Chaiwala

As the clock ticks 2 pm, he enters the office premises of our office and starts serving tea with the slogan ‘aaj chai acha bana hai’ along with ‘mathis’. Without asking the employees he pours tea in the disposal cups and starts counting the money he has to get from them.

He is very punctual, regular and sincere in his duty. ‘Three times a day’ he makes his way to the office during the office hours with a promise to make everybody relax and ease with his special tea. No matter whether it is windy, cold, rainy or sunny, he is always available with his tea-kettle. Like one of us (employees working here), he has got an access card, which sounds very funny to me.

I don’t know how much he earns, but he seems to be very happy and vivacious. He certainly inculcates positive energies and makes the atmosphere live. Whenever he appears on the screen, he never forgets to wear a smile, that smile of innocence. For him, work is god and he is never seen neglecting his duties. And that’s what I like the most about him.

It is true that I hardly have had a word with him, but he’s inspired me in many ways.

WP_20140526_003
Me & Abhishek

Eid Special – Where to Celebrate Eid in India?

Eid or Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated by Islamic community across the world just the next day of seeing the moon. The very festival, which is also known as Feast of Breaking the Fast, bids goodbye to the Holy month of Ramadan. In India, Muslims adorn themselves with new clothes, distribute sweets and share hugs among families, friends and relatives. It is a three-day celebration with a national holiday. The atmosphere is reverberated with firecrackers that sometimes give feeling of entering into a different world.

rp_Ashish-T-300x200.jpg

The following are India’s top places that give perfect vibe to mark the festival in style.

• Delhi: Undoubtedly, Delhi is a leading destination where Muslims gather at the largest mosque of India to offer prayers. Jama Masjid and its surrounding areas come to live as huge number of people throng to the mosque in the morning. It sees one of the largest gatherings of Muslims in the world. What make the day more special are the dishes. From the delectable kababs to Sewai, the shops showcase their best to entice people. Try at Gali Kababiyan, close to Jama Masjid, for Haleem, Ramzan special dish.

• Lucknow: Aishbagh Eidgah is the biggest prayer ground in the city. The Aasif Masjid is another place to offer prayers in Lucknow.

• Srinagar: Are you in Srinagar? If so, you will probably be attending the biggest congregation at the historic Eidgah. Take a break from your busy life and head to Lal Chowk to buy new clothes, shoes, sweets, jewelry and many more on the eve of Eid. Also, try your hands at Goni Market, Zaina Kadal and Regal Chowk if you are fascinated by apparels and jewelry. Dargah Asar-e-Sharif hazratbal is also a renowned spot where special prayers are offered.

• Hyderabad: Thousands of devotees make their way to Mecca Masjid or Makkah Masjid. It is one of the oldest and largest mosques in India surrounded shops that remain open throughout night during the festive month. Some of the shops are more than a century old. Golcondaidgah, Masab Tank, Mir Alam Tank, Madannapet and Secunderabad are equally popular for offering prayers.

• Mumbai: Why don’t you pamper yourself with the special Ramzan delicacies in the Dream City of Mumbai? Home to Bollywood, Mumbai allows people to make their way to Mohammad Ali Road at Masjid Bunder. From sweets (falooda, phirni, mawa jalebi, malpua and rabri) to various meat dishes (goat leg soup, goat brain gravy and roasted quail bird), people can indulge in a wide variety of foods. Eye-catching stained glass and superbly painted wooden windows make Minara Masjid so gorgeous. Azad Maidan, Juma Masjid and Anjuman-i-Islam are to name other popular venues for prayers.

A Short Trip to Agra

Yes, that was an abrupt trip to Agra with a parents-to-be couple. No sooner I received a call from my school friend, Sahadev inviting me to join on an Agra tour, I responded in the positive and arranged a car immediately. Sunita and I started around 12.30 pm, picking up them (Sahadev, his pregnant wife and his sister) at Vaishali Metro Station.

As we started in the afternoon, I was in the apprehension of reaching late and not getting entry. The driver assured me of reaching in 3 hours; though not good at mathematics, I figured out the reaching time would be around 3.30 pm.

