Amazing Andamans

After 30, birthdays aren’t about parties and celebrations. They are about experiences & memories.

I look for reasons to travel. No wait! I grab reasons! 😉

Just a couple of months shy of my big 30, I already knew how I wanted to beat the blues! Exploring some place new. Oh! And it had to be exotic!

There is something about Andamans that pulls me closer to the majestic islands each time I hear about them. After all, the place is called ‘Emerald Islands’ for a good reason!

Travel arrangements sorted and the countdown started.

Finally the d-day arrived. Hardly any queue at the check-in counter, window seat in the front row, no toddlers around. (Believe me I have nothing against kids, but they turn into monsters on the craft!). Armed with reading material, music and anticipation, we took off.

There’s no direct flight from Delhi, hence a transit via Kolkatta. One of those places I’ve been to (thanks to such transit flights) but never visited.

The captain made the landing announcement and everyone scurried towards the window seats to catch a glimpse of the beautiful cluster of Islands. Andamans!

Our first glimpse of the islands. The islands look tiny from up above! The clear blue sparkling water looked so inviting, we could hardly wait to land and jump in! The Airport is located in Port Blair, Andaman’s capital.

The first glimpse of the islands.

The first glimpse of the islands.

Those visuals are still fresh and clear in my mind. Small patches of Island, beautiful textures and lovely coconut trees. Mesmerizing it all was!

Mistaking us to be foreign national, we were stopped at the Arrivals only to be requested to fill out the immigration form. Hindi Vartalap (conversation) happened and we could proceed. 😀

Though surrounded by attractive lush forest and rugged coastline, Port Blair itself is a somewhat gritty town that serves as the provincial capital of the Andamans. Most travelers don’t hang around any longer than necessary (usually one or two days while waiting to book onward travel in the islands, or returning for departure). And while ‘PB’ can’t compete with the beaches of Havelock, its fascinating history makes for some outstanding sightseeing that warrants a day or two spent here.

  • Corbyn’s Cove
  • Sunset Point
  • Jail
At Corbyn's Cove - The only (supervised) beach in PB

At Corbyn’s Cove – The only (supervised) beach in PB

At Corbyn's Cove - The only (supervised) beach in PB

At Corbyn’s Cove – The only (supervised) beach in PB

A day at Corbyn's.

A day at Corbyn’s.

 

Sunset Point: Around 13 kms from city center.

Sunset Point

Sunset Point

Sunset Point.

Sunset Point. Read a crocodile warning here. But no crocodiles spotted

 

Early morning on Day 2, we left for the jetty to board our ferry that was to whisk us away to the Havelock Island.

The Phoenix Bay Jetty is situated in the city and is home to all merchant vessels which are responsible for trade and commerce. The Jetty is the boarding point for the ones who want to visit Neil or Havelock Islands.

TIP: Leave ahead of time as you may need to scamper from one counter to another to get the necessary stamps and baggage clearance.

There are two main ferries for transportation from Port Blair to Havelock & back. The Govt ferry takes around two hours and is used more by locals. Makruzz is private, takes around 90 mins and is air-conditioned. Check-in at Port Blair and Havelock jetty requires you to reach at least one hour prior to the sailing time. Carrying a photo ID is a must. Be sure to check your ferry timing to get maximum out of your day. There are multiple ferries running to and fro. Makcruzz seats start from Rs. 815 for Premium, around Rs. 915 for Deluxe and Rs. 1300 for Royal. Govt. Ferry seats range from Rs. 250 to Rs.350. (Check Andaman Tourism website for any change in cost)

Makkruzz

Makruzz

Havelock is one of the main tourist attractions of Andamans which boasts of the best diving & snorkeling locations in the world.

Largest island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Havelock Island is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs and great scuba diving experience.
The Island doesn’t have anything in particular except the beaches. Havelock isn’t a very big island. And neither is it heavily populated. There are two main roads which cut through the island forming a “T”.

For your accommodation, you can chose between resorts, hotels or eco huts. There’s something to suit everyone’s pocket.

