Trips and Itineraries for Jogini
My first step towards Solo Travel - Devo ki bhoomi Manali
Solo Travel, these are not just two mere words but also carries a lot of meaning and a load full of guts inside the mind of a travelling enthusiast who is yet to travel alone....
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140 Kms from Jogini
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One of the most colourful and indiscreet cities of India, Varanasi is one of the seven holiest cities for the Hindus. Also known as Kashi and Benaras, this place is known for its temples, ghats and the colourful people. The narrow alleys and crowded streets seem to be extremely blissful in spite of all the noise and chaos all around. People come here just to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges. Varanasi is also known as Uttar Kashi and is situated on the western banks of the Ganges. It is said that a dip in this river frees one from a lifetime of sins. People even say that death here is auspicious as people attain moksha if they die here. Some people also come here tp creamate their loved ones and the sound of the holy temple bells are really soothing music to the ears.Read More
One fine morning when I woke up , I found cool breeze touched my face . It seems last night rain made the weather pleasant, so I thought to enjoy it . Then I discussed with my family decided to visit two beautiful waterfalls in chakiya region of varanasi which is around 70 km from varanasi.We started making preparations and making arrangements to carry lunch and snacks for the trip. We started at 10:00 AM from our home and took the NH19 and then SH 37 . The road from national highway to state highway is really scenic , The field on both sides were like Green carpet is rolled on both sides laden with freshly sown Paddy saplings.
The train was 1 hour late. Not bad for the month of March 2017. To make it a perfect backpack trip, I didn't book any hotel but an amazing hostel chain for backpackers, Zostel. The beautiful graffiti on the walls will definitely make you gaze those and imbibe a strong positive vibe. Don't forget to make new friends at Zostel. You are bound to find like-minded travel enthusiasts along the way.We were hungry and the caretaker suggested us a street shop for kachauri and sabzi. Coming from Kolkata, we jumped at the idea of street food. It was hardly a 4-5 minutes walk and kachauri-sabzi was simply mouth watering. We decided to eat our breakfast there on Sunday as well.We wandered on the narrow lanes and felt the warmth and charm of the old city. Its an art to walk on those lanes without bumping into another person or crushing the tail of a cow. People were busy in their daily lives and I was beguiled. Oldness has its own pristine charm. My cousin gestured using his head, tilting little right, raising both the eyebrows if I would accompany him in eating garam jalebi. 'Of course, Yes!!'We went to the museum of BHU and saw the hugeness of the campus around and afterwards took a boat ride on the Ganges. It showed us most of the ghats. Being a bong, it was important for us identify and locate the ghat from the movie 'Joi Baba Felunath'. It was Munshi Ghat. Oh! what a delight it was to see that ghat. It was a sheer joy. We felt as if we were the characters from that movie. We quizzed each other on the story and characters of the movie. My cousinwon! By sundown, we were closer to Dasashwamedh Ghat for Ganga aarti, an elaborate experience. Everyone around us chanted mantras.After an entire day's wandering and exhaustion, we started to wander again! This time it was almost 8 pm now. Our caretaker from Zostel again recommended us to try flavoured lassi from Blue Lassi shop. Never-ending walk through the twisted-curvy narrow lanes, we landed in a 15ft by 8ft shop. Just name a flavour and you'd get it. They do not prepare it using any mixer grinder, only hands! And if you love the lassi, don't forget to paste your pic with a message on the wall.
