World’s largest Solar Farm in India: More than 17 times the size of National Mall in DC.

Kamuthi-solar-plant

National Geographic Megastructures featuring Adani’s Solar Power Plant.

World’s largest Solar Farm: More than 17 times size of National Mall in DC.

Kamuthi solar farm produces 648 megawatts of electricity. Its 2.5 million solar modules are cleaned each day by a team of robots, themselves solar-powered.

The new plant generates 648 MW and can power 150,000 homes.

Adani, an Indian company that specializes in solar development, has recently activated the largest solar installation in the world. Located in Kamuthi in the state of Tamil Nadu, the project is composed of 2.5 million solar panels covering more than 2,500 acres of land. Vneet Jaain, Adani CEO, said: “Before us, the largest solar power plant at a single location was in California in the U.S. That was of 550 MW and was completed in around three years. We wanted to set up a solar plant of 648 MW solar plant in a single location in less than a year.”

The Kamuthi solar farm produces 648 megawatts of electricity but here is the astonishing part. It was completed in just 8 months. Not only is solar power inexpensive and getting cheaper, a complete solar installation can be completed in the shortest possible time — a critical factor for countries like India where large portions of the population have no access to reliable electrical energy. It cost $679 million to build, which is a small fraction of what a comparable coal powered or nuclear generating plant would cost. A nuclear power plant today can take 9 years to design, build, and get operational.

Source of the article

4350 Miles on

INDIA TRI-NATION HIGHWAYthis is a great story

Bengaluru to Bangkok on a 110cc ride

With the tri-nation highway connecting India with Thailand through Myanmar, which opened last September, emerging as the latest test of endurance and grit, a 28-year-old Bengaluru-based IIT graduate recently took up this arduous challenge to complete the solo journey across 6,786 km in 25 days.

Quitting his lucrative job at Cognizant here, Arunabh Majumdar also chose an unconventional TVS Star City Plus, a 110 cc motorcycle associated with an office ride.

“I got all the paperwork ready and on last Christmas day, I throttled on into my biggest road trip from Bengaluru,” said the youngster, who rode through Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Konark and reached Kolkata for his first rest period of the trip.

“During the second part, I passed through Guwahati, Silchar and Imphal to reach Moreh,” said Mr. Majumdar, who crossed the iconic white and yellow bridge (yellow falls on Myanmar side) from Moreh to enter the Burmese territory and encounter his first border check at Tamu town.

However, Mr. Majumdar’s journey to the border was not easy. A minor collision with a car at Raiganj, West Bengal, forced him on detour to Darjeeling, where he fixed his motorcycle before starting up again.

“I always had a passion for long rides on any vehicle I could get my hands on. During my IIT-Bombay days, I just took off one day on my mother’s Honda Activa through the scenic Western Ghats to reach home at BEL Circle in Bengaluru,” he told The Hindu .

For the diehard biker, Myanmar was a surprising paradise with good roads, welcoming people and pristine locations. “I had a guide and an agent from the Tourism Department who escorted me for nine days of riding through the country where I visited many spots, including the historically significant city of Bagan,” he said.

Mr. Majumdar crossed into Thailand on January 16 through the last Burmese town of Myawaddy and entered the Thai district of Mae Sot. He rode on for another 600 km to reach Bangkok and end his expedition on January 18. “It was one hell of a ride and I think every biker must take that route and go through the experience,” said the Bengaluru youth, who has shipped his bike.

Source : The hindu newspaper – here

Former Headhunters of of Northeast India

the last tribeThe Konyak are a Naga people, and are recognized among other Naga by their tattoos, which they have all over their face and hands; facial tattoos were earned for taking an enemy’s head. They are called the land of Angh’s. They have the largest population among the Nagas.