And from here on starts my photolog. They say “a picture speaks a thousand words”, so here goes!

Walk to our Chalet

Walk to our Chalet

Living in a postcard.

Living in a postcard.

Elephant Beach. A short boat ride away.

Elephant Beach. A short boat ride away.

What I found and left behind. Something belongs exactly where they are found.

What I found and left behind. Some things belongs exactly where they are found.

The infamous Kala Patthar beach.

The infamous Kala Patthar beach.

Winding roads enroute to the beach.

Winding roads enroute to the beach.

 

Beach number 7 (or more commonly known as Radhanagar Beach) was bestowed with the title of ‘Asia’s Best Beach’ in 2004 by the TIME magazine. Known for its picturesque sunset, white sand and turquoise blue waters, the beach is a very popular hub lying on the western coast of Havelock Island. There’s a watersports centre at the beach where visitors can hire snorkeling and scuba equipment and boats.

The picturesque Radhanagar Beach. Notice the moon?

The picturesque Radhanagar Beach. Notice the moon?

 

The mesmerizing Radhanagar beach.

The mesmerizing Radhanagar beach.

 

The Fallen Leaf

The Fallen Leaf

A happy accident of tides and currents. Radhanagar beach. The sand so soft, feet kept sinking into them.

A happy accident of tides and currents. Radhanagar beach. The sand so soft, feet kept sinking into them.

rb

Exploring the length of the Radhanagar beach, came to this extreme end.

Beautiful landscapes and the turquoise coloured waters.

Back at the Chalet.

Back at the Chalet.

Clown fish Restaurant ranked No.2 in #Havelock, a small cafe, can be easily missed. Lookout for DIVING CAFE next to Bubbles. Superb Pizza!

Clown fish Restaurant ranked No.2 in #Havelock, a small cafe, can be easily missed. Lookout for DIVING CAFE next to Bubbles. Superb Pizza!

Striking.  Conversations & Pose!

Striking.
Conversations & Pose!

Some things never leave us. If we never leave them.

Some things never leave us. If we never leave them.

Lazy Afternoons

Lazy Afternoons

A befitting goodbye to Havelock

A befitting goodbye to Havelock

 

Fast Facts:

 Best Time to Visit

Andaman has a moderate temperature all through the year within the range of 23°C to 31°C. It has a tropical climate. There are no severe climate conditions except for tropical storms and rains in late summers and monsoons.

Summers (March to May): warm but pleasant with sea breeze and have humidity level about 80%. It is suitable for all kinds of tourist activities.

Winters (December to February) are not chilly and ideal for sight seeing.The best time to visit is between December and early April, when the days are warm, but not oppressive, and the nights pleasant.

Distance from Major Cities1255kms from Kolkata
1190kms from Chennai
1200kms from Vishakhapatnam

 

How to Reach Andamans

 By Air:
Veer Savarkar Airport, Port Blair is well connected with Chennai and Kolkata by daily flights.By Sea:Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai,Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam and back. There are three or four sailings every monthfromKolkata and Chennai to Port Blair and vice versa. There is one sailing from Vishakhapatnam in a month.The voyage takes about 50 to 60 hours. Details about sailing datesetccan be obtained at http://www.andaman.nic.inWhere to Stay:For your accommodation, you can chose between resorts, hotels or eco huts. There’s something to suit everyone’s pocket.

Scuba, Snorkel and Sightseeing:Depending on the season you visit, your hotel or resort can offer help arranging and guiding through scubadiving & snorkeling adventures.Each beach at Havelock Island is commonly referred to by a number and you’ll find most Havelock Island hotels grouped along the stretch of road from beach three to beach five. Beach five (also known as Vijaynagar Beach), on the eastern side of the Island, is the the most developed. Over the other side, to the west, pristine beach seven (also known as Radhanagar Beach) was once voted the “best beach in Asia” by TIME magazine. Beach five has brilliant sunrises, while beach seven has spectacular sunsets.

Havelock Island is a haven for adventure activities and water sports.