Mark Twain has said - "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together!"Burning Ghats in contrast to the glittering Ghats, Ghats which are an irony! The Ghats and river Ganga are here since forever, even before mankind. The place might have many names- Kashi, Benares, and Varanasi but there is one soul, a soul difficult to understand, easy to connect, positive vibes to breathe from and a collective feeling to cherish forever."The city illumines truth and reveals reality. It does not bring new wonders into the scope of vision, but enables one to see what is already there. Where this eternal light intersects the earth, it is known as Kashi" – said by Diana L. EckPeople are the streetscape here at Varanasi! They add beauty to the ageing buildings, dilapidated structures, and cramped lanes! Like a typically unplanned sprawling Indian city, Varanasi attracts attention mainly due to the Aarti at Ganga Ghats. In a span of 5 days in Varanasi, I witnessed the Ghats thrice which to me were still less. I wish I could visit more.Epic Cycle Rickshaw Ride & witnessing the Magnificant Ganga Aarti from far for the first time.I was excited to take a ride in the highly glorified Cycle Rickshaw of Varanasi and the ride was really epic. It was thrilling to see bikes, cars, buses and cows all trying patiently to find their way towards their destination.[Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. The city has 88 Ghats , Most of the Ghats are bathing and Puja ceremony Ghats, while a few are used exclusively as cremation sites.Most Varanasi Ghats were built after 1700 AD, when the city was part of Maratha Empire, The patrons of current Ghats are Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwes (Peshwas). Many Ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while many Ghats are privately owned. In Hindu traditions, cremation is one of the rites of passage and the Ghats of Varanasi are considered one of the auspicious locations for this ritual. At the time of the cremation or "last rites", a "Puja" (prayer) is performed. Hymns and mantras are recited during cremation to mark the ritual. The Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats are dedicated to the cremation ritual. (Wiki)]The evening Aarti starts at 7:00 pm at Dashaswamedha Ghat, so we managed to do a small ride before that and anchored by 7alongside the Ganga Ghat to witnes the magnificent Ganga Aarti. One can see the pyres burning throughout the days and nights at Manikaran & Harishchadra Ghats.Our Boat being way too big, we couldn’t see the Puja from up close. Aarti is carried out in various stages - Aarti with incense, Incense smoke, Aarti with tiered lamps. A group of priests daily perform Aartis here to worship to Fire wherein a dedication is made to Lord Shiva, River Ganges, Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the whole universe.After the morning visits to Sarnath, Dharmarajika Stupa from the pre-Ashokan Era, Ashoka pillar, the Ganga Ghat evening visit was difficult to understand. Mostly ruins & silent prayer places at Sarnath, we were struck by Paradox already![Morning Raag] at River Ganga.Ganga was silently flowing and the few Ghats were starting to wake up, it felt as if everyone was waiting for the sun to peep out of his cozy blanket of clouds. The sun rose slowly changing the color from blue to an orangish shade. As mere spectators we couldn't do much, just experience everything around. Singer Bhonu emerged from one of the boat with a melodious morning Raag, Bhonu is well known in the Ghat as someone who gives melodious unplugged versions to the morning spectators. The sound of water crashing coz of the oars gave the Raag its perfect beat. His voice still rings in my ear. There were people bathing on the Ghats, fires were still smoldering and a slight mist over Ganga.Elahi ! It was one blissful ride; it was one of those morning rays which make you feel one with universe! I have inhaled them and I know how it feels!Dreamers are the moon gazers and believers the sun gazers. That soulful experience to watch sun rise, it gave way to dreams, belief, assurance, a chance and everything you have dreamt of in the previous night. Squinting through the light, you start believing in freedom, you start understanding the language of earth and everything to do with the dreams. As someone has said you discover the great longing of life to hold and be held.The wow factor was spoting "The leaning temple of varanasi" (Just like leaning tower of Pisa) It is hard to miss this, famously and largely photographed Ratneshwar Mahadev temple. They say it is believed to be 400-500 years old. The leaning is probably a fault in foundation or the silt, but of course there are legends involved.A chance meeting with our early morning rickshaw guy helped us in discovering a small town Lallapura & the authentic small silk factories. We witnessed some of the best handloom work of Varanasi.During the day we visited the house of India’s 2nd Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri at Ramnagar. The caretaker narrated few mind boggling stories while we roamed around this typical rural house with pride. We left the place with a heartwarming & a happy feeling.Ganga Aarti few feet awayLeaving my fellow companions who were shopping I headed straight to the Ganga Ghat to witness the Aarti from close. It was an awesome feeling to see the same from just 10 feet away. Delightfully dressed priests performed the Aarti, the sound of ringing bells, the fragrance all around, floating diyas & the cool breeze I will never ever forget in my life. Witnessing such things makes you believe in the power of positive energy, believe in the power of a prayer, believe in the power of a mother, and believe in the power of the universe.The trip ended with these extraordinary vibes this place gave in, the intense experience I will carry it with me when I depart. I feel happy and blessed that I could witness the most colorful, picturesque, mysterious, progressive and regressive, ancient and modern city in my little life!“It is so difficult, this thing to be on fire and still somehow be at peace! Be filled with wonder and still be touched by peace! Live in the moment and forever still be at peace!” – Gauri ArgadeAll hail to the universe!For video compilation of the trip click – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh54rMYnn78&t=3s
6. Spend your mornings on the ghats of VaranasiSpend a quiet weekend on the ghats of Benaras, a spot that must be on your Indian travel bucketlist. Travellers can take the overnight train, Swatantrta S Exp, from Delhi to Varanasi. Mata Anandamai Ghat, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Munshi Ghat and Raj Ghat are some of the river banks you can pick from to walk along and enjoy the morning sun. Take a boat ride on the Ganga river and enjoy the sepia-tinted sunsets in this historical city that inspire beyond measure.
