Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Special Dishes of India

The diverse food delicacies of the various states in India are listed in the attached image. I do not know the source of this beautifully presented data, but would like to share this with all of you. This is a ready reference to the tasty delicacies, which each state of India is proud of. Be ready to tickle your taste buds and enjoy the visual treat.

Jolly good trip to Jaipur !

Jolly good trip to Jaipur !

Our much awaited trip to the Pink city was filled with awe and admiration.
We opted for the full day tour of the city conducted by RTDC and set off to explore the city . Our journey began with the landmark of the city, the Hawa Mahal , an imposing structure. This 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument has 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies and is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. On the way to this Mahal, situated in the Ram Niwas Garden is the Central Museum. This graceful building was founded in 1876 by Prince Albert , also known as Albert Hall.
Known for the intricate marble carvings in white marble, the Lakshmi Narayan temple, popularly known as Birla Temple, is an impressive structure.
The City Palace is a remarkable palace, situated in the heart of the old City, it occupies about one seventh of the old city area. The palace is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, and leaves one awestruck.
Adjacent to this palace, is the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone built observatory in the world. A look at these stone structures, makes one wonder how these the huge masonary instruments, used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky, were built during those bygone days.

Standing on a hilltop, overlooking the palaces and city of Amer is the Jaigarh fort. The world’s biggest cannon on wheels- the Jai Ban is positioned here, built during reign of Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh.
Cresting a hill about 600 ft. above the city, is the Nahargarh fort was built in 1734. The walls of the fort run along the ridge and within are architectural beauties like Hawa Mandir and Madhvendra Bhawan.

The Amer fort exudes majestic grandeur of its surroundings as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. It is a fine blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. The solemn dignity of it red sandstone and white marble pavilions, when reflected in the lake at the foot hill, is a sight to behold !
The palace complex is lavishly ornamented and displays the riches of Amer. Sheesh Mahal chamber of mirrors, is an impressive structure, adorned with pieces of mirrors decorated artistically. Throughout the massive fort finely carved lattice windows, exquisitely painted doorways, halls and finely sculptured pillars crave for attention.
On the way to Amer, is a small palace, Jal Mahal, set in the middle of Man Sagar Lake.
The newly restored temple and garden, Kanak Vrindavan, near Jal Mahal, has beautiful gardens and is popular picnic place. Our first day tour in Jaipur ended here.

The next day we visited Chokhi Dhani , the ethnic village resort situated 18 kms away from the city. In the evenings this place, comes alive, with various cultural activities, like the Rajashtani dance show, magic show, snake dance, elephant rides, camel rides, horse rides etc. The interiors of the resort are done in a style resembling a typical Rajasthani village.
This place is a must visit for every enthusiastic tourist !!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Trip to Murudeshwar

As dusk set in, we entered the ornately decorated entrance gate of the Murudeshwar temple complex, and as we drove past the various hotels and guesthouses lined along the roadside, suddenly, before reaching the main temple, we saw a huge, gigantic statue of the Lord Shiva towering above the sea. At that instant, I felt I have seen the Almighty !

Yes, this was the experience on seeing the awesome structure of Lord Maheshwara, which is another name for Lord Shiva, in Murudeshwar, which towers at a height of 123 feet into the sky.
This statue and the temple have been built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea.

The imposing structure of the Lord is supposed to be the tallest statue of the Lord Shiva in the world ! There are more statues of Gods and demons around the main statue, which imparts a sense of living in the mythological era.
The impressive temple has a history that dates back to a few centuries. A few yards from the temple, is a hotel which is built into the sea, with restaurants located on two separate floors. One can enjoy a sumptuous meal amidst the pristine beauty of the beach and the cool blue waters.
Murudeshwar is around 220 km from Goa and can be reached by road and by rail (Konkan Railway) It is an ideal place for a weekend getaway from Goa.
The RNS Residency, is a very serene and strategically located hotel in the complex built on the waters, and offers a pleasant stay.

On the next day we proceeded to Gokarna, a temple town, which is around 70 kms from Murudeshwar. The Mahabaleshwara temple is one of the major temples here, and is atleast 1500 years old. The other holy places here are the Bhadrakali and Venkataramana temples, Kotiteertha tank etc. A few yards from the main temple is the beautiful Kudlee beach with a breathtaking landscape !.

After taking a dip in the cool waters at the beach, and having a quick snack, we proceeded back to our hometown, Margoa, Goa, with pleasant memories of our trip.
Our short weekend trip to Murudeshwar and Gokarna spanned for two days only but it was a great experience !

Living in India

Welcome to this blog wherein I intend to share my views about India, my nation. I would also like to introduce you all to the lesser known travel destinations in India, besides updating about the various customs and traditions of my motherland !