‘Tis the season again, the season of joy, the season of blessings, the season of gifts, the season of peace, the season of love and the season of merrymaking. It is Christmas, and here comes my warmest greeting for the season. Today I am in Chandannagar to share with you the story of this quaint city and its Christmas celebration.
The fascinating island of Shamrock, known as Ireland is a dream for many travellers. The landscape and seascape, the crooked shoreline, the uneven grasslands, the woolly grazing sheep, the hay bales, the three-leaved clover, the castles and the architecture, the language, the revolution and its corresponding street murals are so typical of the land that it gives them a unique Irish identity and attracts travellers from around the world. Though not a nation anymore, has a lot in common and yet many differences in them. And I was in its northern part to explore a tiny bit of the land and its associated Irish things beginning at Belfast.
Bath is a city in Somerset county of England. The tourism website of the city of Bath says “Fall in love with Bath.” I thought what is so special about Bath to fall in love with. It is the largest city in a beautiful Somerset county famous as a spa town. To me, a city is a city after all and that too a popular tourist destination making it more and more crowded and I tend to dislike crowded places. With such conceptions, I halfheartedly went to visit Bath and Bath changed my perception.
Bidar city, the headquarter of the district with the same name is a not-so-popular place in the tourist map of Karnataka, yet it has a rich history which is alive today as the heritage monuments preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. These huge number of surviving monuments all around the city and outskirts has earned it the name of “The City of Whispering Monuments”. Today the ruins not only adorn the city but lives to tell its tale to the few visitors like us.
This Diwali I planned a different kind of escape from the loud crackers. I booked an appointment with the blackbucks of Bidar, the city in the north-eastern part of Karnataka. It creates disbelief when you hear about free-roaming wildlife within the city area. Probably this is their chosen ground close to their home in the forest where they happily and safely gallop and graze, while humans like us admire their beauty from a close range.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire England is a prehistoric monument comprising of massive stones arranged in the form of concentric rings within a vast grassland. Stonehenge essentially needs no introduction as it is so popular – as a tourist destination, as a prehistoric monument, as an archaeological wonder, an unsolved puzzle, an admirable structure and over and above a Windows desktop wallpaper. Today I will take my readers along with me to the fields of Wiltshire to seek the puzzle of Stonehenge.
“I have been to London to visit the Queen”. 😀 What can be a better reason to go to London? (Although the other reasons are more obvious, more practical and more valid.) London, the capital city of England and the whole of the United Kingdom is one among the Alpha cities of the World and is a major economic centre with the skyline marked with modern high-rises. Though I am not here to see the contemporary skyscrapers of the expanded city but to explore inner London or London’s ancient core better known as the Square Mile. As I walk through the streets of London, I take my reader along on a virtual trip.
One fine cloudy morning we decided to drive to somewhere that is not too far, neither very near. We were busy Googling when we both stopped at this small forested area known as the Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. This may be a well-known destination for many, a much-visited spot by some but was a heard off yet a new place for us to see. This was the best opportunity and we started for Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The first picture that comes to mind with the name of Chandigarh is that of a ‘planned city’. And why not? It is the first planned city of India, post Independence. It is known for its uber urban design and architecture. It is sandwiched between the states of Punjab and Haryana. Being a Union Territory, it serves as the capital city for both the states. With all its uniqueness it has a different identity and is a place worth visiting.
Kaas Pathar or Kaas Plateau, also known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ in the state of Maharashtra is now an immensely popular tourist destination. Thanks to social media, and numerous travel blogs, like mine featuring this destination with fascinating photographs attracting people from every corner. These days almost every state has its own Valley of Flowers, in previous days the one that was known to all was that of the Uttrakhand. I stick to my state and share my 2019 experience of visiting Kass Pathar – The Valley of Flowers.