Welcoming 2023 – look ahead a year for a new experience

1 January 2023, new year’s day, I used to avoid taking oaths for the entire year as many uncertainties may arise while managing multiple hats as a family member, academician, or traveler. Last year, I had grand plans for travel and academic publications. However, I was busy with my daughter’s MBBS admission, my mother’s illness, building new houses, etc. Still, I managed to travel to some places and perform other duties.

In travel

We thought to cover many places after fear of covid 19 receded greatly in the first half of 2022. However, family priority and responsibility came first before taking any family outing. Still, we managed to visit some places.

1) Darjeeling and its surrounding areas

We are at our HomeStay a Darjeeling

2) Dooars jungle safari

We are at Gorumara National Park

3) Quick Kolkata tour with my wife

In 2023, we plan to cover some offbeat locations if time permits. 

As academician

I have published a few journal papers and attended the ISDSI conference 2022 (29-27 December) in Bangaluru.

We are ISDSI Conference 2022 with my faculty colleagues and Research Scholar

Hope in 2023, I will be working in some new area like Gig Economy (understanding the challenges of freelancers across the globe), digital market and travel industry, and Eco-tourism (Analyzing the reason for popularity of eco-tourism in Indian Contexts), Meta-verse and consumer journey.

As a family members

I am spending a lot of time building our new dream house on my ancestral property. We hope to move into our new home by April 2023.

Darjeeling tour: One the way to Takdah, Tinchuley, and Lamhatta (Day 2)

We reached our homestay in Darjeeling last evening. After spending a beautiful evening at Mall road, we savored the sumptuous dinner in the homestay, planned for the day’s long tour at Takdah, Tinchuley, and Lamhatta.

Our homestay was covered with clouds when we woke up in the morning. The vast green hilly landscape was also impenetrable through the cloud canopy below. We quickly became ready to visit Takdah, Tinchuley, and finally, Lamhata, as those are located downhill, and the cloud may not be there at those locations.

On the way to Dakdah, Jungle path

On the way to Dakdah, the Jungle path

From Jhorbangla, we took the regular road toward Gangtok. Our first destination was Takdah, a small village tucked away 28 km from Darjeeling at an altitude of 4000 ft. During pre-independence time (the early 1900s), many British Bungalows were come up here to accommodate army officers. After a 5-7 km drive, we entered Takdah forest. In some places, it looks like a rainforest as water from drizzling comes through long pine trees. We stopped our car to have that experience. Our driver cum guide informed us that our first destination was Orchid Garden.

We took a break at Takdah forest

After 8 10 km drive, we reached the orchid garden. The sky was almost clear here, and sunlights are peeping through the clouds. We are thrilled to watch the varieties of orchids nicely cultivated in lab settings.

Orchid Ganden

Takdah Orchid Center
Orchid Ganden Takdah

Sunrise viewpoint and Gumbadara viewpoint

Our next destinations are the sunrise viewpoint and Gumbadara viewpoint. From the Gumbadara viewpoint, you can see the picturesque view of river Teesta and Rangeet, and it is located at an altitude of 6000ft.

Before reaching the site, we entered a deep forest area. Driver bhai informed us this is a weary area; locals feel the presence of paranormal activities in ghat areas. Long pine trees and ferns covered this place. The eerie silence captivated us to have a short break here.

Forest area and eerie silence captivated us

When we reached viewpoints, clouds surrounded by the areas—no look through the cloud blankets. But we spent quality time in a tea garden. At Tinchuley, we need not stop, and we just drove through the beautiful landscape of the tea gardens. The panoramic views of the Peshok tea gardens on both sides of the mountain slopes were mesmerizing when further driving down.

Tea garden near Gumbadara viewpoint. cloud covered the spot.
Panoramic view of Peshok Tea garden at Tinchuley

Triveni viewpoint

We then moved towards lover points or Triveni viewpoint. The views were incredible. After this point, we took a return path toward Darjeeling for Lamhata. On the way, we had lunch here. You can get good Bengali restaurants here. But, there was a rush. Hence, we took thali from a nearby restaurant.

Triveni viewpoint

Lamhata

Then we set out for our last spot, Lamhata. It was 4 o’clock when we reached Lamhata eco-park, and Park was open till 5 pm. In Lamhata eco-park, you can indeed enjoy a nicely decorated garden, plantation, and watchtowers to watch panoramic views of nearby parks and valleys. A series of big and tall pine trees on the top of the gardens and running clouds through the trees bring a thrill and feel of a mystic village from a mythological adventure. There is a lake inside, and you can reach there by jungle path. Since it was evening time, we spent time inside the pine forest and enjoying beautiful views of gardens and valleys.

Lamahata eco-park
Lamahata eco-park awesome view
Lamahata eco-park pine trees

We started from Lamhata at 5 pm, reaching Darjeeling homestay at 5 45 pm.

Darjeeling tour- Queen of Hill Station

When it comes to Darjeeling, Bengali people get emotional as they can visualize the verdant green hills, majestic views of snowclad Kanchanjangha, mouthwatering momo, seeping green tea directly plucked from tea garden, and many more interesting facts.

We were no exception. Hence, after 5 years of Bonobash (no travel due to Kids’ competitive exams), during the puja holiday, we were planning for a5-6 day tour nearby touring places near Kolkata. The well-versed phrase “Dipuda” (Digha-Puri-Darjeeling) immediately came into our mind for destination selection. We selected Darjeeling as we all love hills more than seabeach. Planning started with booking a train and finally booked tickets for Patadik Express. We have 6 nights in hand, too long for the Darjeeling tour. Hence, keep 4 N for Darjeeling and 2N for Dooars.

