Friday, 29 September 2017

Top 10 Cannot Miss Monsoon Destinations by Bhramar Travel Group Founder - Anup Malandkar #TravelTips - The Happy Getaway 2017

Top 10 Cannot Miss Monsoon Destinations by Bhramar Travel Group Founder - Anup Malandkar #TravelTips

It's a new rainy weekend. And I'm sure you are looking for new reasons to get out of your skin and do something you've never pushed yourself to do before. And we got you covered like always. 

For this weekend's edition I reached out to my dear friend Anup Malandkar who is the founder of the Bhramar Travel group. He is a great leader and travel enthusiast. Organizing trips, doing recces and leading the troops you'll always find him smiling, sharing history and antidote's of how to become an ideal traveler. After a lot of pestering and convincing he has finally given me his personalised and suggestive top 10 Monsoon Destinations that he thinks you should visit these monsoon's. 

So without any further a due, here are Anup Malandkar's Top 10 Monsoon Destinations that you cannot miss visiting during this monsoons:

1) Korigad

Korigad can be visited in any season. The best time to see fort is from October to May. There are heavy rains in this region; however this fort attracts many people in rainy season, but due to fog and rains you may not be able to see the beauty around this fort.

2) Rajmachi

Rajmachi Fort is a popular destination for nature lovers, trekkers and for outdoor campers. In rainy season from mid-June to mid-October, this region is all the more beautiful with clouds, sparkling silvery water falls, streams, lush green forests and meadows.

3) Naneghat

Malshej was at its best in the Monsoon you can enjoy all the 3 seasons in one day at Malshej. It goes from Sunny - Cold - Raining in no time there are hundreds of waterfall adjoined the ghat were a lot of people are picnicking. MTDC resort has the best location
to stay.

4) Kothaligad - Peth

There is a small temple and large cave at the base and a chimney like tunnel to the top of the fort. This pinnacle is carved from inside forming a staircase reaching the top. There is a tank of water(rock cut water cistern) at some distance from the cave and another one at the top of the fort[1]. The stone is a single black expanse reaching till the Peth village standing on the fertile soil with abundant natural resources for water and farming.

5) Peb - Vikatgad

Trekking near Mumbai to Peb Fort or Vikatgad around 4 km from Neral Station a very enjoyable trek in Monsoon season passing through a local village, waterfalls this trek offers all ladders, rock patches, caves, dense forest, ridge walking. Trek can be combined with Matheran visit or you can trek till Panorama point Matheran till here. Excellent for new trekkers a village guide or guided tour will make the trek more enjoyable.


The fort is a trekking destination noted for the large doors, the temple of 'Trimbakeshwar Mahadev', a water tanks (seven water tanks) and some Satvahan caves. Trek organisers also commend the views of Pawna dam and the nearby forts of Tung, Lohagad and Visapur. There is Pawana lake at the summit. 

7) Sudhagad

Sudhagad is just approximately 10 kms from Pali village, where another fort Sarasgad is situated. Existence of this fort is since 2nd century BC. Thanale Caves and Khadsamble caves are also nearby. Fort was known as Bhorapgad after the presiding deity Bhorai Devi. Actual rulers were Bhor dynasty. Bhamani Sultanate captured it in 1436 and then Marathas in 1657 who named it to “Sudhagad”. Very large plateau on top with numerous lakes and ponds in rainy season. Places that can be visited on fort are Bhorai Devi Mandir, Pant Sachiv Wada, Chor Darwaja, Takmak Tok, Shiv Mandir. Places that can be seen around Tail Baila, Sarasgad, Korigad.

8) Lohgad

Lohagad is part of the Western Ghats. It rises to an elevation of 1,033 m (3,389 ft) above sea level, and is located to the southwest of the larger Visapur fort. The range divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavana rivers. Lohagad overlooks the Pavana reservoir, located to the south of the mountain. The hill extends to the northwest to a fortified spur, called Vinchukata (Scorpion's tail) because of its resembling shape. The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good condition and reasonably intact.
The fort as seen from its base during monsoon

During the monsoon, the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes particularly wet with growing moss. The roads and trails leading to the hill are quite slippery at this time of the year and precautions are necessary to be taken while venturing the routes.

