Asia

Happy 2015, year of Travel!

Hey guys, if you’re reading this you’ve found my blog. Cool as! For those who know me, you know about a month ago I bought a two way ticket to Malaysia and Philippines. If you don’t know me you know this now. The idea was a bit of a whynot moment and originally I was meant to leave in June. I thought 6 months would be a good amount of time to gather some funds around me. Next thing I know, i’m staring at my receipt for a ticket departing in January to Malaysia and April to Manila, Philippines . Out the window went the saving plans. Savings? Ain’t nobody got time for that. At this stage I’m a backpacker, I have no plan and a strict budget. The vague idea is to backpack through Malaysia and then onwards through India,Nepal and Manila. Make some friends, learn some languages and maybe work. I don’t know when I’ll come home. Maybe I’ll find a new home.

Coming Jan 1 2015 My life and I will quite literally be up in the air. Some days I wish I was leaving tomorrow and other days I am actually drowning in the overwhelmingly large ocean known as “what the f**k am I doing”. I’ve started this blog cause well I like to write and why not? I can kept track of my ideas and plans. I can make sure I remember the things that help me travel easier- and the things that don’t. I’ll also without a doubt be writing down my travel adventures as they unravel out in front of me, making you green with envy at the new places I find and the beautiful humans I meet. So can’t wait! Blogging also is an easy way for me to keep you in the loop with my movements. God knows I am bad enough at keeping in touch with my friends who live in the same city as me!

So, it’s the last month of 2014. I’ve allowed myself a month to fantasize about all my travelling possibilities, to stare at maps and stay up until 1 am reading travel blogs. One month away from D-DAY and shit has to get real. That means I need some form of a plan. At least for that first week in the unknown! There is no way in hell things to go well with me landing in Malaysia with no bed, no idea where I am and no language skills whatsoever.

This is my list for first quarter of 2015, the start of my travel prep, and this month I’ll be blogging about how good I am at getting all this shit done.

First quarter of 2015

January – Malaysia (Voluntary Work/Travel/New year)
February – Lucknow and Delhi (Wedding Shoot/Travel)
March – Nepal (Voluntary Work/Travel)
April, May – Philippines (Voluntary Work/Travel/Future plans)

Travel Preparation

Buy a backpack. Cos you can’t go backpacking without one.
Find a work – random voluntary work in the above mentioned countries through YGIP
Travel Insurance. Just writing those word makes me want to run away.
Draft up a Rough itinerary for the first two weeks in Malaysia.

If I can get through this by the end of the month I’m going to be so impressed I will be going to party.

My Travel Blog Wandering Mak

Poor Lamb got cooked

After watching Dawat-E-Ishq movie was craving for asli Hyderabadi food. Last night me and my friend Syed Basith made it to Sarvi. Tasted Mutton Biryani add-on Double Masala and Hyderabadi Classic dish Pathar Ka Gosht (Meat Cooked on Stone) followed by Falooda and Spl Lassi. Was a really good time with Basith talked about childhood pranks and sharing travel experiences. It was a pleasure to meet my school friend after a long time.

Please like the page for more info

https://www.facebook.com/wanderingmak

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Pathar ka ghost

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Falooda and Lassi

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Mutton Biryani

Traveling to Bhutan

I have been quite silent in my blog for sometime now. There are lot of things happening around (more details soon) and one of them was that I was planning for a trip to Bhutan and Kolkata.

Initially I thought of doing simple trip, like my last trips but then decided to not to. I Will post more details about the trip, with photos once I am back.

I will be back by mid of this October and till then my phone will be switched off and if you send me an email you will get a response only after I am back.

And regarding the good news, you might have to wait till I am back ;)

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In search of companion to travel world

It’s a dream of mine to both travel the world and live without money. I have found out that both can be possible with enough will power and faith in the kindness of strangers. I gonna start my journey from Delhi, India around mid august on a bicycle heading to Nepal and from there Neighboring countries. Not sure if I will keep or drop the bicycle at any point and continue hitchhiking. I will be covering Asia first for at least a year since there will definitely be lots of volunteering on farms, villages and schools  involved. I welcome one or two travel companions for all or parts of my adventure, because after all, what’s a experience when it’s not shared. Reply here or send me a private message if you’re interested. Further things discussed on PM how to travel with shoestring budget.

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How Travelling Solo Has Made Me A Better Person

I was 21 the first time I set out on my own. I did it again when I was 22. And a third time when I was 23. I am a self-confessed airport crier, last-minute packer, document misplacer and chronic over-thinker who finds leaving anyone and anywhere a huge deal. Yet I have never once regretted going. I have missed things (people, birthdays, my graduation, home cooked meals, etc) but I have never once thought “I should never have gotten on that plane.”

