Punjab, India has always fascinated me, be it's history, it's food, love of it's people. Recently I was in Punjab where I visited Chandigarh, Jalandhar and then went ahead to Amritsar Golden Temple. I spent couple of days traveling and interacted with locals listening various stories, some I remember, some I don't. The one story that I will never forget is the story that dates back to the era of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, who ruled the Princely State of Patiala.
"Some destinations leave you spell bound" and Mukteshwar is definitely one of them. Mukteshwar is a town and tourist destination in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. It sits high in the Kumaon Hills at an altitude of 2900meters (7500 feet). My friends and me heard about the beauty of this place so we decided to witness the beauty of this place during late November. It was all boys trip so not much planning was done and we all left from Delhi during Friday mid-night after picking one of our friend from his Gurgaon office. Since we hired a cab, we all were bit relaxed and trusted driver with all directions and continued with all boys talks.
Sometimes, you come across some marvelous places even when you are not looking for them and sometimes you don't even understand their significance any time soon until you look at your old pictures and then search for that place on internet.
This is exactly what happened with me when we crossed Westbury, England famous for its White Horse hill figure on the escarpment of Salisbury Plain. We were on our way to Stonehenge and while driving witnessed several white horses in farms and then we witnessed this White Horse hill figure while we drove across the road. Though I did not know the significance of it, still there was something amusing about it which caught my attention and I tried to take a click of it while we continued the drive without stopping.
|The Cholmondeley Ladies|
Few stories get stuck in your head... like forever. I am not a fan of paintings to be honest but some paintings do tell a story, a history which you can't forget. This painting by an anonymous artist which is placed in Tate Britain, London is one painting I can't forget. The Cholmondeley Ladies, painted oil on wood tells a story of these ladies who were born on the same day, married the same day, and gave birth the same day, according to an inscription. Just a mere coincidence or something far beyond our understanding eh?
|Man on Rope|
Craving to spend an evening away from Delhi's Hustle Bustle? An ethnic Rajasthani themed entertainment village is the place you may want to check out. Chokhi Dhani, Sonipat, Haryana, is built on the same concept of Chokhi Dhani, Jaipur, Rajathan, though a bit smaller. Located on NH 1 and couple of hours drive from New Delhi is definitely a fresh welcome for wanderers.
How often does it happen that you are just walking by someplace then you discover something really amazing? Rarely, right? I was just going through my photo library and saw "The Picture" I clicked of "The Last Supper" by Franz De Cleyn, an artist who was the court painter to King James I.
While, we were waiting in the long queue to enter Windsor Palace, Windsor, Berkshire, UK, I thought to to explore the surroundings of this beautiful vibrant town. As I crossed the Windsor Parish Church of St John The Baptist, I read the board it had outside which mentioned "Do not miss the following items in the Church" and at number 1 it said "The painting of The Last Supper by Franz De Cleyn, court painter to King James I. I remember reading about it in the history books, how can I miss the opportunity to see it in real?
If you are one of those who are struck by wanderlust, then for sure you crave for traveling and you tend to respond to the call of natural instincts more than just being comfortable within the four walls and a roof. Most of the times you are the one traveling in the quest for something new and explore the unexplored, by leaving your room under lock and key. But, consider the situation when you are back after your trips, you need to unpack the home stuffs and clean it which appears to be a massive task. What if, you put your place for short stays, while you are away, which can guarantee you not only good grands but also the maintenance of your property?
As we continued our journey after paying our visit to The Golden Temple in Amritsar, it started to rain. Though, we knew already that it is going to rain a lot, so it wasn't a surprise. In March, it rains a lot so we were well prepared. Rain did slow us down but it was a relief and made our journey even more beautiful. Around 12 in the noon, we crossed Pathankot and entered Jammu. It started raining heavily and we decided to take a stop for lunch at road side Dhaba. After satisfying our stomachs, we had a cup of tea while we gazed outside at the beautiful views of hills while it rained. It was time to hit the road again and now we committed ourselves to not to stop at all on the way. By the time it stopped raining and we caught the speed. We took the new highway which is recently built in 2014 to reach Katra and drastically cut down our travel time. Road was smooth and wide and by evening around 7, we finally reached Katra.
|The Golden Temple|
It was time for me to wash off some of my sins and hence I planned a trip to The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, also known as Harmandir Sahib/Darbar Sahib. I further planned to visit The Holy Shrine of Vaishno Devi in Jammu. It was a family trip and we left in the night to reach Amritsar early in the morning. Except for some tea and snacks, we didn't take much stoppages to keep up with the schedule and by morning 8am, we reached The Golden Temple in Amritsar. We parked our vehicle and the temple was still few kilometers away from the parking zone so we hired a Tonga to reach the temple premises. We could have chosen auto rickshaw as well, but why not travel in an old fashion way?
|The West Pier|
Does this happen to you when you see something historic which was grand at one time and now fading away with time? History can be fascinating and can haunt you as well the more you dig. On my visit to Brighton, I certainly enjoyed the beach, The Brighton Pier and the rides it offered, but there was another side of Brighton as well, The West Pier which gave me goose bumps once I got to know the history of it.
The West Pier in Brighton was opened in 1866 with a length of 1115 feet, built with cast iron threaded columns screwed into the seabed. It included a concert hall which was added later.