The remote village of Longwa, with Myanmar’s dense forests on one side and India’s rich agricultural lands on the other, is home to the fierce Konyak Naga tribe. The largest of 16 tribes living in the remote northeastern Indian state of Nagaland, the Konyaks were warriors with brutal pasts, using inter-village fights to accede land and ascertain power. As such, Konyak villages are situated on ridge tops, so they can easily monitor and identify an enemy attack

640px-Ceremonial_basket_Konyak_NagaKnown as head hunters of North East India. In the recent past, they were known as war loving and often attacked nearby villages of other tribes taking the heads of opposing warriors as trophies to hang in the Morong (a communal house). The number of heads indicated the power of a warrior and the tribe and becomes a collective totem. With the exception of these behaviors, the tribal members maintain a very disciplined community life with strict duties and responsibilities for every individual.

tattooed face

From the tribe’s conception centuries ago, until the gruesome practice was banned in 1940s, the Konyaks were fierce headhunters. Killing and severing an enemy’s head was considered a rite of passage for young boys, and success was rewarded with a prestigious facial tattoo. With the last headhunting case in Nagaland reported in 1969, older tribesmen like Pangshong (pictured) belong to the last generation with these striking facial tattoos. (Neelima Vallangi)

skullsThe source of this article is here.

Happy Traveling

New double-decker train, Travel to a beautiful scenic place

_DOUBLE_1_1891890g -DOUBLE-D_1891902f DOUBLE-DECKE_1891888gTo travel from Hyderabad, India to Tirupati (a very beautiful, hilly scenic place) by road would take you around 9 hours (355 miles). Now if you want to drive along with horrendous traffic, and with all the fuel subsidies. It would cost you around 33 USD (one way) for gas(petrol) if you have your own vehicle.

Now, if you want to relax, and take it easy and sit in the comfort of an air-conditioned car and arrive safely at Tirupati in about 6 hours. It will cost you 7 USD one way!

As South Central Railway’s first air-conditioned, chair-car, double-Decker super-fast express.

It was driven by loco pilot Karimullah, who has 18 years of experience behind the locomotive wheel and assistant loco pilot Ramakrishna (three years). On its inaugural run, it was flagged off not by a ‘neta’ or a senior official, but by Abdul Rehman, a train lighting helper, as he would retire from service this month-end.

The Kacheguda-Guntur train no. 22118 will leave on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5.30 a.m. and reach at 10.40 a.m. with halts at Malkajgiri, Nalgonda, Miryalaguda and Piduguralla. On the return, no. 22117 will leave Guntur at 12.45 p.m. and reach Kacheguda at 5.55 p.m. The 10-rake train can carry 120 passengers in each, totalling to a whopping 1,200 passengers, the equivalent of 55 to 60 trains.

Starting from Wednesday, the same rake will leave for Tirupati at 6.45 a.m. and return by Thursday night, in time for its run to Guntur on Friday.

The unique selling proposition of the rake is that for the first time in Indian Railways, it comes with VESDA (Very Early Smoke/Fire Detection with Alarm System). There are 17 sensors at different points in each coach for the purpose. Each chair-car coach can seat 120 persons.

The fare to Guntur is Rs. 415 (around 7 USD, including taxes) and Rs. 720 (around 7 USD, including taxes) for Tirupati.

 

TripAdvisor TripIndex Room Service

Asia Travel is by far the most rewarding experience  – especially to places like south India, Indonesia, Sir-Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. China.

Once you get there, it is the cheapest place on the world to stay comfortably for a month with money spent on 10 Starbucks Venti Caffé Mocha Cappuccino per day. I am serious – you can live comfortably (good room, delicious food – breakfast, lunch and dinner), conveyance, and money to spare.

March 2014 release, amounts in British Pound Sterling. 1.7 US Dollars = 1 British Pound.

TRIP INDEX

This report indicates

Europe as a whole dominates the most expensive list laying claim to six of the top ten. Helsinki in Finland and Oslo in Norway take first and second place respectively while Zurich, Stockholm and Paris are placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Seoul is the only non-European city to be named in the top five most expensive destinations.

Travelers looking to bag a bargain should head south to Africa where three of the continent’s destinations feature in the top five places offering the best value – Tunis in Tunisia, Cape Town in South Africa and Marrakesh in Morocco. In Europe, the least expensive city destination for room service is Budapest, where a full set of basket items will cost over a third of the price of the equivalent items’ cost in Helsinki.

London is often considered one of the world’s most expensive destinations, but when it comes to the common costs incurred once checked-in to a hotel, the capital actually provides better value than many rival European cities. This year, the capital city is ranked 13th place in the priciest list – making it a cheaper option than New York, Paris or Tokyo. On average, London is more than two times cheaper than the most expensive destination, Helsinki, for each TripIndex Room Service item. In London, a club sandwich is £11.90, bottle of water £0.42, peanuts are £4.67, a can of coke £2.85, mini bottle of vodka £5.82 and to dry clean a shirt is £6.00. All together the basket of items costs £31.66 in London

Jakarta best value for room service and room rates combined.

