Weekend Trip to Narkanda

Weekend Trip to Narkanda

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Ah! It is always good to be back :-)

It has been a long hiatus – years I guess – since I have shared by travel experience on Ghumakkar. But its better late than never. It was a not so cold December Friday when I along with 3 companions arrived at Delhi ISBT to catch our bus to Narkanda.

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Ladakh: Nature’s Eloquent SIlence

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A trip to Ladakh leaves many a visitors breathless and not just because of its high altitude location. In an ephemeral moment of truce, when the cool breeze lets you rejuvenate your thoughts long lost to the battles of daily routine, a perchance to dream, a sense of being afloat on wings of imagination and suddenly you realize you need to breathe too. It’s just like in songs, ‘a flight of fancy on the windswept fields’ when you are standing alone and your senses reel. The attraction in Ladakh can be fatal especially when emotions are involved. When you are in Ladakh all you wish for is to capture its reality and here in the overwhelming vastness even reality turns out to be abstract.

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Vaishno Devi Yatra – A Pilgrim’s Progress

Vaishno Devi Yatra – A Pilgrim’s Progress

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Even appointments with gods come with privilege. A pilgrim with VIP pass could bypass all number and answer his/her calling with a privilege which a poor barefoot pilgrim couldn’t even dream of. An Amitabh Bachhan has more easy access to god than a mere “Nikhil Chandra”. Perhaps gold is a precious metal even among gods…who knows why the world is the way it is.

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter III – Mehrauli

Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter III – Mehrauli

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The urge to talk about Mehrauli Archaeological Park is literally irresistible now. After weeks of traveling and researching over the internet and books, I could not but wonder whether this is the most architecturally and historically rich places in the world. Turning the pages of history brings alive every alley and stone of Mehrauli area with a vigor which I had never ever imagined in wildest of my dreams as I passed through these streets over last several years I have been in Delhi.

Mehrauli is the site of plethora of monuments, so much so that a sense of history and legends pervade every lane and even stones, for here lived kings, sultans, generals, warriors, saints and monks. Prehistoric tales associate Mehrauli with the descendents of the Pandavas. Later it saw the building of Lal Kot, a bastion of the first real city of Delhi whose archaeological proof could be found. Then it became the dominion of legendary Rajput warrior prince Pritviraj indelibly ingrained in Hindu courtly love tradition. Qila Rai Pithora was witness to the glory of Prithviraj Chauhan who was later defeated in Second Battle of Tarain by Ghauri, whereupon the latter’s death, his slave Qutubdin Aibak made Mehrauli his capital and the Sultans and emperors who followed him ruled from there.

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter II – Hauz Khas Village Complex

Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter II – Hauz Khas Village Complex

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Walking down the alleys of history, the road – Delhi Metro to be more precise – led me to Hauz Khas on an unbelievable Sunday. I say unbelievable because of the stunning clear blue sky which is a rare sight in Delhi especially during winter. Hauz Khas Village is part of many capitals but is best known as important site for: Siri and Firuzabad, with Siri being the third capital city and Firuzabad the fifth official capital and last of the Sultanate of Delhi.

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Sultanpur National Park: Pathos for a Sitting Duck

Sultanpur National Park: Pathos for a Sitting Duck

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The marshland appeared more like grassland with bushes blocking the way everywhere. There were more grazing cattle inside than birds – I mean the birds which were supposed to be there according to the article. The ambience inside the park was more allusive to the Eliot’s Wasteland than the Wordsworth Tintern Abbey. You must be thinking I am totally nuts…talking like this :-) Well the thing is that I am writing this line on a few miles away from Sultanpur National Park, on revisiting the banks of “not quite” marshlands of the park and 15 months had passed since my last visit to this one time birder’s paradise.

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter I – Rai Pithora & Mehrauli

Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter I – Rai Pithora & Mehrauli

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Qutub Minar of yore was entered through its four monumental gates of which only the Southern one renowned as Alai Darwaza remains standing till date. Along the western periphery of the precinct runs a giant wall with pointed archways, creating a ‘Qibla’ or the decorated prayer wall. There are several buildings in the complex most of which lay in ruins except for the exquisitely carved tomb of Iltutmish which is still in fairly good state. The structure of note inside the complex includes the magnificent Qutub Minar, Ala al-Din Khalji’s madrasa and the Imam Zamin Mosque.

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Dodital Trek: Himalayan Adventures

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It was good being footloose in Himalayas. On the last day of our Dodital trek, we woke up to find the lake frozen, sat beside it some more in tranquility, tried our hand at angling using makeshift fishing tackle and failed miserably, threw snowballs at each other and with a heavy heart bid adieu to Dodital.

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