I danced with Shiva again in the Ghats of the holy city of Banaras which is an abode of Shiva himself. Legends has it that the city rests on Shiva’s trident. Banaras is the town where the journey of every Hindu comes to rest. The Hindus bring their dead to Banaras and burn them on the Ghats of the Ganga. Funeral pyres are lit continuously one after the other. Assi Ghat is one such Ghat where pyres have been lit for thousands of years without a break. This is the land of death, the shamshaans of Shiva. On the Ghats wander the flesh eating aghoris and the nagas who are the children of Shiva. Shiva, the lord of shamshaan, the ultimate destroyer watches upon this holy city of Varanasi. Banaras is also known for Hindutva and its great universities like the Banaras Hindu University. It is the homeland of poets like Nirala and Kaka Hathrasi. Still, Shiva is omnipresent here, making even tourists from Europe and America come to Varanasi in search of nirvana, the ultimate salvation. Seekers come here to gain enlightenment on the banks of the Ganges. Pilgrims bathe to purify their sins and get ready to sin again.
There has been lots of thing said about Banaras being congested, conservative and many more. But there are definitely hundred more reasons to love Banaras.Hope to visit soon..
Varanasi is an old city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It stands on the banks of the river Ganga and is known as the spiritual capital of India. Varanasi attracts tourists from all over the globe for being a holy city or one of the seven scared cities as per Hinduism. It is also the land on which the famous Benaras Hindu University has been built and has thrived with reputation to this day.On reaching Varanasi from Kolkata we were greeted by our relatives who happened to have relocated to this city. To make the story concise, I move on to the places which I covered on the visit.The Tibetan TempleThis is a beautiful, quiet and extremely clean temple.
We woke up late on second day as we covered almost everything on first day & only left with ganga bath, so we started at around 11 am & headed directly towards a road side vendor for "litti choka" & "sattu ki bati", that was delicious & cheap, you feel amazing when these vendor gives you green chutney from there lunch box that we used in our childhood, after that we visited shiva restaurant for quick lunch, after almost taking rest for 1-2 hours, we headed directly towards Assi ghat from where we hired a boat in 250 rupees for 4 people to reached opposite shore to bath. It's very sad that we pollute our main ghats to much that we need to go to other side to bath. We enjoyed there almost 1 hour in ganga, offer prayers to sun although we didn't knew any :-).
This place always gives me unexplainable feelings. I have never been able to decode the hidden mystery of the place but for sure the feeling is positive. It has a mystical charm, a divine spirit but at the same time it somehow bewilders me. It leaves me little confused but it always surprises me. One thing is for sure, I will keep coming to Banaras, to find that inner peace and to soak in the good vibe of the place.