Our next plan is to stay in Hotel or HomeStay. The last time we visited Darjeeling in 2014, we stayed in Hotel Sonar Bangla. At that time, homestay was not famous; now, people are exploring new experiences in homestay. Hence, we start searching many places, including social media. Now, one of our contacts visited Darjeeling 2 months back, and we got their excellent review on Facebook. Hence, we contacted the Homestay “Francis Villa Retreat and Holiday Home” Dr. Tshering Noel Rongkup, a very learned man and Ph.D. from JNU. He provided excellent guidance and an itinerary when I discussed this with him. Here I shared the travel plan for 4N/5D in Darjeeling. Here are the details

Tour Itinerary – 👇
🔶 Day 1: 5-10-2022: NJP to Darjeeling via Sukna Forest, Rongtong, tinderia, Kurseong. Check in Hotel. Afternoon visit Darjeeling Mall. Stay at Darjeeling.
🔶 Day 2: 6-10-2022: Darjeeling local sightseeing, visit Tiger Hill, Batasia Loop, Ghoom Monastery, HMI, Zoo, Peace Pagoda, Japanese Temple, Tea Garden, Tenzing Rock. Stay at Darjeeling.
🔶 Day 3: 7-10-2022: Full Day Takdah/Tinchulay Local sightseeing, visit Orchid Garden, Tinchuley Monastery, Sunrise Viewpoint, Gumbadara Viewpoint, Tea Garden Viewpoint, Lamahatta Park, Triveni View Point. Stay at Darjeeling.
🔶 Day 4: 8-10-2022: Kurseong Sightseeing, Ranger Forest, St. Mary’s Hill, Eagle Crag, Hanuman Statue View Point, Gidday Pahar View Point, Dowhill, Victoria School, Chimnay, Bagora. Back to Darjeeling.
🔶 Day 5: 9-10-2022: After breakfast, check out and drop to Siliguri, via Lepcha Jagat, Simana Bazar, Gopaldhara Tea Garden, Mirik Lake, Sukna Forest.
Tour ends.

As per the above itinerary, we reached the NJP Station morning at 9 am on 5 October 2022; our Driver cum guide Noel was waiting for us at the station. After breakfast near the station, we started for Darjeeling hill station, and our destination was Francis Villa Retreat and Holiday Home.

On the Way Darjeeling – Sukna Forest
On our road trip Via Kurseong (NH 55), we started from NJP –> Siliguri

On the way, we saw Sukuna forest, and we drove along uphill and beautiful views of hills started greeting us. By 1 pm, we reached Kursheong, and at the roadside restaurant, we finished our lunch as it may become 3 pm when we reached Homestay. When we arrived at our Homestay around 3 pm, members greeted us at our first Homestay experience.

Awesome views of Hill-start unfolding

While during uphill, we can a glimpse of the famous Darjeeling toy train near the Kurseong market

Darjeeling Toy train- Cloud all around.

We reached our Homestay near the old “Kinchin View” established in 1928. Our homestay is part of this building, located a few meters down the hill slope.

Views from homestay

Kinchin View – our homestay is part of this trust and located just below the hilly slope
Our homestay Francis Villa Retreat

In the evening, our Driver, Noel Bhai, dropped us at Mall road. We spent some time with tea and savored local chicken delicacies. But, it was our bad luck, it started raining, and we were forced to come back to our nest homestay. We could smell the chicken dish, and other items are being prepared in the kitchen. We now sit with the plan for the next day’s tour. It was raining outside. We went to bed with a hope tomorrow morning we could get the clear view of Kanchanjungha from the room and lawn.

Night view of homestay

Here I share details of our homestay:

Francis Villa Retreat and Holiday Home, Darjeeling
Dr. Tshering Lepcha
Gandhi Road, Near Notre Dame Academy, Dali, Darjeeling, India, West Bengal
099586 52413
Dr. Tshering Lepcha
francisvilla1949@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087168783852

Dr. Tshering Lepcha – is an excellent host and very accomative and knowledge
Drive Bhai and Guide- Noel (85095 12045), we have an excellent experience. He is so much caring and friendly.

Durga Puja – mask-free pandal hopping after the pandemic

This year’s Durga puja is a bit different from the last two years. We had a great plan of Pandel hopping plan starting from Sasti as Cyclone Noru was showing its mighty presence through news flash. But we discarded that plan at the last moment, as we have a Darjeeling -Dooars tour plan starting from Navami, and we like to keep our energy for next 6 days’ tour.
We spent our time pandal hopping at New Barrackore, my hometown. It is really a nice experience to hop in our locality mask-free. I know covid is yet to wane out. Hope the next puja would be more enjoyable.

Durga Puja 2022 New Barrackpore

Durga Puja at New Barrackpore

Welcoming 2022 – sharing my journey experience in pandemic year

After a year gap, I have started writing on my blog. When I first started my blog in 2009, I thought to share it with you as a traveler and entrepreneur. I have shared my entrepreneurial and traveling experiences through various posts.

Today, on 31 December 2021, I have felt that my work profile has been changed and veered from entrepreneur towards Academic. Last few years, I have spent time in academics and pursued Ph.D. in management from IIT Kharagpur. I become a professor from an entrepreneur.

Hence, today I plan to share experiences as a teacher but traveler by heart. Starting from 2020, we all faced tough challenges and times due to pandemics. I have faced challenges in professional and personal fonts. However, we managed to sail through all the difficult times. I shared my experiences as a traveler, professional, and family man.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Kolkata, we visited in April 2021

1) Traveler life in last two years: since 2020 January, we stopped traveling due to pandemic. Moreover, I have visited a few places for the previous five years as my daughters are preparing for jee and neet exam. Hence, family travel was restricted. I have seen only Yelagiri and Mandarmoni in the last two on very short tours. No weekend journey, no long tours for last few years as daughters were busy preparing exams.

In 2021 December, I just visited Mandarmoni for a short break. Hope in 2022, we can explore more areas, as my daughters have already cleared the exams.

Visit to Yelagiri (vellore)

2) Professor life: last two years, since the onset of the pandemic, I have taken classes on the online mode. I am teaching marketing subjects to MBA students, hence, facing challenges in engaging students in online classes. After all, online classes are boring missing interactions with students.

Hope, 2022, classes will be offline once the pandemic is over.

Mandarmoni beach tour at Resort Dream hut in September 2020

A quick meeting with my students

I am with Students on 25 December 2021

3) life as a parent: my twin daughters are preparing for competitive exams. The exams were postponed due to a pandemic, we were really anxious. Children were under tremendous tension. As a parent, we were sharing the pressure with our daughters. Even we could not think of any leisure travel during that time. Finally, my daughters cleared NEET 2021 and JEE  mains 2021. We are a bit relieved now.

Now, I feel we can get time in 2022 for travel and put more time into my Academic research.

Next 2022 would be equally challenging as the world yet to come to terms with Covid, and I hope we can be more prepared to covid in 2022.

With that hope, I am ending this post and wishing you a happy new year 2022.

Mandarmoni tour- resort beach of West Bengal

I have written this travel blog after a gap of years. Because of the pandemic, we stopped leasure traveling with family for the last two years. This time we have decided to visit Mandarmoni becasue of its serinity and less crowd at the beach location. We started for Mandarmoni beach resort at morning 6:30 pm from our residence at Kolkata and reached the location by 11 am.

