Travel

Petra by Night | Guide to visiting Petra Archaeological site by night

Petra – The Lost city of stone of the Nabateans and an UNESCO World heritage site, had fascinated me since I read about this famed city, located in desert area between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, in National Geographic Magazine as a kid. Although Petra’s claim to popular fame was the Indiana Jones Movie (Raiders of the Lost Ark), I was blissfully unaware of Petra’s ‘popular’ fame and longed to visited this ancient city of the Nabateans for its intriguing history, it’s mind-boggling water harvesting system in the middle of the desert and its being one of the important caravan trading cities in the crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia for centuries.

I stayed at Petra for 2 and half days, experiencing the beauty & grand history of Petra UNESCO world heritage site in various ways -  via a walking trail through the mountains, through the siq, on a donkey ride to Monastery and ofcourse Petra by night. Read about my detailed Petra experience along with pro-tips here.

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Sushmita Sarkar
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

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
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
Travel

Visiting Thun town in Switzerland | Switzerland self-planned summer Holiday diaries

Thun is a pretty town and a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. The town of Thun is habited in the region where River Aare flows out to Lake Thun. We went on a day visit to Thun on our first day of the 7 day self-planned Switzerland summer holiday and were charmed by the quaint town’s heritage as well as natural beauty, owing to its location.

[caption id="attachment_5393" align="aligncenter" width="300"] River Aare flowing by Thun town[/caption] (more…)

Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

Vegetarian Travellers’ Food Guide to Uzbekistan | Uzbekistan for Vegetarian Travellers

Whenever I get query about my all women group trip to Uzbekistan, the most frequent question is about availability of vegetarian food options for travellers there. This is not surprising as Uzbekistan is a Central Asian country and one which is majority Islamic. Therefore, vegetarian travellers wonder about Vegetarian food options when planning on a trip to Uzbekistan. I have attempted to write this ‘Vegetarian Travellers’ Guide to Uzbekistan’ in a FAQ type format, so that all the different types of queries regarding what to eat when in Uzbekistan for vegetarian travellers, are answered.

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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

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