Pride and Joy #Travelfeels

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The 20 teens were a decade of travel begun with crossing over the Himalayas into the rising superpower China in 2010 and ending with an English sojourn across the remnants of an empire where the sun never set. But none of these places gave the feeling of the Pride and Joy experienced travelling across India.

One lifetime is not enough to entirely explore this crazy land that has pulled travellers and explorers over ages like a magnet. Listing below some trips over the past decade which have been etched in memory for ever.

Photo of CST Platform No 18, P D'Mello Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by PG
Photo of CST Platform No 18, P D'Mello Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by PG
Photo of CST Platform No 18, P D'Mello Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by PG
Photo of CST Platform No 18, P D'Mello Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by PG

A trip on this luxury train lets one experience the life of celebrities with exclusive red-carpeted access to places that are often out of bounds for the common tourists. Every need is anticipated and taken care-off leaving one feeling pampered and spoilt for ever.

2.Wah Taj! #FeelingInspired

The Taj

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by PG

Every stereotypical India itinerary is incomplete without a visit to the Taj Mahal which has come to symbolize India and love across the world. But Shah Jahan’s magnum opus took inspirations from the best monuments in India in his time that are way less known today.

Hoshang Shah’s tomb in Mandu is the oldest marble masouleum in India which has records of the visit by the architects of the Taj Mahal.

Photo of Hoshang Shah Tomb, Mandu, Mandav, Madhya Pradesh, India by PG

The Ibrahim Rouza tomb complex of the Adil Shahi dynasty in Bijapur (now Vijayapura) is said to have inspired the original vision for the Taj with a black twin joined by a bridge.

Photo of Ibrahim Rouza Road, Shastri Nagar, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by PG

The tomb of Itimad ud daula in Agra which the locals call the Baby Taj gave the inspiration for the ornate pietre dura work the Taj is famous for.

Photo of Itmad-ud-Daula, Moti Bagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by PG

Bibi ka Maqbara which is also known as the Taj of the Deccan is a simpler but no less regal copy of the Taj commissioned by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb.

Photo of Bibi Ka Maqbara, Begumpura, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India by PG

3.Epic travels #FeelingReligious

Most of our epics are travelogues of one sort of the other spanning across the length and breadth of the vast expanse of the Indian sub-continent.

With the Ramayana trail one can retrace the steps of lord Ram from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh all the way down to Sri Lanka and back. The events are spread across India and can make up for an interesting journey e.g. one can spend an afternoon exploring the Kishkindha Kand while in Hampi.

Following the Bhakti cult celebrating Lord Krishna takes one to unique temple across India: Janmabhoomi temple and Banke Bihari at Mathura, Srinathji in Nathdwara, Jagannath Temple at Puri, Udupi SriKrishna Temple, Vitthal Temple in Pandharpur, Nandadulal at Chandannagar to name a few.

A day trip from Delhi to Kurukshetra in Harayana takes one across 2 battlefields that changed Indian history – the battlefield of Panipat that saw decisive wars that changed the course of Indian history and the mythical battlefield of Kurukshetra which was the setting of the epic war in the Mahabharata.

Photo of Kurukshetra, Haryana, India by PG

The banyan tree at Jyotisar was the witness to the sermon of Gita given by Krishna to Arjun in the middle of the battlefield.

4.Jungle books #FeelingRefreshed

Indian jungles are characterized by vegetation that do not give the feeling of standardization that one often gets abroad. These jungles are not only the habitat of unique wildlife but also hiden many secrets within them for millennia.

Ranthambore is the home to Royal Bengal tiger with many other endangered species.

Photo of Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, India by PG

Hidden within a jungle, the Bhimbetka rock shelters are proof of India’s agelessness.

Photo of Bhimbetka rock shelters, Bhojpur Raisen, Madhya Pradesh, India by PG

One has to cross the famous mountains of the Marathas to reach the temple in the heart of the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary.