It is being a weekend (18-20 December 2021), the price of resorts/ hotels were at higher side. If you like to stay at Mandormoni during peak season, the minimum rate starts from INR 2000. We checked in Hotel Nilkantha Resort. We booked 2 rooms for four family members for two days. Hence, we bargained it at INR 3000 per night per room. Two rooms were sea-facing rooms. Food prices are reasonable.

Our hotel at Mandarmoni

Beach view from our hotel room. It is a new hotel and the private
sea view beach is under beautification process

If you like to eat crab at the beach, better you walk along the beach at reach makeshift restaurant on the beach, we can order crab at a cheaper rate. We tried that option and found crab curry was really delicious.

We are at Mandarmoni Beach

The morning walk was really refreshing. While walking, we spotted a date juice seller. They are making patali gur from the date juice. We enjoyed the date juice and purchase patali gur for making rice pudding at home.

Sunset at Mandarmoni Beach. View from our hotel
Selling date juice and patali gur near the beach
Night view of Mandarmoni beach

Yelagiri tour

This year, October was a special month, as we planned for Vellore trip for medical check-up. During our stay at Vellore, we managed to get one day free time for sightseeing around vellore. We checked in hotel Palar Residency near Vellore city center through OYO. Since, we got a one day time, we selected Yelagiri for a day long tour outside vellore.

Way to Yelagiri hill

Way to Yelagiri hill

Yelagiri is a small hill station tucked away 90 km from Vellore City. It is located along the highway connecting Vellore to Bangalore. It is situated off the Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur road at an altitude of 1700 meters above the sea Level and spread across 30 km.

Along the hilly road toward Elagiri

Along the hilly road toward Elagiri

The Yelagiri village located on the hill top of Yelagiri hill (also spelled Elagiri) is surrounded by orchards, rose-gardens, and green valleys. From the national highway it was 20 km drive along the hilly track to reach the hill top.

We booked a AC Sedan for a day long tour and started from Vellore at 8 a.m. After an hour drive, we took a breakfast near a hill view restaurant. When we reached Yelagiri village town it was 10 am. I found it as a small town on a hill top. You can find few hotels here. Driver parked our car in a tourist spot called “natural park”. From here we started our day long sightseeing at Yelagiri.

  • Nature Park: This is big park located right at the center of hill top town. This park was established in the year 2008. Entry fess is 15 Rs. Per head and car parking 20/-. It consists of an aquarium, rose garden, an artificial water fall, and a musical fountain. We located the artificial water fall at the end of the park. But, they only operate it on Sunday. The entire part is nicely maintained. If you come from metro city, you can compare it with a big park in your city. We spent about 40 minutes in the park.

At Nature Park Yelagiri

At Nature Park Yelagiri

  • Murugan temple: It was 2 km drive from Nature park. You can have short stay here for vising temple.
  • Fundera Park- From the Murugan temple, it is again 1 km drive to reach this park. I find this place really interesting. It is a privately maintained park at the lap of verdant hill. Entry fees- 200/- per head. However, I find it worth to spend for this 30-45 guided tour in the natural park. You can feed all animal there. I like the most is “Bird aviary”. Superb experience. Our guide was very courteous and eager to explain everything. I also like the walking through the rain forest.

Fundera park - natural beauty

Fundera park – natural beauty

Fundera Park Yelagiri

Fundera Park Yelagiri

I am in Big Bird Avairy

I am in Big Bird Avairy- Fundera Park Yelagiri

 

  • Punganoor Lake Park: When we finished our tour at Fundera park. It was 2 pm. We quickly finished our lunch there. And returned to our last spot “Punganoor park”. It is one of the most popular landmark in Yelagiri Hills just located opposite of nature park. It is an artificial lake 25 feet deep with an adjoining park. Entry fee is Rs 10 per head and car parking rs 20/- Best part of this park is enjoy boating in the lake. We paid rs 200/- ( 4 person) for 20 minutes boating in the park.  Another nice experience we had when we made round across the lake boundary by walking. The views of hills surrounding the lake was awesome. You can easily spend 1 hours time in the park.

Boating in Punganoor Lake

Boating in Punganoor Lake

 

Punganoor Lake -quite and clam environment

Punganoor Lake -quite and clam environment

It was 4 pm when finished our tour at Yelagiri tour and set out for return journey to Vellore.

Evening views from Yelagiri hilltop

Evening views from Yelagiri hilltop

Few important information for tourists:

Cost of hiring cab for Yelagiri- you may not get any public bus service for yelaigiri from Vellore. Better book a cab for day long tour. We booked Swift Desire (AC Sedan) at 2800/- and toll charges (130 two way) extra. If you book Artica and similar cab, they may charge you between 3000-3500/-

Best time to go Yelagiri: I feel you should above rainy season. Best time could be September- February.

Restaurant: I found limited option available there for fine dining. We have taken food at a restaurant named “Food Corner” near the gate of Punganoor Lake Park. Very tasty food. They also provide lodging facility at “Yelagiri Residency”(04179-235313)

Pros of Yelagiri tour: Close to Vellore city, very quite and clam environment, cheap foods

Cons of Yelairi tour: It may be good for 1-2 night stay as the hill station yet to be developed. Not many sightseeing places.

However, I found Yelagiri is perfect destination for 1-2 days break from hectic city life.

Visit to Haridwar and Rishikesk

It was a chilly morning in IIT Roorkee campus on 2 December (Sunday) 2018. A canopy of fogs envelopes the entire campus. My phone is ringing as our driver, Ashasan bhai has been waiting at the reception of Kshola international guest house in IIT Roorkee campus. After 2 days of PANIITIMC 2018 conference, today our team ready to explore some important places to visit in Haridwar and Rishikesh in a day long tour.

Haridwar- holy land of Maa Ganga and Shiva updated

Patanjali peth

From IIT Roorkee, it is 35 km drive along national highway 58. After breakfast, we started for Haridwar. After 12 km drive from IIT Roorkee, we stopped at Patanjali peth on the way. It is a big campus with hostel, Ayurveda research center, Patanjali hospital etc. It was nice experience to enjoy the good ambience inside the campus. Especially, impressive status of Munni rishi (saints) inside the campus reminded us the rich heritage of our contribution in Ayurveda. We spent about 15 minutes inside the campus.

Patanjali peth entrance

Patanjali peth entrance

Patanjali hospital in the campus

Patanjali hospital in the campus

Way to from Haridwar to Rishikesh

Our first destination is Rishikesh. Hence. We take the bypass to avoid jam inside Haridwar city. While crossing the Haridwar city through bypass, we see the divine views of gahts also along the river. Big Shiva statue gives us Holly remainder that we are in the holly city. In the left side, we could see the Manasa temple and Devaki temple on Neel Parbat. We didn’t stop there, as we have plan to cover these places in the return journey.

