Jallianwala Bagh: Beautiful garden with a bloody story – Must visit on India’s Independence Day

vegetables being prepared at the golden temple langar

Although it is the most emblematic place, going to Amritsar is not only about visiting the Golden Temple; the border with Pakistan is just one hour drive away and the Jallianwalla Bagh is right next to the temple! Besides, the city is well known for its delicious and not-so-healthy typical dishes so don’t miss the Amritsari Kulcha. But let me retake the story!

Read more…

How to get to Varanasi from Delhi

Varanasi ghats

Varanasi is considered the holiest of the seven holy cities in India. It is also the oldest city which is known to be continuously inhabited anywhere in the world. Earlier known as Kashi and then Benaras or Banaras, the pilgrimage center is situated on the banks of the Ganga (Ganges) the holiest of the 7 holy rivers of Hindu religion. The city is of religious importance to Jains and Buddhists in addition to being the salvation ground of Hindus. Sarnath, the place where Gautama Buddha delivered his first sermon is situated close to Varanasi. The city has seen its days of glory and also destruction at the hands of invaders. Today, it stands out in the world map as the center of Indian philosophy, spirituality, mysticism and Indian religious beliefs. Besides the temples, tourists are attracted to 84 Ghats of Varanasi where people make ablutions on the banks of the rivers.

Read more…

Ride the bicycle rickshaw – India’s sustainable transport

Rickshaws in Delhi

The bicycle rickshaw is a widely used in many Asian countries for short distance travel, especially in eco sensitive areas and cities. The mode of transport is similar to carts pulled by horses; the sole difference being here is that the muscular animal is replaced by usually impecunious men whose impoverished condition has forced them to look for a physically strenuous job for some extra money. In India the rickshaw pullers are often people who have moved to urban areas to look for some extra money due to failure of income from their agricultural labour jobs. The lure is off course only the money they can make though the task is more physically demanding. The strenuous work of pulling the passengers in the cart, especially when they are going uphill takes its toll on the health of the rickshaw pullers who finally end up spending their earning on hospitals and medications.

Read more…

International Yoga Day: Simple yoga techniques for travellers

International Yoga Day

Yoga is huge in India. You think of an ailment and there is a yoga posture for it. But that does mean that you have to do yoga just because you are ill – you just do it. The main aim of yoga is to become one with God by doing exercises related to the Hindu Samkhya philosophy (one of the six systems of doctrine held by the Hindus You can read more about it in my book – Hinduism Made Easy: Hindu Religion, Philosophy and Concepts).  It was in the 1980s that yoga became popular as a system of physical exercises across the Western world. In recent years, yoga has become extremely popular in India thanks to one man called Baba Ramdev. He actually single-handedly made some yoga postures (mentioned below) a household name.

Read more…

How to travel in Mumbai

How to travel in Mumbai

Mumbai is one of the most populous cities in India. Travelling in the heavy traffic all the time is a headache to many people living here. Therefore, choosing the right mode of transport at right time in day is very important. So Let’s take a look at how to travel in Mumbai.

Trains are one of the best ways to travel within the city as they are speedy. Only drawback about it is, they are too rushy during peak hours i.e. from morning 7.30am to 11am and then from 6pm to 10pm.

Read more…

Gateway of India in Mumbai

gateway of india mumbai address

Mumbai is the city of workaholics. The song “Dauda Dauda Bhaga Bhaga Sa” perfectly fits Mumbai. Everyone seems in a kind of rush and the city never stops, no matter what. But whenever I think of Mumbai I have this image of Gateway of India. Mumbai’s most famous monument is the most popular monument in Mumbai. Here are more places to visit in Mumbai. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. The design was sanctioned in 1913 and it was completed only in 1924. When the British Raj ended in 1947, the last of the British ships left from here. Now this monument has become a symbol of the city and attracts hordes of local as well as International tourists.

Read more…

You must drink lassi to cool you down in India

A typical shop for a lassi

If you are travelling in India at this time of the year then one of the many things that I recommend doing in India is drinking the popular Indian drink the “Lassi”. The lassi is something like a milk shake or a smoothie with yogurt, milk, water and exotic spices. Sometimes fruit is also added to it. The typical lassi is very popular in the summer months and often served in clay pots called “Kullhad” or steel glasses. Lassi is made by mixing yogurt, milk, water and the other ingredients and giving it a good churn. Watch the video below to see how lassi is made!

Read more…

How to have a cheap holiday to India?

India is one of the cheapest countries to be going on holiday when compared to holidays to other parts of the world. Provided that you get your tickets quite cheaply and stay in relatively cheap places then your holiday in India will remain cheap. When I say cheap places to stay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be bad. There are excellent hotels and guest houses in India that provide great service without the 5-star price tag. If you are coming from Great Britain then even better as the pound stretches quite significantly in India. But no matter where you are going from, you should be able to squeeze a relatively cheap holiday to India.

Read more…

The Golden Triangle Tour of India

Natalia at the Taj Mahal

As you most likely know, India is an absolutely huge country. It would take a good couple of months to travel around the whole thing, and you still wouldn’t be able to experience everything. If you are a tourist though, it is likely that you are going to be extremely limited on time. For those people, I suggest sticking around the North-West of the country, particularly within the most-visited cities within the country, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The best way in which you can see all of these is by heading out on a Golden Triangle Tour.

Read more…

What to gift your Indian friend when visiting India?

Visiting an Indian Family for Dinner

Someone asked what gifts they can give to their Indian friends in India. This is something I had not thought about. Although you can buy everything in India but if you are struggling to figure out what to buy for your friend when you visit India then here are a few travel gifts I can think of.

Pens: Pens are valued in India. We Indians love pens which mean that if we have a quality pen, we will cherish it. So you can gift a pen to your Indian friend but do make sure that they are foreign.

Read more…