 880 per night. Basic home-stays are available at cheap rates

Suggested days of stay: 3nights/4days

Total trip cost: Under Rs. 5000

Matheran near Mumbai

long weekend
Matheran toy train | Photo Credit: http://www.matheran.net.in/en/

A popular weekend getaway for Mumbaikars, the cool unruffled hill station of Matheran gives respite from hustle bustle of the city. The no-vehicles hill station makes way for horse rides and transports one to dreamy imaginations of bygone era. From peace to green landscape, from romance to fresh air, Matheran leaves one spoiled for choices at an affordable cost. The toy train ride from Neral station to Matheran is a journey to remember forever!

Distance from Mumbai: 126 km approximately by train 83 km approximately via Sion-Panvel Highway

Mode of transport: Train along with state transport buses that ply between Mumbai and Pune. Train fare is Rs. 260 per person one way

Accommodation: As low as Rs. 1,999 per night

Suggested days of stay: 2nights/3days

Total trip cost: Under Rs. 5000

Darjeeling near Kolkata

long weekend
Tea gardens and Kanchenjunga hills of Darjeeling | Photo Credit: Manasij Kanjilal

A vacation near Kolkata time and again reminds of Darjeeling, the sole hill station of West Bengal. The coming Holi Good Friday long weekend is the best time to plan a trip to the beautiful ‘land of Gorkhas’. Impressive Kanchunjenga mountains, Himalayan toy train, aromatic tea gardens and bundle of historical landmarks, Darjeeling is a paradise for mountain lovers. Take a trip to this paradise in an unbelievably low budget. Book now!

Distance from Kolkata: 570 km approximately by train and 632 km via NH 34

Mode of transport: Trains till New Jalpaiguri (minimum fare around Rs. 320 per person one way) and buses till Siliguri (fare starts from Rs.500 per person per way). Local taxis and buses are available from Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling

Accommodation: As low as Rs. 1,100 per night

Suggested days of stay: 3nights/4days

Total trip cost: Under Rs. 5000

Khajuraho near Bhopal

Long weekend
Temples of Khajuraho | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wnkwalker/7251861276/in/

Conjured by images and structures of timeless beauty and serenity, Khajoraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is just perfect for a weekend getaway near Bhopal. A land of countless Hindu temples, historic sculptures and artistic carving along with the best kept Panna National Park, Khajuraho can be explored in a pocket friendly budget. Reserve the Holi Good Friday long weekend for a historic trip to Khajuraho.

Distance from Bhopal: 308 km approximately by road from Bhopal

Mode of transport: Regular bus service between Bhopal and Khajuraho

Accommodation: As low as Rs. 600 per night

Suggested days of stay: 2nights/3days

Total trip cost: Under Rs. 5000

Gear up folks! Ditch the pocket pinch and get set for a splashing and vibrant Holi this time.

Take a Sabbatical and Travel Around the World

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Attention workaholics! It is time you all say ‘hello’ to sabbatical (a specified time away from work, usually unpaid).

Do you ever count the hours you put to business weekly? Do you ever count the times you attend a business meeting? I guess you don’t. Aww! It is next to impossible. Anyway, are you one of those who wishes to break all barriers, skip daily job routine and head for a holiday? If so, then stop thinking and apply for a sabbatical. All you need to do is, convince your boss and get him some goodies while you return. And you are set for an ‘out of the world’ break, a break that will make you travel around the world, explore the colourful landscape, appreciate the artificial marvels, taste local cuisines and bring you back with a bag of new experiences. Be it months or year, a sabbatical can do wonders. Here is why:

Break the 9-5 Job Routine

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ummorris/10932271603/

You spend the entire week coding or publishing news? When you are bogged down, your mind just needs to wander. Stop dragging and take a break. Only a sabbatical can help you come out from the clumsy work-stuffed world and give a chance to breathe the fresh air, walk through wet grass or wake up to the sunrise over mountains. A new life awaits for you dearie!

Rejuvenate

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/originalnames/2867912602/

A sabbatical is the best medicine for a stressed out mind. Not only does your body and mind get the rest it needs, but also you become more enthusiastic, refreshed and rejuvenated. The joy of travelling and the ‘partial break-up’ with official mails help meditate, relax and get boost up with positive energies of the world.

Find Your Passion

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62423300@N05/6171501623/

The busy office schedule might not permit to find your passion, but travel does. Give it a try, sit under the open sky, look around the landscape and think what you love, what you are born for. Who knows that you might return back only to discover that your only passion is travel?

Fall in Love with Yourself

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89362689@N08/8130189094/in/

It is you who should love yourself the most and rest of the world will follow. Time off, break from work, a long holiday, adventure games, new people and different culture.. everything make you happy. And at the end you will love yourself all the more, because it is only about ‘me time’. Not bad right?

You Get More Creative

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12782943@N02/16456007166/

A fresh mind brings new ideas and improves creativity. But this is possible only when you take a break from job and head for a long pending vacation. New place, new people and new culture are instigators to your creative trait.

Make New Friends

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/captainclokey/4648508800/

Life is short and better not stay alone. You might have a bunch of friends in office and neighbourhood, but what about making some new? Travel helps you come across lots of interesting people from varied cultures and communities. Some can even get their ‘friends forever’ and an all new Friendship Day might be just the next party you prepare for.

Explore the World

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: Sayan Nath

Holidaying for a long period across different cities and countries is the best way to know the world. From architectural edifices to natural wonders, from religious diversity to cultural milieu, the world has so much to explore. From man to wildlife, you get to interact with all. So why sit back and slog over the computer? Apply for a sabbatical and you will have bagful of stories to cherish forever.

A Guaranteed Job when You Come Back

If you have taken a sabbatical from the ongoing job, then why worry? Your boss would love to get you back with a refreshed mind and body and definitely, bundle of new experiences to share with him.

Age is on Your Side

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92684950@N05/12221868313/

Work made you wiser than teenage self and by now you must have learned a bit of the big world. Luggage packing, sitting by the train window, learning local language and photographing the landscape, all will take you through the best phases of life. You are young so it is good to add some adventure too. I am sure you will appreciate these rather than repenting later on.

No Regrets at the End

Sabbatical
Photo Credit: Debatree Saha

Your feet is what takes you to the corners of the globe. Everything has its time and when you grow old, I promise you will never regret for the sabbatical you took for a leisurely vacation amid the wild, far off in the mountains, by the serene seaside or in a historic city.

Gift yourself a mini-retirement. A doctor might not prescribe a holiday, but the cure it gives, is way beyond scientific drugs. Set off! Get out! Wander! Enjoy! This is the time!