Statue of Maharshi Patanjali inside the campus

Statue of Maharshi Patanjali inside the campus

Leaving behind the Haridwar city, we are speeding across the NH 58. On the way we crossed few dried rivers. We located a tiger reserve forest at the left. If you have time, you can explore this area and try your luck to meet tiger in Shivalik Himalayan range. One of our team members, narrated his experience for closer encounter with a wild beast while he was in project in Tehri dam area. He narrated the area, its geography, and people. And we other people are listening. Time has been passing by…

On the way from Haridwar to Rishikesh, distant view of Haridwar city from road

On the way from Haridwar to Rishikesh, distant view of Haridwar city from road

Tiger reserve Area on the way to Rishikesh

Tiger reserve Area on the way to Rishikesh

After few minutes, driver informed we reach Rishikesh market area. Our car crossed the congested city. I am looking for divine feeling with the darsana of shadus. However, it is city are. Shivalik Himalayan starts from here. Big mountain range came close to our vision. Now on the right we could Ganga River.

Rishikesh tourist places

Our first spot in Rishikesh is Laxman jhola. Driving from Haridwar towards Rishikesh, we first spot Ram jhola. Since, we like to visit the farthest point first, we don’t stop at ram jhola, keep it for the return journey from Laxman jhola.

1) Laxman jhola:

After 3 km journey in the uphill from Ram Jhola, we reached the Laxmon jhola. It was really awesome view when we reached entry point of the hanging bridge. Nice view of Gangas, Shivalik Himalayan range, and device presence of the temples in the slope of the mountain range mesmerized us.

At Laxman Jhola - our team members

At Laxman Jhola – our team members

I am at Laxman Jhola, distant view of temples at the other side

I am at Laxman Jhola, distant view of temples at the other side

What to see there in Laxman jhola

A) Walk on the hanging bridge: it was an awesome experience to walk and feel the divine blessings of nature and Maa Ganga. You can enjoy nice views of hilly valley on both side of the bridge with Maa Ganga flowing under the bridge. You can see rafting teams are enjoying their rides in the river.

Walking on the Laxman Jhola- an awesome experience

Walking on the Laxman Jhola- an awesome experience

Beautiful view of Laxman Jhola

Beautiful view of Laxman Jhola

B) Shiva temple: After crossing the bridge, you take left turn to reach 14 story pagoda style temple, popularly known as Shiva temple or Antiriksha pati Shivalaya. I urge to go to the top of the temple for Darshan of Lord Shiva. You can get best view of Laxman jhola and surrounding mountain from the temple top. just superb experience.

Shiva temple at Laxman Jhola

Shiva temple at Laxman Jhola

C) Parvati or Maa durga temple. You can visit similar temple nearby just opposite Shiva temple.

Parvati or Maa durga temple

Parvati or Maa durga temple

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

D) River rafting: we go the nearby ghat to touch the divine river (stream of Maa Gangs). You can book a boat for the family.

River Rafting in Laxman Jhola

River Rafting in Laxman Jhola

If you time, you can hire a guide at Rs 100 for 45 min to 1 hrs.

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

Top view of Laxman Jhola from Shiva temple

Near Ganga River bank at River rafting place

Near Ganga River bank at River rafting place

The time required for converting this place: about 2 hours.

2) Ram jhola:

When we finished our tour at Laxman Jhola, it was 1 pm. We immediately started for Ram jhola. It is a bit crowded place. We parked our car in the parking lot. It is 5 minutes’ walk from the parking zone. It looks bigger and stronger than Laxman jhola.

At Ram Jhola, more concrete bridge

At Ram Jhola, more concrete bridge

What to see here?

A) Hanging bridge: it is a bit busy bridge, security people would not allow you to stop on the bridge. Hence, we took some quick snaps of the bride and reached the other side of the bridge. Since there are many famous temples in this side of the river. For better guidance, we hired a guide at Rs. 50 for 30 minutes tour to visit important places and sham near Ram Jhola.

Walking on the Ram jhola bridge

Walking on the Ram jhola bridge

Awesome view of Ram Jhola from Ganga River bank

Awesome view of Ram Jhola from Ganga Riverbank

B) Gita Bhavan: Our guide narrated the history of Gita bhaban, temple, rudrakha tree. Inside the campus, we see hundreds of accommodations for devotees. Guide informed us that visitors can stay free inside upon pre-registration.

Gita Bhavan at Ram Jhola

Gita Bhavan at Ram Jhola

  • Inside the temple, we see a single page manuscript which contains all slokas of Gita.
  • On the back of the temple, we see an old lady is sharing bhatki lesson with other devotees.

C) Paramartho Niketan asram:

It is a big ashram. Very nice view all around especially the view of adjacent Ganga ghat. We took few snaps here. You can take lunch here (lunch meal Rs. 75) in this ashram.

Paramartha Niketan at Ram Jhola

Paramartha Niketan at Ram Jhola

Beautiful campus inside Paramartha Niketan

Beautiful campus inside Paramartha Niketan

We couldn’t cover the following points in this trip

  • Swargasram
  • Shivananda Ashram
  • Few other temples

Note: you need at least a day to cover all the ashram in this area.

We spent about 2 hours to cover 3 ashram in Ram Jhola.

After completion of site seeing tour in ram Jhola, we finished our lunch in a reputed river facing restaurant near the parking area.

Mystic evening at Ram Jhola, beasutiful sight of River Ganga and surrounding valley

Mystic evening at Ram Jhola, beautiful sight of River Ganga and surrounding valley

Ram Jhola vs Laxman Jhola

Again, this is my perception. Laxman Jhola is located at the outskirt of the city Rishikesh. Hence, I found less crowd and more feeling of closeness with nature. Whereas, Ram Jhola is located right inside the city, and more crowded bridge. You can’t even stand on the bridge. Really a lot of rush on the bridge.

Since Laxman Jhola is the narrow hanging bridge, we could feel the undulating of the bridge. However, we couldn’t feel that on Ram Jhola.

Third, I feel views of hills, river rafting, distant views of temples in the valley in Laxman Jhola are more mesmerizing than Ram Jhola.

Fourth, we found ghats in Ram Jhola are more spacious and safe than Laxman Jhola.

Time planning: I feel that for better coverage of Rishikesh ghats and ashram, we could spend 2-3 hours in Laxman Jhola and 4 hours in Ram Jhola.

In my next trip, I will keep 2 complete days for Rishikesh as I love to spend time in the ashram.