141 Kms from Jogini
Best time to visit - January,February,March,December
Allahabad enjoys the prestige of being one of the four holiest spots of India and thus host Maha Kumbh in every 12 years, Ardh Kumbh in every 6 years and Magh Mela once a year. The fact that it encompasses the confluence of the most sacred rivers of India- Ganga and Yamuna makes it all the more special. It has its own culture of religious and literary overtones. You not only find a number of famous temples around the city of Allahabad but also places of historical significance like Anand Bhawan having produced 5 consecutive generations of able politicians of the nation, Akbar’s fort built following the common Mughal tradition of fort construction by riverside, Khusro Bagh housing some other Mughal remains. One can't miss the famous Allahabad museum! You could take with you, religious paraphernalia, books on local literature and vintage handicrafts as mementos of the lovely city. From taking a dip in its holy waters , to enjoying a boat ride in Prayag, from throwing away coins to pay visit to Patalpuri temple, to roaming in Mughal era monuments, there are certain things unique to the city!Read More
As I commence this blog I tend to wonder how am I going to put an end to it. The experience of this Excursion is so vast and Mystical that it gives complex to our minuscule lives. I'd never seen such an ebullient environment in my life and it is officially stated as the largest human gathering in the world. People perform bizarre acts in the name of Religion, which they certify as Religious devotion, which to me is amusing and absurd. But then- my thoughts are of an individual! Although it does seem that my tasks to accomplish are in process. My Reincarnation in this lifetime as a Hindu has led me to this festival called the Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 at Allahabad! I felt blessed because to Hindus this event is imperative. I mentioned about my lecturer from "Delhi School of Photography" Mr. Jotirmoy Das in my First blog and his persuasive nature. After the two trips I took with him I was sure of him to baffle everyone, so much that it has evolved into a talent from his nature and somehow I'm enthralled by it now. But when he spoke to me about this Photography Jaunt the tone was different. It was so genuine as if the Head of a Religious Community defined Proclivity for Religion. And when you are at a start of your creative career every prospect seems enticing even if you have to click pictures or write an article amidst a Dunghill. With his sincere coaxing I agreed and when he told me that I have to board the train from Old Delhi Railway Station, the thought of going there was repugnant to me. But being a natural traveller that I'm there's always adrenaline that gets me going and I love to challenge comfort sometimes. When I reached the Rusty Red most crucial Station of the country I wonder where People come from, there are so many of them that anyone will think of it as a whole universe instead of a railway station. At the station I met Mr. Das along with Mr. Deepak Virmani , the owner of Delhi School Of Photography and 3 American Educators teaching at The American School, New-Delhi and Mr.Vijay. All of us being Travel & Photography enthusiasts out to explore an overwhelming event seemed nonetheless than National Geographic employees. The moment I heard that my ticket is unconfirmed I was infuriated and couldn't help with an outburst of profanity. I agree that I have a habit to condemn my country because of poor Infrastructure, Government and much more. But I have decided that this habit shall soon stop. Mr. Das told me to just board the train with no doubt assuring me that he would take care of it and I must say with his glib talking to the Ticket Checker I was stunned. It took no time to settle the adverse situation. The train Journey was marvelous probably because of the company that I had, The Americans with us were engrossed in playing board games such as chess and some mathematical game which was out my league but I did try my best to play and compete despite being a mathematical illiterate. The mobile network was atrocious in the train hence I couldn't speak with my girlfriend who now happens to be an ex-girlfriend, she had to mail me a goodnight message hoping I will get it by the time I reach Allahabad and I was a young man who was in love and just a message could put me to sleep and so it did indeed a tranquil sleep. I opened my eyes to the beautiful light of Allahabad's dawn and saw millions of people scattered throughout the city with a firm belief to take a dip in the living goddesses river called The Ganga or Ganges to wash away their sins or rather as they say 'It's a direct entry to heaven sir'. The campsite, our abode for the next couple of days was about an hour and half away from the railway station. For the next five days we lived like Gypsies in tents, there were people from all over the Globe. It was a land of hash, everyone just smoked joints & chillums, from sadhus to tourists. I hardly inhaled any fresh air instead it was so much hash that I myself felt like a passive charras smoking sadhu. The sadhus have a quaint way of expressing their devotion towards religion. Some of them have sacrificed their arms by keeping it in air and not cutting their nails, some sadhus tie a rope to their testicles and lift up seventy kilos of bricks; one particular sadhu applied the same procedure but tied it to pull a car with people in it. They call these acts 'Yoga' to suppress their sexual desire. Some haven't slept in a decade and just been standing. Men who aspire to become sadhus have to give up all contact with their families and become a devotee to a Guru and get their heads shaved. I was unaware that there is even a criterion for the path to spirituality. The methodology for God's creation of the Universe should be un- equivocal, God has sent each of us on earth as per our karmic deeds from our past lives. Although I don't hold any special rights to say this or to impart the limited knowledge I have but I just say what God has made me feel. We all our God's children, in-fact God is our only parent, we live our lives according to how they want us to live. To me sacrificing things to the extent sadhus do is not necessary, we could just practice the art of simplicity and be good human beings, love each other and do what we love and that's how God will be with us constantly. I'm not saying that these sadhus are wrong; after all it is their personal belief and maybe God wants them to be this way. But just looking at them was an adventure. Their dedication was inspiring that I could stay there for some more days and just contemplate them, but even they would have left. We all depart for our cocooned shelters eventually. I want to share some important information. The Maha- Kumbh Mela happens every 12 years, specifically when the planets Sun, Moon and Jupiter are in a particular alignment. The entire set up of Mela was constructed before the event, so it was a temporary arrangement, but it was so large that it could be seen from space. And the Legend says it that the rivers Ganga and Yamuna met they together met the river Saraswati and that is when the battle between gods and demons occurred and hence the drop of immortality nectar was spilled. I don't know if I learnt something from this trip, but being there made me feel as if God told me that people listen to him because God hears us all when we talk to them, And we all shall appreciate and have gratitude for the beautiful life we have.
