Travel in India

A Chit Chat with finalists of “India : Been there, Seen That”- Part I Travelogue Contest

The contest India: Been there Seen that Part I was our attempt to encourage budding travel bloggers and to provide them platform to showcase their creativity.
We got 23 entries for this travelogue contest and many of them had written any memoir or blog for the very first time. We got 3 finalists and after intense voting on various social media mediums, Deepak Agarwal emerged as the winner.
We interviewed three of the finalists and get to know more about them. Here are few excerpts of that interview:-
TOT : Introduced yourselves to us along with the things you do (other than blogging)?
Deepak Agarwal:-  ImageHi, I am based out at Bangalore and love travelling, watching cricket, playing squash (Ranked 7 in Bangalore seeding), movies, music,having new experiences and writing!
Riya Gupta:- ImageI am basically from Jammu but now living in Delhi. Reading and dancing is my passion.
Jatin Bavishi :- I am living in Delhi and Defining my hobbies in clear-cut categories will just be an unfair to everything I do. Whatever I do, becomes my hobby. However, my biggest obsession is photography. I do photography anywhere and everywhere; and it may not be from my DSLR. For me, photography is a powerful art, and as long as I could express myself by virtue of a frame, it is commendable. I have traveled to a lot of places in the past one year, all with the intention of photography. 
TOT : How was the experience of writing for “India: Been There, Seen that”?
Deepak Agarwal:- It was a long engaging contest, I love writing and I love travelling. The project IBTST gave me an opportunity to express both my forte And I cannot be happier that I won the contest!
Riya Gupta:- Of course, it is great when you get to read the personal experiences of people travelling through some of the most beautiful destinations of the country. I liked the idea of IBTST but my only complaint was that the contest results were way too delayed.

Jatin Bavishi:-  IBTST is a very good platform. I had never earlier written for a blog. I read the description of the blog, and I really liked it. Somehow I felt travel writing is important. Travelling is just the story before interval. It is writing about your experience that makes the story complete. I would like to thank and congratulate for taking such a good initiative for people like me.

TOT: Any place in India where you people yearn to go?

Deepak Agarwal:- I have not explored north east completely, there are certain places in Shillong and Assam that I would want to explore and possibly gain more from the experience.

Riya Gupta:-  Goa. I have heard so much about the place from friends and other people but never got a chance to visit it. The beaches and churches are yet to be explored and captured down in my camera as well as my memories.

Jatin Bavishi :- Place in India I would yearn to go is Munnar, Kerala.

TOT : Last question, Any journey which turned out TRAP for you rather than being a TRIP?

Deepak Agarwal:-¬†Journey can never be a trap; journey is what you want it to be. A hotel wrong booked?¬†Then, probably that’s the least of your trouble if you think that its a big deal. I have had bad¬†experiences but never a one where I could not turn it around in my favor. I had once taken¬†an navy ship from Kerala to Lakshadweep and then I realized how much sick sea makes me! However, I am spreading the news of the website! Already doing my bit and will continue doing so. All the best!

Riya Gupta:-¬†Not yet and I wish it doesn’t ever¬†and I recommend the website as I don‚Äôt want anyone‚Äôs trip to become a trap¬†rather than an experience of a lifetime.

Jatin Bavishi :- No, as of now, no journey has turned out trap. But, it can happen anytime! I would love to promote I have a strong base of people, and I would surely recommend this site if they ever wish to write their travel experience. thanks all the participants and is looking forward for people to Apply for IBTST- Part II which has started from July 1 – Aug 15, 2013.

Happy Traveling ūüôā

Travel in India

Maha Bodhi Temple : Symbol of Peace & Enlightenment

The Mahabodhi Temple ( Maha : Great, Bodhi : Awakening), is a Buddhist temple at Bodh Gaya, 96 km from capital city Patna. The shrine estimated to be built between 5th and 6th century AD, is holiest pilgrimage for Buddhists from world over. West side of this temple has holy Bodhi tree. Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under this Bodhi Tree here in 531 B.C.


Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya- Image courtesy Wikipedia (CC Attribution)

On 7 July, 2013, in a terror attack, 9 low intensity bombs exploded in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one near Buddha statue and near Maha bodhi tree.

