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
Travel

Chandi Devi Temple in Haridwar | Temples in Haridwar, Uttarakhand

Chandi Devi temple in Haridwar, Uttarakhand is a revered Hindu pilgrimage site in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India.  Haridwar is an ancient town and a prime pilgrimage destination for Hindus and has many temples, of which Mansa Devi is one of the primary piths (or pilgrimages). Therefore, it sees busy footfalls all-round the year.  Haridwar also happens to be my second home and I keep visiting it regularly. This time around, we had some  extended family members coming to visit  us in Haridwar and on their agenda was religious tour of the city. So we took them to visit Chandi Devi Temple, along with the usual Har ki Pauri. I am sharing my travel notes for the benefit of religious traveller or anyone wanting to visit the Chandi Devi temple when in Haridwar.

[caption id="attachment_5536" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Chandi Devi Temple Entrance to Cable Car Ride[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
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

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

Things to do in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India | Travel Guide to Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is a small resort town in Tamil Nadu, located somewhere midway between Chennai (60 kilometers) and Pondicherry on the East Coast Road. This sleepy little hamlet town became world famous gradually, since the discovery of many monolithic rock cut temples of the Pallava period, starting from the year 1960. The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, making it internationally  famous and attracting foreign & domestic travellers. Today, owing to its easy connectivity from Chennai and also lying on the Tamil Nadu pilgrimage route, as well as its UNESCO World heritage tag, Mahabalipuram is thronged with visitors year round. This once sleepy little town has got some interesting attractions to offer to visitors, depending on their interests. Here’s a list of things to do when in Mahabalipuram :

[caption id="attachment_5475" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Shore Temple Mahabalipuram[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Nalanda Vihara (University) Archaelogical site, Bihar, India | Day visit to UNESCO World Heritage site of Nalanda

The remains of Ancient Buddhist Monastery in Nalanda, Bihar, India is famous world over as the remains of an ancient Buddhist Monastery & university during 5th  to 1200 century B.C., which was visited by scholars from world over, most notably Chinese scholar Hiuen Tsnag   I was in Nalanda district some time back on work and did not let go of the opportunity to visit the archaeological site of Nalanda Vihara, which is an UNESCO world heritage site.

[caption id="attachment_5462" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Nalanda site - UNESCO World Heritage site[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India ~ Buddhism’s holiest site in the world

Bodh Gaya is popular world over as the place where Gautama Buddha obtained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Located in eastern state of Bihar and once a small village, Bodh Gaya today sees international visitors from all over the globe, many of them from the major Buddhist following countries. I visited Bodh Gaya for the second time, some time back on a work trip and this time, I could get some time off to explore this vibrant, spiritual town. 

[caption id="attachment_5442" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Buddha statue at Gaya Airport[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Things to do in Cochin (Kochi) in Ernakulam, Kerala, India | Must do things in Cochin, Kerala

I would like to believe that I have a ‘quickie’ relationship with Kochi city (or Cochin, whatever you may like to call it). I have visited Kochi 3 times now, but each time it has been on short duration of 1 to 1&half days. Neverthless, like the thrilling way quickie relationships enjoyed, I have enjoyed my time in Kochi thoroughly, experiencing parts of it while leaving some things for the next visit. I realised that I have done quite a few things in Kochi, much more than a regular traveller and decided to share my list of ‘Things to do in Kochi/Cochin’ here:-

  1. Sightseeing in Old Jewish Town – The Cochin Jews are widely accepted to be the oldest group of Jews in India. The Cochin Jews trace their ancestry in the city of Cochin as early as the 12th century and the old Jewish town today serves as a poignant reminiscence of a bygone era. Though the Old Jewish town hardly has any Jews living (at last count it was 7), the town itself has been beautifully preserved along with the Pardesi synagogue, the interiors of which are very pretty. There are many souvenir shops in this area, mostly run by migrant kashmiris, but if you have to pick something authentic related to Jewish heritage here, please head to one shop named ‘Sarah’s Hand Embroidery’ which sells Kippahs (star-adorned velvet Jew caps), hand-embroidered handkerchiefs and cushion covers.
(more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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