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Travelers’ Adda Xplorer Editor’s Note Since we have good response from our readers and members, we have are motivated to do new things and with new ideas - I’m very glad to present another edition of Xplorer. The Inaugural Edition of Xplorer already viewed around 10,000 times. There have been things throughout previous quarter that have made a good impact on our community. This quarter Travelers’ Adda Team has given enough effort to provide you some good chunk of information. Our team size has also increased and getting more mature and streamlined every day. We have also edited and made minor changes to the travelogues provided by members to fit correctly by adding or removing some least important contents without deviating from actual theme. There have been so many events done this quarter. I’ve personally selected one as the best one and that was a visit to Gopiballavpur with three of our members Bhaskar, Kaustav and Manojit. It was special because apart from enjoying the beauty of a village and River Subarnarekha, it was a trip that was covered on Rail by Bhaskar and Manojit and through Road on Motorbike by Kaustav and me. Apart from traveling a contest Post and Win has also introduced. Coming quarter we have plans to start more contests to higher fun of winning useful stuffs. I am also very proud to introduce our two new moderators, Kaustav Ganguly (Kolkata Modarator) and Shubham Bairy (Tamilnadu Modarator). Kaustav is a Trek hunter and loves photography like nothing whereas Shubham is a hardcore biker and loves not only riding bikes but traveling on bike. Kaustav also loves traveling on bikes when it’s not about trekking. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce these two guys. In this quarter we have introduced few more contents to Xplorer. Along with “Trip of the month” there are Heritage, Lazy Weekend, Exploring India, Around the world and Travel Guru. These have been introduced for our readers who have been shown their interests on these new topics. Throughout this we I’m also feeling proud to let you know that we have 1000+ fan followings in Facebook. I’m extremely thankful to Manojit Pati for his tremendous effort and interest on building this traveling brotherhood among the community. It’s only his affinity towards traveling which gives

Suryajit Bhattacharya

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Contents 3

Editor’s Note

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Trip of the Month –March 2012 - Kumaon Agnimitra Chowdhuri

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Trip of the Month –April 2012 - Lonely Rider's Aravalli Ride Avik Mahato

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Trip of the Month – May 2012 - Kanha National Park Bhaskar Majumdar

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Heritage – Hanseswari temple Suryajit Bhattacharya

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Lazy Weekend - Taalsaari Apurba Hudait

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Travel Guru Travelers’ Adda

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Travel Guru’s Desk - A cRaZY RidE tO HOGENAKKEL falls Shubham Bairy

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Exploring Planet - Gopiballavpur Suryajit Bhattacharya

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Around the World - Würzburg, Germany Manojit Pati

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Travelography Suryajit Bhattacharya

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Trip of the month March 2012

Kumaon by Agnimitra Chowdhuri Kumaon is a land of snow capped mountains and glaciers, valleys, verdant forests and Alpine meadows, lakes and streams, birds and animals, all combine to make a beautiful and scenic place elsewhere.

Day1 (11-Dec-11) KathgodamBinsar: We have started our journey for this beautiful land from Kolkata on 9-Dec-2011. We reached Kathgodam around 5 AM via Delhi on 11-Dec-2011. We (three people) hired an Alto at 1500/- per day including food and lodging of the driver for 7 days. We started for Binsar (130 KM) at 5.30 AM. The main route to Binsar was blocked due to landslide; we took another route via Bhimtal, Ramgarh. We took a

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short break at Bhimtal, a natural lake in Nainital district. It was very cold almost 2-3°C. We enjoyed sunrise on Bhimtal Lake. We saw the Himalayan peaks for the first time from Ramgarh. It was a fantastic feeling. We got down from the car spend sometimes there. We took our breakfast at Ramgarh bazzar. We reached Binsar Sanctuary police check post around 12:30 PM. Entry fees to the sanctuary were 150 rupees per head and 250 for car (including fee of driver). Binsar KMVN rest

house is 12 KM from the check post. It was an amazing journey through the dense forest. Binsar (2412 meter) is situated on top of Jhandidhar hills under Binsar Sanctuary in Almora district. It’s very quiet place and surrounded with dense Himalayan flora. The main attraction of Binsar is that here one can see wide range (almost 300 KM) of panoramic; snow capped famous Himalayan peaks like Nandaghunti, Trishul, Nandadevi, Nandakot, Panchachuli.

