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Five Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

Travelling with kids? It's completely on you how you plan your trip. Your planning could either make it an exciting or a nightmare for you as well as the kids. Thus, proper planning and advance preparation help in ensuring a better vacation and making it memorable for good reasons. 

Here are some of the basic tips discussed to make your journey pleasurable.

Five Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

Advance Booking :

Advance booking of the tickets is the prior thing you should do. Make sure your tickets for the journey are confirmed.  Also provide some knowledge about the journey to the kids to set their minds. The mode of transportation does not matter to the kids. And if your kids are helping you in planning stage, take a breath of relief as half of your work is done. Moreover, to keep the kids involved in various activities, pack all the things accordingly. Before boarding the train or airplane, make sure your kid had complete sleep as half awake kid is sure to show grumpiness. In case of road trip, pack all his favorite toys, and make sure your child plays with all that you have taken along for him.

What to Pack :

Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

Making a decision about what to pack is very important. Make sure to pack some woolen clothes if you have planned for vacations at some hill stations. The climatic changes prove to be a big spoiler. Make sure you make your child use the stuff that you especially bought for the trip. Do not forget to get a toy or bottle to make the kid comfortable during the trip.

Games : 

Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

For planning some board games to take along rather than video games or other electronic gaming consoles. But if you have a road trip, then both video games or board games are difficult to handle, thus, it is suggested to play some interactive games like guessing the vehicles or some memory testing games. To keep the kids involved in the game throughout the journey, do not miss to reward the winner.

Food : 

Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

It is always good to be extra prepared. To keep your child happy and involved in the trip, pack all the favorite eatables of your kids. In addition to this, also make sure you choose a hotel that has special arrangements for the kids as this will be a positive attribute in your memorable vacation. Some homemade snacks would also be great, even if kids do not finish them, you can have them along with tea.

Medicine :

Things To Keep In Mind While Travelling With Kids

No matter you have a long or a short journey to travel, you should carry medicines. Prepare a small first aid kit with all essential as well as non-essential medicines, bandaids, ointments, etc. also make sure that you inform your family doctor about your trip. So that in case your kid falls ill, you may consult your doctor over the phone.

Are you traveling to India? If yes and if you are with kids then this post how to travel in India with kids will come handy.

Contributed by : Neelam Talreja
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Finally Leh’d! A Bike Trip to Ladakh

Oh yes, Leh'd I was. And I must say that it was "orgasmic" (mind the pun here!) - the forever procrastinated bike trip to Ladakh.

The Backdrop
Being a corporate slave for 9 years leads to you to an unforeseen moment of redemption when you decide to chuck all you have, take a month's sabbatical, pack your bags and just travel. Travel anywhere.

You don’t care if the trip is gonna throw your finances further than you can manage, or that you’ll have to deal with the rolling ball of fire that is your girlfriend.

So, after much research, Ladakh was where I decided to go. I was looking forward to explore the barren beauty and high passes of Ladakh on a bike. Yeah, a bike trip it had to be.

Rohtang Pass
Misty Mountains after reaching Rohtang La Pass
I came upon this website that “offers a 14 nights and 15 days Himalayan Motorbike Adventure tour package to bring you face to face with the scenic beauty of Manali and Ladakh”.

In reality, the itinerary indeed looked promising. The 15 day itinerary lets you savor enchanting views of the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries , high altitude lakes and lush green hills. The night stay was scheduled alternately in both hotels and camps.



The Ride!

Okay, this was a no-brainer and solicited zero research. My ride had to be the Royal Enfield Bullet 500, a behemoth of a machine I have lusted on ever since I rode my first two-wheeler with an electric motor. Logic wise, here are the reasons I chose an Enfield:

·         It’s a Royal Enfield.

·         I needed a heavy engine to work on high altitudes and cruise on the highways. A motorbike with a smaller engine fares well on the congested city roads of India; on the highways, you need a sturdy ride that can easily maintain speeds between 70-80 on open stretches.

·         You need instant power delivery and lots of torque to charter steep mountain inclines.

·         It’s a Royal Enfield.

I borrowed my cousin’s ride and we established an instant connection – metaphorically like those from the Na’vi tribe did in Avatar.

Before you read this, please note that this is a personal account of a first time traveler to Ladakh. Please be forgiving when gauging its information quotient. If there is something you need information about, please feel free to poke me through this query form.

Trip Preparations
Okay, since this was supposed to be a two week trip, it called for  a lot of planning. I lapped up one travel forum after another and zeroed in on the essentials. Since I was riding without a pillion, I could afford some extra luggage to straddle with my bike. Here’s what all I packed.

·         Leather Jackets and Woolen Pullovers 

·      A pair of raincoats

·         Two pairs of hand gloves – leather for riding and woolen otherwise.

·         Mufflers and skull caps to keep warm.

·         An elaborate first aid kit with life saving medicines like Avomine,Dexamethasone, Diamox and Acetazolamide.

·         Comfortable woolen thermocot inners ( 5 pairs!)

·         Woolen and cotton socks (5 pairs again!)

·         Waterproof shoes since the ride involved crossing rivulets

·         A Tesco Sleeping bag for unplanned camping stays

·         Lots of instant energy chocolates, biscuits and dry fruits

·         Batteries and more batteries for Camera and cell phone plus a universal charger

Important Tip: Try and use as much dispensables as you can. For example, use dispensable shaving razors, toothbrushes, paper soaps etc. that you can easily throw away after use.

