Friday, November 30, 2007

Kaiga Trip - Three Water falls, Forest, Nuclear Plant...

Route :- Karwar-40km-Kadra-5km-Mallapur-16km-Kaiga -via-Hartuga-15km-Baare-6km-Maavalli(Yellapur Taluk)

It had rained the preceding night, when at 3a.m. my friend Devrath Hanehali, Devu for short, landed up at Karwar Railway Station, for this visit. Left Karwar with a tank full petrol in my LML Vespa NV at 9-15a.m. Stopped at Gotegali village to view a bunch of kids enjoying their holidays, flying a kite, and then headed through Kadra village took the Kaiga Cross at Mallapur. Reached the Kaiga Check Post, where one road heads into the Nuclear Power Plant and the other heads up the hills to Maavalli, which is the subject of this trip. One has to pass before the Kadra Dam, and

After a brief "check-up" with the Police at the check post, we started up the hill on the Vespa....
We saw this view of the Nuclear Power Plant from the top... Looks so insecure, if this is what our system means by "National Security" then breaching it may be kids'play.. It is said that the road will be widened for free movement of traffic, and then God save us from Terror threats !!
The Road is a single Road, ravaged by heavy rainfall, and as one heads up the road, you can come across three water-falls on the road side, and one huge waterfall that is slightly down the road. The place is infested with blood-sucking Leeches, that appear from nowhere to draw blood, and you wont even know it.

Along the road you can find three pristine waterfalls, and as you near the peak of the mountain, there is a huge waterfall that you will come to know by hearing its roar... Devu had been to this waterfall even before the Nuclear Power Plant was completed, and this is said to be visible from the Plant. The Views there are capable to making it to your Desktop Screens as wallpapers. Such is the pristine greenery and natural beauty of the Rain Forest.
As you reach the plateau (main land) you are immediately greeted by paddy fields (it was October) and then later the Village starts. This is a massive country-side house that we came across just beside the Road. The house not less than 4000sq.ft carpet area is owned by a Farmer - Bella Kunabi. Check out the slide show for more pictures of the house.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Package Your Passion Into Your Adventure Travel Tours? - by Joyce Leong

Ideas to help you on thinking and planning for your adventure travel vacation.

People often ask: What would you think of a certain adventure travel tour? But it order to answer to this question, you will need to boil down to one thing: What is your definition of adventure?

If you were to flip through and look into the dictionary for the meaning of adventure, you will find out that it could mean anything from an unusual or exciting experience to taking a bold risk just for fun. Though everyone's idea of adventure is different, but it should not be deviate too far from the explanation.

What is Your Definition of Adventure Travel Tour?
So, the first step is to identify what adventure means to you? Like I said, everyone's definition of adventure is not going to be similar. A person may think that having to tour around haunted houses or bird watching is an adventure, while others may think that sky diving or bungee jumping can be considered as an adventure. Hence it is pretty much on how you would definite your adventure which may be different from others.

What is Your Passion?
Before getting too far, ask yourself what is your passion? What would you like to do? Think for a moment, what would you think of as a passion that is appealing enough to turn into an adventurous vacation?
Let's say for an example, if you love to go trekking. And most often, you would only be going hiking in the forest of your state or within your country. This is your passion. How about having it together with your vacation, going beyond the forests in your country? It is going to be a different experience altogether.

Packing Your Passion With Adventure Travel Vacation
Now you have found exactly what your passion is, we will translate this passion into an adventure travel tour. Here are some examples that you could take into consideration for your adventure travel package.

If you love backpacking, your adventure could take you into Appalachian Mountains or even to Machu Pichhu in Peru.
If you are into archaeological or culinary interests, you can take up adventure travel tours to the ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico, or exploit on the cooking classes on a vineyard tour in France.
Now, if these do not interest you, and being a sporty person, you prefer more exciting and thrilling action adventure travel tours, these are what you can think of - extreme sports adventure travel tours.
How about going for a ride against the white water rapids at the Colorado River? Otherwise, think about the excitement that you are going to get from the cage diving with Great White sharks in Australia or Africa.
Regardless of your, your interest is, adventures that you would like to venture, or extreme sport that you like to try out, there is always an adventure waiting just for you.

