30 December 2013

Looking Back - Year 2013

The year started off with my first trip for the year to Mysore. A long awaited trip for my brother-in-laws wedding. Highlight of which were visit to Zoo, Palace, Chamundi Hills.
Giraffe at Mysore Zoo
In March was my trip to native and a visit to Shettihalli Rosary Church, a hidden treasure of Hemavathi backwater. 
Rosary Church, Shettihalli
Then in May was our trip to Daman, a trip which highlighted the Portugal Influence in India.
Rediscovering Portugal Dynasty at Daman - Part 1
Rediscovering Portugal Dynasty At Daman-Part 2
Rediscovering Portugal Dynasty At Daman - Part 3
Rediscovering Portugal Dynasty At Daman - Part 4
Statue of Lord Jesus at the garden outside Church of Our Lady of Remedios, Daman
In June was our trip to Vihigaon and Igatpuri, a trip with the blend of nature and  architecture.
Myanmar Gate, Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri
Another trip to Native in September for Ganesh Chaturthi
In November was a trip to Malnad, Shimoga and around.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace Shimoga
Koodli Tunga Bhadra Sanagama
Jog Falls
Rameshwara Temple, Koodli
And a visit to Kadmane Tea Estate in Sakleshpur
Kadmane Tea Estate, Sakleshpur
Hope 2014, brings with it more travel and leisure. Wishing you all 
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27 December 2013

Hope Project by Milaap

After the "Spark The Change" health camp at Khar, we rushed to Girgaum for "Hope Project", an indimeet sponsored by Milaap. We were late to the event and found some discussion going on. The 30secs of fame had taken a new form this time, where in each of us were to doodle what we expect in 2014. The randomly picked blogger had to introduce themselves and share their thought on Hope for the year 2014. My doodle read, "SECURITY", with present insecurity in the society and country, I would Hope for a Secured(moral, financial, social) life in 2014. Then was the video showcasing Mahananda's life been bettered by Milaap. 
Followed by which was a group game, each group was given jigsaw puzzle of individual or group who are looking for loan under Hope Project, we had to solve the puzzle, guess the benificiary and narrate their loan detail. Our puzzle was of Mahadevi and group, though we couldn't complete the puzzle, we were able to guess and narrate the loan detail. We were given Rs. 500 gift coupon, which we could lend to one of the entreprenuer, along with our share of contribution. The event ended with a positive note, we joining hands with Milaap in Hope Project to better the lives of needy women.

Milaap is a mission driven company changing the way people fund and impact communities in need. Through Milaap, individual can fund people and projects of their choice and the money is repaid by the beneficiary over a course of time. Since the contribution is given out as a loan, rather a donation, the same amount of money helps multiple people. 100% of your contribution goes to the end beneficiary and you get to know exactly whom your money has helped. You can track every dollar given by you on the online platform. 
The Hope Project is a campaign that aims to inspire urban masses towards empowering rural women entrepreneurs through small contributions. What makes this project special is that the women in this case are ex-Devadasis and the possibility of self-reliance is a ray of fierce hope for them. 
With in Devadasi system, young girls are 'married' to the temple goddess? What was originally seen as a life of service to society has now been warped to present a picture of  "temple prostitution'. Most of the Devadasis are forced into this practice. This merciless practice, though illegal, still exists in small towns of India and its stigma continues to cling to the women who attempt to escape. Because of social around their roles, employment oppertunities are denied to them. It is a vicious cycle into which future generations are drawn and a merciless system draws the chains tighter.
This is how it works
Here is how you can bring about change in somebody's life by lending as little as Rs. 500 to a group.
  • Visit their web page http://milaap.org/hope or click the Milaap widget on the right bar of this blog
  • Choose an entrepreneur and enter an amount
  • Proceed with payment procedure (or use the code if you have a Gift Card)
You can gift your family or friend a Milaap Gift Card (purchase here http://milaap.org/gift-card) and help them experience the joy of bringing a positive change in someone's life. 