Readers must understand that our contracted travel company provisioned all necessary travel items and that a backup tour car accompanied us throughout our journey. The company also gave us the option for choosing a motorbike , but since I could arrange my own bike, I saved big on the overall tour costs.

The Actual Trip

As I arrived in New Delhi and reached The Lalit, Connaught Place, I could see there were quite a few of us (18 to be precise). The website’s tour representative came and welcomed us with a garland and a mineral water bottle. Thereafter, he escorted us to our rooms. The rest of the day was spent by ourselves and largely uneventful.

Day in a Song – Tomorrow by The Brothers Johnson

DAY 2: DELHI - MANALI (550 Km / about 12 hrs drive)
In the morning, we started on our road journey to Manali. This is where the bike ride was supposed to begin with (I already had my bike sent by train).

For the uninitiated, located at an elevation of 2050 meters on the banks of the Beas River, Manali is a popular hill station in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The drive itself was tiring, yet fulfilling and featured smooth highway runs, sharp mountain bends and uncertain terrains. Upon arrival in Manali, we checked in at the hotel for overnight stay.

Day in a Song – Long Long Journey by Enya

While those who had rented bikes were shown their rides, 5 of our group went to retrieve our ladies from the courier office in Manali which, thankfully, wasn’t far from where we were staying.

We spent the day strolling local markets and I even got one of those cheesy wooden keychains with S and S painted on either side (masterstroke, I know!). As the rest of the touring party returned, they were taught the nuances of handling a Bullet while us 5 could do little to suppress our smirks.

The shenanigans finally stopped and everyone huddled outside next to a dramatic bonfire featuring spirited, impromptu dance performances  by some.

Yours truly simply swigged his scotch and bid an early goodbye.

Day in a Song – Let’s Get This Started Now! By Black Eyed Peas

DAY 4: MANALI - JISPA (145 kms / about 6 hrs ride}
Breakfast the next morning was had in excess. One thing that I learnt the hard way was that you should always consume a lot of fats and carbs at higher altitudes.

So I absolutely sunk into a plateful of Mutton Korma and Phirni. Post breakfast in the morning, we started on our bikes for Jispa through the Rohtang La pass (3980m).

The journey  was a revelation, and I could feel the chills as we negotiated hairpin bends and uneven terrains the mountains threw at us. As we arrived in Jispa, we checked in at Hotel Ibex and relaxed for a while. Later, we set out to explore the native Jispa on a walk.

Day in a Song – Warrior of the World by Manowar

DAY 5: JISPA - SARCHU (75 Kms /about 4-5 hrs ride}
After the morning ritual of heavy breakfast (I was somewhat disappointed by the quality of food here, but gorged anyway), we began our ride over the picturesque Bara Lacha pass (4830 meters).

Thereafter, we crossed the pass drop down to the expansive Sarchu  plains. This is where our camps were set up. I love camps, BTW. They make me believe I’m closer to nature. Plus, Bonfires! We stayed in Sarchu for the night.

Day in a Song – It’s a Wonderful Feeling by Julie Berthelsen.

DAY 6: SARCHU – TSO MORIRI LAKE (140 Km / about 6 hrs ride)
Now is when it got tricky. Day 6 morning, I felt having difficulty in breathing. I was panting while talking and was struggling to gather enough oxygen. My nose was paining and irritable and I thought I was better off traveling in the backup car. I couldn't eat much and had to contend with a small portion of Maggi noodles.

My companions told me this was the ever so common high altitude sickness and would take me some time dealing with. And really, I was okay after a while – endless cups of coffee only helped further. So we headed towards the Tso Moriri Lake, at an altitude of 4595 meters above sea level.

We reach Tso Moriri and it’s camps again! I was again not feeling well; by now, 7 more riders of the group were feeling nauseous and even made an adequate show of it. We all retired early to our bunks.

Day in a Song – Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf

Gata Loops, Ladakh Bike Trip
A Breathtaking view of the landscape from Gata Loops, Leh Manali Highway
DAY 7: TSOMORIRI – LEH (215 km / about 7 hrs ride)
Early morning, our tour instructor gave us a small lecture on Acute Mountain Sickness and how to deal with it. Nice chap, made a lot of mountain jokes.

Later, we all took a leisurely stroll on the banks of Tso Moriri Lake & explored the Korzok monastery. Sometime around noon, we began our journey to Leh. On the way, we passed through a picturesque village right alongside  the Indus River. 7 hours and several aching limbs later, we finally reached Leh.

Roadtrips often tend to take a toll on your body. So much so that, at times, by the time you reach your destination, you don’t feel like doing much. A comfy bed with nice comforters is your only recreation. Meanwhile…

Day in a Song - Highway Star by Deep Purple

Day 8 began with a full day excursion to the Indus Valley. We visited the Shey Palace, the 14th century Thikse monastery ( a fine specimen of Ladakhi architecture) This was followed by the much anticipated visit to the Hemis monastery. Anticipated because it is the only tourist landmark I had managed to research before coming here.

Day in a Song - Light my Fire by The Doors

Early morning, we began our ride towards the Khardung La Pass (world’s highest motorable pass at an altitude of 5606 meters). We stopped for the customary photo-op and some coffee. Khardung La pass was a humbling experience. The breathtaking views only added to our excitement.

