This Monsoon Vacation Escape Into A Tranquil Tree-House Hideout In Munnar, Kerala- Ela Ecoland Nature Retreat.

DSC_0179j
Blossoms along the way to munnar.

Thinking about a quick trip to do on your short vacation for a week? Is your Indian blue humble passport holding you back from your plans to travel to International destinations?

DSC_0157pp done
The lovely curve roads for a perfect drive.

I have often felt lost for myself trying to figure out the visa procedures for a quick escape and have looked upon my fellow mates who hold the US, UK passports jump onto Skyscanner and book tickets and fly the next day. Well, there is nothing we can do about rather get yourself in a tour package spending a lot of money or dedicating an entire day at the embassy.

DSC_0142jj done
That lush greenery

But I have wondered, it could be because we have a world within us.

Spreading from Andaman & Nicobar Islands to Kashmir & Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh exhibit a whole lot of difference in culture and language.

Kerala- a land blessed with coastal and hill ranges have never disappointed its visitors. In this blog, I am introducing Ela Ecoland, a quick hideout in the Hill ranges of Munnar that I visited last summer.

IMG_323311
Enjoying my evening on the balcony of the tree house.

Ela Ecoland is a nature retreat than a resort. I found the retreat to be so close to nature that I did not find anything artificial or non-biodegradable used in its premises.

Ela Ecoland offers three types of accommodation.

  • Rock house rooms
  • Luxury Tents
  • Treehouse

Treehouse stay is unique in his style. They aren’t many treehouses in Munnar only a couple of few countable on fingers. I was lucky enough to stay in one among them.

done.jpg 11
Getting my works done on a tree house in the woods.

Golden tip: If you’re interested in Treehouse then book them at least one week in advance and to be noted Treehouse is couple friendly which accommodates two comfortably.

jjj.jpg hhsdff
The view of the tree house from below.

The view from the Treehouse is stunning that it overlooks a small pond with falls and to add to the natural beauty they have a bamboo raft which can be used to move around in the pond.

FEFE
The bamboo raft 

As the sun goes down begins the chirping of the birds that you feel you are totally lost in the jungle having nothing to worry about your chaotic life and is best if you want to disconnect yourself from the hectic life you have back in the city.

The stream flows by that adds to the beauty and serene environment. Imagine laying on your cosy bed in the cool weather where the temperature drops to as low as 15 °C listening to the chirping of the birds and stream, reading your favourite book. Perfecto!

If you want to stay connected then internet wifi facility is available at the reception. Mobile networks go on and off. Idea and Bsnl networks often work but are not stable.

FB_IMG_1524991903387
Benjamin with his friend.

Run by these two nature lovers Benjamin and his friend would never leave you disappointed. So, this monsoon vacation head to Ela!

Excuse me! Don’t forget to take your camera with you! You may come across some beautiful spots to capture nature photographs.

You can also watch my Youtube video on Ela Ecoland for some visuals.

Do visit to get connected to the nature retreat to book your stay through this website.

Happy Vacation!

Blogwithgokul©

***************


For Nature retreat website: www.elaecoland.com

For booking call: +91 9400946800


Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

Make sure you also follow Benjamin on his Instagram YouTube Channel.

This Malayalee Couple Vlogger Is Set Out To Explore Dubai- An Interview with Midhun and Vasu -Blogwithgokul (GV’s Talk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Midhun and Vasu!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Midhun- We live in the United Arab Emirates lately. We are natives of Kerala, The beautiful south Indian state of India. We grew up there and after marriage, we moved to Dubai.  That is when the idea of vlogging struck right into our minds. I tried my luck and people seem to like it. Yes, that’s why we are here now!

17362388_10208710951679386_993378640255722404_n

‘Vloggers’ The term that could describe you both. Right? How did your journey as a vlogger begin?

Midhun- I am a persistent viewer of Mo Vlogs. I watch that almost all day. Then I started to watch Casey Niestat Vlogs. I admired their way of presentation and editing. I understood that it would be quite popular and accepted by the English viewers but was doubtful about the regional viewers. After a while, I came across the videos of vloggers from Kerala. So, that’s when we thought it’s time to start vlogging and the journey begun. 

16194949_10158079232500693_4958099999871647649_n.jpg

Vlogging could be tough I assume especially when you’re in the middle of the street and when people stare at you while speaking to the camera. Is it true? If yes, how do you tackle it? 

Midhun- Anybody can buy a camera and edit videos without much prior knowledge in them but I guess the real challenge that arises is the one you said ‘dealing with the people around you’. Not only in the Middle East but in India as well when you walk around the streets talking to your camera they are chances that people get offended especially if it’s a woman near you. They might think that you are trying to capture them, they wouldn’t know if your a vlogger or a youtuber. I make flights reviews often and it’s an absolute challenge to record video in a confined space without spoiling the privacy of other passengers. I mostly turn my camera towards the window and shoot.

