Sunday, November 19, 2017

Omkareshwar, a spiritual Island

On the Trail of Western Madhya Pradesh - Day 2 contd. 
Coming Soon

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The boys who fought: A Review

What is Dharma?

When you can fight for the meek without hating the mighty, you follow dharma.
Asking for Eklavya's thumb in Dakshina. Is this Dharma?

Not asking Draupadi what she wants, who she want and not caring about her. Was that Dharma?
Losing Draupadi in the gambling match. Was that Dharma?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Gadgets, No more Drama

In the age of millennials and the gadgets used by them and the changes in a blink of eye kind of give whiplash to the mankind. The force of digital world is strong, the electronic media is trying to keep up with the need of Gen Y and sometimes are one step ahead of our generation to make us used to what they create. 

In mobile sector it is now a tedious task to keep up. Every year, every brand come up with 1 to 2 new range, minimum. The hunger for trying new things and adding that gadget to the shelf is every youngsters way of life. 

But where to keep those old gadgets and if you happen to live in a city like Mumbai where there is space constraint, may Almighty help you.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Postcards from Maheshwar

On the Trail of Western Madhya Pradesh - Day 2 contd. Read how my journey started, here.

Elephant carving at Ahilya Fort

Maheshwar ain't far away from Mandu. We reached this peaceful, riverside town of Malwa region by around 13:00 hrs. The ride was smooth and we spotted many goats and camels on the way. 

Shepherd in Rajasthani attire managing herd 

Statue of Ahilyabai
Settled by Narmada river, Maheshwar has rich history and culture. As per legend, it was known as Mahishmati and was mentioned so in Mahabharata and Ramayana while as per history it developed under the reign of Queen (Rajmata) Ahilya Bai, a great pioneer. She had built many Hindu temples and Dharamshala throughout India. It is believed that once Lord Shiva came in her dream post which she had Kashi Vishwanath temple built in 1777. She also built the famous Vishnupad Temple in Gaya, Bihar. She made Maheshwar a centre of literary, musical and cultural enterprise. The palace in Maheshwar along with many other monuments were built under the reign of Holkar Queen Ahilya Bai in the fort complex.

There are a lot of places to see in this small town which includes Ahilya Fort & temple complex, Archaeological Museum, Laxmi Bai's Chattri, Sahastrarjun Temple, Rajrajeshwari  Temple, Royal ghats, Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Ahilyeshwar Temple, Sahasradhara to name a few. 

Here are postcards from Maheshwar from my visit way back in 2014.

Entrance to Ahilyabai fort complex

Intricate Carvings on one of the doors /
doorways in Ahilyabai Fort Complex

Vithoji Rao Cenatoph                                                           Ahilyabai Cenatoph

Doorway to Ghats of river Narmada

Maheshwar / Ahilya Ghat

Temples by the Ghat

Baneshwar Temple, river Narmada

A glimpse of Ahilyabai Fort. You can have a full view from the other side of Narmada river

When in Maheshwar don't forget to try some red pulp Guavas

Entrance to the residence of Ahilyabai which is now an Archaeological Museum

One of the preserved items in the Museum

Landscape of adjoining Ahilya Heritage Hotel
Tips and Tricks
  • We explored only Maheshwar Fort and Archaeological Museum, then left for Omkareshwar to get 3 places covered viz Mandu, Maheshwar and Omkareshwar in one day. If you wish, you can explore more of Maheshwar and then head straight to Indore skipping Omkareshwar or stay back in Maheshwar leaving for Omkareshwar the next morning followed by Indore.
  • Do explore handlooms and don't forget to buy one or two Maheshwari sarees which are in fact globally known. We made our purchase from Hemant handloom.
  • Don't forget to click lot of pictures.
I am sure you will be amazed too by Maheshwar's irresistible charm. A must visit.

For next leg of journey. Click here.

Happy Travelling!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Where should one stay in Jordan?

Holidays are special. Roaming hand in hand with your loved one or with your little kids on shoulder, shopping in the famous markets or sipping hot coffee in the quirkiest café of the city. Holidays are meant to enjoy every bit while you are there and create beautiful memories which urge one to go on many more holidays. But the intricate part of a happy, memorable holiday is where you stay.

Whether you stay at a hotel or with a family in their home, a hostel or go for home exchange, it does have a special place in your whole trip.

Jordan, a country of culture, heritage and history offers a great deal when it comes to vacationing with friends and family or if it’s a romantic getaway. Jordan is a whole package with deep blue Red Sea to amazing Dead Sea, natural hot spring, desert, hills, monasteries, beautiful souk and lively cafes. I think apart from snow, I found literally everything in Jordan which can make for a beautiful package.

