Have you been to Netrani Island, famous for Scuba Diving?

Netrani Island is a small coral island off the coast of Karnataka, situated around 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) away from Murudeshwar town. It is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also rich in coral reef.

Netrani IslandNetrani Island off Arabian sea coast in India.

Sharp rocks and steep cliffs prevent tourists from entering the island. Scuba diving and snorkeling is done from anchored boats.

Netrani Island is rich in fauna. Butterfly fish, Coral,eels, parrot fish, trigger fish, shrimps, etc, can be seen here. Fish eagles can also be seen in large numbers, which feeds on sea snakes and fish. A Mongoose species is also seen here. Bats are also found in the island. Whale sharks were seen around the island, occasionally.

Netrani Island was being used by Indian armed forces for their target practice; remains of which can still be seen there. In 2012, Honorable High Court of Karnataka has issued a stay order on target practice here. Naval authorities has admitted that they are using a big rock here for target practice.

There are some shrines in the island.

How Do I Go to Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara and Goa are the nearest towns where dive shops are there. They will arrange diving trips to the island. Fishing motor boats also can take you to the island from Bhatkal Fishing Harbour.

Ideal time to visit the island is during the months of December and January.

Conclusion

Are you interested in going Netrani Island? Please leave your comments.

Baga Beach and Creek and Nightclubs, Water Sports, Dolphin Cruise

Baga Beach is the most popular beach in Goa. The Beach and the Baga Creek are located at Baga town. The Creek empties into Arabian Sea.

Baga Beach at Goa
Baga Beach at Goa

Baga is known for the nightclubs and discotheques. The Beach is a tourist’s paradise for all types of beach activities.

This Beach is famous for water sports. Jet skiing, Paragliding, Para-sailing, Windsurfing, Banana ride, etc, are to name a few. Dolphins can see seen at around 1 to 2 kilometers from the beach. Dolphin cruise is a major activity here.

Baga Beach is contiguous beach along with other beaches like Sinquerim beach, Candolim beach, Calangute beach.

The Beach has a lot of beach side shacks and restaurants, serving the needs of the tourists.

How Do I Go to Baga Beach?

Baga town is under the jurisdiction of Calangute, Calangute is located 2 kilometers south of Baga. The beach is well connected by roads to other parts of Goa. The bridge over the creek connects northers parts with Baga.

There is an International airport and a major railway station at Goa, which connects Goa to other parts of the country.

Kakolat Falls

Kakolat Falls is a beautiful, 160 feet or 49 meter high, falls on the Kakolat hills of Nawada district in Bihar, India.

Kakolat FallsView of Kakolat Falls

Kakolat Falls is located on the border areas of Bihar and Jharkhand states. This cascading falls is a marvelous sight to any tourist. Tourists flock to this tourist spot from nearby cities and states and is a very popular weekend getaway place.

At the base of the falls, there is a natural reservoir formed from the Fall waters. There are many water sports and fun activities for the tourists at Kakolat.

Bishua or Chait Sankranti, a three day religious festival, is a major festival in the area and tourists comes in large numbers to Kakolat Falls during this festival time.

Wold’s Ancient University, Nalanda University, is at around 75 kilometers from this falls.

How do I go to Kakolat Falls in Nawada District of Bihar?

Kakolat Falls is at distance of 33 kilometers from the Nawada town in Bihar. Nawada news papers

Patna airport is the nearest airport and “Gaya Junction” is the nearest major railway station to the falls.NH 31, Patna – Kolkotta National Highway, is the major road link, close to falls, at around 17 kilometers from the falls.

There are regular buses to Thali, which is a small town, very close to the falls. Taxis and autos are also available from Thali and Nawada towns. Nawada news papers has useful information about Kakolat Falls.

How About Going to Pristine Laskshadweep Islands Where Houses are not Locked

Laskshadweep islands are an archipelago, known for their coral reefs, pristine beaches and exotic marine life, situated off the coast of Kerala state, India. There are no thief’s nor any snakes or dogs in the islands.