We condemn the act of attacking the international symbol of peace, unity and¬†urge all sections of the society to follow the teachings of Lord Buddha by being tolerant to each other in the matter of religious faith and work towards building one humanistic society and here, at,¬†, we are¬†very much proud of India’s vast heritage and culture hence we updated this blog to express our grief to the loss of life and damage to the shrine.

In humanity, we trust!

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And the winner is…

What a great response from all the contestants!!
We are so humbled by your responses and wants to thank each one of you for your zeal and passion for the traveling.
The contest India: Been there Seen that Part I was our attempt to encourage budding travel bloggers and to provide them platform to showcase their creativity.
We got 23 entries for this travelogue contest and many of them had written any memoir or blog for the very first time. We run this contest on 3 different platforms- One being our website, Secondly on Youth 24×7 and Thirdly on¬†UE site.
We thank all the participants and Request them to participate in ISTBT- Part II contest.
The Winner of India : Been there, Seen that is DEEPAK AGARWAL. 
Congrats Deepak and For rest of you, Participate in IBTST- II starting from July 1st and ending on Aug 15, 2013.
Travel in India

IBTST- II Travelogue contest: Details

We are in the process of Launch of IBTST- II (India: Been there, seen that Part II) Travelogue contest


Launch of IBTST- Part II (Travelogue Contest)

Have you just returned from a recent trip? Are you truly satisfied with the overall service standard of the hotel you stayed in or the travel broker you were dealing with? Was the place ¬†‚Äėawesome’ or ‚Äėawful‚Äô ?

We would love to hear from you, even if you say, ‚ÄúUff, What a disgusting trip it was!‚ÄĚ is inviting travelogues, stories, and travel memoirs from all travel enthusiasts and writers. Submit your tour story today and get yourself enrolled for the contest to win exciting prizes and gifts. Contest dates are July 1st- Aug 15th.

Keep seeking this space for more details.


Travel in India

List of finalists of IBTST- 1 (India: Been There, Seen That Part I )

It’s giving us immense pleasure to declare that We have zeroed down to 3 finalists for our Travelogue Contest : India Been there, seen that held in March-May 2013.¬†
Wait for few hours and after that we will have “A Winner”¬†
Three Finalists names are:-
With the result, we will also, start our IBTST2 Travelogue Contest.
Do participate in that to win in future.
Check out : or for more!

India- Been there, seen that

Wait is going to be over soon! We are finalising the result of travelogue contest  held in the month of March-May 2013.

Travel in India

“India- Been there, seen that” travelogue contest

India, Travel in India

Two Must-Visit Summer Destinations In India

Summers are here and India tends to visit places which are off-beat, cooler and also surreal. In consideration to this fact, two must-visit Summer destinations are here; which are situated on the southern land and North-Eastern India- truly showing the diversity of this great land.

OOTY , also known as¬†Udhagamandalam or¬†Udhagai. Ooty has been termed as ‘The Queen of hill stations in India‚Äô

Situated 80 kms north of Coimbatore, It is one of the most popular tourist spots or summer getaways in India. Ooty is surrounded by picturesque beauty. The sprawling grasslands , waterfalls, tea gardens ,hill ranges , great lakes, dense forests are great sources of rejuvenation as well as energy booster for tourists.. The lovely climate conditions make it a perfect place to spend some quality time away from the hustle bustle of a city.

Ooty has good accommodation facilities with the choicest staying options available to satisfy any traveler need.

A few major tourist attractions of this place are the government Rose Gardens, Ooty lake, Stone house, the Tribal museum. With a perfectly balanced ecosystem, Ooty makes it a perfect holiday destination.


Ariel view of The Nilgiri Mountain Railway(NMR)

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway(NMR), a World Heritage Site is one of the oldest mountain railways in India which connects Ooty with the town of Mettupalayam.

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India, Travel in India

Leh (Ladakh)- Surreal and Sublime


Located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is the wonderland for travelers who wish to explore the awe-inspiring creations of Mother Nature. Leh, the capital of Ladakh is ultimate destinations for the travelers who venture out to hunt the spectacular moments of a journey with the splendid sensation of God’s miraculous creation.

Miraculously placed at the altitude varying from 9,000 feet and 25,170 feet Ladakh is a land of perfect blend of peaceful landscapes and adventurous spots. Ranging from vivacious landscapes, eye catching sceneries of glaciers amalgamating with membranous clouds to rich cultural heritage, Ladakh has it all. Having most of the part of population serving the Buddhist religion and culture, Ladakh is popularly known as Lama Land.