I felt like I had seen it all, like the trip could end right now and I won’t care. This was a time for retrospection about the journey I had made, about life, about things. I felt like I could see the world from there. It was a shame we couldn't stay there longer – and our clattering teeth and shivering bodies further backed the case to return.

We started back to Leh and reached only a few hours later. Post lunch, we explored the 9 storied Leh Palace built by King Singe Namgyal and  Shanti Stupa. Our overnight stay was scheduled in a local hotel. I slept with a smile on my face.

Day in a Song - Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

DAY 10: LEH – SARCHU (250 Km / about 6-7 hrs ride)
For obvious reasons, the trip back to Sarchu didn’t seem that exciting. The trough of our journey had started and we were returning to the same old way of life we were used to.

In fact, if you ever  happen to see my expression in the photographs we shot on our way to return, you’ll know I wasn't pleased.

Day in a Song - Ramblin' Man by Allman Brothers Band

DAY 11: SARCHU – KEYLONG (110 Kms / 4-5 hrs ride)
Okay, it had begun to get a little mundane by now. We started your journey towards Keylong and marvelled at the spectacular views of the conifers hillsides and meadows as the road climbed upwards.

Upon arrival in Keylong, we checked in at the hotel to relax. I was starting to hate Ladakh, for I no longer wanted to go back, for it had made me fall in love with it. We reached Manali.

Day in a Song - Always with me Always with you by Joe Satriani

DAY 12: KEYLONG – MANALI (115 Kms / 4 hrs ride)
It seemed like time was flying, like we were going faster than required. Like a kid who pleads with his parents to stay longer in a theme park, I was urging my co-travelers to stay at each halt a little longer, click more pictures.

Manali was reached in about 4 hours. While others were too clumsy to get out of their beds, two of us got out to examine the local scene. We came back a couple  of hours later, still fresh, still ready to go back to Leh. But we had to sleep, for tomorrow was the journey back home. Stupid, stupid Delhi!

Day in a Song – Turn the Page by Metallica

DAY 13: DELHI (What the Heck!)
Yeah, yeah, we were going back. No we weren’t riding. The company arranged for our bikes to be transported back to Delhi. I tried to look forward to returning home, where a beautiful, though annoyed, ku:r (girlfriend) was waiting to make a Goshtaba out of me!

Day in a Song (sad version) – I’m Coming Home by J. Cole

This was the tariff I was offered by the said company:

Special Price Offer Nett & Non-Commissionable

For Minimum 2-3 Riders 
For Minimum 4-6 Riders 
For Minimum 7-10 Riders 
Single Room Supplement

INR 1,85,000 Per Rider 
INR 1,40,000 Per Pillion
INR 1,51,000 Per Person
INR 115,000 Per Pillion
INR 1,16,000 Per Person
INR 90,000 Per Pillion
INR 25,000 Nett

INR 2,10,000 Per Person
INR 1,62,000 Per Pillion
INR 1,75,000 Per Person
INR 1,30,000 Per Pillion
INR 1,40,000 Per Person
INR 105,000 Per Pillion
INR35,000 Nett

These were the package inclusions:
·         12 night’s accommodation on full board basis
·         Daily Breakfast, Morning & Evening Tea & Dinner.
·         Latest Model of Royal Enfield Motorcycle on all riding days.
·         Fuel for Motorcycle in whole tour
·         Back up vehicle for your luggage & motorcycle spare parts.
·         Experienced mechanic on all riding day.
·         All Required Restricted Area Permits.
·         Delhi-Manali by Air-conditioned Exclusive Private Vehicle. 
·         Manali-Delhi by Air-conditioned Exclusive Private Vehicle. 
·         All arrival / departure transfers sightseeing & overland journey by private Air Conditioned Vehicle as per program.
·         Entrance fees to the all monuments, monasteries and temples as per program.
·         Assistance on arrival and departure transfers.
·         English speaking Motorcycle Tour Leader for whole trip.
·         Farewell Dinner.
All taxes
I Leave you with a few more photographs from Ladakh.

Shanti Stupa
Shnti Stupa is the best place to observe panoramic view of Leh Town

Magnetic Hill
Magnetic Hill, Ladakh

Taglang La
Taglang La Pass, Leh Manali Highway
Tso Moriri Lake, Ladakh
Tso Moriri Lake, Ladakh
This is what I paid for extra:

Travel Insurance, Camera and video camera fees, Personal expenses like tips, bar & restaurant charge, Telephone bills, any other personal expenses not included in the above inclusions.

If you are yearning to do what I did, then you may want to see the detail of the bike trip to Ladakh here.
P.S. – I’m going back next year! 

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5 Best Parks in Delhi for Couples to Romance

Young and looking for a place to get cozy with your lover? Are you in Delhi? If answer to both these questions are yes then you need not look further. To our oversexed readers, we present a list of 5 best parks in Delhi for couples to romance. Keep in mind that the thoughts presented in this post are strictly our contributor's.

If you happen to be visiting Delhi from abroad, especially Europe or any of the 2 Americas, it is logically assumable that you are already shocked by the city’s cultural idiosyncrasies.

Yes, although a little difficult to digest, Delhi is a cultural hypocrite! She will impress and disgust you in equal measures.

Since the premise of this post is couples and PDA (Public Display of Affection) in Delhi, let’s just say public tolerance towards couples’ hormone laden gestures of expressing love and affection varies in congruence with Delhi’s multicolor demography.

To sum it all, it depends! Let us first understand the definition of PDA in context of the Indian psyche.