Sunita showed her expertise in explaining to these fellow travelers about the majestic skyscrapers, shopping areas and other stunning architectural pieces that running beside our car in the opposite direction. Soon, we took the newly built Yamuna Expressway. I had only heard about this, but now I could clearly see its refined and state-of-the-art finish. I was in a state of awe. The express-line can be compared to any National Highways of the country. It has got width that can allow four big vehicles run at the same time. The driver geared up to 100 kph and all of a sudden we were on a bullet-ride. “You are under CCTV surveillance” – we were repeatedly notified with this in every 5 – 10 km. Amongst other notifications were – trucks and other big vehicles should not exceed the speed limit up to 60 kph and for car, it was 100 kph. Note the toll charges – it was Rs 520/- for both sides.

WP_20140724_004
Yamuna Expressway

What used to be a pleasant ride a few hours ago suddenly became quite clumsy and narrow with terrific traffic and piles of garbage. Cyclists, bikers, pedestrians, cars and trucks compete to outdo each other. The driver was very responsible and he resorted through us through the bustling market and the slums. The sight was pretty baffling, finding the land of one of the Seven Wonders of the World in such a miserable state.

The three-hour long journey came to a halt at the parking area. It is around 500 meters away from the Mughal monument. No vehicles are allowed to go further and damage the color of the monument and increase the pollution level of the area. In no time we were surrounded by people offering a ride to the main gate of the Taj Mahal. There were battery-run vehicles, camel-driven and horse-driven conveyances. We preferred a camel-driven conveyance (Rs 100/-) that took us to the main spot via Meenabazaar, where one would find traditional items and souvenirs. The camel-jockey gave us incessant, unnecessary ‘gyan’ about the place. I inquired what he was trying to justify.

WP_20140724_007

WP_20140724_011
Meena Bazar – Want to Buy Unique Souvenir?

I was famished by the time, so were they. I told Sunita to place an order at Taj Restaurant adjacent to the West Gate of the Taj Mahal and Sahadev and I went to get the tickets. While Indians have to pay Rs 20-/ per ticket, international visitors are charged an amount of Rs 750/-. After a hearty meal, we proceeded for the security checks at the entrance of the west gate. We didn’t have to wait for long. There were fewer crowds at the entrance at 5 pm.

It was kind of a remainder for me of the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. Lush green manicured meadows, colorful flowers, thick walls and awe-striking Mughal architecture were enough to take our breath away. I could smell the aroma of majestic Mujhal Empire in the air. As we got past the two-story building-like wall, we found the outstanding monument standing in all its glory and pride. The eye-pleasing sight of the Taj Mahal was unmatched. I found the impressive structure even more beautiful and livelier than what I saw it in pictures.

WP_20140724_015
Two-story-Building-like wall
WP_20140724_014
Beautiful Manicured Garden. Feel-like Resting there?
WP_20140724_037
Taken from the Terrace of the Taj Mahal
WP_20140724_040
Looks Majestic
WP_20140724_020
Visitors Gazing at the Greatest Mughal Monument

Without wasting too much time being swallowed up in our own thoughts, we plunged into touristy ritual – capturing the amazing moments in our camera lens. We were not the only ones clicking pictures. There were thousands of others from different states, countries, languages and lifestyles indulged in the same activity. The white marble mausoleum standing proud, gleaming against the blue sky offers an ultimate visual retreat. In the meantime, Sunita was seen chatting with a few foreign visitors. All seemed to be very happy as if they found an old friend in her. I wondered did she crack a joke?

WP_20140724_085
Looked-like They Are Friends for Years.
WP_20140724_087
Another One

The Taj Mahal:

Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughla Emperor, in December 1631 began the construction of one of the greatest monuments in history. He showered his love for his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal and built this white domed marble mausoleum to commemorate her. It is the ultimate epitome of love.

WP_20140724_031
In the Backdrop of the White Marble Mausoleum!
WP_20140724_022
Perfect Balance
WP_20140724_063
Here’s a Selfie of Two of Us!
WP_20140724_061
Group
WP_20140724_044
After Sunset View over Yamuna River
WP_20140724_078
From a Different Angle

WP_20140724_048

Standing on a raised, square platform, the structure boasts awe-striking architectural designs both interiors and exteriors. The large terrace offers a plenty of space to visitors to relax and feel the soothing breeze coming over Yamuna River. Look at the four imposing minarets – each 162.5 ft. The entire mausoleum complex is adorned with beautiful flower designs and handwriting using various gems like jasper and agate.

