Summer hoilday at Lansdowne

Lansdowne is primarily a cantonment town. It houses the command office of the Garhwal Rifles. Originally known as Kaludanda, after kalun (black) and danda (hill) from the Garhwali language, Lansdowne was founded and named after the then viceroy, Lord Lansdowne, in a supreme act of vanity in 1887 – the viceroy presided over the fate of India from 1888 to 1894. The town was developed by the British to cater to new recruits of the Garhwal Rifles. More than half of the hill station is still made up of the cantonment area with British- era Army quarters and offices dotting the streets and corners. The cantonment’s presence has saved Lansdowne from being spoilt by unbridled development.

Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Sunset in Landsdown

Sunset in Landsdown (Photo courtesy euttaranchal.com)

Lansdowne is about six hours and a half by car from Delhi (it is 245km away). Plan your journey in such a way that you complete it before sunset, so that you can catch glimpses of some of the most beautiful locations on your way to the quaint little town. The quality of the road is pretty good too – the entire stretch from Delhi to Lansdowne is covered by national highway (NH- 58 and NH- 119), but don’t expect a smooth flow and room for manoeuverability (it becomes a two- lane highway from Meerut) as on the Jaipur and Agra highways.

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Unknown facts about Delhi city – Part1

Age old baolis

Visiting back in time, several magnificent age old Step well (baolis)  are still visible  in Delhi. The history of Delhi, its rise & fall, victories and defeat would remain incomplete without the presence of these baolis.

Rajon Ki Baoli

Rajon Ki Baoli

Agrasen ki Baoli

Located midst of busy marketplace of Connaught place surrounded by office towers and shopping malls, the Agrasen ki Baoli, named after Raja Agrasen of the Mahabharata, is believed to have been built during the 10th century BC. But historians feel that the Baoli was built in the 14th century AD by the Agarwal community. The well was surrounded by cool corridors where the locals lounged on hot summer afternoons

Agrasen ki Baoli: Located off Hailey Road. Nearest metro station:  Barakhamba Road.

Hazrat Nizamuddin ki Baoli

Dedicated to the legendary Sufi saint who made generous use of this water tank, it lay in ruins and was all but forgotten till the year 2009. The Delhi administration in consultation with the Dargah officials undertook a massive cleanup exercise and repaired the crumbling edifices of the Baoli. This drive exposed the blocked passage and underground springs which had been choked with garbage and filth. Today this is one of the few remaining baolis which despite its 800+ years of history has an active underground spring. You can find it next to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah.

Hazrat Nizamuddin ki Baoli : Nizamuddin West, New Delhi-13

Rajon Ki Baoli

The Rajon ki Baoli, deriving its name from the word masons is a 3 story step well, that has made its own niche among various monuments, as a relic of the last pre-Mughal dynasty, the Lodhis.. It is believed to have been built by Daulat Khan during the time of Sikander Lodhi. The first impression you get of this baoli is of a medieval courtyard surrounded by many-pillared verandahs, arches done in a stylized fashion.

Rajon Ki Baoli : Mehruli Archelogial Park,  Mehrauli, New Delhi-30 ,  Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Gandhak ki Baoli

Currently used by neighborhood, the Gandhak ki Baoli was built by Iltutmish for Bakhtiar Kaki (a Sufi mystic responsible for establishing the Sufi order in Delhi). The Gandhak ki Baoli got its name from the smelly sulphur springs that fed the well. It is located at one edge of the vast Mehrauli Archaeological Park and remains a trailer to the ruins of a settlement that had developed in the 16th & 17th Century.

Gandhak ki Baoli :  Mehrauli, New Delhi-30 , Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Anangtal Baoli

Located in Mehrauli, on record it is the oldest existing baoli in Delhi, dating back to the 10th century. It was built by the Rajput King Anang Pal II of the Tomar Dynasty. Legend has it that the king commissioned the construction of many such baolis, big and small, all over his kingdom, at the behest of his favourite courtesan whose family of meagre means died of thirst and impoverishment.

Anangtal Baoli : Near Jogmaya Temple, Mehrauli, New Delhi-30,  Nearest Metro Station : Qutub Minar

Tughlaqabad Fort Baolis

Out of the 13 Baolis which were constructed in the 14th century on the order of Ghazi Malik, only 2 survive in the fort. The remaining baolis have died in the human made smoke, some ruins still lie in the background of the rural villages but it is strictly prohibited for the locals. In the current scenario, the existing two baolis are situated on either side of the fort – at the east or west side.

