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 Amritsar, Punjab, India | Amritsar Travel Guide

Amritsar in Punjab is world famous for being the home to Harmandir Sahib - Golden Temple, the spiritual & cultural centre of Sikhism. Devotees and visitors of all faiths from around the world visit Amritsar and it is one of the most important cities in the state of Punjab. I have visited the city twice and both times it has been a spiritual, cultural and gastronomic delight. Amritsar is a historic city with a rich spiritual & cultural living heritage of 'Punjabiyat'  - spirit of being Punjabi. Here are the must do things or things to do when in Amritsar, Punjab:

  • Visiting Golden Temple - The Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib is the spiritual core of the holy city of Amritsar and every time I visit here, it is an uplifting spiritual feeling. A visit to Amritsar is incomplete without visiting the Golden Temple.
[caption id="attachment_3530" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Harmandir Sahib - Golden Temple, Amritsar[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Hussainiwala in Ferozepur, Punjab | Punjab Travel Diaries

Hussainiwala is a small border village in Ferozepur, Punjab and the most I knew about it was due to its closeness to the more famous Attari border in Punjab. While on a field visit sometime ago, it was happy fate that brought me to Hussainiwala and I had one of the most poignant & enriching evening, visiting Hussainiwala and witnessing the Retreat Ceremony.

(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

St. Augustine’s Tower and Church in Goa | UNESCO World Heritage Site – Churches and Convents of Goa

On our monsoon getaway to Goa, one of the most charming sites we visited was the St. Augustine’ s Tower and Church in Old Goa (or Velha Goa). It is actually a ruined church complex and not many visitors come here, though it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Churches and Convents of Goa.  I found this place having a charming aura of times gone by and a beautiful fading memory of glorious days of Portuguese rule in Goa.

[caption id="attachment_5272" align="aligncenter" width="300"] St. Augustine's Tower and Church - Views from Entrance gate[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Delhi

Alwar Monsoon Travel Guide | Quick Getaways from Delhi – NCR

Alwar district in Rajasthan is so close to Delhi/NCR and yet a whole different world away. The rugged ancient mountain range Aravallis cover significant parts of the district and there are a smattering of forts, palaces, temples and farmlands. The monsoons transform the landscape of the aravallis, when the flora literally bloom out, turning the rugged brown mountain ranges into verdant green all around. We have done interesting long weekend getaways from Delhi to different destinations in Alwar and thought to share the interesting monsoon travel guide to Alwar for all our readers in this post.

  • Neemrana Fort Palace - It is the most famous luxury heritage property in Alwar. Located in Neemrana, Alwar and run by Neemrana Hotels, this all year round luxury property is a dreamy place in monsoons. One can spend hours gazing at  the clouds and green landscape all around from the different vantage points, lounge in the pool or just spend time lazing around the palace in the various nooks & corners.
[caption id="attachment_5249" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Views from Neemrana Fort Palace[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Visit to Fontainhas in Panjim, Goa |Goa Travel Diaries

On the list of the top most things to do in Panjim city, for me during our monsoon getaway to Goa was is to visit Fontainhas quarters.  The Fontainhas is the old Latin Quarters in Panjim city and the Portuguese traditional architectural and town planning  influences have been preserved here. Visiting Fontainhas heritage quarters is taking a walk back into time, to the days of Portuguese rule in Goa. We spent the most delightful time walking around in Fontainhas, admiring the stunning colors, architecture and decor of the area.

[caption id="attachment_5240" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Private Villa is Fontainhas, Goa[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Brahma Kund in Rajgir, Bihar | Bihar Travel Diaries

The Rajgir hills, in Nalanda District of Bihar, located near the city of Rajgir are an important Buddhist, Hindu and Jain pilgrimage site. I visited the Rajgir hills region on my work trip in rural Bihar and while I did not have time to visit all the religious attractions/pilgrimage sites this time around, I was able to visit the Brahma Kund in Rajgir.

[caption id="attachment_5228" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Brahma Kund Rajgir, Bihar[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar

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