Fire fighting in Thinnakara

18.01.2016:

While we were enjoying the coconuts and the coconut jaggery that was prepared fresh by Fathima aunty, an old man with a serious look on his face rushed towards us. He is Mohommed, husband of Fathima aunty. From his serious looks, I thought he might not have liked us being there taking off their privacy and enjoying his wife’s sweet dish, but I was wrong! It was more serious. Unfortunately, the fire which he made to dispose off some waste started spreading into a larger area behind his home and the old man and his son were not able to control it!

When we went to inspect the scene, we saw that the fire was spreading too fast and it was only these two who were fighting with it. Soon we too were into action – Imran, Jaleel, Uncle and I started fetching buckets of water from a groundwater source beside the home and splashing the water all through the patch of the land that was on fire. As it was almost summer in this part of India with very less rainfall and almost all the bushes and leaves are fully dried, the fire is spreading at a much faster rate! Aunty and Fathima aunty too joined us in fighting the fire.

How much ever hard we were trying, we were not able to curb it and Fathima shouted hard for help and soon the staff at the resorts rushed to the spot with buckets of water and were into action. A struggle of around 30 minutes, two burns onto the sole of my right feet, torn flip-flops of Imran, cramps on to everyone’s hands – our sacrifices seemed to satisfy the Fire God and finally we were able to put off the fire 🙂 🙂 . We relaxed for some more time sipping fresh coconut water and exchanging few words with Fathima’s family before we bid them a bye!

We explored a bit more of Thinnakara before we started moving towards another set of uninhabited islands – Parali 1 and Parali 2 which are famous for sea turtles. Locals often say that these islands should be visited on a full moon night as thousands of turtles come to the island to lay eggs. Probably they might come on other nights too. But perhaps the beauty of these creatures along with the beauty of the full-moon and the lagoon around the island might be surreal. Once we get a feel of any one of the islands in the Lakshadweep Archipelago, it would be the same with the other islands too.

We started back to Agatti by 14.00 hrs and tried our hands again at fishing and this time too we didn’t get a single fish 😦 . I retired to sleep after a refreshing shower and a hearty meal. Though aunty tried a lot to wake me up from my sleep in the evening, I didn’t and she gave up. Jaleel, Imran, Aunty and Uncle went to have a walk along the beach before I woke up! Lemme sleep for some more time 🙂 🙂

Advertisements

Welcome to Thinnakara…

18.01.2017:

Thinnakara is another uninhabited island which is a 15 minute boat ride from Bangaram. This island too has some tent accommodation provided by SPORTS for the tourists. One can see these tent resorts from Bangaram island during the evenings. By the time we reached the island, there was no one in the vicinity. Thinnakara is as beautiful as Bangaram – to be frank more beautiful and peaceful with less human activity. The creamy sand beach, neatly placed chairs and hammocks cradling in between the coconut trees makes this island look more beautiful.

Thinnakara is also a well-known water sports destination. Tourists visiting Bangaram would also pay a visit to this island mainly for ship-wreck snorkeling. This is a famous snorkeling sport during the times of high tide when one can spot colonies of colorful fishes including the Tuna, star-fishes and if lucky enough you can see lots of turtles too!

After clicking a few photographs, we headed towards the restaurant to sip a cup of coffee. The resort staff were quite friendly and helpful. As ordered they served us some apples, biscuits and coffee. Though we wanted to go for ship-wreck snorkeling, we ultimately dropped our plan as we had had enough experiences of the underworld life by then 🙂 . Filling our tummies, we walked into the coconut grooves to go to the light-house situated on this island. Thinnakara is much smaller than Bangaram and we thought that it was only the staff of the resorts who lives there.

As we reached the light house, I was not thrilled at the sight of it, but was more thrilled at the sight which stood infront of me. The beauty infront of me is simply beyond description! My own fascination with this island has extended well below the surface. If one wants more of the blue, I would definitely suggest this place! It was unexplored, totally pristine – and I still couldn’t believe that this is a part of India.” The gorgeous lagoon, the blue horizon, green coconut palms, silvery beaches – they are stunning!

