A town with an atmosphere rich in history, mythology, religion, belief and faith with the river Cauvery quietly flowing agelessly, a witness to the rise and fall of several kingdoms, to the fervent prayers and resonant chants of devotees, to the happiness and sadness in their hearts and to the progress of human civilization over time.
Some of my colleagues proposed the idea of going on a picnic trip to any nearby place. Rest of us agreed. The places chosen were Talakad or Talakadu which is around 130 kms from Bangalore and 24 kms further to Somnathpur. Bus was hired and food arrangements were made which consisted primarily of South Indian dishes. Permission to go on a picnic on a working Saturday was taken from the management. Bus started at 6 am from the first pick up point. At around 8 am we reached Kanakpura to pick up our supplies. At around 10.30 we stopped for breakfast somewhere beside the road. After breakfast, on our way to Talakadu, all of us started playing Antakshari. It was fun!!
As soon as we reached the outskirts of the small rural settlement, there was a barrier on road and some kids ran up to us to collect “vehicle entrance…
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As a child I don’t remember being too fond of travelling. And our annual travel was to relatives’ homes in Kolkata during the summer vacation which was quite tortuous frankly speaking! The first real vacation trip that I went on was to Puri with my parents after I had started working. Since then it has been one trip after another; some with family, some alone and some with friends.
The inspiration behind this post is a book which I am currently reading. It is a non fiction/travelogue category book (not my genre usually) titled “Around India in 80 Trains” by Monisha Rajesh. What impressed me first was the cover design. It is wonderful and so much attention given to details about Indian Railways.
The blurb of the book says
In 1991, Monishas family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, stolen human hearts and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths. Twenty years later, Monisha came back. Taking a page out of Jules Vernes classic tale, Around the World in 80 Days, she embarked on a 40,000km adventure around India in 80 trains. Travelling a distance equivalent to the circumference of the Earth, she lifted the veil on a country that had become a stranger to her. As one of the largest civilian employers in the world, featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai’s infamous commuter trains and even a hospital on wheels, Indian Railways had more than a few stories to tell. On the way, Monisha met a colourful cast of characters with epic stories of their own. But with a self-confessed militant atheist as her photographer, Monisha’s personal journey around a country built on religion was not quite what she bargained for…Around India in 80 Trains is a story of adventure and drama infused with sparkling wit and humour.
The tourist in me was aroused to read the book and found the concept so innovative and adventurous. I have read three chapters till now so review will be posted later. But the book made me think about my own journeys and the places I have visited around my country India. So I downloaded a royalty free map of India (which by the way had the yet to be formed Telangana state marked and some more mistakes are/were there) and marked all the places I have been till date. So here the places I have visited till now.
“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
So many more places to go, so much to see….
P.S. To read my travel blog click here.
Ye Dilli Hai Mere Yaar…..
After spending a wonderful week at Ahmedabad, we went to New Delhi to meet my sister and my niece whom I had not met since her birth. It was my first trip to the capital city. The train journey was uneventful and we reached New Delhi in morning after an overnight journey. The weather was bad with the summer sun showing its ugly face. After getting freshened up at the hotel near relatives’ house, we went to see my precious niece. Poor thing! She was surrounded by so many strangers all of a sudden and such weather and water at that! As for the first impression of people of Delhi, I think every family of every status and income owns a car whether they use it or not and whether there is place for parking or not. Moreover all these cars are dented!! In the evening D and I decided…
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All about the excursions we went on from Ahmedabad and shopping in Ahemdabad
Continued from here. This last post in the Ahmedabad Chronicle Series is all about the excursions we went on from Ahmedabad and shopping in Ahemdabad which is one of the important aspects of my trips :) Actually Adalaj Vav should have been included in this post.
# Akshardham Temple : It is located in Gandhinagar around 30 kms from Ahmedabad. Akshardham temple is a spiritual and cultural complex built over an area of 23 acres. The central monument which enshrines the 7 feet high golden idol of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan Faith, is an imposing 10 storeys high building made entirely of intricately carved, 6000 tons of pink sand-stone and is an architectural marvel which exudes excellent craftsmanship. The monument has three floors – Hari Mandapam (the main floor), Vibhuti Mandapam (the upper floor), Prasadi Mandapam (the ground floor). There are several exhibitions of both walk-throughs and video/audio animatronics…
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The sequel to my trip to Ahmedabad
Continued from here
The next day and the day after that, D and I decided to go sight seeing on our own using my SIL’s two wheeler. The weather was as hot as the inside of a furnace! Still we being the ghumakkars that we are, we decided to go exploring the city anyway. I had shortlisted the must see places of the Heritage city. But April 24 being a holiday on the occasion of Bhagvan Shree Parshuram Jayanti, all the government places such as museums, art galleries etc were closed and we missed out on visiting many places. Driving in Ahmedabad city was a spine chilling, adrenalin rushing, heart palpitating act because it seems to be the city where traffic rules go to die and traffic police are non existent. Yet it was interesting to see rural people in ethnic dresses, camel carts and even elephant on the roads!…
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My first flight experience and first trip to Vibrant Gujarat
In April – May 2012, we made plan to visit Delhi to meet my sister and my cutest niece who were visiting India for the first time since her birth last year. We decided to include Ahmedabad, my SIL’s place, too in the itinerary. Visiting both the places in the months of April and May was going to be a real challenge due to the hot weather. Sight seeing and sun do not go together at all! But who knew the trip was going to be one of a kind experience for me!
So we went via flight to Ahmedabad….my first flight experience ever! The field of clouds, the farm lands, the miniature buildings, the streams, the lakes and the sun from high above in the sky…breathtaking experience!
Next day we visited these places :-
# Adalaj Ni Vav – It is located at Adalaj village, around 19 kms away…
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