Tughlaqabad Fort Baolis : Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi-19, ,  Nearest Metro Station :Tughlaqabad

Lal Qila Baoli

This opulent baoli dating back to the Mughal period witnessed a lot of havoc until it was restored by the ASI. It is quite a unique structure made of Delhi Quartzite with perpendicular staircases from two sides, lined with chambers at the intersection of which lies a pit, attached to the well. The water was fresh and clean and there were fish inside it.

Lal Qila Baoli :  Red Fort Complex, Netaji Subhash Road, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi-06, Nearest Metro Station : Chandni Chowk

Hauz Khas Village, Delhi

Hauz Khas Village is a glamorous village with Pubs, Night clubs , Narrow colorful streets and street arts all around. The ambience of this place is simply amazing with narrow streets, graffiti walls, crowded with foreigners, cafes and lounges, numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques, restaurants, antique shops added to the beauty of the place. A variety of food options ranging from the street foods (rolls, momos, pani puri) to traditional South Indian and North Indian and continental food are available here.
Apart from the cafe’s lane you have hauz khas lake to see, which is very fascinating lake amidst surrounding greenery. The water tank (Hauz Khas Lake) was excavated during Alauddin Khilji‘s reign (1296–1316) in the second city of Delhi to meet the water supply needs of the newly built fort at Siri. Now the tank size has substantially reduced due to encroachment and siltation but is well maintained in its present state.
Hauz khas village also houses an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. It was part of Siri, the second medieval city of India of the Delhi Sultanate of Allauddin Khilji Dynasty (1296–1316).

Picture journey through the street of Hauz Khas :

Tomb of Feroz Shah

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Tomb of Feroz Shah Kotla

Hauz Khas Lake

View of Lake from the tomb


Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas

Street design at Hauz Khas

Udaipur Trip

Udaipur is a beautiful city, set amidst the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan, India. Known for its picturesque lakes, Udaipur also called ‘the city of lakes’. The elevated hills and the beautiful lakes make a picture-perfect backdrop to the Udaipur city. Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities of the World and subsequently, also known as the ‘Venice of East’. Udaipur had been the capital of Mewar for centuries. Though termed as the city of lakes, Udaipur has many more attractions that catch the attention of the tourists with their charm. The city boasts of various museums, palaces, gardens, monuments and colourful festivals that allure tourists to visit the city for once. The mighty palaces with their exquisite locations transport you directly into the royal Rajputana era; Lake Palace, for one, has been accredited for being one of the most romantic places all across the globe Undoubtedly, Udaipur is undoubtedly a dream destination for a romantic holiday. Every year, thousands of tourists come from all over the globe to visit this romantic city. Udaipur is easily accessible from all the major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.

Lake place, Udaipur

Lake place, Udaipur

Tourist Attraction:

 CITY PALACE:

Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors. City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavor of heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.

Udaipur City Palace, Udaipur, India

Udaipur City Palace

LAKE PALACE:

The Lake Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, arising out of the Turquoise Waters of the Pichola lake an elegant fantasy in white marble offers a heavenly view to the onlooker. The imposing Aravalli Hills on one side and soaring palaces on the other, make the perfect background to this beautiful Lake Palace. The Lake palace was built in the 17th century on a natural foundation of 4 acers of rock. It was initially called Jag niwas after its founder Maharana Jagjit Singh. It was meant as a royal summer palace and now converted in to a five star palace hotel.

 Lake Palace, Udaipur

Lake Palace, Udaipur ( Photo courtesy Phil & Delph Poggianti)

JAG MANDIR PALACE (LAKE GARDEN PALACE):

Jag Mandir Palace is a beautiful palace located on the southern island of Lake Pichola. It is also called the “Lake Garden Palace”. The three-storied Palace is a palatial structure made in yellow sandstone and marble. Built in early years of 17th century, Jag Mandir Palace was raised by Maharana Karan Singh to serve as a hiding place for Prince Khurram (popularly known as Shah Jahan).It is named as “Jagat Mandir” in honour of the last named Maharana Jagat Singh. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding parties.

