Kalka to Shimla mountain railway was built by British in 1903, to gain access to its summer capital Shimla. It was also known as the “British Jewel of the Orient”. Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India(1903) has taken the first journey of this train. Because of its breathtaking picturesque views, UNESCO added this railway route as the world heritage site. It excites passengers as this route goes through 20 railway stations, 103 tunnels, 969 bridges, and an unbelievable 912 curves in its 96 kilometers (60 miles) of the journey. Among the 103 tunnels, 1,143.61m Bagot tunnel is the longest one at Barog. It begins from Shivalik foothills at an elevation of 656m and ends to the altitude of 2075 m at Shimla. Shivalik Deluxe Express, Rail motor car, and Himalayan Queen are some of the choices of trains available for this route. Shivalik Deluxe Express and Rail motor car are clean and comfortable with food services. Both of these trains stop at only one position that is at Barog. While Himalayan Queen halts at 9 stations, facilitating passengers to snap beautiful pictures as well. These stations are small but have endearing natural scenic beauty. This journey will leave you with enjoyable and incredible impressions of natural beauty.
Along the southern coast of India, lies the smallest state of Goa, covering just about 1,429 square miles. This little state, not entirely too tiny, is known for its beaches making it a well-known destination for tourists to relax and unwind. In addition to the beaches, Goa is also the destination for many music festivals, as well as the location for the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI). Goa plays host to thousands of tourists on a yearly basis. A fact about Goa, that many may or may not know, was that Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for four and a half centuries. This means that one can find many Portuguese influences within Goa. The locals of Goa, known as Goans, are often termed as “susegad goenkar”, meaning that they are very carefree, unbothered by the tides of time, living their life coolly and in a lethargic manner. This term is a misnomer, as the locals are very hard-working, working tirelessly to earn their keep and place. However, goans do know how to relax. This if often done in the evenings, when every member of the family is home. They would sit out on their porches or balconies, and just relax, talk about the day and have fun. But the most notorious way would be through food. As a catholic goan, a lot of my childhood was spent in glee, while I watched my mother cook food for the family. Times like Christmas, New Year, Easter and many other Feasts of the Saints, were spent in the company of the entire family. The house would be bustling with noise as all the children of the family got together and played, the men of the family would gather around and talk and drink or do some miscellaneous work around the house while the women would be in the kitchen cooking food, sometimes moving away to talk to the others. This was a tradition still followed by many. As mentioned before, Goa is still heavily influenced by Portugal and the influence is even stronger within Christians, food is no different. Here is a list of food that one must try when visiting Goa: 1) Goan Fish Curry: A staple in almost all meals, this curry is made with fish and served with white rice. One might not always know, but this curry tastes even better if consumed a day after it is prepared. 2)Fish Rechado: Rechado is Portuguese for “stuffed”. Here, a pomfret or mackerel is stuffed with homemade masala and shallow fried until the skin becomes a little crisp. Often served as a side dish to the curry and rice combo, this fish is also consumed on its own, such is its wonder. 3)Ros Omelette: This particular dish can be considered as goan street food, often sold at the many food carts lining the roads of Goa. It can be prepared at home, but nothing can be compared to the taste and fun one may find while eating it alongside the road, standing amongst the crowds lining the food cart. 4)Pork Vindaloo: Given that its main ingredient is Pork, not many attempt this particular dish. However, this dish of a Portuguese descent is made with a lot of chillies, vinegar and garlic. This makes it both spicy and slightly tangy. 5) Xacuti: Most commonly made with chicken to suit the tastes of many, this dish is also just as tasty when made with mutton. This gravy dish is made with a lot of spices and coconut, giving it a unique taste. 6) Fish fry: Fresh fish is often simply coated with rawa, or semolina and fried. This can be either shallow fry or deep fry. This method of cooking fish is spectacular as the fish is crisy on the outside while soft on the inside. 7) Pork Sorpotel: once again, pork makes its appearance. This is a very popular dish to be served on all occasions, from birthdays to weddings to Christmas. To be able to properly enjoy the dish, one must consume it on third day after it has been prepared. During the previous three days, the dish has to be heated up and brought to a simmer. This is best when consumed with either rice or sanna (a steamed rice bun of sorts). 8) Chicken Cafreal: This chicken dish is prepared by marinating chicken in a lot of green chillies, herbs, coriander and other spices. The chicken is then fried or cooked according to taste and consumed. The abundance presence of green chillies gives it a unique green color. 9) Aad Maas: A pork gravy dish that is a favourite of nearly everybody in a household. Literally meaning ‘bone and meat’, this dish has a lot of gravy to be consumed with rice. The bones add flavour to the gravy along with the red Kashmiri chillies used in preparation. 10) Crab Xec-Xec: what kind of list of goan dishes is complete without this particular dish? With crabs as its main focus, Xec-Xec is mad by firstly pureeing onions and tomatoes. To this, spices are added and then cooked with crabs. Crab Xec-Xec is a common and popular dish at many beach shacks and is an absolute must try. The above list is just a minor glimpse into the varieties of food offered in Goa. There are a lot more dishes worth having and that’s not even considering the deserts! If you happen to visit, do try some of the local dishes to truly get a feel of Goa. As the saying goes “When in Rome, do as the romans do”, similarly, when in Goa, eat like the Goans do. Happy Eating!
