Moving homes?

I have stayed in nine different stations in my 11 years of married life.Thanks to my Hubby’s job!We’ve never stayed in the same place for more than six months.Such is the nature of his job that we’ve had to go out on short two-three months courses and come back again.I think packing and moving don’t scare me anymore.And I have never taken the help of Movers and Packers.The furniture packing is handled by my husband and his buddy pair mostly.Here are some tips which may come in handy to all who have to shift frequently.

1.Follow the GUTS mantra-Give,Use,Throw and Sell.What you may not find useful may be a treasure for others.So lighten your belongings.It also gives you an opportunity to shop and stay updated with new trends in fashion and lifestyle.

2.Wooden boxes are suitable for glassware and crockery.Wrap the glassware with dampened newspaper.The damp newspaper swells after drying and gives your glassware the much needed cushioning.

3.Use steel trunks or boxes to pack clothing.

4.Prepare and involve the children in the process of packing- especially their own stuff.Talking about the new place prepares them to accept situations more easily.

5.If you are like me who does not want to part with her pots and plants,it is advisable to transfer all your saplings and plants you wish to carry in small plastic bags like they keep in a nursery.Prepare a crate lined with gunny and hay to keep them safe in the long and harsh conditions of the journey.

6.Carry important documents with you.This includes your child’s Transfer Certificate/marksheet/report card,medical papers,gas connection books,cheque books etc.

Once you’ve settled down you may intimate the change in address to all important associates.

I hope that this list is of some help to people like me.It is not as easy as it sounds.Packing and moving requires a lot of planning.But if properly planned,it can definitely be less stressful.

 

The Dassam Falls,Ranchi

I hope you’ve read about our visit to the elegant Sun temple in Ranchi here.

Our next destination was the famous Dassam Waterfall about 34 kms from Ranchi where the river Kanchi falls from a height of 144 kms.Dassam means ten and the fall is so named because whenever it is seen,ten streams of water can be seen falling.The sound of the water cascading echoes through the entire region.ranchi 042ranchi 041

Falling from a height of 144 kms

Falling from a height of 144 kms

To reach the bottom of the falls one has to walk down 230 steps.As soon as I reached the site of the falls,I was mystified.The naked hills,the clouds descending,the sweet sound of the water falling et all.

ranchi 027ranchi 028ranchi 029ranchi 038Ranchi ,I think ,is lucky to have been thus endowed by nature.I am sure there is lots more to be seen and I promise to keep you updated.

Rendevouz in Ranchi

Where sylvan are the climes
Where holy bells chime
Beauty, at dozen a dime
When the Rain Gods wash it green
Is when you witness beauty unseen
The serenading falls
The cuckoo calls
The sweet zephyr
The rustic being
Its time to explore Ranchi indeed.

Its been more than a month in Ranchi and I am slowly beginning to like the place despite missing my home town where we had spent the last three years.Ranchi the “City of waterfalls'”,is the capital of Jharkhand.The name Ranchi comes from the name of a local bird.It is also called ‘The Manchester of the East’ from the times of the British Raj.The climate here is adorable.Its been raining since the time I landed and temperatures are pretty much lower than those up North which is a huge relief.

So,with the intent of exploring our current home,this weekend we took off on a long drive to visit some must-visit attractions on the list.We managed to tick off two of them.The drive to the temple itself was a refreshing one with a cool breeze throughout and light drizzles in between.The smell of wet earth and the sight of green terrain filled our senses.
Our first stop was the Sun temple situated 40 kms from Ranchi in Bundu.The temple is built in the form of a chariot with 18 wheels drawn by seven white horses.The temple is dedicated to Sun God and is surrounded by a pond which is used by devotees during Chhath Puja for worshipping Sun God.The surroundings are even more majestic and add to the beauty of the temple structure…

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The jharokha inside the temple

The jharokha inside the temple

The gorgeous view outside

The gorgeous view outside

The Sun God

The Sun God

Another view from inside the temple

Another view from inside the temple

The black skies beyond

The black skies beyond

This is not all…I’ll have the second spot we visited in my next post soon.

