Category Archives: Travel

A short trip to Jhajjar, Haryana

Jhajjar is a district in Haryana state of India. It was carved out of Rohtak district in the year 1997.

Yesterday, we went to the  Beri wali mata mandir in Jhajjar district. On the way, we also stopped at Budho Mata mandir in Farrukhnagar. While returning back, we spent some time at Gokuldhaam Gau Seva Mahateerth and Sultanpur National Park. In this post I will provide some details and photographs of all these places. (click on the pictures to view enlarged images)

Beri Wali Mata ka Mandir

  • It is actually Mata Bhimeshwari Devi temple, located in a small town named Beri, of Jhajjar district. It is commonly known as Beri wali mata ka mandir. The temple is around 55-60 kms. from Gurgaon and takes about 1.5 hrs by car. The road to Jhajjar is a very good 4 lane highway. Driving was a breeze as the weather was quite pleasant.
  • It was named Bhimeshwari devi due to the installation of the idol of the goddess by Bhima during the period of Mahabharata.
  • Every day the idol of devi is taken from an outer temple to inner temple at around 12 pm and then back in the evening. This ritual has been going on since the period of Mahabharata.
  • Mata Bhimeshwari is regarded as the Goddess of happiness and success.
  • Every year lakhs of people visit this temple. Maximum crowd comes during the Navratras, which occur twice a year in the months of Chaitra and Ashwani (according to the Hindu calendar). During Navratras, there is a huge fair and hundreds of shops are beautifully decorated.
  • Newly married couples come here to re-tie the nuptial knot once again before the goddess. Mundan ceremony (first hair cut) of the male child is also done here very commonly.
  • In the same comples, there is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • The whole temple complex was under renovation during our visit.
  • This temple can be easily reached by buses, train, taxis, or by private vehicle.
  • There are many shops outside the temple, selling prasad and toys for kids.
  • Enough parking space is available.

Budho Mata Mandir

  • This is a famous shrine located in Mubarakpur village, about 5 kms. from Farrukhnagar in Gurgaon district of Haryana.
  • This temple ia around 20-25 kms. from Gurgaon and takes about 40 minutes by car.
  • Thousands of devotees come here to take the blessings of the goddess.
  • Devotees offer prayers to the goddess and light diyaas at a designated area.
  • There are also few other small temples in the same complex.
  • A big fair is organised every Wednesday, which is visited by locals and tourists. Wednesday is called Budhwaar in hindi hence the name Budho Mata mandir. There are shops selling prasad, various snacks, and toys for kids.
  • Newly married couples come here to re-tie the nuptial knot once again before the goddess. Mundan ceremony (first hair cut) of the male child is also done here very commonly.
  • There is a pond in the temple complex. People take out some mud from the pond and worship as a ritual.
  • Here also maximum crowd comes during the Navratras.
  • Enough parking space is available in the vicinity.
  • There is one small Budho Mata mandir in Jhajjar also but it is not so famous.

Gokuldhaam Gau Seva Mahateerth

  • This is a cattle hospital, established in the year 2013 by Shri Sunil Nimana. It is located on Jhajjar-Gurgaon road, Jhajjar district, Haryana.
  • It is spread over few acres of a leased land and continuosly expanding. It is first of its kind in Haryana.
  • Thousands of sick and injured cows and other cattle are brought here and given excellent medical treatment.
  • They have excellent facilities and a dedicated team for the treatment of cows.
  • Anybody can report a sick or injured cow at their ambulance number 8816809191.
  • This hospital is run privately with the help of public donations. You can also make your contributions for the welfare of cows. Shri Sunil Nimana can be contacted on his personal no. 9813820938.
  • I will be writing a more detailed post about this Cow hospital on my another blog Ye Soochna Janhit Me Jaari.