Every scene that catches our eyes is a postcard pic and there is not justification needed. As I got myself busy in capturing those beautiful scenes onto my camera, aunty and uncle were enjoying this romantic gateway holding each others hands walking across the creamy sand of the shore. When I finished off my photography session, uncle and aunt were walking far ahead of me while Jaleel and Imran were out of sight. After catching up with uncle and aunt, I looked Imran walking towards us licking his fingers from a small soup bowl.

I was shocked to see from where he got that bowl and what it was that is so finger-licking good. Imran joined us and guided us towards a small hut and Jaleel gave me a bowl full of coconut flesh and another bowl with a sticky yellow substance and asked me to eat. At the beginning I was a bit nervous as I donno what that was and how it tastes. But when I tasted it, it was hot and pretty sweet. It was at this moment, I noticed an elderly women who is preparing this sweet delicacy – a Laccadivian woman 🙂 . So, far in both the islands of Agatti and Bangaram, I didn’t come across a woman who is dressed in the traditional Laccadivian way and lucky to find one here! 🙂

Let me relax for sometime and enjoy this sweet dish  🙂

The diving experience in Bangaram…

17.01.2017:

The teardrop-shaped island – Bangaram is enclosed by a coral reef, is surrounded by a shallow lagoon and is ranked among the best hideaways of the world. It is a renowned spot for scuba diving and is comparable to the Great Barrier Reef and the Maldives. The island is open for tourists, national as well as international. However tourists are advised to check in advance as some of the activities are limited to specific islands at specific times of the year. Who ever visits this island will try to have a taste of what it feels like to dive under the water with their breathing apparatus and the flippers on their legs.

How will I miss it, when the place is a renowned spot for an adventure sport and when it is the best to go scuba diving? Yeah, Bangaram has the first dive center of Lakshadweep and the best time to go scuba diving is between November and March when the waters will be clear. Imran being to Kadamat told us that even Kadamat is a famous diving center. So excited, we started walking towards the dive center. The sun is scorching and the crystal white beach is as if it is reflecting almost all the rays back to us and making us sweat.

Though aunty made so many futile attempts to make uncle agree to come along with us for a dive, uncle denied those requests softly and encouraged us to go. The lead’s name is Mohamed and he gave us a form each and asked us to fill all the details and sign the declaration. The form consists of columns like our details, address and emergency contact details and the declaration states that we take the entire responsibility for everything we are doing. We filled the forms, signed the declarations and handed over them. Once done we settled down to listen to our instructor who is going to explain us about the gear and all.

Our instructor started explaining about scuba-diving, the history of the dive center and where the people had been trained, the courses that they offer, the gear and the signs which we have to use during our dive. They do offer different kinds of courses like the basic diving courses as well as advance courses and the duration of these courses vary accordingly. Many of India’s certified divers began their underwater explorations in these shallow, clear waters. When once we are confident enough, he asked us whether we are ready and we nodded! We were so excited and ready to hit the waters with our scuba-diving gear on us! 🙂 🙂

The best part of scuba-diving is that you will always have a buddy with you and you can enjoy the under-water life without being bothered about anything as your buddy will take care of everything. My buddy is a pretty friendly one and when entered the shallow lagoon as a test drive before going for the real dive, gave some instructions about having three regulators strapped on to me, in case one malfunctions. We’re skimming the turquoise waters and the dive site is about half an kilometer away. “I’m going to be with you the whole time”, he says, “so don’t freak out, okay?” I told him not to worry with a thumbs up! 🙂

As soon as I entered the lagoon for my test drive, I have seen some colorful fishes and a clear sea bed. After playing for quite sometime and getting enough of breathing exercises, I hit the top of the water again, just to have a quick fresh breath. Immediately an instruction hit my ears, don’t remove your breathing apparatus, it has got ample amount of fresh compressed air and I don’t need any of that to remain in your cylinder by the time you come back! As an obedient student, I obliged his instruction and told my buddy that I am ready and let’s go 🙂

We started swimming towards the diving spot and reached there within minutes. All the talk in the world doesn’t prepare you for the sensation of diving in the sea. As soon as my jacket is deflated, the weight strapped to my waist band take over and I begin to descend. The water became colder and I started to shiver! For a few moments what all I can see before me is an empty expanse almost threatening to swallow me whole. I sink some more, and am suddenly, keenly aware, of how labored my breathing sounds in my ears.

