Category Archives: Travel

Travel Diary – Travel to Madhya Pradesh Jyotir Lingams – Ujjain

We had a long pending visit to Ujjain and Omkareshwar and since young when I studied history, Ujjain has always enamored me.  So finally, we decided to make it and our travel began with train tickets to Bhopal and travel in car from there on a round trip to Ujjain and Omkareshwar. One hard lesson we learnt is never trust cab services of Ola or Uber on a weekend. It took 45 minutes for us to get a vehicle to Madras Central and thankfully for clear roads and green signals, we would not have made it to our train on time.

We have been hearing so much about better services in long distance trains and to utter disappointment, Tamilnadu Express food remained the same as we have seen few years back. The only solace was cleaner toilets. We reached Bhopal at 8.30 PM the next day and stayed overnight at our friend’s place who won us over with their hospitality.  Our friend suggested that we visit Kharjana Ganesh Temple in Indore on the way to Ujjain. The temple is maintained by volunteers and is a very famous temple in the area.

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Trekking and the Common Lingo- Be Unconventional

56bb3ced9411b26f848f67a1-img716743748296_main__800x533Ever heard someone who has been to Northern India, specifically the Himalayan range, and has returned saying “Well, it wasn’t much”? We dare you to find someone who would be so out of snap to have said that. The Indian subcontinent is home to the breathtaking Himalayan Range that spans across ten of the Northern-North-eastern states. What is more intriguing about the Himalayas is the opportunity it accords everyone to test their will against odds. It is a dream comes true for many of us to set afoot in the Himalayas. There is a specific notion towards the trekking experience many an Indian and people from the word over have so many fond and not-so-fond memories of. We have seen numerous fictional and non-fictional encounters in the current day that has its root at the trekking experiences of many world-renowned climbing teams, and people, per se.

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Latest Google Maps Introduces Better Features and Navigation

Google today showcased the latest features in Google Maps at an event in Chennai. The session highlighted a range of tips and tricks to help people get around more easily including Multi-stop directions, Offline Maps, Search along route, Real-time traffic (including traffic alerts), Timeline and Local Guides among others.  Make sure to update your Google Maps to see the latest features.

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Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps during the demo of the Google Map features

Addressing the media in Chennai, Sanket Gupta, Product Manager, Google Maps, said

Google Maps is not just about navigating from point A to B. Whether traveling for business or on holiday, with friends or family, Google Maps can help you plan your travel, explore your destination and keep you safe. Features like multi-stop directions, offline, search along route etc. can make your travel more exciting and hassle free.

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Zurich, the heart of Swiss Alps is where my heart lies

One of the trips we endeavor to take and prominent in our bucket list is Zurich. We do not belong to the category with a long itinerary moving from one place to another packaging a tight schedule. We are the casual travelers interested in exploring the local environment and little known places from a traveler perspective.  So it is Zurich having read, heard about it a lot from friends, magazines and websites.  One of the key influence for this interest is Yatra website we connect often for our travel needs.  They have such wonderful packages for Swiss and for a mountain lover with keen interest in enjoying nature at its best; it is not surprising Zurich made it to the top of the list. We have the itinerary made and should make it sometime very soon.

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Travel – Short Stay in Hours at Hotels Now Possible

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Transit stay is one of the reasons we avoid taking a break during our travel.  Specifically when we travel by car, what we would need is a refresh point and a mild rest which would be just few hours.  As we normally travel as a family, we look for a decent accommodation and we end up paying a good sum for the whole day though we use up hardly few hours. Now it is good news for transit passengers, roadies, and day travelers.   If microblogging has taken the world by storm, here is an addition, welcome to the new concept of Microstays. We can book hourly stay for a minimum of 3 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours. The best part of it is the places available for stay are not some obscure lodges or inns but leading budget, boutique and star hotels.

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Introducing CollarFolk, Pet Friendly Vacation in India

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As a pet parent, we have been postponing our vacation and holidays meant staying at home indoors with our Labrador.  The immediate thought of leaving her in the mercy of friends  switches off our plans and it is only if it is unavoidable we go out of the city leaving her with our friend to take care of her in our absence at our home because she does not like to be away in another place without us.  It is not an easy task to find someone to take care of her in our absence with the same love and attention we give her.  Now it is good news for pet parents like us, we can take our pet along with us for the vacation.  Thanks to CollarFolk, an innovative idea by a pet parent Rukmini Vaish.

We could not NewPicture933move on  without appreciating the cute logo of CollarFolk (wagging tail) which speaks volume about their love for pets.

