Saturday, June 21, 2008


On December 2007 I visited Delhi,Haridwar,Dehradun and Mussoorie along with my family.On 25th December we boarded the Rajdhani Express from Sealdah for New Delhi.The next morning as we reached New Delihi we headed towards Shankar Vihar army campus where one of my cousin use to stay.[my brother-in-law is the Lt.colonel of Indian Army].It was pleasant to be back in Delhi after 14 long years.Last time when I visited Delhi was in 1993 and since then the city had changed a lot with several high rises,magnificent malls,a number of flyovers,smooth roads and the most recent addition the Delhi metro.The temperature use to be very low in Delhi during this time of the year and so we had thick layer of woolens wrapped around us.Shankar Vihar is a beautiful place with several trees and parks.Its just beside the international airport of Delhi and thus we got to see a large number of giant aircrafts flying over just above our head. We stayed in Delhi for 3 days and so on the first day we indulged ourselves in a little bit of shopping to collect some souvenirs.On the 2nd day i.e. 27th we got ready early in the morning and were out for our sightseeing. My cousin had already reserved bus seats for our sightseeing through Rao travels near their place and so we reached the travel agency office within 9 am.The bus was an a.c. volvo one and our journey started around 9.30 am sharp. Our first destination was Qutub Minar,which was build by Qutubuddin Aibek.The minar along with the edifices all around had been restored thoroughly.There was also the iron pillar erected by Chandragupta Maurya.Its thrilling to see all this historical edifices which make us proud to think of our rich culture.Our next destination was Lotus temple. The Lotus temple also called the Bahá'í House of Worship is a place where people from any caste or religion can pray silently in peace. The silent atmosphere of the place would surely touched your soul.Next we went to Akshardham temple.Lots of construction work can be seen around the temple area as the Khel Gaon or Sports Village for the Commonwealth games 2010 is under construction over there.The beautifully ornate temple has a tight ring of security following the terrorist attack in Gujrat a few years back.So all the mobile phones and cameras have to be left in the bus and everyone have to go through three rounds of checking before entering the temple. Inside the temple one will be mesmerized by the architectural grandeur of the temple. The curving on the walls and ceiling of the temple are so accurate and perfect that one can't even think of. We were all thrilled to see such levels of architectural curving.The temple had a beautiful courtyard and its a pleasant place to spend some time over there.From Akshardham our next destination was Rajghat which is the burial ground of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.After paying our homage at Rajghat we went to India gate. By 2.30 in the noon we were taken for lunch at the Andhra Bhavan. The entire management at Andhra Bhavan is very good and the thali that we ordered was delicious too.Post lunch we went for Rashtrapati bhavan and Parliament house. As no civilians are allowed there without special permission so we had to see the houses from the bus.Next destination was Laxmi Narayan temple or Birla temple. After that we went to Indira Gandhi's house at 1 Safdarjung Road where she used to stay and was also murdered.It had been now converted into a museum.We got to know several facts and articles used by our former prime minister.The place is a serene one with lush green lawns in the heart of the city. The place where Indira Gandhi was shot by one of her body guards have been covered by glass and converted into a memorial. Our last destination of the day was Trimurti Bhavan, another museum and the house of our 1st prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Its a huge mansion with lush green lawns beautiful gardens and houses several articles owned and used by our first Prime Minister. We got a glimpse of the handwritten version of Indian Constitution in this museum and were thrilled. Our journey came to an end at Trimurti Bhavan and we returned home in the evening.Next day that is 28th December we spent the whole day at home.we loitered all around Shankar Vihar and did a little bit of shopping. By the evening we had our luggage packed and around 8.30 we headed for Old Delhi station for our train to Haridwar.