24 December 2013

"Spark The Change" Health Camp by Stayfree India

Just before Christmas and New Year, had a great weekend, attended events for two different causes. One was Spark the Change, a health camp by Stayfree India and a Hope Project, indimeet sponsored by Milaap. This post is about Spark the Change, health camp.
Me and Nandini joined Rekha, few other invitees and Stay Free team at Dadar. We drove to Khar, where the health camp was organised.
The health camp by Stayfree Women for Change and Samhita was a step towards healthy and hygienic India. Underprevilaged girls were taught about different infections one can catch during periods and hence the importance of maintaining good hygiene. They were taught that it was completely safe and hygienic during periods, to get involved in any kind of activities. The awareness session was followed by a health checkup. Doctor, understood every girl's cycle and Hemoglobin levels, advised the girls the importance of Folic acid and Calcium suppliments. The girl's were given the Folic acid, Calcium suppliment and sanitary napkins for 3months. The camp would be conducted again after 3months to check the improvement in their health.
About Stayfree Women for Change
Stayfree Woman for Change initiative is working towards bridging the gap between Indian women of two contrasting worlds. The initiative gives a platform to support essential women health and hygiene facilities to marginalized women across the country. This is how you can support them,
You can help a women lead a healthy, hygienic and happy life by contributing to the "Support a Women" program. A small contribution of Rs. 330/- would avail a woman with
  • Two doctor check-up and counseling on how to take care of her health
  • A three month course of Iron-Folic acid and Calcium tablets to improve her health
  • Two hemoglobin tests to track her hemoglobin levels
For every woman you support Johnson & Johnson Ltd. will provide sanitary napkins for her improved hygiene. You would be getting reports about the woman you have supported and the positive difference you have brought about in her life.
You can support a Women through following modes of Payment:
  • Online Payment: Logon to www.samhita.org and contribute through Online Net Banking/Credit Card/Debit Card
  • By Cheque: Local payment within India: You can post/courier the cheque for an amount of Rs. 330 or multiples of Rs.300 to: Nadathur Trust, B-305, Cello Triumph, I B Patel Road, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400063 India
  • Cheque Pick-up: If you want them to pick the cheque from you, sms "SUPPORT" to 56677. Their representative will then call you to pick the cheque at a time and place convenient to you. Note in this option the cheque has to be in multiples of Rs. 355 to account for the courier and cheque handling charges.
Visit www.stayfreewomenforchange.com to learn how you can go out and make a change in a girl's life by counseling her on better health and hygiene.
Change the life of a girl by spreading the word/your knowledge, so that she can also change the lives of many women round her.
I have contributed to support two women to lead a better hygenic life. Feels good to be involved with such an initiative.

17 December 2013

Coffee Plantation in Sakleshpur

We drove through Sakleshpur to reach Kadmane Tea Estate. As we had special permission for the visit, we couldn't spend time at coffee plantation on our way. Clicked few of these pictures while back.

Coffee seed
Stats say, Karnataka contributes to 51% of coffee production in India. The coffee plantation is done in shades, inter cropped with cardamom and pepper.
Heard a lot of its beauty during the blooming season, when the full bloomed white flowers make a delightful sight. Should definitely plan a visit during bloom next.
The byproduct of these coffee plants are the beautiful coffee root furnitures which you find on the roads of Sakleshpur. The creativity of the artists turn the dead roots into master piece.

You should definitely shop one as a souvenir, if you have enough space to carry them and flaunt them in your house.

12 December 2013

Kadmane Tea Estate

I have been hearing about this place, Kadmane since years, my dad who served for Karnataka PWED then, was appointed here. But never did anybody else in the family visit the place.
Till years it was just a tea estate with a factory, which produced the best tea in the region. With present interest in travel and exploring untravelled, this place attracts lot of crowd. The estate is open to the visitors only on Sundays.
Driving from Bangalore, as you near Sakleshpur, you enter that coffee zone, where you are surrounded by coffee, cardamon, pepper and areca plantation. As we drove towards the estate, we wondered where excately could we find tea estate amist the thick coffee zone. As you enter the estate, you are taken to all together a different place, where you find just tea plantation till your sight reaches and the fragrance stimulates your sense.
Situated in the edge of Western Ghat, this is said to be once a hunting ground for the Earl of Warwick. Which was then taken up by Tea Estates India Ltd who began tea plantation, cleaning the forest. Presently, this 1000 acres of land is owned by Murugappa family.

You can have the complete experience of fresh green leaves been hand picked by labours till the tea powder is processed and packed. You will be guided by an employee at the factory as he explains how hand picked tea leaves are cleaned, dried, powdered and sieved to get different quality tea powder. Unfortunately photography is not allowed inside the factory. Don't forget to buy a pack of fresh tea powder from their store.