Defining PDA or Public Display of Affection w.r.t. An Indian Metropolitan
It’s pretty much the same as in the West, the only difference here is that even kissing/smooching/snogging is considered equally taboo.

Indians, particularly Delhiites, have a weak palate for absorbing love (read hormonally) crazed puppies trying to draw the world map on each other with their bare hands.

Delhiites can be particularly unforgiving if they catch you in the middle of “the act” and will not hesitate to give you a giant piece of their mind, all the while threatening to report the matter to one or both your parents.

So what do the average, desperate Delhi couples do to, well, “nurture the flower of love”? Easy sleazy, they visit any of the several notorious couples’ parks in Delhi and indulge in uninhibited, unabashed celebration of their emotions!

If you too have been looking for some places in Delhi for couples, you could not have landed at a better place! For readers’ convenience, the 5 parks have been presented as a countdown in ascending orfer of notoriety.

Buddha Garden or Buddha Jayanti Park, Ridge Road near Dhaula Kuan
Buddha Jayanti Park
Couples at Buddha Jayanti Park, Delhi
It’s nice, it’s lush green, it’s cozy, but it’s risky. And there’s a high chance you’ll end up being a mini-celebrity on YouTube, and not for the right reasons. Don’t get it? The Garden itself is well manicured, but after dark, it transforms into a hub for local goons, small time gamblers, drunkards and drug peddlers. If you happen to roam about during the day, you will easily spot a lot of couples hiding behind the bushes and doing the nasty!

Risk Quotient – Very High. If you are spared somehow by social discards, mind that the Delhi Police is a regular visitor and God save you if they catch you doing anything.

Nearest Metro  Station- Dhaula Kuan (Airport Express Line)

Garden of Five Senses, Ladu Sarai
Garden of Five Senses
Garden of Five Senses is one of favored places for romantic couples to get cozy
Could there be a more apt name? Famous for its secluded nooks and corners that offer plenty of privacy for lustlorn couples. Plenty of space, massive parking area. One of the safest bets when it comes to places in Delhi for couples, the park is thronged with families on weekends. Remember, there is no provision for drinking water and there is a reason the hilly area enclosed is out of bounds.

Risk Quotient – Low. There are security guards and policemen manning the Garden’s gates and it’s rather difficult to get caught!

Nearest Metro Station – Saket (Yellow Line)

Deer Park, Hauz Khas Village
Okay, Deer Park is not exactly your typical greens  with dense bushes behind which you can discreetly lay a wandering hand or two. Atypical to most parks in Delhi for couples, Deer park is often visited for ‘passive lovemaking’ – i.e. hand holding, romantic walks by the pond, the occasional kiss or two stolen in a fleeting moment.

The tattered Madarsa and the artistically ruined tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq provide for ideal premises for second base stuff. Best time to visit is in the afternoon, when most of Delhi is either working or sleeping.

Risk Quotient – Depends! If you’re only at the preliminary stages of your PDA marathon, nobody would bother; if you dare cross the minimum civility, you better watch out – there might be the odd Uncle lurking somewhere!

Nearest Metro Station – Hauz Khas (Yellow Line)

Millenium Indraprastha Park, Outer Ring Road, near Sarai kale Khan
The newest addition to the infamous list, yet spiraling up the notoriety charts – the  Indraprastha Millennium Park has a huge advantage for Delhi couples – that it’s huge, literally! All of the park’s massive 34 hectares are utilized optimally by lovebirds aching for some intimacy.

It is NOT uncommon to see couples going the whole way, discreet as they are. In fact, after Connaught Place, the Millennium Park has emerged as the next favorite rendezvous point for homosexuals.

Risk Quotient – It’s all luck here. Of late, policemen have started conducting impromptu raids, but that’s only after dark. In a nutshell, leave before you’re asked to leave!

Nearest Metro Station – Indraprastha

Lodhi Garden, Lodi Road
If ever there is a search for the sacred abode of lust infused lovebirds, I’m pretty sure it would end bang in the middle of Lodhi Garden. What started as the ideal family place – with its parks, morning walk pavements and heritage structures – is today the implied choice of Delhi couples who just need a place – any place – to satiate their carnal instincts.

The best thing about Lodhi Garden is that even if someone sees his weirdly placed hand or the odd posture she is sitting in, nobody cares!!! They don’t want to know the what’s and the why’s of your deed. Expect the odd shake of head in disapproval from the elderly. However, there is a high chance someone’s watching the free show from a position that would put most snipers to shame.

Risk Quotient – Almost Zero! They don’t see you; if they see you, they don’t care about you. You’re better off watching for Peeping  Toms – there are plenty of them!

Nearest Metro Station – Khan Market

Next up – Best Make-Out Places in Delhi for Car Owners!

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Chittorgarh Fort: Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Chittorgarh is one of the finest and the largest forts in India. It is located in Rajasthan, the land of legendary Rajput warrior princes.

Chittorgarh Fort is one of the hill forts which have been recently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We have also rated it earlier as one of the top ten forts in India.

Chittorgarh Travel Facts:

Location: At a distance of 112km from Udaipur, on a high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan

Built by: Various Maurya rulers and Sisodiya clan of Rajputs

Built in: 7th century A.D

Highlights: Numerous palaces and towers inside the fort

How to reach: One can easily reach Chittorgarh Fort either by taking regular buses or by hiring Taxis from Udaipur city. Chittor is 318 Km from Jaipur.

