Photowalk – Golden Temple , Amritsar

Second Stop on our Amritsar trip after Jallianwala Bagh  was heart of the CITY  – GOLDEN TEMPLE  .( Swaran Mandir )

The serenity of the place can be felt with first step inside the dorm . We can spend hours sitting in the vicinity of this place and may find some inner peace too .The charm of this place made us to visit 2 times in 2 consecutive days   to watch it’s glory in NIGHT and DAY MODE.

This place also runs a Community Kitchen know as ” GURU KA LANGER ” which is free for all and is entirely run by Volunteers ( Sevadars ) and there was no dearth of them even in  freezing cold winters .

Other than this , they have a library and hostel where you can stay for FREE in dormitory style on first come first serve basis . Across the day Sikh Prayer ” Ik Onkaar ” can be listened from any part of the temple .

Interestingly , Inside the pond surrounding the main dorm , we spotted many golden colored fish ( Check pictures ) and don’t knew it was a pure coincidence or they have been placed .

Overall , the place is very well managed and would surely make you to revisit .

Sharing with you our memories of the trip in form of pictures which may inspire you too.


 

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Side View
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Even Extreme temp doesn’t bother the faith of Devote’s
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Day Mode ON
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Inside the Langar !!
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Innovative way to serve water
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Volunteers in Kitchen
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Spot the Other GOLD – fish
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April 13 , 1919 – Revisiting History

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While Amritsar is know for many places to visit including Golden Temple , WAGAH BORER and even Kulcha’s which even us included in our Itinerary . ButoOne place which probably every Indian or every human must go to is Jallianwala Bagh for  the history behind this place .

For People , who are unaware of the significance of this place in INDIAN HISTROY and why it always found it’s mention in India’s Independence moment :


Date : April 13 , 1919

Time : 4:30 PM

Bullet Fired : 1650

Incident : General R.E.H. Dyer. ordered 50 armed soldiers to open fire without warning on a gathering which was suspected to be political gathering , while in reality  most of them in crowd were unaware of and were actually there to celebrate ” Baisakhi ” . List of Martyr  even  includes women ,  children and senior citizens .

Casualties  : 379 Died & More than 1500 Injured

Result : Black Day in History of Humanity which makes us remember that HUMAN is the biggest enemy of Human . So in the vicinity of GOLDEN Temple where people bow their head to seek blessing of “Guru Gobind Singh ” , they also shed some tears in the memory of those unfortunate people and prey for their souls .

Present :  The 6.5 acre  massacre  site has been converted into a garden and houses a memorial  namely” Flame of Liberty ” established in 1951 by the Indian Govt.  to commemorate the massacre .

 

 

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THE FLAME OF LIBERTY

 

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Signage toward WALL which has bullets marks fired by soldiers 
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Gallery in middle of garden with portraits of martyr’s and newspaper article which reported this incident in 1919.
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T escape from Bullets ,  people jumped into a well and almost 120 people died due to suffocation 

 

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Republic day event and flag hoisting happening at the place .
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Teaching my kid , how hard earned this DEMOCRACY is  .
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Vande Mataram 
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Tribute from us ..JAI HIND !! 

Food Review : Kesar Da Dhabha Town Hall, Amritsar

The popularity of this place reaches sky based on  social media and Restro review  websites opinion .  .. So, I might look odd one out , but I found the food at the place as par with any of   Delhi Dhabba’s located in my neighborhood .

Located at around 1 km from Golden temple , you can take Cycle – rickshaw to reach this place  . Seating Arrangements includes wooden stools and Cement Benches which you may have to share with other guest as the place is always fully packed . But Foodie’s like us are more focused on Taste of Food even if we are made to stand along Road  and served in Paper plates .
In Fixed Menu they serve Thali’s which have variation in  Paratha’s and the curry remain common ( Dal , Rajma , Panner ) .
What we ordered :

Malai Kofta , Panner butter masala , Gobi & Aloo Paratha , Lassie ( All Al-Carte ) .
Taste was ok type not as much as hyped and I have tasted similar paratha’s in various joints in Delhi too . Lassie was surely a HIT .

Ambiance : 2.5/5
Taste : 3/5
Value for Money : 3/5
Ease of Reach : 4/5 ( If you find going to City Lane’s in Cycle -Rickshaw cool )
Parking : Not available
Must Try : Firani & Lassie
Reservations : Not Required
Overall Cost : INR 600 for two ( Including Deserts )

Key launches to watch at AUTO Expo -2016

  1. JEEP :  Yes , although we are used to relate this term with vehicles used by Indian Police in Bollywood Movies but it’s a International brand owned by FIAT and they will be showcasing and launching probably 2 models of JEEP including WRANGLER . Look out for those mean machines which can give a tough fight to any existing SUV .