I feel pressure building and clogging up my ears. I started to acclimatize and my breathing is fine and I started enjoying the dive. I have seen shoals of fishes sniffing around crimson corals, a big black fish whose name is not known to me, some clown fishes scanning the waters with fierce concentration to find the pieces of fish feed that is being left by my buddy into the water. The dive is liberating and meditative even! The best part is that beneath the waves, the water around these islands offer something for everyone. And especially most of the islands in Lakshadweep have their own home reef and waters filled with rich marine life!

At the lagoons edge of the Bangaram Island, the barrier reef surrounding the island tapers off into deeper waters. Coral abound on these seaward slopes and coral of all shapes and sizes grow side by side, creating caverns and alleyways that host some of the most beautifully bizarre creatures on the planet. Though I enjoyed the sight of so many fishes and corals, I totally freaked out when my buddy asked me to touch some of the corals and feel them 😐 . I simply rejected the idea and continued enjoying my dive chasing some fishes and finding out Imran and aunty, so that we can pose together for some photographs 🙂 .

Diving in Lakshadweep is thrilling, to say the least!

Welcome to the world of SPORTS!

17.01.2017:

It is around 08.30 hrs when we reached the Bangaram Island. As I told earlier, the Island is too beautiful. It’s almost as if I am into a different world altogether. It is an uninhabited island and it contains more marine life than the other islands in the Lakshadweep archipelago. We got down from our boat and made our way towards the island. There are a few resorts, a restaurant, dive center with the gear and equipment on display and some sun-bath chairs. It’s a white sand beach with a turquoise blue lagoon surrounding it and coconut groves occupying the middle part of the island.

Jaleel along with a person who works at the resorts took us to a room where we were intended to stay. He showed us two rooms out of which we chose the better one. To be frank, they are well-maintained and the washroom is too clean and has a running water tap. While we were enjoying the ambiance of the room and the surroundings, the person told us that it has not power supply and we were utterly surprised. It was at this time I learnt about the monopoly that was being enjoyed by an agency called SPORTS. I heard this word quite many a times from Imran and Avinash, but I thought that this is a word simply being used as the agency takes care of all water-sports and activities in the islands.

In Lakshadweep, two major private organizations are in-charge of managing and handling all the water sports activities. They are known as Lakshadweep institute of Water Sports and SPORTS (Society for promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports). These two bodies hold regular camps for the tourists all through the year. SPORTS enjoys a monopoly on the entire tourist trade in the islands of Bangaram and Thinnakara. If one doesn’t have friends in Lakshadweep, the only option is to book their trips to the islands solely through SPORTS and the permit formalities of bonafide tourists will be taken care by them.

The person told us that earlier those rooms which we have seen were also used, but as it has been decided later that the power would be supplied only to the resorts owned by SPORTS, these became non-functional. For that moment, we were not bothered about the power supply or about how we are going to spend the night in the island, but we were bothered about our lunch and dinner. As for our breakfast today, aunty, uncle and I had some snacks which aunty has brought along with her and Jaleel and Imran had some boiled eggs and coconuts during our boat journey.

Jaleel left to see if he can find someone whom he knew, while Imran and I left to meet the manager of the SPORTS resorts on the island. We approached him and told that we were to spend a night in the island and we need some food and we were ready to pay. He considered our request and spoke with his restaurant people who agreed to provide us the lunch and dinner and we were happy 🙂 . They made a point that the lunch would cost Rs. 300 per person and dinner Rs. 400 per person. We happily agreed! After all it’s better to spend some money on food rather than starving 🙂

All settled, we left our bags in the room and moved towards the dive center. Bangaram is famous for it’s water-sports. Besides swimming, there is a lot to explore here. Bangaram is the exact stop for experiencing snorkeling and deep sea fishing. Experts who help people from all age groups with these activities realize the potential of the sport. Apart from the usual sport activities like snorkeling, canoeing, deep sea fishing, tourists can also indulge in varied other activities like scuba diving, deep sea diving, wind glassed bottom boat sailing, surfing and so on in this island.

Welcome to the world of SPORTS!!