Keep waiting…

A Treasure trove…Dilli Haat

I love visiting Dilli Haat …each time I go to Delhi.If not for anything then just to drool over all the vibrant and colourful stalls displaying the Art,the Culture,the Cuisine and the Craftsmanship of the artisans from all over the country.For me moving from one stall to another is like discovering each state bit by bit.I love the way even I interact with the shopkeepers- talking to one in Bengali when I spot Kanthawork,telling the one from MP that I  have stayed there for some time while bargaining a Maheshwari and conversing in English with the girl from Manipur for the beautiful cane bags and black stone crockery.People who stay in Delhi may argue that Dilli Haat is too expensive since they have access to a lot of fairs throughout the year but for me going from a small town where such events hardly take place,  Dilli Haat  is the hotspot where I can pick up just about anything I had been craving to buy .I find it worth the money spent if you are good at bargaining which my hubby definitely is.So I decide what to buy and leave the haggling over price to him.Shopping is incomplete without that .DSC09478DSC09472DSC09480DSC09471DSC09474DSC094762013-05-20 15.13.04I just love this section although I cannot buy as much as I would like to because of luggage constraints and also considering that I had still some more to shop from Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat and Janpath…the list goes on.

Keep falling in love with all this pottery.

Keep falling in love with all this pottery.

I am a big fan of Madhubani art and dilli haat offers wide choices

I am a big fan of Madhubani art and Dilli haat offers wide choices

I specially love the fact that after so much hard work , you can gorge on delicacies from all over India — Fish roll,mutton roll,prawn curry  at the West Bengal stall,mouth-watering Momos from Sikkim,Daal baati from Bihar,Idlis from Kerala,Biryani from Hyderabad…….the list goes on.Have I tempted you enough?

Linking this to Colours Dekor

        A Delightsome Life

Visit to The Taj

On our way back from Delhi,we took a break at Agra to relive my visit to one of the most valued Seven Wonders of the World and to live it again through Munch ,who had accompanied us on this road trip.(Perk having abandoned us to go back home with Nani and dadu by train).And I lived to admire my own decision to do so,, as going to a place which is the greatest monument of love till date ,with my hubby ,was something different.

Here is a photologue…

the West gate where we entered

the West gate where we entered

 First view from inside the gate

First view from inside the gate

The Majestic Taj

The Majestic Taj

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From inside the monument-the vies of the mosque for the ladies.

From inside the monument-the vies of the mosque for the ladies.

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Munch and Papa-It was terribly hot and we were barefoot

Munch and Papa-It was terribly hot and we were barefoot

A journey into Purani Dilli

In spite  of my innumerable visits to Delhi,I had never had the chance to walk down the streets of Old Delhi.I had seen them pictures in magazines and watched many a travel and food channels showing the age-old “Parathe-waali galis”.Being the foodies that we are,I coaxed my husband to do this trip with me despite the heat and the humidity This time I was determined We decided not to take our car but the Delhi Metro we got off at Chawri Bazaar metro station just before Chandni Chowk.As it was almost lunch time when we reached there,we decided  we were going to start our journey into puraani dilli by having our lunch at the Karim’s.The place is famous for its Biryanis and kababs and Mutton Qorma and Sheermaal.If you are a true non vegetarian,this is one place in delhi which is not to be missed.Right next to the Jama Masjid,the restaurant is now a chain all over Delhi but who can beat the taste of the original although  the place issaid to be crowded on Fridays, we got a place easily and Yes the restaurant is air conditioned.

Thereafter we took a rickshaw  to Chandni Chowk and straight into the famous Paranthe waali gali.Too full for the parathas, we still had space for some lovely looking Kulfi Faluda. And we bought some laddoos ,karachi halwa,samose and kachoris for later.I tried to imagine Kajol staying in Chandni Chowk in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.The noise,the crowds,the sweat and the rising smoke from the constant frying of parathas filled my nostrils.This was Delhi as it must have been years ago minus the skyscrapers,the innumerable vehicles on roads,the Metros and the Malls.After getting a whole variety of parathas packed for dinner,we took the metro back home as the girls not being used to walking through narrow lanes were getting all restless.Hubby and I winked at each other and with an understanding nod promised to return again without the kids.We knew that this place still had lots to be explored.The magic of puraani Dilli still lingers on with me….

Yes of course,I have some pics for you…

Mom,dad,hubby and Munch at Karim's

Mom,dad,hubby and Munch at Karim’s

Yummy Biryanis in pots
Yummy Biryanis in pots

Rumalis and Naans

Rumalis and Naans

The Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid

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The Goodies

The Goodies

More goodies

More goodies

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Kinaari Bazaar

Kinaari Bazaar

 

An ancient stepwell- Ugrasen ki Baoli

Hi Friends!