The mausoleum also known as Crown Palace houses queen’s grave at the lower chamber. One will also notice the grave of Shah Jahan added to it later. By the time, we entered into the chamber, it was seemingly dark. The dim light was unable to eliminate the darkness completely.

It was around 7 pm. And we called it a day. From the West Gate we hired a vehicle run with battery. This time we only paid Rs 20/- (not Rs 100/- like earlier in the day). We had to make a stop at Mathura & Vrindaban. The driver suggested giving it a miss since we were running late. Though it was a short trip, I thoroughly enjoyed it with my lovely wife and friends.

Tuglaqabad – The Other Side of Delhi

After my brother and sister-in-law’s departure from Delhi, we (Sunita & I) felt quite lonely until the news of my cousin’s arrival in Delhi. Though she is a distant cousin, it had nothing to do with my excitement of meeting her – at least, I was going to meet someone I know dearly.

Last Sunday morning, I received a call from her asking me to meet her. After a light breakfast, Sunita & I headed to Tuglakabad, gali no. 4. We boarded the metro train at Vaishali, changed twice (first at Rajiv Chowk & second at Central Secretariat) and reached Tuglakabad Metro Station after 1.10 hours.

She is new to Delhi, so she couldn’t provide me the best information about the route. This made me hire an auto-rickshaw that charged me Rs 150/-. I asked the auto driver to take the short-cut route, but went in vain – probably, there was no short-cut available.

Compared to other parts of Delhi, I found this area pretty underdeveloped. The roads are not great, quite narrow. No big buildings on both sides and the area looked unusual to me. But, this place can be of historical importance that I was unaware of. As we were up to the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, we crossed the majestic fort of Tuglaqabad Fort. Otherwise known as Adilabad Fort, Tuglaqabad Fort was modest in size with protective gigantic fortification on its boundary. From outside, it looked so charming. Lies on both sides of the road, the fort has a plenty of things to offer.

The sight of Monkey Park from the auto was very impressive. We further passed Air Force Station and Jamia Hamdard University before we reached Sangam Vihar. From there we had to take another auto that would go through the narrow streets and busy and stinky market. I wonder how the drivers manage to ride their vehicles. At times, I felt as if the auto was about to hit the walking commuters. Well, the worst scene had not come until we were at gali no. 4. I missed taking the pictures. I doubted if it was Delhi. I paid the auto driver and asked him to leave before I reach their house. I called up my cousin from a few yards from her stay. Her father-in-law guided us to their house and gave us a warm welcome.

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Park, Vaishali

  • !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Park is located underneath the Vaishali Metro Station in sector 4, Vaishali, Ghaziabad. The park gets crowded with people of all ages as the day breaks. From dawn to dusk it remains the focal point of kids, teenagers, adults and senior citizens of the locality. While some come here for a quick run, others come just for a brisk stroll. Kids come here with their parents to play and older people come here to relax and unwind.

Looking at this stunning scene, I decided to come for a morning jog – in the hope to losing some weight and getting fit as this is very important to stay fit in this competitive world. Getting up early and hitting the gym is not my cup of tea. Apart from that I’m not a believer in body-building. For me, jogging every day for at least 30 minutes is inevitable to stay fit and healthy. It keeps the mind and body active throughout the day. Since I’m not into any other physical activity, I stick to jogging.

At the initial stage, it was not that easy for me to get up and go for a run. To do this, I needed some boost. Sunita is not a fitness freak. So, it is least expected that she would be my inspiration. I tried to be regular as much as I could. Sometimes I forgot setting alarm; sometimes the mobile phone got switched off. And for me, it was an excuse. I used to skip in between 2/3 days.Watch The Channel (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Then I fell ill, was hospitalized. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and tuberculosis, exactly happened on the day of Holi. I was asked not to get involved in any kind of physical activity. This made me stay away from visiting the park for almost two months. Though I’m under medication, I thought it’s time to re-start the process.

