Pro Kabaddi League 2017 #LePanga

Pro Kabaddi League 2017 is different, and different for many reasons. To begin with, it has more teams, it has a longer season and, my personal favorite, its allowing many players to shine brighter.

But first let me confess, after following first 3 seasons very closely which culminated in I watching the finals live in the stadium in Delhi, I missed season 4 completely. But as Pro Kabaddi League season 5 is back strongly, so is my interest in the game. And not surprisingly, I find more fans around me, in my family, in my office and among my friends.

Duration of PKL 2017:

From the usual month and so long affair, this time the fun and panga is going to last for, hold your breath, 13 long weeks. I don’t know about you but I am pretty excited with that. The excitement is going to be there for 3 months, wow!

Total and New Teams in PKL

From 8 to 12 teams, that’s actually a dozen times spectacle. And the new teams have come up with some fancy names too;

Gujarat Fortunegiants,
Haryana Steelers,
UP Yoddha and
Tamil Thalaivas

Zone system and new format in PKL

Another interesting twist is introduction of 2 zones with 6 teams divided among the zones. The way it is going to pan out is; each team will play 15 intra-zone and 7 inter-zone matches. Post that we’ll have the play-offs.

Taking a cue from the IPL perhaps, the play-offs will have three qualifiers and two eliminators to decide the finalists who will clash in Chennai.

If you already have a favorite team, then that’s great, else take your pick from the zones;

Zone A
Dabang Delhi, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Puneri Paltan, U Mumba (continues to be my favorite), Haryana Steelers and Gujarat Fortunegiants

Zone B
Telugu Titans, Bengaluru Bulls, Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors, UP Yoddha and Tamil Thalaivas.

Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Schedule

Well Pro Kabaddi League is already underway with first match played on 28th July in Hyderabad. And if you have watched the matches live, you must have seen Sachin Tendulkar, PV Sindhu, P Gopichand and movies stars in the audience.

The sporting extravaganza will end up with finals being played on 28th October. It’s going to be fun-filled and rocking three months.

Mount Abu – an awesome destination nestled in the Aravallis

Mount Abu, the place for temples, ‘points’ and well, ‘mounts’, can be a surprise for many for many reasons . If you have clubbed it with your visit to Udaipur (for places to visit in Udaipur, click here), then it’s perfect. If you are coming here as the only travel destination, you must plan for a short trip only.

A day can be sufficient to see Mount Abu
And that seems to be the popular thought and the business model too. There are a lot of places to see but it all gets planned in a way that you’ll end up seeing everything in a single day quite comfortably.

Site seeing in Mount Abu

If you have your own car, you can move around and see all the places. Else, the standard there is half day and full day trips though bus or private cab. We chose the 2nd option for the former as well as latter. The charge for full day trip is about Rs1600. We also booked the same cab to take us to Abu Road railway station in the evening for Rs600/-.

Nakki Lake is famous for boating

To find beautiful lake like the Nakki Lake on the top of a hill is always a sight to behold. It is a very famous spot and even if you don’t see rest of the placs, you are likely to come here in the evening, enjoy a boat ride maybe and have tea. There are small fountains around the lake and a boat-shaped restaurant. You can expect to spend couple of hours here.

Nothing matches the Dilwara temples

This is one place that will surprise you the most and leave you with fond memories. The very famous Jain temples form a world famous site and once you enter it, you’ll surely agree to that. There are 4 temples in the compound and you’ll be taken through a guided tour in a large group. You’ll surely like the beauty of the place and end up appreciating the marvelous temples.

Ride up the Guru Shikhar hill

You’ll enjoy the ride to the top, well almost. The famous Guru Shikhar at 1722m it’s the highest hill of the Aravallis. It has a temple on the top and for that you’ll need to walk few hundred steps. It’s not as tiring as it may sound and you’re surely going to like the view from the top.

Brahma Kumaris center and peace park

In many ways and for many people, Mount Abu is now synonymous with Brahma Kumaris and the reason being this place is considered to be their spiritual headquarter. Their Peace Hall and Peace Park are 2 most popular tourist spots in Mount Abu. They also share their philosophy with you at both the places.

Achalgarh fort is decent place

Though its famous as Achalgarh fort, when you go there, everyone goes to a temple and not the fort like structure that you see at a short distance. I enjoyed clicking pictures of that fort more than the small market and temple which is under doing renovation.