It is believed that the island’s coral reefs were formed because of a volcanic formation, thousands of years ago. Corals settled and built fringing reefs slowly. Later on, these were transformed into barrier reefs. Finally, they became atolls due to the submergence of the volcanic base.

Laskshadweep islands - Bangaram, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Minicoy
Beach Resort at Kadmat Island, Lakshadweep.

10 out of the total of 26 islands are inhabited. Human inhibited islands in Laskshadweep are Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. Bangaram, Kavaratti, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Minicoy, etc, consists of 3 reefs, 12 atolls and 5 submerged banks.

Water sports are a major activity (other than the corals) for the tourists to Lakshadwep islands. High speed boats connects Agatti island with other islands.

The Bangaram Island Resort, in Bangaram island, is the resort where tourists can have food and offers luxury accommodation. Snorkeling, Kayaking , Canoeing, turtle watch trips, Day Lagoon fishing Boats, Scuba diving, Water Diving, etc, are some of the facilities available at this resort.

Scuba diving is also available at ‘Thundi Beach‘ in Minicoy island. Charges are rupees 2360, including GST (taxes), as of September 2018. There is a light house also in this island. There are many private resorts near Thundi Beach, with rental from rupees 6000 and above per day.

Kadmat island alias Cardomon Island has sea facing cottages for tourists to stay.

Kavaratti is the capital of Lakshadweep islands. Kavaratti island has huts and dormitory for the tourists.

Laskshadweep islands are rich in fauna, especially those related to marine life. There isn’t much of flora in Laskshsdweep, as there are not forests in the islands.

Fishing is the major source of income for the local people. Tuna is found in large numbers, which is dried and kept. Coconut is the major agricultural activity of the people of the Lakshadweep islands.

It is believed that human settlement in the the island dates back to 1500 BC.

Most of the houses are not locked, as thief’s are not there. There is no major work for the police, other than registering the details of permit holders. You need to register with the local police station, once you  reach the island and get the permit stamped (sealed) from police officer.

Except Coconut,fish and milk, most of other food items are shipped from the mainland India.

Internet and Phone connectivity in Lakshadweep Islands

You will not get Internet connectivity  in the islands. Wifi connectivity is available for Rs. 10 per day or so. Still the speed of internet connectivity will be very very poor. Your voice connection speed will be very low for mobiles (2G connectivity only).

Language of Lakshadweep Islands

Jesri, a  dialect of Malayalam language, is the spoken in the islands (except in Minicoy islands).  In Minicoy islands (which is situated close to Maldives islands; around 100 kilometers distance), a dialect of Maldives islands official language known as Mahal or Mahl, is spoken.

Procedure for Getting Visit Permits for Indians to Visit Lakshadweep Islands

You need to find a sponsor from any of the Lakshadweep islands to get the permit, which actually costs Rs. 250 or so (it is called heritage fee or something like that). Travel agents also arrange for this permit. But they charge very high amount for the permit; even up to Rs. 25000. If you come across any Lakshadweep resident, who is studying or working in Kerala or other parts of India, ask them to get the permits and many are willing to help you in this regard.

You need to fill up the form and submit it along with attested copies of identity, 2 passport size photos, names and address of two neighbors and police clearance certificate (PCC) from your local police station, specifically mentioning the purpose of visit. These documents are  to  be submitted to the ‘Office of the Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands’ at  Kochi. PCC  verification is done by sending it your local police station. After the PCC is confirmed from your police station,they will issue the travel permit, which is valid for 15 days or so, once you enter the islands. (In some cases, you or your sponsor need to visit the ‘Office of the Administrator of Lakshadweep Islands’ at  Kochi and remind them of the application.)

Once the permit is issued, you can book flight tickets or  book ship tickets at the ticket counter at Wellington island, Kochi.  You may also book online ship tickets to Lakshadweep islands. There are a few ships to the islands, but seats are limited (both in online and across the ticket counters) and getting the tickets is difficult, but not impossible. Only very few tickets are issued for entry permit holders; the rest is reserved for island residents.