Now, I’m back on my track. This time, I find more people in the park (especially couples in large number). You can feel the warm breathe of people exerting sweat in plenty. Besides the harsh sound of the vehicles, the park is full of life reverberating with fresh air.

WP_20140514_001

Entrance to the Park!

WP_20140514_004

Morning Seems Busy as People Take a Walk

WP_20140514_005

Kid’s Zone

WP_20140514_006

Metro Line above the Park

WP_20140514_009

A Young Man Takes a Brisk Walk

WP_20140514_010

Picturesque Surrounding

WP_20140514_011

Jogging Track

WP_20140514_007

Even an Old Man Taking Care of His Health

Puri – Abode of Lord Jagannath

Positioned right on the Bay of Bengal, Puri, also known as Purusottam Kshetra, is one of the most popular tourist hotspots for locals and foreigners alike. The bustling city, the pristine beach, an array of local shops and restaurants and the grandiose Jagannath Temple make this Hindu sacred place a must visit destination.

From the Puri bus stand, we took a rickshaw that ran through the main market – the Bada Danda. It was not very crowded in the morning; this helped us moved faster. We reached the main gate east-facing. It is called the Lion’s Gate or Singhaduara. Removing the shoes and not carrying things (except wallet) is to be strictly followed before the entrance to the temple. There were shoe-stands either side of the gate. We surrendered our belongings, washed our feet and bowed our heads in front of Aruna Stambha – a massive pillar soaring up to 10 meters high. It is positioned right in front of the Lion’s Gate.

Policemen and policewomen were deployed to check the devotees before entering into the temple. We got checked by them and moved ahead to find ourselves on a flight of steps – ‘Baisi Pahacha’ or twenty two steps. Devotees were sitting around; some were even making their kids roll over the steps from top to bottom seeking spiritual bliss of Lord Jagannath. I wish I had a camera to capture such unique sights.

We were immediately dragged by a Panda who was very determined to do a ‘puja’ and forced us to buy a “puja thali”. I was quite acquainted with the activities of Puri Pandas. So, I told Sunita not to pay any attention to him. But, she was a staunch believer in this stuff. This made me buy a puja thali cost Rs 110/-. We along with the Panda entered into the main temple. It is the abode of three deities – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.

Oh My God!!! What a rush! The small premise was incredibly overcrowded that even an ant could not find space to settle down. I was little worried about Sunita whether she would make it not. Because she had met with an accident in December. However, we managed to get a close look of three deities. For that we were asked to pay Rs 100/-.

By this time I had become dry fish due to the extreme heat of sun. But, Sunita was enjoying and completely involved. She gestured me the Laxmi Temple. I immediately nodded. And we made our way to the entrance. Again, the same problem! I had to pay another Rs 100/- to the Panda. Observing us very polite and quiet, the Panda tried to deceive us through a fake image of Maa Lakshmi (at Rs 1,000/-) saying it would bring wealth and property. I was keeping an eye on Sunita and became happy to see her denying paying anything.

20140501_163004
The Lion’s Gate
IMG_20140501_163020
Temple Entrance & the Aruna Stambha

Before we made an exit, Sunita rushed to Anand Bazaar to buy ‘bhog and prasad’. She also had a glass of ‘tanka torani’, the tastiest drink ever. As soon as we came out of the temple, I insisted to be at the beach. This was what I wanted.

If you have to see Odisha’s most crowded and spoilt beach, it should definitely be Puri Beach. The main beach was pretty crowded. People in large number were splashing water and soaking in the sun. The thunder sound of roaring waves makes the atmosphere electrifying. It won’t be wrong to say that Puri Beach is the only party destination in Odisha. Along the beach promenade there are a wide range of hotels and resorts, shops, stores and outside dining spots. The scrumptious ‘dahibara’, ‘aloo-dum’, ‘aloo-chaat’, ‘bara-maja’ and ‘pudi-sabji’ were enough for our lunch. We then visited the sand art by the award winning sand artist, Sudarshan Pattnaik.

To avoid the scorching heat, we grabbed a safe place right on the beach, under a beach umbrella. This reminded me of my old days. We caught hold of our old memories – just 2/3 years ago we used to come here to spend quality time.