A refreshing evening in Agatti

16.01.2017:

img_2086

We started moving towards the northern end of the island. Imran told us that life is very smooth in the island and there is no crime! We came across few mosques on our way where people were offering their prayers. There are a few antique Buddhist sculptures found in this island that show that the islanders once practiced Buddhism. But now, Islam is practiced exclusively. Women wears burqas while the girls wears scarves. Men are in either shirts and trousers or lungis! It took us around 10 minutes to reach the beach on the northern end of the island.

img_2098

The beach is full of activity. We parked our bicycles and walked through the powdery sand. There is a shack selling some refreshments and ladies were sitting together in small groups and discussing things while men were loitering here and there with the children. The cool breeze, calm beach and turquoise blue lagoon with a setting sun opposite to the scene is so enticing! Although there is lot of activity going around the beach and the crowd is not too less, the beach is quite clean 🙂 . I started going around the beach while Imran started a conversation with an islander and uncle and aunt walked towards the sea.

s

 

A few children were playing football after erecting a goal-post into the sand while some were running around hunting the hermit crabs, while some others were trying their hands at fishing! The common thing among all the islanders is the habit of fishing. No matter what the age of a person is, he will be always interested in fishing and sometimes I feel that it’s their favorite past time too 🙂 . After clicking some photographs I too settled down along with uncle and aunt while Imran was still conversing with the islander.

img_1972

From the corner of my eye, I could see some creatures crawling on the wet sand, but when I turn to have a look at them, all I could see are some shells here and there. I asked uncle and aunt to remain silent and then these creatures started going around us with more vigor. These are the lower scale hermit crabs which try to deceive us by pulling back their bodies into their shells at the slightest hint of some activity around them. Aunty and uncle struggled a bit around them to make a video of their movements and finally satisfied, we let them go on their business while we returned to our business of clicking some photographs when Imran joined us finally!

img_2005

Finally at around 18.45 hrs, it became dark and we moved towards the shack named ‘Lagoon Beach Restaurant’ and occupied a table. We ordered some tea for uncle and aunt, I took some samosas and Imran some fish rolls. They tasted good 🙂 . Spending some time here, we left for having our dinner at the same Al Mubarak restaurant. I ordered a Masala Dosa, while aunty and uncle ordered for some plain dosas and Imran excused himself as his non-vegetarian dinner was ready back at his room. Again, the dosa is too good. It’s fresh, crisp and less oily. Don’t miss a chance of tasting this tasty dosa, if you are here in Agatti!

img_2097

Time for shopping! Tomorrow we are leaving for the Bangaram Island. As there won’t be any food stuff available there, we have to get something to eat along with us. While Aunt and Uncle has gone for buying some snacks and all and Imran left to find an ATM, I went around some of the cloth shops to buy some beach-wear! After a lot of struggle with the extra large sizes available here, I managed to get a T-shirt for a price of Rs. 150 🙂 . Not bad 😉 . Done with our shopping we left for our rooms.

21.00 hrs – We called it a day as we have to start early in the morning! Good Night 🙂

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.

img_1869

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 🙂

hifzuga

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.

img_1863

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! 🙂 🙂

Mumbai… Here I come :)

11.11.2016:

07.00 hrs – While the Demonetization effect is seeping into the lives of India, I was getting ready to start my masti in Maharashtra. With just a new 2000 rupee note and 10 ten rupee notes, I got into an auto rickshaw to catch the Jet Airways flight from Trivandrum to Mumbai. The practice of raising up hands if at all some one asks for extra money or change for higher denominations started from this point. Though the auto-driver switched on the meter and the bill was Rupees 98, he asked me for a hundred and twenty and I simply gave him the last 10 ten rupee notes which I had and told him if at all he needs an extra twenty he needs to give me one thousand eight hundred and eighty rupees in return. Lol! 😀 . No more arguments, the driver left without a word 😉

07.40 hrs – I was standing in a queue of two persons at the State Bank of Travancore ATM at the Domestic terminal of Trivandrum and it just took me 10 minutes to get 20 crisp hundred rupee notes and I was on cloud 9 as I have got 4000 rupees in my wallet and thought that it’s not going to be a alright in the current crisis. 09.15 – Call for boarding was given and 09.30 hrs – Boarded the flight, 09.40 hrs – The flight took off..

