1. Sleeping Bags ( Note there are 2 main varieties of sleeping bags. One is more woolen, for this trek the woolen one is required). We took Wild-craft ones which cost around Rs 2000
2. Sleeping Mats ( You get mats from Rs 100 onwards to Rs 300 / Adventure Sports and Wild-craft both have a wide variety)
3. Trekking shoes ( There is nothing called special trek issues. Its whatever you are comfortable with for at least 20 kms on difficult terrain. As a thumb rule stick to comfortable sneakers/running shoes/basketball shoes that have a good grip). Ensure shoes are not very old or very new.
4. Additional shoe laces 1 pair. Glue/fevi stick to do repairs if needed. ( Shoes are most important part of journey)
5. Socks - few pairs depending on how your feet smells,gets wet.
6. Rucksack that can carry various stuff on all sides ( Again Adventure Sports /Wild-craft Rs 1000 onwards you get a lot of variety.)
7. Carry raincoat with cap facility and that can be easily worn with the rucksack on your back.
8. Adequate clothing. Cargos are best. Jeans are not bad,else any other comfortable clothing including undergarments. No woolen clothes required during the trek. Jackets are required at night and early morning because its very cold.
9. Slippers , to walk around and give rest to feet after a day long trek
10. Torch. Else your day ends with sunset.
11. Watch/mobile/ etc to give alarms , keep note of time/date etc. Mobiles can be switched off to save battery. Most of them still ring alarms.
12. Swiss knifes with functions like knives,openers,scissors etc.

1. Good leak proof water bottles to fill and drink spring water. One can carry enery drinks or mix something like Glucon D to get energy.
2. snacks like chocolates/chocolates which provide easy energy, bubble gums which help to build stamina.
3. Chocolates/gums to share with kids on the route
4. Lighter/match boxes, candles etc to aid in cooking/smoking etc if required.

1. Ensure your camera is working smooth without problems. Ensure that the straps are perfect and will hold when you walk fast
2. Ensure you have sufficient memory cards, multiple batteries as there are no places either to buy new or download it,no electricity to charge batteries.
3. Ensure you have a good camera bag to keep these things handy. I also see many people use it with belt pouches to also keep money etc.However its best to distribute money on different pockets and also keep some in the bags with porters.

1. Liquid soap / shampoo/paper soaps ( make sure its not a glass bottle that cna break). Shampoo can double up as liquid soap.
2. Toilet paper
3. hair oil/ moisturizer/deo etc
4. Sunscreen lotion to avoid too much sunburn. Sunglasses with UV protection.
5. Toothpaste/toothbrush/shaving kit etc

1. Fever
2. Body ache/head ache etc
3. diarrhoea/ amoebic infections , digestion problems etc.
4. Sprains of neck , waist ,backbone etc.
5. Injury of cuts, wounds etc.
6. Zeoline etc to clean water
7. nausea, general sickness of mountains


TIME TO VISIT - Mid April to End of June
- September and October

- DEBU Guide(He has 4 sons who are also Guides)

Devendra Prasad (DEBU GUIDE)
Vill - Khati
VIA - PINDARI Route,Khati
PIN - 263679
PHONE - HOTEL SIDDHARTH (Bageshwar) - 05963220114. We called here and left my number,he called back.
- His second number - 09411049694

I got some other contacts
Bharat - 05963211189
Puran Singh - 05963213070 (Hotel Sangam - Khati )

NIGHT 1. Delhi to Kathgodam (Train at 10 PM at Delhi/DLI. Reaches Kathgodam at 6 AM)
DAY 1. Kathgodam to Bageshwar (200 kms.- 6 hours approx -Rs 200 by cab)
Bageshwar to Song (40 kms - Bus - Rs 35)
Song to Loharkhet ( 5 kms - Jeep - Rs 50 / or Trek 3 kms for free)