3) Haridwar:

This is the most sacred place for Gangs darshan and offering Puja to Ganga Maa. After Rishikesh darshan, it was 3:30 pm we started for Haridwar. Our plan was to see cover the following points

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, evening time, pilgrims are gathering for Sandha Arti

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, evening time, pilgrims are gathering for Sandha Arti

A) Mansa Devi Temple and enjoying ropeway journey

B) Chandi Devi temple on Neel Parbat

C) Evening prayer at Harke pouri ghat – most sought after event in Haridwar.

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, evening time, before Sandha Arti

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, evening time, before Sandha Arti

We were looking at the clock to reach Haridwar as early as possible. However, we stuck in a traffic jam while returning from Rishikesh and wasted 40 minutes time in a traffic jam. We lost hope in visiting Mansa Devi temple.

Finally, at 4:30 pm, we reached Haridwar, we noticed that the preparatory chanting for evening prayer was started. Without wasting time, we rushed to Harke pouri ghat for securing our space for Gangs Maa arti and prayer.

We found already devotees occupied the space near the river stream. Anyway, we purchased a sitting mat for sitting on the abode for arti darshan.

I observed the same arti 12 years back with family. I was a divine feeling to hear the chanting of mantra in the sacred ghat.

Arti started at 5:30 pm. All devotees are raising hands and the following chanting with pujari. All diyas are lit up along the ghat and all devotees are chanting song with sandha arti. It was really a divine feeling. I feel I have been waiting for this moment in today’s trip.

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, Arti Going on- a Divine feeling

Harke Pouri Ghat at Haridwar, Arti Going on- a Divine feeling

Arti is over by 6 pm. Now it was time to return IIT Roorkee campus. I couldn’t feel how the time has been passing by. When we reached IIT Roorkee guest house it was 7: 30 pm. Not really exhausted, rather feel relaxed and day-long memory still afresh in mind.

Hope I will come to this holy place again with more time and plan.

Some facts

1) Car rental: we booked a swift desire for the whole day trip at 2000. And car parking charges were extra. Car parking cost: Laxman Jhola 50 rs; ram Jhola – 150 rs, Haridwar : 50 rs. Hence the whole travel cost is 2250. (From IIT Roorkee)

2) Lunch: we took lunch at a good restaurant; per head lunch cost 200. However, you can have lunch at the ashram at 50-70 rs per head veg thalli. You can take lunch Dada Boudi hotel in Haridwar.

In my last journey, I found many Dada Boudi hotels and they all are claiming they are original. I also don’t know who is original. Did some research and select the one for lunch.

Best time to visit: I visited in December, my last visit was in May 2005. But, summer is good for touring in the hills. However, I feel during Durga puja vacation, you can visit this place.

Hotels in Haridwar: this time stayed in IIT Roorkee guest house, hence no specific information to share about hotels in Haridwar. However, on my last trip in 2005, we stayed in Haridwar. There are many hotels with different price budgets available there.

Hope you this post useful. Please share your view.

Raigarh Tour – exploring cultural city of Chhattisgarh

Raigarh, the cultural capital of Chattisgarh, is also known as a famous tourists destination for exploring culture, mythology, the natural environment at the same place.

My travel blog related to Raigarh is linked to my service posting in Riagahr. I have joined a few months back in O. P. Jindal University as an Assistant Professor (marketing). I always love to explore nature in my own ways. As usual, I did an online research to find top tourists places in Raighar.

My family also joined me after Diwali vacation. We booked an AC cab (Maruti Artica) for the whole day trip for visiting famous tourists’ destinations in Raigarh. Online details were not enough to select the right tourists’ places for a day-long sightseeing and nature exploration in Raigarh. However, based on the recommendations from my colleagues, I have selected the following tourist’s spots:

  1. Banjari Mata Mandir
  2. Kelo Dam
  3. Gaja Mar Pahari Mandir
  4. Suraj Garh bridge
  5. Chandrahasini Devi Temple, Janjgir
  6. Ram Jharna
  7. Rabo Dam

Frankly speaking, if you like to cover all these places in a single day, you need to keep 8-10 hours’ time and have to travel over 200 km in your car. This is November month, hence we started our journey at 7:30 AM in the morning, and plan to complete the journey by 5:30PM.

Let us move to narrate my journey experience.

1) Banjari Mata Mandir: This is one of the famous temples in Raigarh, located along the Raigarh- Ambikapur road via state highway 1. Since I am staying at Punjipatra Jindal Officer Colony, it is hardly 3 km from my housing. This is our first tourist spot. However, if you come from Raigarh city, you have to drive 20 km towards Ghargoda. While driving towards Ghargoda, after Grewani, you will find Banjali Mata Mandir on the right side.

Banjari Mata Mandir - main gate

Banjari Mata - main temple

Banjari Mata Mandir- sorrounding temples

Banjari Mata Mandir- surrounding temples

We reached mandir about 7:45 AM. Being it a morning time, there was no rush. We immediately reached the main Mandir. Local pujari informed it is a very old temple, new temple premises was built in 2003. The present structure you see now, become ready for darshan, was built in 2011. Inside the temple. We have seen the various avatar of Maa Durga. I feel that Banjari Mata is also an avatar of Maa Durga. In every Navaratri, there used a big celebration in this area.

We have found many small temples inside the temple ground. We have spent about 20 minutes in the temple. Purari Ji also offered Prasad. With the blessing of Banjari Mata, we started our day-long site seeing tour in Raigarh.

2) Kelo Dam

After Banjari Mata darshan, our next destination is Kelo dam, this man-made dam was built over the rivel Kelo. If you come from Raighar City, Kelo dam comes first, afterward Banjari Mata Mandir. Since we are moving towards Raighar City to cover the other spots, hence Kelo Dam came after Banjari Mata Mandir.

Driving on the Kelo Dam

Driving on the Kelo Dam

After 10 Km drive from the Mandir, we spotted the big barrage of Kelo dam.

The Kelo dam was set up as a part of irrigation project covering areas like Kharisia, Pussore and Raigarh blocks of Raigarh district and Dabhara block of Janjgir-Champa district. Kelo dam in Chhattisgarh built on Kelo River — a tributary of Mahanadi River main basin is targeted to be completed by the year 2018.

Nice view of reserviour, lock gate and sorrounding hilltops

Nice view of reservoir, lock gate and surrounding hilltops

Kelo Dam -lock gate

Kelo Dam -lock gate

We drove on the dam till the lock gate. It looks that the driving pathway on the dam is not well supported by the concrete road. When we reach the lock gate area, we found it entry path was closed for the visitor. We walked down to the side of the lock gate and took some snaps. The whole area is covered with small hillocks. Before Durga Puja festival (Navaratri), the whole dam and nearby by hillocks used to be covered with Kash flowers. The Kash flowers declare the advent of Durga puja. While going from Punjipatra towards Raigarh town, I used to enjoy the envelope of flowers covered the hill and surrounding area.