3. PrayagTHEN: Lord Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman crossed the river Ganga from here to go beyond their kingdom. The trio spent some time at the Ashram of Sage Bharadwaj here, before travelling ahead.
274 Kms from Jogini
Best time to visit - November- March
This is a town in the Chhattarpur District of Madhya Pradesh. Mainly known for the ancient Khajuraho Temple Complex, this is the main attraction of this place apart from other small temples and old monuments. The temples in this complex are not just beautiful and grand, but each one of them are different from one another. The temples here represent royalty, culture, taste of the early kings and their devotion towards gods and goddesses. Most of the temples and monuments you will see here were built by the Chandela Dynasty rulers and their religious secularism is evident from the presence of Buddhist and Jain temples in which they had supported along with the famous Hindu Temples. The main temples of this temple complex are the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Brahma Temple, Varaha Temple, Lakshmana Temple and others.Read More
Looking for a blend of antiquity, beauty, and marvelous art? Planning a short and crisp tour to take a break from your tiring work?Make it immensely worthy. Here is a place which perfectly makes your trip antique yet memorable. The place Khajuraho reminds you of beautiful, artistic temples in the marvelous city of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the most visited historical sites and one of the best tourist places in Madhya Pradesh occupying a spot on every foreign traveler's list. Let's explore more of this heavenly historic beauty...
KhajurahoThe third day was the show-stopper. If I had to describe Khajuraho in one word, it would be - Breathtaking. The temple architecture was nothing less than awe-inspiring. It breathed of the aura of grandeur. The statues with their intricate carvings seemed to dance & talk of the bygone era of the Chandellas.
1. Travel to the heart of India in KhajurahoA convenient place near Delhi for weekend, Khajuraho remains a trending destination to visit during winters. Travellers can board a direct overnight train to Khajuraho from Nizamuddin Railway Station, Delhi. The 22 temples constructed by the rulers of Chandela dynasty between 950 AD and 1050 AD still survive and can be your window to learning the cultural nuances that are part of India's rich history.
This article is about my most memorable trip Khajuraho, one of the most popular tourist places in Madhya Pradesh. Famous for its erotic sculptures, this place is best example of ancient architectures in the world.The temples built by the Chandela Rajputs are depicting various concepts of art, meditation, lifestyle etc. The unparalleled beauty of its sculpture make it one of the famous World Heritage Sites in India.
At Jhansi station just at the border of Madhya Pradesh, a bit worried about how I would reach in time, I frantically looked for something that would take me to Orchha. Two minutes later, a voice entered my ears. "Orchha, sir Orchha chalenge?" - just got lucky! I rushed towards the shared auto where people were actually flowing and hanging out. I somehow managed to 'adjust' myself onboard, finishing a 5 minute ride to the Jhansi bus stop. Here, I bumped into the backseat of another auto. This one was rather too comfortable. Me and my backpack were chilling like two bottles of beer on a banana beach. The ride to Orchha for merely Rs 20 completed in around 30 minutes. Discovering the perfect route, the journey was fun and now here I was at my destination - Backpacking is indeed a learning and accomplishing process.This time, I decided to explore the northern and eastern part of Madhya Pradesh which are not at all far from Delhi, starting my journey from quite-a-city Gwalior to the Kingdom-miniature Orchha(via Jhansi) to the R-rated Khajuraho and finally ending safely in the safari of Tala(also known as Bandhavgarh). Here's the recollection of all my memories from the invaded roads, transitioning between cities, talking about how I found the best food & my journey around the bunch of people I met on my way. Gwalior
A tryst with history is what your holiday in Khajuraho and Orchha will be. Those who are very fond of historical details will specifically enjoy travelling to these two destinations, because they are home to the most sensual architecture ever created in this world. Khajuraho is 172km away from Orchha and on your way you will come across countless magnificent waterfalls and other beautiful sights.How To Reach: Khajuraho has its own airport and the nearest railway head is in Mahoba, which is 63km away. Khajuraho is also well-connected by roads.