Jag Mandir, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India

Jag Mandir, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India

BAGORE-KI-HAVELI :

This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangor Ghat. The splendid architecture of the mansion boasts of delicate carved work and excellent glass work. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen’s Chamber. In the eighteenth century, Bagore Ki Haveli was built by Amir Chand Badwa, who was the Chief Minister at the Mewar Royal Court in earlier times. When Amar Badwa died, the building came under the possession of Mewar State. The haveli stages delightful evening’s entertainment, the pleasurable performance of Rajasthani traditional dance and music in the moody surroundings of the haveli. It is an ideal place for an evening entertainment while enjoying the view of Lake Pichola.

Bagore Ki Haveli Udaipur - Rajasthan

Bagore Ki Haveli Udaipur – Rajasthan

SAJJANGARH PALACE :

The Monsoon Palace, formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, is a hilltop palatial residence in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan in India, overlooking the lake Pichola. It is named as Sajjangarh after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874-1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who built it in 1884. It offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside and breath taking view of the sunset. It was built basically to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, appropriately, it is popularly known as Monsoon Palace. Previously owned by the Mewar royal family, it is now under the control of the Forest Department of the Government of Rajasthan and has been opened to the public recently.

Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, India

View of Udaipur from Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, India

CHITTORGARH FORT:

Chittorgarh Fort has received the credit of being the largest fort of India. The massive fort is located on a high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh Fort lies at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century. This huge fort covers an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length. It has one kilometre zigzag ascent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate is named as Rampol. On the ascent between the second and the third gate, you see two ‘Chattris’ (cenotaphs) built to honour Jaimal and Kalla heroes of 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort  is named as Surajpol (meaning Sun Gate). Chittaurgarh Fort is truly an embodiment of chivalry and pride of the Rajputs. The fort fell thrice to the enemies in its entire history. The fort has a long story of romance, courage, determination and sacrifice. Chittorgarh Fort is said to have been the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia kings who ruled Mewar between the eighth and the sixteenth century. The Fort was named after Chittrangad Maurya.

 Chittorgarh Fort, Udaipur

Chittorgarh Fort

KUMBHALGARH FORT:

Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. Located at a distance of 64 kms from Udaipur in Rajasmand district, Kumbhalgarh Fort is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur. This unconquerable fortress is secured under the kind protection of the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fort is self-contained in all respect to withstand a protracted siege. There is a magnificent array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The fort also offers a superb bird’s eye view of the surroundings. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometers and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world,  after ”the Great Wall of China”.

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India ( Photo credit Gary Jones)

JAGDISH TEMPLE :

Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Only 150m north of the City Palace entrance, this fantastically carved Indo-Aryan temple was built by Maharaja Jagat Singh in 1651. It is dedicated to lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. A brass image of Garuda is in a shrine in front of the temple.The spire of the main temple is around 79 feet high that undoubtedly dominates the skyline of Udaipur. This shikhar (spire) is festooned with sculptures of dancers, elephants, horsemen and musicians making it truly a sight to behold.

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur, India

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur, India

EKLINGJI TEMPLE :

Eklingji Temple, Udaipur is a worth visit temple positioned at a distance of approximately 24 kilometers away from the main Udaipur city. Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion. Initially, the temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. Since that time, Eklingji has been the ruling deity of Mewar rulers. In the later years, it was repaired and modified by various Kings. The magnificent architecture of Eklingnath Temple is simply remarkable. The double-storied temple looks awesome with its pyramidal style of roof and distinctly carved tower.

Eklingji temple, udaipur

Eklingji temple, udaipur

NEEMACH MATAJI :

Neemach Mataji is a temple located near Fateh Sagar. It is believed to be built in the year 1652-1680. It is also believed that Shree Nimcha Mata (also known as Ambaji) is the clan Goddess of the Royal family of the Maharanas. This stone idol of the Goddess is 56 inch in height and 23 inch in width. The offer idol of Lord Ganesh is 22.1 inch high and 12.1 inch wide. Outside the inner temple is a Hawan Kund for performance of Yojna.