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The KMVN resort view point offers an excellent view of Himalayas. There is no electricity in the sanctuary. Even there is no market or shops. You can get 1 bucket of hot water in the morning to bath. The resort has its own generator but they run it in the evening from 5 to 8 PM for dinner. You can charge batteries at that time only. After having lunch we started walking to zero point. It is 2 KM from KMVN resort. It is very nice feelings walking through green dense, quiet forest of Oak, Far, Pine, Deodar trees with the flutter of birds. You can see moss, hanging from trees. We went to the sunset point. The point is surrounded with very dense forest. The sunset point is almost 1 KM from the KMVN resort. We returned to resort’s view point to enjoy sunset on Himalayas but the peaks were covered with clouds. At the evening we spent sometimes in the view point. It was next day of full moon. It was a great feeling to see forest and hills in moon light. Day2 (12-Dec-11) BinsarChoukari: The Sun usually rises up around 6:45 AM. We wake up early in the morning. It was very cold. We went to the resort view point to see sunrise. It looked very nice to see the Sun rises up through the wide Himalayan valley. After having bath & breakfast, we started exploring the forest. We went to the sunset point and from there we took a narrow walking route going

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down. The route was full of dry leaves. We had heard that the sanctuary is full of fauna mainly Leopard, Himalayan black beer, Ghoral, Barking deer, Wild Boar, Monkey, Musk deer etc. But

Again, the road is very beautiful between the hills surrounded by mainly Pines trees. We took our launch at Sheraghat, situated near the bank of Saryu River. We reached Patal

fortunately or unfortunately we have seen only monkeys and some birds. We left Binsar towards Choukari at 12:30 PM. The distance to Choukari via shortcut to Paleo Bend, Dhaul China is almost 105 KM. We planned to reach Choukari via Patal Bhubneswar (1350 meter).

Bhubneswar around 4:30 PM via Raiagarh (distance almost 110 KM from Binsar). It’s a natural limestone cave. It usually remains open from 9 AM to 5 PM. But due to cold weather, the cave was closed. After a lot of requests, the guide was agreed to open the cave. The cave entrance was very narrow. We entered into the cave 6


by crawling and holding a chain. The cave has created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various forms. The original cave leads to the different caves through different tunnels. The guide charge was 50/-. Photography was not allowed inside the cave. After having tea at Bhubneswar market we left for Choukari (distance almost 40 KM). Day3 (13-Dec-11) Choukari: Choukari (2010 meter) is a small, peaceful, beautiful, hill station in the Pithoragarh district. The famous peaks like Mrigthumi, Maiktoli, Nandadevi, Nandakot and Panchachuli are distinctly visible from here. We wake up early in the

morning to enjoy the Sun rise. It was a fantastic sunrise I ever had. Some of peaks like Mrigthumi, Maiktoli were not fully visible from the KMVN

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resort because a nearby hill was covering them. We got a fantastic view of Himalayas through a wide green Himalayan valley from that hill top. After having bath and breakfast, we went to the Musk

narrow walking road surrounded by trees and keeping eyes on Himalayas. After having lunch, we started walking to the Himalaya Public School. The students were studying in open air in the

Deer Center. The distance of the center from the KMVN resort is 4 KM. It is 2 KM by car and then 2 KM of walk to go to the hill top. It was a splendid walk through the

sunlight due to the winter season. We went to a valley. The Himalayas were looking heavenly from there.