Best Time to Visit: November - February

Entry Fee: INR 5 for Indian and INR 100 or $2 for Foreigners

Chittorgarh: Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Chittorgarh: Hill Forts of Rajasthan
This resplendent hill fort in Rajasthan covers an area of 700 acres and extends up to 3 kilometers in length. Chittorgarh Fort is perched atop a hillock at an elevation of 180m.

This first hill fort of Rajasthan is believed to be erected by Mauryan rulers during the 7th century AD. It is also believed that the fort is named after the Mauryan ruler Chitrangada Mori, as inscribed on the coins found belonging to that period.

However, in today’s time Chittorgarh is quintessential of the romance, chivalry and valor of the Rajput rulers of Sisodia clans in Mewar and their kinsmen who held sway between the 7th and 16th centuries.

History and Anecdotes
Chittorgarh as we know it was built during the reign on founder of Sisodia Clan ruler Bappa Rawal in 734 AD.

The first ever historical mention of this hill fort in Rajasthan could be found in India’s grandest epic Mahabharata. As per the story Bhima, who was the strongest wrestler among Pandava with strength of 100 Elephants, struck a powerful blow to the land.

The massive blow of his fist resulted in water springing sprouting up to form a large reservoir. That pool is now called Bhimlat kundn after the legendary warrior. As per the legend this also resulted in construction of the fort.

Yet another legendary story associated with Chittorgarh fort is Rani Padmini. According to the legends Queen Padmini was an astounding beauty. Such was the attractiveness that stories about her poise and charisma floated to places far and wide.

When the then Sultan of Delhi Alauddin Khilji heard of the captivating charm of queen Padmini, he went to Chittorgarh to witness her beauty himself. He deceitfully told Rana Ratan Singh, husband of Padmini , his desire to behold the legendary beauty of the queen which the Rana couldn’t refuse out of politeness.

When the Sultan actually witnessed the unrivalled beauty of Padmini he lusted to take her into his harem. When Ratan Singh went to farewell the Sultan to gate he was deceitfully captured and the queen was delivered the message that Ratan Singh will only be realeased if she submits to his authority.

Queen had her own plans and she sent Rajput warriors in veils under the pretense of her train and had the Rana released. But the Rana and his entourage were chased and killed before they could enter the fort. It led to a war between the Muslim forces and Rana Ratan Singh's army, in which major parts of the Chittorgarh Fort were destroyed and many lives were lost.

Finally when the defeat was all but certain, the Rajput warriors donned their saffron robe and rode out to their death whereas the ladies led by Rani Padmini preferred to perform Jauhar (self immolation in pyre) rather than being physically abused by the lustful invaders.

Some Interesting facts about Chittorgarh Fort
  • Chittorgarh Fort happens to be the largest fort in India.

  • Chittorgarh Fort complex has a total of 65 medieval structures which includes4 palace complexes, 19 temples, 4 war memorials or the stambhs and 22 water bodies.

  • Once upon a time this fort had 84 water bodies which could provide 50,000 soldiers with water supply for 4 years out of which only 22 remains till date.

  • Chittorgarh Fort extends across 700 and is built above a hillock 300 feet in height.

  • Entrance to this massive hill fort is through seven colossal gates, which are named Bhairon Pol, Lakshman Pol, Padan Pol, Hanuman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol and the formidable final gate named Ram Pol.

  • Each of these gates have been built as massive stone structures and have sheltered ramparts for defense.

  • You could see a cenotaph or "Chattri" near Bhairon Pol which was erected to honor the chivalry of Jaimal and his cousin Kala. 

  • As per the legends when Jaimal got seriously injured Kala carried him into battle on his shoulders where both died fighting valiantly against the Mughal army of Akbar.

  • Yet another war memorial is located at Rampol which was erected to commemorate the exemplary courage of Phatta.

  •  Phatta of Kelwa was only 15 years old and had just lost his father in battle. He was sent into the battle by his mother who herself picked up a sword and died fighting against the enemy  to free her son from any affection  towards home 

  • Some of the major attractions inside Chittorgarh fort include the two towers known as the 'Kirti Stambh' (Tower of Fame) and the 'Vijay Stambh' (Tower of Victory).

  • Other things to do inside Chittorgarh Fort are visiting several temples, water reservoirs, and palaces which were constructed between the 9th and 17th centuries.

  • Vijay Stambh or the Victory Tower was erected during the reign of Rana Kumbha to memorialize his victory over Mahmud Shah I, the ruler of Malwa, in 1440.

  • Vijay Stambh rises to the height of 37.2 meters (122 ft) over a 47 square feet (4.4 m2) base spanning across 9 stories.

  • You could get panoramic view of the city of Chittor by climbing up to the 8th floor of Vijay Stambh which could be accessed through circular staircase numbering 157 in total.

  • Kirti Stambh or the Tower of Fame is yet another massive structure rising up to a height of 22 meter and spans over 6 storey which could be climbed up through 57 steps. 

  • Built in the style of Solanki architecture by Bagherwal Jain merchant Jijaji Rathod, Kirti Stambh is dedicated to the first tirthankar Adinath.

  • The sculpture of Adinath, the first Jain tirthankar is located on the second floor of the Kirti Stambh. 

  • Chittorgarh Fort has witnessed 3 sieges and 2 acts of jauhars by the ladies of the Sisodia Rajput court.