GULAB BAGH:

The Udaipur Zoo (Sajjan Niwas Garden), popularly known as Gulab Bagh, is an inseparable part of the life and memories of any Udaipurite. It is not only the heritage of this city, but of the entire nation. Started in the year 1878, it is one of the four oldest zoos of India. It was set up by Maharana Sajjan Singh of Mewar.  Sajjan Niwas Bagh is well known for its numerous varieties of roses. Due to abundance of rose flowers, this garden is also known as Gulab Bagh or Rose Garden. Situated right beneath the banks of Pichola Lake on Lake Palace Road. The soothing vistas with unusual rose beds, robust trees, orchids and spacious lawns leave any visitor in a delusion. There is a toy train in the premises of the garden that would be cherished by children. The garden also comprises a small zoo that has number of animals like chinkara, leopards, tigers and birds. Apart from the natural beauty, Sajjan Nivas Garden has something more to offer. There is a library that was constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. The Library is known as Saraswati Bhawan Library. Gulab Bagh also encompasses a museum, which was originally known as Victoria Hall Museum. It is famous for its collection of antiques, curios, royal household items and other interesting relics from the past.

SAHELIYON KI BARI :

Situated in the north of the Udaipur city the Saheliyon-ki-Bari or the ‘Garden of the Maids of Honor’ of Udaipur was once reserved for the royal ladies who came here for a stroll. This small, quaint, ornamental garden was laid out for 48 women attendants who came as part of a princess’s dowry, and has fountains (water permitting), kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool. Saheliyon-ki-Bari A well planned garden, with extensive lawns and shady walks situated on the banks of the dainty Fateh Sagar Lake was constructed in 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh. Its numerous fountains located strategically in the four scenic pools of the garden attract as much tourists as the chiseled and sculpted kiosks and marble elephants. There is al also a splendid rose garden with over 100 varieties of roses added later.

Saheliyon Ki Bari Garden, Udaipur

Saheliyon Ki Bari Garden, Udaipur

PICHOLA LAKE :

Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Rajasthan. Located in the heart of Udaipur, Pichola is the oldest and one of the largest lakes in all of Udaipur.  The beautiful Pichola Lake mesmerizes everyone and the scenic surroundings add to the charm of the lake. Maharana Udai Singh was also mesmerized by the lake and the surroundings so he extended the lake when he founded the city of Udaipur and also built a dam made of stone that is in Badipol region on the shore of the lake.There are many small islands in the lake like Arsi Vilas which is a hotspot for birds and has a platform known as Natni Ka Chabutra. There are many islands in Pichola Lake that add to the charm of the lake. The famous Lake Palace is on the Jag Island. Jag Temple in the lake is a very popular tourist attraction. Along its eastern shore sprawls the massive CITY PALACE.  South of this is the hill known as MACHHALA MAGRA where part of the old city wall and the small fort of Eklinggarh can still be seen . A trip to Pichola Lake is incomplete without a boat ride around the Lake Palace. The blue water gives a very calm and soothing sensation and a boat ride during sunset is an experience of a lifetime.

PICHOLA LAKE, India

PICHOLA LAKE, Photo Courtesy by Dr. Jaus

FATEH SAGAR :

Fateh sagar lake was constructed towards the north of Lake Pichola,  by Maharana Jai Singh.  But it got the name of Fateh Singh who rebuilt its dam. Fateh Sagar, is the second largest man-made lakes of Udaipur. Fateh Sagar is 2.4 km. long, 1.6 km. wide and 11.5 m. at its deepest point; when full, it covers an area of about 1 sq. km., being fed by the Ahar (Berach) river. Fateh Sagar Lake is embellished by three small islands. The largest one is NEHRU PARK, a popular garden island with a restaurant and zoo, which is reached by inboard motor boats from the bottom of Moti Magri Hill. The Government of Rajasthan made the second island into a public park with a spectacular water-jet fountain, and the third houses the udaipur solar observatory.

Fatah Sagar Lake, Udaipur, India

Fatah Sagar Lake, Udaipur, India

UDAI SAGAR :

Udai Sagar Lake is another striking lake that falls under the category of five lakes of Udaipur. Udaisagar Lake is located at a distance of about 13 kms in the east of Udaipur. The construction of this lake was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh  II and got completed in 1565.  Its greatest depth is 9 m.; it is 4 km. long, and 2.5 km. wide, and covers an area of 10.5 sq km. It has a storage capacity of 23.4 mil.cu.m. The 54-m. embankment was built with stones from the bund of other lakes.

