India, my home country, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and the most populous democracy in the World. New Delhi is the capital of India. India consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
Ancient India was known as the Golden Sparrow, because of the wealth and prosperity.
Mark Twain summarized as to why India was called a “Golden Sparrow”. He quoted: “The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday’s bear date with the antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.”
- Rann Utsav (Kutch dessert festival) – Rann Utsav is a desert festival celebrated in Kutch, Gujarat – a carnival of dance, music, food and nature. The festival is about experiencing and celebrating the beauty of the White Rann under the full moon. It is a 3 month long festival celebrated every year during winters.
Jammu & Kashmir
- Zor se bolo – Jai Mata Di! – Vaishnodevi is a temple where Maa Vaishnodevi resides. The temple is on top of a mountain situated in Katra in Jammu & Kashmir state in India. The climb is about 14 kms one way. Some people climb one way and decide to take a pony for the rest of the journey.
- A wild day in wilderness of Kabini – The backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are be very popular for wildlife in summer. The Kabini reservoir is located on the southern fringes of the Nagarahole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park) , this was a former hunting lodge of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore.
- Bird paradise – Rangantittu bird sanctuary – Rangantittu bird sanctuary is a bird sanctuary in Mandya district of Karnataka state in India. It is also known as Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka. It is about 3 hours drive from Bangalore.
- Do these things really happen to you? – A story of an elephant attacking me in the forests of Nagarhole.
- Goat’s leap – Mekedatu, is a place in Kanakapura district of Karnataka state in India. Mekedatu is named in Kannada, which means goat’s leap. It is believed that once a goat was being chased by a tiger. In a desperate attempt to save its life, the goat leapt the gorge from one side to the other. Hence, the name Mekedatu.
- Guide to explore Dandeli – Dandeli is a town in the Uttara Karnataka district in the Western Ghats in the southern part of India. Dandeli is a natural habitat for the wildlife. The wildlife includes tigers, black panthers, leopards, elephants, sambar deers, spotted deers, gaurs and sloth bears. It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka and was designated as the tiger reserve. The forest also has rich variety of birds and reptiles.
- Have you seen the Mysore Palace yet? Mysore Palace is one of the must sees in Karnataka. To reiterate, travel to the state of Karnataka in India is never complete if you have not seen Mysore Palace. It is the official residences of the Maharajas of Mysore – the Royal family Wodeyars.
- My family and temples – Always works! – There are two Chennakesava temples built during the Hoysala Empire – the big one at Belur (which is extremely beautiful – I will write about it later) and the mini version at Somnathpura. The latter one is what I am currently talking about. To give a bit of history, the Chennakesava temple was built in the 13th century and is one of the marvelous examples of Hoysala architecture. Hoysala architecture is known for its beautiful carvings and sculptures.
- Pampakeshtra of Kishkindha – Pampakshetra of Kishkindha, now known as Hampi, is a village in Karnataka in India. It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of Vijayanagara Empire and is situated on the banks of the River Tungabhadra.
- Panthera pardus in the wild – Panthera pardus, commonly known as leopard, is one of the five big cats. My bucket list to see them in the wild was ticked off on that lucky day.
- Photo Diary: Hampi – Hampi, also known as Hampe, is an ancient town in the northern part of Karnataka, in India. It is the former capital of Vijayanagara Empire. The town is a home for numerous ruined temples and buildings. It plays a very important role in the history of India and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Unexpected adrenaline rush? Ask me how! – I heard a hissing sound – in an increasing pitch. Without suddenly moving, I turned back, to see a small brown snake with patches on its body, right behind my left leg. It was in a charging position – ready to attack.
- Up the sky, I fly so high! Microflight flying at Jakkur is one of the must have experiences in Bangalore. A small flight which can accommodate only 2 people – pilot and the co-pilot. Started around 5 years ago, it is managed by Nithin and Akshay every Sunday morning.
- Romantic sunset in a houseboat – Kumarakom is by far one of the romantic places I have seen so far. Kumarakom is a popular tourist destination in the state of Kerala in India. Witnessing a sunset on a house boat sailing in Kerala backwaters are something to die for.
- My first flight journey! – My first flight experience was with Rahul and was to his home in Bombay. I was so naïve that I had questioned Rahul if I needed a passport to travel from Bangalore to Bombay. It was back in the year 2006.
- Kodaikanal – “Princess of Hill Stations” – Kodaikanal is also known as “Princess of Hill Stations”. It is a city in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is truly one of the most beautiful hill stations I have ever seen.
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway Train Ride – Ooty/Coonor – I have been on innumerable train journeys in my life. Honestly, I find travelling in train more fun than in a bus or even flights for that matter. A semester project in my graduation on Indian Railways, prompted me to build my ‘Bucket-List’ of Must Travel Train Journeys in India. With time, somehow this list got buried deep down and I forgot about it.
- Photo Diary: Satyamandalam Wildlife Sanctuary – Satyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary is a tiger reserve in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a protected area along the Western Ghats of South India. A well protected untouched dense forest is what the wildlife sanctuary offers.
- The symbol of love – The entire World knows that it is the symbol of love – the love that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had for his lady love Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is in Agra city in India, located on the southern bank of the River Yamuna.
- Spiritual Capital of ISKCON! – Mayapur is about 130 Kms from Calcutta in the state of West Bengal, India. It is the headquarters of the famous Lord Krishna temple ISKCON. It is located on the banks of the Ganges river.
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