Sultanpur National Park

  • Sultanpur National Park is located in Gurgaon district of Haryana on Gurgaon-Farrukhnagar Road. It is about 15 kms. from Gurgaon and makes a nice weekend getaway for the people of Gurgaon as well as Delhi.
  • This is a paradise for bird lovers. It is famous for vast variety of resident and migratory birds which come from Europe, Siberia and Central Asia during winter months.
  • Sultanpur lake was given the status of Bird Sanctuary in the year 1971 and later upgraded to the National Park in 1991.
  • It takes about 1.5 to 2 hrs. to have a full round of the park. You can also spot Neelgai(Blue bull), deer and Black bucks. It is advisable to carry a binocular for bird spotting.
  • Rosy Pelican Tourist Complex is run by Haryana Tourism and provides very good facilities for stay among the lush greens with sweet melodies of the birds.
  • There are good facilities for food, water, toilets, and vehicle parking.
  • December to February is the peak season for visit. The park is closed on Tuesdays.
  • It is also closed during most of the summer months. For this reason we couldn’t watch any birds this time.
  • For more information you can check Haryana tourism website.

Hope you liked my post.

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Tamil Nadu trip

Though I have traveled to many places in last few months but it has been a long time since I have written any post.

Two months back I went to Tamil Nadu for 10 days, covering Chennai, Kodaikanal, Madurai and Rameswaram. There are many more nice places to see in Tamil Nadu which I’ll be travelling to later. All these four cities offered a lot to cherish and share.

This one was my second solo trip (first one was to Hyderabad in November last year, which I’ll try to post asap). I had some amazingly unique experiences on this trip. Out of ten days, I spent 4 days in Chennai, 3 in Kodaikanal, 1 and a half each in Madurai and Rameswaram. I planned it quite well taking lot of help from TripAdvisor reviews. I pre-booked all my travels and hotels in advance. It was a medium budget comfortable trip and I spent roughly Rs. 30000 including airfares from Delhi. I traveled short distances by trains, local buses as well as cabs, stayed in good hotels and ate at lots of famous restaurants. There was NO shopping at all. For someone on a tight budget, the whole trip could be done for around Rs. 20000 without missing much fun. And if you are more people, many expenses can be shared too!

Climate : Tamil Nadu has tropical climate…summers are quite hot (from March to July-Aug), winters are pleasant (Nov to mid Feb, a light jacket is enough), and it usually rains during March and Aug to Oct. Best times to visit are Oct-Nov and mid Jan-Feb as it would be pleasant in most parts. Hill stations like Kodaikanal can be quite cold in winters and moderate rest of the year. Best advice would be to check latest weather updates before planning as rains can be uncertain sometimes.

Connectivity : Chennai and Madurai have international airports with good connectivity. Whole of Tamil Nadu is very well connected to rest of the India with a great railway network. Last mile transportation can be done easily through buses or taxis.

Language : Tamil is the main language of Tamil Nadu. There is good level of literacy and a lot of migrant population as well so you will find many people speaking Hindi and English. If you can speak English there won’t be much problem as a tourist.

Food : South Indian food comprises many dishes, not just Dosa-Idli. It is very tasty but quite spicy, can be little difficult for foreign tourists on longer trips. Popular vegetarian dishes include idli, vada, dal-vada, dosa, utappam, rice varieties, ragi dishes, sambhar, rasam, malabar parotha, etc. Thali system is very popular for main meals among locals. A large population of Tamil Nadu eats non-vegetarian food which includes fish, sea food, chicken, meat, etc. In addition, all big cities have multi-cuisine restaurants to cater the needs of all. Their Filter Coffee is so amazing that you will want it again and again. Though all fruits are consumed in plenty but Banana is the most popular. Here you will get many varieties of bananas varying in sizes and colour. Soon, I will be writing reviews of all the places where I ate on TripAdvisor.

There are numerous beautiful huge temples all over south India, constructed hundreds of years ago. They are quite similar in architecture and made of huge dark greyish stones with immaculate carvings. Many have beautiful colourful paintings depicting gods and goddesses. It is astonishing to see the high level of accuracy and workmanship in the times when there were hardly any tools available. And the structures stand up so strong even after hundreds of years, unshattered even by natural forces. The symmetry, use of geometry and practicality is really unbelievable. In most temples you will find a huge wooden entrance door, tall brass pillar, statue of the Nandi (the holy bull) and idols of various deities, gods and goddesses.

In Chennai I went to Vivekananda House and  many well known temples namely Kapaleeshwar temple, Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Sri Sai Baba temple, Tirupati temple, Isckon temple and Parthasarthy temple. I also volunteered for a turtle walk which is organised by a group involved in conservation of Olive Ridley turtles. It was an awesome experience. I also visited Mahabalipuram which is about 55 kms from main Chennai city.

Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station in Tamil Nadu, at height of around 2000 metres(approx. 6500 feet). It is a very green and peacefull hill station, not too much crowded, and has various tourist spots and amazing places to satisfy your taste buds.

Madurai is an ancient yet quite modern and well developed city of Tamil Nadu. It is known for very famous Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the goddess Parvati, and there are many other beautiful temples. There is also a Gandhi Museum, which houses various photographs and things used by Mahatma Gandhi. It also includes a part of the blood-stained garment worn by Gandhi when he was assassinated.

Rameswaram is a small town located on Pamban island in Tamil Nadu. It is famous for Shri Ramanathaswamy Temple, which has great significance for hindus in India. It is one of the Char Dhaams and also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. There is also famous Pamban railway bridge(first sea bridge in India) and beautiful Dhanushkodi beach.

Here, I’ll post few pictures from my trip. (click on the pictures to view enlarged images)

There’s a lot of information and wonderful pictures. I’ll cover my trip in few individual posts.

Stay tuned!!

Jet Airways introduces wireless streaming in-flight entertainment service

Jet Airways has now introduced new wireless streaming in-flight entertainment service to excite you with an exciting range of Indian, Hollywood, regional and international movies, famous TV shorts, video games and music to suit every mood and taste. All you need is a compatible Wi-Fi device like a smartphone, tablet or a laptop with a few easy steps and you’re ready to go!

JetScreen can easily be accessed on a Wi-Fi enabled (802.11g/n) smartphone, tablet or laptop. To use this service on smartphone or tablet, Airtime Player app is available for Apple and Android devices only. Laptops will require the latest version of Adobe Flash Player and the Widevine Media Optimizer plugin.

For more details visit Jet Airways.


Road trip to Chail and Shimla

Last month I went on a road trip from Gurgaon(Haryana) to Chail and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, India; with my cousin and a friend.

It was a nice escape from torturing heat of Delhi, driving on Delhi- Chandigarh highway and through the serpentine roads of Himachal. We started in the morning  at around 7:30 am, took a halt for breakfast at the famous Sukhdev-Amreek Dhaba, Murthal for butter-drenched parathas with chach and lassi, and then continued non-stop till we reached Sadhupul.

Sadhupul is a small village in Himachal Pradesh on the way from Kandaghat to Chail, based around a small bridge constructed over the hill river “Ashwini”. The waters are quite shallow here and you can easily walk through it. There are few sheds with tables and chairs arranged in the middle of the river and a small restaurant serving you maggi, pakoras, omelette, tea, drinks, etc. Though you can enjoy few hours in the evening here but move on before it gets dark as the roads are narrow and not in good shape.DSC_0023 1DSC_0069

We reached Hotel Chail Palace by around 6:30pm, where we were greeted by lots of monkeys, ready to snatch on anything they could. But luckily we were not carrying anything loose, thanks to the information gathered from TripAdvisor. You all must be cautious of the monkey menace at the Chail Palace!!

1 3 52After check-in we drove towards the Deluxe Log Hut which is about 1 km deeper into the forest area. The path was too narrow and scary; just a few inches mistake and our car would have gone deep into the valleys. The hut was quite simple with basic facilities and lots of mirrors all-around(I hope you can guess the purpose well !!). The attendant was quite helpful and provided us good room service. The food was also good. Night was too cold as expected. We got up in the morning, took some nice shots and went for local sight-seeing. There isn’t much to see in Chail. We first saw the Palace which has some nice paintings and ornate maharaja style furniture. Overall, it was an awesome experience at the Palace, with fresh mountain air and  towering pine trees all over. Then we went to Kali ka Tibba, which is a small temple of Kaali Maa, made in white marble ,situated at a great height. It has idols of many other gods too. The views from here are spectacular. Its so peaceful here that the only sound you will hear is of fresh air gushing through. This place is not to be missed at all. Later, we went to the Gurudwara situated near the main market area.

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3 4By this time we were too hungry and headed straight towards the Sharma Bhojnalaya, which is about 2-3 kms uphill on the way to Shimla. It is a small family run dhaba with very basic furniture and nothing attractive for the eyes. But you will get nicely prepared home-style food which your taste-buds and stomach will really love to have. We had few parathas and tea and were ready for our next destination- Shimla. On the way, we stopped at Himalayan Nature Park, Kufri. It is a small zoo with few animals and a museum. Adjacent to it is the Potato Research Institute of India.