Scuba diving is the most popular activity on Havelock Island. The scuba diving activities are run by certified operators who offer instructions as well as equipment.

Snorkeling is another favourite with tourists. Like scuba diving, snorkeling equipment and training are available on the beach. Snorkeling is popular among foreign nationals and is gaining popularity among Indian tourists as well.

Trekking is another activity which attracts lots of tourists. Trekking trails are aplenty on different parts of the island. About 800 meters from the Vijaynagar Beach, is popular with confluence hunters. Confluence hunters are people who document places where latitudes and longitudes meet with the help of GPS (global positioning satellite) enabled equipment.

The months of October to May are the best season for diving and also the most favourable period when it comes to weather.

Tips:

  •     It is advisable to carry cash while travelling to Havelock.
  •     While some resorts and hotels allow cashless transactions, most prefer to deal in the old way.
  •     Do remember to withdraw cash before leaving Port Blair.

 

 

Nowhere in India can one find such an incredible mix of green woods, pristine white sands and turquoise blue waters in such proximity as in  Andamans. Our very own Maldives. Our very own paradise!

 

 

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Picturesque Pangot

Some holidays leave you wanting for more. This one definitely tops the charts.

Keeping up with our resolution of exploring a minimum of three new places every year, this year’s summer getaway had to be unheard of. When you have like-minded friends equally crazy about reconnoitering new destinations, what more can one wish for!

So after endless Whatsapp group discussions, Google searches, planning and scraping plans, we decided to explore someplace new.

World through my eyes & lens

World through my eyes & lens

But with 21 people game, reaching a consensus can be a task!! A special planning meeting at Le Crepe and lots of drinks later, we decided on this place that came highly recommended by a friend’s friend. Yes, we’re crazy that way! Once the destination was decided, everything started falling in place.

Pangot – Located in the Lake District of India, Pangot is a scenic hill station located about 17 km from Nainital in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Away from the maddening crowd that eclipses Nainital in the peak summer season, Pangot is an unexplored, unspoilt, hidden jewel.

En Route Pangot

En Route Pangot

First things first. Don’t get fooled by websites which claim Pangot to be an 8 hour drive. It’s not. Unless you get lucky and get no traffic jams, no halts and smooth roads all through which, as we all know, is not the case with Indian roads. 😉

It’s an easy 10 hour drive (without halts). However, it took us close to 13 hours to reach our destination.

 

After an exhausting 13 hour journey, we reached our accommodation – Kamp Land in Sigri. The view that greeted us upon our arrival took our breath away and left us in high spirits. Set amidst the peaceful environs of Sigri Village, the resort is a far cry from the commercial over-crowded Nainital.

Kampland Nature Resort

Kamp Land Nature Resort

The location of this resort is its USP. It is located on the edge of a cliff offering a spectacular view of the majestic mountains and picturesque valleys below.

View from Kampland

View from Kamp Land

 

Kamp Land

Kamp Land

There is something for everyone here. Peace and quiet for those wanting a break from the busy hectic life back home; wide open lush lawns for the kids to run and tumble on; basketball hoop, cricket pitch, badminton racquets for the sports enthusiasts; snooker and table-tennis tables for those with an inclination towards the balls. 😛

 

It's all about the balls! :P

It’s all about the balls! 😛

This place is ideal for meditation and yoga enthusiasts and people who are looking for quiet relaxing holidays.

Ommm...

Ommm…

Moreover, to keep one busy during day, one can indulge in indoor games, lawn cricket and badminton.

Some of the most beautiful trekking trails here.

Some of the most beautiful trekking trails here.

On request, you can also ask for guided trekking expeditions. Pangot serves as an ideal place to go for short easy treks.

Monkeying around

Monkeying around

One of the most famous trekking trails in Pangot starts from the hill station and leads to Naina Peak via Kilbury. Treks to Namik, Pindari and Nanda Devi are also extremely popular. A lot of treks starting from Nainital either pass through Pangot or end there.