DAY 2. Loharkhet to Dhakuri(11 kms) - TREK STARTS
Dhakuri to Khati (8 kms)
DAY 3. Khati to Dwali (12 kms)
Dwali to Phurkiya (7 kms)
DAY 4. Phurkiya to Zero Point (7 kms)
Zero Point to Phurkiya (7 kms)
Phurkiya to Dwali(7 kms)
DAY 5. Dwali to Kafni(12 kms)
Kafni to Dwali(12 kms)
DAY 6. Dwali to Khati(12 kms)
Khati to Dhakuri(8 kms)
DAY 7. Dhakuri to Loharkhet(11 kms)
Loharkhet to Song(3 kms) - TREK ENDS
Song to Bageshwar
DAY 8. Bageshwar to Kathgodam
NIGHT Kathgodam to Delhi

SATURDAY 16th May,2009 - Reached Delhi
DELHI To KATHGODAM (Night train from Old Delhi/DLI. Alternative is DELHI to HALDWANI which is one stop before Kathgodam)

SUNDAY 17th May,2009 - Train reaches Kathgodam/Haldwani(just 5 kms apart) at 6'o clock in the morning.
- Outside station there are buses and cabs(mostly Mahindra Bolero) and shared cabs available.
KATHGODAM To BAGESHWAR by Cab ( Rate is Rs 200 per head. Takes 6 hours approx for 200 kms)
- Bageshwar is last place you can find chicken curry here
BAGESHWAR To SONG by Bus ( Very few cabs and very slow buses. Takes 2 hours at least for approx 40 kms)
SONG To LOHARKHET by Cab ( There is a single Jeep which takes Rs 50 per head for a 5 km ride uphill. Alternately you can trek uphill for 3 kms short route)
Night Halt - Only KMVN(Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) house available.
Facilities -> At least 30 people can stay inside. They provide clean beds,pillows,good blankets. There are huge bathrooms with water stored in drums(hence to be used judiciously)
(Rent is Rs 150 per head). They are still expanding.
-> The chowkidar prepares food at a makeshift kitchen. Rate is Rs 40 per meal, Rs 20 per breakfast/snacks and Rs 5 for tea
-> Forest Entry takes Rs 60 per head( A person comes to collect ( else you can blissfully give a miss)
-> There are a lot of places to pitch tent inside the boundary wall of KMVN.Just need tent,sleeping bags and mat. Other facilities like common toilet and food are available.

MONDAY 18th May,2009 -
LOHARKHET To DHAKURI - A steep walk up the slope for 11 kms.
- After 1 KM there is a resting place.
- After 3 kms there is the first tea stall
- After 6 kms there is the second and last tea stall
- After 8 kms there is a small memorial stone
- After 10 kms you reach the top of a hill where there is a temple, a signboard with distances and at the distance one can see DHAKURI
- After 11 kms you reach DHAKURI. There are 2 hotels here. Both KMVN and PWD(Rs 55 per head) have staying facilities.
Lunch at DHAKURI
DHAKURI To KHATI - A moderate walk of 8 kms
- First 3 kms just slopes down. First tea stall can be seen even after 2 kms
- Next 2 kms is alternately smooth or down , few tea stalls and a village called UMLI to be crossed. Lots of habitation can be seen
- At 7 kms Hotel Anpona is present which provides decent tea. Lodging and Fooding available here.
- At 8 kms reach KHATI , Hotel Sangam is the first one to catch the eye. Clean rooms and decent food.
- Khati is last place you can have egg curry. It gets rare from here and very expensive
- The KMVN hut is 0.5 KM after crossing the KHATI village. Also that is a steep climb.
Night Halt - Many options from Hotel Anpona,Hotel Sangam,KMVN and I heard there were few others. Max cost is at KMVN for Rs 150 per head.

TUESDAY 19th May,2009
KHATI To DWALI - A pleasant walk across the forests for 12 kms
- First 6 kms has very few ups and downs.Tea stall present at 6 kms
- Bridge to cross river at 6 kms and 1km uphill trek
- The rest of the trek is moderate again till DWALI
- There are 2 HOTELS in DWALI to eat
Lunch at DWALI
- There is a KMVN hut and there is a PWD hut at DWALI. Food,Lodging rates are similar.
DWALI To PHURKIYA - A steep climb of 7 kms
- After 3 kms there is a valley, roads are very steep here in absense of any proper rocky paths. But very safe as its plains and grass all around
- It gets colder by the minute and rains in the afternoon almost everday.
- No tea stall nothing on this route till Phurkiya
Night Halt - Only 2 options KMVN and PWD.(Rates Rs 150 and Rs 55 respectively).Food rates similar like Rs 40 for meals, Rs 25 for maggi etc
- For people wanting to pitch tents can go slightly more( 0.5 km) and pitch tents in a valley
- For more adventurous people(like us) one can go from PHURKIYA To BABA's ashram ( 6 kms steep climb uphill). Baba can accomodate few persons probably a couple. Also lots of places to pitch tent here.
- It is very cold at Phurkiya and gets colder as you go up

