Travel

A Summer Getaway to Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India | Things to do in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh on a family vacation

Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a pristine Himalayan region in the kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Great Himalayan National Park (one of the largest biosphere reserves in India and UNESO World Heritage site) is located in the Tirthan valley and if you are looking for a quiet time away with family amidst lofty mountains and mesmerising natural beauty, then this is the place to head on a summer vacation.  The first time I visited Tirthan Valley and Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)on a solo trip was in 2006 and was completely charmed by the pretty valley as well the warm locals. However, despite my best efforts, I could only visit it next time last year (2017) on a long weekend getaway at Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat with friends. I so much wanted to come back with my family to Tirthan Valley, so this year, our summer family road trip destination was to Tirthan Valley. It took us 1.5 days to reach the Tirthan Valley from Delhi and equal time to get back, however, the 6 days we spent here absolute bliss and my family was totally taken in by the charms of the pretty valley. Sharing our experiences of a summer family vacation in Tirthan Valley :

[caption id="attachment_5721" align="alignnone" width="688"] By the Tirthan River in Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Family Road Trips in India – A Guide | Essential Tips, Hacks & Frequently asked Questions for Driving Holidays in India with kids & family

As a traveller and travelling couple for many years, we encountered a ‘major travel life moment’ after having our baby four years back. Happy as we were being parents, we wanted to experience the happiness and joy of travel & experiencing India with our baby. So we dived headlong into the adventure in the best possible way we thought it can be done – Taking Family Road Trips with our infant who’s now an experienced road tripper toddler of 4.5 years. As we shared our travel stories, we got many curious and incredulous reactions & queries. We realised that what we were doing was something people thought of, but didn’t try out due to many reasons, some of them genuine and some of them only mere mind blocks. As I answered many queries separately over the years to various friends & colleagues and also in various travel forums as an Indian Travel Blogger, I realised I needed to write a comprehensive guide covering all the Essential Tips, Hacks & Frequently asked Questions for Driving Holidays in India with kids & family’. Here is my guide to taking family road Trips in India in Question & Answer Format:

(more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Long weekend getaway at Tijara Fort Palace by Neemrana Hotels | Easy Quick Getaways from Delhi-NCR

The winters in North India provide an excellent opportunity to explore the majestic state of Rajasthan with its diverse culture, royal legacy and arid yet fascinating landscape of aravalli mountain range, deserts and even the flat dry landscape. Every year we take a family road trip through Rajasthan covering atleast 8 days. However, this year due to personal commitments, we had to drop the idea of a long road trip. But wanderlust and the desire to take a break from the city, made us decide to take atleast a short break to Alwar region of Rajasthan, which is the neighbouring to Delhi (and actually part of NCR) and has many easy getaway options from Delhi. We decided to spend a long weekend at Tijara Fort Palace by Neemrana Hotels in Tijara, Alwar and it turned out to the be much needed refresher for our family which took away steam from all the pressure of personal commitments we are facing.

(more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Family Getaway to Roopangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India | Driving Holidays in India

The best part of driving holidays or road trips is that one can set the pace of the holiday, relax and unwind whenever the mood strikes. Ofcourse, it takes a bit of last minute re-booking while on the road. On our winter family road trip through Mewar region (Route taken Delhi - Udaipur - Ranakpur-Kumbhalgarh-Mount Abu-Chittorgarh-Nathdwara-Roopangarh-Delhi), we decided to book ourselves a luxury or boutique hotel on our last leg of the trip, so as to treat ourselves to the best before we wind up the mega driving holiday. We chose to avoid Jaipur, which gets too touristy & crowded in December/January months and instead chose to stay at Roopangarh Fort in a small village around 25 kms off the main National Highway NH 8. It turned out to be a good decision as we absolutely loved the property, offbeat location in a small village, heritage property, view, laidback hospitality of the staff and interacting with friendly locals.

[caption id="attachment_5484" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Roopangarh Fort Hotel, Rajasthan[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Khirsu in Pauri Garhwal Uttarakhand, India | Summer getaway to the Himalayas

Khirsu in Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand is a small village located at an altitude of 1700 meters from sea level.  Conveniently located around 40 km from Srinagar town (in Uttarakhand) and 20 km from Pauri town, Khirsu is easily accessible yet away from the rush of the pilgrim route of Badrinath/Kedarnath in Garhwal. We visited Khirsu for summer family holiday and it turned out to be a relaxing break for all of us.