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

    View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

 View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

 View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

View from the top of the mountain after one such trek

Finding gems along the way..

Finding gems along the way..

At night, under the star lit sky, one can enjoy bonfire and barbeque.

Fire on the Mountain

Fire on the Mountain

One can explore Sigri which is surrounded by mountains, cut by deep and lush valleys from all sides.

Almost 150 bird species have been recorded at Sigri and surrounding areas. The abundant perennial & seasonal brooks are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna. Pangot is a heaven for bird-watchers.

Fast Facts

Sigri (Pangot) is a small unexplored village in Pangot with less than 200 total population (source-Internet). The 30-45 minutes drive is through the forested area of China Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitat for excellent birding.

Best time to Visit

Heavy snowfall during the winter months from November to February. It can get really chilly with temperature dropping as low as minus eight degree Celsius.

Summer months are cool with temperature ranging from 10-25 degree Celsius.

The peak monsoon season from July to August is best avoided as heavy rains make the place too slippery.

March to June and September to November are the best time to visit Pangot.

Distance from Major Cities

Nainital– 17 KM Approximately.

Delhi – 300 KM Approximately.

How to Reach

By Road

To reach Pangot you can take the road route NH 24 from New Delhi. It’s the same route as that of Nanital. Pangot is 17 kms ahead of Nanital. Be prepared for a 9-10 hours drive.

By Rail

Nearest Railway station is at Kathgodam, 40 KM from Pangot. Hire or pre-book taxi for onward journey.

By Air

Being a hill station, Pangot/Nainital does not have direct air connectivity. The nearest airport is located at Pantnagar, which lies at a distance of 65 kilometres from Nainital. Most of the air traffic to Pantnagar airport includes private chartered flights. There are no commercial flights operational to and from here.

Where to stay

Accommodation options are limited in Pangot. One can find budget and mid-range hotels and lodges. There are no luxury hotels in Pangot. The hotels and resorts offer comfortable stay and quality services. Cottages and resorts offering budget accommodation can also be found at the hill station.

Where to Eat

There aren’t too many eating options in Pangot. There are a few restaurants serving local cuisine. One can also find a few street-side stalls serving delicious samosas and pakoras. Pahari tea served in Pangot is extremely tasty. Restaurants attached with hotels serve Indian and Continental delicacies.

It was an exhilarating, exciting and enriching trip for us. Not only did we find this hidden jewel but also enjoyed and cherished moments with our crazy clan of friends.

IMG_20140625_220357

 

FCUBE ROCKS!

FCUBE ROCKS!

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Himalayan Hamlet – Fagu

This year for me is about exploring the unexplored, off-beat destinations. Make me choose between mountains or beaches and you will not have to wait a nano-second before you get my instantaneous response!

Mountains! Lush. Green. Fresh. Oh! And snow!

One Google search and some reviews later, I knew where I wanted to start my exploration from this year.

Weekend blocked. Bags packed. We were ready!

(We? My traveling companion, my partner-in-crime and life, my Hubby)

With classics playing in the background and picturesque nature for company; we set out for the road trip. We were, what is termed: living it, loving it!

Thanks to the smooth highways, we reached Shimla without any challenge. One pit-stop and lunch (in Shimla) later, off we went towards Fagu – our destination for the weekend.

Fagu is a tiny village that rests astride a mountain saddle. Away from the concrete jungle that Shimla has become, about an hour ahead is this quaint little town.

Shimla - the concrete jungle

Shimla – the concrete jungle

The place though surprisingly close to Shimla, exhibits the real charm of Himachal – view of Snow Clad Himalayas, Apple Orchards, Asia’s second largest Cedar Forest in the vicinity.

Himalayan Hamlet

Himalayan Hamlet

Fagu – a Himalayan hamlet lies in the beginning of the Hindustan Tibet Road that goes up to Tibet border in Kinnaur region. It surprises vacationers with its splendor, charm and serenity and is one of the secluded snowy retreats in the state.