Points to look out for: the grand structure, use of symbolism, spatial organization, North Indian Nagada style of architecture, sculptures, intricate detailing.4. HampiThe medieval Islam ruled capital of Vijayanagara Kingdom from 1360-1565 A.D was one of the richest cities of its time. History speaks about its glory even now in every nook and corner of the village. Once the largest city of India has become a tiny archaeological village situated on the bank of river Tungabhadra in the Bellary district of Northern Karnataka. Temples, ruins, archaeological remains all made it a place worth the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag. Hampi is 12 km away from the nearest railway station in Hospet. Bellary is 74 km and state Capital Bengaluru is about 353 km away.
Khajuraho!! which literally means ‘Carrier of date palms’, is the land of the plethora of Hindu and Jain temples. The glory of Chandela’s, are known for their intricacy of carvings are also referred as the Kamasutra temples. But yes hold on, they neither have connection nor were inspired by Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra. These erotic temples which are now a UNESCO World Heritage site is located in a small town of the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh were build between 950 and 1150 were once forbidden and completely infamous.These 10th-11th century temples have a very interesting legend behind them. According to popular beliefs, Hemvati, the daughter of Hemraj was bathing and this attracted the attention of the Moon God, who then descended to earth and seduced and ravaged her. Their union gave birth to Chandravarman, founder the Chandela dynasty, and from then Chandravarman went on to rule Khajuraho.The sculptures around each of these temples depict not only erotica but also sees couples in courtship, royal scenes, battles, marriage, meditation and more. In mythology and also in Kamasutra erotic depiction has been considered auspicious.The fine finish of these carving leave you spellbound and one of the most famous sculptures is a man, pleasuring three women at the same time. This is a combination of Yoga, Tantric Sex and the Karma Sutra. The sensual world got a lot from India.With the sense of beautiful aesthetics these artists created magic. Each female figure carved pretty voluptuous and strong shows that even then women were quite powerful. Not in many places in the world one can see such both craftsmanship of sculptors.
We returned at the hotel by 1 in the afternoon. Then after lunch we again booked a local Auto and covered the Temples of Khajuraho. It again started raining, so unfortunately it wasn’t that awesome. The temples are situated in groups. Although we covered all the temples but it wasn’t a satisfactory visit as it was raining.We were back to our hotel room by 6 and then boarded the return train to New Delhi-Nizamuddin. Luckily the train was on time. So we didn’t have to miss our office.
I rolled down the car windows to let the fresh air in. The plateau landscape on both sides was unique - table-top brown structures surrounded by pristine greenery. I had traveled about 20 km from Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and was about to reach ‘Raneh’ waterfalls, the ‘not-so-explored’ natural waterfalls formed by river Ken during monsoons. The last mile was through a jungle road. From the main viewing point, I could only see a spooky pond. My guide told me that this had been a shooting location for the movie ‘Kamasutra.’ However what I saw next was incomparable to anything else I have seen in India. A 5 km long, 100 feet deep canyon made of crystalline and weather beaten granite/ dolomite rocks with river Ken flowing through the ravines. Known to have been formed 460 million years ago due to volcanic eruptions, it truly qualified to be called “Mini Grand Canyon of India.” Mesmerized with the view, I sat on the rocks overlooking the canyon. The water was so clear that I could see the rocks underneath. The area was well maintained by the forest department and the guides were quite knowledgeable. I got to know that during monsoons, the entire area gets filled with water and hence the canyon is not visible. Later, I stopped by at a shop near the entrance which sold safari gear and accessories and picked up a military green jacket with multiple pockets and a hat. I was already preparing myself for the wildlife safaris planned at my next stop - the ‘Panna’ tiger reserve..
