Cities

Benvenuto a Roma – Welcome to Rome!!

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ROME – doesn’t this word alone trigger your imagination? Doesn’t it make you feel the romance in the air? Doesn’t it talk about style, culture, history etc etc ?? Yes, it surely does! The city is full of offerings for all varieties of travelers. It offers its best to everyone and makes sure that no one person goes back unsatisfied!! Am I talking like an ambassador of Rome who is proudly publicizing about it?? Naah, but frankly, I don’t care how I sound right now. All I want to do is to share my experience about my 2 day tour to this city which SURELY wasn’t built in a day!

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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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Portsmouth Ahoy! – Day 13 & 14

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Our 14th day in London was much more fun – for me. Our plan was to go to this town called Portsmouth. It is a waterfront city, with a lot of fun stuff to do, like arcades, amusement parks, and the most important of all, beachesJ. It is also the birthplace of Charles Dickens. Mausi Ji has a house there, and so we were going for an over-night trip.

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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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Ground Zero

New York: The Big Apple

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The only sound in this serene neighbourhood was the constant whirring of the security choppers patrolling the Hudson. Though there wasn’t much to see in New Jersey, I found its peaceful charm quite endearing. Whether it was driving through Harrison, or checking out the sprawling campuses of New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers Institute at Newark, or bagging great discounts at Newport mall, Jersey Gardens mall, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, BJ’s and Shop Rite, or simply walking along the Pier… New Jersey really appealed to my senses in a way that very few can comprehend.

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Rays of Light

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We started our walk and soon saw the first of the Sarnath monument, the Chaukhandi Stupa. A beautiful, well kept garden surrounding the Stupa welcomes you with dancing butterflies and chirping birds. Chaukhandi Stupa has a square base. This stupa was built during Gupta times. And later during Islamic rule, it got the peculiar head with edges. Built in red bricks, it was an impressive site, standing tall under a blue sky, silently remembering the era by gone.
This main road of Sarnath is lined with some beautiful Buddhist temples donated and built by several east Asian Buddhist nations. It really shows their affection and devotion towards Gautam Buddha and it’s land.

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Let’s Walk everywhere – Day 10 & 11

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Today was our tenth day here in London, and our plan for today was, er… nothing. We were basically going to sleep and rest for the first half of the day, then we would go to The Garden Café for a quick bite, and then for the second half we would come home and sleep and rest a bit more.
We decided to play a little game of taking pictures of the signboards that came on the way.

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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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A Quiet Day in Romford – Day 9

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Today was our 9th day in London, and my mother had planned for us another ‘fun’ day at the mall. The logic was simple – it was raining, we had to be indoors, so we might as well be indoors outside. We were to go to The Brewery first, and then The Liberty Mall, both located within close proximity of each other, in Romford. Romford is one of the major commercial centres in the London suburbs.

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The River and the City

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The airport is located in Babatpur, a slightly funny name but when you see the airport name displayed in bold letters as Lal Bahadur Shastri aiport, suddenly it gains stature and you feel a connection, a long lost memory jogged. And you remember a story of young Lal bahadur swimming across the Ganga for his studies.

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Iceland – Reykjavik, the capital !(Last part)

Iceland – Reykjavik, the capital !(Last part)

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Reykjavik is a small city having a total population around 120,000. There are very few foreigners here and Indians are hard to find. There are a few Indian families and 10 students in Iceland University. Reykjavik is on the North Atlantic sea. Since the warm gulf stream traverses nearby Reykjavik, the climate of Reykjavik is never harsh. A maximum of 15/16 degrees in summers and around -5/-6 in winters. Some days may see temperature as low as -16C but these are rare. We enjoy 6 months of day and 6 months of night here. Another interesting point is that every other Icelanders vows to have met a ghost or troll or an elve.  There are certain places around Reykjavik known for such entities.  I have yet to meet one !!

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