Guhagar – with Sandy, White Sand and Serenity

We know you liked our last story, kuch khaas hai kaas on Kaas Plateau published in September 2017 and as promised here we are sharing the 2nd phase of that amazing Road trip with Sandy. If you missed reading the preceding story, click here and then read the current one.

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Here you go, After dumping the idea of quitting jobs and realizing that its getting dark, we hit the road again to reach our final destination- Guhagar. It was about 180 kms drive from Satara via karad and Chiplun. The roads were not in a good condition throughout the journey and there were some steep ghats, then we reached to the pre booked Nilambari Resort.

Where to STAY: It was a 3 bed non AC room with attached toilet and television. The resort owner is very friendly and we could bargain and get the fare down to Rs 1000/- from Rs.1500/-. After having typical Konkani poha and tea served at the Resort, we headed to the beach which is about a five minute walk from the resort.

What to EAT: While in Guhagar, one must try Konkani vegetarian food like ukdi chamodak, sol kadi, Bhaves, kokam sharbat and Thali-pith of Suruchi hotel is a must eat. Konkani sea food is globally recognized for its taste and while in this part of the sub-continent, one cannot afford to miss:  kalva, mhakala, vaghal, bonbil, kolim, kombadi vade, mori mutton, Ghol, Rawas etc.

We were awestruck after feeling the smooth white sand on this virgin Guhagar beach. The water was clear and so was the beach. It felt as 3 of us were the only tourists.  After having a dip in the Arabian sea, we headed towards the famous Gopalgarh fort which has great historic significance. It is believed to be built at the start of 16th Century by the Siddis. It was captured by Shivaji Maharah in 1660.

Being one of the most important lighthouses of India, Anjanvel Light house is a must visit. The lighthouse operator explained us the technicalities involved in signaling and controlling the ships. We halted at an unknown and unnamed venue on the hill and facing the mighty Arabian Sea for some time and did not realize when we ended up halting there for hours. The air was the freshest that we ever had inhaled and the breathtaking view was the best ever experience we could have captured in ours lens, eyes and hearts. The thought of quitting job was dwindling all over again. We enjoyed some late night drinks on the beach in the moonlight and under the sky full of twinkling stars.

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Vyadeshwar and Velaneshwar temple:  Both are temples of Lord Shiva and are the Kuladaivat of a lot of Kokanastha Brahmins.

Next morning we were all set to hit road and decided to take the road less traveled, where we had to cross Dabhol creek on a ferry along with our car, which was a superb experience to reach Ratnagiri. Visited an ancient Chandika Devi Temple to reach Pune via not so easy to drive Tamhini Ghat. The ghat is full of waterfalls and scenic beauty during the monsoon. We drove back to Mumbai with a lifetime experience, much improved bond of friendship and promises for the many more upcoming roadtrips.

Must carry stuff on a roadtrip: Aux cable, cigarette point charger, knife, water, jacket, extra pair of shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, old newspapers, mat, bedsheet, nail cutter, mug, DSLR, football, snacks,  beachwear (if the place you heading to has a beach)and hell lot of great music.

Do not miss to listen to the music what we love on roadtrip by clicking HERE

Story by: Abhimanyu

Pictures by: Utkarsh & Sandy

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Guest Post || Trip to the Tranquil land of Lanjhni By Lekha

You all would agree with me for the title if I tell you I am talking about no place other than Himachal Pradesh known as devbhoomi (land of devatas). There is this different sense of calmness once you cross the Punjab border and enter into Himachal.

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I recently got a  chance to visit this paradise and trust me if you are expecting me to talk about Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, Shimla etc, I am going to disappoint you because Himachal is not just these places(for a trip to Shimla you can read Yatripandit’s Story). There is much more to it and that is still hidden on the hill tops, inside the forests and God knows where else. So let’s take you to these serene villages of Himachal (They are no villages) and absorb the tranquility of these plush green places. As you enter the Himachal border from Pathankot , you are welcomed with a cool breeze usually every time of the year and long deodar trees. It will take you around an hour or two to reach banoi chowk if you boarded the Kangra bus from Pathankot. Usually these chowks are named after the names of rivers flowing there or nearby, and let me remind you throughout the way the rivers are not gonna leave you, from the bus you can follow the river waters and it might not be surprising if the bus stops suddenly on the road side and conductor gets down to fill his water bottle from the water seeping through the roadside hill. Yeah, it’s the purest water – chilled and all for free. On the way there are many dhabas (Unlike Karnataka) to serve you delicious tandoori roti along with Kadi and Rajma and this hot meal is exactly what you need on those hilly cold Raasta.

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As you reach banoi chowk, you have to get down and take a jeep to Lanjhni  (It’s a village on the hilltops in district Dharamshala and tehsil Kangra with around 150 houses , built almost one or two per hill ) Usually the locals living there provide guest houses for rent to travelers, but it’s hard to find on your own since it’s almost a non-traveller zone, so you have to make arrangements in advance or you could even take help from the drivers or hotel owners in Dharamshala as this place is just 10 KM from Dharamshala.