305 Kms from Jogini
The city of Gaya is home to four major religions of India; Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism and Islam. Gaya's origins date back several thousand years when the epic of Ramayana was written. The Buddhist relevance of the city is for being the place where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Just 11km from the city is the exact tree under which enlightenment was attained. Travellers, especially Buddhists, from all over the world visit this particular place to pay respect to the place that gave birth to the religion of Buddhism.Where to eat: Hari Om International Café on the Bodh Gaya Road is known to serve the best ginger tea and coffee in Gaya. For European offerings and Italian dishes, head to Be Happy Café.Where to stay: Check out Hotel Buddha and Maha Bodhi Resort, which are both at a convenient distance to the Bodh Gaya Temple.How to reach: It is very easy to reach Gaya from the major cities of India. The Gaya Junction railway station is the main station for Gaya. The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, situated between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Buses from Patna, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Nalanda go to Gaya several times in a day.Read More
The city of Gaya is home to four major religions of India; Buddhism, Jain, Hinduism and Islam. Gaya's origins date back several thousand years when the epic of Ramayana was written. The Buddhist relevance of the city is for being the place where Siddhartha achieved enlightenment and became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Just 11km from the city is the exact tree under which enlightenment was attained. Travellers, especially Buddhists, from all over the world visit this particular place to pay respect to the place that gave birth to the religion of Buddhism.Where to eat: Hari Om International Café on the Bodh Gaya Road is known to serve the best ginger tea and coffee in Gaya. For European offerings and Italian dishes, head to Be Happy Café.Where to stay: Check out Hotel Buddha and Maha Bodhi Resort, which are both at a convenient distance to the Bodh Gaya Temple.How to reach: It is very easy to reach Gaya from the major cities of India. The Gaya Junction railway station is the main station for Gaya. The nearest airport is Gaya Airport, situated between Gaya and Bodh Gaya. Buses from Patna, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Nalanda go to Gaya several times in a day.
While Bodh Gaya is infamously known for the birth of Buddhism, what remains relatively unknown is that the place to Hindus is almost nearly what Mecca is to Muslims. The story goes that, Gaya (from whom, the place derives its name), was a demon whose body was pious after immense penance and blessings from Lord Vishnu. Gaya- the asura was so pious, that he could absolve others of their sins by merely touching them or looking at them.No wonder, that Hindus all over the world today, come to perform “shraddha” or last rites of their progeny in order to absolve them of their sins. While the place itself is serene and offers picturesque landscapes, it is this faith that people around you walk with, wants to make you believe – “Bodh Gaya is the doorway to heaven.”
237 Kms from Jogini
Best time to visit - January,February,June,July,August,September,November,December
Home to the world famous World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, Aurangabad is on every traveller's list. The city is located on the banks of the Kham River and is known as one of the most historically significant cities in Maharashtra. The Ajanta caves represent stories of Buddhism spanning from the period of 200 B.C. to 650 A.D. The Ellora caves were carved during 350 A.D. to 700 A.D. and represent the three different faiths of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Aurangabad sees a lot of tourists from across the world and it is a great place for like-minded tourists to meet. A history lover's delight, the museums here will keep you super busy. Some of the more popular ones are Sunehri Mahal Museum, University Museum and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum. You must also visit Lonar – it is said to be the site where a meteor crashed on earth some 50,000 years ago and formed a large crater in the ground. The cafes and restaurants here are warm, welcoming and offer world class cuisines. Colourful, intriguing and vibrant, Aurangabad is a traveller's delight so if it's not on your list yet, add it. Read More
302 Kms from Jogini
Best time to visit - N/A
As the name suggests, the history and significance of this place revolves around the Bodhi tree which is actually a peepal tree. The original name of the place is Gaya and the Bodhgaya is the combination of the two words Bodhi and Gaya. This is the tree under which Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and became Buddha- The Enlightened one. The main attraction of this place apart from the history of the Mauryan Empire is the Mahabodhi Temple. This is the oldest seat of Buddhist worship and dates back to the 2nd or 3rd Century. The initial temple structure was built by Emperor Ashika when he visited this place after he had left violence and adopted the path of peace and love. What we see at present is not at all the temple the Chinese Ambassador Fa Hien had mentioned in his account. This is a beautiful ornate temple and monastery with a beautiful spire and a large complex. What Fa Hien had mentioned was just the Bodhi Tree surrounded by brick walls. No doubt this was the forst brick Buddhist temple in the country, but presently it is much more beautiful and the magical sense of inner peace you recieve on visiting this place cannot be explained in words.Read More
Attain Nirvana at Bodhgaya.The hallowed town of Buddhism in India, this quaint place in the South of Bihar attracts many tourists every year who come here to study, pray and meditate. The amazing fact about the Mahabodhi temple is that included as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. There are 35 such locations around India.
Sit under the Mahabodhi (tree of enlightenment) and feel the breeze tell you its story