Our train to Haridwar was Mussoorie express scheduled at 22.10 pm. but unfortunately we cant avail a.c. seats so had to travel by sleeper class.we were sad to leave Delhi after spending such a wonderful time over with my cousin's family but at the same time were thrilled by the thought of exploring an unknown place.Just after the train started we had our dinner and the entire compartment became dark as everyone went to sleep.Unfortunately no one could since it was bitterly cold and though we were wrapped with heavy woolens we almost freezed.The cold increased during the morning when the train was running across the foothills of the Himalayas through the forests.We tried to look out through the window but found the outside to be wrapped with a thick blanket of fog.The biting cold made us numb and our legs became senseless.Everyone in the compartment had wrapped themselves in heavy woolens. At last around 7 am in the morning we reached Haridwar,the great pilgrimage site for the Hindus. we were excited to have the first glimpse of the himalayas from the seemed that the station is surrounded by mountains.we went outside the station and hired an auto for our hotel mayur located just opposite of mansa pahar, which is a peak on which mansa temple is located.our hotel room was a cosy one and it had an adjacent balcony from where one could get a clear view of mansa temple.after having our breakfast and a brief rest we went out for a stroll to har-ki-pauri, i.e. the banks of the ganges which is considered to be the auspicious pilgrimage of the hindus.har-ki-pauri is a place with several temples with ganges flowing at a tremendous speed just decending from the himalayas into the plains.the sight of the ganges and the temples soothed our souls and we felt very fresh from inside.its was bitting cold but still we spent some time over the afternoon we went to manasa temple, on the top of a mountain about 600 metres in could reach the temple by foot which is quite laborious or by ropeway. we choose to go by ropeway and the journey was quite an exciting one.from the temple we again visited har-ki-pauri to have a glimpse of the evening arati of the ganges at har-ki-pauri. but unfortunately we were late and couldn't view the arati though we floated diyas in the ganges.nextday we got ready early for our sightseeing and reached the busstand in time. the journey commenced just in time and we headed for kankhol.the places to see at kankhol r the ashram of ma anadamoyi and satikund. the journey to kankhol was quite pleasant through the lush greeneries of the foothills of the himalayas with tha ganges flowing just beside. the weather was chilly still we enjoyed thoroughly.we had to leave our shoes in the bus to visit the above mentioned places. the ground was very cold and we had difficulty in walking. at the ashram of anandamoyi ma we saw the famous tree of rudraksh and a glowing diya which is believed to be lighted by ma anandamoyi by herself and is continueing to glow till date.from the ashram we visited satikund a throwing stone distance from the ashram.satikund is a place where according to indian mythology king janak father of sati performed some rituals without inviting his daughter and son-in-law lord feeling insulted sati committed suicide over here.the place also have several temples with ganges flowing beside. after kankhol we headed for rishikesh.the journey to rishikesh was also excillent through the green forests crossing a number of hilly streams, the scenic beauty of outside is awesome.we stopped near the famous laxmanjhulla. its a hanging bridge over the ganges held by strong one could get a different mood of the ganges, very calm river , not so turbulent like that in haridwar flowing through the lush green mountains,over a stony could also go for rafting in rishikesh. the beauty of the mountains as well as ganges, the calm nature of the place touched us. the place also houses a number of temples the most notable is the 13storey temple located just infront of the laxmanjhulla. the place around laxmanjhulla is the homeland for several monkeys and langurs and so one must be carefull about one's possessions like cameras, bags etc.we were instructed by our guide to cross the jhulla and go on the other side of the river to have a glimpse of the temples,from laxmanjhulla we went 4 km downstream to a place having another hanging bridge called ramjhulla, a replica of laxmanjhulla. this place contains several hotels , we had our lunch in one of them. ramjhulla like laxmanjhulla is not the house of monkeys and langurs and so we felt safe here. near ramjhulla gita bhavan is located were one could get exotic collection of woolens and saals at a very reasonable price.there are also several ashrams in and around the area. we visited only gita bhavan and did some marketting. we again crossed the ramjhulla and went on the other side of the river from were we had to hire an auto to reach the busstand where our bus had been parked.the parking ground is just beside th river and its a very beautiful place with gita bhavan just on the opposite bank of the river.from rishikesh we started for our return journey to haridwar.near haridwar we stopped for 3 temples but we visited only one as it took lot of time to see that one. the temple houses all the god and goddess of indian mythology.after that we returned to a place near har-ki-pauri to view the aarti. but unfortunately we were late again and missed the aarti.rishikesh is indeed a very beautiful and calm place in the lap of nature and i think to explore around rishikesh one must stay there atleast for a night. next day as we had no where to go around haridwar so we decided to explore all along the market place and ganges throughout the day.we took a stroll along the river,we went to the bronze statue of lord shiva erected near har-ki-pauri and did a lot of marketting. we brought several woolens at a very cheap rate from a shop in the market area.moreover any one who comes to haridwar ise to had lunch and dinner at a famous hotel called dada boudi;r hotel. though the standard is not as good now as it used to be earlier but still all use to gather in dada boudi;r hotel for lunch and dinner. that day we had both our lunch and dinner at dada boudi'r hotel where one could get a meal for 30 rupees only. we also booked a car from an agent beside dada boudi;r hotel to mussoorie for the next day.that evening we went early to har-ki-pauri for the evening aarti and were lucky this time. we got a sit somewhere among the thick crowd and got a better glimpse of the entire incedent. we were thrilled by the ceremony. the entire atmoshpere of the region changed during the aarti,with the ganges dazzling by the lights of the of the diyas.its really an unique experience and i'm really speechless to describe such an incedent.