  • The first one to attack the then considered impregnable hill fort of Chittorgarh was Allaudin Khilji.
  • Alaudin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi sacked Chittorgarh in 1303 which legends tell us was due to his passionate desire to possess Rani Padmini. 

  • Chittorgarh Fort was sacked second time by Bahadur Shah in 1535 and later by Akbar in 1567. 

  • Jauhar or the self immolation in fire was first performed by Rani Padmini in 1433 AD when Alaudin Khilji defeted the forces of Rana Ratan Singh.

  • It was performed yet again by Rani Karnavati in 1535 AD and it is said that 13,000 Rajput ladies participated in the act even as 3000 Rajput warriors rode out to their certain death .

  • Chittor is adjacent to the ancient city of Madhyamika. The Jain inscriptions at Mathura from the Kushana period (1-3rd cent) mention a "Majjhimilla" branch of the "Kottiya" gana, indicating that it was a major Jain center.

  • The famous Acharya Haribhadra Suri (6th cent) was born in Chittor and wrote "Dhurtopakhyana" there.

  • The Padmini palace, residence of legendary beauty Rani Padmini is another major attraction inside Chittorgarh Fort. 

  • Yet another interesting place to visit inside Chittorgarh Fort is Meerabai Temple associated with the renowned mystical poet and saint Mirabai.

  • Gaumukh Pool which is fed by the spring from the mouth of a carved cow is another major place to visit in the fort. It used to be the main source of water for the fort’s resident during military seizes.

  • Teej is one of the major festivals in Chittorgarh which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and in the month of July or August.

  • Gangaur festival is celebrated in the month of March or April each year and is another renowned festival in the city. Married women and young girls take part in the festival.

  • The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the "Jauhar Mela" ( February - March)which takes place every year on the anniversary of one of the Rani Padmini’s jauhar.
Here some more tourist information from the Rajasthan Tourism official website: http://chittorgarh.nic.in/tourist.html

If you are traveling to Rajasthan, you'd also want to check out the beginners guide to traveling in Rajasthan.
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5 Places to go Shopping in Bangalore

Looking to go shopping in Bangalore but not sure where to go? We have compiled this list of 5 places to go shopping in Bangalore. Whether you are a tourist or a person who has moved in the city, this will come handy to you in case you are wondering where to go for shopping.

Levitate Annaswamy Mudaliar Rd, Sivanchetti Gardens 
Shopping in Levitate, Bangalore
Levitate - Shopping in Bangalore
If you are in Bangalore, and are looking for offbeat places to shop at or buy Indian gifts and souvenirs for friends and family back home, then surely you should give Levitate a try. Some very cool ethnic Indian clothes, junk jewelry, trinkets and shoes are up for grab. In short Levitate is where you could get everything from different parts of India.

Mantri Square, No 1, Sampige Road, Malleshwaram
If you are a foodie, you shought visit this place to taste gourmet cuisines. Over 2000 delicacies and 8000 choicest ingredients are available here for you to indulge. Ample shopping and entertainment options are also available.
Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
M.G. Road is one of the busiest commercial areas in Bangalore. Here you can find almost anything. There are pubs, bars, multiplexes, spa saloons, shopping malls and plenty of dining options with top international brand presence.

If you are looking to purchase books at bargain price head to Blossom where the excellent collection gets even better when you know the books often come at bargain prices! Yet another place for bibliophiles is the Bookworm located near Shringar Shopping Complex.

Garuda Mall, Magrath Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru
Garuda Mall happens to be the first mall in Bangalore and houses everything from 5D movie theatre, apparel and footwear shops, Shoppers Stop, pubs and eating joints. It is a good place to go with friends or family and even your kids will love it here.

Brigade Road
If you are totally into branded stuff, then showrooms of MNC brands at Brigade Road are likely to tempt you to swipe your cards. Furthermore, with street stalls selling funky clothes and junk jewelry, Brigade Road indeed is a place to go shopping in Bangalore.

Commercial Street
Commercial Street is the place to visit if you are a bargain hunter. You could get the best deals at the lowest price. As you walk down the maze of streets, you can find a string of shops selling clothes, jewelry, apparels, ethnic dresses, trinkets and sports goods etc.

We hope this will help you do a lot of shopping in Bangalore. Let us know your though on our list and don't hesitate to recommend your pick for shopping in Bangalore through comments. 
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How to make Candy at Home (INFOGRAPHICS)

We at Insight India constantly strive to educate our audiences about nuances of traveling in India. This time we have thought of something gourmet.

How about preparing candy at home? Yes! with this info-graphic, candy making at home was never easier.

When most people think of candy, they think of the pre-packaged goods they get at the grocery store or the carefully prepared confections that come from fine candy makers with storefronts and specialty products.

However, making your own candy is a cost-effective way to prepare treats for you and your family, and homemade candy also makes a great gift.

Perhaps more important than the actual candy itself, preparing your own candy can be a fun, rewarding experience if you like to cook or bake.

This infographic on how to prepare candies at home can help you prepare a variety of different candy treats from peppermint bark to gum drops to classic peanut brittle.

The infographic even provides general timetables which can be helpful if you only have a short window to make your own candy.

How to make Candy at Home
How to prepare Candy at Home (INFOGRAPHICS)
This infographic is provided by Candy Concepts Inc.

Preparing your own candy can also be a fun activity for children since making your own candy doesn’t require any special skills – other than a desire to learn and a little bit of focus.