Once you are set in that cozy room of your guest house facing tall deodar trees and pin drop silence you have all the time in the world to be face yourself. The silence here is not deafening, it’s music to your ears when you can hear your own heartbeat. I would suggest to reach the guesthouse before the sunset just to be on a safer side (Although people here do not lock their homes..)

Enjoy a great adrak wali chai and let the artist within unwind. (That’s my personal touch to it)

Next morning , it’s an advice to wake up early because you surely would not like to miss one of your life’s best sunrise, the first rays breaking through the clouds(although you are on cloudsJ ) and sun rising behind that green cover of trees .  After making up your morning, the walk through the hills between the clouds would lead you to a soul awakening path, the cool breeze and the warm sun is the perfect combination for the awakening.  No need to rush, nowhere to hurry for…Just Live and by this I mean actually LIVE LIFE.IMG-20170922-WA0001

You have all the time to explore the village now and you would really be astonished to know that this village is built much better than many of the cities we live in, with all the amenities  and yes there is hardly any power cut happening in this village. Please take your time to talk to the elderly people here, you will fall in love with the sweetness of their language and affection , they will tell you how their ancestors bought these hills and constructed those houses which are more robust than many of our recent constructions, they have the plethora of stories some depicting their ancient beliefs and you will feel how innocent and pure their hearts are while some will tell you some daily tales about myths which might scare you a bit,but overall this is gonna be a lifetime experience for you.

If you craving for the outside world , you can anytime tale a local jeep or cab to Dharamshala and ahead to Mcleodganj and have a gala time, do a real time cheap shopping ,enjoy your time with little cute monks in Dalai lama temple , visit the famous Shiva Café and Bhagsunag temple and Falls.

This trip would give you a soul stirring and calming experience or I should say ‘A Murakami experience’.

Please do write to me if you need any details for this place in case you are traveling.

 

About the Author:

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Name: Lekha Mishra

Job: Who cares

Ethnicity: Is often misconstrued and lead to miseries, so don’t have one.

Loves: Time I cultivate the dreams and nurture the art within and love to love the loved ones who make life a lovable livable affair for the downtrodden too.

Outlook about Life: A cup of hot ginger tea and a big window seating with a book or a calm listener or a healer

Do you cry: Often! Yes it cleans the slate.

Shopping: Need more almirah maa!IMG-20171101-WA0000

Yatripandit addon: Lekha is an amazing soul who believes in LMAO theory showing her all 32. She always carries a full of life attitude and is ready for all challenges. We wish her all the best for all future journeys and life.

 

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Cheers !!

Guest Post || Why Fatehpur Sikhri is a MUST visit from Agra, by Rommanne

The architecture. It is beyond brilliant. The intricate details and carvings on red sandstone and white marble is unique to the Mughal Sultanate, and is a visual treat for the eyes. I wish the walls could whisper about the grandeur and charisma of this magnificent empire!

img_20151217_120526Jalal-ud-din Mohammed Akbar, the greatest emperor of the Mughal dynasty, had built the twin cities of Fatehpur and Sikhri between 1571-1585. The capital city of Sikhri is an example of meticulous urban planning of medieval times. This ancient township is protected by a 11km long fortification wall. A tomb is dedicated to the Sufi saint Salim Chisti. The palace complex houses various important buildings. A tour of the city is like walking into the pages of your school history text book – only to realize that no words can do justice to the pristine glory of the mighty Mughal empire.

How to get there?

By Road from Agra

It is only 37 km away from Agra, towards the west. An hour’s drive from the beautiful mausoleum city.You can hire a cab for approximately Rs 2000 (an air-conditioned Indica which is a four seater) and the price varies based on the number of people commuting. Your hotel will be able to help you with this booking.

Note: The Taj Mahal is closed on a Friday, but Fatehpur Sikhri isn’t. The Taj Mahal is open to tourists on full moon nights (once a month) and the view is of paramount beauty. So plan your tour itinerary accordingly.

What to Carry?

Carry a cap to avoid the blazing sun and sunscreen during the day in summers
Warm clothes – It can get icy cold during November to February
A good pair of walking shoes
Cash – the cab driver and local shopkeepers do not use debit / credit cards
A good camera
Water bottles – it is allowed inside
Some snacks to eat on the way (not allowed inside the monuments).
Entrance Fee (subject to changes)

Indian nationals : Rs 40
Foreign Nationals: Rs 550
Additional camera charges apply

Traveler’s Tip:

A tour guide is essential to explain the nitty-gritties of the architecture. Beware of cheats! An official guide would be wearing a white uniform and will have a license. He would charge you approximately Rupees 1500 and would not bargain. You could wait for another travel group to split your expense. However, many fake tourist guides roam at the entrance to con the tourist with a fake ID card and similar uniform. They agree to a lesser price but often provide false information or no information at all.

