Historical Places

Thrilling Adventurous Roller Coaster : Things To Do In Manali!

Hi Guys! This is Siddhartha Kaushik belonging to the beautiful state of Haryana. I consider myself to be an ace photographer. My pursuit and passion to capture the best places in India has given me the opportunity to travel extensively across India.  Though I can boast that I have been to many exotic locales; this beautiful country has lots more for me to explore. One such destination which I am surely gonna visit very soon is Manali!

Manali Attractrions

Manali Attractrions | Image Resource : kalpanamanali.com, shimlamanalitravel.com

I have read so much about the beautiful Kulu valley that I am waiting to capture it in my lens. This beautiful hill station is located in the Himachal Pradesh. It is well connected by road, rail and air. I think I will opt for taking a bus from Chandigarh as it will turn out to be more economical. Moreover it will also give me the opportunity to click the pics of my road travel which I will surely post on my blog.

Kullu Valley Manali

Kullu Valley Manali | Image Resource : rovingturtle.com

Adventure Sports are the best Things to do in Manali :

One of the other prominent reasons that I wish to go to Manali is it is packed with action packed adventure sports. This is definitely any 25 year old like me will enjoy. When we talk about adventure sports there are plenty of things to do in Manali. The most prominent being river, rafting, hiking and mountain biking! I have already gathered a lot of information on all the three activities so that I am well prepared when I reach Manali.

In case of water rafting I have options of White water rafting at Siyal which is priced at just Rs 500/- .Rafting at Vyas river on Mall road is also very famous. It has multiple timings but I have read that it is a little expensive.

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Next I have plans to go for hiking. My friends have suggested that I take the hiking experience at the Jogini waterfall and see the snow-clad mountains. I have also short listed the hiking adventures at Solang Valley. The final thing on my list of things to do in Manali is mountain biking. My best buddy has suggested that I go to Ram Bagh or old Manali for the purpose.

Ram Bagh Manali

Ram Bagh Manali | Image Resource : cleartrip.com


Old Manali

Old Manali | Image Resource : manalitaxiservice.org

So friends I am saving the money of all my assignments, so that I can go and have a blast in Manali. I will keep you posted. Till then Bye folks!


Destination Of The Week : Lohagad Fort Pune

Lohagad Fort Pune

Lohagad Fort Pune | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

Summarization : I was very excited for Lohagad Fort as I love trekking. Before starting I had refreshments and when I reached at the top I was speechless after watching the view of the city especially the Pawana Dam and waterfalls. I felt I was lying in the lap of nature as the fort was surrounded by greenery. The visit to Vinchu Kata – a small extended bastion was equally exhilarating.

A Day Dedicated To Ganapati At Dagdusheth Ganpati Pune!

When you enter Maharashtra, you will come across lots and lots of devotees of Bappa or Lord Ganesha. Every Maharashtrian believes in Ganapati, and this can be experienced in Pune as well. The word Bappa is often spoken here, and Dagdusheth Ganapati is the most famous temple of Pune.

It is said that Punecha Raja Dagdusheth Ganapati, which means he is the king of Pune. After hearing so much about the temple, missing it would be regretful later. Hence, we all dressed up in traditional Pune style, wearing kurtas and Pune topi. We all were looking sincere today, though we are not so.

We easily reached the temple, which was beautifully decorated. The walls and architecture of the temple were speaking about its history. The full name of this temple is Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati temple. If you are wondering how this name came to place, I have the answer ready for you, thanks to the locals here who gave us enough information.

Dagdusheth Ganpati Pune

Dagdusheth Ganpati Pune | Image Resource : flickr.com

Dagadusheth was a Halwai (sweet maker) who was a successful and famous trader in Pune. Unfortunately, his son dies due to plague and since then he and his wife went into depression. After seeing them in such a bad condition, their Guru Maharaj asked them to construct the Ganesh temple, and since then the temple is popular in the entire city.

I love such stories, and I am always ready to hear them. The Ganapati idol at the temple was so pretty and decorated with great care. The eyes of the idol looked real. Well, it seemed like God was here and was listening to all the prayers of his devotees. Truly delightful!