In fact, older children can likely make candy on their own for friends and family with a little bit of supervision from their parents. It’s also an ideal activity for spending a little quality time indoors with your children, and it’s the perfect rainy winter day activity.

Do let us know if you liked the recipe or not through comment.

If you are a foodie, you may also check out  a guide to street food in Delhi.
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Golden Temple Amritsar: Top Temples in India

Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab

Sri Harmandir Sahib also called Darbar Sahib and popularly referred to as the Golden Temple is the holiest site of Sikhs and the most iconic symbol of heritage and traditions of Sikhism.

Golden Temple is also voted as one of the seven wonders of India.

We have also included this temple in our list of top 10 temples in India.

Golden Temple
Golden Temple in Amritsar is the holiest Sikh site in the world
History of Harmandir Sahib
Construction of the Golden Temple was completed under the tutelage of the fifth Sikh guru Arjan who himself laid the foundation stone in 1558.

According to the legends, the Gurudwara came up around the lake Amrit Sarovar excavated by fourth guru Ram Das. Under the leadership of Guru Arjan, the Gurudwara construction was completed in 1604 and Guru Granth Sahib was installed at the Golden Temple.

The story goes that impressed by the local lifestyle and as an act reverence to the third Sikh guru Amar Das, Mughal Emperor Akbar gifted a small piece of land to his daughter on occasion of her marriage to Bhai Jetha who later became the fourth guru Ram Das.

In yet another legend, it is believed that Guru Amar Das found the cure to the skin disease of the second Sikh guru Angad on the banks of this pool. It is also one of the reasons why the water of Amrit Sarovar is considered to contain medicinal property.

Significance of Golden Temple Architecture and Design
Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple is a fine specimen of the Sikh worldviews and religious tolerance. There are 4 entrances to the golden temple which signifies Sikhism’s openness to other religion, creeds and people.

Interesting facts about the Golden Temple
  • Darbar Harmandir Sahib is constructed of white marble which is overlaid with gold hence the popular name Golden Temple
  •  It is open to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex
  • Golden Temple is surrounded by a large lake known as Amrit Sarovar or the pond of immortal nectar.
  • The township of Amritsar is named after this lake and grew around the pool surrounding Harmandir Sahib
  • Devotees perform ablutions in the pool water which is believed to have medicinal properties
  • The original Golden Temple was destroyed by the invading Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali and the present one was rebuilt by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia in 1764
  • The floor of Golden Temple were gold plated during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who secured the Punjab from external aggression
  • There are 3 holy ber trees inside the Gurudwara Complex signifying important event in Sikhism
  • The most important celebration inside Golden Temple is held on second week of April on occasion of Vaisakhi which is also the founding date of Sikh Khalsa
  • Langar or the free meal is arranged for thousands of devotees who visit Golden Temple everyday
  • Cooking of food and washing of utensils inside the temple is done by volunteers who visit this holy place
Best Time to Visit Golden Temple
The months from October to March are considered as the best time to visit Amritsar. The weather during this period is very pleasant and is ideal for sightseeing.

How to Reach
Amritsar is well-connected with all modes of transportation. Amritsar can be easily reached by train, road or airways and the tourists should not face any problem in accessing this amazing city.

Airways:  Tourists can get regular flights throughout the day to Amritsar from the Raja Sansi International Airport located in the city of Amritsar. This international airport also connects with some other cities of India as well as of the world.

Railways: Amritsar has its own railway station that is well-connected with all other important railheads of Punjab along with other towns and cities of India. A number of trains run on a regular basis from this railway station.

Roadways: A number of private as well as state buses run in and around the state. Amritsar is linked with Delhi through the G.T Road. Tourists can also opt for deluxe and deluxe buses that run on regular basis connecting Amritsar with several other important places in India.
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Periyar National Park | Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala

With astounding diversity of flora and fauna, wildlife safaris in India  is one of the top 10 reasons why people visit this country.

Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve in Kerala is one the most sought after national parks in South India and a popular wildlife tour destination.

It is one of the most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India with main draw being bird watching, remarkable variety of butterflies, elephants and tigers.

Elephants at Periyar National Park
Elephants are the dominant mammals at the Periyar National Park

An introduction of Periyar National Park

A total of over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 160 varieties of butterflies and 45 species or reptiles have been recorded in Periyar National Park making it an important wildlife tour destination in India.

Periyar is located in Thekkedy in the ranges of Western Ghats and is just 2.5 miles away from Kumili in the Idukki district of central Kerala.

The park is spread over 777 sq. km. with an artificial lake spread over 26 kms which was created by building dam on the Periyar River by British in 1895.

Periyar National Park is renowned as the most exotic wildlife sanctuary in India housing a large variety of flora and fauna.

The varied topography of Periyar is covered with steep and rolling hills and marshy grasslands.Periyar offers motor launches, boat riding and a 30 minute elephant rides through the forests.

Climate of Periyar National Park

The temperature of Periyar depends on the altitude and is 15 degree Celsius in the month of December and 31 degree Celsius in April-May. The national park receives an annual precipitation in between 2000-3000 mm.

Wildlife in Periyar National Park


Periyar National Park is a home to a large number of elephants along with barking deer, tigers, wild dogs, wild pigs, teh leopard, sambar, mouse deer, porcupines, wild boars and gaur.

