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Old 20th January 2015, 08:03   #76
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Slightly OT, I was denied entry to a temple because I was wearing shorts. I had taken bath at 4am and not eaten till I reached the temple, 200 km away from Bangalore. I could have bought one dhoti but ended up not going inside. The reason, I stated to the people there. They were not allowing me to go inside wearing shorts but were OK with people urinating on the temple compound wall, just a few feet away. Same thing at a mosque which doesn't allow you to wear footwear inside the compound wall (long way away from the main shrine) but people spit paan all over the place. So that's allowed. Its so bad that you can't avoid stepping in it.
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Old 20th January 2015, 11:52   #77
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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
The problem with a thread like this is it allows too much subjective opinion. Please understand there is no perfect destination.

Firstly, everyone has different expectations from travel. Some do it to get away from the madding crowd, some do it because they are history buffs and enjoy seeing what they read about (regardless of crowd). Some just because the place makes good photography.

Secondly, what you'll find also depends on the time and season you visit the place. When I went to Gangotri for the first time, it was in the day in peak season. The place was bustling with Sadhus, naked and doped, and there were people everywhere you looked. One couldn't get into the temple without being elbowed and tossed about. Everywhere people were asking for money. It was a terrible experience.

Some days later, I returned to Gangotri after a long(ish) trek in the hills. That night, while my trekmates were sleeping away their fatigue in the GMVN guest house, I walked up to the temple. It was past midnight. The roads were deserted, not a person in sight. The temple gates were closed, though the bells were ringing incessantly. In the light of the full moon, and with the roar of the gashing Ganges, it made a mystical sight. I just sat there for an hour enjoying the divine scenery I had been presented with.

If god hadn't presented me with the second experience, Gangotri would have found a place on this thread as my contribution!

This I take strong objection to. Chittor is a place without which the history of Mewar (and indeed Rajasthan) is not complete. As I said in the first para, if people who don't bother with history much go to a place like this, and expect to learn from illiterate guides, they will be disappointed.

Not publicizing anything, but I have myself written a travelogue on Chittor on this forum, which I believe is well-researched. Would suggest you read it. Maybe your impression of the place will change.

You ever thought about taking a guide there? Or, read up about the history of the fort before going, so you knew what (more importantly, what not) to expect when you're there? As always, you can consult my travelogue (or SS-Traveller's travelogue) on the place for historical reference.
Very well said!, Predator wheelz, it is very subjective indeed..
It is certainly useful to know a bit of the history / legacy of the place before visiting historical sites. That way the visitor gets the best of it.

As you have rightly mentioned, with our immense population, our experience of crowds, also mostly depends on time of day, day of week and seasons/ festivals etc. This is something that can be avoided if planned well.

I have been abroad for the last 13 years and have been fortunate to visit many a country in the western world and Africa. One thing that stood out for me is how these places maintain their places of interest so well. They take a certain pride in whatever little they have and go to great lengths to maintain their historical and tourist places well.

This is in stark contrast to apna desh. One thing that is universal is the lack of civic sense and the 'me first-care a damn about others' attitude of most people here in our desh. The other problem is the lack of infrastructure and simple public amenities in tourist places. As long as this does not change, we cannot fully tap the tourism potential of our rich, diverse and inherently beautiful country...

It saddens me to no end. Hope this changes with in the near future.
Coming to places to avoid, will be all large temples in the peak season, where utter chaos prevails and when people do not mind jostling and pushing, even in the house of God.

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Old 20th January 2015, 11:56   #78
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Not just Kerala, Its the same in most temples in Coastal Karnataka, so its best for non-religious persons to avoid religious places

Originally Posted by SDP View Post
I am aware of this. Would plan my time accordingly. This time at Gokarna
On places to avoid:

Any famous tourist spot during holidays, is a bad place to be!