Honeymoon Point and Sunset Point are good too

Both Honeymoon Point and Sunset Point are visited by all. Honeymoon Point is just a small area frequented by all even though going by its names it should not. Sunset Point though as many designated areas which people use to stand on and watch the sun set. And obviously, it is the most crowed place considering all the tourists converge there in the evening to enjoy the moment.
To be honest, I was not too thrilled to go there initially but to watch sun set was actually a spectacular moment. And since it’s about 1km walk from the taxi stand, a lot of people ride the hand-driven carts, famous as Maruti of Mount Abu. We did the same and experience is thrilling and scary at the same. This is the 2nd place after Kolkata where I came across hand driven carts to ferry people.

Overall you can have a memorable day-long sightseeing trip of Mount Abu and also enjoy some decent food.

Udaipur, the city of lakes and more

If Udaipur is the place for lakes, ‘poles’ and well, palaces then Mount Abu is the place for temples, ‘points’ and well, ‘mounts’. And for most tourists, Udaipur and Mount Abu are part of the itinerary, as it was for me. First let me take you to Udaipur and then we’ll go to Mount Abu too (click here for Mount Abu)
Udaipur is more than city of lakes
Udaipur is famous for being the city of lakes and rightly so too. It has two magnificent lakes in Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake but it has a lot more to offer and enjoy as well.
If you visit Udaipur, there is a good chance that you’ll get a hotel to stay near a lake with a view of the same. I stayed at Hanuman Ghat which is on the Lake Pichola, but I’ll say it’s actually on the backwaters of this lake. I could see the City Palace from my room’s window and the roof top restaurant but could not see the entire lake. And that would be true for most to the hotels there.
The City Palace is awesome
City Palace is one of the top tourist attractions of Udaipur. You need time and stamina to see it completely and enjoy it and the effort is worth it also. Unfortunately for us, when we visited the belongings of Maharana Pratap were being restored and hence were not on the display. But I’d say, spending Rs 250/- on the ticket was still reasonable.
Jagdish Temple is nearby
Jagdish Temple is very near to the City Palace and is also one place you should visit. It is not a very big temple but very impressive. And yes, it has some really nice places to eat nearby.
Bhagore ki Haveli is must see
Of all places you’ll see and enjoy in Udaipur, the one you have to see at any cost (Rs 90 I think) is the evening show at the Bhagore ki Haveli. It’s just breathless. The one hour show has traditional dances, puppet show and songs. And they have kept the best item for the last; go ahead and see this for sure. Rest in Udaipur is great but this is above all.
Fateh Sagar Lake is also good
And I am saying ‘also good’ just because I was staying near Lake Pichola and went to Fateh Sagar Lake for boating only. The boating costs Rs 100/- (per person) in general boats and higher in special boats, of course. The view all around the lake is quite impressive. You can also enjoy some snacks near the lake, we just loved them.
Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace could have been better
Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace is on the top of a hill and offers great view of Udaipur. In fact you can see the old city and the new construction, both from the Monsoon Palace. The ride to the top cost 100 odd rupees per person in the shared cab and there is a ticket price for the palace too. Except for the location, this is not a well maintained property and I didn’t find that very encouraging.
Sajjangarh Biological Park is better
On the foothills of the palace, there is the Sajjangarh Biological Park, which to me was better place to spend time than the palace. It has reasonable ticket, Rs 40 I think, but it is also wiser to hire (Rs 50 per person) the shared golf cart to take you through the park. Not a big park but has many animals including white tiger and leopard. And to our amusement, one of the leopards continued to walk close to the fence, just 2 feet away from us.
Hathipole for shopping
Contrary to what others might suggest, the best place to do shopping is Hathipole. It has all kinds of shops but the most common items sold are footwear, purses and clothes. And these are the things which have a distinct flavor of Udaipur and Rajasthan. The price is competitive though bargaining can be hard.
Moving within Udaipur is easy and cheap
My advice for moving within Udaipur is to use auto-rickshaws. These are easily available and fairly priced. We paid between Rs 40 to 80 for most of the destinations. And the auto-rickshaw drivers are very helpful also. But yes, like in every city of India I guess, when it came to dropping us to the bus station in the morning, they started off with Rs 150 and we had to settle for Rs 100. On any other time, it would have cost Rs 60 but these are the ways of the tourist places.
Udaipole for buses to Mount Abu
Most of the tourists visiting Udaipur also make plans for Mount Abu (and other nearby places like Haldi Ghati, Kumbalgarh, Chittorgarh – but I didn’t go there) and if you plan to use public transport to reach there, Udaipole is the place you need to visit. Unfortunately, you won’t get to use Govt.’s public transport options since their buses drop you at Abu Road only, which is on the foothills of Mount Abu. But good thing is – for less than Rs 300 you can get a seat in a good condition 2X2 bus. If you visit Udaipole, you’ll find many options but book tickets in time. And almost all buses either leave at 8:30am or 3:30pm, so plan accordingly.
To know more about places to visit in Mount Abu, click here