View of Udai Sagar Lake, Udaipur

View of Udai Sagar Lake, Udaipur ( Photo courtesy Sreenivasan Ramakrishnan)

JAISAMAND :

Jaisamand Lake is also known as Dhebar. The lake, built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685, Asia’s second-largest artificial lake covering an area of 36sq km. The lake has a total number of 3 islands measuring from 10 to 40 acres each. The Dhebar Lake Marble Dam is 300 Meters long and is a part of the “Heritage Monuments of India”. The dam also has the Hawa Mahal Palace, winter Capital of the erstwhile Maharana’s of Mewar. The statistics of the lake is  9 miles in breadth, 102 feet deep at its deepest end, a circumference of 30 miles with marble staircases leading into the water. The summer palaces of the Queens of Udaipur surround Jaisamand Lake on all sides. Dhebar Lake has elegant steps leading to the water and marble Chhatri (cenotaphs) on its bank with a small Shiv temple that marks the grace of the lake.On either side are the palaces built for the past kings favourite queens.  3 islands on this lake are inhabits by tribe Bhil Minas. There are seven islands on the lake, some of which provide sanctuary inhabited by several species of migratory birds. The nearby wildlife sanctuary is also worth a visit. There is a number of resort hotels catering for those who would appreciate a break from the noise and turnoil of the city.

Jaisamand Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Jaisamand Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan

SWAROOP SAGAR:

Swaroop Sagar is a small artificial lake that was created by Maharana Swaroop Singh. The lake was subsequently named after him. It is also known as Kumharia Talab. Located behind the famous Jagdish Temple, Kumharia Talab is near Chand Pol adjoining Rangsagar. The lake was actually built to provide water to the people of Udaipur. Kumharia Talab is connected with Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake.

BHARTIYA LOK KALA MUSEUM :

Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum is one of the most famous museums of Udaipur, exhibiting the brilliant collection of folk articles of Rajasthan. This rare compilation varies from typical rural-dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. The museum is  located in the building of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal near Chetak Circle in Udaipur city.

VINTAGE & CLASSIC CAR COLLECTION:

The Vintage & Classic Car Collection is a landmark in the city of Udaipur ever since it was inaugurated in February 2000. The grand limousines and cars showcased in the Collection belong to the House of Mewar and are still in perfect running condition. With 22 splendid vehicles, including a magnificent Rolls-Royce, 1939 Cadillac open convertibles, rare Mercedes models, 1936 Vauxhall and 1937 Opel models. The Collection has been curated for the benefit of vintage car-lovers from India and all over the world.

Shilpgram :

Shilpgram in Udaipur can be literally translated as the ‘Craftsmen’s Village’. It depicts the lifestyle of the folk and tribal people of the West Zone. Make sure you don’t miss the Shlipgram festival which is hosted every year from 21st December to 31st December

How to Reach Udaipur :

By Air : Udaipur Airport namely Maharana Pratap Airport is located near Dabok at a distance of 22 kms from the city of Udaipur. Many domestic airlines connect the city to all the major cities of India including Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

By Rail: Rajasthan Railways connects Udaipur station with all the other cities of Rajasthan as well as India. There are frequent trains which run to and from Udaipur connecting Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi. One can also travel to this beautiful city by the luxurious Palace on Wheels.

By Road: Udaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Udaipur Bus Stand has regular bus services, connecting Udaipur with nearby cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Indore, Kota, Ajmer, Ahmedabad and Mt. Abu.

Best Time to Visit Udaipur:

Udaipur experiences a pleasant climate in winters. Months from September to March make the ideal time to visit this city of lakes.

Street food of Delhi

Delhi, capital of India besides its historical important is also popular among the street food lovers. Specially, the old city streets of Chandni Chowk are a hub for the city’s best street food. Begin with mouth-watering dahi bhalla, gol guppas,  paratha, kashori, lassi, rabdi  faluda and crispy papri chaat . The streets are lined with halwais (sweet-sellers), namkeenwallahs (sellers of savouries) and paranthe wallahs.

 The real flavor of the Delhi street food lies in the chaat.  Chaat is basically a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread, Dahi Bhalla, gram and tangy-salty spices. The mixture is garnished with sour Indian chilly, fresh green coriander leaves and yoghurt. However, there are several other variants also available. Let us explore a few of the chaat shops. Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar (1462),  Bishan Swaroop (1421) is perhaps the best and most popular chaatwallah in Chandni Chowk.   Nearby in Chawri Bazaar, Hira Lal Chaat Corner and Jugal Kishore Ramji Lal have perfected variations of fruit chaat. You cannot afford to give a miss to the authentic chaat at Lala Babu Chaat Bhandar (77, Chandni Chowk, Near McDonald’s).