Travelling solo is the best thing I have ever done. It is when I feel that I am more than just alive; I am living. It makes me feel present and proactive and strong. It provides a unique combination of control and freedom that I have yet to find anywhere else. Every time I arrive in a new place I surrender myself to it. There’s no way of knowing what adventures will be had, what people I will meet, what ideas will be shaped or what discoveries will be made there. Yet I have decided to go there and I will decide when I leave. I always have the power to stay and go, stop and start. It’s a power I lack in many other aspects of my life and that’s what makes it so special.

Going it alone has, somewhat ironically, also made me more sociable. I’ve always been the kid with two or three very close friends rather than a gaggle of bff’s and tend to find big groups of people intimidating. After a few awkward experiences I learnt that it’s much easier to pull up a chair and nod along until someone asks you your name than lay on your shaky bunk bed and contemplate a night of listening to fellow guests having a great time right outside your door. On the whole travellers are friendly folk and you have the perfect conversation starter in “So where are you from?” Talk will inevitably turn to where you’ve been and where you’re heading next so you already have at least one thing in common. I’ve found that I tend to form quick and intense bonds with people when travelling, some which last long after we’ve gone our separate ways and others which end when the bus leaves. Both are perfect in their own way and completely unique to the time and place. Sometimes, when I think of cities I have visited, the faces of the people I met there are the first things to pop into my head.

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Having said that travelling on my own has also given me what is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of all; the knowledge that not only can I survive on my own but I can feel comfortable and secure in my own company. When I look back on my solo trips, two of my biggest achievements are learning how to dine alone in restaurants and go to the cinema by myself. I know many people, older and more self-assured than myself, who still struggle with being alone in public settings. I also find that when travelling I like to think about things. Not talk about them, just think and maybe jot a few ideas down on some napkins. Travelling is my time to figure out how I feel about things without the input or influence of anyone else.

So to summarize, travelling alone has made me more aware, more conscious, more accepting, more welcoming and more likely to say yes. Because of it I am more interesting and interested. I am braver than I was and I trust myself so much more. But most importantly it has given me stories. So many stories that will make me smile and keep me warm when I am old and taking off with just a backpack for company is no longer an option. Leaving is always harder than staying and people will undoubtedly tell you a horror story about a backpacker who got shot/murdered in a freak attack that would never had happened if they just stayed home and been an office temp, but the experiences you will have will serve you well for the rest of your life. The act of going might just be the most liberating thing you will ever do, after all men have been doing it for years

Travel Memories 2013

Travel photos are a wonderful way to treasure memories and remind yourself of your brave, fun-loving side. They are a great pick-me-up if you ever feel blue or bored; a snapshot of a time when you pushed yourself, discovered or experienced wonder at something new.

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Wanderlust

As I sit here in my classroom looking outside of a nearby window and think about how easy it would be to run away. Run away and see the world that I so desperately want to see. Never staying in one place for too long sounds awesome. Seeing the world and how people live in the environment that they choose to make a family in. As I look out that window, my mind dreams of the many places I long to see, the one place that is on the top of my list is Asia. The beautiful mountains, the people who live there, and all the amazing temples. Just to walk in Asia would be a dream come true, I can’t wait to get out of this place and see the amazing wonders in the world. Maybe after I’ve wandered through all of the places on the top of my list I’ll go to other continents like Europe or Africa anywhere that I can walk and look at everything there is to see. After all of that then I’ll probably settle down on some mountains or live in a big city, but that dream won’t happen until I get rid of this wanderlust. But honestly, I don’t think that’ll happen. My mind was meant to wander and it’ll keep on wondering until I stop breathing. 

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-Mkalyan

Cover Reveal

I’m excited to tell you all about my new book titled “Different Strokes” gonna release it on September 9th,published worldwide with help of CreateSpace nSmashwords(eBook readers).It will available in Pothi.com(Indian readers) andAmazon.com. “Different Strokes” by Madhu Kalyan,Gunjan Vyas,Sunday Igwebuike. Here’s a look at the cover and a little blurb. — feeling excited with Gunjan Vyasand

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Amazing Bhopal

Friday eve was the worst evening for me ,I drowned into negativity,lost excitement and slept like that.Next day i woke up with same depressed eyes. Thought of hanging out with my friends, but my friends were out of town because of festival.So decided travel to some random city depends on flight schedule.And luckily there was a flight to Bhopal  So i booked tickets for round trip. My friend Gunjan shocked i guess after sending text about my sudden plan 😛

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After 2 hrs 10 min i reached Raj Bhoj Airport and it was so sunny

Rajbhoj Airport

Bhopal is a city, which shows both part of India, the rich culture, natural beauty as well as it has a small part with hustle bustle… The best things I liked about Bhopal is the Upper lake, its a beauty, the lights around the lake at night gives a lovely look.

The tomb on the island, looks amazing.