9) Harishchandra Gad

 Harishchandragad is a beautiful hill fort in the Ahmednagar region and a very popular trekking destination in the western ghats. The fort mountain along with, TOLAR KHIND, MALSHEJ GHAT offers a lot for trekkers. The main attraction here is the KONKAN KADA which offers a spectacular view of Konkan. During the rainy season you'd be walking in the clouds on this fort.

10) Avchitgad

The southern part of Konkan is adorned by natural beauty. The city of Roha is situated on the banks of Kundalika River. Avchitgad is situated in the mountain ranges around Roha. This region is beautiful, and the fort is one of the rich forts of Maharashtra. Dense woods along the mountain have made it bit difficult to ascend the top.

All excited to go? So pack your bags and get exploring. The monsoon's don't last all year. So don't waste time. 

Here is a big shout out to Bhramar Travel group.                                                                            Do visit their page:
And give them some love as they have many trips planned for the coming months that I can assure you, that you will enjoy. And thank you once again Anup, this write up would have not been possible without you. 

Hope you enjoyed the read don't forget to share it with your friends and leave us some feedback and suggestions as to which places you think are the top 10 cannot be missed monsoon destinations. We would love to know.

Hope you have a safe, adventurous and memorable weekend!

Edited & Currated by Alvin Anthony

Please do share, comment and subscribe. Happy Travelling!

The Happy Getaway Network

Twitter @thehappygetaway

Disclaimer: All images used are property of Bhramar Travel group and are used for representational purposes only. Please do check with your guide and weather updates before planning a trip to any of the above locations. Be safe.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Top 10 Ways to Be an Eco-Friendly Traveler #TravelTips - The Happy Getaway 2017

Top 10 Ways to Be an Eco-Friendly Traveler #TravelTips - THG 2017

If you’ve ever been a bag packer or traveler, you may have realized how united and singular the tune to the environment and travel is. Each step on to a new mountain or experience is always wrapped around the bliss of the never ending fragrance of green. But it’s been quite upsetting though to see many a times, the disregard and lack of care shown by travelers during trips and treks towards the environment.

The distance from being eco-friendly and taking the environment for granted arises through the feeling of “someone else will clean it” or that “me alone being environment friendly won’t change the world” that makes a traveler seem more like an outsider, even though that is exact opposite of what we stand for. I believe if each of us does out part we could live in a much more happier and greener society. And down below you will find my Top 10 ways of being a more responsible and environment friendly traveler.

10. Don’t be a Plucker

We all know you love plucking flowers and making art from leaves, but the environment is alive and vibrant. And if all of us begin to pluck everything that blossoms then we would not have a lifeline that goes beyond a few days.

So unless they have already had their time and have made their way down, it is not advisable to be a plucker, which will make your quite a sucker!

09. Carry a Garbage Bag

We often complain that Oh, I would have thrown it in the right place if I would see a dustbin. But let’s be fair to find a Dustbin in the middle of nowhere or on a mountain is close to impossible. So do your part, always make sure you carry a garbage or a waste bag which you, or someone who wasn’t as responsible as you could use.

 08. Report Unlawful Environmental Activities

Many a times on our trips or journeys we may come across an illegal or not so environment friendly activity. Like hunting, cutting of trees or burning of crops but we often hesitate to get ourselves involved or take a step. Well, or we don’t know how we could. The 8th tip is top take the effort to find out, or try. This maybe something that the environment can’t fight against (Well, cause they can’t speak) but we can, and if we don’t try to notify the authorities or do what’s right. Then who will?

07. Avoid Trespassing into Reserved Greenland’s

It may seem like a cool idea or story to tell when you went past those fences into that reserved forest or territory and did some exploring. But sadly it may cost you or the Greenland some amount of life in return. As most reserved lands are protection shields to wildlife and plant’s that are at risk. Therefore at that point human intervention may not be the most advisable without prior consent or permission. So please, don’t let your need to do something unlawful cost the environment, something it needs.

06. Refrain from Smoking & Liquor Consumption

I know, a cigarette in the middle of nowhere with a bottle of beer may seem like a scene from a movie. But it could lead to throwing of bottle’s leading to littering and starting of a fire due to improper putting of the cigarette. So please be vigilant and try to avoid any unfavorable occurrences.