Four species of langur such as bonnet macaque, the Nilgiri langur, asteh rare lion-tailed macaque and common langur can also be found in Periyar National Park. As per records, 40 tigers also reside in this wildlife sanctuary.


Periyar National Park is also home to large variety of bird species. A total of over 320 bird species have been recorded in Periyar making it one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in India for birdwatching.

Some of the commonly seen birds that can be viewed in Periyar include herons, wood pigeons, black crested, darters, cormorants, Indian griffon mynas, kites, kestrel, blue winged parakeets and more.

Butterflies & Insects

Periyar National Park is also known for its significant variety of butterflies. If you have time enough to devote, you could spot around 160 different kinds of butterflies in this park, some of whom are poisonous enough to make you seriously ill through their bite.


Over 45 species of reptiles including turtles, snales and lizards could be found in Periyar National Park. The most notable reptiles are monitor lizard, python and King Cobra.

Wildlife Safaris inside Periyar National Park

Boat Rides are considered as one of the popular ways to go on a jungle Safari inside the Periyar.

The boat rides offer a beautiful view of the surroundings and tourists can easily spot some of the most interesting animal species drinking water or roaming around freely in their natural surroundings.

The timings of the boat ride are 7 AM, 9 AM 11 AM in the first half and 2 PM & 4 PM in the second half.

Entry Fees at the Periyar National Park

The entry fee is Rs 25 for Indians and Rs 300 for foreigners. Separate prices are charged for vehicle entry and boat ride safari.

Visiting Periyar during the Monsoon

Periyar National Park is open during the monsoon season and is often considered one of the best wildlife destinations for monsoon holidays in India. The boat rides are also operated during the monsoon season.

How to Reach Periyar National Park

By Air 

Periyar is accessible from Madurai and Kochi airports. Daily flights are operated by Indian Airlines that includes Chennai-Cochin, Delhi-Cochin, Bangalore-Cochin and Mumbai-Cochin flights.

By Rail

Kottyam is the closest rail station to the Periyar National Park.

By Road

Kumily is the closest town from Periyar that is also well connected with Kottyam. There are many taxis and buses available from Thiruvananthapuram (271 kms), Madurai (140 kms), Ernakulam and Kottyam (114 kms).

Packing Tips

  • Bring warm clothing and carry raincoats/umbrella as it often rains
  • Carry mosquito repellants as the forest in dense deciduous
  • Carry water bottles for drinking water
  • Wear clothes with neutral colors which gels well with the natural surroundings in order not to disturb the wildlife
Looking for more national parks in India? Here's a rough guide to some of the top National Parks in India

Bonus Tips: Here's how you can explore Gujarat wild side.

Last updated on 27th-Nov-2014 by
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Train Food Parcel: Eating on Indian Railways

We all use Indian Railways for long haul in India. Traveling in train in India provides a unique and thrilling experience unless when you don’t think about food. You miss it terribly especially when you are going for a long journey. You crave for the warm, fresh, homely food. Now you can get this food even if you are traveling by train. Train food parcel facility on Indian Railways is just like your home food.
train food parcel by travel khana
Train food parcel by Travel Khana
 It is simple, healthy and delicious. It is hygienic and they follow the strict rules of health departments. Now you don’t need to worry about train food and don’t need to pack your food from home and carry an extra luggage with you. It doesn’t matters the place you are travelling. Let it be south, north, and east or west, you will get fresh, aromatic vegetable thali.

Train parcel food made the journey very convenient and comfortable. You can place the order by making a call. These companies will take single as well as bulk orders. The thali parcel includes dry vegetarian, seasonal gravy, plain roti, plain rice etc. This is just an example, there are so many varieties and options that you can choose from. 

The price is reasonable and the quality is well appreciative. It is not only about the food, the packaging is also taken care of to maintain the quality and hygiene of the food. The material used for packing is of superior quality so that food doesn’t leak or get spoiled.

train food parcel Indian Railways
A Wide variety of cuisines are offered on Indian Railways by Travelkhana train food parcel
With train parcel food, travelers get to eat healthy food and they won’t be wasting their money on unhealthy and unhygienic food available in pantry car. People often make so many complaints about the quality of train pantry food but qualitative changes are still lacking in Indian Railways in house pantry car attached with express trains.
Now there is no need to depend on the pantry car or unlicensed hawkers. No more spending money on unhealthy food to fall sick. It is very important to get good quality food especially if you are traveling. You cannot afford to fall sick because it will ruin your entire plan. 

If you are going for an interview or for any function you just can’t fall sick and spoil the entire plan and that is why it is very important to know what food you take inside. You should make extra care of it be clean and fresh.

It is better not to depend on food that is available in train. You can hear horrible stories from other travelers. It was on the news that they even found rat in the food. They didn’t take any action against it and it always put traveler’s health at risk. It is very good that this kind of system has started.

Pantry of Indian Railways Train
Pantry of Indian Railways Train

With new system it might be a learning lesson for them and they learn their lesson and consider this matter more seriously. Train parcel food is really the choice of travelers who are conscious of their health and diet. They can maintain their diet even when they are traveling. From the vast menu there is something that suites the taste of everyone.
Now at least passengers can make wise choice and be happy by knowing that they are spending money for good quality food.

About the author: Jatin Batra writes for travelkhana.com. Travel Khana offers Train Parcel Food at various stations of Indian Railways. You can order hygienic and quality food and select from an array of cuisines from the wide menu of Travelkhana.com.

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