For trekkers and adventure lovers Ladakh is the seventh heaven and to reach out this heaven you can opt from air travel and road trip. Various Airlines operate daily flight from Delhi to Leh and the periodic flights are maintained from Jammu and Srinagar. But reaching Leh via road is the experience that you would cherish for lifetime and the people, who are fond of natural beauty, can not afford to miss the adventure and joy of a road trip to the magnificent land of high passes.


The roads leading to Leh, Ladakh have two major routes. One is Srinagar to Leh and second is Manali to Leh. Both the routes have a lot in store to offer to its travelers in terms of astonishing range of panoramic sceneries and thrilling expereinces. Both places Srinagar and Manali, where the journey to the ‚Äėland of mesmerizing landscapes‚Äô starts from, have a good facility of road transportation available. Apart from the Ladakh tourism, private bus operators offer daily bus services and jeeps that run through the thrilling route to Leh Ladakh.


As per the weather conditions the route from Srinagar to Ladakh generally opens from early May to late October, in winters the Zoji La undergoes heavy snowfall and route gets blocked. It takes 2 days of road journey to reach Ladakh offering such an enchanting experience that an airfare of 40 minutes can never offer. The drive passes through three main passes including Zoji La at 3529 meters, Namika La 3718 meters and Fatu La at 4092 meters. At these level of heights where level of oxygen falls, the travelers may undergo altitude sickness causing nose block, nose bleeding and various other suffocating experiences. One should step out for this journey with all possible altitude sickness curing measures.

Whereas the route from Manali to Leh, the highway from Himachal Pradesh opens from May-June to October-November, rest of the months it remains isolated, covered with the white layers of snow. The journey is 2 days long, offering the travelers with the non-stop flashes of splendid scenic beauty. The major passes in this panoramic journey are Rohtang La, Baralacha La, Nakee La, LachLung La and Tanglang La. Where, the Rohtang La is the highest pass in the series placed at 3,900m altitude.

Both the routes imprint such flashes in your memory that remain fresh for lifetime. While capturing the beauteous backdrops, melting glaciers, sun rays falling upon the mountains and the wispy clouds traveling along with you, in you eyes forever, it creates an aura as if you are going through the masterpiece of dream your mind ever imagined of having. This beautiful journey lands you to the Land of Lama, where a new slide show of new culture, panoramic prettiness and monasteries is waiting to make your journey worth.

The adventure¬†doesn’t¬†stops here, the land of Ladakh a lot more to offer you with, but one should never overlook this fact that adventure is delightful when you get a chance to share it with people, over enthusiasm may turn into stupidity, leading you nowhere, So be very-very careful about your life.

(Image and content courtesy:  Priyanka A)

India, Travel in India

The first chapter of my stained Diary Pages!

India is an abode to some of the most tremendously blessed landscapes around the world. Its not just the strategic locations, but the beauty these landscapes ensembles, which makes them extraordinary.  Munnar, a small town in the backdrop of rolling mountain scenery is surrounded with mountain landscapes which are contagiously beautiful are rare in southern region of India. The craggy peaks, the manicured tea estates and crisp mountain air, Munnar is a perfect spot to let cool yourself after the sticky heat of the lowlands. It could be a tough task to photograph these landscapes because usually, the weather remains hazy or cloudy for much of the year and the camera or the eye could not get a clear view of things and hence cannot be captured effectively. Perhaps, the only way to get it right is to plan well and be at the right place at the right time in the right seasons.


Image Courtesy: Prasanna Vijapur.

The morning view of the mountain pass that connects Suryanelli and Kolukkumalai Tea Estates, located to the east of Munnar Town is an example of surreal beauty. People here seem full of life and easy going. To explore this place morning is the ideal time, when one could make a backbreaking journey through some remote roads to reach just in time for sunrise kissing the peak of the mountains.

A visitor might get fooled by the bustling noisy and grubby namesake town of the region but the real attractions lie in the surrounding hills that can make every trip to this place rewarding.

You too can review your adventurous journeys, people, places, attractions, insights, hotels, on TripOrTrap.

Who knows, your review might become an inspiration for others.