IMG_20140501_122648
Some Beachcombers Relaxing on the Golden Sand
IMG_20140501_122656
A Refreshing Bath in the Sea!

20140501_122654

sand art
Sand Art of Lord Jagannath by Indian Sand Artist Sudarshan Patnaik

It was then 2 p.m. – time to come back and meet friends at Bhubaneswar. The short trip was very interesting, but I wished to spend more time exploring the architectural grandeur, moderate climate, historic antiquities and many more. Well, I was bit disappointed for not taking a bath in the sea. I must tell you that the water here remains calm and is considered as the best for swimming.

‘Pentha Beach’ – An Unknown Name

Without giving a second thought, we headed to explore the most unexplored tourist destination in Odisha. We had to cover almost 10 kilometers from Rajnagar to reach the village, Pentha. There was no limitation to my excitement as I had never been to such a fantastic place – being staying so close. As our car inched further, I could see a sand barricade standing high up to 15 ft. At first, I had no clue about this giant barricade – mixture of sand and soil I guess. I couldn’t hold my curiosity and ran up to see what the barricade had been hiding. “Oh My God, it’s unbelievable.” The views my eyes captured were incredible. “How could I miss such a beauty of nature right next to my home for so long?”

WP_20140401_050
Tranquil Sea Meeting the Blue Sky on the Horizon
WP_20140401_051
Quite Secluded a Place, except a Dog and a Couple
WP_20140401_052
Peace is Restored
WP_20140401_099
Trying to Get a Perfect Location to Have a Perfect Pic

The “Pentha Beach” is a perfect combination of sun, sand and sea. Mangroves and pine trees create the scenery pretty mesmerizing and charming. The roaring waves hitting the shore of Bay of Bengal will remind you the prominent beaches of Puri and Gopalpur. We could not resist ourselves from taking pictures on the backdrop of awe-inspiring infinite water and golden sandy beach. There was no one except immaculate beach, crystal clear water, the tress and the beautiful red crabs.

Did you know red crabs can run so fast? I could not believe my eyes when I discovered that crabs can run so swiftly. We tried to get hold of some of them, but in vain. Only the driver could manage to catch a few. Every time I attempted to catch them, they dug up the sand and managed to escape. The beauty of the place was so intriguing that at one time, I thought to shift in there. Leaving the place and coming back to our own place was very tough. We ended the trip on a high note when my nephew showed signal to attend the call of nature right on the beach. I did not want to say good-bye, but we had to return.

WP_20140401_104
It’s Beautiful!
WP_20140401_070
Ladies Having Fun
WP_20140401_115
Here’s Gajini. He’s only 3 years old
WP_20140401_127
The red crab – finally, we got one

The short trip was pretty thrilling for me and my family. Everybody loved the beach, its tranquility and serenity. The beach is undoubtedly a must visit for all beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Nothing can deprive the Pentha Beach from being listed amongst the top beaches of Odisha. Away from frenzy crowd, the Pentha Beach is a superb place yet to be explored fully.

But, I was little disappointed to find no hotels close to the hotspot. Perhaps, this could be the reason why visitors are not turning up in huge numbers. OTDC (Odisha Tourism Development Corporation) should take appropriate steps and make the district of Kendrapara worth visit.

Address: Pentha Beach,
Village: Pentha, P.S: Rajnagar, Dist: Kendrapa, State: Odisha.

Rajnagar: 10 km
Kendrapara: 45 km

Bhubaneswar – 150 kilometers.

 

Visiting MAA Matia Mangala Temple, Rajnagar

On a bright Tuesday morning my wife expressed her desire to visit the temple of ‘Maa Matia Mangala, 15 kilometers from my house’. The temple is very famous in our area that encompasses more than 100 villages. It is located in the village of Baranga, Rajnagar, Kendrapara, Odisha. After a little discussion, my father called up a cab driver and around 11 am, we were all set out for the place.

Our group comprised 6 members, including my mother, sister, her son, my sister-in-law, my wife and, of course, me. Though I am not a temple goer, it was pretty excited for me to see a new place, at least. I only knew it was a temple close to the river of Brahmani and I would have some amazing pictures.