Photo of Bhimashankar Jyotirling Mandir Of Lord Shiva, Nigdale, Maharashtra, India by PG

A day long trip across treacherous waters and dense forests accessing the Dhabaleswar and Kapilas temples is a simple affair today.

Photo of Kapilash temple, Kapilash Road, Odisha, India by PG
Photo of Kapilash temple, Kapilash Road, Odisha, India by PG

5.Opulence #FeelingProud

Mughal India was one of the richest countries of the world and this splendor is still reflected by the remnants of their magnificent buildings.

The imposing Agra Fort was the beginning of the Mughal grandeur.

Photo of Agra Fort, Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by PG
Photo of Agra Fort, Agra Fort, Rakabganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by PG

Said to be the last flame of Mughal power Safdarjung’s Tomb is one of the best preserved monuments in New Delhi.

Photo of Safdarjung Tomb, Airforce Golf Course, Delhi Race Club, New Delhi, Delhi, India by PG
Photo of Safdarjung Tomb, Airforce Golf Course, Delhi Race Club, New Delhi, Delhi, India by PG

6.Poetry in stone #FeelingAwestruck

Not just the Mughals but each of their predecessors have left behind imposing structures that tell their stories long after they are gone. One of the most heavily concentrated collections of archaeological remains of the superior levels of Indian art are found at Hampi and its surrounding towns.

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by PG

Aihole’s Durga temple probably inspired the architects of the Indian Parliament.

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by PG

The temple complex at Pattadakal is India’s own Ankor.

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by PG

The rock paintings near Hampi are a hidden treasure.

Photo of Pride and Joy #Travelfeels by PG

The ghats at Maheswar are a cleaner and emptier replica of Varanasi.

Photo of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India by PG

The Jahaz Mahal at Mandu gives the feeling of being on a ship.

Photo of Jahaz Mahal, Talaab Lane, Aam Bagh, Khandsa Colony, Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi, India by PG

7.World’s Heritage #FeelingProud

Simply trying to visit all the listed UNESCO world heritage sites within India is a daunting effort.

Gol Gumbaz – the largest dome in the world when it was constructed

Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Jadar Galli, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by PG

The Sanchi stupa now on our notes

Photo of Sanchi Stupa, Sanchi Museum and Udaygiri Caves, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India by PG

8.Inheritance of Loss #FeelingSad

Travelling across the world one sees locals’ pride in their history and celebration of cultural icons. This sensitivity is sadly missing in our country where history is simply hidden or built over by the current residents. Case in point – Mirza Ghalib’s haveli lost in the bylanes of Chandni chowk that is near impossible to locate without help from the locals (Google maps still fails in many places in India).

Photo of Haveli Mirza Galib, Balli Maran, Baradari, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India by PG
Photo of Haveli Mirza Galib, Balli Maran, Baradari, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India by PG

9.Revival #FeelingOptimistic

All is not lost with the revival of administrative interest in our heritage and conscious efforts to transform our museums into world class facilities. The best example is the CSMVS in Mumbai which the locals still refer to as the Prince of Wales museum. Over the past decade it has morphed into a cultural hotspot with modern galleries, theme based special exhibitions often in collaboration with the best museums of the world such as the British Museum that bring world history to Mumbai, a special museum for kids with a museum on wheels alongwith hosting events ranging from music to shopping.

The Government of Odisha’s brand new museums in the golden triangle of Odisha with the Konark Temple interpretation Centre, the Tribal Museum at Bhubaneswar and the Odisha Maritime Museum at Cuttack are another example of celebrating our rich heritage.

Photo of Odisha, India by PG

The amazing renovation work at the Qutb Shahi tombs of Hyderabad will restore them to their original glory.

Photo of Qutb Shahi Tombs, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, Telangana, India by PG

The Kaneri Math at Kolhapur introduces children to long lost ways of life in Indian villages.

Photo of Kaneri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India by PG

The interactive Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre at Airoli uses technology to sensitize kids about the bio-diversity around Mumbai.

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