  2. VW : A facilitated Passat & a Modified POLO branded as AMEO are scheduled to be launched at Expo grounds with much Fanfare .  They will surely be trying to clear out the impact caused by Emission controversy over sale of their products .
  3. Toyota :  Launching of new version of INNOVA and a sneak peek on upcoming Fortuner is Expected from Toyota at this yeas EXPO . Innova has a loyal base of customer and has been leader in the MUV segment for long .
  4. TATA Motors :  With almost 2-3 months of aggressive Online – Offline campaign working behind it  , TATA will finally announce Prices of ZICA and make it public for display on 5-9 Feb . Although CNBC has reported news of  probable name change to distinguish it from ZIKA virus . And it may be joined by HEXA , a turnaround model based on Aria .
  5.  MARUTI SUZUKI :  To lock horns with Ecosport , it is set to launch its own  compact SUV under tag NAME ” Vitara Brezza ” which is the most awaited launch of the season and is expected to generate same pull as “BALENO ” . It may showcase ” IGNIS ” , the micro – suv from the parent company Suzuki .
  6. Hyundai  : Brand which sees eye to eye to the market leader and command respect for delivering very versatile cars is Hyundai . Their list may include modified version of Elantra , TUSCON , SANTE FE . A sporty version of I20 is also in news to hit market soon to join Elite I20.
  7. Mahindra Cars : TUV 500 , KUV100 , XUV and may be few more UV would be displaced by India’s own SUV specialist . They have already flooded market with their major launches in last few months in 2015 . Mahindra would Surely be putting efforts to showcase Petrol Versions of SUV to counter sales drop caused due to ban on 2000 + cc diesel engine cars  in NCR region .
  8. EYE CANDY’S : Yes the toys for the Super rich which gets majority of the media & visitors attention and are PAGE 3 celebrity of Automobile world  can’t miss mention  . So right from FORD MUSTANG ( i too secretly wish to own one ) to  Mercedes GLC SUV , BMW new 7 Series & X1 , AUDI A4 & R8 , JAGUAR XE & F- PACE are few of those gems .
  9. Other than these , I personally are looking forward to see HYBRID & ELECTRIC CARS showcased in EXPO . Being a Renewable Energy Field Expert and Vocal Supporter of  Clean fuel , for a better future it would be worth noticing how these International /National Manufacturer are taking responsibility and bringing out options to buyer . I really wish TESLA showcasing their cars in INDIA and promote how Eco-friendly cars doesn’t need to compromise on Power or speed .

Looking forward to attend Auto Expo & if got a chance taking few of them to test drive at the nearby F-1 Circuit and open the throttle to its fullest 🙂 .

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{Image : Auto expo .in }

 

Do share your experience & pics if you visit the  place this weekend . May be we can compare who is more crazy & mad about these man made BEASTS: )

                                                                                                                                                                     { Pictures courtesy :Brands Corporate website } 

Inside the Den of Tiger – Jim Corbett

JIM CORBETT TIGER RESERVE

STAY : Forget luxurious Resort and Hotels when you decide to visit this reserve , rather book yourself in one of the 5 Forest Rest house located right in middle of the Forest and enjoy the thrill , excitement and goosebumps moment caused by the dark ambiance and occasional sounds of various wildlife animals .

This is the only sanctuary in India , which allows tourists to stay inside the park  . This reserve is divided in  5 Zones and most sought after FRH are namely Bijrani ,Malani(Both in Bijrani Zone) & Dhikala(Dhikala Zone)  Bijrani is famous for Tiger sighting ,while Dhikala is famous for Acquatic species like & other wild animals as  Elephant and boars

With Basic food , negligible artificial lights ,  no loud music , it’s a dream stay for nature lover and a nightmare for party lover .

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Welcome to the den !!

 

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Forest Rest house
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Getting Cosy with Nature

We booked our stay in BIJRANI FRH which is almost 11 km inside the park . This is secured by Electric fence and has 7-8 rooms for stay and a local kitchen which get it’s supplies from town .Only Local Jeep are allowed inside which are authorized by Forest Dept .

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Ride like a Hunter 🙂
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Angreezo ka Jamane ke rest house
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Pathway
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Spotted .. Food for Tiger 🙂
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Birdie Birdie
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Ride like a King .:)
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Any Guess
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End of day in leap of nature

Plan your trip : Online reservation for FRH is allowed on the JIM Corbett official website, ( o/ ) which need to  be booked  in advance due to high demand . Maximum of 3 days booking is allowed for single entry . Stay in FRH includes the Jungle permit and  Gypsy entry charges .

Reaching Jim Corbett : From Delhi best option is by car or by train . We took overnight Train  Corbett Park Link Express ( 20145 ) which dropped us at Ramnagar which is 10 km away from Park and runs daily from Delhi .