- Roads will be crowded
- Hotels will be booked/expensive.
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Old 20th January 2015, 15:39   #79
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

In my experience, don't waste time for:

- Shimla, unless you are planning to stay at Oberoi Cecil or Wildflower
- Kullu/Manali - Went for my honeymoon and what a waste
- Agra. The place is purely a mess with excess monetization of Taj Mahal which IMHO is over hyped.
- Calangute in North Goa - Its full of filth, vendors, stray animals, over crowded beach and below par food
- Ditto for Baga beach, Goa
- Fort Aguada, Goa - except for photo opportunities with Arabian Sea as backdrop. More than half of the fort is shut for public to access. So if you're looking for historic relevance, you might be disappointed.
- Lonavala - Just found the place too crowded and nothing attractive except the drive part.
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Old 20th January 2015, 16:44   #80
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Originally Posted by 1lokesh View Post
- Lonavala - Just found the place too crowded and nothing attractive except the drive part.
+1 .

I visited last March. Hot weather and nothing worth mentioning other than the sunset point.
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Old 20th January 2015, 19:34   #81
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

My take on this topic, whatever places you go do not go in the peak season. For e.g. go to Manali in September/Oct (avoid honeymoon period or summer holidays), visit Nainital in mid Dec i.e. before Christmas/New Year period etc. Avoid long weekends, and public holidays.

We once went to Corbett (commercial jungle) in mid Feb and had an absolute blast. We got the resort at 1/2 the price and were treated like kings with 5 people (at least) serving 2 (me and wife) all the time.

Also don't vote for a government that calls commercialization as development. I too was shocked to see Dominos and Mc Donalds in Shimla.

Moral of the story India is an awesome country. It's just the people (fellow tourists, touts, netas etc.) that are killing it. Find out and visit lesser known places (like Sangla valley) before they make it into Shimla.
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Old 21st January 2015, 11:27   #82
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Imagine my shock when I find that the many places that I wanted to visit are listed in this thread.
IMO, the negatives of these places add to the experience and story of your visit. A crowded place for one might be a good thing for another. I visited Courtrallam falls last month and for sure, it was crowded. But it still was an experience for me.
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Old 21st January 2015, 15:36   #83
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

I must have made some four or five trips to Mahabaleshwar/Panchgani over the last four years... sometimes obliging guests at home etc.

A couple of times I ended up being part of week-end or holiday rush, and those trips were unbearable. Heavy Rush everywhere, narrow roads. litter all over...

But there have been a couple of nice visits, especially one during some fairly heavy rain. We enjoyed those trips.

Overall, I think I will keep avoiding hill stations in general during holiday periods -- the combination of narrow hilly roads, crowded towns and mad holiday rush can really get on one's nerves. Parking is another big pain.
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Old 21st January 2015, 17:27   #84
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Another addition to this list is Kasauli and Kufri. Lots of people, litter, honking and filth around and adding the horse guides pouncing on you. Shimla itself has become so crowded and a simple parking becomes a big pain. On Occasions like New Year eve, people from nearby states drive in with loud music, throwing beer cans and passing remarks to females/foreigners etc.
However, as many of fellow BHPians shared, the experience can be awesome or awful depending on our company and the state of mind. While its a personal opinion, we should definitely not visit during peak holidays or long weekends. It can be compared to the experience while visiting a mall which becomes terrible during evenings on weekends with long queues and waiting etc and during the time of sale season.

I think we can also share the alternative places to the main hill station on this thread eg Narkanda instead of Shimla, Binsar instead of Nainital, Gajner instead of Bikaner etc which we can plan in our itinerary while driving through the traditional tourist spots.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 06:33   #85
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Originally Posted by venuvedam View Post
Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, CA. What a boring place! You don't know whether it is the steep incline that is playing games with your mind or the "weird gravity" at work there.

Avoid completely. Also, please don't use that Mystery Spot bumper sticker on your car. If you want bumper stickers, there are good ones available right on this site. "Live to Drive"
+1, Not too recent past I used to live fairly nearby in Scotts Valley. Most of my friends who used to visit us would also plan to go there and how I hated that. Given that there are so many interesting places to visit nearby, it is really a crime to visit Mystery Spot and fix that ugly sticker on your bumper.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:28   #86
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Visited Velankanni shrine and Nagore dargha in 2014. Both eminently avoidable; dirty, teeming with unregulated crowd. In Nagore you are simply fleeced. Unless one is going for religious/faith reasons it is just about tolerable. But hold your purse tight in Nagore.