We thanked the locals who suggested us to come here; it was a great experience for all of us. The idol of the Ganesh is 7.5 in height and it is 4 feet in width. People offer gold here and there are many events such as bhajans and concerts held.

Destination Of The Week : St Mary’s Church Pune

St Mary's Church Pune

St Mary’s Church Pune | Image Resource : onedaypicnic.co.in

Description : I love exploring places which have historical significance and so St Mary’s Church made my visit worthwhile. I was mesmerized when I saw the stained glass windows and the Gothic style of architecture. I realised that the architecture is a perfect blend of British and Indian styles. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out the 2-blade ceiling that you find in electrical museums.

Aga Khan Palace- A Perfect Way To Look Into Pune’s Past!

Since we landed in Pune at around 7:30 in the evening, and by the time we checked into our hotel room it was already 9, therefore we decided to just relax in our rooms. Our exploration would begin from the next day.

Aga Khan Palace Pune

Aga Khan Palace Pune |Image Resource : mkgandhi.org

I don’t know why Pune came to my mind as the first option to explore. I had already travelled around the Eastern and Southern part of India, including Kolkata and Chennai. In fact, the moment I had shared the choice for destination with my friends in Haryana, they agreed instantly.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Inside The Palace

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Inside the Palace | Image Resource : indiaheritagesites.wordpress.com

The next morning, all four of us were completely geared up with our cameras and other gadgets. After all, the first destination in our list of must visit places was none other than the Aga Khan Palace. Located at Pune Nagar Road, in Kalyani Nagar, this palace is quite popular in the world for its majestic design and vastness. It was almost 10 in the morning when we left our hotel room.

Museum Inside The Palace

Museum Inside The Palace | Image Resource : indiaheritagesites.wordpress.com

Since there were cameras and other equipment with us, we decided to hire a cab. It wasn’t difficult because nowadays a number of private cab companies are available. All you need to do is download their mobile app. So, within few minutes the cab was in front of the hotel entrance. Quickly, we grabbed our equipment and the cab raced towards our destination.

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Mahatma Gandhi Statue | Image Resource : indiaheritagesites.wordpress.com

After like 20 or 30 minutes, we were finally close to the palace. The entry fee for each person was 5 INR, which is quite nominal. Once we got inside, the magnificence of the palace absolutely left me impressed and amazed. As a matter of fact, Aga Khan Palace remains open for the public from 9 in the morning till 5:30 in the evening.

Aga Khan Palace

Aga Khan Palace | Image Resource : tcabs.in

Built in 1892, this structure offers a perfect example of Maharashtra’s past. Be it the garden around the Palace or the richly decorated halls inside the building, everything about this palace is quite beautiful. After taking innumerable photos of the palace and the garden around, we decided to move towards our next destination. I must say that if you have penchant for historic buildings, this is a must visit place in Pune.

Destination Of The Week : Shaniwar Wada Pune

Shaniwar Wada Pune

Shaniwar Wada Pune | Image Resource : virtualpune.com

About Shaniwar Wada Pune : The conception of this monument itself depicts the grandeur life of Peshwa Baji Rao I. Being a photographer, the majestic walls of the monument, the gates, doorways and most importantly lotus-shaped fountain were a treat for me and my camera. The most intriguing factor of this place was the light and sound show that is held every evening.

Hail The Heros At Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute stands as an emblem for all those who have braved the snow and the ridges to make their mark at the highest altitudes. This goes for the hero who have conquered the hills. It was built to commemorate the success of Tenzing Norgay who accompanied Edmund Hillary in the conquest of Mount Everest in 1953.

Tenzing was the first field trainer for mountaineering enthusiasts at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. A present, it offers a residential school for mountaineering students as well as a museum housing mountaineering artifacts and displays.

Entrance of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Entrance of Himalayan Mountaineering Institute | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

The foundation stone was laid by the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The institute offers month long on mountaineering. There are some small curio shops selling Himalayan craft, gems etc that the tourists can pick up as a souvenir.