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It was a marvelous feeling far away from hectic city life. We returned to the resort after the sunset. Day4 (14-Dec-11) ChoukariMunshiyari: We left Choukari towards Munshiyari after having breakfast (distance almost 100 KM). Another beautiful journey started by the side of Ramganga River. We reached Birthi Falls around 12:00 noon. You have to ride 125 meter slope to reach near the falls. The falls was creating rainbow on its wall where it was breaking out. We reached Kalamuni top (2895 meter) around 1 PM. It’s the highest point in the route. A stunning view of the Panchchuli peaks greeted us. We took a break there. Every turn from Kalamuni top brings a fresh view of Panchachuli, often better than the previous. We reached Munshiyari (2200 meter) around 2:30 PM. Munshiyari is situated in a valley on the banks of Goriganga River. The main attraction of Munshiyari is Panchachuli peaks. Munshiyari town seemed little bit crowed and dirty to us. The view of Panchachuli was getting interrupted by the trees or electric cables or buildings in the market place and also in KMVN resort. We went to the college where we get an uninterrupted view of Panchachuli peaks. The sunset on Panchachuli looked simply awesome. Day5 (15-Dec-11) Munshiyari: The sunrise here is not so enjoyable. We started for Khalia top at 7:30 AM. It’s a half day trek from Munshiyari (7 KM).

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The guide charge was 500/-. In the afternoon we visited Nandadevi temple and heritage museum.

very long journey of almost 160 KM. We had our lunch near Bageswar. We spent sometimes at Baijnath temple. It‘s situated near

Day6 (16-Dec-11) Munshiyari Kousani: We started for Kousani at 8:30 AM. We took the route via Tejam – Sama – Kapkot – Bageswar – Baijnath. It was a

the Baijnath town on the bank of Gomati river. We reached Kousani around 4:30 PM. Kousani (1890 meter) is little bit crowed hill station situated at Bageswar district. You can see snow capped

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Choukhamba, Nandaghunti, Trishul, Nandadevi, Nandakot from here. We visited Gandhi ashram established by Gandhiji. You can see the beauty of the Himalayas from the ashram also. The sunset on Himalayas from Kousani is amazing especially on Trishul. Day7 (17-Dec-11) Kousani – Nainital - Kathgodam: We wake up early in the morning and enjoyed sunrise on the Himalayas from the KMVN resort. Here the elevation and the angles are different. The entire Himalayan range was looking very beautiful. After having breakfast we started for Nainital via Almora (distance almost 117 KM) through the bank of Kosi River. We reached Nainital around 1 PM. Nainital Lake is very beautiful. Lots of people were enjoying boat ride on the lake. There is Nainadevi temple beside the lake near Bhutia market. We reached Kathgodam in the evening (around 35 KM). Kumaon can be visited round the year except rainy season. You can call Jiban Shah (09412351525) or Manoj Kumar (09759244102) for car.

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Trip of the month April 2012

Lonely Rider's Aravalli Ride by Avik Mahato I must admit that I'm very lazy to write and these days not doing much riding also, so please forgive this old man for not being descriptive about this trip.

It was a one day ride covering 600+ kms Delhi-Jaipur-SariskaDelhi. Started 5am and returned 10:30 pm. Some of the pictures containing micro blogs describing behind the scene stories. Last night before the ride, I heard the news that Shimla experienced it's first snowfall. Next morning I could feel the million pinches of chilled air all over my body. This

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photo was taken on NH8 on my way to Jaipur. After starting at 4am from Delhi after 100 kms I was forced to stop due to freezing temperature. This is one of the still taken when my heart was pumping hard to heat-up the body. Could not remember when I have wished to see the Sun so desperately. The first ray I could

see on the top of the tops of the Aravalli range, parallel to NH8. As soon as it touched the highway, I look at the Sun - the source of life. I opened my gloves and helmet to touch the first ray of sun. My cracked lips with salty taste of blood wanted to suck the warmth and shivering finger tips trying to feel it. I gazed on my left to the Aravalli range, I will be riding you soon......

