Recent Stories

Chandratal to Sarchu… a picturesque drive through Lahaul

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Just this morning I was overwhelmed to see the abundance that water has bestowed in the southern part of Lahaul. I thought that is glorious. And now I stand awestruck in this dry and desolate landscape where soaring mountains surround a vast high altitude rolling plain through which is a deep gorge and a river flowing through it… We are a little short of Sarchu and these are the Lingti plains where there is virtually no precipitation even in the winters…

And finally, Sarchu! There is virtually nothing in the place except a few tented camps during the summer months and a small army detachment year round. The wind howls making me burrow deeper into my jacket the minute I step out. We take a walk around the place and soak in its unique charm. But nature has been kind in all its adversity. Or maybe it is the stark unspoilt and unpolluted beauty that I am so taken with. Such places need no adornment, no embellishment. Just this raw, unadulterated nature is enough. This is a place one must travel to at least once in this lifetime!

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Tirthan Valley – Magical abode to nature

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This was the day we plan to start our journey for a long-awaited trip to Tirthan Valley (a lesser known place to enjoy the beauty of nature and peace of mind). After a lot of if and buts finally, we penned down the location as Tirthan Valley. Thanks to the Ghumakkar Family for suggesting this great place.

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NRI Durga Puja- Evoking Mixed Feelings

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A few weeks ago, we celebrated the most awaited and significant festival for us Bengalis- the Durga Puja. Having spent a significant number of years of my youth in Calcutta, celebrating Durga Puja in the United States usually stirs nostalgically similar, yet unfamiliar emotions

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आगरा का मनकामेश्वर मन्दिर

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आगरा में भगवान शिव जहाँ स्वयं आये थे कहते हैं कि आगरा के मनकामेश्वर मन्दिर में स्थित शिवलिंग की स्थापना स्वयं भगवन शिव ने की थी जब भगवान श्री कृष्ण मथुरा में जन्म ले चुके थे. पौराणिक दृष्टि इस मंदिर का इतिहास लगभग साढ़े पांच हजार वर्ष पुराना हमें द्वापर युग की याद दिलाता है, जब भगवान शिव कैलाश पर्वत से इस स्थल पर आये थे.

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Bundi – A Hidden Gem in the Aravallis

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I am going to narrate my experience of staying at Bundi for a night. The town of Bundi is situated in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan, this place is less explored by the Indian tourists but we had the opportunity to be there and learn about the place and of its rich history.

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Road to Leh!

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This July, I completed a motorcycle ride from Gurgaon to Ladakh, covering Spiti Valley, Leh, Kargil and Srinagar – one of my many trips to this part of the world. Despite having done these rides multiple times earlier, why do I keep riding to these crazy terrains, where unless someone has actually travelled on a motorcycle? They wouldn’t believe what one would experience. What’s the lure of Ladakh still, when everyone and their mothers-in-law are riding/driving/flying there these days? When

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Mecca, the Holiest City of Saudi Arabia

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Mecca is and will always remain one of the most popular destinations for more than two billion people of the planet. I have attempted to demystify the city and open its heart so that they (the people) may understand a little of its piety and glory even if only by proxy.

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Bidar – Of Hasan Gangu, Mahmud Gawan and Barid Shahis

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The Madrasa is the best known example of Bahmani (Persian) Architecture and is one of its kinds in India. The building functioned like a residential University. It is a rectangular three storey structure that consisted of a mosque, lecture halls, professor quarters and student cubicles. The walls were covered with blue, green, golden and white glazed Persian tiles. In its heydays, the madrasa would have looked pretty spectacular with the sun glinting off the majolica work; the minars soaring into the sky reflecting the aspiration of the founder and the students. The architecture provided the perfect setting for intellectual brainstorming and discussions. The scene of harried professors and students scurrying between classes would be similar to being played out at Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s madrasa at Hauz Khas Village in Delhi – unless all inmates fled during Taimur’s plunder of Delhi.

Today, the madrasa is much in ruins. In 1656 Aurangzeb occupied the building (Bidar Sultanate was gone by 1619) and turned it into an army barrack. Aurangzeb believed in occupation and razing rather than building. Rooms in the south-east were used to store gun powder. Since Aurangzeb was not fond of smokers, somebody hid in the corner stealing a few puffs, when reportedly an explosion blew up along with the unwitting arsonist, portions of the south and east walls with the eastern entrance gate. Out of the supposedly two minars, only one 100 feet tall minar on the north east corner survives. The biggest surprise is that the two balconies of the minar project from the structure rather than being supported by brackets. The minar has vibrant colourful patchwork of zigzag motifs. Facing the central courtyard are the reading halls with open arched doorways rising to three storeys creating huge iwans, which in turn are surmounted with domes. The minar, iwans, domes and glazed tiles complete the Persian Architecture.

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Sheer drive to Rajasthan: Jodhpur,Udaipur & Jaisalmer in 4 days

Time in and out experience Take me here