My little one remembers our visit to the Estate, whenever she watch Kashmir tu Main Kanyakumari song from Chennai Express on TV.

Travel Guide:
Driving from Bangalore on Bangalore - Mangalore National Highway NH13, after 2km from Sakleshpur, take right turn to Mudgere Road. A 24km drive reaches you to Kadmane Estate.
Driving from Mangalore, drive 115km on Mangalore- Bangalore National Highway NH13, take left at the end of Shiradi Ghat. A 15km drive reaches you to the Estate.
Both Bangalore and Mangalore are well connected by Air, Rail and Road to major cities of the country.
You can stay in Sakleshpur, which is 26kms from Estate. There is also a Resort in the estate.

8 December 2013

Apple Launches iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display in India

Date: 7 December, 2013
Venue: Phoenix Mills, Mumbai

The Atrium at Phoenix Mills, Mumbai was full when the countdown began for the launch of  iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display. Loyal Apple customers gathered hours before the launch, to be one of the first to own the product. Due to large crowd in previous launches, Apple had online registration for the event days before the launch, and customers with invites were allowed inside the sales area. Few of we bloggers had received exclusive invite for the event.

iPad Air
Customer having demo of iPad Air
The customers had the demo of the two products before they could own them. The limited launch stock was sold out in no time. The event had stunning performance by Bollywood singer Aditi Singh Sharma.
iPad Air
iPad Air
This model gets new features of 64-bit A7 chipset and thinner look over the previous iPad version.
  • 9.7-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch
  • A7 chip with 64-bit M7 Motion coprocessor
  • 5MP iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • Upto 10hours of battery life
  • Built-in Wi-Fi(802.11a/b/g/n) dual channel and Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Over 300,000 apps on the App Store
  • iOS 7, iCloud, Airdrop and Airplay
  • Available in Black & Slate or White & Silver
WiFi + Cellular*
*Data Plan sold separately for Cellular models

iPad Mini with Retina Display
THE iPad Mini with Retina Display
iPad Mini with Retina Display
This gets an upgrade of Retina display and 64-bit A7 processor, over its previous make.
  • 7.9-inch LED-backlit Multi-Touch
  • A7 chip with 64-bit M7 Motion coprocessor
  • 5MP iSight camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • Upto 10hours of battery life
  • Built-in Wi-Fi(802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Over 300,000 apps on the App Store
  • iOS 7 and iCloud
  • Available in Black & Slate or White & Silver
Launch Price:
WiFi + Cellular*
*Data Plan sold separately for Cellular models

5 December 2013

Paddy Fields of Malnad, Skywatch Friday

Shimoga, popularly known as "The Gate way of Malnad", is surrounded by paddy fields, arecanut and coconut groves. Here are few pics clicked during our visit to Shimoga.

Linked to Skywatch Friday

2 December 2013

The Magnificent Jog Falls

It was more than a decade back, when I visited Jog Falls last. And now it was hubby who forced me to plan a trip to this magnificant place after having a look of the falls at India Travel Blog, by Poorna and Brinda. From Koodli Sangama, we drove to Sagara, had lunch and headed to jog falls. A 105km drive from Shimoga leads you to Jog Falls.
Jog Falls, the second highest waterfall in India, is located in Sagar Taluk in Karnataka. Located in dense forest, the falls form a spectacular cascade as river Sharavati falls in four segments named Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket from different heights. The falls are at their best if you visit during monsoon. Our visit during October had this quite a beautiful sight.
Jog Falls 
The magnificent view can be enjoyed standing opposite to the fall. If interested you can trek down to the deep pool at the bottom of the fall, when the sluice gates of upstream Linganmakki Dam are closed.  

Jog Falls
A km drive from a deviated rout before the falls, leads you to the top of the falls. Though there is strick security prohibiting you from reaching the water(due to few mishaps in recent days), you can enjoy altogether a different view of the fall from here.
Jog Falls
Travel Tips:
How to reach:
By Road: Sagara - 45km, Honnavara - 56km, Shimoga - 105km, Bangalore - 378km
By Rail: Shimoga - 105km
By Air: Mangalore - 180km
Accomadation: There is Karnataka Holidays hotel right opposite to the falls. You can also opt for a stay at Sagara or Shimoga.