There was no problem till we reached Madanpur as the Madanpur-Pattamundai road has newly been constructed. It wouldn’t be wrong to compare the road to the national highways. It was wide enough and there was ample space for bikers, cars, trucks and buses to go smoothly. The road was not great after Madanpur College. Single narrow road with vehicles from both ends – a terrible journey! Finally, we arrived at our destination safely after crossing the Rajnagar Bridge, some villages and crowded markets. From Rajnagar, Baranga is just 7 km away. The journey took us almost an hour.

I was actually expecting more crowd as I heard such stuff from people earlier. Well, it was not that less either. After alighted from the car, I discovered that my mother had come barefooted. It was not because she is a great devotee of Maa Matia Mangala, rather she had forgotten to wear it. Quite strange, isn’t it?

Surrounded the Brahmani River, agricultural field, lush landscape and several shops selling ‘puja samagri’, the temple has a mesmerizing location. The driver parked the car under a tree and waited for us. I was strictly instructed by Sunita, my wife, to do ‘pranama’ and have some respect. (Trust me, I am a staunch believer of God. I just don’t believe in idol worship or visiting temples.) We did a small puja, took the ‘prasad’ and headed to the river. The journey became more interesting as my nephew was doing funny stuff. They were quite hilarious.

WOW!!! It just came out my mouth as we inched a further to the river. Truly amazing view, quite serenity and astonishing. Got some pictures and had some fun! I was teasing my nephew and in return, he responded well with some funny acts every time.

WP_20140401_022
From left to right – Me, Sunita, my mother, my sister & my nephew
WP_20140401_024
With my sister-in-law, mother & sister in the stunning backdrop
WP_20140401_035
Teasing Sunita
WP_20140401_036
Fun with Gajini

By 12.30 p.m. our appetite increased and it was intolerable for us to stand without food in our stomach. We made up our mind and returned. My eyes were looking for a hotel. At Rajnagar, the driver recommended a vegetarian hotel. We grabbed 7 seats and ordered full meals. The guy who took the order served 6 meals thinking my nephew can’t have a full meal. I insisted on serving another meal and he did it hesitantly. To his surprise, Gajini (my nephew) finished his meal effortlessly and sought for more food. The moment was very comical.

No, no, no…I’m not finished yet. The second part of the day led us to another hotspot, ‘Pentha’ – a spot for all beach lovers.

 

 

Top 10 Interesting Places to Visit in India before You Die

Most people wish to travel the world before they die. If you think in the same way, then why not start from India?

India, the land of wonders, is blessed with spectacular range of attractions that will simply take any travel enthusiast’s breath away. From the snow-capped mountains of the mighty Himalayas to the exotic Goa beaches, from tranquil backwaters to the impressive palaces of Rajasthan, from the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho to the magnificent Sun Temple of Konark, the mystic land preserves an array of interesting attractions that keep visitors flowing to India.

India
Colorful India, Beautiful India!

To make it easy and simple for you, I have listed the top places that will certainly give you a deeper look into India’s holiday destinations.

1. Delhi: Delhi, the capital city of India, is the right place to start a tour in India. Known for its impressive historic monuments, Delhi is always the most sought after tourist destination in India. Apart from being a cultural and entertainment hub, the capital city charms its guests with stunning sites and gorgeous buildings. The India Gate, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Garden of Five Senses, Humayun’s Tomb, National Zoological Park, Akshardham, the Red Fort, Old Delhi, Chadni Chowk, Jantar Mantar and Lodi Gardens are to mention the most popular attractions in Delhi.

Delhi
Have I Missed Anything?

2. Agra: Have been hearing about this magnificent white mausoleum since childhood? Time has arrived to marvel at the glorious Mughal creation in Agra. The Taj Mahal is an eternal embodiment of love. Shah Jahan, the mighty Mughal Emperor, built this white domed mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World at the moment. The epic love story of the Mughal Emperor and Empress entices travelers all around the world. Amongst other popular attractions in Agra are Akbar’s Tomb, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Mehtab Bagh.

Taj Mahal
When It Is about Agra, How Can Taj Mahal be Missed?