the next day that is 1st january 2008 we started early for i told earlier we had hired an ambasador from haridwar and decided to have the local sight scene in and around before reaching mussoorie where we would put up for 2 nights.the first location we went was tapkeshwar temple.the temple contains a shivlingo and its situated beside a hilly stream. it had inheritted its name from the fact that drops of water fall on the head of the shivlingo naturally.but unfortunately we couldn't see any drops of water falling.moreover the entire temple atmoshpere seemed very artificial. we were surprised to see the temple being used as a house by some people. from tapkeshwar we went to sahashra dhara.sahashra dhara use to be a collection of almost hundred waterfalls...but now it has been transformed into an artificial falls with only a few channels...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Jaldapara is a place in North Bengal, which falls within the Forests of Dooars. From our college, we visited the place for an educational excursion[which turned more a holiday than an excursion,as we 13 friends were together].
The Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is for its conservation of the Rhinoceros, though other animals including tigers may also be seen. We had put up at the Madarihat Tourist Logde, just adjacent to the entry of the forests. The lodge is housed way away from the main road[which itself does not have much traffic], and hence, the serene calm and quietness of the jungle greeted us. The lodge has an old Wooden building, and a new concrete building. We were overjoyed to be allotted rooms in the formers, for none of us had ever stayed in a wooden structure before.The rooms were cosy, with adjacent bathrooms[having sizes greater than the room itself].
The first evening we reached late, and hence, it was a rest-day, and we spent it chatting. The next dawn, we were woken up by our teachers,and we reluctantly got ready for a jungle safari...[half asleep].
but as our sumos entered the jungle, i felt a strange...the jungle was calm and quiet, with a certain spookyness reigning, so much so that even inside the car, we dared not talk was almost dark, and the headlights of the car behind us appeared like a ghostly lantern in a Scooby-Doo cartoon.the quietness of the jungle was broken only by the advance of our cars, and sometimes, shrieks from the wild animals. It appeared as if we were transferred to a different world altogether...a world of trees and weeds, a world where perhaps we do not have any right to disturb, a world which has remained the same for thousands of years.
Soon we reached the place where we had to embark upon elephants. the elephants soon same one by one, guided by their mahuts[my friends expectedly started comparison me n neelanjan to the elephants]. we 4 were alloted a mom-elephant with a cute baby elephant[muktarani] walking around us.....
As we entered the jungle from the clearing, we could again note the difference-the call of the wild[one of us was down with that of Nature,too].the elephant ride was a different thing altogether..coz the elephants can travel through the most interiors of the jungle, when no car can reach, and hence, the elephant ride was a more exclusive excursion of the jungle.we were travelling through streams, jungle clearings, and then suddenly into the deep jungle, where we had to lift our dangling legs to avoid being hit by the bushes and trees. around us, it was ultimate silence,and although there was little to fear, we were speaking in hushed was quite cold in the region, but the jungle was colder.suddenly, in a weed-filled clearing in a distance, we saw a tall tower rising, which our mahuut pointed to us as a watch tower from where tourists watch rhinos, and with much luck, tigers.we saw a few deers and bysons, but we were eagerly waiting to see a rhino...back here,it was a too stupid thing for being eagerly waited for, but inside the jungle, it was a thrilling feeling, to see wild animals, in the wild.The elephant went literally through bushes, hedges, underneath long trees, where we had to duck down to avoid being hit by the branches.
suddenly, partly by luck, and partly thanks to the baby elephant, who was almost leading the way, we came across a small clearing...with not one, but two rhinos standing.we felt thrilled..for the mahuut later informed us that not every one succeeded in seeing a rhino, let alone 2[we called it the BCL couple, after Agni n Ritu].soon after, the Rhinos walked away, leaving us thrilled.we continued our way through the green passage, greeted by birds unknown[we also saw a peacock sitting on an uppermost branch of a tall tree].after almost 1.5 hour of jungle safari, through the nature's lap, we came back to the disembarkment point.
towards the evening, we went for a car safari, but i personally felt that the elephant safari was lot more thrilling. the car safari only took one to the watch towers from where we could see piles of salt spread everywhere. the rhinos and tigers come to consume them, thus giving a chance to the observers of the tower to watch them. sadly we saw only 1 rhino and no tigers.
the next day, we continued our way out of Jaldapara.
the jungle safari has been something i will never forget..