Source :-

10 Most Affordable Extreme Things To Do Before You Die - by Nelson Doyle

Wow, get an adrenaline rush without having to sell your firstborn to go on a vacation of a lifetime.
Everyone deep down inside wants to experience the thrills of adventure before they die and these “10 most affordable extreme things to do before you die” are the ultimate adventures for the average person. Staring death in the face does not have to cost you your firstborn child anymore.

NASCAR is considered to be one of the most widely viewed sporting competitions in the USA and due to its popularity a cottage industry was created to fuel the ultimate fan demands. Now fans can visit a racing school to learn how the car(s) work and learn how to actually drive them under racing conditions. After several hours of classroom time and a few quick laps around the racetrack with an instructor, then you will be let loose on the track to take your solo laps. Can you even imagine the pure excitement you will get pushing the petal to the metal and racing around the racetrack at 160 mph.
There are racing schools located all over the United States and prices do vary depending on which racing package that the customer chooses. Prices typically range from $399.00 (8 laps) - $2899.00 (100 solo laps) and there is even a package for the people who would prefer to ride and not do any driving starting at $129.00.
This extreme sport is not only affordable, but also extremely dangerous in an exciting way.

Skydiving is a high-speed aerial sport that exposes its participants to the real risk of injury and death, however it is this kind of risk coupled with the sensation of diving towards the earth at over 200 mph makes this extreme sport worth doing.
Prices do vary depending on what package the client selects, but you can expect to cough up about $85 to $200 (for a static line jump) and up to $300 for a tandem jump (that's with an instructor attached to your back). Skydiving equipment, airplane ride and instruction is usually included in these prices. Always ask travel agents or skydiving instructors about all associated costs before reserving a seat on the plane.

Bloukrans is the largest and highest bridge in Africa, the third highest bridge and the largest single span arch bridge in the world. The Guinness World Records has recognized the Bloukrans Bridge as the Highest Commercially Operating Bungee in the World suspended at 216 meters (708.6614 feet) over the Bloukrans River.
Bungee jumping from these heights requires a life and death attitude even before stepping out onto the specially designed catwalk located just beneath the road surface. Whether you decide to make the leap on your own accordance or you are like me and will need a gentle nudge off of the platform, the heart-pounding rush of adrenaline must be unimaginably freeing to the soul.
Taking a leap of faith like this is not all that expensive if you are already visiting Africa. Again, prices do very depending on which package is selected, but an inexpensive package generally starts at R580.00 (USD $85.08466 currency rate on October 09, 2007).
More about this bridge, then checkout this site that I had found while doing research. After I discovered David Barrett's website and blog, I was totally impressed and engaged with his travels and experiences that he shares with the world.

If you are a boating enthusiast, then taking a Shot Over Jet Boat Ride is absolutely an insane water thrill ride. The Shot Over Jet Boat hydroplanes across water only a few inches deep, barely avoiding sharp rocks and canyon walls all the while reaching top speeds of 55 mph. You tell me that this ride would not be a total mind-blowing ride of a lifetime.
Not including travel expenses to New Zealand, reserving a seat on board a Shot Over Jet Boat starts at $69.00 (for children 5 to 15 years old) and $109 (For Adults) and for more information go to

Whitewater rafting is one of the most thrilling water activities on the planet. The Ocoee River is no tame beast by any stretch of the imagination as rafters are repeatedly faced with a new set of terrifying challenges around every bend. Experienced whitewater rafters are the only ones allowed to paddle this river solo and everyone else must attend a short safety course usually lasting about one-hour, then everyone is issued life jackets and paddles, before boarding the raft. A raft can carry 6 or 7 people including the river guide, but some outfitters do have larger boats that carry more people.
“The Ocoee River offers two separate sections of big waves, large drops and surging whitewater. This Tennessee River was the site for the whitewater canoe and kayaking events of the 1996 Olympic games. The Ocoee River produces the most continuous stretch of Class III and IV rapids of any river in the country”, according to Rolling Thunder River Company.
Price Range: $38.00 per person to $80.00 per person (depending on package type)