3. Goa: I cannot miss India’s smallest state. Goa is the ultimate party destination in India. To visit Goa, you need not seek the best time as anytime seems a great time to explore its golden pristine beaches, which further bestow outstanding sunset view. Swaying coconut palms, golden sand and a plenty of sun constitute an outstanding backdrop. Goa is just perfect for all types of holidaymakers. While lovers find a secluded spot to romance, adventure enthusiasts can go windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing and parasailing. If you are a foodie, then pamper your taste buds with fresh and tasty seafood. The top attractions in the area include Chapora Fort, Arvalam Waterfalls, Calangute beach, Ancestral Goa Museum and Aloma Fort.

Calangute_Goa_Huts_3
Calangute Beach with Golden Sand

4. Kashmir: I always conjure up the images cascading waterfalls, spectacular scenic beauty, picturesque lakes, Alpine villages, the aroma of flower gardens, effervescent verdant green valleys and snowcapped mountains when imagining of Kashmir. What strikes your mind when it is all about – the Heaven on Earth – Kashmir? Interesting things that you just can’t take your eyes off are Nagin Lake, Dal Lake, Gulmarg, Pehalgam, Shankracharya Shrine, Sonmarg and Pari Mahal. Dal Lake is an ideal place if you wish to go boat riding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Boat Ride in Dal Lake Is A Must!

5. Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari is next. It is often called as Cape Comorin. Kanyakumari is the convergence of three vast water bodies, such as Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The tranquility of the surrounding, the enchanting sunrise and the mesmerizing sunset lure even the most indiscriminating visitor. An avid traveler won’t lose his eyes from the glooming horizon. It is situated in the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent. The multi-colored sight of the beach is worth viewing.

0c.kanyakumari_sunrise
Dawn at Kanyakumari Is Captivating

6. Kerala: Let’s visit God’s Own Country and enjoy some unique and enchanting backwater cruise. The striking feature of Kerala is its greenery. Wherever you go, you will be delighted with verdant green forests, spectacular hill stations, stunning waterfalls and tranquil backwaters. Backwaters are the perfect combination of fascinating lakes and lagoons that lie parallel to the infinite Arabian Sea. While in Kerala, seek an ayurvedic massage. It will incorporate energy and rejuvenate your entire body. Stay fit and start exploring attractions, including Varkala Beach, Thekkady, Munnar, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Wayanad and Athirapally Waterfalls.

IN-Kerala-_Backwaters_boats_KTB_940_529_80_s_c1
Tranquil Kerala!

7. Rajasthan: Once abode to the Rajas and Maharajas, Rajasthan sparkles like a star with magnificent palaces, impressive castles and eye-catching lakes. The “Land of Kings” is the largest state in India. Jaipur is a notable city with attractions, like Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal. City Palace is another must visit place in Jaipur. Head to Udaipur to marvel at the outstanding Lake Palace, nicely nestled on Lake Pichola.

Hawa Mahal
Striking Facade of Hawa Mahal!

8. Puri and Konark: The coastal town of Puri in the eastern state of Odisha is known for its pristine beaches and the world famous Jagannath Temple. It is also recognized as one of the four dhams. If you are heading to Konark, then the Sun Temple is a must. 35 kilometers from Puri, Konark is home to some of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Situated on the Chandrabhaga Beach, the coastal town offers a unique spectacle of sunrise. If you have time, make your way to Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest freshwater lake.

Konark Temple Full View
The Sun Temple of Konark

9. Darjeeling: The Queen of Hills, Darjeeling is set on the rolling mountains. It is at an elevation of 2134 m and a popular romantic destination. Take a stroll through the tea gardens, traditional market, pine trees and mountains and indulge yourself in the natural beauty. Tiger Hills is one of the key attractions located 8 kilometers from the heart of the city. One can also witness the 3rd largest peak of the world right here. Peace Pagoda, Rock Garden, Darjeeling Toy Train Journey, Batasia Loop and Singamari Ropeway will make your trip a grand success.

Darjeeling
Darjeeling

10. Manali: Manali, a popular hill station in India, is a perfect combination of adventure and romance. I find it very fascinating. Snow-clad mountains, greenery, enchanting rivers and cascading waterfalls allure travelers to spend a whale of quality time with their lovers. Or if you are an adrenaline junkie, you will love adventure sports, such as mountain biking, mountain climbing, mountaineering, trekking, hiking, skiing, river rafting, mountaineering and angling.