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We did not encounter anything but some tractors loaded with stones. Yes some Blue Bulls crossed the roads few minutes back hardly bothering about us. We stopped by a 'Mandir' (Temple) and decided to have a quick photoshoot. The 'Pujari' (Priest) was quite surprised looking at our activity, he might be thinking some kind of circus we are doing. But honestly nothing beats the feeling of embracing the warmth of sunlight on a lonely stateway during winters. I opened my arms to cuddle with the chilled wind kissing my face with the visor open. Let’s say CHEERS! I pointed my camera at the reflection on the visor. We were at one of the several photo breaks we took during our way back to Delhi. I can say Himalayan range especially in Sikkim can give you one of the best riding experiences through hills but after Aravalli ride I must say YES! ON A LAZY WEEKEND, RIDING THROUGH ARAVALLI IS

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EQUALLY ENJOYABLE. At twilight on some unknown corner at the Aravalli's we said CHEERS!! for the camera. This shot was taken on the reflection at the visor of Saumitra's helmet. "Look at that man!!!" we shouted at each other "This is simply awesome, the best part of the ride". From my past experience of riding through Himalayan range, I

can say that Aravalli riding is equally enjoyable with gentle curves and very moderate uphills. For new riders it could be a very good experience to break in and get the feel of twists and curves. On one such curve we could see the vast openness and the layer of hills of Aravalli range. Believe me that was an amazing feeling looking at the beauty of Aravalli at the magical lights of twilight.

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Trip of the month May 2012

Kanha National Park by Bhaskar Majumdar Kanha National Park is one of the India’s finest tiger reserves which spread more than 940 sq km. It holds a large variety of plants and animals. It is famous for saving the very rare Swamp Deer (Barasingha) from extinction.

When to go January to June is recommended as ideal time for visiting this forest. For persons who love the birds and the color of the fresh

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leaves the best time is January February. But those who want to see the tiger the best time will be May - June. The other wildlife will be almost same throughout

January to June. The forest remains closed during July to October.

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How to reach By air: Jabalpur is the nearest airport (175 km) with limited flight connectivity. By rail: Jabalpur is the nearest railway station. From Jabalpur there is bus service upto the forest gate. Where to stay There are a plenty of Hotels available outside the national park. Most of them are quite good. But it will be best if you can book a room inside the forest. This booking is done from the MP tourism office (If you don’t get a booking from Kolkata try at the MP tourism office in the Jabalpur railway station). There are two types of rooms available – Dormitory (Rs 800/person including meal) and personal cottage (Rs 4500/ room - for 2 persons). The standard of the dormitories are quite good. Jungle safaris There are two safaris available Morning (6:30 am to 12:00) and Evening (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm). The booking for the safaris are available at the forest gate, though I will recommend to book it earlier as during peak season it's hard to get a booking (as the number of visitors allowed are limited). For advance booking there is a counter at Jabalpur. Address: MP Online - Swastik Cyber O Cafe. 1330, Gulati Complex, Opp. Anand Cinema Ph: (0761)2490588, 2490102, 2400933

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Mob: 94249255700, 9303151015 - Lalit Pandey What to see: The main portion of the forest is covered with Sal, Bamboo and big grazing grounds filled with grass. You will also find a variety of other plants as well. When it

comes to animals and birds, there are a very few other places in India where one can view the animals from this close. Though the number of tigers in Kanha is quite high, but unfortunately I didn’t found any. But I was lucky enough to spot a beer, which is one of the rarest to find.

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Heritage

Hanseswari temple by Suryajit Bhattacharya I was planning for a weekend ride, anywhere, for a day or two. Finally, executed a ride to a Hanseswari and Vasudeb Temple in Bansberia – Hooghly.

The temple is small enough to take your half day, but enough to blow your mind with its beauty. This monument has been considered as ancient monument and taken under Archaeological Survey of India.

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This is a Hindu Temple of goddess kali with beautiful structure is the representation of Tantrik Satchakrabhed. It’s a 5 storied temple gives a taste of French architecture. The temple is 21 m high and has 13 towers. The peak of

each tower is shaped as a lotus flower. The Vasudeb Temple is another beauty and completely decorated with a rich Teracotta works. This temple was built by Nrisinhadeb in 1788.

