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:

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Long weekend getaway to Corbett National Park in Ramnagar, Uttarkhand with Corbett Wild Iris Resort

“The book of nature has no beginning, as it has no end. Open this book where you will, and at any period of your life, and if you have the desire to acquire knowledge you will find it of intense interest, and no matter how long or how intently you study the pages, your interest will not flag, for in nature there is no finality.”  ― Jim Corbett

I always have been curious about life of legendary Jim Corbett, who was famous both for his hunting of man eaters as well as for wildlife conservation efforts in the Kumaon region of Uttarkhand. It was his endeavour to protect the wildlife of Kumaon region that led to the setting up of Jim Corbett National Park 1936 (formerly known as Hailey National Park). I had been planning to visit Jim Corbett National Park with family for a long time now, but as luck would have it, it was with my fellow women traveller friends that I went off on an almost impromptu long weekend getaway some time ago.

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Travel Guide to Neemrana Hotels properties in Alwar, Rajasthan | How to choose the best fit Neemrana Hotels property in Alwar for your easy getaway from Delhi-NCR

Neemrana Hotels is widely popular for providing a non-hotel hotel experience combining the off-beat heritage with culture and laid back yet warm hospitality. The Neemrana Fort Palace in Neemrana, Alwar, Rajasthan has become an iconic property internationally for travellers visiting India, particularly Rajasthan. I have had the pleasure of spending time at all 3 of the Neemrana hotels properties in Alwar, Rajasthan :- (1) Neemrana Fort Palace (2) Kesroli Hill Fort (3) Tijara Fort Palace, and I would have to say that though, overall, all of these properties offer the ‘Neemrana’ experience, each one also has its distinctive charm. A lot of my friends and readers have asked me individually about which property to choose while planning a getaway from Delhi. I thought it best to share the various queries as well as points in a Q&A form.

https://instagram.com/p/BWdLEWFH2cv/   [caption id="attachment_5596" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Tijara Fort Palce in Tijara, Alwar Rajasthan[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Holi Festival in India | Celebrating Baithaki Holi in Kumaon, Uttarakhand

Holi is one of the most well-known Indian festivals the world over, characterised by playfulness, colours and bonding over poetry, songs & dancing. People from all over the world visit India to celebrate Holi, specifically the version played in North Indian region of Uttar Pradesh. There are many forms in which Holi is celebrated all over India, like West Bengal’s famed Shantiniketan ‘Dol’ celebrations or like Hola Mohalla in Punjab. In the hill state of Uttarakhand, Holi is celebrated over many days in the villages of Kumaon region in what is known as Baithaki Holi. This Holi, I travelled to Jim Corbett National Park in Ramnagar area of Kumaon and among many other experiences, playing Baithaki Holi was one of my most enjoyable & cherished experiences. Sharing my #baithakiholi experience with all readers here.

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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.

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Morning Boat Ride in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

“Sunrise looks spectacular in the nature; sunrise looks spectacular in the photos; sunrise looks spectacular in our dreams; sunrise looks spectacular in the paintings, because it really is spectacular!”  ― Mehmet Murat ildan

As a city dweller, one of the major misses in daily life is watching the sunrise; even though I am early riser and make it a point to do yoga at the crack of dawn, the high-rises and all the concrete chaos of the city make it impossible to catch a good glimpse of sunrise (or even sunset). Therefore, I relish these nature’s spectacular shows while on my travels. It was an absolute delight to watch sunrise in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu on an early morning boat ride in the sea.

[caption id="attachment_5575" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Sunrise at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Pinjore Gardens in Haryana, India | Must visit attractions in Haryana

Pinjore Gardens (renamed as Yadavindra Gardens) is a historic 17th century garden located in Pinjore city of Panchkula district,  Haryana, India. It is quite popular local attraction in Haryana and also Chandigarh. Since it is located on the Ambala-Shimla Highway, it’s a popular pitstop for travellers and I happened to take a break for lunch here on my way back from a work trip in Himachal Pradesh some time back. The Pinjore Gardens is said to be one of the well preserved examples of landscaping style of Mughal Gardens. I certainly found the Pinjore Gardens to be a nice place to relax on a sunny winter day.  architectural style, which was renovated by the Patiala Dynasty Jat Sikh Rulers.

[caption id="attachment_5561" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Old Locomotive Rail engine at entrance of Pinjore Gardens[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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