Crown Plaza, Amman

Pictures taken from hotel website
My journey started from Amman and we stayed at the Crown Plaza. It was a dimly lit, white fabric and wooden furniture based room. A huge glass window with a view to the beautiful lights of the hotel property. A place where you can have a peaceful stay with your family. The room amenities has an addition of an oil based forehead roller for a tired you. It really was a boon after a long flight followed by a whole day out for a good night’s sleep.

Places of interest: Citadel, Jerash, Rainbow Street, Royal Automobile Museum. Eat at Sufra Restaurant & Café. You can read more about what and how I explored Amman here.

Petra Guest house, Petra

My second pit stop was Petra and here we checked in to the Petra Guest House, a property literally next to the gates to Petra, the Treasury. It also had a dark, disco lights based, very Arabic themed bar “The Cave” which I feel is the guest house’s USP. The room was little small in comparison to my stay at Amman but very comfortable and I had a room with a view of “The Siq”. It was all brown; rocks and sand as well as the buildings carved in those rocks and walls.

Places of interest: Little Petra, Petra Kitchen, The Treasury, Monastery. Eat at Al Qantarah Restaurant. Also, did you know “The Treasury” is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Read here to know more about it.

Captains Desert Camp, Wadi Rum

Staying in a desert camp had always been on my wish list. I checked in the Captain’s desert camp in style and tents were a stylish ensemble in the middle of nowhere. Light coloured sand with huge rocks in sight from where we also witnessed a beautiful sunset make one Wadi Rum, the Earth’s own Mars. The stay was perfect, cold breezy night, sky full of stars, the noise of screeching desert foxes and the tent with everything so perfect. The dinner and musical night where Mohammed Ali played Oud made a perfect stay at this beautiful Bedouin Camp.

Places of Interest: Wadi Rum desert where you can go for sand dunes, camel ride and watch sunset at Al Ghuroub; seven pillars of wisdom (Jabal al-Mazmar). Have Jordanian tea at one of the Bedouin camp like restaurants. Read more about it here.

Movenpick Hotels & Resort, Aqaba

A true example of incredible hospitality & luxury. We were welcomed with a bottle of lemon and mint based juice and beautiful smiles on the faces of staff. I was in awe as I entered my room. The beautiful light coloured English interior and was full of light, the room indeed awaited us with a box full of cookies and a lovely gift. The view from my balcony was beautiful, I could also get a glimpse of Red Sea from it. The amenities were perfect. I had a great time in Jacuzzi and spent the next day early morning at their private beach of Red sea. Their staff was the best I have seen so far, and they were mostly from Philippines. When I asked them about how they find living in Jordan and working with Movenpick, they all went gaga over their Employer. When we were leaving they bid adieu with a huge smile and a very special icecream. Who says no to dessert?

Places of Interest: Go cruising in Red Sea, Al Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque, Shopping at famous Aqaba market. Dinner at Royal Yacht Club. Read more about the Oasis of Jordan here.

Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spa, Dead Sea

A name which is very famous. The chain of Marriott hotels, who doesn’t know about them. As we reached the hotel, the very first sign board was of Dead Sea and that we were 373 m below sea level. The room was beautiful and huge. Again a balcony with amazing view and private beach to Dead Sea. The way to Dead Sea was beautifully maintained, a boulevard with shrubs and bougainvillea running along. The property is amazing and a small restaurant where we had our lunch had a beautiful interior, do try Il Terrazzo if you happen to stay in Marriott.

Places of Interest: Dead Sea. Read about my experience of a lifetime here.

Ma’in Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Ma’in Hot Springs (somewhere between Dead Sea & Madaba)

Well this resort was literally in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by huge hills and rocks and water gushing nearby. It felt that I have entered the woods. The furniture was only in wood and natural brown with hues of red and yellow color when it came to fabric and yellow lights in the room gave an impression as if I was staying in a tree house. The view from my balcony was so amazing, I could see waterfall / hot spring. The swimming pool in the resort also had hot water which was coming from the natural hot spring. At night, when we sat for our meal, to our surprise, buffet this time included a few Indian dishes as well and gajar halwa in dessert. We soon came to know that there was one Indian chef as well who had included some Indian recipes for us. I had a long chat with him and during the conversation he revealed that he hailed from Bihar and had been living in Jordan for quite some time with his family in India whom he visit only twice a year. It was our last night in Jordan and so many things Indian definitely made me feel more home sick. The stay was again perfect.

Places of Interest: On the way from Dead Sea you can see Baptism site, Bethany beyond the Jordan, Jordan River, Mt Nebo. At the resort you can enjoy Ma’in Hot Spring. Dine at the resort itself.

I am sure you will enjoy your vacation in Jordan, what are you waiting for? Go for a holiday like never before.

- This travelogue was originally posted on The Brown Scooter.
- All pictures are taken by me accept otherwise mentioned.