I am back after a short and much needed break from work and home.We were in the National capital for a week and I have a lot of things to share with you all.Needless to say,the whole of North India is reeling under an intense heat wave ,despite the fact I made as much of this short break as I could.I planned visits to various museums and indoor activities for Munch and Perk.And on alternate days the hubby and I went on a well deserved retail therapy.So we came back with a lot more baggage than we had expected but I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.Delhi being one of my favourite cities, where there is always something more to see and soak in which you never had done earlier.And that is exactly what I did.Delhi has both history and modernity and both are well balanced and running parallel to each other.I was all the more happy to do this with Munch who is now old enough to take in a few things and appreciate nature and history.

Today I will share pictures of an ancient stairwell with you – Ugrasen ki Baoli.A stepwell (Baoli) is an underground structure for the storage of water to cater for fluctuations in the availability of water.This stepwell is said to have been built by Raja Ugrasen.The architectural features of this well resemble those of the Tuglaq or Lodi period. Very few people in Delhi know about this gorgeous piece of history. The place has an aura about it and is stunning example of the artistic intelligence of its builders.There is a mosque adjacent to this well too.I loved the way this ancient structure stood and held its own amidst the backdrop of skyscrapers of the modern Delhi.I loved its arches and long flight of steps.There is not much to do here but you must pay a visit if you are passing that way.

delhi 194Munch going down the steps.delhi 195The arches or the side walls.

delhi 197Dad and daughter

delhi 196At the bottom of the well.Lots of bats stuck to the ceiling.

I will be back with more stories of our visit.Till then,take care.

Mawlynnong-Asia’s cleanest village Part-2

Continued from Part 1

Ten minutes from the living root bridge,we eventually reached our destination….and lo and behold….saw this imposing signboard which read..

maw11As soon as we entered the village,there was a feeling of calm,peace and tranquility.Only thing you noticed were the sights and sounds of nature.I immediately fell in love with the place.

At the parking,the signboard declared “Welcome to Mawlynnong – God’s own Garden”.And it surely looked like one beautiful Fairyland ,just out of a picture book.Mawlynnong in Khasi,incidentally stands for, a cavity on the Rock.

maw13The village has a Total of 94 households.The villagers make their livelihood out of agriculture and selling broomsticks,and most recently by tourism,which has flourished after the village received the status of the cleanest village in Asia.There is 100% literacy in the village.Though, the villagers have to travel for atleast two hours to get to the nearest market,they have their own school,church and a small grocery shop.The villagers have taken it upon themselves to keep the village absolutely spick and span.There is no litter to be found everywhere.In fact,I saw young girls weeding the grass in front of their homes.There were cone-shaped bamboo dustbins called Thapa in every nook and corner.

maw16maw15What added to the uniqueness of this already unique village was the fact that it was also blessed to have been richly endowed by Nature.The whole place was a riot of colours ,As far as one could see,there were trees,bushes and flowers.All well maintained,not growing wildly.

maw17maw28Although the village might be cut off from modern amenities with our mobile phones showing no signals at all,the residents were following all the modern methods advocated in a modern world to save the Earth.There were compost pits where all the garbage was dumped regularly and rain water harvesting was also being practised.

maw31 It was almost lunch time,but we wanted to see more before we could settle down for lunch.The locals directed us to the Sky view point and the Machaan.When we heard of these,we were not prepared for what we witnessed.

maw18Moving up,passing quaintly built bridges and gurgling water,we came to the Machaan which was an eating joint.

maw32Here we bought tickets worth Rs 10 each to go up this mesmerisingly built bamboo structure.It is the brain child of the locals and according to them ,not a single nail has been used in making this.Surprised?It has been tied up with cane ropes and has the support of five or six huge trees and is nearly 80 feet high.I was still meditating whether to go up the tree house or not when I saw Munch already half way up and had to go on.Perk was safely tucked in Papa’s arms.

Munch climbing up the tree house

Munch climbing up the tree house

maw36maw37I was quite out of breath and scared,so was able to take fewer pictures than would have liked to but the experience was amazing.By the time we reached the highest point we were all panting but excited to reach the top.But once you reach there,the view is just breathtakingly beautiful.It is even more special because one can see Bangladesh clearly in the distance .

On top of the tree house - Bangladesh beyond

On top of the tree house – Bangladesh beyond

This particular adventure further aroused our hunger and we settled down for lunch at one of the many households offering tea and lunch to the visitors,The menu was simple but tasty, rice,dal,chicken curry and a mixed vegetable served by a smiling hostess.She was also kind enough to ake chappatis for a finicky Munch who wouldn’t have rice.The food was clean and fresh.I requested if I could get a peek into the kitchen and was surprised to find that to be absolutely spic and span as well.