Hiking in general is not considered to be an extreme sport, but that old clique goes right out the window as soon as hiking the entire distance of the Appalachian Trail comes into play. The Appalachian Trail covers a distance of 2,175 miles from Maine to Georgia and hiking the entire length of the trail is a mammoth feat of endurance and skill. Hiking this distance usually takes six months navigating various types of terrains and overcoming all that Mother Nature has to throw at you along the way. Only 1 out of every 4 hikers ever finish this extreme hiking experience.
Depending on how much hiking and camping gear that the hikers already own, then the cost of this trip will vary from $3000.00 to $5000.00 per individual hiker to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Along the trail hikers can visit towns and cities that dot the landscape and take a hot shower, purchase more supplies and send out mail.

Flying like a bird and soaring through the sky while skillfully navigating the unseen wind is one of the coolest places to be. Hang gliding is a sport that can cost an estimated $6000.00 in training to gain the required skills to fly as high as 10,000 feet, but there are places around the country that offer tandem flights for as little as $120.00. This is an adventure that will deliver the adrenaline at an affordable price.

This is undeniably one of the most insanely fast land sports (without wheels) that an individual can do. Blazing across a frozen lake bed at speeds approaching 100 mph riding on nothing more than a blade-supported sailboat, just a few inches from the ground sounds frighteningly exciting. Let's not even think about wiping out at these high speeds.
Equipment Rental Price Range: $50.00 (half-day rental) - $120.00 (full-day rental)

Whoosh to the right and swoosh to the left and lift-off over that slope. Tuck the arms in and bend the legs and speed over the cold, white snow at over 60 mph. Ok, maybe not that fast just starting out, but plenty of spills along the way while getting use to your ski legs. The great thing about skiing is that there is a bunny hill for the beginners and that there will always be that one guy who will blindly try the big hill, before he's ready. Look out for that tree!
Price rates vary according the ski package selected. Skiing still decently affordable for most middle income Americans and tourists.

We have all seen those crazy people who chase after devastatingly powerful tornados and storms. Usually parked a few hundred yards from an approaching funnel cloud, then slowly and suddenly a tornado starts to twist the storm clouds about and the mighty wind bouts about everything that stands in its way. Now this experience can be yours for the low price of $2500 for 6 fun-filled days of tempting fate one tornado at a time.
Yes, it is totally true. There are several companies on the Internet that offer storm chasing tours that are designed for the public. Of course, these are professional storm chasing outfits and safety is the number one goal, so relax and enjoy a storm.
Source :-

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

White Water Rafting in India


If you want to get some kick, some change in life, or just to have some fun, river rafting can satisfy most of your desires. If you have the zeal, then go for the challenge and show others that you can do it. White-water rafting is not for fashionable thrill seekers, but for those who thrive on hair-soaking risks, which keep the adrenalin flowing overtime! The thrill of rushing down fast-flowing mountain streams a froth with huge waves, dashing against dangerous boulders and dizzy rapids, while you cling for dear life dependent on a fragile, inflatable rubber raft or dinghy.

Battle with the raging rapids and torrents as the rivers flow through picturesque mountains and icy waters froth over the boulders and cut their way through deep gorges. Or, alternately, sit back and enjoy floating on the river.
White-water rafting has come of age in India. With its numerous rivers, mostly in the Himalayas, providing perfect destinations for this sport, India has a natural advantage over the other countries in the world calling the adventurous in you to unwind yourself.

River rafting as an adventure sports is not quite old for India; in fact, most of the people have come to know about it only in the last two decades.

General Information
White-water rafting is a high-altitude, water adventure

Levels of Difficulty
Rivers are graded on a scale of 1 to 6 depending on the state of the water and the skill required to navigate them-level 1 being for the beginners while level 6 for persons who have lost love for life.

