Saturday, 16 February 2019

Glimpses of Uzbekistan - exploring Tashkent

Glimpses of Uzbekistan - exploring Tashkent
Tashkent is the capital of beautiful Uzbekistan, an apparently modern metropolitan, yet one of the oldest cities located on the great Silk Road, holding its immense significance as the political, economic, cultural and scientific center of the rapidly developing nation. Unlike bustling capitals of most other Asian countries which are often too overwhelming for first-timers , Tashkent offers a much more relaxed and welcoming atmosphere to outsiders. Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport, the port of entry for most foreign tourists, is itself compact enough to be explored on a pair of flip-flops. Remember, do not click photos of the airfield as it is prohibited. As you clear your immigration and step out of the airport, there won't be any herd of pushy taxi drivers to bewilder you.

When I and my friend failed to trace the tour guide who was supposed to wait outside the arrival area with a placard, we were kind of frustrated and clueless. Evening was fast filling the sky. Winter chill was making its presence felt. Communicating with locals seemed a bit difficult. To top it all, we had no local SIM. It was a cab driver who came to our rescue. In the beginning, we misjudged his friendliness as some swindling motive. But, we were very wrong! It was our first encounter with the unexpected Uzbek hospitality. Before you take a drive into the city of Tashkent, I recommend you to go through the ideal 7 days Uzbekistan itinerary I had blogged earlier, and also valid reasons for you to backpack Uzbekistan.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

7 reasons for Indian backpackers to visit Uzbekistan

7 reasons for Indian backpackers to visit Uzbekistan
Last year, I had given you 7 valid reasons for every backpacker to visit Sri Lanka, the pearl of Indian Ocean. Today I'll tell you why every Indian backpacker must visit Uzbekistan. Frankly, there can be too many good reasons for travelers, especially Indians, to plan a trip to this part of Central Asia, but I'll highlight only top seven of them to save your time. Did you check out my highly recommended 7 days Uzbekistan itinerary? Being a first time visitor, I am not tired of praising the unmatched richness of Uzbekistan as a culturally gifted tourist destination. The tourism platter of this country shall astound you with its bizarre mountain slopes, ridges, marvelous blooming gardens, picturesque valleys and beautifully preserved myriad architectural wonders with centuries-old history associated to them. Hospitality is the part of the soul of the Uzbek people. Despite the undeniable language barrier, I received guidance from locals and officials every time I needed it. Influenced by the cultures of ancient Iranians, Arabs, Turkic nomadic tribes, Chinese, Mongols and Russians, each region of Uzbekistan has its own unique distinctive culture. However cinematic it might sound, Uzbek cuisine comprises amazing variety of dishes which definitely blends a piece of the soul of the cook along with aromatic oriental spices to add unparalleled piquancy to Uzbek gastronomic tale. I've carefully sorted out 7 reasons for Indian backpackers to visit this central Asian nation.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Glimpses of Uzbekistan - the Itinerary

Glimpses of Uzbekistan - the Itinerary
Uzbekistan is an exceptionally beautiful and culturally gifted country of Central Asia. The geography of Uzbekistan is an amazing blend of flat and mountainous terrain. There, the green plains, like oriental beauties are delicately guarded by the harsh mountain giants which are covered eternally with thick snow. With its colorful mosques, madrasas and markets, a trip to Uzbekistan offers you a fascinating glimpse of a beautiful part of the world that most travelers miss. It's a shame, how seldom we consider this country while brainstorming on our upcoming international travel destination! Seasonal variations in Uzbekistan are no less remarkable than what we enjoy here in India. Let me clarify, it was not a planned winter trip, and my knowledge on Uzbekistan was probably lesser than what you know right now.

2018 was literally very dull and rich with negative vibes. Keeping all personal screw-ups, loses and failures aside, I was consciously contemplating on inaugurating 2019 diary with optimistic notes. Initial plan was to backpack Vietnam in mid February. A comprehensive itinerary for two weeks was chalked out. Just when everything was falling into place, my travel mate backed out due to her unforeseen professional call. That's how our backpacking Vietnam got postponed. In an attempt to kill the frustration associated with an aborted trip, I hiked to Parasnath Hill. Clearly, it didn't work out. I kept scavenging for travel ideas desperately till images of Uzbekistan captured my attention. Apart from sharing our itinerary, at the end I'll recommend you a more ideal 7 days Uzbekistan itinerary which is feasible even to solo backpackers.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Winter Hike to the holy Parasnath Hill

Winter Hike to the holy Parasnath Hill
Parasnath Hills are a range of hills located at the eastern mete of Chota Nagpur Plateau, as if born to add mountain flavor to the touristry platter of woody Jharkhand. The highest peak of Parasnath range is Parasnath itself, marking its dominance as the tallest peak in Jharkhand, with a decent altitude of 4,429 feet. Parasnath is one of the holiest pilgrimage destination for Jains, and more popularly addressed as ‘Shikharji’ or “Sammed Sikhar”. A casual Google-search can fetch you all these info. But, what you still won’t get to know is whether Parasnath Hill is worth visiting for travellers who’re not religiously inclined, or those who follow other religions. That’s the reason why you’ve landed onto this blog. Keep reading. Last week I rode to Madhuban on a scooter. Those of you who already know me as a motorcycle obsessed individual must be wondering why I rode on a scooter. I’ll come to that part later. It was my second visit to Madhupur, with almost similar eagerness to hike Parasnath as I had back in October 2016. Madhuban is a tiny town in Giridih district dotted with a number of Jain temples. The usual hiking trail to Parasnath peak originates from one fag end of this pilgrim-packed town. Once the motorable road ends, one needs to walk 6 miles up to get onto the Parasnath top.