Return tickets can be booked  at the  Lakshadweep islands. It can be booked 5 days in advance or so. Once you arrive at the islands, you need to go to the ticket counter and get the return ticket form from the counter. Fill up the form with details like name, permit number, date of return journey,etc. Submit the filled up form along with your your entry permit to the local police station in the island. They will stamp the ticket form and give it you. Only stamped ticket forms are acceptable for return ticket booking. the original permit is kept at the police station and is retnred only on your return journey date.

The ship ticket rates for those with permits in the lowest class (Bunk class), costs only a few hundreds Indian rupees. Food will be charged extra.  It costs Rs 50 or so for a meal with fish fry in the bunk class.

There is also other classes of tickets like second class, first class, VIP class, etc, depending on the ship. VIP class ticket costs  4 to 6 thousand rupees, depending on the island you are going.

It costs around minimum of 22,500 rupees per adult (plus GST) for those availing the Samudram tourist Package tour offered by Lakshadweep tourism society. Ten per cent extra will be charged during the month of December.

How Do I Go Laskshadweep Islands?

Lakshadweep airport is in Agatti island. There are flights connecting Lakshadweep with Bangalore.  There are helicopter services to Cochin.

There are ship services between Lakshadweep and Cochin. These ships embark at Wellington islands, Kochi  alias Cochin. There are ship services from Beypore port,  10 kilometers south of Kozhikode.

MV Kavaratti is one of the best ships to the islands. It can seat 700 persons in 7 floors. It has got swimming pool on the top. MV Lagoons is one among the other best ships to Lakshadweep  islands.

Bangaram, Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Minicoy, Kadmat islands are the tourist centers and other islands are not having tourism related infrastructure.

Summer season is the best time to visit islands (October to May). During Monsoon season, turbulent sea causes ships to be cancelled.

Kalpeni is the nearest island to Kerala. It takes around 12 hours by ship to reach Kalpeni from Kerala. Minicoy is the farthest island from the mainland. It takes around 24 hours to reach Minicoy  from Kerala.

Getting round the Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep islands can be covered by walk (maximum distance is 6 or 7 kilometers) or by hiring a bicycle.

Auto-rickshaws are also available for hire  in the islands. You need to call the number of the auto-stand. Calling individual driers is not allowed. 0489-2223422 is the number in Minicoy islands. 22 auto-rickshaws are there in this island. They operate from 6 am to 11 pm.

Note: Consumption of liquor is prohibited in Lakshadweep islands, except in some resorts.

Health Resort Based Tourism at Pahalgam Hill Station in Kashmir

Pahalgam Kashmir
Amarnath Yatra Camp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pahalgam hill station is situated at Anantnag district of Jammu and Kshmir state in India.

Annual Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage tour to Amarrnath Cave starts from Chandanwari, some 15 kilometers from Pahalgam. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India for its mesmerizing natural beauty. The valley offers breathtaking view of the Himalayas.

Pahalgam in Kashmir  is situated on the banks of river Lidder. Pahalgam hill station is at 7000 feet above sea level. Health resort based  tourism is a major activity in Pahalgam. Trekking, water sports, horse riding, fishing,etc, are major tourism related activities in Pahalgam.

Kolohoi Glacier can be reached via Aru from Pahalgam. Betaab Valley, another major tourist place is at around 15 kilometers from Pahalgam. Baisaran valley is a beautiful meadow nearby with its snow clad mountains and pine tress. Lidder valley is another major attraction.

Pahalgam  is famous for woolen products.

Pahalgam  is rich in flora with conifers,Saffron etc being the major plants. Many other species of rare, endangered animals are found in Pahalgam. It is home to many species of birds, including migratory birds.

View of the Pahalgam Valley
View of the Pahalgam Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do I Go to Pahalgam?

Pahalgam is at a distance of 45 kilometers from Anantnag town.

Jammu is the nearest major railway station at 250 kilometers away. Udhampur railway station is at 200 kilometers away.

Srinagar is the nearest airport at around 100 kilometers away.

Pahalgam is well connected by road to Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.

Kashmir tour packages are available with many of the leading Kashmir tourism operators, which may be ideal for those planning to visit Pahalgam .

Is There Any Good Hotels in Pahalgam?

There are a large number of hotels in Pahalgam which suits the budget of each tourist.