Travel, undoubtedly, rejuvenate one’s mind. And for any traveler, selecting the perfect hotel is quite challenging and at the same time nerve-wrecking given the plethora of options that you have to choose from. But, most importantly the traveler needs to know for what purpose is the visit. Is it simply for pleasure or is it for any business trip? Obviously, the requirements for choosing the perfect hotel will change accordingly. Let’s see, how – If it’s for business purpose, one should certainly look at features like Internet availability, proper conference hall and fax facilities to name a few. Whereas, if you are traveling with your wife and children, or friends you should look for indoor swimming pools, foods specially meant for children, babysitting facilities, in-room refrigerator, spa, gym and worth mentioning – various laundry amenities. Now, let us look at the features you need to look for irrespective of what purpose you are traveling. Location is the key! For instance, if you are heading towards the sea, then the hotel must surely be close to a sea and its rooms must have sea view. If it is for business purposes, then it mustn’t be far away from where your client resides. What’s more, look for hotels that aren’t much far from your places of interest, shopping centers and dining places. Or else, your budget will increase as you need to spend more in visiting such places. Prices are of utmost importance, isn’t it? Don’t be swayed away by the cost of living, not necessarily pricey hotels are the most luxurious ones. On the other hand, budget hotels may not include more charges. So, you can easily land up paying more. Therefore, you should always compare the hotels in the same vicinity, or simply call them and get quotations. Reviews, by the way, can give you a good idea about the hotel. And the best way to find a reliable feedback is from a reputed travel website. Such sites can easily offer you valuable opinions from customers who have stayed in that particular hotel. Better look for comments that have measured views. Don’t go for comments that are blatantly positive or too negative. Looking for events that might occur during you stay is something that requires special attention. If you are part of the event, then it won’t bother you. Or else, the noisy environment may impact your stay in a negative way. It’s imperative to know more about the best rooms, the luxury items and their signature dishes, which should make your stay memorable. And if all these fulfills your desires, and you have taken the rates into your consideration then pack your bags and head straight towards your dream destination. Last but not the least; do have a look at the hotel’s clientele list that you are zeroing-in-on. This will give you a fair idea as to whether the hotel is more suited for the business traveler, a couple, families, or group of friends. Bon Voyage!
