Travel Destination IX: Udaipur and Jodhpur, India

What is more appropriate time to travel then – when the bells are jingling and when there is aroma of fresh beginnings in air. So, we set to explore two beautiful cities of Rajasthan, India.

We took a train from our hometown to Jodhpur.  Our hotel was Marvel Umed Hotel, located within the heart of old city. The hotel was styled to reflect local heritage though it lacked in many basic amenities such as comfortable bed, tea kettle etc. Since we reached in evening and all attractions open 9am-5pm, we started exploring the city next morning.

Blue City : Jodhpur

  1. Umaid Bhawan Palace – Ranked among world’s top hotels, it was a sight to view the beautiful palace. The adjoining museum to hotel is open to general public. The museum is also quite beautiful with depiction of life of royal family. IMG_20171227_094726
  2. Mehrangarh Fort – One of the largest forts of India, this attraction has a build up of pathways inside it showcasing past of royalty. There is perfect opportunity to capture the quintessential “blue shot” at the top of this fort.IMG_20171227_120307.jpg
  3. Jaswant thada – Very close to Mehrangarh fort, Jaswant thada serves as memorial for departed Kings.IMG_20171227_122857
  4. Mandore Garden – Spread across massive area, it has a mixture of garden, architecture and a temple. it is very soothing to take a stroll in the Mandore Garden alongwith catching glimpses of interesting structures. however, there is no lighting, so should be avoided in evening.IMG_20171227_184550
  5. Ghanta Ghar – Most known market of city, it is also known as the clock tower. It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh, thats why it is also called as Sardar Market .

City of Lakes : Udaipur

It takes 4 hours to reach Udaipur to Jodhpur by bus. There are many wonderful properties in the city though we stayed at Treebo Park Classic due to rush.

  1. City Palace – The main attraction of Udaipur, it is a palace complex showcasing contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty.
  2. Lake Pichola – It is an artificial fresh water lake that is adjoining to City Palace. The boat ride on this lake offers the path to Jag Mandir.
  3. Jag Mandir – Located in middle of Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir is reachable thourgh a boat ride from City Palace. It is a popular wedding destination for celebrities.IMG_20171230_114217
  4. Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal – It showcases puppets and folk art of Rajasthan. The special feature of the place is its “Puppet Show”. It has 1-hour-long puppet shows in afternoon and evening.IMG_20171230_154016
  5. Saheliyon-ki-Bari – A layered garden, it has various junctures of garden, each depicting a scenario. Quite serene, it is good for walk among the nature.IMG_20171230_133432
  6. Fateh sagar Lake –  Named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur and Mewar, it provides tourists to go for speed boat ride, motor boat ride or water scooter ride.
There are other options for visit near to Udaipur. So, we explored Chittorgarh next day. It is 2-hr-drive from the city. Featuring Mahal of Padmini and garnd forts, the place is historically very important. There is also Kumbhalgarh at 2-hr-drive from Udaipur – UNESCO world heritage site.
Rajasthan has great heritage places to visit at short distances, another options nearby:
  • Jaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Ajmer
  • Bikaner
  • Pushkar

We ended by gorging on Typical Rajasthani food at Traditional Khana, ready to welcome the 2018.

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Travel Destination VIII: Coorg and Mysore, India

Detachment from work is essential to rejuvenate your inner-self every now and then. We planned a 3 day travel to the beautiful adjoining places of Bengaluru.

Coorg

It takes 5 hours of drive from Bengaluru to reach the “Scotland of India”. We booked a villa called Leisure Vacations CopperHill Villa to stay rather than a hotel. It was very well furnished with option of tasty food.

  • Golden Temple: Golden Temple or Namdroling Monastery is a extremely beautiful Buddhist Monastery situated in Bylakuppe. Bylakuppe is the second largest settlement of Tibetan in India after Dharamshala.IMG_5410
  • Raja’s Seat: It is a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains. It also makes for an excellent spot for sightseeing as one can appreciate the beauty of Coorg with a single view.

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  • Abbey Falls: Abbey Falls is situated amidst coffee plantations.  The misty water of the falls joins the river Kaveri, providing for a gratifying view.IMG_5277
  • Dubare: Dubare is renowned for its elephant camp, a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri. It is an important base for the Forest Department for elephants of Karnataka.

Mysore

Next morning, we left for Mysore, which takes around 2.5 hours from Coorg. We booked our stay at Country Inn & Suites , which has great amenities.

  • Infosys Campus: Mysore campus of the information technology giant Infosys also makes for a exceptional tourist place (provided you are known to current employee). Its Italian architecture, luxurious amenities and enchanting theatre provide for an extraordinary experience.

     

  • Chamundi Hills:  Chamundeshwari Temple is situated atop Chamundi Hills.  The hills also features an ancient stairway of 1,008 steps that leads to summit. A gigantic statue of bull Nandi is located approximately halfway to the summit.IMG_5302
  • Karanji Lake: The lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviary. There are also a number of peacocks dancing away in this area.
  • Mysore Palace: Palace of Mysore is a historical palace, which was official residence and seat of the royal family of Mysore. It houses two durbar halls and incorporates an array of courtyards, gardens, and buildings.IMG_5413
  • St. Philomena’s Cathedral: Known for its different architecture, it is one of the tallest churches in Asia. It has been molded in the shape of a cross. It’s interiors holds collection of unique religious artifacts.IMG_5409

As I returned to my daily chores, my mind still wandered among beauty of Coorg and majesty of Mysore.

Short story 5: A little more faith

So, you do not speak much? Her strict teacher asked in a plain tone. She nodded her head, realized she has still not spoken, then quickly said “Yes”.

The teacher gave a taunting smile before handing out the checked test paper muttering “If this is the best you could do.”

She was not sure whether he was talking about her paper or her personality.

It has been many years since that day. She is still not sure whether she can do better than being quiet.

When the interviewer asked a question to be answered in a minute, she took only 15 seconds, an uneasy silence followed. She pushed herself to fill the remaining 45 seconds.

When her best friend chirped what else did you do over weekend, she was taken aback because that’s what she meant when she said she went shopping.

When her fiance asked her what else does she like doing in her free time, she revisited what she has already told him million of times but she could not fill enough sentences for telling so.

As the same school invited her to deliver a 1 hour long speech on how to be successful, she felt the same as she has felt years ago. Maybe she needs to speak more.

Nah, faith has carried her so far, she called the school to reduce her time of speech to 20 minutes.

Travel Destination VII: Mumbai, India

It is not fashionable to go to prominent cities for a vacation in your own country. But, it so happened as I wanted to meet my friend and had some free time.

I found Mumbai to be both lively and beautiful, maybe because I did not have to travel by local trains during peak hours. The city is far ahead of metros and other Tier I cities in terms of infrastructure and culture.

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