WEDNESDAY 20th May,2009
PHURKIYA to ZERO POINT - A steep climb 7 km uphill. No luggage to be carried
- At 3 kms there is a turn and its mentioned its 3 kms
- At 6 kms PINDARI BABA ( Swami Dharmananad's Ashram) where one can rest and have tea
- At 7 kms ZERO POINT where the road ends abruptly and makes further progress quite impossible.
ZERO POINT to PHURKIYA - Again one can stop on their way down to BABA's ashram. BABA takes no money, one can donate at the donation box

PHURKIYA To DWALI - A downward slope. Pickup luggage left at PHURKIYA KMVN.
- The climb down is smooth except at the valley ,where it can get worse
- Lots of places to sit and rest. Road is smooth , one can reach very quickly
Lunch at DWALI ( ALternately one can have it at PHURKIYA and come down)
Night Halt at DWALI - PWD has only beds, no bedcover or pillow or blankets. Window glass is broken, room is not carpeted like KMVN. Bathroom has no water storage drum, just a balti and mug.
- PWD has fireplace facility ( KMVN's also have) but one needs to figure out how to get wood and make it
- Food quality at DWALI is the worst and also costly
If one is going towards Kafni, once can try out the Zilla Parishad guesthouse at 5kms from DWALI

THURSDAY 21st May,2009
DWALI to KAFNI - A steep climb of 12 kms. No luggage to be carried. No mule dung on this road.
- If you can arrange, chowkidar at DWALI,Tara Singh will prepare and pack lunch/breakfast for Kafni travel
- First 5 kms are very steep, tough. Roads twist and turn and destroyed by avalanches and landslides.
- At 5 kms Zilla Parishad has a guesthouse. Fooding and Lodging available here
- At 6 kms the great Kafni Bugiyal starts. Walking uphill becomes moderate and pleasant.
- At 8 kms KMVN is constructing a new Rest House
- At 12 kms one meets the first glacier , Kafni 1
- At 14 kms one can go and see the second big glacier Kafni 2. Roads vanish after this.
Lunch at Zilla Parishad Guest house
- Lodging is costlier here ( Rs 100 per head just for staying, blankets etc available at extra cost)
- Food is basic khichdri, maggi etc at rates similar to Dwali or Phurkiya
- Tents can be pitched here and open air for bathrooms.
- The return journey to DWALI is smooth as there are very few visitors to KAFNI
- One can see big herds of goats and sheep from nearby villages
Night Halt at DWALI

FRIDAY 22nd May,2009
DWALI to KHATI - A pleasant walk again. This time it was mostly downhill and rest of it smooth
- Again tea at 6 km ,midway
Lunch at Khati
- We had Lunch at DEBUda's house
KHATI to DHAKURI - A pleasant walk first 3 kms , moderate climb
- At 5 kms one can get the last few tea stalls
- Last 3 kms are steep climb up
Night Halt at DHAKURI - Food and facilities good at KMVN

SATURDAY 23rd May,2009
DHAKURI To LOHARKHET - First 1 km is a tough uphill
- After the temple at DHAKURI top it is a downhill all way. Tea stall at 6kms
- Second Tea stall at 9 kms
LOHARKHET To SONG - One can take Jeep. Alternately one can trek downhill for 3 kms
- Song has a bus stand and Jeep stand and a few shops. Catch a bus/Jeep to Bageshwar
Lunch at Bageshwar
Night Halt at BAGESHWAR - Alternately one can go to Garur or Almora or Nainital. It is even possible to go to Kathgodam.
- But, it is advisable to keep a day in buffer

SUNDAY 24th May,2009
BAGESHWAR to KATHGODAM - Lunch on the way.Last cab from BAGESHWAR to reach KATHGODAM is at 1 PM. Do not wait ,these are highly erratic.