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How to reach By road By GT Road or old Delhi Road, reach Adisaptagram and from there take a turn towards Ishwar Gupta Setu. Just before the Bridge on Ganga starts, leave the highway and take right to

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enter into the town. From there it’ll hardly take 3 minutes to the temple. Bikes are allowed till the gate of the temple. By train It’s situated at Bansberia which is the first station after Bandel towards Katwa. Bansberia could

be reached by any Katwa Local Train from Howrah which will take 1 hour 5 minutes. The temple can be easily reached in 5 minutes from Bansberia Railway Station by Rickshaw.

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Taalasari is a beach in the Baleswar district of Orissa, India. It is one of the less exploited Orissa beaches. The Taalsaari beach is not as frequently visited by the people as the other beaches. The waters of the sea at this beach are calm and peaceful. River Subarnarekha meet with Bay of Bengal here.

How to reach In Taalsaari is 36 kms from Jaleshwar, is the nearest railway station. However, from West Bengal side, Taalsaari is only 8–10 km away from Digha. It is approximately 4 hours journey from Howrah to Digha. From

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New Digha railway station, you can hire a cab/other local transport like Motor-van to reach Taalsaari. Where to Stay Panthanivas or Panthashala of the Orissa Tourism

Development Corporation (OTDC) is a good option. You can also book rooms at OTDC’s Calcutta tourist office at Utkal Bhavan, 55 Lenin Sarani, Calcutta.

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Lazy Weekend

Taalsaari by Apurba Hudait


This is a new section introduced by Travelers’ Adda. We will select one of our members as travel guru who has extensive exposure in traveling and passion to share experience with others. We are proudly declaring Shubham Bairy as Travel Guru for this quarter.

Shubham Bairy (Forum’s nick name “longrider”) is a hardcore biker and loves not only riding bikes but traveling on bike. He also loves to explore new

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places. He traveled many places in Tamilnadu with his Platina 125 and in West Bengal with Hero Honda Karizma. By profession, he is now a trainee

at “Narayani Hospital, Vellore”. His dream is to become a biomedical engineer.

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Travel Guru

Travel Guru Shubham Bairy


Riding kilometers after kilometers is not a big deal, but the main thing is 'me posting a travelogue'. It’s my first travelogue in this forum.

The riders’ heart can't stop sailing. After the exam ends I got a 2days of holiday, so I was planning for some 300km trip. While searching in Tamilnadu tourism site I found out this

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water falls nearly 245 kms distance from my place. OK let’s go. Finished my dinner early, tried to have sleep for 2-4 hours. My

friend Siddharta also joined with me. Wake up at 2am, get ready, loaded the luggage and started our journey of two days.

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Travel Guru’s Desk

A cRaZY RidE tO HOGENAKKEL falls by Shubham Bairy


Some info about the place 1. This place is famous because the shooting place of the movie "Ravan". 2. Bangalore riders, it’s very near to your place and awesome weekend spot. Enjoy!!! 3. Lots of lodges, and hotels you can get there, so don’t worry for staying 4. Don't go there in summer. 5. There are two falls, for the large one you have to go there by boat "Coracalle". (But it’s dangerous.)

Our plan was to stay here one night. But we have visited the place in 3 hours, and it was only 12 o'clock. So we changed our plan to go back after a power nap.

After this entire thing I can only say "A journey for the sake of RIDING..." My road of life goes on......

From Krishnagiri to Vellore is like my daily run. So I am not posting about it. I return home by 5 pm. After a 576 km of riding, which was not expected by me that is 125cc's performance. It was still strong, willing to move more....

Come back to my travelogue.

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Four travelers, two days, one destination - once again, on move with different taste. This tour was special as we were covering the route by train and by road at same time.

