Travel

How Uzbekistan transformed the way I travel | Travel Musings

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”  ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

As a kid, I was a fan of author Mark Twain and also geography subject. I would read both with equal enthusiasm; while Mark Twain’s accounts of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in the far back region of Mississippi would evoke a sense of adventure & also empathy for my fellow kids in less fortunate circumstances, reading about all the fascinating regions & countries in my geography textbooks would fire my imagination as well as wanderlust. I so longed to visit the majestic ruins of Petra in Jordan, the brilliant cities of Samarkand & Bukhara on the great silk road, the seemingly unreal cold Gobi Desert in Mongolia and ofcourse the  charming Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur in south India, among many destinations.

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Sushmita Sarkar
Travel

City guide of Tashkent in Uzbekistan | Uzbekistan Travel Diaries

Tashkent is not only the capital city of Uzbekistan, it is also the gateway to the Silk Road tourist trail of the country. For Indians, it has a special connect as one of the most popular Prime Ministers of the country Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri died here suddenly when on a diplomatic tour. I visited the city briefly while flying in and out on my Uzbekistan travels and explored as much as I could. Sharing my – City Guide to Tashkent Uzbekistan.

[caption id="attachment_5635" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Khast Imam Mosque complex Tashkent, Uzbekistan[/caption] (more…)

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

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

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