Fagu Steppes

Fagu Steppes

It is the one of the highest points in the area and therefore offers a rare range of views that embrace both its northern and southern valleys and the snow-clad peaks of the Great Himalayas.

Fagu Sunrise

Fagu Sunrise

In the open patches, the valleys hold tiny hamlets, orchards and neatly terraced field.

For this trip, we chose to stay at a Homestay instead of a hotel or resort.

Located perfectly amidst the magnificent Himalayan ranges is the Northmoon* Homestay.

Lazy Mornings

Lazy Mornings

The location of Northmoon, on a steppe along the slope, made it even more charming to lie idly on a chair and stare at the endless slopes, waves of mountains marked in front.

The Magnificent View of the Majestic Mountains

The Magnificent View of the Majestic Mountains

The view at night is even better as you stand under the stars savoring the silence, the chilly winds and the beautiful clear sky that forms a magnificent starry canopy. There are little patches of lights blinking like festive lighting on the slopes, marking the presence of small towns or villages.

IMG-6

Since we visited Fagu in January, the temperature was near freezing-point! Three layers of blankets and a hot water bottle later, I thought to myself, “I think I’ll survive”.

Being Ourselves

Being Ourselves

There isn’t really anything to do in Fagu. It is one of those places where you go to get away from the constant clutter our lives are surrounded with, to be with yourself.

 

Trailing the Trails

Trailing the Trails

Fagu is home to a few getaway resorts and is excellent for walking, trekking and relaxed getaways and forms an excellent base for trekkers, botanists and naturist who come to explore the beautiful countryside of Himachal.

Evenings in Paradise

Evenings in Paradise

Being sparsely populated region, with natural beauty in abundance, Fagu is a heaven. There is limited accommodation and if you plan for an overnight stay, you should make bookings in advance. Options vary from Himachal tourism govt. hotel to the several homestays which is quite an experience in itself.

There are two places people love going to for vacations, the beaches & the hills. With the mercury rising to unbearable, sweltering temperatures, one is pretty much left with only the hills as a welcome option to escape to.

This summer, beat the heat the off-beat way!

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

 

About Northmoon*:

Northmoon

Northmoon

Word of mouth, the highest form of publicity, and that’s how we heard of this homestay.

Northmoon was more than we had expected. Exclusivity is their USP.

 

 

 

 

Northmoon

Northmoon

Rooms: Well-maintained, clean, spacious. Wood paneled and carpeted to keep it warm, the room is open from three sides with big windows that offer the most spectacular view of the majestic Himalayas. Coffee table and lounge chairs if sitting outdoors isn’t on your mind. Else a balcony for the outdoor enthusiast.

To beat the chill: After having traveled all day and spending time playing in the snow, the sight of the heater will be a relief to many. Three blankets to cope with biting cold (more in the cupboard)

Food: You can opt for the authentic Pahari food prepared by Mrs. Sharma or even request for India’s favourite quick meal: Maggie. You’ll not be disappointed! Best part was sitting in the kitchen and eating like a local.

Experience: It was our first homestay experience, and the bar has been

Sharmas

Sharmas

set pretty high by the Sharmas for any more we stay at.

The Sharmas were extremely hospitable, warm, always ready with a smile & a story to share.

A definite recommendation.

Room Tip: Upper floors have the best view.

 

Fast Facts:

 Best Time to Visit

Fagu is a round-the-year destination.

Winter season if the sight of snow and snowfall makes you happy.

Summer season if you wish to enjoy the pleasant weather and majestic views.

Distance from Major Cities

Shimla – 22 KM

Chandigarh – 133 KM

Delhi – 392 KM

How to Reach Fagu

By Road

To reach Fagu you can take the road route NH 1 from New Delhi. Be prepared for a 7-8 hours drive. You can now avoid the congested Kalka and Pinjore towns to save at least an hour on your road trip by taking the Himalayan Express bypass. This bypass will save time and fuel in a big way.

Drive on Himalayan Expressway is a wonderful experience through Shivalik hills. It is like a surprise for folks who have been driving in planes and suddenly chip into the Shivalik hills.

