Recent Stories

A rendezvous with Narmada: Dhuandhar Fall at Jabalpur

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Sometimes, when you are too passionate about something, one gets a shock when the reality strikes suddenly. Deeply enamoured in love with the river, when I was approaching it, the reality of people struck me with deep sense of sorrow. I saw the poor children standing in the waves and searching for the coins which devotees throw in the water. I stood there for a while and wanted to ask those children about their reasons to do the same and to convince them about the risks that are generally associated with such activities in the middle of a raving water flow. However, after pondering over the situation, I desisted from entering into any kind of dialogue with those children, numbering around fifty. It was the example of extreme penury striking me with a reality check and shaking my conscience. All recent events of displacement of tribals during Bargi Dam and Sardar Sarovar Project revolved around my memory and I stood there dumbstruck. The modern day reality was mean and much beyond the well-meaning words of “Dakshin Ganga” and “mekal-kanya” etc.

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Maharashtra Yatra: Aurangabad- Panchakki and Bibi ka Maqbara

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Bibi Ka Maqbara is situated about 5 kms from the Aurangabad city, the burial place of Aurangzeb wife, Rabia-Durrani. It is an imitation of the Taj Mahal at Agra; it is also called as “poor man’s Taj Mahal” owing to it being a poor replica of the Taj. Behind the tomb is located a small archeological museum.

The comparison with the Agra monument has unfortunately somewhat degraded the Aurangabad tomb which in itself displays a worthwhile architectural design, with much distinguished surface ornamentation in the late Mughal style.

The tomb dates from 1678 and it was erected by Prince Azam Shah, one of Aurangzeb’s sons, in memory of Begum Rabia Durani, his mother. It stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned garden, some 457 by 274 meters, with axial ponds, fountains, and water channels, many defined by stone screens and lined with broad pathways. The garden is enclosed by high crenellated walls with fortress set at intervals, and open pavilions on three sides.

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हिंदुस्तान का नाज़, यक़ीनन ताज….

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तकरीबन तीन घंटे की स्मूथ ड्राइव के बाद आगरा शहर में दिशा निर्देशो का पीछा करते हुए हम लोग होटल मधुश्री के सामने आकर खड़े हो गए. यमुना एक्सप्रेसवे से बाहर निकल कर जब आप आगरा शहर में प्रवेश करते है तो नाक की सीध में चलते चले जाने से एत्माददुल्ला के मकबरे (किले) की तरफ जाने वाले रस्ते पर एक टी पॉइंट आता है जिसमे यह होटल बिलकुल कोने पर ही बना हुआ है और इस होटल से दो मार्ग जाते है पहला आपको रामबाग, मथुरा, दिल्ली की तरफ ले जाता है और दूसरा मार्ग एत्माददुला और ताज महल की तरफ ले जाता है। इस होटल की एक बात मुझे और अच्छी लगी की आगरा की भीड़ से आप बचे भी रहेंगे और शांति भी बनी रहेगी अन्यथा जैसे-२ आप शहर के भीतर बढ़ते चले जाते है बेतहाशा ट्रैफिक और गन्दगी के ढेर आपको परेशान करते रहते है. और एक बात जिसकी हमे बहुत आवश्यकता थी वो थी कार पार्किंग जिसका बंद गलियो वाले रास्तो पर मिलना बहुत ही कठिन कार्य लग रहा था और एक पल को तो हमे लगा की कहीं हम इस भूल भुलैया में ही घूमते हुए न रह जाये। होटल के प्रांगण में कार पार्किंग का पर्याप्त स्थान मिल जाने के कारन एक मुसीबत तो हल हो चुकी थी और अब बारी थी उस जोर के झटके की जो धीरे से लगने वाला था अर्थात कमरे का किराया। होटल के अंदर स्वागत कक्ष में उपलब्ध प्रबंधक साहब ने बताया की यह होटल अधिकतर बिजनेस मीटिंग्स के लिए ही बुक रहता है जिसमे फॉरेन डेलीगेट्स आकर ठहरते है अतः आपको एक कमरा मिल तो जायेगा किन्तु चार्जेज लगेंगे पूरे पच्चीस सौ रूपए। अब मरता क्या न करता, आगरा के भीतर घुसकर ट्रैफिक से जूझने और कमरा ढूंढने की हिम्मत तो नहीं हो रही थी अतः महाशय को एडवांस में रूम चार्जेज का भुगतान करने के बाद अब हम लोग निश्चिंत होकर ताज देखने के लिए अपनी आगे की योजना बनाने लगे. वैसे यहाँ एक बात और बताना चाहूंगा की साफ़-सफाई और सुविधा की दृष्टि से होटल में कोई कमी नहीं थी, कार पार्किंग के अलावा अलमारी, सोफ़ा, एक्स्ट्रा पलंग, कलर टीवी, एयर कंडीशनर, संलग्नित बाथरूम, फ़ोन व् फ्री वाईफाई जैसे तमाम विकल्प मौजूद थे.