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Old 22nd January 2015, 11:49   #87
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On my long drive to Coorg from Hyderabad my mom made me stop in Mysore just so we could go to the palace. She had apparently heard a lot about the palace from her friends.

The palace looks awesome from outside. And that is all one should be allowed to do there because apart from shoving and nudging and cursing and crushing one is subjected to in the crowd inside, you are also made to remove your footwear and walk on naked feet. It is very unpleasant. And there was nothing great in the palace.

Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad is a great example of how it should be done - people actually come out with a smile smeared on their faces. Less crowded, silent, vast property with the opportunity to spend as much time as you want to, perusing through faded pages of old literature, or just listening to the snatches of rustle those rustic garments produce. It is yet to be discovered I guess; maybe that is why it is so well maintained.

Mysore palace is the opposite of Chowmahalla. If there is glory inside it, I am sorry I missed it. I think there is more noise inside those closed walls than the traffic outside.

Thankfully, Coorg turned out to be a great place, mesmerizing road and unforgettable. If not for it, I would have hated the whole trip
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Old 22nd January 2015, 12:02   #88
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by SDP View Post
In general I have been avoiding ...... puts unreasonable prerequisites for the darshan.
Concur with this view - The same holds true for all religious sites / shrines etc.

In my view they are best avoided during the annual feast day / week - barring those who make specific vows and are bound by their commitment made - the location is the same all year around and there is better peace available for prayer and worship than on one specific day / week (for those using personal transport - parking space availability too is another benefit).

Specific case - Mt. Mary's Bandra - During the annual feast / week long fair transport limitations and barricades ensure a long walk and climb up the mount (with some unruly elements too mingling in the crowd). For the rest of the year, one can drive upto the church and there is parking available as well.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 19:21   #89
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My list would be:

1>Bidar - place near Hyderabad. People in Hyderabad are so starved for weekend getaways that places like Bidar have become a tourist spot. Drive along the mumbai highway is bad and the fort and tombs in the town are nothing to talk about.

2> Digha- Once a favourite weekend getaway for people in Kolkata. Now all rocks and filth.

3> Darjeeling - Yeah some people may stone me for this but the British summer capital is now overcrowded, dirty and power problem plagues the holiday destination. Gangtok is a lot better serene option than darjeeling.

4>Puri Temple - I loooooove Puri. If you want to avoid the filth in the old beach drive a bit more towards the light house and you will get a super serene beach and nice resorts and cheap hotels as well.Food in Puri is awesome. Then comes the religious part of Puri. The temple,the pandas,the cows,the bulls, the superstitions, the crematorium,the narrow lanes,the fake pearls and its a horrendous package. Puri minus religion is awesome though.

5>Nagarjuna sagar dam - I honestly dont know why people go there.
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Old 23rd January 2015, 20:30   #90
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Places with a long queue. ( from sightseeing perspective only). From a devotional point of view I guess there is no alternative. I visit Shirdi very often and yet always try to do it on a weekday which is not Thursday. As Sat, Sun, Thu, and all holidays are very very crowded. Not all have this option maybe due to work or children's school. I manage to go on weekdays and get a relatively shorter queue so it is Fine. I visit places in the off season. Like Goa and Mahabaleshwar in the Monsoon and Lonavala on weekdays. Weekends just don't work In India since we are too populated a nation and things are not managed that well as say Genting Highlands in Malaysia or anyplace in Singapore or Hongkong.

I visited Shirdi first when you could walk straight into the temple and the whole process too less than 20 mins. My brother infact was able to touch the Idol earlier. Times have changed.

I guess in time India to will manage its Religious and Historical places as also Natural Beauty better. We need to find workarounds till then.
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