Category Archives: A to Z 2017

Enchanting Amritsar- My travel story! #AtoZChallenge

Amritsar – the city is one of the major tourist destinations in India. City attracts Indians and foreigners alike. I have been fascinated with the city for as long as I remember & got an opportunity to visit it last year. It is the spiritual center for Sikhism.

Golden Temple, Amritsar
Golden Temple, Amritsar
How to reach Amritsar:

The city is well-connected by rail, road and airways to major cities in India. I had travelled by train from Delhi to Amritsar and took return journey by bus. You can also drive yourself from Delhi to Amritsar.

Places to visit in Amritsar:

Apart from finding your spiritual self, be assured that you will be eating lots of delicious food.

Golden Temple (Sri Harmandir Sahib) –

  • It is captivating place. The experience of visiting Golden Temple cannot be expressed in words. It is open for one & all to visit.
  • Before entering the premises, you need to wash your feet in the pool of water at entrance. As a mark of respect, head is to be kept covered at all the times. The head scarves are also provided at the entry if you do not have one.

  • Gurudwara is surrounded by a large lake which is filled with fishes. It is a treat for eyes to sit on the edge of lake and look at the calm water. 
  • The exquisite gold and marble work is an architectural marvel.

  • I had stayed there for long hours on my two day journey to Amritsar. Watching Gurudwara as the sun sets & when the sun rises was the best part of the whole journey.
  • And how can I forget the joy of enjoying food at the largest kitchen in the world. The food at Langar was delicious and the whole place is managed by the Sevaks.
  • It also has three Holy Trees sacred to Sikhs and houses the Akal Takht

Jalianwala Bagh –

  • It is a memorial place for Jalianwala bagh tragedy. It was established to commemorate the massacre of unarmed civilians by British forces on April 13,1919.
  • It serves as a gruesome reminder of the cruelties suffered by innocent people. British official Dyer went on a fire frenzy to shoot one and all as they had gathered to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi.
  • The place makes you take a step back into history and ponder about India’s struggle for Independence.
Radha Swami Satsang Beas –
  • Radha Soami is a Hindi expression meaning ‘Lord of the Soul’ in English. The main seat of the organisation ‘Dera Baba Jaimal Singh’ is located on the banks of the Beas River in Punjab.
  • The visitors need to submit all electronic items including mobiles and camera at the entrance. So, could not click any photographs of the place.
  • We had wanted to perform meditation under the guidance of a guru. But unfortunately could not do it. 
  • It is spread across large area and has distinctive residential & administrative blocks. The place is amazingly clean and green. Staying here is like a breath of fresh air. Here also the food at canteen was yummy!

Wagah Border –

  • It is famous for the “beating retreat” border ceremony which the Indian & Pakistan forces jointly follow. We had visited Amritsar when border tensions were at highest peak and the ceremony was cancelled for days. 
Famous food joints In AMRITSAR
  1. Kesar da Dhaba is famous for its parathas, dal and lassi combination.
  2. Kulcha Land known for it’s Kulchas.

That was all that I could explore in Amritsar on my short visit. Will surely add up more when I visit it again.  Do let me know what other places/activities you liked on your visit to Amritsar.

‘D’ for Direction in Life ? #AtoZChallenge

Direction is one of the most controversial words from the English vocabulary. Whole life we are bombarded with questions like – what direction is your life going? What direction is the career going? After all, why do we even need so many questions. Irony of my life is that my name also means direction! People joke about my name, that I would have all the directions sorted out for myself. Alas, if only I can tell them that not the case. Exactly like this blog post which might sound directionless to you. But for me I am writing out my heart.

(Image copied from internet)

Our lives direction was predetermined even when we were kids. Get admitted in kindergarten, move up the classes, give board exams, get into a good college, have a career…Phew, see the whole life has to have a direction. I want to break free from this routine. Sometime out of my own life where I can flow in any direction I want. Is this too much to ask?

There comes a time in everyone’s life which is full of uncertainties. Things do not move as you plan. Introspect and find the purpose of your life. You may be headed in the wrong direction. But it’s never too late to change it!

Do share your thoughts and let me know if you believe in having a fixed direction in life or like to go with the flow…

Curse of Cancer… #AtoZChallenge

(Image Copied for internet)

Cancer is a life-threatening disease which results from abnormal growth of cells. It affects different people in different ways. Whatever be the case, the person suffers – both physically and mentally. Family and friends around the person also feel the same pain. Seeing your loved ones go through the treatment is hard.