One side they have , which is a kind of zoo, but you may also see deers gazing around in open.

The restaurants around gives you a lovely view of the lake, so you can always get into one and still enjoy the scenic view, far from the rush.The best part i liked in Bhopal was “chatori galli”.Its a heaven for non veggies, they have seekh, kebabas, biryani, fried beef, chicken roasted, everything available on a very cheap price, so its a must visit.

Upper Lake

The Upper Lake is a fun spot for residents of Bhopal and a tourist spot for the visitor. Boating (speed boats as well as paddle boats) is available and during the evenings, the place is swarmed by people, to enjoy the bhel-puris, ragda chaats, to listen to some live music (a singer sings to background music playing on the tape), have some ‘Top-in-Town’ ice-creams and candies.

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There is a huge statue of Raja Bhoj near one of the banks, towards the highway. There is a nice ship replica and also a real railway engine. Our resourceful driver told us that there are plans to build railway tracks around the lake and the train will zhug-zhug on these tracks.

It is close to Van Vihar, the zoo of Bhopal.

Van Vihar

Visit the Open Air Zoo at Bhopal. It has a perfect setting. The blue expanse of water of the Upper Lake on one side and the verdant green Shamla Hill on the other. You have a variety of tigers, lions, bears, leopards, deer’s  crocodiles, snakes, tortoises, birds. Visit around 4.00 p.m. when the animals are fed. You can take your vehicle by paying a fee.Will not forget this place as it give a good view of all major animals which we think of seeing with our kids.Seeing the tiger is dream come true.

Tiger

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Taj ul Masajid

Taj-ul mosque, situated in old Bhopal is a must to visit if you come to this city.. It can be easily reached from any part of Bhopal.. Though it’s located in crowded surroundings, the architecture of the mosque is awesome.. It’s 2nd largest mosque of Asia, built in red sandstone.. One enters through a narrow path to a huge open courtyard and gets the feeling of aww! The structure is magnificent..
Be cautious of the sellers outside the main area…
It’s located alongside a lake and the reflection that one sees is beautiful.

Reflection

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One of the local person helped me showing Taj ul Masajid and later we went to McDonald’s for dinner.After having good time i met few travelers over there and one of traveler accompanied till Gwalior, her name is Sarah.

Gwalior Fort

The most exciting place in Gwalior is the huge fort perked on a sandy stone. One can get a bird’s eye view of the entire city .Gwalior fortress stands on a 100 mtrs high sand stone rock.The most picturesque in North India,the fort measures 2.5 km in length and about 200 to 725 mtrs in width.To reach the fort one has to go on foot or drive through winding roads. Needless to say we drove up all the way to the fort.It was amazing.

It has number of structures like Mansingh palace, Gurugovind singh Gurudwara where Gurugivind Singh was held captive, Sahsra Bahu temple to name a few. But the most captivating is the Mansingh Palace.

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Few of  local random clicks of Bhopal & Gwalior taken from Galaxy S3 and Sony Digital Camera

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Made it to kolkata,craziest city on earth

I have never seen a city like Kolkata. It is the wildest, most crazy place I have ever been. Engulfed by poverty it is still vibrant and full of life. After the flight from Hyderabad I landed in Kolkata. I was staying with an extremely nice Indian couple that live in the heart of Kolkata.

On Day 1 I explored all the local roads,malls,food courts near by,where i am staying.With the help of my Smart Android I can travel/explore any place.

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Kolkata is like a piece of shit on the face of this earth”, wrote the famous writer Günter Grass.

Like there is some who would agree with this bad notion, there are many many more who loves the city of joy and would disapprove of one such statement. A person who is not associated with or is ignorant of the Indian culture and tradition will probably generate one such idea and never understand the true spirit of the city. It could also be our shortfall that we had been unable to show many like Grass the brighter side of things that are here.

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I have heard many of my friends calling Kolkata to be chaotic, cluttered and dirty. True, some parts of Kolkata is dirty, is chaotic. Yet Kolkata is the City of Joy. Kolkata is the city of tradition and culture. Kolkata is the city of football and cricket. Kolkata is the city of Tagore, Netaji, Mother Teresa. Kolkata is the city of lavish shopping malls. Kolkata is the city of booming IT industry. It’s the city we all love.

On day 2nd and 3rd day

I and Mytri planned to explore Kumartuli, one of the cultural precincts of Kolkata. It was a Saturday morning that we headed towards Kumartuli. From Shobhabazar- we took a car to Kumartuli, where clay sculptors were busy in making idols. Bright sunshine on my shoulders and the deep blue sky above were telling that autumn  is on the threshold and with only one month left for the Pujas idol making would be in full swing.