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Delhi – Mussorie – Delhi | Highway Men rides 800 KMs on 100 CC Bike

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They best moment was that Hammad who has been first time to see the hills he woke up and get out of the room to get freshen up, It’s not be a second he rush back to room so fast that we thought of is something happen wrong. However, the moment he said that what a beatuiful moment outside i need a camera to click some moments from the nature, A bang of Lolz Ha ha ha happened in room pack with seven guys and gradullay moving out from the rooom at a certain viewpoint of nature we also feel the sense of touch of that beautifull nature where the clouds are covering up the hills articulatedly

Since we have a plan to get back to Delhi on 18th Eve. Without wasting time everyone get ready and by 08 AM we again started driving and reached to the biggest water fall, Kempty a 15KMs down from the queens of Hills Mussorie. As it was a long weekend (mix with some holidays) the Mussroie roads were packed with Cars and the tourist. Oh! One thing i have missed to bring to your notice that there was a landslide just 5 KMs before the Mussorie which also created a long queue of the vehicles.

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A beautiful sunset at Bargi Dam (Jabalpur)

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But Chhotu drove his machine like hell. I still do not know whether he was driving in anger or driving made him happy. The other plausible reason, of course, would be his pressing urge to go to the toilet after finishing off his sorties quickly. He was putting the boat into the ultimate efficiency test. The boat was flying on the waves. At number of times, it was on air for a second or so. At other times, it skidded off the waves at full speed. Chhotu was fast and furious. I had been to the drive on the speed boat at many places in the country and had experienced the speed and the thrill connected with it. But, here was the fastest pilot driving his machine like a maniac. And, he did not say a word. I also started believing whether he could listen to our shrieks or not.

Half an hour and a few rounds of the circles on the water later, Chhotu sped his boat towards the jetty. Docked it, took the keys out of the slot and immediately sprang onto the dock. When I came out of the boat, I heard him saying “Thank you”, two evergreen words that trickled up his throat. I have yet to understand the nature of his thanks. Either it was his graceful way to thank his passengers to survive his driving that day or it was just a normal gesture from a stubborn grumpy man, who could not say anything else. Anyway, that fast drive in the speed boat was also a pleasure. What’s the fun of speed boating, if it was not dangerous? And, I was standing safe and sound on the land to start the same life once again. Thanking Chhotu in return, I returned to the Maikal Resort.

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घुमक्कड़ की दिल्ली : हवेली मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

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ग़ालिब के रहते इस हवेली की असल पैमाइश तकरीबन 400 स्क्वायर यार्ड्स (square yards) थी. नाजायज कब्जों की वजह से इस हवेली के अंदर और चारों ओर दुकानों और दूसरे कारोबारी इस्तेमाल के चलते हवेली ने अपना वज़ूद लगभग खो-सा दिया. साल 1999 में दिल्ली सरकार ने इस हवेली के कुछ हिस्से को नाज़ायज़ कब्जों से छुड़ाकर इसे फिर से पुराने रंग-रूप में लाने की कोशिश की. और इस तरह ग़ालिब की हवेली “ग़ालिब स्मारक” के तौर पर वज़ूद में आयी.

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Daulatabad Fort – Maharashtra Yatra (Part 10)

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Aurangzeb funded his resting place by knitting caps and copying the Qu’ran, during the last years of his life, works which he sold anonymously in the market place. Here are also buried Azam Shah, Aurangzeb’s son, Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, the founder of the Hyderabad dynasty, his second son Nasir Jang, Nizare Shah, king of Ahmednagar, Tana Shah, last of the Golkonda kings and a host of minor celebrities.

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A Brave Queen: Rani Durgawati (Jabalpur, M.P.)

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As it happens, when God takes away something, it gives something to bank upon. The queen also had some of the most trustworthy lieutenants to manage the affairs of the kingdom. I also found an old temple of Mata Sharda near the fort. In fact, it was situated just at the base of the hill. Somehow, I thought that Goddess Sharda gave immense strength to our queen to take up the responsibility while re-building her own life with the growth of her son, who was known as “Veer Narayan”. Due to safety reasons, the queen had also shifted her base to Chauragarh.