Physical Requirements
Persons suffering from a weak heart, epilepsy, diabetes, or any other serous ailments or expecting mothers are not permitted on the rapids. The lower age limit for white-water rafting is 14 years on all sections expect the float trips where it is relaxed to 10 years. Non-swimmers may be restricted to certain sections of the river on the advice of the river guide

The main equipment is a raft made of special materials, which lend both strength and lightness. Usually, rafts have inflatable compartments with vulcanized rubber bodies reinforced by nylon fabric and neoprene. This enables the raft to go over sharp rocks without tearing. The raft is commonly made available by the clubs and organizers through which you participate in this program. Other kits include life jackets and helmets.

You need to carry with you a sleeping bag, sneakers, light synthetic quick drying clothes for the river, swimsuit, shorts and T-shirts, sun shades/glasses, suntan lotion, a torch and two pairs of shoes.

The mighty river Ganga plays host to river running. The 70-km stretch from Devprayag to Rishikesh is the venue of this relatively young sport. In the last few years, river rafting has become increasingly popular and several camps have come up along this stretch. The rapids have been graded according to the difficulty of the run.

Uttar Pradesh has many other sites where one can go river rafting. In Garhwal, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, the main tributaries of the Ganga, meet at Devprayag, where their foaming waters provide excellent river-rafting opportunities. As the Ganga traverses down from Devprayag, it offers some fine stretches for the amateur rafter. In Kumaon, the river Sharda (or Kali Ganga) flows down from Nepal to meet the Gori River at Jauljivi. This stretch of water is suited for more experienced river rafters, as the rapids are grade 4 or above. However, in the lower reaches, the waters are calmer and even novices can enjoy this stretch.

Other sites for white-water rafting that have been identified include Barkot to Lakha Mandal and Damta to Yamuna Bridge on the river Yamuna, Mori to Tuni on the river Tons, Kalisor to Srinagar and Srinagar to Bagwan on river Alaknanda, Ghansali to Gadolia on the river Bhilangana, Chandrapuri to Rudraprayag on the river Mandakini, and many stretches along the river Bhagirathi, both for professionals and amateurs.

River rafting is also organized in the other parts of India. The Indus and Zanskar rivers, which flow through the arid ranges of Ladakh, offer gentler trips with gradations ranging from one to two. River Chenab has a 130-km stretch from Kishtwar to Ramban where the rapids are graded from one to six.

Sikkim also offers good river stretches for rafting. The Teesta and Rangeet are two major rivers on which river rafting is possible in this tiny state of eastern India. Two major stretches are Makha-Sirwani-Bardang-Rongpo on the Teesta and Sikip-Jorethang-Majitar-Melli on the Rangeet.

Best Time
There is no fixed time to indulge in this sport. India being a large country, most of the rivers provide different times of the year to participate in it. Practically you have a stretch of around 8 months starting from May to November to participate in your favorite pastime.
Alaknanda October to November
Bhagirathi Mid-September to mid-May
Ganga Mid-September to mid-May
Beas May to June
Indus July to September
Zanskar July to September

River rafting can be a child’s play if you know how to go for it but it can also become a devil’s game if you don’t. Safety is the key to a successful river-rafting expedition. Don’t go for it in a hurry. If you are a first timer, start with Grade 1 and learn the tricks of the trade under the guidance of expert rafters. Believe it, this may prove to be the experience of a lifetime. The raft is navigated by an experienced helmsman who is familiar with the topography. Sometimes, every member pitches in the rowing in order to match the river’s might. Though beginners can also enjoy white-water rafting, all precautions such as wearing life jackets and crash helmet must be taken. The guides and organizers usually make all back-up arrangements for evacuation and medical attention in case of a mishap.

Indian River Running Association organizes Four Square White-Water Rafting Challenge every year in the months of March/April at Rishikesh. Many teams from all over India participate in the competition to give a display of their talents. Any person who is medically fit can participate in this competition, by paying an entry fee of Rs. 1,000.

