Thiruvananthapuram: There have been a surge in non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits in Kerala banks which have touched Rs.121,619 crore in September 2015, up from Rs.80,809 crore as on September 2013, according to banking statistics.
These figures were revealed at the 117th meeting of the State Level Bankers Committee held here on Friday.
The total deposits of the commercial banks in Kerala as of September touched Rs.338,902 crore, up from Rs.252,338 crore in September 2013, while total advances during the same period went up to Rs.222,791 crore, up from Rs.181,166 crore in September 2013.
The statistics also pointed out that in the first six months of the current fiscal, commercial banks in the state have disbursed Rs.38,816 crore in the priority sector, which is 37 percent of the total disbursement target of Rs.104,937 crore for priority sector for 2015-2016. (IANS), (image courtesy: fxweek.com)
This holiday season, treat the traveller inside you with offbeat destinations nestled in the lap of refreshing natural landscapes.
1. Ponmudi Hill Station, Kerala
Ponmudi offers so much to travelers who love to explore the winding paths and surely have a thing for long drives. Set in the Western Ghats of Kerala, it is a picturesque hill station that is surrounded by lush greenery and a sheen blanket of mist. Trekking is one of the most adventurous activities that one may wish to delve in, here.
The place has started getting traction in recent years, which has resulted in the creation of cottages and resorts in the hilly area. A hill so close to the city, Ponmudi hills makes it a perfect choice for travelers who look for small weekend getaways.
Those planning to visit Ponmudi, the time between November and March is highly recommendable.
2. Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
Another natural piece of wonder located in the godly lands of Kerala, Silent Valley National Park is the finest destination for every nature lover, ever existed. It offers the opportunity to be exposed to wild jungles and its wilderness enveloped by numerous adventurous activities.
Apart from the purest marvels of nature, this place offers rich history and grandeur and remains the largest tract of evergreen rain forests in the North-eastern corner of Palakkad district. The flow of river Kunthi that descends from the Nilgiri hills makes it a natural splendor and one may want to keep watching it, forever.
It is recommended to visit this park between December and April, as heavy rains from June till November makes it difficult to explore the beauty of this place.
3. Sandakphu, West Bengal
Situated at the peak of West Bengal, Sandakphu is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge where tourists can enjoy the dazzling peaks of Everest and Kanchenjunga as the first sunlight strikes the surface. River Teesta that flows through this place makes it a perfect destination for water-sport aficionados.
To enjoy all of these, one must trek around 8-10 km from Maneybhanjan. It will take around 12 hours to reach the finishing line. Although it sounds tiring, the activity will certainly make you feel refreshed when you finally reach the peak – the beautiful vantage point from where you can clearly view the natural wonders.
Best is to visit this place between October and January.
4. Jawai Hills, Rajasthan
Also known as the Leopard hills, Jawai is located in the Pali district of Rajasthan and is home to leopards and other wild animals such as chinkaras, jackals, hyenas, etc. It is also a place where you will find migratory birds aplenty. Apart from these, there is a Kalka Devi temple, where one can find the maximum leopards roaming around the caves and stairs.
Here one gets amazing options of Safari rides to relish the inner view of the wilderness and also peek into the lives of local people who live there. A wonderful place to find solitude, Jawai is a perfect destination for tourists who wish to chill and adventure, away from the hustle-bustle of the cities.
The best time to visit Jawai is between October and April to avoid humidity and enjoy chilly nights.
5. Sar Pass, Himachal Pradesh
When speaking of winter breaks, it is the thought of hill stations that first crosses our mind. One such hill station that meets all your trekking desires is Sar Pass. Perfectly nestled in the Pir Panjal mountain range, Sar Pass is completely surrounded by high-rise mountains, waterfalls, and lush green forest.
Although very tough, it is still one of the best routes and longest treks (5-7 days) in Himachal Pradesh that offers great campsites with views never-seen-before. You can start the trek from Kasol, also known as Mini Switzerland, and relish the nature all across the way till you reach the zenith.
October is the best time to visit Sar Pass, but since it’s a winter trek, there is no harm in planning for the later months. (IANS)