If you are in mood of true Camping adventure then go for MALANI FRH , where you need to bring your own food and allowed to cook right outside camp .and YES , It’s always good  time to visit this place except during monsoon .

Spotting Tiger is similar to getting call from KBC , happens rare but the stay , safari and observing stars in a clean sky makes you visit this place again and again .

In case you need any additional help on your trip then feel free to write in comments section or drop a mail .

 

From “Chalta hai ” to ” Chalta hai no more” – Smart Indian Traveler

“JUGAAD & CHALTA HAI” are branded as quick solutions but in reality are WMD (Weapon of mass destruction) for overall service sector and specially for the hospitality industry.

As a marketing professional, I spend a lot of time living out of a suitcase. This gives me the chance to stay & experience options varying from luxurious resorts to basic guest house. Over the years, I have learnt a common fact that you get what you pay for. However, the issue arises when sub-delivery becomes a benchmark. So what we are promised at the time of booking on a hotel web portal/travel agent is altogether different from what we actually get. The situation becomes worse when even some of the basic amenities are compromised or denied altoghther .

Let me share a few instances which sound funny but caused last minute stress for me:

  • When king size bed was smaller than a railway berth
  • When free high speed broadband turned out to be a 64Kbps connection
  • When lavish breakfast meant “Aaloo – Puri” & tea
  • Advertised was large Screen TV & what I found actually was a 1990’s Salora Branded B/W box
  • Hot running water meant you have to run 4 floors down to get a bucket of water
  • Single swing in the garden was marketed as dedicated KIDS activity area
  • Beautiful city view turned out to be sewage collection point right outside your balcony
  • 24*7 security meant a receptionist sitting next to entrance gate with a hockey stick

& the list goes on…

What makes me wonder is why people always adopt this  “CHALTA HAI” attitude. You yourself would acknowledge how at times, this “Chalta Hai” attitude impacts your travel experience and takes away the joy from entire trip.

Among the few hotels that I look forward to, one of them is Hotel Formule 1.  This brand owns & operates hotels in major towns like Gr. Noida, Gurgaon, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Being a part of the International ACCOR GROUP, they follow International Standards and offer unmatched hospitality experience for business travelers like me.

Interestingly, they recently came up with a video campaign highlighting the issues of the “CHALTA HAI” behavior.  The video captures discussions between a traveler and cab driver. It shows how visitors finally say “#CHALTAHAINOMORE” to such casual attitude. Watch out this video to know if the story sounds familiar.

For fellow readers, I strongly suggest to do a stopover at http://www.hotelformule1.in for quick checkout on facilities and rate (all start at INR 2399 only) before deciding if you want to book & hear another “Chalta hai” excuse.

Some of the assured amenities you can experience at all of their properties are:

  • Complimentary Wireless Internet
  • Well spread breakfast
  • Flat screen TV in every room
  • Sound proof rooms so it doesn’t matter who your neighbor is; whether a family with 4 kids or an aspiring musician. Your room will feel like your mind where only your thoughts reside
  • Drive in with ease as they have FREE parking across properties
  • 24*7 safety & security arrangements
  • Environment friendly low – carbon footprint design
  • Equipped to assist & provide similar facilities for handicapped guests and keeping them at ease just like at home

It’s high time both guest & hosts across boards take a stand and say #ChaltaHaiNoMore”. The era of smart traveler has finally arrived who can be fooled no more.

Flashback : Underground Music Launch of ” Khamoshiyan”

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Joy , Happiness , fun & thrill and bucket full of  emotions popped up inside me , when an  invitation  landed on my desk to be part of  First of it’s type underground music launch for a Mahesh Bhatt’s  movie ” Khamoshiyan ” organised by  Fox Star Studios , Vishesh Films and Sony Music .

It happened on 19th Dec 2014 , when selected few from all over the country were  flown down for the special preview to Vishesh Film’s Studio in Mumbai .

Entire Cast & Crew of Movie including debutant Gurmeet Chaudhary , Sabna Pabbi and Ali Fazal , to double the excitement they were joined by Vikram Bhatt , Mahesh Bhatt & Karan Darra who played full preview of the entire music album of the highly anticipated film Khamoshiyan to us.  The idea was to seek fresh hand response from Young age listeners and create a Buzz across Social media . This gave us a chance to  engage one-on-one with the celebs, and give  first hand reactions based on the music of the film – thereby doing an underground music launch of the film .

Amazingly , the music and the songs lived up to the benchmark created from blockbusters delivered by Bhatt’s Stable . Ankit Tiwari,  Raju Singh created  a soulful music and every song was a gem .It was truly memorable event for a music lover like me with a chance to get close and personal with Upcoimng stars and Legends of Bollywood  and selfie’s and pictures complete the story 🙂

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The Lucky Few