By Rail

Nearest Railway station is at Shimla, 22 KM. Hire or pre-book taxi for onward journey.

By Air

Nearest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti, 45 KM from Fagu. Hire or pre-book taxi for onward journey.

Where to Stay:

Himachal Tourism run Hotel Peach Blossom offers spectacular views.

 Homestays: This is an interesting new concept started by the Himachal tourism. Villages close to important tourist spots offer small houses for a family to stay, and the price is really low, and the overall experience is worth a try.

Treks, Tours and Sightseeing:

Depending on the season you visit, your hotel or homestays can offer help arranging and guiding through trekking trails and hikes.

The village of Fagu is sparsely populated. Apart from a couple of small temples, there aren’t many touristy places. Fagu’s magic lies in its mesmerizing beauty, it just can’t elude you. Its magnificent mountains, amazing orchards, nice trekking tracks, vast forests, etc., together create an amazing charm for everyone. It is a perfect place for nature lovers and a must visit place for those fond of scenic beauty.

 

 

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Hyderabad Blues, Reds and Greens

No matter where or why you travel, there’s always something wonderfully new to be found.

My romance with Travel started early at a very impressionable age. Needless to say I fell madly, deeply, irrevocably in love with exploring new places, absorbing in the beauty, savoring new cultures and experiencing life as never before.

And just like with many, this first love has managed to occupy a big piece of my heart till date. Either traveling or planning a travel trip is how one will usually find me.

So when opportunity knocked, how could I miss this chance to spend two glorious weeks in the land of Nawabs and Biryani.

Flashback:

Him: I have to travel down to Hyderabad next month for 3 weeks. *dead serious expression*

Me: Okay! When are you traveling?

Him: 14 Apr – 2 May. *smile returning, that-was-easy look!*

Me: Great! I’ll book my tickets, you sort out the accommodation.

Him: …. *priceless expression*

And the rest, as they say, is history!

So off we went, together, to the Land of NawabsHyderabad.

If there is one word that can be used to describe the culture in Hyderabad, it is ‘diverse’. It was under Muslim rule for 600-700 years, thus u can find a significant Muslim population, most of which is concentrated in the old city.

A lot many kept telling me Hyderabad was going to be scorching hot, it was surprisingly pleasant & breezy. Best thing about Hyd’s weather is that no matter how warm it gets in the afternoon, the evenings are usually pleasant.

The first couple of days were spent lounging in the hotel suite, catching up on the latest in Westeros, and few days – working (how else am I to keep the passion in my love story with Travel alive & kicking!).

License to kill.

I DON’T HAVE A LICENSE TO KILL BUT I HAVE A LEARNER’S PERMIT.

 

 

First thing you notice about this city is the traffic. It’s hard to miss.

I thought Delhi topped the list of cities disobeying basic rules, that, until I visited Hyderabad.

It’s not the volume of traffic but the lack of discipline that’s insane and the locals are fine with it!

Trying to cross a road in Hyderabad is like playing Need For Speed. One wrong move and you’re dead.

 

The whole city has a permit, the way they drive! Thankfully, God has blessed me with a strong heart & a stronger stomach!

 

And thankfully I wasn’t driving, I was being driven! 🙂

When in Hyderabad :) Travel the Hyderabadi way. Auto Ride.

When in Hyderabad 🙂 Travel the Hyderabadi way. Auto Ride.

 

Traveling the Hyderabad way. In a Rick!

(Don’t know why but most women & men here prefer their faces covered when traveling.)

You don’t experience the world sitting in your room. And so the city exploration started!

 

 

 

First stop Golkonda Fort. A magnificent remnant of history.

An entry fee needs to be paid. Rs.5 for Nationals and Rs.100 for foreigners.

Golkonda Fort Pass

Tour guides available for those who want an escorted tour. They offer long & short tours. Short ones last 45 minutes. Negotiate. They quoted Rs. 650. We paid Rs. 200 for 45 minutes.