05. Respect the Environment & Surrounding While Travelling

We often just stamp over plants or smash over ant hills. There is sense of responsibility or respect shown to nature or the life that it pays shelter too. There is a need as a top 5 reason to be humble and more caring of the surrounding to insure that you are a protector and well wisher instead of being a threat and careless bad doer. So respect the environment and it will respect you.

04. Lift All the Waste on Your Way of Other Travelers

You may feel if you do well and carry a waste bag and collect your own waste that should give you a clean chit. But to be fair, that sadly is not enough. There is a need for picking up other travelers waste as well on your way. To ensure that you being responsible can hopefully cover up for all the lack of responsibility your co-travelers and explorers show.

Related image

03. Avoid Using Plastic Bottle’s & Disposable Items

It may seem easier to just carry a plastic bag or an old Pepsi bottle instead of taking the effort to take a paper bag or a non disposable bottle. But it is quite the strain when it comes to carrying disposable items that you will soon need to be disposed into the open because it will add to your back weight and sooner or later you may take the convenient option of littering which would not help the environment in any way.

02. Support Plantation Drives & Animal Welfare Programs by NGOs

One way of being an Eco-Friendly Traveler is by supporting others that are doing good work in this space. Few organizations that have frequent campaigns and initiatives to help the environment are . Do support, donate, volunteer and be involved as their cause is to protect our home. An as an Eco-friendly traveler that must be our duty and agenda as well.

01. Initiate Clean Up’s & Cleanliness Drives as Part of Your Trip Itinerary

It is great to see other NGOs take initiatives but the change will only begin if each one of us begins to take the initiative to do our part. To start to incorporate nature friendly activities and drives as part of our trips to ensure that we are not just enjoying the beauty of travelling but are also helping preserve its beauty.

I hope you enjoyed this read, please do share inputs and suggestions if you feel there is something I have missed out and could add to this list. I love volunteering and giving back to the society and this write up is an effort to connect it to a passion of mine that is to travel. Please do, do your parts and share this write up with as many people as you can so that they can become more responsible travelers.

Hope you have a safe, adventurous and eco-friendly weekend!

Edited & Written by Alvin Anthony

Please do share, comment and subscribe. Happy Travelling!

The Happy Getaway Network

Twitter @thehappygetaway

Disclaimer: All images used are Stalk/Borrowed images and do not belong to the blog, they are used for representation purposes only and belong to the rightful owners.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Travelling Perspective: By A Psychologist - Danielle Pereira #TravelTips - The Happy Getaway 2017

Travelling Perspective: By A Psychologist
By Danielle Pereira #TravelTips 

All through my journey as a traveler, I’ve always come across people from different walks of life who have questioned, reasoned and stood up for a point of view, and what they felt about travel. Travel is good, bad or unimportant are mostly explanations and beliefs one expresses based on their own knowledge, exposure and majorly through the lens that they have been accustomed to wear. This may defer from person to person, but I’ve always wondered what does a Psychologist or Therapist think about travel? Is it the best form of organic therapy? Or is it a way of pushing things away and not dealing with them?    
(You wonder too, right? You can thank me, post reading this.)

So to unravel this and a lot more, I decided to get different perspectives on travel from individuals from different worlds. And to start off with this edition, I have interviewed my friend who has studied and learnt psychology all her life. She is a practising therapist, and did not want me to give her a formal introduction. But thank you Danielle Pereira, this write up would have not been possible without your support, time and insights. Appreciate it. All the pictures, and inputs you see below are unfiltered and contributed solely by Danielle. So without further a due, here is some clarity on A Psychologists Perspective on Travel.

During a therapy session when you hear the word "travel", what is the first thing that you think of? 

       If a client mentions a love of travel, that they have already travelled a lot or that they look forward to travelling in the future, it is a positive sign. To want to travel means that you are willing to open yourself up to new experiences, to broaden your horizons and see the world from different perspectives, all of which are signs of good mental health. 

How essential do you think travel is for the mental wellbeing?