While Tunis is revealed as the number one destination for best value room service, when you consider the cost of room service and room rate combined, at £111.87, the North African destination drops down to eighteenth place in the league table. With a total combined cost of £71.02, Jakarta, Indonesia replaces Tunis as number one destination for value overall.

In the most expensive list, it seems that pricey room service and pricey hotel room rates go hand-in-hand as eight of the costliest destinations remain in the top 10. This time however, New York City replaces Helsinki as the most expensive with a total cost of £258.35 compared with Helsinki’s £173.25, taking it down to eighth place in the league table.

Happy Traveling

IndRail pass: Train rides in India

Indian Railways is a massive public enterprise. There is a separate budget every year for railways alone. It crisscrosses the entire country with more than 70,000 miles of tracks and thousands of stations.

If you would like to hop in and out to see the villages and towns and country side, then the best way is through Indian Railways pass available only for foreign tourists. An IndRail pass gives unlimited travel across the whole Indian Railways network in your chosen class for a time period which you choose.

For around 600 dollars one can travel in AC2 class with sleepers or any other class of trains below the AC class for 90 days. If you prefer a shorter durations A 7-day AC2 pass costs $135 , a 15-day pass $185 , a 21 day pass $198.

Now if you prefer not buying a pass and travel – you can get tickets on sleeper class AC1 (the top of the line) and travel for around 1000 miles (say Hyderabad in south India to New Delhi the capital) for around $65-70. But beware, that seats are booked well in advance – so you have to book sometimes months in advance and reserve your spot. A major advantage of the pass is that if you fall ill for a day or two and have to change your plans, or simply change your mind about when and where you want to go, you can do this with a pass but may have to forfeit regular tickets.  Unfortunately the closest authorized deal  SD Enterprises. Another key advantage is that an entire 2 or 3 week itinerary can be painlessly pre-booked from outside India, avoiding the frustration of finding trains fully-booked if you waited to buy tickets when you got there.

Of the luxury (and quite expensive), then there is palace on wheels, the most well known. The train has a 7 nights & days itinerary departs from New Delhi and during its eight day journey, travels around Rajasthan with stops in Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore tiger reserve & chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Agra, and back to Delhi.

palace_mapDon’t forget to travel to Kerala. Kerala has a beauty of its own. 550km along India’s southwest coast, divided between the densely forested mountains of the Western Ghats inland and a lush, humid coastal plain of rice paddy, lagoons, rivers and canals. Its intensely tropical landscape, fed by the highest rainfall in peninsular India.  You can do jungle camping or other wise. Kerala Forest Dev Corporation (Govt run agency).

kerala-forest-map

Happy Journeying

Bugs Night Out – Exotic foods – Thailand

Word of caution: This is not for the faint hearted. You are highly advised not to eat while reading this. Vegetarians are not encouraged to read any further.

Entomophagy, refers to eating bugs by humans. There are literally 100s of Insects eaten across nations of the world. Do you remember ‘slimy yet satisfying’ !! from Lion King?? Don’t gross out please. Personally, i like to eat what the Local culture eats – Its adventurous, and more than that shows respect to the Local Cuisine and people. My policy is – if thousands are eating it for centuries, there is not point not trying it.

Thailand is no strange place either. Dishes include fried giant red ants, crickets and June beetles, Crickets, Black Scropions among others.

They are usually deep fried, more like popcorn sensations when eaten.

14805-bugs-03

In Baan toom – Bats are from trees to tables – roasted over charcoals.

Insects are high in nutritional value and beat out both meat and fish in protein content and quality. They’re also rich in fiber and healthy micronutrients including copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

Thonglor area, Sidewalks in Kanchanaburi are good places to get started

ThaiantsThis is what Bangkok post says “Despite recent media excitement about big city restaurants in the West that highlight bug cuisine, such as San Francisco’s Don Bugito, New York’s Brooklyn Kitchen and Nice’s Michelin-starred Aphrodite, insect-eating is nothing new nor exotic in Thailand, where carts selling crispy fried grasshoppers can be spotted only a few metres from a KFC”

“But what makes our bug-eating culture remarkable is that Thais have consciously preserved, passed on and developed this culinary heritage to blend in with our modern gastronomy and urban lifestyle.”

Happy Eating