Just today morning I had read the story of a kid who underwent the cancer treatment on Humans of New York page on Facebook. Each story that I read or hear has a common connection – the fear of unknown & the faith to get better.

I understand your pain. Every needle that pierced you equally pierced my heart. You were the one going through treatment & I was as anxious as you. Awaiting the scan results was miserable. Each day had new anxiety levels. Your eyes conveyed the feelings which the words could not. A visit to doctor was never so scary. Let’s just say I also never want to visit hospitals ever again for a lifetime.

Only you can determine the extent of your pain. You have been through it & no one can ever fully comprehend how you feel. But, never forget that you have your family & friends to support you whenever you need us. It’s not your battle alone to fight. We are all in this together & will sail through it. God’s grace has helped us throughout these tough times. And the worst is over!

The future holds all good things for you. Please do not let go of who you were. The zest for life that you have should stay till eternity. Think of it as a cloud with silver lining. Remember your dreams & aspirations and live for them with a new passion. Afterall, there are so many things left to try!

– Love you loads ! 🙂

P.S. – This post is dedicated to all those who are going through Cancer & their families. It may be tough right now, but this too shall pass.

Bride-to-be ! #AtoZChallenge

It’s time to party! Let’s break into dance & continue all night. After all you have found love of your life. It’s your engagement and no one can be happier than me. Just few days more to go! You don’t have an idea of how much I am missing being with you right now. Just to tease you. When I got engaged you had pestered me so much. Oh dear, just wait till I meet you next. Then it will be revenge time 🙂

Time is flying away & you are overwhelmed with emotions. Brother irritating you more than usual & parents pampering you. I know you want to capture every moment. The new relations might sound confusing now, but they will add joy to your life. Cherish these moments coz they last for a lifetime.

Bride to be

Let’s talk about your Mr. Perfect – welcome to the family. He is charming and understands you. You are the storm brewing & he is the calm sea. He will add direction to your chaos. You both are alike yet so different.Alas, he is unaware of what he has gotten into. My wish for him is that he gets all strength to endure you! Mr. Perfect, take good care of my friend.

I have said enough already, now get married soon. Have a joyful life ahead! Love you both 🙂

#AtoZChallenge
#AtoZChallenge

A day at Gommateshwara Baahubali statue,Shravanabelagola ! #AtoZChallenge

Every journey that I take teaches me a thing or two. Some journeys are taken not for us but for our souls. Being in India, it’s very natural for us to visit religious places. Visiting a temple or a mosque or a church gives your soul peace. It brings you closer to the One above. From, the time I had shifted to Bangalore, my father wanted to visit Shravanabelagola to see Baahubali statue.

Entrance Gate
Entrance Gate

One fine weekend we planned for a family trip to Shravanabelagola, located around 150 km from Bangalore. You can easily drive down in your own vehicles.Gommateshwara statue is considered one of important pilgrimages in Jainism. The roads from Bangalore are well maintained for a long drive. It is 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara – considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue.  The statue is visible from afar.

We had already read that we need to climb 700 steps to reach the Baahubali statue at Vindyagiri Hill. God wants us to keep us healthy & maybe that’s the reason for most sacred places being up on the hills. Just a silly thought!

Baahubali Statue
Baahubali Statue

My family had reached there early morning to avoid too much sun. The hill had stairs cut out which we need to climb barefoot. It is advisable to wear sock to avoid sunburns. Well, I am an adamant person & went ahead barefoot. I won’t deny that the climb is not tiring. But, with so many people around the energy levels are high. You see kids running up the stairs & people taking breaks in between. The climb can be tricky and has well-marked boundary for safety.

The halfway mark.

I had almost given up after reaching the halfway and was planning to turn around. By chance there was priest who motivated me to continue further. We could not communicate much due to the language barrier. The Baahubali statue is mesmerizing & the view from the top is panoramic. The city looks serene and you might just want to spend the whole day looking at it.  It took us three hours including the return downhill.

 

 

View from the top

There are small shops at the base of the hill & the Nariyal Paniwala(Coconut water). On return journey had a sumptuous thali in the local restaurant. For me the day was well spent with food for my soul & food for me!