Located around 9 miles away from the coast of Nagasaki, in southern Japan, lies an island quite eerie. Named Gunkanjima (Japanese for Battleship Island) or Hashima for short, this island was once booming with life, boasting of around 2,500 inhabitants. The island was initially used for coal-mining, once coal was found upon the island. Japan started a spree of rapid industrialisation in order to catch up with and maybe possibly over-come western industrial powers. The island even boasts of being the location for the first large concrete buildings, providing housing for many of the miners and their families. With the increase in labour, more building popped up to accommodate the families. Soon schools, hospitals, theatres, community centres and many such buildings followed. However, soon arrived a point in time where petroleum overtook coal. In addition to this, the coal reserves on the island were soon depleted. This led to the Japanese government shutting down the island, in the 1960’s. The island was officially shut down in the year 1974. The inhabitants soon followed and left the island, shifting to either mainland Japan or the other islands under Japans rule. Nature soon took residence, claiming the buildings and mines for its own accommodation. Years later, in around 2000’s, the island once again garnered attention, mainly of those fascinated with ruins. More specifically, with undisturbed historic dilapidated buildings. Hashima now stands alone with crumbled architecture and corroded infrastructure. The island holds a plethora of harsh truths. The harsh climate of the island proved to make it difficult for the inhabitants. Additionally, or more importantly, the island holds a dark sober secret. Until the end of the Second World War, captured Korean and Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were enslaved and forced to work at the island in the mines. These civilians faced the harsh climate and an even harsher treatment. Malnutrition, punishment and even torture led to the demise of many of the enslaved inhabitants. It has been estimated that over 1,000 captured prisoners of war met their death on the island. In the year 2009, the Japanese government opened the gates to the island, advertising it as a tourist attraction to those with similar interests in either the ruins or the history of the island. The island was marketed as the pride of the country, proof of the attempts of Japan and industrialising itself. This was all done whilst hiding the truths of the harsh treatment of the Chinese and Korean Civilians. In the year 2015, the island was declared an UNESCO world heritage site. This decision rose up after a lot of controversies. When initially applied to be made a heritage site, Japan chose to hide the fact about the enslavement. Korea thus opposed to the decision of the island being made a heritage site. Soon after, Japan and Korea came to an understanding wherein Japan acknowledged the claims made by Korea and promised to let the facts be known at the island. Now, the island receives tourists annually. The islands main attractions are the abandoned and eerie buildings, the sea-wall and its overall history. Guankanjima was often depicted and spoken about in various forms of media. The island became a location for the Live-action movie Attack of the Titans and most famously, the James Bond Movie, Skyfall. Most importantly, the island serves as a reminder, that no matter how technologically advanced the human civilisation might get, nature can always co-exist, if not overtake.
Three City of Lakes in India Lakes are a beautiful component of our nature with an exquisite scenic view. Lakes are the sources of fresh water. They are a significant aspect of fishing, transport, fun, sports, and tourism. In India, we have a list of beautiful lakes that are unsurpassed from each other. Many of our Indian cities are titled as the “City of Lake” as they are famous for its versatile and engaging lakes. Three of them are: Udaipur Udaipur is a beautiful city in Rajasthan. Its remarkable palaces, temples, and lakes attract tourists from all over the world. The luxuries hotels with royal services and magnificent view are the other reason for tourist attraction. Nature is experienced best when one visit the lakes of Udaipur. List of the lakes at Udaipur are: Fateh Sagar Lake – A beautiful waterbody with three islands – one with Udaipur Solar Observatory, the second one Nehru Park and a mini zoo and the third one has a park with water-jet fountains. Lake Pichola – It is famous for its mesmerizing picturesque view. Jaisamand Lake: This Lake is the largest artificial lake in India and the second largest in Asia. Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary is also associated with it famous for migratory birds and animals. Doodh Talai (Milk Pond), Jiyam Sagar (Badi Lake), Swaroop Sagar Lake, Udaisagar Lake are some of the other famous Lakes of Udaipur. Bhopal Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, the heart of India. It is the capital of Madhya Pradesh. It has many natural and artificial lakes. Upper and Lower Lake are the most famous lakes of Bhopal. Both the lakes are artificial are separated by Pul Pukhta ( bridge ). The landscape is mesmerizing with the boat club facility that allows you to experience this waterbody to the fullest. Van vihar a national park is also along the side of Upper Lake. Upper Lake is the principal source of potable water for the people of Bhopal. Other Bhopal lakes are Shahpura Lake, Bhojtal wetland, etc.
Nainital Nainital a hill station is a city of Uttrakhand. It dwelled in the foothills of Kumaon. The most noticeable Lake is Nainital Lake. It is a natural freshwater lake. Boating facility is also available here to enjoy nature. Parasailing and yachting are also an attraction of tourist to this place. Sattal lake with a magnificent scenic view pulled many photographers to it. It is also known as the seven lakes. Some of the other lakes in Nainital are Naukuchiatal, Bhimtal, Khurpatal, etc.