Day 1 Two of us Manojit Da and Bhaskar started the trip early in the morning from Howrah Station, in a rainy morning while other two, I and Kaustav was waiting at home till raining stops. Initial plan was to start the engine as Manojit Da and Bhaskar departs Howrah Station at around 6 in the morning. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, we had to wait till its end. Travelers’ Adda

It was around 9 am when we started from our place and around 9:30 we met at NH 6. Due to rain the weather was clear and very pleasant. Earlier plan was to reach Kharagpur at same time when other two reaches. But, we were too late to be there. Way to Gopiballavpur was really descent as it NH 6 covers most of the way to the place till Kharagpur. From there when

less than a quarter left, the road is good but little tuff to ride as it’s busy without any divider. No issues, finally we made to the place where others two were waiting, it was Manojit Da’s place. The village at Gopiballavpur, where we stayed is actually Manojit Da’s village. Name of the village is quite catchy – Chorchita gram. We planned to make 2 minutes noodle for us while and carrying the same as nobody was there at 20

Exploring Planet

Gopiballavpur by Suryajit Bhattacharya


the place. But what a worm welcome we had there – at first got some Prashad from a neighbor and then an invitation for lunch – Hot Chicken Curry and Rice. The beauty of the place is the wide River Subarnarekha. It was less than a kilometer from the place. We roam there on bike. The view is awesome and could get some idea by pictures. The place we already visited in Manojit Da’s photographs and this is the reason we planned to visit the place. The view during evening – cannot be explained in words. Nature made the beauty but we didn’t make any word to explain it.

and wonderful. We had some local food Like Pakora, Gulab Jamun and Malpoa. Then we saw a procession – a preparation for Charak. But we knew that we are going to miss this as Charak was on next week.

Water level just below your waist pebbles and sand was very much visible below. Cold water was giving excellent pleasure under shining sun. The lunch was superb and the invitation was from Sonu’s mother.

The fun increased many folds while we started cooking our Dinner. Kaustav was main cook and we were his helping hands. While cooking we were enjoying fish fry at the same time.

At evening we were again

Day 2

During this time the water level remains low till the Monsoon. People are used to cross the river with or without any boat. The river is heaven for fishermen. However as per Manojit Da we were not supposed to get too much fishes easily but we were fortunate enough. Evening was colorful Travelers’ Adda

Next morning we went to see the sunrise when the sun already raised. No issue, we were happy for the invitation for the lunch ahead. We went for sightseeing and did some clicks as well. The view is simply awesome. We back Manojit Da’s place and dressed for bath - at River Subarnarekha. My experience is un-expressible and the feeling known to the people present there. A local guy Sonu, guided us to river to show the place where it’ll be safe to bath.

roaming around the river on our bikes. The beauty at it’s extreme. White bet of sand, open field till your vision goes clear water, small fishing boats and sun set. Hope you can imagine how was that. It’s simply a biker’s heaven where one can easily visit all the places in two days. As the day ended we prepared for dinner which was again cooked by Kaustav.

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This was not a regular trip but happened during my official travel to Germany. I have visited this place two (2) times. First one during summer of 2009 and second one during summer of 2011. Würzburg is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site Residenz Castle as well as the unforgettable views from the Fortress Marienberg. This place is also famous for great wine.

Location Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria,

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Germany. This is located near the river “Main”. This place is approximately 120 kms from Franfurt and well connected via high speed train also. However,

we have visited the place from Lauda, Germany which is around 40-50 kms from Wurzburg.

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Around the World

Würzburg, Germany by Manojit Pati


Places to see Würzburg Residenz situated on the eastern side of the town. Its construction between 1720 and 1744 was supervised by several famous architects from Europe. Although much of it

destroyed during second (2nd) world war, it has been completely rebuilt as it was before the war. The Wurzburg town itself is very nice and modern. It also has several sculptures by various famous artists from Europe. The Fortress Marienberg is the castle on a hill across the Old Main Bridge, overlooking the whole town area as well as the surrounding hills. The “Main” is a major river and tributary of the Rhine in Germany with a length of 527 km. Kappele is a small chapel among Wurzburg's many notable churches.

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Travelers' Adda Xplorer June 2012