Vasu- For me overcoming the fear and shyness was the major challenge. Initially, I felt really awkward to talk to a camera which was a non-living thing, I felt weird but later I got accustomed to it. I was a person who had stage fears and whenever we had a stranger on the vlog I prefer to be silent but now things have changed after our 90th video. I am more comfortable to interact with people and talk to our travel companion which is our little camera.

16174508_10158079233415693_4175251823710121812_n

‘A turning point’, one vlog that you could mention that just blew your expectation? 

Midhun- Well the turning point was, While I was vlogging all the way to India from Dubai Actress Swetha Menon was in my same flight and I met her and told that I am vlogging and requested her to say ‘Hi’ to my subscribers and then a thumbnail for my video. The video just went viral crossing 1 lakh views. That was the video which made me realise that even I can achieve one lakh views being a regional language video creator, it was unbelievable. If Shwetha Menon reads this blog we both take this opportunity to thank her from our heart. Thank You Swethaji!

I went through your vlogs on YouTube and when I scrutinized through the comments. Most of them are so eager to know about this and have asked ‘Midhun and Vasu! What are your jobs?’ Haha. Yes, what do you do for the living? Full-time vloggers? 

Midhun- Yes! I Think it is one of the questions which I get often asked. Most of the Youtubers from Kerala like Sujith Bhakthan, Ebadu and so on would have answered this about them almost every month. I have income through three sources presently. I run a start-up company in Dubai, then I also work as a director for a US-based company.

Vasu- I work for a travel company.

Midhun- We have also started to earn quite a sum of money through Youtube recently as well.

21993042_10159372721510693_7132895254024927815_o

Vasu it’s your turn first. What makes Midhun a good travel companion? And then Midhun how about you?

Vasu- Actually, whatever I say he listens…

Midhun- Hey! When in Kerala, Whenever I ask her to hang out she jumps onto the bike and keeps blabbering throughout the journey. Haha! A chatterbox in short.

Vasu- See it works like this, I believe that one should be talkative and other should be silent. So, I belong to the former one while chettan (Midhun) belongs to the latter one.
He keeps listening to me throughout our travels. I think that’s what makes him a good companion. Haha! Thanks for bearing me.

MidhunOurs was a love marriage but even then we never talked or imagined that we will turn into vloggers. All we wished is to buy a house and get settled in a peaceful place and lead a good family life. I would say Vasu is the backbone for me. She became really familiar with vlogging and she is the one who insisted me to buy Canon G7X when I said I will go with something that is cheaper and would do the job now. Her attentiveness makes her a good companion.

16195257_10158079154035693_2584219508146340869_n

‘Vloggers On Rise’. Young generation looks to you on YouTube. How can you impact the society being an influencer? 

Midhun- Let me not narrow down into vloggers alone. I believe the social media itself has influenced the young generation a lot. In the forms of trolls, vlogs, blogs, memes, live streams and more people are being aware of the happenings without spending time reading newspapers. Each persons opinion matters. So imagine each person voice their stance through online platforms and then the overall voices play a very important role in the end, it could be an issue that is political or social. Moreover, Sharing of information has improved rapidly. Networking takes place in a blink of an eye. You are able to connect people of similar likes and beliefs. Be a part of initiatives, connect to eminent personalities and this itself is a great example being a part of GV’s Talk by you Gokul. I believe India is going to witness a massive change by 2019 elections and social media influencers will be a great part of it.

Vasu- I would say just like the young generation, people in their old age too are viewers of Youtube. Living all their lives and being in the retirement age and when young people bring out something different to watch they seemed to be curious. I wanted to influence them in a way that saving money, building a house or buying a car is all a necessity but above all, we have to travel, see things that are new to us, learn about other customs and tradition.

Untitled

Tips for upcoming young vloggers? 

Midhun- My suggestion would be I think almost all of you should have a youtube channel. Earlier days advertisement was done through local media and newspaper but now most ads are through google and facebook and its reach is on a global level. Money circulates through the global market so if we can cluster it in our market it would be a huge revenue. Create a channel and start promoting your business or whatever. Bring positive contents.

How do you manage to travel frequently? Do you take a day off for vlogging

MidhunIt’s not possible to travel around for 365 days a year while working but certainly you can have a balance between both. Keep aside a day in a week for travelling and that is enough for vlogging. It need not be a trip to a foreign country it could be a walk to an open market down the streets.

Most of your followers are from Kerala. What do you guys have to tell them at this moment? 

Midhun Let me thank everyone for supporting us so far. Please keep supporting.

Vasu- Live your life, keep your worries aside and create some memorable moments so that once you reach your old age you will have something to cherish about always. Keep supporting us.

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

*************


You can subscribe to Midhun V Sankar & Vasu’s Youtube channel.

