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

Basel in Switzerland | Switzerland self planned Holiday Diaries

Basel in Switzerland, located in north western part of Switzerland where the borders of France, Germany and Switzerland meet, has a vibrant earthy vibe. Basel was our base city on the self planned trip to Switzerland, not out of choice but mostly because the husband’s work needed him to be there for couple of days. I did not know much about the city beforehand and it took me lots of research before planning the trip to Switzerland. Basel seemed to be quite a staid city from most of the accounts I read on the travel blogs & articles. However, Basel surprised me with this vibrant culture, heritage, rich repository of art & culture and its multiple layers. Spending our time in Basel during the Switzerland trip was one of the best decisions we took, as it also was economical than other more popular Swiss cities. Sharing my experience of Basel in Switzerland.

[caption id="attachment_5450" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Basel, as seen from the banks of River Rhine which splits the city in half.[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Bern in Switzerland | A Day visit to Capital of Switzerland and UNESCO heritage city of Bern

Bern is the capital of Switzerland and also an UNESCO World heritage site. We visited the charming medieval city of Bern on our first day of our 7 day self planned summer holiday in Switzerland and it was an enriching experience, as also an enjoyable one.

[caption id="attachment_5382" align="aligncenter" width="200"] Bern - the historic city of many fountains[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Flowers in Khirsu, Uttarakhand India

Just living is not enough...

one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower

~ Hans Christian Anderson~

Whenever I am in the mountains, the stunning beauty of flowers amaze enthrall me and I end up taking many many pictures as memories to gaze later in my stressful city life. On my last summer getaway to Khirsu, Uttarakhand, I took back home beautiful memories of many such flowers, some of which I am sharing here.

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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

Sailana Cactus Garden in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, India | Cactus Gardens in India

My friend and ex-colleague Mahesh Swamy visited Cactus Garden in Sailana, Ratlam and wrote this beautiful account of his visit. Sailana is a town and a nagar panchayat in Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh. It is located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh and 25 km from Ratlam town. It is an overnight journey from Gandhinagar, Gujarat to Ratlam by Shanti Express train.

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh Rajasthan, India | Driving Holidays in India

The history of Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh, is closely intertwined that of Udaipur. The royal house of Mewar at Udaipur has descended from the lineage of Chittorgarh. The Fort has interesting conquests, battles and tales of valour to its heritage; it is an UNESCO world heritage site. We visited Chittor fort on our 8 day long family road trip thorugh Mewar region of Rajasthan this winter.  It was definitely an interesting experience to visit this Fort.

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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]

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Sushmita Sarkar

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