Agatti Aerodrome – One of world’s scariest

16.01.2017:

I reached the Kochi Airport around 11.30 pm on 15.01.2017. Uncle and Aunt would be joining me the next day and I have to spend all night in the airport 😦 . But, it’s ok! Am quite excited about my onward journey from here 🙂 . When we thought of going to Lakshadweep, Aunt asked me whether we can go on a ship, but I denied! Firstly, ship schedules are tight, reservations needs to be done early; secondly, the journey would consume more time, which I cannot afford at any cost 😉 . So, it was a flight obviously!

But, let me unearth the truth behind me choosing a flight to a ship. It is all about the Agatti Airport! The first thing that came to my notice when I was surfing the internet about Lakshadweep is the Agatti Aerodrome. It is listed in various lists like the most beautiful airports in the world, world’s scariest airports etc. When I saw the images of this airport, the thing which attracted me the most is the airstrip. And, so.. I wanted to try a flight journey to this beautiful archipelago.

Uncle and Aunt joined me at the Kochi airport around 8.30 hrs on 16.01.2017. When approached the check-in staff of Air India, they asked us our entry permits and we produced the same and they in turn gave us our tickets. Done with the first check! In the meanwhile, I remember Avinash saying me to carry some food stuff as there is a slight problem for food in the islands and hence Aunt and I went to buy some instant soup mixes, cup noodles and chips etc. In the meanwhile, the boarding was announced and we made our way to the boarding gate.

It is a 42 seater ATR-42 plane and Air India runs a daily flight to Agatti from Kochi except on Sundays. As usual people started clicking selfies while waiting for their turn to board the flight. I made a special request to the check-in staff to allot window seats for all three of us so that we may get a chance to see the beauty hidden this archipelago and they did. We comforted ourselves in the seats that were allotted to us and were about to fly. I watched the vast expanse of Arabian Sea under us and the massive ships looking like tiny ants on a blue floor 🙂 . Soon, the air hostess came with some refreshments. Once done with the small spinach corn sandwich and some fruit salad, I retired for a small nap.

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I woke up when the Captain made his announcement that we would be landing in another 15 minutes. I saw an island though I am not sure which one was that (my guess is Kalpeni), and within no time a jetty and a desalination plant. Yeah this is Agatti. Looking like nothing more than just a strip of land protruding out of the heavenly blue waters, this is the only one serving in the Lakshadweep islands. The Airport is located on the southern end of the island and is spread over an area of over 46 acres. The airstrip was constructed during the year 1987-88 and the airport was inaugurated in 1988. The aerial view of the airstrip is breathtaking, but overshoot the runway and we will be straight into the sea 🙂

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Once out of the plane, the soft sea breeze caressed us and the scenic beauty of the airstrip which is almost like dividing the sea into two and the blue lagoon surrounding it offered a feast for the eyes. The airport is a small one which can accommodate around 50 passengers and there was Imran waiting for us! After exchanging pleasantries and the security check of our entry permits and all, we walked out where an auto-rickshaw was waiting for us. The area surrounding the airport is a vast stretch of silver sand beach with coconut groves and some bushes. And it was too hot! Imran took us to the local police station where in which we have to get our entry permits stamped from the Station House Officer.

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We went to the station which is located in the 2nd floor of the building and came to know that the SHO was not in the station and we can collect the permits at a later point of time. Without any more delay we went to our accommodation. 🙂 🙂

Finally I am here – In one of my dream destinations! 🙂 🙂

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Gangtok – India’s cleanest City

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Gangtok – Not only the cleanest but also the prettiest Indian city. I travelled to Gangtok from Bagdogra airport by a local cab, the driver who is quite experienced in driving along those tricky hill tracks. It was a 5 hour drive from Bagdogra as the condition of the road was not that good. But didn’t get bored as the curvy roads and the beautiful Teesta river kept on drawing my attention. The welcome board at Rangpo and the check post welcomes us to this small land-locked state, which shares it’s border with three countries. The green woods, bluish waters of the river Teesta and the mighty mountains add to the state’s charm.

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Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim and the largest town in the state. It is also known as the land of monasteries with the highest number in a small area in the whole world. The city became a Buddhist centre after the Enchey monastery first built in 1840s. Gangtok has been modernized without compromising the bounty that Nature has showered on this beautiful city.

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The narrow roads with buzzing cars, and decorated with colorful flowers on their pathway, busy markets, lots of liquor shops without any long standing queues, good confectioneries, bars and castles, multi-cuisine restaurants, beautiful monasteries and the amazing views of Kanchendzonga and many more..

Stay tuned to see what am gonna reveal about this b’ful city!!

TTT – TIRU’S TRAVEL TALES

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I have started this blog, with a plan of writing on contemporary issues and subjects related to my preparation of UPSC. But it took a U-turn and recently, I came up with a new series “Three Phenomenal Women of My Life”, in which am sharing my journey with those three beautiful women who has helped and helping me in becoming a good human being. Now, my mind has turned out to another passion of mine. It’s TRAVEL.

And here is my new series. “TIRU’S TRAVEL TALES”. The title itself indicates what this series is going to be. Yeah, it’s going to be about my travel experiences. Some of my fondest memories are from these travel tales. I think, I have inherited this trait of travelling from my dad, who always loves to travel to one place or the other. Though I have not traveled extensively, I explored quite good places in India so far.

Eventually I became an outdoor enthusiast who loves adventure. I often travel alone, sometimes with friends and at times with family. I travel to the remotest destinations as well as the cosmopolitans. I wander through the jungles, sail on the seas. I search for the lost spiritual world in these modern times while exploring the most modern places. It’s not always easy to experience what all these places have to offer, yet I go to them just to enjoy the beauty of the places and experience their colorful stories.

Often travelling gives me a chance to understand many things about the people, their culture, and their food habits. It gives me a chance to interact with more people, change my perspective towards something which I was unaware till then, it breaks down few barriers which I carry with me. Above all, personally I feel that travel makes me feel more confident, it gives me more courage, it teaches me how to deal with the challenges that comes in my way, keeps me focused, and it teaches how to be comfortable when am out of my comfort zone. All in all, I believe that travelling makes me a better person.

Though am not a professional writer, like a little kid so excited to share her experiences,  I hope I can bring an account of some of the most beautiful places on this earth. Come, join me in this beautiful journey of mine and enjoy!