Youtube channel: Midhun V Sankar


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

The Tale Of Tipri- Lesser Known Places.

Have you ever been taken into a different world when someone narrates you about his life? If not, let me try telling you the tale of Tipri, A village in the Northern Himachel Pradesh.

By Gokul Vijayan

The engine of the boat started with a thump. His face seems to be filled with happiness. I was captivated by the beauty of the nature surrounding me across the Chamera Dam reservoir.The dam is situated in the northern Himachel Pradesh with a close proximity to the Jammu Kashmir. The Ravi river flows towards Pakistan through the reservoir. Visitors gets an opportunity to have a motor boat ride during the tourist season.

As the motor boat kept moving more deeper into the reservoir Mr Muneesh Kumar began his narration.

“There you see that mountain!” said he. Yes I replied.  That is the village Tipri.

As the boat seem to approach nearer to the village he said. The people of Tipri live a different life. This gave me a curiosity to know more. I asked upon excitement why do you say so?

People over there are so isolated from the mainland because they do  not have access to the town via road. The only way of transportation for them is through the boat in which you and I are travelling now.

Adults and school children travel to their workplaces and schools through this boat every morning and evening. The reservoir is approximately 70mtrs depth. Travelling daily across the reservoir puts up risk.

IMG_1159
70 Meters deep Chamera reservoir

The children sometimes have to walk upto 5Kms a day to reach school.

Don’t they have schools in Tipri? Yes there is an elementary school for classes till 5th grade but most of the time it remains closed due to absence of teachers.

Have you ever imagined how fortunate we are to have our school bus to pick us from the door step of our house?

IMG_1178
Can you see the steps which leads to the boat dock? Villagers board the boat from here to the mainland.

The most interesting fact that got my attention was the wedding ceremony of the villagers. Have you ever wondered how wedding would like to be in a boat?

Yes, the villagers in Tipri hire boats during the wedding ceremony to bring the Bride or Bridegroom to the village when we on the other hand opt for a BMW or Mercedes-Benz to show luxury, class and pride.

The entire boats would be decorated with beautiful flowers and garlands picked fresh to welcome the Bride/Bridegroom.

Opposite to the village Tipri across the reservoir is another mountain with dense forest in which wild animals like the bears, leopards, deers etc reside.

IMG_1136
Overlooking the Chamera Dam

I was lucky enough to spot a deer that came down to drink water from the reservoir. The scene was beautiful but unfortunately couldn’t click a picture.

They do not have access to proper medical facilities in the village, if at all they need to go to a good hospital they must reach the nearby town in Dalhousie or Chamba approx 15 Kms after waiting for quite a long time for the boat and then a hilly ride on a private rickety bus. Note a 15km ride is much longer since it  is  a high range.

Every time he kept saying his miseries I kept thinking again and again how fortunate we are? And still not happy! I found some villagers waving there hands at me with a smile on their face. Tourists means income, more income means more food to the family. I could read that on their faces from a far distance. Villages dependent daily on Roti and Dhal Chawal.

IMG_1183
Mr Muneesh Kumar- Has he kept narrating. 

I waved them back.As the winter falls by the first week of December. It starts snowing bringing the temperature down to minus degrees. Hey! take a moment and imagine the pictures above filled with snow?! How beautiful it could be. I took a moment to imagine as he kept saying.  Tipri and the surroundings of Chamera dam has a different face in winters he said. But poverty strikes then. The boating would not be allowed and hence the income through them stops. Sad.

IMG_1181
The landslide that happened for the first time two days ago in the nearby mountain. On right Tipri.

If a landslide like that happens to Tipri then the entire village would get vanished said he. They could be homeless too. They pray that it would not happen to them. It was huge.

He kept saying the life in Tipri so passionately. He kept asking me ‘Did you like the place? Sir’ a hundred times after every sentence. How on earth could I say I don’t! I loved it so much keeping the miseries apart.It was at the end that he told me that he belonged to Tipri too. He grew up, lived his entire life in Tipri. The government has given him the job as the boat driver.

My half an hour ride came to an end. But I really did not want it to get over. I have no clue where my imaginations went through in this half an hour of time. I imagined a whole different way of life. I thanked him for telling me about Tipri. I said bye with a hope that I will come back once again not just for a transit visit but to stay and experience Tipri for a couple of days.

IMG_1149
The Beauty!

I made sure that I would write a blog post so that more people would know about Tipri. To let people know that some live in a very different way in a very different parts of our country. Isn’t it true that each travel is an experience?. Yes, it is. As I walked away he kept staring over to the mountains for someone else to come and have a ride.

IMG_1155
Boat ride!
IMG_3018
Tipri, Google Image.

Thank You so much for reading. Share.

Love,

Gokul Vijayan

Blogwithgokul

Note: The boating would cost you around Rs 3000 for 10 members but its worth it!