Indian Street Food : Gol Gappas and Chaat

Street Food : Gol Gappas and Chaat

How can you forget  Gol Gappe (served with a type of Jal Jeera that’s packed with harad (a digestive) kachoris stuffed with potato and chana), Gobhi-Matar Samosas, Dahi Bhalla and Matar Paneer Tikki. The delicacy called Dahi Bhalla is a deep-fried urad dal dumpling smothered in whipped curd. Often, it is streaked with chocolate brown laces of sweet-sour tamarind chutney. Pink pomegranate seeds  added with curd.  Kachori, usually stuffed with pulses and served with potato curry, is another delicacy that makes your mouth water. Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala (1104, Chhatta Madan Gopal, Chandni Chowk) is perhaps the most famous for its Urad Dal Kachori, which is served with Aloo Subzi. This place is surely worth visiting.

On the sweeter side, Rabdi Faluda is a must. And the place to have it is ‘Giani di Hatti’ near the Fatehpuri Mosque. It has now become an ice-cream parlor specializing in exotic flavors like Litchi and Bubblegum. Apart from standard ice creams, they also serve milkshakes, fruit shakes, ice-cream shakes and sundaes. If you like kulfi – a flavored frozen dessert made of milk. The popular destination here is Siya Ram Nannumal Kulfiwale (629, Gali Lodan, Ajmeri Gate) They offer flavor including – Kesar, Pista, Rose, Kewra, Banana, Mango, or Pomegranate.

Let’s visit the world famous Paranthewali Gali. It became a famous gourmet locality when the parantha shops moved here in the 1870s. This lane has been the haunt of many celebrities of India. Paranthe Wale Gulli’s fried, crisp parantha comestuffed with the usual (Aloo Parantha, Gobhi Parantha and Matar Parantha, stuffed with potato, cauliflower and chana respectively potato or paneer) and there are several new variants including lentils, fenugreek, radish, papad, carrot and mixed. Besides, there are paranthas which cost slightly more and include those stuffed with paneer, mint, lemon, chilly, dry fruits, cashew, raisins, almond, rabdi, khurchan, banana, karela, lady’s finger and tomato. The paranthas are fried in pure ghee in cast-iron pans. They are served with Mint Chutney, vegetable pickle and Aloo Subzi. Perhaps the oldest shop among these is Pt Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan, established in 1872. Others include Pandit Devi Dayal’s (1886) and Kanhaiya Lal Durga Prasad’s Parantha Shop (1875).

In Chandni Chowk, you meet the Old and Famous Jalebiwala just before you enter Dariba Kalan. Refresh yourself with a delicious plate of hot jalebis – a sweet made by deep frying batter in a kind of round shape and then soaked in sugar syrup. Also, don’t miss the Jama Masjid area that buzzes with activity. The aroma of food come to your nose from the Urdu Bazaar facing Gate No. 1 of the Masjid and a side street called Matia Mahal. The smell of fresh fish, aromatic kebabs and fried chicken is in the air. Vendors sell kebabs and tikkas (made of buffalo meat) wrapped in rumali roti (paper-thin bread) at throwaway prices. The Mutton Burrahs,Mutton Korma, Shammi Kabab and Shahjahani Korma available here are worth testing.

Don’t forget to visit Ghantewala sweet shop at Chandni Chowk, which is more than 200 years old. The sweets here are prepared in pure desi ghee. Highly recommended are the Sohan Halwa Papdi, Pista Samosa and Badam Burfi – truly sinful pieces of heaven on earth.

Other best places in the hunt of street food include, South Delhi’s Bengali Sweets, Evergreen Sweet House and Haldiram’s. Varieties of Momos and Pork dishes available in the street of Sarojini market.