It was my long cherished desire to visit Kumartuli, the alley of the potters, where gods and goddesses are born (read created) in the skilled hands of mud sculptors who are in the profession of clay idol making for several generations

Well, coming back to where we started our journey. As we moved on down the lanes the brick walls and structures were like closing in on us. I have never seen such narrow lanes and by-lanes in my life. Much to my astonishment, artisans live in there, with their families and have set up their studios for pottery and idol making! Well… studio, not in its literal sense.

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On 3rd day I  had to take a hand-pulled rickshaw. As soon as I boarded the rickshaw childhood memories thronged my mind. Such rickshaws were aplenty on the roads of Hyderabad those days.  We used to ride rickshaws often, especially in the evenings while returning home after a shopping or a visit to some relative’s place. The rickshaw puller is almost running pulling the rickshaw, and the sound of the bells hanging in his hand … ting ling ting ling (this bell worked like horns) and a small lantern hanging at the back of the rickshaw, just like the rear light of a car – the images are still so vivid in my mind!

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I sat stiff and terrified, thinking all the time, what if the rickshaw puller loosens his grip and we’ll land up up-side down (LOL!). Finally, I reached my destination and I was relieved to get down from the rickshaw.

Trams are rare to see on the roads of Kolkata.The thought that Kolkata will be losing its heritage one day pains a lot. The metro has transformed a lot with a number of lavish shopping plazas, bustling multiplexes, flyovers and BMW, Skoda and Chevrolet plying the city roads.

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Slowly the tram reached the terminal at Bagbazar. From there we caught the bus to Kalikapur. As the bus was passing through Shyambazar crossing I caught a glimpse of the statue of ‘Netaji’,

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basking in the sun, amidst a number of enormous hoardings and signboards trying to cover up the skyline, the bamboo structures for pandals on the roadside, posters of political rallies and the same zeal and enthusiasm for the Pujas reminded me, ‘Kolkata ache Kolkatatei” (The spirit of Kolkata still remains the same)!

Mother Teresa:

Truly memorable and moving; be sure to go up the stairs to see the room where she slept and lived and ran this tremendous Sisters of Charity worldwide. The Orphanage which is also worth a visit is nearby!! Do not miss seeing both!! Try to visit in the morning or late afternoon when the children are not sleeping.

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Howrah Bridge:

Never imagined that something as big as that bridge is hanging on its own. The British were famous for their civil engineering and they proved this by constructing such a long Howrah bridge. The bridge is never short of traffic, very busy indeed.Walk across this bridge and you will feel the awesome magnificence of the bridge. Be careful of the crowd though.

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Victoria Memorial :

Majestic entrance to a beautiful monument in the heart of city of joy Kolkata  nice greenery on both sides once entered, beautiful stone walkway, mesmerism you. Once you enter the main hall you are thrilled with the construction of the hall, marble edifice and the whole hall gives you a picture of dominance of British in India. There are plenty of collection time taking to browse around but worth watching. There are very detailed eye catching glimpses display of history of Calcutta (Kolkata) which gives an idea of British period’s Kolkata  Overall it is worth watching and one should always visit this place once if they visiting Kolkata.

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 Kumartuli:

What is amazing is that they have still have kept a lot of old traditions alive. The idol makers still use water from Hoogly to mix the clay and make the models. It is not the easiest things to do since the have to hire water carriers, but most of the artists still folow this tradition.Kumartuli streets are narrow and there are lanes and bylanes and that is what lends Kumartuli a character.It not not a typical studio where potters do their clay modeling, these streets are as old as Kolkata and is a historic place. I am posting a few photos of goddess Saraswathi, there was also a very interesting and beautiful old building, no one lives theres, must have been grand at some point. I walked through two three lanes and then headed straight for Hoogly. It was a nice and peaceful evening.

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Birla Temple:

This white marble temple, resembling the famous Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar, is a marvel of architecture and adobe of peace. The main temple houses statues of Radha-Krishna. The left side of temple houses goddess Durga and the right side of the temple houses Shiva. There is no nuisance that could disturb the devotees and the place is well maintained and clean.

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Netaji Bhavan:

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, known popularly as Netaji (meaning leader in Hindi), was one of the most prominent reformists in the Indian Independence Movement. The building that is known as Netaji Bhavan today was once the residence of the reformist. Managed by the Netaji Research Bureau, the old bungalow-style structure houses a museum and the bureau’s archives and library. The museum is divided into various rooms, each detailing certain phases in the leader’s life. The top-most floor has photographs and documents from the life and works of Subhash Chandra Bose, arranged in chronological order. The library and archives include comprehensive collections detailing the Indian Independence Movement. Netaji Bhavan also has an auditorium called the Sarat Bose Hall which is used for events like lectures and seminars. Located on Elgin Road, opposite, Forum Mall this is the place to visit if you’re interested in learning about India’s Freedom Struggle.

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Few of my clicks

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For more clicks you can find in my Kolkata album in Photography menu