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Chennaifocus Associates with Director Naga to Launch YouTube Channel “Mystic Traditions”

Chennaifocus Associates with Director Naga to Launch YouTube Channel “Mystic Traditions”

Mystic Traditions (MyTra) is the new initiative of Chennai Focus into the domain of video logging in other words Vlogging.   This product has come into being to satisfy our constant pursuit in bringing the power of professional videos to communicate and also use it effectively to explore the nuances and mysticism behind our culture and traditions, practices, and intentions behind it. It is a culmination of Experiment, Experience and Beliefs traversing the length and breadth of Science, Architecture, Ancient Wisdom, Archaeology and the list is endless. Such an attempt needs expertise and knowledge in the subject and also in scripting and film making and who else can it be than Director Naga to spearhead this initiative and take it to places we never had been with the right understanding.  Every initiative needs a catalyst to make it happen and we are happy to announce that Playwright  and Scriptwriter K.Vivekshankar has also joined us in providing multidimensional facet to our channel to explore more areas of application as we move forward. We thank him for his efforts in being instrumental in making our tiny thought into reality by doing all the ground work and taking over the administration and operations of our New YouTube channel MyTra.

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Intelligent App to Facilitate Train Ticket Booking

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Come vacation, long weekends or festivals, the first thing that comes to mind for the people planning travel is train tickets.  Booking a ticket during these days is a mental, emotional and physical challenge for many but unlike private operators for buses, we are dependent on government operated trains. Tickets booking open as early as 120 days and reservations for available seats gets completed so fast that short term planners find it almost next to impossible to travel by train. Though buses are an option, travelling with elderly people and women on a longer journey is not preferred by many.  Tatkal is another option but here too, it is for the jiffy expert users to find tickets using this process.  This has led to a development of a fantastico  high utility travel app called ConfirmTkt which predicts chances of confirmation for wait listed tickets using historical data. It also suggests alternates like break journeys to help book confirmed railway tickets.

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Malaysia Plays Host to Superstar’s Kabali and Surya’s S3 Shoots

Malaysia and Tamils have had an unique bonding,  a feeling of extended family from both sides. Whenever Malaysian Tamil friends come home, we never felt the distance or a feel that we are hosting foreigners, such is our connection.  Malaysia has gone over leaps and bounds in encouraging Tamils in their land to the extent we see premiere, launches happening there and the crowd is nowhere lesser in spirits or in numbers to encourage our fraternity.  Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board or Tourism Malaysia invites us with open arms and leaves no stones unturned to makes us feel at home with their hospitality and celebrations.  Their efforts  to see Malaysia as a  tourist destination at all levels has made a big impact with 27.4 million tourist arrivals and RM72 billion in receipts in 2014, making tourism its second largest foreign exchange earner.  

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Now to the reel news in real, our Superstar Rajnikanth starrer Kabali,  is shot in some of the exotic locations of Malaysia over next few weeks and also stars a couple of Malaysian actors. This is the second schedule of shooting and the superstar was earlier in Malaysia last year and was astonished to see his fan following in the country. Kabali is an ambitious project which is loosely based on the life of popular don Kabaleeswaran.

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Day 3 – Introspective Journey towards the End, Southern Tip of India

Travel is never tiring when we are on our own and choose to do something we love.  Our sudden decisions to change our routes have always been a memorable journey and we never deter for a moment to pursue what is in us. Day 3 was initially dedicated to Tiruchendur, the beautiful abode of Lord Muruga, one of the six Arupadai Veedu ( 6 houses).  We wanted a journey to the beach, became famous after the 2004 Tsunami where the ocean pulled in and never came out to hit the temple.  Science and Beliefs are at war here but to us, we know it is the place that holds us, be it for its amazing shoreline or the enormity of the temple and its significance.  As we were retiring on Day 2, we saw many on the road wearing green dhotis and walking in groups.  We came to know that these people are walking to Tiruchendur for Thai Poosam that Sunday, the day after tomorrow.  The groups we saw were near Kallidaikurichi and Tiruchendur was about 70+ kms away.  We could see young and old alike without slippers but peppy as ever and least bothered about the long walk ahead chanting divine names and proceeding towards the temple. Their sincerity and dedication made such an impact on us and made us contemplate on our travel without compromising an iota of comfort.  Bowing to them for their devotion and sustenance, we proceeded on our journey.

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Introducing a Fantastico GPS based Product, iTag – Anti-Loss and Anti-Theft Device

Travelling today has a lot of strings and if you are travelling with family, most of our time is spent in gathering people, ensuring everyone is comfortable and making sure all their needs are met.  Additionally, safety of baggage takes top priority and in case, it is a longer trip, baggage grows more in number.  Travel times is about one or the other keeping awake to ensure baggage stays with us. Additional care points when taking along elderly people lies in ensuring all their accessories such as spectacles, mobile, medicines go along with them wherever they go.  This is not the issue with large groups alone, even when we are travelling alone or being a frequent traveler in a touring group, we carry a lot of our gadgets such as camera, tripod, mobile, lens, laptops, cards, external HDD and so many to make travel blogging or purpose tours fully covered to have an impact on our audience.

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Exploring Music, Travel of a Different Kind

Music to me is a soul search to inner being travelling across different emotions of love, devotion and peace.  This post was triggered by a visit to a place outskirts of Chennai dedicated to Lord Sundareswarar located in Kovur near Kundrathur.  The temple dates back to 7th century evident by the construction, sculptures and inscriptions. The magnitude and beauty of the temple gopuram says it all.  What has this temple got to do with music must be the question in your mind now.  This temple has been instrumental in bringing out 5 beautiful compositions from the great music composer Saint Tygaraja.

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