No formal training is required to participate in this sport. All you need is to know a bit of swimming (even this can be dispensed with if you are not going to participate in grades above 2 or 3) and some amount of madness! The Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports provide some basic courses in water sports at Manali, but they are not exactly structured for this sport
Permits and Government Agencies
Many regions in India have been put under restricted area list and special permits are required for undertaking white-water rafting in these areas. In most cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs, consulates/embassies/high commissions of Government of India and foreign residents’ registration offices can provide these permits. Given below is a list of these areas in the states concerned with names of the authorities to contact for permits.

Himachal Pradesh
1. Poo-Khab-Sumdho-Dhankar-Tabo Gompa-Kaza circuit
2. Morang-Dabling circuit

The district magistrate and director general of police of the state are entitled to grant these permits, apart from the regular channels listed above. The Special Commissioner (Tourism) and Resident Commissioner, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Bhawan, New Delhi also grant such permits. Inner-line permits for the districts of Lahaul and Spiti can be taken from Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Block II, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003. Special permits are required for trekking only. Individual tourists are not permitted to visit these areas.

1. Gangtok
2. Rumtek
3. Phodong
4. Pemayangtse Khecheperi
5. Tashigang

Individual tourists are permitted in these circuits. A maximum of 15 days is allowed. The state government, if necessary, can grant an extension of 15 days on request in the written form.

6. Dzongri in West Sikkim

Individual tourists are not permitted to visit this place. Tourists groups can stay for a period of 16 days.

7. Tsangu (Changu Lake in East Sikkim)

Individual tourists are not permitted. Permit is valid for day visit only. Tourist groups are expected to travel on identified tour circuits only.

8. Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Changthang, Lachung and Yumthang

Individual tourists are not permitted in these circuits. Tourist groups are allowed to stay for five days only.

For more information on getting permits inside Sikkim, tourists may contact Commissioner and Resident Deputy Director (Tourism), Sikkim House, 12 Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (Phone: 011-3010747, 3013026).

In Gangtok, one can contact the offices of Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, and Secretary (Tourism) of the Government of Sikkim.

Jammu and Kashmir

1. Khaltse Subdivision (Drokahpa Area): Khaltse-Dunkhar-Skroduchan-Hanudo-Biana-Dha
2. Nubra Subdivision
a) Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar-Tirit up to Panasik
b) Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar up to Hunder
c) Leh-Sabo-Digar La-Digar-Labab-Khungru Gompa-Tangar (only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by state police personnel)
3. Nyona Subdivision
a) Leh-Upshi-Chumathang-Mahe-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Korzok
b) Leh-Upshi-Debring-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Korzok
c) Leh-Karu-Chang La-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spankmik
d) Pangong Lake up to Spankmik

The Ministry of Home Affairs and the district magistrates of the respective areas grant permits.


1. Always verify the credentials of the organizers: whether they are recognized or not and how much experience they have in organizing such events. Try to go for the operators who are recognized by the government.
2. Your navigator should have enough experience of conducting such expeditions and he should be qualified enough.
3. An oar boat can generally take a maximum of eight persons; do not try to accommodate more people on to the boat, as it can prove hazardous.
4. Try to study the river stretch from the land to decide on the grade.
5. You should have enough rations to survive and all the regular medicines that may be required in the journey. A first-aid box should also be at hand and 2-3 persons of the group must know how to handle if some accidents occur.
6. All the members of the group should be briefed about environmental protection and its importance. Do not use detergents or any chemical in the river; do not cut any tree, or leave anything that degrades the quality of the environment.
7. Rescue jackets and safety helmets should be worn by all with enough backup resources and medical facilities on the bank.
8. Do not defecate in the 30-m range of the river at places where no toilet facilities are available. Try your best to bury or cover the waste.
9. Avoid breathing when you are going under a rapid or when you are submerged.
10. Do not wear synthetic clothes, saris, or dupattas that may create problems during the rafting. Try to wear natural cotton products that will prove helpful.