11.30 hrs – The flight landed at Terminal 1 of Chatrapathi Shivaji Airport of Mumbai. Just before few minutes of the landing, I could see the real life of Mumbai. The airport which is among the most classy airports in India is surrounded by a huge slum and we can get a glimpse of it throughout the landing time. And here I am – in a Cosmopolitan city, a concrete jungle which has the highest sky scrappers, a city that never sleeps – Mumbai! The airport is really classy. I had been to almost all the major airports like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, but this one attracted me the most 🙂

11.45 hrs – Mythri and Ryan – my nephew, were waiting for me outside the airport and we left to my brother’s place which is in Andheri East. Mumbai is said to have been built on seven islands that were part of Portuguese territories and that the British received it as a part of dowry when in 1661 King Charles II married the Portuguese Catherine of Braganza. Mumbai stretches from north to south, and Mumbaikars call the south region ‘town’ while the northern part constitutes mostly of ‘suburbs’.

12.00 hrs – A friend of mine in Mumbai Ganesh, is going to take us around the city for the rest of the day. We quickly had our lunch and left @ 13.00 hrs to meet catch up with Ganesh at the Cotton Green Station. The Ola cab services is quick enough to pick us from our home and leave us at our destination.

Just wait and watch what we gonna do in the city now 😉

“Mini India” Port Blair :)

Day 1:

Though I hail from South India, I took a flight to Port Blair from Kolkata, so that I can spend some two days in Kolkata too. We boarded the flight around 10 am in the morning. Though I got a window seat, I was asleep for most part of the journey 😀 as I was tired from the previous day shopping in Kolkata :p , but as we were just nearing our destination, the pilot started to go around the archipelago, of course every flight offers this service, the service of providing an aerial view of the beautiful islands 🙂 . Swati woke me up asking me to have a look at the pristine beach waters below. Every one of us peeped through the windows to have a glance at the spell-bound scene beneath.

Soon we were on the runway. It was around 12.30 when we stepped into the Veer Sarvarkar Airport or the Port Blair Airport. Yes, the airport is named after the Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Sarvarkar. Sahil, Swati’s brother was waiting for us by the time we reached. We grabbed our baggage and headed to Swati’s home. Aunty and uncle welcomed us all and after the greetings we had our lunch and rested for some time.

DSC04785

An Archipelago of 572 islands adrift in the Bay of Bengal, the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands, also known as the Emerald islands offers us breath taking colors of the sea. Port Blair, named after the naval surveyor Lieutenant Archibald Blair, was colonized in the late 18th century by the British. The capital city of Andaman and Nicobar islands, is a charming island town with stunning views of the Andaman sea. With its bustling atmosphere, the city is called “Mini India” as one can find Bengalis, Tamils, Telugus, Mallus, Nicobarese and Burmese living in this city.

It was around 4 pm , we set out to go around the city. The plan is to catch up the music and light show at the historical monument “Cellular Jail”. But, it’s too early, the show would start up only by 7 or 7.30 pm. So, we thought of having a drive through the roads of Port Blair. Our first halt is the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, which offers Safe water sports activities as well as Adventure water sports. We just paid a visit. Important thing is try eating the egg rolls that are offered just outside the complex, trust me they were so yummy 😉

DSC04671

We just spent a couple of moments there and headed to the Joggers’ Park on the VIP road. This is a must see place in Port Blair, especially if we just want to take some time off and watch the world go by. This is one of the highest points in the city and truly breath-taking after the sunset. The view from the benches overlooking an illuminated city and the sight of the lit runway of the adjacent airport are nothing short of magical.

DSC04674

Soon, we were at the Cellular Jail. The light show started after we took our chairs. The structure soon came into life with the lights lit, the colors representing the tri-color. We strictly adhered to the rules of not taking snaps of the show as instructed. It was the tree which took the voice of our Om Puri ji, narrating the stories that were all related with the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters. Am sure that everyone will get goose bumps while listening to the narration, also a part of this contains the conversation between Veer Damodar Savarkar and the cruel jailer David Barry. It fills our hearts with patriotism. I salute them!

DSC04796

The show is hardly for 45 mins or one hour. We headed to the local beach and thereafter called it a day 🙂

How about a break???

