Extremely Delhi Part II

“For those who came in late”, you are exploring Delhi over the seemingly short span of seven days, and Days 1,2 and 3 were about “Old” Delhi (which is, really, second newest), Tughlaqabad (fairly medieval Delhi), and Purana Qila (legendarily the oldest, but in actuality a fine thread through history). Now, for the rest of the week…

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Extremely Delhi: Part I

If you ask any Indian about Delhi, you get a medley of images; some historical, some political, some weather-wise, some geographical. So numerous, and so at-odds are these images that, in the end, there’s only one word that truly fits Delhi: Extreme. The temperature swings through a gap of nearly 50 degrees between summer and winter; there’s architecture here originating from 300 BCE as well as 2000 CE; and the modes of transport also seem to bridge scarcely believable inequities. So there seems to be a tinge of validity when someone alien to the city wonders “Why would anyone want to live here?”

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Ladakh – a snapshot

Bucketlist Travels recently organised a mixed group trip to Ladakh. Nanditha, a HR Professional from Bangalore and a part of this group, beautifully encapsulates here, her experience of the enchanting Ladakh. You can also check out the trip pics on Facebook here

 Over to Nanditha… Oh btw, humor-wit happens to be Nanditha’s second name ;-)  

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Welcoming Monsoons

Piping hot fritters with ginger tea.... Pic: http://madhuja.com/2012/10/10/onion-pakorapeyanjionion-fritters/

Piping hot fritters with ginger tea….
Pic: http://madhuja.com/2012/10/10/onion-pakorapeyanjionion-fritters/

…...with some hot ginger tea and piping hot pakoras.

Many people complain that the monsoons give them blues; however it has a complete opposite effect on me.  I feel happy and ready to hum a little song here and tap few steps there. There is an unbelievable spring in my walk.

Icing on the cake is – when I sit opposite my window overlooking the greens that Kerala is so popular for and watch the droplets make ripples in the backwaters; with of course a cup of hot ginger infused tea in my hand. A calorie conscious and weight watching mind stops me from indulging in fired crispy pakoras (fritters) too often. But hey, monsoons aren’t enjoyed with full vigour without those fritters.

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How to Travel from Delhi to Kolkata, and Back, in 83 Hours!!!

 

indiantrain1

or, really, How Not to Travel in North India!!! :)  

This could be a trick question in some general affairs examination: what do you do when you have a week long break from work? The most common answer would probably spin around planning well in advance for an awesome holiday. Yet, if you are among those who are planning-impaired for whatever reason (like me), the responses to such questions are meandering essays which would make any reader blink in surprise and shock. Which is not to say is what your reaction will be after reading this account, but still, you are forewarned.

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Rajasthan

 

Thar Desert

Thar Desert

The Lure of Desert Sands

While travel most often seems to begin with a thought and the near-immediate execution of the same, circumstances can sometimes prevent you from making a much desired trip for years. Such has been the case with me and the desert sands of Rajasthan. Despite having spent the bulk of my childhood in Delhi, with parents very willing to travel, I somehow never made it to any of the famed palaces of Rajasthan, let alone ride a camel. (In fact, the only camel-riding memory of mine comes from a visit to a zoo, I think in Madras/Chennai).

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Varkala

View from the cliff #Varkala Pic: Priya Q
View from the cliff #Varkala Pic: Priya Q

This was my second visit to Varkala,a coastal town located north-west to Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala . First time around, I was backpacking around Kerala with friends from Slovenia and Canada; and landed up in Varkala towards the end of our vacation. It was love at first sight.

For me, the charm of this little town lies on its 2-3 km stretch on the cliff. The cliff overlooks the ocean and has a lovely walkway, albeit not fully paved, at various stretches,but that really shouldn’t bother one much.

Cafes & shops that dot the cliff Pic: Priya Q

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Sacher Torte – its history and the recipe

Original Sacher Torte Pic: http://www.sacher.com/en-original-sacher-tart.htm

Original Sacher Torte Pic: http://www.sacher.com/en-original-sacher-tart.htm

One thing one must not miss while in Austria, specifically Vienna or Innsbruck is its café culture. With a colorful display of savories and desserts, one is spoilt for choice.

While walking around the Opera House in Vienna, my host pointed towards the 5 Star Hotel – Hotel Sacher. Built in 19th century, it’s one of the oldest hotel I was told.

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My camera, flashes, reflectors, tripod and Pushkar…

Lovely hues Pic: Raju Alexis

Lovely hues Pic: Raju Alexis

The tale of the wife, the mistress and holy drops of water…

Once upon a time, Lord Brahma decided to do a fire worship and decided upon the city of Pushkar as the chosen venue. Now as per the prevalent rules of the time he was supposed to have his wife, Savitri, along with him, but somehow she did not turn up. Being the pragmatic gentleman that he is, he married a local village belle, Gayatri, to do the honors  For whatever reason, this upset Savitri and she cursed Brahma, one of the members of the holy trinity of the powerful triumvirate comprising of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, that his presence in temples to be limited only to one town in the whole world, and thus only in the town of Pushkar in the entire land of Hindustan will you find a temple dedicated to Brahma!!

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Ladakh – the splendor and that creative touch to its landscape!

Stunning Ladakh

Gompas, glistening-in sunrays- snow-peaked mountains, barren but equally mesmerizing landscapes, little lamas, grazing yaks, nomads on isolated mountains making yak cheese and butter, ever smiling locals who with contented-smiles-on-their-faces put most of us to shame who complain with all our luxuries,….etc. are some of the first thoughts that come to my mind as I think of Ladakh.

Apart from these thoughts, one also feels the emotions tugging at our hearts, when we think about what the brave soldiers of the Indian army go through in this desolate part of our country, while we led a secure life.

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