What to see here? Dam and natural surrounding; if you enter the small village down the bank of the dam, you can find a small garden for visitors.

How much time to spend at this place: 20 minutes; maybe the whole day for picnic goers.

3) Gaja Mar Pahari Mandir

Our next destination is Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mandir near Gaj Mar Pahar, popularly known as the “Pahari Mondir”. This is located right inside the Raigarh City. Hence, our car crossed the Kelo river bridge inside the Raigarh City. I feel that this place is 4 km from the Raigarh Railway station.

Way to Gaj Mar Pahari Mandir

Way to Gaj Mar Pahari Mandir

In my opinion, this is one of the best places to spend quality time during your day-long tour in Raigarh. Our car stopped right outside the entrance to Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mondir. The long gateway welcomes us to visit Bajranboli over the hilltop.

Ariel View of Raigarh city from Pahari Mandir

Ariel View of Raigarh city from Pahari Mandir

Pathway towards Pahari Mandir

The pathway towards Pahari Mandir

Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mandir

Finally, we reached the Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mandir on the hill top

Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mandir and Shiv Mandir on the hill top -side view

Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mandir and Shiv Mandir on the hill top -side view

I found nicely build stair steps welcoming us to the hilltop. The whole path has good stairs and covered with sunshade all the way to the hilltop. After riding up about 400 steps, finally, we reached the Sankat Mochon Bajranboli Mondir at the hilltop. We took Prasad and set there about 30 minutes.

Shiva Temple on the hilltop

Shiva Mandir on the hilltop

Hilltop view of Raigarh City from Pahari Mandir

Hilltop view of Raigarh City from Pahari Mandir

What to see there?

  • You can see the nice aerial view of the Raigarh City
  • I observed the rail tracks and the views of 2-3 trains running on the track (entering and leaving Raigarh Railway station)
  • Very nicely build Shiv temple on the hilltop

How much time to spend at this place: 30 minutes; very quiet and calm place.

4) Suraj Garh bridge

This is an offbeat location outside Raigarh city. If you love nature and like to enjoy the vastness of Mahanadi (where you can see how island inside the river is the major source of cultivation), then you go for a drive to reach Suraj Garh Bridge and local people fondly called as Nodigaon.

Suraj Garh bridge on Mahanadi

Suraj Garh bridge on Mahanadi

After visiting Pahar mandir, we took the state high – Sarangar road towards Raipur. The is the main road connecting Raigarh with Saraipali. After 10 km drive from the city, we took left From Koratarai chowk to reach Suraj Garh. If you go straight instead of taking the left side, then you would reach Chandrahasani Mandir. But, we take left turn to see the beauty of Suraj Garh Bridge which is about 2 km long, the longest bridge in Chattisgarh.

Awesome view of Mahanadi and island

From koratarai chowk, it was another 15 km journey we reached the foot of the bridge. We paid Rs. 20 as a toll. On the bride, we stopped our car near an island inside the Mahanadi. We see a big island and many farmers are engaged in cultivation. There are no huts on the island. I feel local farmers use boats to reach the island from the mainland. We spent 10 minutes on the bride.

What to see there?

  • The cool drive on the bridge.
  • Spend times on the bride and look panoramic view of the river and small series of islands.
  • Vast nature around filled with fresh air and water body
  • If possible talk to river waves and surrounding

Note: It is good for the nature lover. Other passengers can skip this place

How much time to spend at this place: 10-15 minutes

5) Maa Nathaldai temple at Timralgaon

Instead of coming directly from Raigarh, we are heading towards Chandrahasani Mondir via Suraj Garh. Before crossing the Mahanadi, we took a left for car parking and heading towards Maa Nathaldai temple at Timralgaon. The temple is looked like a chariot on the riverbank. We visited the temple for Devi Darshan.

Maa Nathaldai temple at Timralgaon

On the river bank, there are nice sitting places under the tree. You can see the distant view of Maa Chandrahasani Mandir located on the other side of Mahanadi.

In fact, Chandrahasani mondir and Maa Nathaldai temple are just opposite of Mahanadi.

What to see there: Maa Nathaldai darshan and the nice view of Mahanadi

Distant view of Maa Chandrahasani Mandir located on the other side of Mahanadi

Distant view of Maa Chandrahasani Mandir located on the other side of Mahanadi.

How much time for being there: 20 minutes.

Our Family at Maa Nathaldai temple at Timralgaon

Our Family at Maa Nathaldai temple at Timralgaon

6) Maa Chandrahasini Devi temple

This is the most famous tourist spot in Raigarh. This is located in Chhattisgarh ‘s Janjgir-district and 30 km off the Raigarh City. The location is known as Chandrapur, surrounded by Mahanadi and Mand River.

Maa Chandrahasini Devi temple

Maa Chandrahasini Devi temple-main gate

After paying the visit to Maa Nathaldai temple, we crossed the Mahanadi River to enter the market adjacent to Maa Chandrahasini temple. We parked our car at flowers stall and purchased flowers and coconut for offering puja to temple.

It was 12:30 pm, we just crossed the temple gate to reach the main temple area. There was a jam-packed pathway with devotees standing before the entrance to the main temple. We stood for 30 minutes in the queue. Finally, we got darshan of Maa Chandrahasini. Maa idol almost resemble the idol of Maa Nathaldai. Some reference quoted that Maa Chandrahasini is an avatar of Maa Durga.

History of Chandrahasini Devi temple

Chandrahasini Devi temple is one of the 52 Shaktipeeths and here Durga Mother is immortalized as a moonhasini (smiling moon). Due to the face of the Moon, its fame is known by the name of Chandrahasini and Chandrasini mother.

Hindus have great faith and deep reverence on Mother Moon. Devotees are worshiping maa with coconut and agarbatti. By worshiping maa with the flowers, Mother fulfills all the wishes of her children with selflessness. All devotees who come here to fulfill their desired wish. There is no limit to the faith of the devotees on the mother, as it is no limit on the compassionate devotees of the mother.

Ashwani Navratri and Chaitra Navratri are worth seeing to see on the holy feet of the mother. People turn on the occasion of Jyotikshal Navaratri for the fulfillment of their desires. Many devotees sacrifice sacrificial goats and poultry here to fulfill their wish. Here are mystical and religious tales of lakes, sea churning, Mahabharata’s gambling, etc.