Five more years passed under the rule of queen bringing a sense of normalcy in the kingdom. Then, the destiny struck again in 1556 AD, the independent sultan of Malwa (Present day Mandu) crossed the distance of 650 kilometres and attacked the Queen thinking that he would not be met with any resistance. But, he was proved wrong. Even though, our queen was fighting her first battle, she came out victorious. Baz Bahadur had to run away for his life.

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Hornbill Festival –The Liveliest Festival of India, Day Two

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There we saw nothing like individual performances and all the tribes were dancing in a group. In every performance group of artists in colourful costumes began dancing slowly, made circles or some geometrical formations, gradually raised the tempo with steps and on reaching the climax, tempo was brought down again with a satisfying finale.

The tribes of Mizoram entered into the arena with their most popular Bamboo Dance. In that format of dance bamboos were placed and held horizontally across each other on the ground. While the boys tapped bamboos in rhythmic beats girls were dancing by stepping alternatively in and out to the beats with ease and grace.

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An example of determination: Pisanhari ki Marhiya (Jabalpur)

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The competition gradually became tougher and louder till there was a total din. Amidst the chaos, looking at the prospects of not being able to find a clear-cut winner, the challenge-competition was halted in the middle. In that interlude it was the perfect time for telling the story of an old woman, who lived alone in a hut at Jabalpur about 650 years ago.

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A temple in Nation’s defence: Pat Baba (Jabalpur)

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Next morning, when his men would have assembled to start the construction again, Colonel Smith shared his dream with them. In their collective despair arising from unsuccessful attempts at building the factory, they would have decided take a chance with the dream and started to dig out the ground to retrieve the idol. I have no idea how they would have searched and found the exact place for digging. Either they would have tried at different places all over the premises or would have taken the help of some wise men who could sense the presence of any heavy object beneath the ground.

Next few days, the construction of the factory was stopped. Instead there were hectic activities in search of the idol. Finally, after a massive search and digging below the ground, the idol of Lord Hanuman was found. It must be a joyous moment not only for all the workers but also for the officers, especially Colonel Smith. He must have run to the site from his tent to see the last stages of the recovery of the idol. He must not have believed his eyes on what he would have seen. The dream that he saw was becoming a reality. Standing in front of the trench, he would have gone through the plethora of emotions ranging from disbelief to happiness and further to extreme sense of faith.

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थोल बर्ड सैंक्चुअरी की औचक यात्रा

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हमने लेक के किनारे बने पैदल पथ पर यात्रा शुरू की | मौसम सुहावना हो चला था और हलकी हलकी बयार् बह रही थी जिसने माहौल को खुशनुमा बना दिया था | इतने बड़ी झील को देखकर सुकून महसूस हुआ और ऐसा लगा की मै पहले यहाँ क्यूँ नहीं आया ? हम रास्ते से नीचे उतरकर झील के किनारे तक गये और वहां बैठकर सुबह की बनाई थेर्मोफ्लास्क में रखी गरम चाय (जो अभी तक पर्याप्त गरम थी) का आनंद लिया |

किनारे हमने एक घंटे बिठाये और जीवन के विभिन्न पहलुओं पर चर्चा की | कुछ समय तक शांत बैठकर सबने स्वतः बात चीत बंद कर दी और दूर तक फैले झील और उड़ते पक्षियों को देखते रहे |फिर हम वापस किनारे के रस्ते पर आ बर्ड वाच पॉइंट की ओर बढे | रास्ते में एक मैन-मेड वृक्ष आकार का पॉइंट मिला जिस पर जाने के लिए बच्चे उतावले हो गये | और अभिलाषा जल्दी से जाकर ऊपर चढ़ गई |

रास्ते के किनारे उगे कई नीम के पेड़ में से सबसे आसान पेड़ पर मैंने चढाई का प्लान बनाया ताकि अपनी बचपन की कहानियों को सिध्ध किया जा सके की मे पेड़ पर चढ़ने में माहिर हूँ | सबके मना करने के बाद भी मे पेड़ की सबसे नीचे डाली पर चढ़ा और रों धोकर अभिलाषा भी आ गई थोड़ी देर में |

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Khajuraho - Beyond Temples

All that you can do besides the temple sojourns in this beautiful city Take me here