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Resting a while

Resting a while

After lunch,we were ready to leave as we had a long drive back to Shillong but not before witnessing another natural phenomenon just outside the village.A huge boulder balancing on a smaller rock.

maw26 maw25With this we came to the end of another of our immemorable trips to the North East.The images of this village will remain etched in my mind forever.

Mawlynnong-Asia’s cleanest village-Part 1

As promised earlier,I am back with my diaries on our travels to North -East India.

This time it is a visit to a magical village situated in the state of Meghalaya,about 90 kms from Shillong,This village is special as it has the distinction of being declared the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 by Discover India magazine and again in 2005.This has been reinforced by the UNESCO and Natinal Geographic.Surprised?Yes,in India. in stark contrast to the fact that India is notorious for its unclean streets,garbage dumps on roads and unplanned cities.

Having heard about this unique and picturesque place ,we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit when we were in Shillong.We started our journey from Shillong at around 8 and settled ourselves and the kids into our sturdy ,hired vehicle,The Hubby was driving, of course.The natural beauty on the route to this far-off ,nestled in a corner village has to be seen to be believed.

maw2The lush green mountains simply take your breath away.Unlike most hill stations,where you feel giddy,the drive was very pleasant as the roads, instead of being narrow and winding were broad and smooth.Although that lasted only for the first few kilometers.

mawWe stopped at many places asking for directions and stocking up on snacks and water for the kids,We came across two beautiful churches on our way..

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maw4 The route offers many surprises such as hidden waterfalls and lush green forests.We did not mind the fact that we had been driving for nearly three hours and still no closer to our destination. Until,we came upon a neighbouring village ,Riwai,where we witnessed another gorgeous natural sight.A living root bridge.We bought tickets for Rs 10 each at a small ticket counter and made our way down a stone pathway, barefoot.This bridge is around 500 years old and has been made by twisting the roots of the Indian rubber tree.It is the result of the joint effort of Nature and Man and takes years to be functional.pathway.The hubby had Perk in his lap while I held Munch’s hand.It was worth the trouble we took for what we saw in front of us  was truly nature’s miracle.I felt deep sympathy for the people who gave up the idea of going down to see the bridge after seeing the steps.They have no idea what they missed. Soon we could here the sound of trickling water

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The bridge is literally suspended over the river and is used by the locals to commute between villages during the torrential rainy season that hit the state for most parts of the year.

maw6 maw7Doesn’t this look like a set straight out of a Hollywood film like  The Lord of The Rings or Avatar?

We went down the bridge and dipped our bare feet in the cool water,clicked innumerable memories to take back home.We spent so much time here that we almost forgot about our actual destination-Mawlynnong.

Munch on the bridge

Munch on the bridge

Munch with a Khasi lady

Munch with a Khasi lady

aa3After much admiration ,we finally made our way up the steep path and reminded ourselves about our actual destination.

aa4To quench our thirst,we bought pineapples which the locals cut,peel and serve on steel plates with some salt.maw10We our now on the last leg of our drive,15 minutes from Mawlynnong….

To be continued……

Kaziranga National Park-Part 3

Welcome back to the Jungle.So,we had a sumptuous lunch and went straight to where Chameli was waiting for us.Oh!let me introduce her to you…

Chameli ready to push off

Chameli ready to push off

The best way to get a feel of this particular forest is on an elephant’s back and Chameli did full justice to our expectations.The kids were thrilled  to see her.I was a little apprehensive but Chameli was too cute and friendly.But the moment she entered the jungle I saw her true spirit.She was fast,she was smart and she knew where to go.And soon enough we saw ourselves (or rather Chameli)in hot pursuit of a Mother and Baby Rhino pair.All the cameras went berserk clicking and flashing.

DSC05791 DSC05793 DSC05794 At one point,Chameli nearly brought us to the edge of the river and she was so fast that I closed my eyes visualizing ourselves in the water.Thankfully,she turned.Next,we spotted a wild buffalo.

DSC05784And some more trampling of the tall grass,some more jerks ,but more importantly more Rhinos.

DSC05778 DSC05782The feeling of being so close to the Rhinos in their own habitat cannot be put into words.Both the girls were “Mumma see” and “Mumma look”,through the entire ride.But the star of the show for me was undoubtedly,our dear Chameli.So,I would recommend to all those visiting the Kaziranga to take the Elephant Safari only which is open twice a day,once early in the morning and again in the afternoon.Its worth it!

And this last one for my Star…even her shadow looks gorgeous…Doesn’t it?

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