Inside the temple premises, we have found many rides of the amusement park for children. I could not understand why so many rides (from haunting house to other children rides) are located close to the main temple.

We have found the famous landmark of Chandrahasini Devi temple near the main temple. It was a big statue: half Lord Shiva and half body are Maa Parboti. You can see this statue even from the other side of the Mahanadi River.

Half Lord Shiva and half body are Maa Parboti

The famous landmark of Chandrahasini Devi templeHalf Lord Shiva and half body are Maa Parboti

You will find a few good restaurants here. You can finish your lunch here. However, we started for Raighar City for Lunch at Restaurant ChappanaBhog near Raigarh Station.

What to see here: Chandrahasini Devi temple, nearby temples, children rides, boating in Mahanadi

How much time: 60-90 minutes

7) Ram Jharna

It was noon when we completed our puja at Chadrahasani Temple. We decided to return Raigarh city for lunch. As for the next tourist destination Ram Jharna, you need to cross the city to reach the spot. Hence, we started for Raigarh, 30 km ride from the temple.

Ram Jharna Entrance

Ram Jharna Entrance

We finished our lunch at the famous family restaurant Chappana Bhog, located near the Raigarh Railway station. Our next destination Ram Jharna is about 20 km from the Railway station. On the way to Ram Jharna, we see the main entrance cum campus of Jindal power and steel factory. On the right, we see the biggest and famous Jindal School in Raigarh. After a few km drive, we found the hilly trail on the right side.

Path in Eco park at Ram Jharna

Path in Eco park at Ram Jharna

I was early waiting for a splendid view of Jharna (fall) at the next destination. In Google search, we found it a Niagra type fall. I thought there must a big jharna at the spot. After few km drives, we reached the main gate of Jharna. We paid Rs 40 as entry fees with the car.

My expectation reached a high level. I tried to listen to the sound of the waterfall behind the woods. Inside the park, I found many picnic parties are doing the picnic. But, with the utter surprise, I could not find any so-called jharna in the spot. Ram and Sita Mata statues are there. There was artificially made Kumbha. Yes, we found a small pond like Kumbha and water is flowing out a pipe and dancing down on a hilly track. I tried hard to match this tiny trace of water track with Jhrana. Again, I could not found imagine any Jhrana. I do not why people are calling it Ram Jhrana. Maybe in another era, there was Jhrana here.

Eco trail and park at Ram Jharna

Eco trail and park at Ram Jharna

However, I found that the area abounded with monkeys who are chasing picnic goers for food. I am very disappointed with the mismatch between the name of this place and actual reality. I feel this could be a good place for picnic parties.

Artificially made Kumbha

Artificially made Kumbha- water is flowing out a pipe and dancing down on a hilly track-what we call as Jharna

8)Rabo Dam

To meet the consumptive water requirement for the 1000 MW thermal Jindal power plant, this Rabo dam has been constructed about 25 km away on the River Kurket.

Rabo Dam

It was 4 p.m. in the evening. It is a winter season, the sun is on way for the day’s off. The driver told us we can have the nice sunset view behind the hilly range in Rabo dam. From Ram Jharna, it is about 20 km journey and normally take 30-40 minutes time. We promptly agreed. Our driver took a narrow road through the jungle. He informed it is the shortest route to Dam. Road condition was excellent, however, there are many twists and turn through the jungle. Hence, we could not drive fast. But, the journey experience through the jungle road was awesome. On the right side, we see the lush green hilly range and left side we see the valley covered with deep jungle. It was a 30 minutes ride. We came out of the jungle and took the village road and meet a river that goes to the river. It was about 5 p.m., we reached the bank and saw sun is already hiding his face behind the hill.

Finally, we reached the Rabo dam. It is just like the other dam. It was not vast like Maithan or Panchet dam in West Bengal. The water catchment area is not big. However, we find the scenic beauty awesome. Sun already set behind the hill. Still retreating sunlight make the whole area more mystic. The left side we see the hilly range and right side over the dam catchment area we see the landscape vanishing into villages.

Awesome view of Reservior at Rabo Dam

It was almost evening, we started returning to my Jindal colony at Punjipatra. This time we made a round of the water reservoir and went to the village side. We saw the Jindal bus was standing there. Actually, this dam is maintained by Jindal Power. I find this dam more clean and beautiful than Kelo dam. Near the lock gate of the dam, you can locate a temple on the hilltop just opposite the lock gate area. It was closed when we arrived there. But, the good place to spend quality time in this place

Few important facts about Rabo Dam:

  • Catchment area: 783 sq km
  • Submergence area: 681 ha
  • The top level of dam: RL 261.50 m

(Source: Jindal Power)

After Rabo dam visit, we returned Punjipatra about 6 p.m. The road condition from Rabo dam to Punjipatra was not good, as took the shortcut road.

Some factors about Raigarh tour

Best Time to visit: I find that Raigarh is full of industrial activities, hence lots of pollution through our the year. In that sense, the rainy season is good for fresh air and weather. However, winter is the best time for a sightseeing tour in Raigarh.

How to travel during a sightseeing tour in Raigarh? I strongly advise taking AC car even in winter. Because of mining activity, you would find dusty air all over the Raigarh. Hence, for dust-free travel, take AC car.

How much it cost for one-day car rental? I have paid Rs. 2700 for the whole day tour in Maruti Artica AC car. We are four members. Hence, it was quite spacious for the whole day travel and sightseeing. Car charges are like this

Swift desire: Base fare (only car with our fuel): 800/- + 10/- per km

Scorpion: Base fare (only car with our fuel): 1200/- + 10/- per km

Maruti Artica: Base fare (only car with our fuel): 1200/- + 10/- per km

Innova: Base fare (only car with our fuel): 1400/- + 10/- per km

All car are for 12 hours tour in a day.

How to book a car? I have booked my car from a Start-up Company Chalbo in Raigarh. I have spoken to CEO Amit Patel. They provided me with excellent support.

I Hope you find this blog post useful. Please let me know your view.

Aside

The rules of games on the Internet are changing at the rapid pace. The rapid development on the internet creates the opportunity for many entrepreneurs to test his/her business idea by either opening a shop online or promoting his/her idea online. However, the game for the throne is the same. If you like to build your presence online, your need is creative in promoting your ideas/product online, and at the same time be passionate about what you are doing, and developing content, knowledge, and product/service based offering which meets customer demand profitably.