[caption id="attachment_5155" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Khirsu views[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Vijay Stambha in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India | Driving Holidays in India

Vijay Stambha (Victory Tower), for me symbolized the epitome of gallantry and royal charisma of warrior clans of Rajasthan. As a kid hooked to history and geography during my school years,  the very thought of constructing a ‘victory tower’ to commemorate battles won, was both chivalrous and romantic. Then I saw pictures of my cousin’s visit to Chittorgarh and and there was this one picture of him standing next to the shimmering golden yellow tower of  Vijay Stambh, looking quite inconsequential. It was from that moment, Vijay Stambha became a part of my travel wishlist. This January, I visited Chittorgarh, as part of  our 8 day  family road trip through mewar region of Rajasthan and ofcourse, I had the chance to fulfil my wish of seeing Vijay Stambha. It was sweet fulfilment of my childhood wish and in the best way possible, with my toddler. In think, in the years to come, when my kid grows up and reads about ‘Vijay Stambha’ in school, I will tell her with pride ‘you’ve been here already kiddo”.

https://instagram.com/p/BPpiURPBfOi/ (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Shri Nathji Temple in Nathdwara Visit | Driving Holidays in India

Faith in God includes Faith in his timing ~ Neal A. Maxwell

I vaguely knew about Shri Nath ji  - the 7 year old ‘infant’  incarnation of Hindu god Krishna , from many years (as I am Hindu myself). However, it was through the stunning Pichwai paintings that I came to see during the Textile Trail in Delhi, that I really got interested in the religious history of Shri Nath ji at Nathdwara, which was as fascinating as it was about faith.  While on the family road trip through Rajasthan this winter, we realised that we could visit Nathdwara if we just  got our timing right. We decided that if we did get our timing right, while driving from Mount Abu to Chittorgarh, when we reached the highway point which takes a detour to Nathdwara town, we will definitely visit the Shri Nath ji Temple. In my heart, I kept praying that everything goes fine and for me it was a journey into the power of faith to visit and seek blessings of Shri Nath ji in Nathdwara.

[caption id="attachment_5040" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Narrow lanes of Nathdwara[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Mount Abu in Rajasthan, India | Driving Holidays in India

The desert state of Rajasthan, among its many forts, palaces, aravalli mountains, sand dunes and havelis also has the lone ‘hill station’ of Mount Abu. Reading about Mount Abu in the geography textbooks in school, I was fascinated by the idea of a hill station in the dry desert state of Rajasthan and wondered how it would look like. I so wanted to visit it and on our 8 day family road trip through Rajasthan this winter, I finally visited Mount Abu. It was a bittersweet experience and I came away with mixed feelings.

[caption id="attachment_5035" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Views from Guru Shikhar[/caption]

(more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan | Driving Holidays in India

Kumbhalgarh Fort’s claim to fame is its majestic Fort Rampart Walls, which is said to be second longest wall after the ‘Great Wall of China’. We visiting Kumbhalgarh on a cloudy afternoon, driving in from Ranakpur, on our 8 day long family road trip through Mewar region of Rajasthan. The Fort did not impress me; however, the Fort rampart walls certainly, lived up to their fame.

[caption id="attachment_5016" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Main Entrance Gate of Kumbhalgarh Fort[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Ranakpur Jain Temple in Ranakpur, Rajasthan (India) | Driving Holidays in India

“Ranakpur turned to out to be the much needed respite from the maddening crowd of the city of lakes (Udaipur)” wrote fellow Travel Blogger Svetlana on her facebook update for Ranakpur. She was on a family holiday in Rajasthan (Udaipur specifically) and had taken a detour to this small town. Those lines (and the beautiful photographs) got me intrigued. We were in the process of finalizing our family road trip to Rajasthan and Udaipur was one of the destinations. I asked Svetlana about the logistics and she so graciously shared all the details. Udaipur turned out to be a mixed bag of pleasant moments and disappointments; the husband who wasn’t so keen in the beginning of our trip decided to take a detour to Ranakpur (and if possible Kumbhalgarh) on way to Mount Abu, on the last night in Udaipur (mostly to appease me and also to get over the disappointing experience of city of lakes). The visit to Ranakpur turned out to be one of the prettiest drives of our whole trip and the Ranakpur Jain Temple certainly bedazzled us with its serenity and beauty.

[caption id="attachment_5003" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Ranakpur Temple against morning sun[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Instagram
Facebook
RSS