Manali-15
And One of My Favorite Places!

Bite a Slice of Manali

Standing at an altitude of 6,726 ft. in the Beas River Valley, high up in the towering mountains of Himachal, Manali is a popular hilltop hamlet surrounded by lush greenery and scenic natural beauty.

Manali is full of surprises. The popular hill station of India is marked by meandering roads, picturesque verdant greenery, captivating valleys and absolute natural beauty that will leave you spellbind, doubtlessly. Thronged by thousands of visitors every year, Manali promises a plenty of fun things to do. If you have not been to Manali, go through my list and see which attraction fascinates you the most.

DSC02286
Can You Afford to Miss This View?

Hadimba Temple: I would put Hadimba Temple on top of the list because of its historical and archeological importance. Set amid a forest, the Dhungiri Van Vihar, the temple exudes tranquility and serenity where you will witness some of the most beautiful intricate wooden carvings of many mythological characters, cosmic dancers and animals. The Hadimba Temple, probably, derived its name from the forest, so it is often called as Dhungiri Temple. The four-storey wooden temple is dedicated to goddess Hidimba Devi, believed to be a character in the Mahabharat. There is a big rock inside the temple where you will see a brass image representing the goddess. Take a stroll for a few minutes to reach another shrine dedicated to Ghatotkacha, son of Bhima and goddess Hidimbi.

DSC02456
Serenity!
20140626_123751
Hadimba Temple

DSC02431

Manu Temple: Located across the river Manalsu near the famous Hadimba Temple, the Manu Temple is nestled in the original village of Manali. The temple is dedicated to the mythological sage, Manu. Now guess, how did the name ‘Manali’ happen?

Manu
Beautifully Adorned Temple!

Solang Valley: Home to awe-inspiring snow-clad mountains and eye-catching view of glaciers, Solang Valley has occupied a place in the heart of all adventure enthusiasts. The valley is situated between Beas Kund and Solang village. It is home to some of world’s magnificent ski slopes. The sporting events of Solnag Valley give most visitors an adrenaline rush. You visit Solang Valley and prefer not to participate in fun activities – that’s just not possible. You will further love parting in various adventure sports, including snow motor bike riding, horse riding and zorbing.

Solang
Mesmerizing Solang Valley

Rohtang Pass: Rohtang Pass was always on my itinerary list. About 51 kilometers from the center of Manali, Rohtang Pass is the place not only to capture the most scenic mountain views, but to embark on a host of activities. Remember, this unique attraction is open from June to November. Don’t miss the stunning Sonapani Glacier.

IMG_20140625_103019
Want to Feel This?
DSC02298
Ready for an Adrenaline Rush?
DSC02245
Taken from Car
IMG_20140625_103024
Seems like They Have Found Some Private Moments

Kothi: You will hesitate to pay a visit to Kothi. Lies at the foothill of the outstanding Pass, Kothi welcomes visitors both locals as well as foreigners who hold immense interest in nature. Have a panoramic view of the Beas River that runs through a narrow gorge, setting the background just perfect.

kothi-manali1
A Complete Picture of Kothi!

Rahalla Falls: From Kothi, we could view the fascinating sight of Rahalla Falls. The cascading waterfall and its striking surroundings have a plethora of reasons to keep the tourists busy. Looking the lush greenery and silver birch trees, I could only realize that Rahalla Falls is simply paradise. The soothing, relaxing and fresh air kept me fully rejuvenated. There is no wonder if someone becomes a nature poet after coming to this beautiful place.

Waterfall
Beautiful Rahalla Falls

Manali Gompa: I always wanted to see a Buddhist monastery. And my dream was fulfilled when I visited Manali Gompa. The surrounding of the Manali Gompa is mesmerizing. The Gompa attracts Buddhists from different places, including Tibet, Ladakh, Kinnaur, Nepal and Spiti. It houses a big statue of Buddha, appealing wall paintings and stunning chortens.

Manali gompa
Tibetan Monastery

Do you also want a slice of this fantastic tourist destination? Pack your bags to Manali this season and see what this beautiful hill station preserves for you.