Tag Archives: adventure

The Legend of the Old Monk

If anyone asks you , which is the truly Indian alcohol brand that is also popular overseas , what will you reply ? Of-course the legendary Old Monk Rum !! And this is my tribute to Master behind the Monk , Padma Shri Brig. (Dr.) Kapil Mohan VSM .

Old Monk in the Hills
Old Monk in the Hills

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Man behind Old Monk Rum

Kapil Mohan was known best as the Director of the Mohan Meakin group of industries which manufactures a lot of food products and beverages including the Old Monk Rum. He had taken over the charges of the group after he retired from the Indian Armed Forces with a ranking of Brigadier. He had also received the Vishisht Seva Medal during his service and the prestigious Padma Shri, which is the 4th highest Indian civilian award.

Introduced on the 1954 under the bearings of Mohan Meakin Ltd . , the Old Monk Rum is one of the highest selling alcohol brands in India. This was probably the first brewery in India and was the producer of the Hercules Rum for the armed forces of India. Apart from India , it is also exported to Russia, United States, UK, Germany, Japan, UAE, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Singapore and Malaysia.

Probably the highest selling IMFL (rum) brand in India(quantity wise), it has many nick names. Out of which Buddha Sadhu Army Wala Daru  and Laal Chai are quite popular.

Stories of the Old Monk

Old Monk Rum is not just a brand or a drink for its lovers. Its more of an emotion, an attachment which nothing else can replace. Here are a few of the stories related to the Monk!

I still remember my first shot at the Monk. It was the winters of either 2005 or 2006,the place was somewhere in Rajasthan and we were suffering in the beating of the fierce winters of the desert. One day this friend of mine brought a long flat plastic bottle (which he had stolen from his brother working in the army) which was labeled Old Monk Rum. We both dint have any experience at all about any Rum before that, so we did what we used to do with Whiskey. And then we realized that rum did not go well with cold water! The next day we asked a more experienced friend of ours, who gave us the idea of hot water. And since that night, Old Monk with warm water has been my choice during the winters.

 

Old Monk Meme
Popular Meme from the Internet

We all meet a lot of people during our journeys. I have met quite a few people during my long train journeys. Trust me there is nothing better than getting a fellow passenger from the Armed Forces. First of all they are all very helping and generous, secondly the dignity they maintain is hardly found in any other profession and finally they all (mostly, if not all) love the Old Monk Rum! And then the conversation flows …

Breakfast with Old Monk Rum
Breakfast with Old Monk Rum

Travelling has been an activity of great interest for me since a long time, specially in the mountains. And nothing keeps you warm like a glass of hot water with the Old Monk Rum sitting next to a campfire! Not only does it give energy, but also helps me to get a sound sleep.

Old Monk goes well with everything
Old Monk goes well with everything

Everyone becomes an expert in some field of the other after a few drinks. I become experimental with my drinks, and my companions generally deal with it (sometimes without much happiness)! Few years back we were in Shillong for a weekend in winter. I do not remember who gave the idea, but all of us wanted to have cocktails. The best thing about the Old Monk Rum is that it goes well with everything, and that is what we realized that night. We used all possible ingredients ranging from Mint and Rock Salt to Honey and Lemon, but none of it turned out to be bad.

Old Monk with the Books
Old Monk with the Books

Towards the middle of 2017, I took a road trip to Khardung La. Entering through Shimla and exiting through Srinagar, this trip was not possible without the blessings of the Old Monk. By the time we reached Keylong, we were almost half dead. A few drinks of Old Monk with steaming hot water, followed by a long comfortable nap was what got us back in running mode the very next morning.

These were some of my encounters with the legendary Old Monk Rum . Drink Responsibly!

Note : This article is based on personal experiences and is not aimed for any advertisement or endorsement .

#OldMonk #OldMonkRum

 

Bhalukpong – one end of Assam

Located on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh , Bhalukpong is one of the best picnic spots in Assam . If you are in Tezpur or Nameri ,  do not miss out this natural beauty !!

BhalukpongOnly if you have been in the deepest valley , can you ever know how magnificent it is to be the highest mountain . ~ Richard M . Nixon

About seventy kilometers from Tezpur through a very lush green winding hilly road will get you to Bhalukpong . Located on the banks of the Jia Bhoroli ( called Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh ) river which acts as the natural border between the two states here , this is one of those places where you absolutely must visit .

The sparkling blue cold water is just inviting for everyone to just jump in . But take caution of the current of the mountain river . The rocks rounded by the river which make the banks really beautiful , also makes the river bed slippery .

You can camp by the river if you want . Ample space is available for cooking and eating on the river bank . Alternatively there is a Prashanti Lodge ( owned by Assam Tourism ) overlooking the valley . It provides very good quality food at a very affordable price .

Although that same road leads to Tawang , you can get to as far as Bhalukpong without an Inner Liner Permit ( ILP ) . You can get the same at the security gate at Bhalukpong or Tezpur after a wait of about one hour .

A detour from Nameri is the best way to visit Bhalukpong for a few hours .

How to get there :

If you are coming from Guwahati , take the road towards Balipara from Tezpur . Balipara Chariali will be about twenty kilometers from Mission Chariali . From there take the road towards Bhalukpong for about fifty more kilometers .

Alternatively if you are staying in Nameri , you can get to the highway and take right . From there Bhalukpong should be about twenty five kilometers from there .

Timing :

The best time to visit Bhalukpong is from September to April . It is open from dawn to dusk everyday .

Entry fees  :

Free .

 

Nameri Eco Camp

Located about forty kilometers from Tezpur , Nameri Eco Resort is one of the best options for staying if you are planning to visit Nameri National Park . Ease to reach and very short distance to the Jia Bhoroli river are its added benefits .

nameri eco campNever go on trips with anyone you do not love . ~ Ernest Hemingway

The straw – roofed huts and tents provides a completely one – with – nature experience . Only difference is that you have all the modern amenities alongside this perfect natural setup . After a hard days’ trek in the national park or rafting down the Jia Bhoroli , the Nameri Eco Camp is the perfect environment to rest . Evening campfires , a photo gallery and a souvenir shop for local handicrafts and food are all part of the package .

They are also working for the preservation of the Golden Mahaseer fish which is found in the Jia Bhoroli river . Scientists from all over the world come here to stay and study this fish .

They make all the necessary arrangements for all trekking , rafting , birding , photography etc. that anyone might like to do in such a place . All you need to worry about is getting accommodation here !

How to get there :

Take the road towards Balipara from Mission Chariali in Tezpur . Balipara Chariali will be about twenty kilometers from Mission Chariali . From there take the road towards Bhalukpong for about twenty more kilometers . Keep a lookout for two concrete pillars with small elephant statues on either side of the road .

Right next to it will be the boards marking ” Elephant corridor ” and ” Nameri eco camp ” . Get of the highway and follow the path for about  another kilometer to reach the resort .

Timing :

The best time to visit Nameri is from September to April . It is open from dawn to dusk everyday and checkout time is 12 PM .

Entry fees  :

Staying costs Rs . 1800 plus taxes for two people for both tents and cottages . Extra bedding is charged at Rs . 350 per person . Check this chart for the rafting charges . Trekking charges are as per government norms .