Archive for the “Travel” Category

Google Maps has been providing great services in the West. Now Google Maps gives you driving directions in India. I have been using it on my mobile phone when visiting new places. You can install Google Maps in your phone by visiting m.google.com from your mobile if it is Java enabled. Andriod, iPhone, Blackberry are also supported. However, some Windows Mobile phones are also supported and Nokia phones with old Symbion OS is not supported.

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During the third week of Jan I was in Madhya Pradesh. So, how could I not visit Omkareshwar. Omkareshwar temple is one of the 12 Jyothirlings in india. I also visited the sacred city of Ujjain where another jyothirling MahaKaleshwar resides. Omkareshwar is situatuted on the bank of rivers Narmada and Kaveri. Omkareshwar is situated at the meeting point of rivers Kaveri and Narmada. A meeting point of Rivers is considered a holy place by Hindus. Omkareshwar temple is situated on an island which is in the shape of the word ‘Om’ in Sanskrit.

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Recently I have been to Mhow, a place very near to Indore. Ujjain is around 55 kilometers from Indore. Ujjain is a famous tourist destination with great history of invasions. So, how could I resist visiting this city. There are a lot of places worth visiting in Ujjain. Ujjain is the modern name of the city of Ujjaini (Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri).Ujjain is situated on the banks of the river Shipra(Kshipra), regarded since times immemorial as sacred. Here, I describe the places I visited with some photographs.

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The Buddha statue at the artificial lake Hussain Sagar is a great attraction to the visitors of Hyderabad. The Buddha statue is 17 meters tall and weighs 320 tonnes as described by a board  at the installation site of Buddha statue. The Buddha statue was carved by many artisans from a single rock. It is the largets monolithic statue of Buddha in India. It was transported from a place 60kms from Hussain Sagar lake and brought on 192 wheels. While installing the Statue at Hussain Sagar it accidentally fell into the lake and this accident killed 8. However, the state government recovered and installed the Buddha Statue in the middle of  Hussain Sagar  at the Gibraltar Rock in 1992.

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A few weeks back I was in Ranikhet. It’s got a superb climate. It’s a tourist destination during summer as it’s got a good climate. It’s not very hot even in summer as it comprises of mountains. At a higher altitude one can always find low temperature. This is the main reason why tourists around the world and in India visit Ranikhet during summer. During winter the best thing is to stay at home near the fireplace or an electric heater. There’s a problem of water scarcity in the city but in the Army cantonment life is good.

A hill station, idyllic in its charm, Ranikhet with its majestic pine trees, is around 90kms from Kathgodam, which is the nearest railway station to Raanikhet. Ranikhet reflects the very best of the heavenly Himalayas: their lush green forests, majestic mountain peaks, exotic plant life and attractive wild life. To experience nature’s beautiful elements  in full harmony of Himalayas the right place is Ranikhet. According to a popular belief at this spot King Sudhardev had won the heart of Queen Padmini. She chose this scenic place to her abode and since then it had come to be known as Ranikhet, literally “Queen’s field”.

Ranikhet has always been known as a Military center and a land of bravery since British period. In fact Ranikhet was designed and developed in a very classical way by British for their troops. At present Ranikhet is a land of Kumaon and Naga Regimental center. Sir Henry Russell established the Kumaon Regiment as Hyderabad Regiment in the year 1700, under the Nizam of Hyderabad.

The following sites can be visited during your stay in Ranikhet:

  • Chaubatiya Garden: Around 10 km from Ranikhet, this place has fruit gardens with a government Fruit Research Center.
  • Bhalu Dam: It’s 3km from Chaubatiya. It is famous for fishing.
  • Upat, Kalika: 6kms from Ranikhet on the road to Almora the place has one of the very popular golf courses in India. It’s a 9 hole golf course. Also, surrounded by dense forest jusy one km away from Upat is a Kalika Devi temple.
  • Hairakhan Dham(Haidakhan Dham): It is 5 km from Ranikhet, ashram of Haidakhan baba is located here. Many foreign disciples of baba can be found here

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On August 30th I went to Gangolihat, a place in Pitthoragarh Dist. of Uttrakhand state in India. On the next day I had a visit to Patal Bhuvaneshwar. As the name suggests, this is an underground abode of God. Here, we have beautiful cave of Patal Bhuvaneshwar, which has a vertical 120-meter tunnel like path to go inside. The temple is amidst a thick forest of oak and deodar.

This cave is a repository of various episodes of Hindu mythology. One has to bend and crawl, holding on to the supportive chains on the wall, to get inside the cave. In comparison to the narrow entrance, the inside of the cave is wide. On reaching down into the cave one can see a bid idol of Seshnag, holding the earth on his hood. It feels like, this cave takes you inside the Seshnag. There’s a Havan Kund in front of Seshnag’s Idol. From thereon it’s the spine of Seshnag that takes one to the point where water trickles from an eight-petal lotus (Ashtadalkamal)on the body of Ardh-Ganesha. When Lord Shiva had beheaded his son Ganesha not knowing that Ganesha was his son. On mother Parvati’s plea lord Shiva restored life into Ganesha’s beheaded body using trickling water on Ganesha’s body with the help of an eight-petal lotus.

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Last weekend I went to few places worth a visit. One of them was Gangolihat. It’s a small hill town in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state in India. It’s famous for the Kalika Temple situated here. This is called the ‘Haat Kalika Mandir’. It was chosen by Shankaracharya for installing Mahakali Shaktipeeth. Nearby ‘Patal Bhubneshwar’ has beautiful underground caves about which I shall write another article soon.

This town is situated in an area of hilly terrain. There are various beautiful locations you could see while going to this place. Gangolihat is around 77 kilometers from Pithoragarh. The nearest railway station is Tanakpur. However, you can also come to Haldwani or Kathgodam rialway stations and get a cab to reach Gangolihat. You can stay here in Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam’s guest house.

To see images from the ‘Haat Kalika Temple’ visit the Haat kalika Website

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Recently, I was in Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. I was there to attend three marriage ceremonies of my cousins. Therefore, it took me so long to write another post here. Last week in Hyderabad there were hell lot of people getting married. As I observed all the function halls were booked. Wherever I went I could see a board indicating a couple was getting married there.

I had a visit to the Microsoft Development Center near Hi-Tech city. Microsoft has a Research and Development Center in Hyderabad. It was really good. They have very good infrastructure. A whole building is used just for parking the vehicles. There are various facilities available to the employees. One of my Dad’s friend works there. So, I had no problem visiting the Microsoft R&D Center.

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I recently visited Nainital. It was awesome. To be frank this city has nothing more than a lake surrounded by Mountains. But the view is unforgettable. This is why thousands of tourists visit this city during summer.The very first day I was here, the roads were full of vehicles. So I decided to walk instead of moving in a car. But a few days later, as rains started pouring down, many vehicles found their way out of Nainital. I was happy :-) .

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Last week I was in the capital of Punjab. Chandigarh is a nice place. It’s one of those cities which were build after a great planning. I loved planning of this city. It’s a great place to shop. Nice restaurants and yeah lots of paneer (Asian cheese) in food. It was a great experience in Punjab, I also went to Jalandhar to purchase some quality sports products. Now I got a new squash racket and a new tennis racket.

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