Confluence of Indus and Zanskar

Ladakh Part 2 – Julley Lamayuru

A day of complete rest, followed by a day of relaxed sightseeing, we were now confident enough about our health in this high-altitude terrain. So we dared to travel a little far for our second day of touring in Ladakh. Sticking to our itinerary we started for the Lamayuru circuit. Lamayuru (11515 ft) is located on the Leh-Srinagar highway at a distance of more than 100 Km from Leh. Lamayuru or Lamayouro is known for the Lamayuru monastery situated on the slope of the hill overlooking the beautiful green village within some alien landscape.

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View of Shanti Stupa from Leh Palace

Ladakh Part I – Within Leh

Leh is the biggest city and the capital of the newly formed Union territory of Ladakh. It was also the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Ladakh or Maryul. This high-altitude (3,524 m or 11,562 ft) cold desert city is located by the bank of the river Indus and is surrounded by lofty mountain ranges. Leh is the only base for anyone travelling to Ladakh as it is well connected by road (to Srinagar and Manali) and by air to the other major cities nearby. As a continuation of my Ladakh series, today I will share my first day of touring experience in Leh.

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The panoramic view

A Complete Guide to Tour Ladakh

The region of Ladakh is the highest plateau in India which is drained by River Indus (or Sindhu). It lies within the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas and the Karakoram. Also known as the upper Indus river valley, this high-altitude desert land, with lofty mountain ranges and multiple rivers snaking through offers a striking geographical and topographical landscape. One of its major rivers is Indus which gave our nation the name India. Today, I will share my journey through this incredible land of high mountains, rivers, and valleys scattered with man-made monuments and statues aesthetically blending in.

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T99 male crossing the road

Wilderness of Kabini

The backwater of the Kabini reservoir gives a magical touch to the serene green landscape of the Nagarhole National Park. The backwaters and the surrounding green grassland provide the required food and drink to the inhabitants of the forest – grass for the herbivores and herbivores for the carnivores and the life-saving water for all. Kabini river originates from Pakramthalam hills in Kerala and flows to the east to merge with Cauvery. In its course, near the town of Sargur, it forms the huge Kabini Reservoir and the backwaters extend meet the forest. Let me take you to this immensely beautiful land of tigers and leopards by this tranquil waterbody.

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Devgad beach from the park on the cliff

Devgad in Summer

This summer on a mango hunt we went to Devgad. Though not a popular summer destination like the cool mountains but a treasure trove that unveils only in the hot sultry summer month. Yes, we went to Devgad for its treasure of Alphonso mangoes and as a gift that came along was the tour of the surrounding coastline and the impregnable sea forts. My tour to Devgad was not only scenic and serene it was also mixed with fun and adventure.

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Serampore College

Serampore, the Erstwhile Seat of Education

The cluttered city of Serampore in the Hooghly district of West Bengal was once the seat of education for people of all strata. The third oldest college in India was established here in the year 1818 and holds the position of a prestigious educational institution to date. This busy city by the river Hooghly has a story beyond the ancient Serampore college. Today I am here to share the story of my alma mater and the city that is home to it.

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The essence of Devgad Mango - The bay, the sea and the orchard from Mr Dhoke's farm

To the ‘Mango-land’ of Devgad

Pinch me hard… Am I dreaming? I see mangoes everywhere – on either side, in front, at the back, on the top and even at the bottom. Oh, God! Don’t wake me up, I want to stay lost in this Mango-land forever and never to return. Like every dream that ends on waking up, my tour to Mango-land too came to an end (but with cartons full of mangoes) on returning back to Pune. Today I share with you my extraordinary dreamlike experience of visiting Devgad.

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The ruins of Nandi in a mandapa within the Pattadakal temple complex

Mahakuta, Pattadakal & Aihole

The architectural experimentation of the early Chalukyas extended beyond its centre at Badami to Aihole and Pattadakal. Aihole and Pattadakal temple architecture became the melting point of ideas from South and North India and thus was considered the cultural centre of the Chalukya dynasty. As a continuation of my Badami post I share the Pattadakal, Aihole and Mahakuta temple story in this post.

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Agastya Tirtha with Badami fort

The Historic City of Badami

The calm setting of the rocky hills surrounding the Agastya Tirtha at once takes you a few centuries back when this was the flourishing capital of the Chalukya kingdom. The ancient cave temples and the other temple complex in the Malprabha river valley here are recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site under the category of “Evolution of Temple Architecture – Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal”. Let me take you through this city that was once known as Vatapi – the centre of temple architecture of the Chalukya dynasty.

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View of Hooghly river from Imambara

Stories from Colonial Chinsurah

Chinsurah may sound an unfamiliar name to many as it is not prominently marked on the tourist map of India. Chinsurah is an important city in the Hooghly district of West Bengal and is also the administrative headquarters of the district. Often known as Chunchura or Chuchro, it was part of the ancient Bhurshut kingdom. Today I will take you through Chinsurah while peeping into its glorious colonial past.

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