      As human beings, we are what we know. For a person who has not travelled, their knowledge is limited and thus in a way their mental make-up is limited by the boundaries in which they have kept themselves. A good example is how prejudices and stereotypes develop when a person isn't exposed to anything or anyone outside their own in-group. Problems also seem larger than they really are if you have a limited concept of how vast the world is around you. 

People often say that you shouldn't run away from your problems. You think travel is an unhealthy escape?

   Travel isn't an escape, because the notion of travel involves going somewhere and eventually coming home. If you leave for a new place and never come back, that does not really count as 'travel'. Travelling may actually help with problem solving in a healthy way by giving a person time to regroup and clear some mental space, or learn new coping strategies, or see their issues in perspective when they have distance from them. 

Do you think that someone facing depression could benefit through travel?

  Travelling could help with depression by providing new positive experiences, and breaking unhealthy behaviour cycles that depressed persons often get stuck in. It may be difficult, however, to find pleasure in travelling if one is clinically depressed. 

Some say travel is an organic and more natural form of therapy. You agree? What is your opinion on it?

I would say travelling is a healthy activity, but I would hesitate to call it a "therapy" because as a professional, I use "therapy" as a clinical term though it has become widely misused in recent years.

Things to keep in mind if you’re facing psychological or mental challenges and opting to travel as an outlet.

Be completely sure of your decision to travel. Keep backups in place in case it becomes too much for you and you need to go home quickly. Travelling is also stressful in terms of the number of things to keep in mind, completely new environments that may be uncomfortable and situations that may be unsafe for a tourist. Planning and being prepared is the best way to deal with this. Travelling with someone experienced and capable is also a good option.

What is the gap between Alternative Therapy (Organic/Travelling) & Actual Therapy? And how can one realise one would need to shift from one to another?

I would say there is a “large” gap. One form of therapy has a scientific basis and the other doesn’t. Doing something that temporarily makes you happy isn’t a substitute for proper treatment that is well thought out and structured. One would not expect travel to cure malaria, why would it cure a mental illness?

These are few of the queries that I had with regards to travel and psychological perspective on it. I agree to most of the points made by her, I feel too that travel could lead to anxiety or stress at times and it is important to reduce that factor and plan well to ensure that it is more of an enjoyable affair to head out than another worrisome task for you to execute. It helps you disconnect and spend time with yourselves which is quite hard to do these days. So I think travel may not be professionally called therapy, but it surely does help a person find and mend oneself, if panned out well.

But what do you think? You think travel is a good form of unwinding or do you think otherwise? Would love to know your thoughts on this write up and do feel free to leave queries and other questions if any for Danielle and I would surely get you a response from her. Thank you once again Danielle for contributing pictures and insights, hope to have you as a part of this blog again soon. And I hope for the readers, this helps you get motivated to go out and travel. To resolve any uncertainties (if you did have any) about about psychology and travel and perspectives from a new world.

Happy Travelling This Weekend!

Be Safe. Stay Positive. Stay Happy J

Edited & Written by Alvin Anthony

Please do share, comment and subscribe. Happy Travelling!

The Happy Getaway Network

Twitter @thehappygetaway

Friday, 1 September 2017

Explore an Abandoned Aircraft This Weekend near Mumbai! #TravelSecrets - The Happy Getaway 2017

Explore an Abandoned Aircraft
This Weekend near Mumbai!

If you love exploring and finding new places, this read is meant for you. It’s always quite an adventure to venture into the unseen and find things that are lost or forgotten. And it’s a treat when you stumble upon these things unexpectedly without any prior notice. This week, The Happy Getaway brings you a guide as to how you can get to an Abandoned Aircraft of Sahara not too far away from Mumbai left at the Marshy Grass lands of the outskirts of the city. If you love exploring the unknown and discovering the lost, then this point is surely a destination, you’d like to jot down in your diary.

So, I’ll tell you how I stumbled upon this place, in the first place. I was off a few days ago to visit a waterfall in Khapoli, with a few others. And on my way on the left hand side we suddenly noticed a huge Aircraft parked in the middle of the fields. At first we wondered if this was from an accident like in the movies, where people were stranded and needed to be rescued or was it just a haunted place where locals would forbid you to go from. As we drove a little ahead we realised that further from the aircraft was another large building that looked like an abandoned factory of sorts, which was quite frightening in itself having huge clown like figures and moss all over its walls.