Magnificent Golkonda Fort

The Fort was built by Kakatiyas in 945CE-970CE. It took over 60 years to complete the construction, spreading across 11km.

Golkonda comprises of four distinct forts with a 10km long outer wall, 87 semicircular bastions (some still mounted with cannons). The are eight gateways, four drawbridges, royal apartments, halls, temples, mosques, stables, etc. all inside its walls.

One enters via the outermost enclosure by the ‘Fateh Darwaza’ studded with giant iron spikes (to prevent siege from enemies). Fateh Darwaza or the Gate of Victory, so called after Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched in through this gate.

A hand clap below the dome at entrance reverberates & can be heard clearly at the highest point almost a kilometer away. This worked as a warning note to the royals in case of an attack. There was no technology back then. Common sense really was common in that era.

At Fateh Darwaza,  a fantastic acoustic effect can be experienced, characteristic of the engineering marvels at Golkonda.

IMG_20140501_143049

Walk Of Fame

The architectural valour of this magnificent fortress still gleams in each of the walkways, apartments, halls, temples, mosques.

The Guest Chambers, this one was a RECENT addition towards the 1600 century. 😉

Exquisitely beautiful chambers for visitors

The construction of any structure usually starts from the ground level to the top most point. This one started from the top and worked its way to the main gates miles away.

The Fort – Built on the highest grounds of the city.

Best time to visit Golkonda is around 5 pm. Enough time to tour the fort, catch the sunset & enjoy the light & fountain show.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was taking a walk in history. The place does that to you.

The mandatory tourist pose!

Next on my list was Char Minar, Hyderabad’s best known historical landmark.

The Iconic Landmark

In the midst of the hustle bustle, lies this old monument, Hyderabad’s best known historical landmark built in 1591. The structure is made of granite, limestone, mortar and pulverized marble.

Early Morning is the best time to visit if you wish to really enjoy the beauty of this monument. The neighboring bazaar vicinity is thronged by locals and tourists in the day-time so much so that it puts Delhi’s Palika Bazaar to shame.

Char Minar

The teeming lanes that surround Char Minar boasts of one of the most colourful bazaars in India.

 

Beauty lies in the eye of the lens-holder

Beauty lies in the eye of the lens-holder

The famous Lad Bazaar is located here where colourful bangles, pearl jewelry, accessories, footwear, clothes etc can be bought at very reasonable prices. You can put your negotiation skills to test here!

Bangles Galore

Bangles Galore

 

 

 

 

 

Another important place of interest in Hyderabad is Hussain Sagar Lake built in the year 1575 by a Sultan at a cost of about Rs. 2.5 lakhs. That, in that era was a helluva amount!!

Hussain Sagar Lake

Hussain Sagar Lake is one of the largest man-made lake situated at the confluence of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Begumpet.

A 18 meter high monolithic statue of Lord Buddha towers over the lake from atop the Rock of Gibraltar.

It is very sad to see that people dump garbage into the lake indiscriminately. In the past 30 years, the lake has shrunk about 40% of its original size (550 ha to 349 ha) due to public and private encroachments. Sad indeed. If you don’t mind the stale smell and ignore the pollution, the place is a marvel. 

Necklace Road! Didn’t have to go too far to visit this stretch. Had heard so much about it that just couldn’t think of missing the experience.

 

 

 

 

The stretch of road appears in the form of a necklace, named after the first and the famous Necklace Road in Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Necklace Road is a boulevard in Hyderabad, adjoining the Hussain Sagar lake, which connects NTR Gardens to Sanjeevaiah Park. This boulevard is complete with beautiful lawns, restaurants, recreational facilities and good views of the city of Hyderabad.

Pic Courtesy: Internet

Best time to visit is after sunset. One can see the city lights reflecting on the water, lining the boundary showing off the famous Necklace.

There are so many more places & jewels tucked away in the streets of this city, waiting to be discovered, explored and cherished.

One day soon, Inshaallah, I’ll be back to reacquaint myself with this city.

Till then Khuda Hafiz!

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