Yeah, how about a break? A break from trekking? A break from the mountains? A break from the chilling winds and snowflakes? I think, it’s time for one.. for me; I think for you too 😉

What could be a better destination? Any place far away from this concrete jungle would be fine for me :p A place where there won’t be any hustle bustle. A place where I can go for a long walk all alone; If tired, can sit somewhere and watch the blue sky and get lost in my thoughts; have some good food or a drink, soft though 😉 under the moon light or on a candle-lit table, when I feel hungry… After this much of description, I know that everyone will vote for a beach 😉 . Isn’t it?

Let’s go to a beach then. A small correction… to beaches!  Yeah, to some of the finest beaches in the world. Don’t think that I am taking you to Mauritius or Maldives for those. As I mentioned earlier, India, our beautiful India has got all one wants. It might be the mighty mountains or the vast green meadows, beautiful beaches or splendid valleys, we can find everything here in this land of wonders 🙂 , my India!!

Having my roots in a coastal area, beaches are not new for me. Yes, though my mom is from a remote village in Vizianagaram, we had hardly been there. As far as I know, all my visits to my maternal grandparents are to the beautiful beach city “Visakhapatnam” (the city of destiny). And to my luck, I completed my graduation from a university in the same city, later worked in Chennai, which is yet another beach city, visited Pondicherry, the once French colony, still bearing the aroma of French culture and last but not the least Goa.

It’s quite a difficult thing for me to choose among these places, I mean for my next series 😉 . I was thinking about the travel tale which I should share with you people now.  After a lot of thinking, I decided my destination. Not from any of those mentioned above though! Guess what, Andaman and Nicobar Islands it is! Yes, thanks to one of my very close friends Swati for taking us all to this beautiful place. I will be thankful to her always 🙂

I would like to share all the memories which I bundled for a life-time during this trip by taking all of you down to my past. Welcome to my Andaman Diaries!!!

 

VI NCERT – GEO GIST – OUR COUNTRY – INDIA

  • India is bounded by the Himalayas in the North, the Arabian Sea in the west, the Bay of Bengal in the East and the Indian Ocean in the south.
  • Peninsula : Peninsula is a piece of land which is surrounded by water on three sides of it.
  • Area of India – 3.28 million square kilometers
  • The North South extent of India is 3,200 kms
  • The East West extent of India is 2,900 kms
  • The Tropic of cancer (23 1/20N) passes through the middle of India.
  • From north to south, the mainland extends between 804’ N and 3706’N latitudes.
  • From west to east, the mainland extends between 6807’ E and 97025’E longitudes.
  • The longitude 82030’E is called the Indian Standard Time or the Standard Meridian of India.
  • Seven countries share boundary with India : China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh.
  • Tributary: A river or stream which contributes its water to a main river by discharging it into main river from either side.

India is marked by a diversity of physical features such as mountains, plateaus, plains, coasts and islands.

Himalayas:

  • The northern most of Himalayas are the Greater Himalayas or Himadri. Some of the world’s highest peaks are in this range.
  • The middle Himalayas or the Himachal has some of the beautiful hill stations.
  • The southern part of the Himalayas are the Lesser Himalayas or the Shiwaliks.

Northern Plains:

  • These lie to the south of the Himalayas.
  • These are formed by the alluvial deposits laid down by the rivers – the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra and their tributaries.

Great Indian Desert:

  • In the western part of India lies the Great Indian desert.
  • It is a dry, hot and sandy stretch of land.

Peninsular plateau:

  • To the south of northern plains lies the Peninsular plateau. It is triangular in shape.
  • Aravali hills, one of the oldest ranges of the world, border it on the north-west side.
  • The Vindhyas and the Satpuras are the important ranges.
  • The rivers Narmada and Tapi flow through these ranges. These are the west flowing rivers.
  • The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats border the plateau.
  • The Western Ghats are almost continuous and the Eastern Ghats are broken and uneven.
  • To the west of the Western Ghats and the East of the Eastern Ghats lie the Coastal plains.

Islands:

  • Two groups of islands also form part of India.
  • Lakshadweep Islands are located in the Arabian Sea.
  • The Andaman and the Nicobar islands lie to the southeast of the Indian mainland in the Bay of Bengal.