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After drive of about 40kms from Chail Palace, we reached at Hotel Kapil, Shimla. It is a small hotel in Lakkarbazaar area near the Mall road. The room was nicely done and had a beautiful view of the valley. After few hours of rest, we went to the mall road for evening stroll. Sunset was really worth watching from the Ridge.

1 2Though it was not the peak season but still the crowd was huge. There were school kids, teenagers, newly married couples on their honeymoon, older couples and all sorts of people, everybody enjoying  in their own ways. There are many things to entertain tourists like horse riding, plays, folk dances and lots of eateries serving momos, pakoras, kachori, gol-gappe, gulab-jamun and variety of shakes and juices. Here, on the Ridge, is the famous Gandhi statue, the State library and the Church. You have to move slightly down on the other side of the Ridge to reach the Mall, which is a long road with innumerable shops and restaurants on both sides.  There is also a Gaiety Heritage Cultural Complex on the Mall. If you are interested in theatre and art this place should be on your must-visit list. There is a guided tour and plays are showcased here regularly.

Next morning we had our breakfast at the hotel and checked-out. There are many places to see in Shimla like Jakhu Temple, Tara Devi Temple, Kali Bari Temple, Kalka-Shimla Toy train but we had to miss most of them due to time shortage. Kalka- Shimla railway will get you through the breath-taking spectacular views of Himachal valleys with very tall pine trees all over. We had that mesmerising experience during our last trip to Kasauli.

Toy train2 We went on to the Viceregal Lodge, also known as Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. It was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy of India. They have a guided tour of about 30 minutes which will take you through the marvellous architecture inside the lodge, all made of wood with beautiful carvings. There is also a huge lawn outside where you can relax if you have the ample time. There is also a library and a souvenir shop where you can buy some books, postcards, t-shirts, etc.

4 DSC_0223After that we went to Annandale, the Army museum. It houses some big artillery guns and many other weapons, mannequins of army personnel in different uniforms, posters showing some great achievements of our brave soldiers, details of various UN missions, etc. There is a huge golf course  for the army personnel. This place is really beautiful, very well maintained and a bliss for the eyes and the soul.


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That was all from my Chail-Shimla trip. And we drove back to our hometown !!

You may also like to read my reviews on specific places of Chail and Shimla on TripAdvisor.

Wanna drive outside India?? ….read on!!

If you love travelling and have that passion to drive, you would be enthralled to know that there are many foreign countries where you can drive with your Indian licence.

n-ROAD-TRIP-ABROAD-large570Here’s a list of roadtrip-friendly countries, where all you need is your Indian driving licence to take the wheel.

With Left-hand driving:

Great Britain

Great Britain(England, Scotland and Wales) allows foreigners to drive with their home country’s licence for one year but only for the class of vehicle which your licence permits.


In Australia also you can drive with your Indian licence. But in Northern Territory, it is permitted only for a period of three months.

New Zealand

You can enjoy the breath-taking drives all along the New Zealand, but you should be at least 21 yrs old to rent a car there.

South Africa

South Africa is another country with left-hand driving where you can drive with your valid Indian licence. Make sure your Indian driving license is valid, is entirely in English and it has your photo and signature. Some vehicle hire companies ask for an IDP(International Driving Permit)when hiring a car. Confirm it, so that you can have it in time.

With Right-hand driving:


You can drive for a period of one year in USA with your Indian licence. You also need to have a copy of the I-94 form, which shows the date you entered the US.


Indian visitors can drive in Germany for up to six months against a valid Indian driving license. It is advisable to get an IDP, otherwise, obtain a translation of your Indian driving license from any German diplomatic mission.


France allows Indian drivers to drive for a year against a valid Indian license, as long as they also carry a French translation with them.


Everyone’s favourite alpine country with its turquoise lakes and snow-capped mountains allows Indian visitors to drive for up to one year on a valid Indian driving license.


Norway allows Indian nationals to drive its roads for three months after entering the country.

How to get your International Driving Permit: international-driving-permit1


  • You need to hold a valid driving license and a valid passport.
  • Fill out and submit form CMV 4-A and medical form CMV 1 and CMV 1A, with attested copies of your passport and Indian driving license. This can be done at any regional transport office (RTO).
  • You will also have to submit three-to-five passport-sized photographs.
  • You must show a valid visa for the country in which you wish to drive.

drive-safely    Study-along-with-Fun-in-a-Foreign-Country


Happy travelling!!