Desert Hill Station Mount Abu

Mount Abu has the unique flavor of being the only hill station in desert of Rajasthan. It is located in the south-western corner of Rajasthan, close to Gujarat. Mount Abu is also a famous pilgrimage center. Abu is at an altitude of 1220 meters, and is the highest point on the Aravalli range. Mount Abu was once the summer resort of the Rajput royal families and later the British. It still bears the remnants of the royal patronage as is evidenced by the numerous recreation bungalows of the British. It is built around a Nakki lake and surrounded by hills and is the most popular summer resort. It’s cool climate, lovely lakes, and breathtaking beautiful Jain temples attracts tourists on a large scale.
Mount Abu with its world-class tourist facilities with hotels ranging from budget to three star and heritage provides a great holiday escape and honeymoon attraction.

There are many hotels located around Nakki Lake. Tourist can easily find various hotels and resorts at Mount Abu. Various five star & three star hotels located at Mount Abu are famous for their hospitality. Hotels in Mount Abu are spread in such a way that all the tourist attraction places and shopping places are nearby so that tourists can visit most of them easily. Most Hotels even provide transportation facility.

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Lovers Point, Mount Abu

Mount Abu,  Rajasthan, India

Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India

 

Tourist attractions in Mount Abu

Dilwara Temples : One of the finest examples of Jain art and architecture, these set of temples are beautiful stone carvings with intricate details. The complex consists of five major temples dedicated to five Jain tirthankaras. These exquisitely carved Jain temples were built between the 11th and the 13th century AD.

Dilwara Jain Temples ,Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples ,Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary is known for its rich variety of flora and fauna and attracts wildlife enthusiasts on a large scale. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in one of the oldest mountain ranges of India, the Aravali range. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1960. The tourist can spot panthers, bears, foxes, wild boars and migratory birds inside the park. Apart from rich wildlife species that can be found, the sanctuary is also rich in floral biodiversity with 112 varieties of plants.

Nakki Lake : Nakki Lake is located centrally, at a height of 1200 meters as a major attraction in Mount Abu. Water rides in Nakki Lake are memorable for life time. Nakki Lake is the very ancient sacred lake, according to Hindu Legend. It is called by this name because it was dug out from Nails (Nakh) of Hindu God. Sri Raghunathji Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are located near the lake. The green hills near the lake, date-palms and Gandi Ghat garden enhance its beauty.

Nakki lake (Mount Abu), Rajasthan

Nakki lake (Mount Abu), Rajasthan

Achalgarh fort : The Achalgarh fort, built in the 14th century by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, stands nearby. It encloses several beautiful Jain temples, including the Achaleswar Mahadev Temple (1412) and the Kantinath Temple (1513).

Gaumukh Temple : Located at a distance of 4km south of Mount Abu, it is dedicated to Lord Rama. Gaumukh literally means ‘from the mouth of the cow’. The Gaumukh Temple in Mount Abu gets its name from a natural spring, which flows out of a sculpted cow head. The temple has been cut from a huge rock in the sacred spot where rishi Vashistha performed the great rite and offered sacrifices to Lord Vishnu in order to obtain his blessings.

Adhar Devi Temple : The Adhar Devi Temple is carved entirely out of a single, huge rock. It can be reached only after a tremendous climb of 360 steps.

Guru Shikhar : This is the highest peak on the Mount Abu which provides an excellent view of the whole town. Guru Shikar is the highest peak of the Aravali range, located at about 15 km northeast of Mount Abu. The cool climate and serene environments make the peak a much sought place for seclusion. This peak is the home to the temple of Dattatreya an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is a huge brass bell outside the shrine, which overlooks the lush greenery of Mount Abu. The cold sweeping breeze in adjunct with the panoramic view of the natural scenery full of charm and dense distant forests fill in the visitors a throbbing thrill.

Mount Abu Observatory, Rajasthan

Mount Abu Observatory, Rajasthan

Shri Raghunathji Temple: Situated near the ‘Nakki’ lake is the temple dedicated to Lord Raghunath (another name for Lord Rama), the temple holds an ancient idol, which was placed there by Shri Ramanand, the famous scholar and preacher in the 14th century A.D.

Sunset Point: Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in the golden glow can be viewed from here.

Honeymoon Point : Honeymoon Point Known as the Andra Point, which offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Take time out to visit Honeymoon Point at sunset when the ambiance is very romantic. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours.

Museum and Art Gallery : Located at the Raj Bhawan, it was a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th century A.D. It also has Jain bronze carvings, brassworks etc.

Getting There

Air: Udaipur at 185 kms is the closest airport.