A tour around the institute gives you glimpses of expeditions undertaken by the mountaineers. It is much more that sitting at a distance and admiring the beauty. It is humongous and life threatening. I imagined myself in their shoes. At first the sprawling white sheet of snow seemed appealing but after that came the other side of the beautiful nature. The scarier side of it… it sent a chill through the spine.

I walked around the institutes panning the reminiscence of the glories of the past. The signage that says, “May you climb from peak to peak.” Truly, this is what climbing is all about. Suddenly, an ad banner of some management institute flashed on my mind. They had this kind of a visual. It had a man climbing up the mountains with some similar tagline written underneath. I could imagine the kind of valor and grit that is actually required to climb from peak to peak.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

 The institute also gave some of the most beautiful views of the mountains. The snow capped Kanchenjunga looked the same from every part of Darjeeling. Pristine white with hues of withered yellow reflecting the sun. It was a very enriching experience for me and will stay in my mind long after I leave this place.

Desstination Of The Week : Rock Garden Darjeeling

Rock Garden Darjeeling

Rock Garden Darjeeling | Image Resource : wikipedia.org

Description : Rock Garden! Came as a surprise during this trip. We thought of skipping this place and if we had done that, we would have regretted. Amazing place with beautiful artificial waterfall and flowers surrounding the falls. Any without a photographic experience can take wonderful pics in this place such is the magic of this place.

Desstination Of The Week : Senchal Lake Darjeeling

Senchal Lake Darjeeling

Senchal Lake Darjeeling | Image Resource : wikipedia.org

About Senchal Lake Darjeeling  : Just the glimpse of the Senchal Lake from the mountains would mesmerize any person, definitely this was a treat to my new cam! Took wonderful shots of the lake and I felt that the lake is so quietly hidden between two great mountains. Diverse kinds of birds fluttering here and there adds to the beauty of the place.

A Fantastic Glimpse Of The Bengal Natural History Museum!

The Bengal Natural History Museum is just a few minutes’ walk down the hill from the Chawrasta Mall. Started in 1903, the museum endeavored to display butterflies and birds of that region. A small building was constructed in the Botanical garden of Darjeeling which was expanded later to house a huge collection and specimens that include wide varieties of birds with nests and eggs, reptiles and fishes, mammals, insects and more.

The specimens that are displayed are of real creatures that were captured and preserved. A special taxidermy department is responsible for the curing, staffing and rendering the animals for display.

As you enter the ground floor, you are greeted with a large room with rows of glass cabinets on both sides. The birds section include specimens of owls that include Northern Spotted Owlets, Himalayan Brown Wood Owls, Northern Brown Fish Owls, woodpeckers, pheasants, fly catchers etc displayed in natural settings on the tree branches. The museum houses more than 820 specimens of birds from more than 400 species in Darjeeling.

Bengal Natural History Museum Darjeeling

Bengal Natural History Museum Darjeeling | Image Resource : journeymart.com

The other side of the room you find a large collection of birds’ eggs displayed in beautiful collection of nests. Right across the main room, lies a huge crocodile from the Estuarine species which is said to be a dangerous predator. As I walked past its giant frame, I couldn’t but help murmur a prayer. The very thought of it if it was alive and moving sent a chill through my spine. Nevertheless, I took some mindful snaps of the sleeping predator. A selfie with it? Nah, that would be too much.

Apart from this, there are 35 snake species out of a total of 76 species available in this area. There are also 57 species of fishes displayed in the museum. Some of the other interesting variety includes the Tibetan fox, Tibetan Lynx, heads of wild buffaloes hanging from the walls. There are panthers or leopards as well adding up to the glory of the place. Two large ivory are also on display. An entire section is dedicated for insects that houses 608 different species of butterflies and moths apart from 1104 types of other insects.

From the ground floor, the museum extends to the basement that houses species such as pelicans, jungle fowls and others displayed at a backdrop of various land features of West Bengal. The landscapes are also segregated into forested hills, wetlands, the fertile Ganges, the dry areas with its natural vegetation and the Sundarbans.

The museum houses a library and a reading room that preserves some valuable books about the fauna of this region.