pictures:(from top) an elephant ride ; the jaldapara sanctuary entrance ; a watch tower ; a stream inside the forest ; elephant ride


hello everyone!!! This is Hindol..This April i visited Puri along with my family...Its thrilling to be back in Puri again and again.This is my 3rd time in Puri and I love the sea very much.We checked in Hotel Diamond Palace in the new Marine drive region and could get a glimpse of the sea from the hotel rooms. We use to bath every day in the sea though the shore had been damaged very badly due to tsunami of 2004. The sea was equally rough and due to the broken shore its quite tough to remain in the water specially for those who don't know how to swim.So friends be careful next time. On the second day after reaching Puri we went to Lord Jagannath temple.The temple region has several pick pocketers ,so again be careful. On day 3 we went to the local sight scene. first we were taken to Konarak sun temple. Its pleasant to see the temple under renovation. we took several snapshots over there. our next destination was Lingoraj temple.
from there we were taken to Dhauli Giri , Khanda Giri and Udaye Giri respectively. We had our lunch at Konarak temple. The quality of lunch was not so good but one had to be satisfied with that as there are no better food stalls available in the locality. The last destination was Nandankanan wildlife sanctuary.The condition of wild lives is really pathetic at Nandankanan.specially we felt pity for the tigers. The other animals that we got to see over there were rhino,deers,peacock etc.We were back in our hotel within 7.30 in the evening.
About the local sight scene in Puri one can hire a car and go for sites like Pisi'r bari, Masi'r bari,Guru Sishya ashram ,Sarna Gaurango temple etc.
Another beautiful spot that can be explored is a place almost 5kms away from new marine drive called mohona. Its a place where a river is meeting the sea. The place is quite beautiful and one can have a picnic over there. one can go to mohona by foot which is quite laborious or by rickshaw.
Another tour from Puri is Chilka tour. Chilka as all knows is the largest lagoon of India and it covers three districts of Orissa. We visited Chilka in 2003. For Chilka again we hired a bus from the bus terminus near Puri the Chilka one can hire government boats or private boats. The cost per person during 2003 was rupees 100 per head. The boats will take the tourists to the sea mouth i.e. where the sea is entering the chilka lagoon. Its a awasome place,with casurina trees all over.Local people sell fish freshly captured from sea at a very cheap rate.One can also get a glimpse of migratory birds during winter months and dolphins in the lagoon are also present, though very rarely can be spotted.

During the evening we used to spend our time walking along the roads of Swargadwar,a busy market area with lots of shops and food stalls. In the morning walking along the sea is also a very pleasant experience.The view of sunrise is a must during the morning.

Another place of interest in Puri is the light house on the new Marine drive. We went to the light house when we visited puri in 2003. the entry fee during that time was rupees 10 per head for adults and rupees 5 for children.One can get at the top of the light house from where the vast view of the sea and a large portion of the city can be seen.

picture:(from top)lord jagannath;konarak temple;lingoraj temple;dhauli giri; mohona; sea view from mohona; lake chilka;sunrise .
hello readerz!!
Here r ur virtual travel-mates Bhamuu and Handel re-visiting their tours of India through this blog..we will share our experiences of our Indian travel sprees...though, when asked, most people would reply their ideal travel destinations as places like London or Switzerland..believe me, our very own India doesnt lag behind..with the heavenly beauties of the snow capped Himalayas, who needs the Swiss Alps? with cities like Delhi, Mumbai,Kolkata, who needs New York n London? with beaches like Goa, who needs Miami? India has it all-the snow capped mountains, to the deserts, the mighty rivers to the beautiful lakes and lagoons, the metropolitan cities to the picturesque villages, and to top it all..the culture and history, which are depicted through various monuments, places of historical interests, the lets come and explore India!!