Delhi

Tughlaqabad Fort in Delhi | Exploring the third city of Delhi – A city of 7 cities

The capital city of India -Delhi is a city of 7cities. Tracing its historic lineage from the time of the 'Pandavas' of the epic Hindu Mythology Mahabharatha in which the city of Delhi is mentioned as 'Indraprastha'  - capital of the Pandava kings, archaeological research points out to the city being the capital city atleast 7 times, beginning from the Tomar dynasty in 9th century to Lutyens Delhi of British rule. Being a Delhi resident all my life, I find it fascinating that there is still so much to explore around the city for a heritage lover like me. I had been planning to visit Tughlaqabad fort for a long time and there could not have been a better day than a sunny winter morning to do this. The Tughlaqabad Fort and mausoleum of Ghiasuddin Tughlaq are what remains of Tughlaqabad - considered to be the 3rd extant city of Delhi.

[caption id="attachment_5509" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Entrance of Tughlaqabad Fort, Delhi[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Shaniwar Wada in Pune, Maharashtra | The Past and present

Ever since the movie Bajirao Mastani came out, I was interested to visit the palace of the Peshwas of the Maratha empire- Shaniwar Wada. Peshwa Bajirao the first, prime minister to Chattrapati Shahu commenced the building of his home. The term “Wada”, meaning residential home and Shaniwar literally meaning Saturday. I finally got the chance to visit Shaniwar Wada over the weekend, while staying in Pune for almost a month

[caption id="attachment_5311" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Shaniwar Wada in Pune, Maharashtra[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Heritage Street at Amritsar, Golden Temple, Punjab

The Heritage Street in the holy city of Amritsar, Punjab is a beautiful example of thoughtful urban redevelopment in making public spaces accessible & more enjoyable. Thousands of visitors come here everyday and on my recent visit to Amritsar, I could experience the difference in walking around in this old part of the city connecting to the Golden Temple, compared to my last visit couple of years back. Sharing my experience of walking around Heritage street in Golden Temple, Amritsar.

[caption id="attachment_5177" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Heritage Street Amritsar[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Long Weekend Getaway to Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat in Himachal Pradesh | Summer Travel Escapes to Himalayas

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever since I visited Tirthan and Gushaini valleys in Himachal Pradesh a decade back, I have wanted to go back here. Many things did not work out over the years, but this year, somehow my heart decided upon visiting this spectacular bio-diverse region of Tirthan & Gushaini valleys n Himachal Pradesh, which also includes Great Himalayan National Park. Universe conspired and I went on a most enjoyable long weekend getaway to Tirthan Angler’s Retreat in Himachal Pradesh, in a series of developments, which I can only term as the ‘Mystic Law’ of the Universe.

[caption id="attachment_5123" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Views from my room at Tirthan Anglers' Retreat[/caption]

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Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Qutub Minar in New Delhi, India

Qutub Minar, New Delhi, India on a cloudy spring day ~ What do you do when visiting a monument or place (a beautiful one nonetheless) for the 100th time ? When you are already familiar with the layout, the structure, the gardens of the destination ? Well, I tend to look and re-look into the details and manage to find something new in a familiar place. 

[caption id="attachment_5051" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Qutub Minar - A perspective[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India

The Mughal Gardens Rashtrapati Bhavan (official residence of President of India), is said to one of the central focus of the Presidential Estate. It is inspired by the Mughal Gardens of Jammu & Kashmir and only opens to public visitors about 2-3 weeks in a year.  I finally visited the famed Mughal Gardens, after living all my life in Delhi (imagine) and it was an interesting experience. Sharing some sweet moments from the Mughal Gardens visit here.

[caption id="attachment_5027" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Mughal Garden[/caption]

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Textile Trail in Delhi with Breakaway and Jaypore Journeys | Discovering Delhi Off-Beat way

A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, and economic legacies - all of the things that quite literally make us who we are. ~ Steve Berry

When we think about our heritage, especially in the context of Asia & South Asian region, the legacy of textiles & related art forms is one of the major influences that have shaped the history of many countries in the region, in particular India. The rich Indian heritage of textiles, be it embroidery, block printing, weaving or hand painting, is our most precious tangible heritage. It was during my early years of work travel, going into the interiors of Gujarat and Odisha that I realised how exquisite textiles are being created by some of the most talented yet poor artisans. It has also made me a lifelong lover of handloom and hand-woven textiles; they are not only unique and much more durable than a lot of fast fashion, they are also the soul of sustainable fashion. And I have believed over the years, that anyone who goes on a textile trail, watches the process, interacts with the artisans, will never again haggle for prices as the effort behind the price will then seem too less!

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Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Lodhi Art District and Lodhi Colony Walk | New Delhi, India

After participating in many interesting walks and cycle tours in my city Delhi, last week as I led a walk through Lodhi Colony neighborhood and introduced participants to its heritage, public art and sub-culture. The walk was conducted in association with KLoDB (Knowing and Loving Delhi Better) - one of the oldest walking community in Delhi. My good friend Arundhati wrote a beautiful account of the walk in Lodhi Art District and Lodhi Colony neighborhood.

[caption id="attachment_4890" align="aligncenter" width="300"]15271883_10207770086592063_5679639529648058473_o Public Art in Lodhi Art district[/caption]

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Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Walk around Jhandewalan, Bhuli Bhatiyari Mahal and Karol Bagh in Delhi | Exploring Delhi by Foot

Winter is the best time to explore Delhi and even for a true blue local like me, Delhi has many new charms to offer, be it interesting heritage, food or places of faith. So, while surfing Delhi Walk Festival’s listed programs, when I saw one walk which promised an experience encompassing all three (faith, heritage and food), I had to participate!

On a sunny winter morning, I started off on a most interesting walk by KLoDB  - Hunting Lodges, Mother Goddesses and Kulfi in Karol Bagh. The idea, as walk leader Jaya, explained, was to explore the neighbourhoods of Jhandewalan and Karol Bagh.

[caption id="attachment_4882" align="aligncenter" width="225"]15403713_10207709132268243_2584183947164465977_o Iconic Landmark of Jhandewalan Metro station - Statue of Hanuman Ji[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Potters’ Village walk in Binda Pur Gaon, Uttam Nagar in Delhi | Exploring the lesser known Delhi

I think most tourists, travelers and even locals envisage Delhi as a city rather than a state; the vast geographic differences, socio-economic disparities and cultural diversity across Delhi as a state are mostly ignored by the travellers, with only Old Delhi and Lutyens Delhi being the focus of their sightseeing interest. As a local, I spent the first 20 years of my life cushioned in the geographic security of the ‘posh’ localities of South Delhi. My first awareness of Delhi as a state and its diverse cultural fabric came when I started travelling to length and breadth of Delhi state during my Masters Degree, encountering urban village of Ambar Hai in Dwarka, Najafgarh villages and then doing 2 research papers on Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary and Bawana Industrial Area (which went on to become my thesis subject). I realised that Delhi ‘state’ is much more than Chandni Chowk, India Gate or Lajpat Nagar. Since then, from time to time, I try to explore the ‘other’ Delhi and it always leaves me surprised to learn something more about my ‘city state’.

So on a November winter morning, I took the long route by Metro to Uttam Nagar for a walk into Potters Village in Binda Pur; the walk was part of many walks being organized under Delhi Walk Festival and I had already done a very interesting Foraging & Garden to Table walk in Lodhi Garden couple of days back, so was expecting another exciting walk experience.

[caption id="attachment_4861" align="aligncenter" width="300"]img_5804 Travelling in E-Rickshaw to Binda Pur Village[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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