Sikhri

Babur, the descendant of Chengiz Khan, had noticed a small village and name it Shukri (meaning shukriya or thank you) when he defeated Rana Sangwa at Khanua in 1527. Akbar, Babur’s grandson called it Sikhri and made it his capital between 1571-1584.

Diwan-e-Khass

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Diwan-e-Khass (The Jewel House)

 

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The pillars are a blend of Indo-Islamic architecture

 

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The ornately carved central pillar is believed to house the throne of Akbar while the Ministers were seated at corners of the passage

Ankh Michauli – The Imperial Treasury

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The crevices in the wall suggest that the Royal Treasure Troves filled with gold, silver and copper coins were placed here

Palace of Jodha Bai – Shabistan-i-Iqbal

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The design of this building draws inspiration from Rajput traditions and Hindu architecture and was also equipped with a kitchen based on the request by Akbar’s favorite queen
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One of the walls of Jodha Bai’s palace lined with various designs of the Rajput Queen’s jhumkas or earrings

 

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While some historians believe that this was the Hindu prayer hall Jodha used, others refute by suggesting that Jodha had a summer palace and a winter palace. Akbar was the only Mughal emperor who allowed his queen’s to follow their own religion. The Jalal carefully examined the doctrines of all religions, customs and ceremonies and blended the best practices to start a religion called Din-i-Ilahi

 

Turkish Sultana’s Pavilion

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Rukaiyaa Begum’s Pavilion. The paintings adorning the walls have faded with the sands of time. The beauty and finesse of the Persian silk curtains guarding the entrance to the chambers can only be imagined
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A verandah facing the Talao. Intricacy herself would have sculpted the walls of the Turkish Queen. The delicate carvings on the friezes, pillars and pilasters of the stone masons can be mistaken to be teak wood carvings

 

Panch Mahal

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Badgir (wind catcher) consists of four storeys of decreasing size. It was meant to mitigate the intense summer heat

 

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No two columns are alike on the first floor. Several designs such as bell-and-chain motif, floral patterns and tiny circular blossoms are carved on these walls

 

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The ground floor consists of 84 columns (an auspicious number for the Hindus, the first storey consists of 56 columns, the second storey 20 , the third 12 and the top storey is a domed kiosk supported on four pillars

 

Hujra-i-Anup Talao

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North-east of the Talao is a beautiful structure described as a ‘superb jewel casket’

 

Fatehpur

The twin city of Fatehpur – meaning land of victory was built next to Sikhri. However, Akbar had to abandon Fatehpur-Sikhri due to the saline content in the water and scarcity of water in this region.

Jami Masjid Complex in red sandstone

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The Badshahi Darwaza, the entrance used by the Emperor to enter the Jami Masjid complex.

 

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Pillared bays in Jami Masjid

 

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The remnants of the ceiling once adorned with marvelous paintings and colors. A look at the center of the dome shows signs of the last designs peeling off

 

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The Masjid, the principal building of Fatehpur consists of an open courtyard. The inscriptions on the wall gives an idea regarding the construction and commissioning of the mosque

Darbar of Salim Chisti in white marble

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Akbar sought the blessings of Shaikh Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of his sons, heir to the throne of the Mughal Sultanate. The dargah marks the profound reverence and respect the Sultan had for the saint

 

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The intricate jali work architecture unique to the Mughal Empire, resembles carved ivory instead of white marble. The devotees tie a sacred thread around the jali to seek blessings of the famous Sufi saint

 

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The pillars around the dargah consists of serpentine brackets which spring from the shafts. The space between the curves is filled with jali work

 

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The marble screens around the tomb draw different patterns such as pentagon, hexagon and octagonal patterns. The early morning sun casts beautiful shadows which leaves the tourist spell-bound

Buland Darwaza

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The Buland Darwaza (Lofty Gate) was built to commemorate the conquest of Gujarat. This imposing gate is made up of plain red sandstone framed in white marble. Verses from the Holy Quran are inscribed on the structure which can be seen from far distances.

The gigantic gate characterizes the assertion of power and dominance of the most successful Mughal Emperor.

Souvenir Shopping at Fatehpur Sikhri and Agra

Click here to read what Agra is famous for and tips on souvenir shopping!

 

cropped-13906890_10155214073928636_2127596217741220551_nAbout the author in her own words:    A Bengali brought up in the cosmopolitan city of Bangalore, I believe in living life to the brim. I have spent years to hone up my technical skills to get the coveted tag of an “Engineer + MBA” and worked with some of the best brands of the corporate world. I love to splash colors on canvas, disappear into a different world by picking up a good book and flipping a few pages, put together some spices and meat to please my taste buds, sway to my favorite tune each time I hear good music and of course explore a new place every time I get a chance! Well, this doesn’t even sum up 0.1% of me! Each article here is a bit of me, a bit of what I think, a little of what I feel and are pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which makes me, Me!

You can check other amazing stories by Rommanne at http://www.rommanne.com

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Cheers !!