I was looking for a person or entrepreneur who can share her/his ideas about the rule for the game of throne. While teaching in my MBA marketing class, I shared stories of many successful entrepreneurs whom I met in my professional life. An idea immediately stuck in my mind, why not to call Dr. Rebecca Harwin to share her ideas/rules/experience with the students.

I called Dr. Rebecca Harwin who is a successful entrepreneur and doctor. I have worked with her on several projects in my corporate/industry days. I requested her to take a guest lecture via Skype with my Students on the following theme and topics

  • Sharing experience of her entrepreneurship journey
  • Challenges in building the online venture
  • Ideas in designing the effective digital marketing plan
  • Building brand in the highly competitive global market
  • Sharing some of your marketing tips with the students and participants

The Guest lecture was conducted at OPJU, Raigarh Campus on 10 October 2018. The whole session was very engaging. The enlightened speech of Dr. Rebecca was imbued with lots of case examples and sharing a personal experience she had during her decade-long journey as a doctor cum entrepreneur cum renowned author.

Author brief biodata

Dr. Rebecca Harwin is a Chiropractor, speaker, international author, and experienced clinician and writer, and has been helping people improve their health for many years. Using her marketing knowledge she grew her patient number from 50-60 to 160-180 visits per week within 18 months. She is also the founder of www.ConquerYourPCOSNaturally.com

She has appeared in magazines such as USA Today, Channel Nine Coach, SBS Life, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire, Fitness First, Women’s Health & Fitness, Men’s Muscle & Health Magazine, Body and Soul, CEO Magazine and Cleo, and on Today Tonight.

Her work has been frequently mentioned in Indian top leading newspapers like Time of India (in 2014), Bangalore Mirror, Deccan Herald, etc.

She is successful not only as a Doctor but also as an entrepreneur in helping thousands of women suffering from PCOS.

Key takes ways from the guest lecture

Guest Lecture by Dr. Rebecca Harwin over the Skype

Guest Lecture by Dr. Rebecca Harwin over the Skype

A) The journey of entrepreneurs:

  • Entrepreneurship journey is full of challenges, meeting with unexpected outcomes, meandering through the path of uncertainty. However, one should focus his/her vision to build something which she like most in her life.
  • Working hard to build knowledge and content surrounding your products/services. Her service to provide medical advice to women suffering from PCOS. She has developed her time in building content in the form of
    • PCOS book and blog
    • Course creation & more books
    • Creating a community
    • The study, study, seminars, webinars, books…
    • Hence, the journey is to establish credibility in her domain to help her patients. There is no shortcut route, but hard work and dedication can shorten your journey time to realize your vision.

B) An entrepreneur whether you are developing venture online or offline, you may often face some common challenges in building an online brand. Here she shared some challenges…

– Trying all the options and the feeling of overwhelming– initially, you are a single person CEO. Hence, there are “there’s so much to do”. You need to have a plan to focus on your core area and outsource some non-core activities.
– Ways to make it work: Find your own comfortable ways to work, but do not push hard to reach your goal. Set a target with reasons.
– Finding the right team (and communicating clearly with your team members. You are the entrepreneur, not them).
– Discovering what works for you! What works for other, may not work for you. Hence, open to learn from mistakes and be adaptive in finding the best workable solutions.
– Content creation: Whether your product is IT software, apps or medical consulting services. The main challenges to developing relevant contents to engage your prospects online.

– If you find people are asking the same question on the similar topic in your area, it’s a good time to develop a video or generate detailed infographics.

– Balance: need to focus on the quality of life, health (don’t burn out as I did in practice). Stop doing for sometimes, and take a break and be effective.

IMG-20181010-WA0009

C) Share ideas in designing an effective digital marketing plan

– Start with your BIG idea (it may not be 100% failure proof idea! However, keep chasing it and be open to learn from mistakes and make changes accordingly)
– Aims, goals, your why (it’s hard work, remember your why or you won’t implement any plan)
– REALLY consider where you want to end up (a huge billion dollar business requires more than a lifestyle business, for example).
– RESEARCH… what need exists in the market? It is sometimes, you become enslaved in your own idea, look from your customers’ perspectives. Learn from observing your competitors. Do some competitor analysis.
– What needs to be done? If you love it, schedule it. If you don’t or can’t, outsource.
– You must TEST, MEASURE, TWEAK again and again (A/B split testing)
– Retargeting – knowing who are the guys looking for the products in your niches. Reach out to them with great products/service based content on regular basis.
– Be active on and interact with your social media community (no-one loves a dead site)
– Joint ventures: Who can you work with to grow your reach? If you a doctor, possibly you can volunteer for a social cause for improving social health conditions.
– Always opt for quality (but also progress over perfection)
Learn the value ladder… Freebie (report, video) -> Low paid (book, small video series) -> Middle level option (course, higher level video series) -> Higher price point (personal coaching, intensive course) -> Highest price point (Mastermind group, or done for your option)
Pay to get in front of your ideal, hot client who needs and can afford your service.
– Direct response is important online (I remember mentioning Dan Kennedy – Direct Response Guru – in my MBA marketing course. The lecturer hadn’t heard of him. Know there is a difference between online and traditional marketing approaches).
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D) Building a brand in a competitive environment

  • Don’t be a me too!
  • Create a unique framework or offering with oodles of perceived value.
  • Educate your community, give a lot of value, bring yourself/your brand to the table
  • Share your journey

E) Some marketing tips for budding entrepreneurs

What works for you?
– Similarweb
– Clickbank and Amazon for successful companies you can model
– Funnel hack
– Help Out a Reporter   (get media coverage and then use it everywhere)
– Re-Use and repurpose
– Guest post on influential and less influential sites (for the exposure and the backlink)
– Follow Google best practices, always
– Focus (multitasking only scatters)
– If you’re getting started and need to do a lot yourself, work out the priorities, plan your path, get affordable and free tools to help (canva, picmonkey, schedule on social media (i.e Hootsuite)
– Link to a media story where appropriate and ethical to do so.
– My good friend Ben Angel says some people will love you, others will hate you, and that’s great. Because if you’re not polarising, people aren’t noticing or talking about you… He was advised by his dad if it doesn’t make you nervous, it’s not worth doing
– TAKE ACTION
– You will fail at something at some point. It’s only failure if you don’t learn and adapt.
Be stubborn.

Note: (The above views are shared by Dr. Rebecca Harwin during the Guest Lecture; we have taken her permission to post this information on my blog)
Dr. Harwin has also developed and maintained a strong social media presence, through Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ConquerYourPCOS), Twitter (http://Twitter.com/ConquerYourPCOS), Pinterest (www.Pinterest.com/ConquerYourPCOS) and YouTube.