The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Solitude

nature, solitude, alone, greenery, lachung, sikkim

“Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

~ Paul Tillich

I feel lonely when I am in the crowd. I enjoy being alone amidst the nature.

We were driving to Lachung from Gangtok. On our way, I saw this woman sitting alone under the trees. It looked like she was contemplating, fully absorbed in the nature and greenery all around. And this is exactly what “solitude” means to me.

Well, I know it could have been a much better, clearer picture, but I took this shot from a running car. Hence, not a very clean shot. Hope you don’t mind that! 🙂

greenery, solitude, nature, sikkim, mountains, woods

Published in response to The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Solitude.

Top Fabulous Nature Travel Spots in Branson

log cabin branson, missouri, forest park

Aside from family vacations of lazy summer road trips and sophisticated cities, Branson, Missouri is known for great Ozark Mountains, which is a home for some of the best nature travel and outdoor adventures. The city has earned its reputations as one of the best weekend getaway destinations for family and friends. This charming town in the Midwest is accessible, yet provides a sense of seclusion for its guests out-of-town guests.

branson, missouri, tourist attractions

Though this city is largely known for its bright lights and live entertainment, it’s also the home for some of the best nature travel spots in whole Missouri. Strategically located at the foots of the Ozark Mountains, nature lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts will never run out of things to see and do in this city. Here are some of city’s awe-inspiring spots and views of great outdoors.

The Forest Park

Built on the grounds of the 1904 World Fair, the Forest Park is a city park that houses the original buildings with various attractions around, such as gardens, ponds, as well as the St. Louis Zoo. They have plenty of places to spend a whole day with your family and loved ones. Those who are interested to know more about the place’s art, culture, and history can visit the St. Louis Art Museum.

log cabin branson, missouri

Shepherds of the Hills

This place is near Table Rock Dam, which is a great attraction of its own as well. The Shepherds of the Hills Fish Hatchery offers hiking trails and a unique wildlife experience from its tower. Their hatchery produces brown and rainbow trout for the ever-beautiful and abundant Lake Taneycomo.

This place also offers tons of great activities for nature lovers. Aside from the forest trail they also have lots of picnic tables, boat ramps, pavilions, and fishing access.

log cabin branson, missouri, forest park

Table Rock Dam

As said earlier, Table Rock Dam is also a great tourist attraction in Branson, and it’s definitely the place you can’t miss if you love the waters. This place will let you camp, swim, boat, and fish. And if that’s not enough, then look around and appreciate the beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Aside from the various recreational activities, you will certainly find yourself busy taking pictures of this photogenic place.

table rock dam, table rock lake, branson, missouriImage via Flickr by Branson Missouri

The Marvel Cave

This tourist attraction dates all the way back to the late 1800s. This cave features breathtaking formations of limestone, which you will have the chance to see up close through its guided tour that will take you 500 feet below sea level.

Also, this place is near the biggest and most popular attraction in the Branson – the Silver Dollar City amusement park, which is the home of some of the most exciting rides and fun activities for the whole family.

marvel cave, branson, missouri

Image via Flickr by danbodenstein

Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area

Still looking for more trails to conquer? Check out the Lakeside Forest Wilderness area and experience the beauty of the wooded and hill country that spans 140 acres. Ready your camera for the beautiful landscape, forest with big cedar-like trees, glades and waterfalls. You will be awed right from its entrance-way, as you will be greeted by a large log archway complete with ornamental iron gate.

branson missouri, forest, wildernessThese are just five of the many great nature travel spots in Branson. Book your vacation and see more of the beauty of the Ozark Mountains in your vacation.


This is a guest post by April Yap. April is an online publisher for The Cabins at Grand Mountain in Branson, MO. She often writes about camping, Midwest traveling, and log cabin experiences.

Rewind Time at Yercaud

coffee estate, yercaud, tamilnadu

Imagine a place in the hills, where the wind sometimes wafts, sometimes freewheels. The mercury is too cautious to cross the 30th degree mark, and the homes are the old world. Where a thousand greens tinge the same hill. The forests become lakes and lakes become forests in a wink. And a dozen peaks take your eye to the furthest horizons. More than 173 years ago, Sir Thomas Monroe, the governor of erstwhile Madras Presidency, found such a place. Not enough has changed in Yercaud. Like many of its sisters, it has avoided the ravaging beast of urbanity. The whirls of smoke don’t choke its forest air, and time is sedentary. Yercaud resorts take pride in showcasing the antiquity of the place, giving you much to marvel at.

Yercaud Forest walk, Tamilnadu – Image via Flickr by Joseph Jayanth

Shevaroys for the Quaint Nature Lover

Nestled in the Shevaroys Range in Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is some 5,000 feet above sea level, and, luckily for the reserved, sparsely populated. The jewel of South India, it heavily contrasts the bustle and chaos of regional metropolises. Like many hill stations, it still retains its colonial buildings and institutions like the prestigious Montfort School, Fairholme Bungalow and Grange summer resort. Central to its charm is the Yercaud Lake, a silvery body of water lined by hills, dense parks, and natural shoals. When you’re not boating, the lake-side parks, which include The Botanical Garden and The National Orchidarium, offer irenic strolls.

yercaud lake, botanical garden yercaud, tamilnadu

Botanical Garden, Yercaud, Tamilnadu – Image via Flickr by solarisgirl

The undulating landscape attracts trekkers from around the country to see the enchanting Kiliyur Falls empty into the valley below as it swells with the waters of Yercaud’s lakes. On the way to the highest point of Shevaroys Hills, where its famous temple stands, is the hill station’s oldest cottage, Norton’s Bungalow. Situated nearby, the Bear Cave is a short potholer’s journey of a few hundred metres.

High Points and Horticulture Delights

Yercaud hill station, yercaud, tamilnadu

Hill station in Yercaud, Tamilnadu – Image via Flickr by Joseph Jayanth

When the British developed this hill station, they introduced fruits to sustain its economy, a trade that still continues. Visitors to Yercaud can stroll through its citrus fruit groves, banana plantations and coffee estates, where the coffee bloom dots the forests with white flowers in fairy-tale effect. The plantations transport you to old-time India, where regional cultures blended seamlessly with borrowed British idiosyncrasies.

Coffee estate in Yercaud, Tamilnadu – Image via Flickr by V.v

During the time of the British, trekking to Yercaud Hills’ vantage points wasn’t uncommon for both men and women. The topography is home to old and new temples and fascinating places to visit in Yercaud that you may stumble into. East of the hills lies the popular Pagoda Point, where the sun drowns in into the vast, dense jungles of Yercaud edging towards the brightly-lit Salem city – a breathtaking sight for an evening picnic with friends and family, where you can indulge in archery after your picnic, depending on the Yercaud hotels you may be staying. Like Pagoda Point, these hills are home to many other vantage points: Tipperary Viewpoint, Karediyur viewpoint, Arthur’s Seat and Lady’s Seat, which aristocratic British women had been known to visit. A short distance from Lady’s Seat is Yercaud’s renowned Silk Farm and Rose Garden, both popular attractions that immerse you in the artistry of nature and man.

yercaud hill station, tamilnadu

Hill station in Yercaud, Tamilnadu – Image via Flickr by Joseph Jayanth

Because that is really what a holiday in Yercaud is all about: witnessing the endearing relationship between its few residents and its overwhelming nature. Whether you’re starting from Chennai, Hyderabad or Bangalore to Yercaud, your travel will be comfortable thanks to the fine roads.


This is a guest post by Nanditha, who is a travel writer by profession and works with HolidayIQ. She is a lover of world cultures, languages, and food, and guides travelers to make travel adventurous with her experience.
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