After making a stop close by we decided to the adventurous thing, and explore. So we parked a bit away and began exploring. There are two entrances to reach the Aircraft I would suggest the one near the gate of a resort which is comparatively less mossy (subject to rains of course). And there’s the other way which we took that leads from the spooky building but is super mossy (so be careful) and leading up to electricity towers that you walk past to reach the aircraft. So first we walked through the factory and realised on discussing with the caretaker, that it use to be a water park that couldn’t pay its due’s and now the bank is holding the land as ransom. Seeing majority of the park, demolished and left in pieces we decided to not venture further.

We then walked through the mud, muck and puddles and soon reach concrete land. Yeah? Concrete land in the middle of the fields, that’s right so unexpected. And we then further went on to walk to the aircraft. And no it was no dummy, make believe aircraft. It was huge, like any real aircraft you have seen and been in. Yet out of shape, old and dusty. We looked around, to soon see that the door was shut and birds had nested itself in the wheels. And yes, the wheels were taken out too and it was supported by a stand like structure now. We then saw an old man (we assume is also a caretaker), walk suddenly in surprise and tell us more about the aircraft. How it was bought by someone a few years ago, and is used now for shoots and commercial events. Had Ac attached and a stair way through which one could get in. He said we were unlucky and just a day before there was a shoot and we could have gotten to see it from the inside. (Darn!) But well, it was still quite a lot of fun to run across something mid journey and get to know about it.

So I can’t lie and tell you that it isn’t a scary ordeal and that you should venture doing this alone. Because you wouldn’t see people for miles and miles accept a few care takers around, who to be honest don’t look to be the most trust worthy. So I’d advise you to take care, and preferably take someone along. Cause exploring together of course is always a more fun filled experience. Also would be advisable to explore during the day, as there is little to no lighting provision around the aircraft. But you never know, maybe there’s a shoot happening the same day you visit, and your able to explore the insides of this abandoned aircraft.

Would love to know your experiences of visiting abandoned places and how you managed to find your way through. I hope this article inspires you to go visit the aircraft or some abandoned place near you, sure do tell us about.
Hope you have a safe, happy and adventurous weekend.

Edited & Written by Alvin Anthony

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The Happy Getaway Network

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Drop of Experience - A Poetry About The Rains & Experiences

I got the opportunity to visit the Zenit Waterfalls in Khopoli this week, and when I reached the base point I had this feeling of deeper connect between the monsoons and having experiences and jotted this down. Would love to know what you think and about your monsoon experiences. It's called "A Drop Of Experience"

It’s time to tie down your laces, it’s time to let go.
Shake up your traces, and pull past the ropes.
The rain drops are falling, down your window pale.
Life is at your door step don’t you want to keep awake?

Memories are stagnant, and your feet keep you still.
Living a life of detachment, that only you can call fulfilled.
Falling are the droplets, of the little world that awaits you.
Washing you through ripples and skipping past your day’s blues.

Thundering are the sounds of boredom that keep you up at night.
Echoing the peaceful breeze that blow’s past your lonely plights.
Shinning like a rainbow, that colours up your greys.
Don’t be stuck rehearsing tomorrow, when you’re not out living today.

Rainfall is a remedy, and stepping out into the green is the key.
You’ll find locks that fit right, only if you’d reach out and see.
It’s a blue world now landscaped in sorrows and the sea.
The only experiences, that won’t pass you by is the one that soaks you and your being.

Monsoons are forgotten absorbing you in despair.
Not showering you into a time loop that you’d be able to quite compare.
This feeling of rejuvenation may seem quite away.
Not as far as you’d stand from your window, hoping the drop of rain would take you away.

Away? Yes, far away. Into the forgotten grey.
Into a world of realities, where experiences lasts a life time.
But moments don’t last a day.
So step out and let it seep in.

Let the rain fall take you away.

Hope you have a great week ahead, filled with travel and adventure.

Edited & Written by Alvin Anthony

Please do share, comment and subscribe. Happy Travelling!

The Happy Getaway Network

Twitter @thehappygetaway