Rail: Abu Road is the closest railhead at 29 kms, connected to Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad

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Road: Mount Abu has a good network of roadways and is in close proximity to the NH 8 and 14. It is connected to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Best time to visit Mount Abu

One can enjoy a great holiday here irrespective of the season. There is not any bad time to take a tour to this beautiful hill station. Best times to visit Mount Abu are between February and June or any time after the rains between September and December. Lightweight clothes are adequate for the summer months and a warm jacket , sweater or Shawl is required in winters (November-January).

Dhanaulti Travel

Located on the Mussoorie-Chamba track, Dhanaulti is the starting point for numerous treks into the snow-capped Himalayas, especially to the Tehri region of Garhwal. At an altitude of 2286m and is known for its quiet environment amidst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. Cuddle by a bracing mountain, this hill station is just ideal for long walks up shady slopes or grassy meadows. This place can be a very ideal place for summer if you’re looking for a tranquil and serene place to connect with nature.

Dhanaulti lies at a distance of just twenty four kilometers from the prominent hill station Mussoorie. You can also visit the Eco Park, which is the main attraction in the entire region and houses sections of Deodar trees.

The Surkanda Devi temple in Dhanaulti is very popular among pilgrims and tourists, and it lies on the road that leads from Dhanaulti to Chamba. The town is famous for its potato farms, one can take a horse ride to the farms and make the experience worth remembering.

Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Hills in Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Himalyan Range from Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Himalyan Range from Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Tourist attractions in Dhanaulti

ECO-Park   :    Mussoorie Forest Department is running Eco-huts for the tourists come to enjoy serene landscapes of Dhanaulti. These are built by green technology and are Eco-friendly. There are two Eco-parks named, “Amber” and “Dhara” about 200 m apart. It has been developed recently by the Forest Department of Uttarakhand with the help of local youth. It houses a protected patch of small forest containing Deodar Trees.

Eco park, Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Eco park, Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Surkanda Devi Mandir : It is situated at a distance of  8 km from Dhanaulti, on the road towards Chamba.  It is surrounded by dense forests and affords a scenic view of the surrounding region including the Himalayas to the north, and Dehradun, Rishikesh to the south. The Ganga Dussera festival is celebrated every year between May and June and attracts a lot of people. It is part of the Devi Darshan triangle, which offers trekking opportunities around Dhanaulti – Surkanda Devi, Chandrabadni and Kunjapuri.

Aaloo Khet (Potato Farm) : The large expanses of potato farm also known as Aloo Khet, is a quiet place where the tourists can have a walk. These fields belong to the government and also are owned by private farmers.  The potato farms are about 1 km from the main market and from here the Doon valley is clearly visible.  Horse ride is also available to go around these potato farms.

Camp Thangdhar :  The Camp Thangdhar in Thangdhar village at a distance of 14 kms from the market area. This particular adventure camp has accommodation facilities and has been developed especially for the tourists who are interested in mountain adventure. It is situated at a height of 8300 feet and is surrounded by the pine and deodar trees. Various activities such as trekking, golf, mountain biking, rock climbing, bonfire, snow camping etc. are arranged for the tourists who stay in Camp Thangdhar. Sightseeing to the nearby locations is also organized for the tourists.

The Camp Thangdhar, Dhanaulti

The Camp Thangdhar

Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Dhanaulti, Uttaranchal

Climate

The summer temperatures in the town range from 32 °C to 37.5 °C, while winter temperatures remain between 7 °C and -1 °C.

How to get there

By air:                   The closest airport is Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun situated at a distance of 80kms.

By rail:                  The nearest railway station is located at Dehradun. The taxi stand is right next to the railway station and prepaid cabs to Dhanaulti are easily available. The uphill drive is a picturesque one and usually takes less than 2 hours.

By road:               One can alternatively drive up to Dhanaulti from Dehradun or New Delhi. The distance from New Delhi is approx. 350 km and takes about 8-9 hours.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit is during the summer months, (May, June, July and August) . The snowcapped mountains offer a rare glimpse. In winters, however, the mercury plummets and occasionally there is a snowfall that caps the tree tops and mountain peaks beautifully.

Summer:             April to June, Temperature- 30°C Max to 17°C Min.

Monsoon:           July to September. Heavy rainfall.

Winter:                October to February, Temperature- 15°C Max to 1°C or less Min.