Five places to visit at Bhopal Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, with beautiful lakes, engaging markets, impressive malls, and other tourist places. The city has a captivating past with numerous heritage structure like Shaukat Mahal, Taj Mahal Palace, Sadar Manzil, Taj-ul-Masajid, etc. As many natural and artificial lakes breathe in Bhopal, hence it is identified as the City of Lakes. People of Bhopal are sweet and helpful, and you will enjoy talking to them in your journey. So let’s explore some of them you would love to visit.
Van Vihar National Park It is a beautiful National Park, with tigers, snakes, bear, birds, crocodile, tortoise, blackbuck, leopard, etc. in their natural habitat. These animals are not forcefully captivated but many of them are orphaned. Walking on the road, with one side lake view and the other side flora and fauna, unquestionably make you experience nature at its best. There is an entry fee with different choices. If you do not want to walk you may borrow a bicycle for a very low rate or you may also take an auto ride. For auto ride and personal vehicle, you have to pay different entry fees.
Upper Lake Upper Lake (also known as Bhojtal) is an artificial lake, constructed by Raja Bhoj in the 11th century across Kolans river, to cure himself of skin disease. One corner of this lake has the statue of Raja Bhoj. The lake is one of the principal sources of potable water in Bhopal. Boat club provides you the facility of experiencing the Upper Lake by motorboats, cruise, sail, and paddle.
Lower Lake Lower Lake (also known as the Chota Talab) is an artificial lake, The construction carried under Chote Khan (minister of Nawab Hayat Muhammad Khan Bahadur). Pul Pukhta ( also known as the Lower Lake bridge) divides the Lower Lake and the Upper Lake. It forms Bhoj Wetland along with the Upper Lake. Boat club also provides boating facility here. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya It is one of the largest Anthropological Museums in India with its regional center in Mysore. It has open-air exhibitions of tribal habitats made by the different tribal communities themselves, from all corners of India. The open-air exhibitions include Desert Village, Medicinal Trail, Mythological Trails, Coastal Village, Himalayan Village, Mythological Trail, and Traditional Technology park. An indoor museum called Veethi Sankul exists there with a collection of traditional outfits, crafts, household, and agricultural objects. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters Bhimbetka Rock Shelters with one of the oldest cave painting is one of the world heritage sites. It is located at the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains, to the south of the central Indian plateau. With 23 rock shelters, it becomes an archeological reserve of India. It is enhanced with the remarkable beauty of flora and fauna.
Angel falls is regarded as the world’s tallest and also the highest uninterrupted waterfall. It is located in Kanaima National Park, Venezuela. It falls from a height of 3230 feet with an uninterrupted drop of an incredible 2647 feet. Angel falls is three times as tall as the Eiffel tower. Angel Falls falls into the Kerep River. Sir Walter raleg, and ernasrrea Sanchez said lakrus Falls found .In 1933, at the American Flyer Jimmy Angel comes to the attention of the world to this waterfall parattiyateateyan aircraft over the waterfall. The waterfall was named Angel Falls in his memory. Angel Falls, one of the largest tourist destinations in Venezuela, is located in the Granzabana region of Bolivar.Angel Falls is one of the major tourist attractions in Venezuela. But getting to the waterfall is also a complicated task. The waterfall is located in an isolated forest. The first step to get to the waterfall is to take a short flight from Puerto Ordas or Ciudad Bolivar to reach the River Canama camp. Angel falls are best seen between the months of May and November. About 900,000 people visit the waterfall every year.
There’s no dearth of places to visit on Ahmedabad. Its tiny old lanes, full of places to explore are a delight to traveller and photographer as well. The places we visited in Ahmedabad, intrigued us with perfect blend of old and new heritages.
The pols of Ahmedabad:- The crisscross narrow lanes known basically as pols were most favorite place to visit. Each pol is a world in itself, laden with stories which go down generations. On the first day the locals we met told the pols are very fascinating to visit in Ahmedabad. Happily, we went strolling discovering places. There was just too much to see in every corner. From the front doors to the house column, from the furniture in front porches to the cabinets in charming shops – we were trying to devour every fascinating details. Ambling through the maze of lanes, it wasn’t surprising that we had lost our way. seeing our confused overwhelmed looks, a guy watching us took it upon himself to show us around. he helped us navigate the complex networks of lanes and by lanes with ease.