Safe driving!!


Short trip to Taj Mahal

As everyone knows, Taj Mahal is one of the Wonders of the World and recently ranked among top three Landmarks in the World. It is the pride of India and a symbol of Love.


I had visited Taj long time back when I was a kid and always wanted to visit again. This week finally I went to see Taj Mahal while going to Dhaulpur (Rajasthan) for my friend’s wedding. I was really amazed to see such a marvellous and beautiful monument. I could imagine the tremendous planning and hard work that had been put into constructing the beautiful landmark, and that too in those times, without any sophisticated tools and machinery. I will surely visit it again and again!


I will take you through the pictorial tour of Taj Mahal with some useful information:

How to reach (from New Delhi)

  • By Road: 215 Kms, around 3-4 hrs via Yamuna Expressway (Toll Tax Rs. 300-400 for private vehicle). 8-lane highway, Speed limit 100kmph. Restaurants and restrooms available on the way.
  • By Train: Agra Cantt. is the nearest station with no. of trains connecting to New Delhi. Bhopal Shatabdi (12002) at 6:00am takes just 2 hrs from New Delhi to Agra. Taj Express (12280) at 7:05am takes 3 hrs from Hazrat Nizamuddin. Both these return back in the evening.
  • By Air: Air India operates flights between New Delhi and Agra, but there isn’t any point when you can reach in same time at lower costs.

Where to stay- There are a number of hotels in Agra ranging from Budget to 5 Star ones, you can check on TripAdvisor for ratings.

General Information-

  • Car parking is about 1 km away from Taj Mahal entrance, battery-operated autos are available for hire from there. You can also take a camel ride to the Taj Mahal from there.
  • It is good to hire a guide but don’t forget to bargain well.
  • Entry Tickets: Rs. 20 for Indians, Rs. 750 for Foreigners and free for children below 15yrs of age.
  • Audio Guides are available for Rs. 71 per person. These are very informative if you have time to listen. Alternatively, you can look to  Audio Compass Apps for iOS and Android.
  • Shoes are not allowed inside the Taj Mahal. Facility is available to keep your shoes or you can buy a shoe cover if you don’t want to remove the shoes.
  • Eatables are not allowed inside.
  • Timings: Sunrise to Sunset, Fridays closed.
  • Other things to see: Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri (45kms/about 1hr drive) and the Fort of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, also known as Baby Taj Mahal.
  • Click for Official website of the Taj Mahal.









Waah Taj !!

Taj Mahal : The pride of India

Travellers from across the world have ranked India’s Taj Mahal among the top three landmarks in the world. The top two places were taken by Machu Picchu in Peru and Angkor Wat in Cambodia respectively.

Taj Mahal 1

Some Facts about the Taj Mahal:

  • Before his accession to the throne, Shah Jahan was popularly known as Prince Khurram. Shah Jahan fell in love with the beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum and married her, making her his third wife. Arjumand Bano Begum was christened by Shah Jahan as Mumtaz Mahal, meaning ‘the chosen one of the palace’ or ‘the jewel of the palace’.
  • Shah Jahan lost Mumtaz Mahal when she died giving birth to their 14th child.
  • For the transportation of construction materials for Taj Mahal, more than 1000 elephants were employed.
  • As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the Taj.
  • Depending on what time of the day it is and whether or not there’s moon at night, Taj Mahal appears to be of different colour every time. Some even believe that this changing pattern of colours depict different moods of a woman.
  • Passages from Quran have been used as decorative elements throughout the complex.
  • On the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, 99 names of Allah can be found as calligraphic  inscriptions.
  • Taj Mahal was built in stages, with the plinth and the tomb taking up roughly 15 years. Building of minarets, mosque, jawab and gateway took additional 5 years to be completed.
  • Different types of marbles used in construction of Taj Mahal were brought over from different regions and countries: Rajasthan, Punjab, China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Srilanka & Arabia.
  • Many precious stones and Lapis Lazuli(a semi-precious stone) were ripped-off from Taj Mahal by Britishers during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
  • Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million tourists annually with over 2 lakh from overseas.

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Incredible India!!!