It is a hill station in the South of India in Tamil Nadu. It is about 150 kms from Mysore and approximately 300 kms from Bangalore.
The road way from Mysore side takes one through the wonderful Bandipur and Mudumalai forests where one can easily spot some wildlife.
This was my fourth visit to Ooty and I decided I can write something useful

Best time to visit - mostly all year round. the winter and rainy seasons can be more charming.
Places to see - Unless one wants to get frustrated with the crowd there is no point in going to the sightseeing places. These are highly crowded and commercialized.
- Coonoor ( Sim's Park) -> the journey by Toy train is nice if you are able to get tickets
- Dolphin's Nose
- Lamb's Rock view Point
- Ooty Botanical gardens
- Ooty Lake
- Ooty Rose Garden
- Dodabetta Peak
- the trip from Mysore to Ooty is through the Mudumalai forest.
- The Tea Gardens

There is a second side which I want to visit in future
- Avalanchi
- Muturthi Peak
- Upper Bhavani

Places to STAY - The whole town has a few hundred hotels. Its always crowded so if you want good hotels book ahead.
We stayed at a hotel called Ganapati hotel which turned out to be very bad. At the end of the stay they cut a 12% service tax for which they did not even give a receipt.

Places to Eat - There are a lot of places to eat around. The local cuisine is quite exotic but unfortunately the cooking standards are not as good as in Chennai or several other places in Tamil Nadu. As a popular tourist destination it fails to offer much like it did even about a decade back.

Things to check
- Ooty chocolates ( although you will get it at any of the nearby towns in S. India at good prices but these are still a treat)
- Tea ( I always drink tea at the gardens , the elaichi //chocolate etc flavour prepared by the locals are excellent)
- raw Mango ( try out the raw Mango with black salt + chilli powder , its a real treat )


This was my third time to Goa and this time I went in proper season during the Christmas weekend. I decided to put in some info about the best beaches in GOA. Refer to my earlier post for a complete listing of coco huts and their contact numbers.

- Palolem -> Undoubtedly the best beach. The sea is calm and the sand is soft. The crowd is less and the food is excellent. Coco huts (shacks) available.
- Agonda -> Just beside Palolem but all of it is not very safe for swimming. The beach is almost empty with hardly a few persons even in top season
Coco huts available here too.
- Colva -> A largely commercialized beach. There are lots of hotels and restaurants. The beach is good and safe and water sports is quite popular here. Not sure if the sea is safe for swimming.
- Majorda -> An exquisite beach. The best hotels in the country have set shop here. Its clean and silvery and very less crowded. One of the best places for families. Swimming is safe and water sports is also available. Coast guards are active and so safety standards are high.
- Dona Paola -> Hugely commercialized. Largely known for water sports, but that is available everywhere now. The water sports side is not fit for swimming. Not sure if this beach has a swimming area or not.
- Calangute -> Its the most commercialized beach of Goa. The crowd is too much and during season its like a fair. Water sports available here too. Swimming is also quite safe.
- Baga -> Baga beach is just adjacent to Calangute and one can simply walk across. Baga beach also has same features as Calangute.
There are a few hundred hotels ,home stays, huts ,restaurants etc at this place.
- Candolim -> Nice beach. But more known for the music party that goes on at top season with some of the best players from different places joining in. Not sure if swimming is very safe here.
- Anjuna -> A beautiful rocky beach. Not for swimming or water sports but just for the feeling of sea and a Wednesday night market place nearby with some excitement.
- Vagator -> This is also a partially rocky beach. People do swim but its not very safe. This is mainly for its beauty.
- Morjim -> A wonderful beach which is seen from top of Chapora Fort at the mouth of the Chapora river. It is the visiting place of migratory birds and the endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay eggs here. It is a totally non-commercialized beach and is open only at day. At night a few restaurants may be open. Swimming is not very safe because it is near the mouth of a river and so water currents are erratic and tides can be dangerous.

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