Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Amazing Thailand

This series is based over my reflections upon visiting Thailand.

Shahjahanabad (Const 1648 CE)- The Legacy of Delhi Series (Vol 8)

'Shahjahanabad' is the eighth post in a series of 9 articles on the former capital cities which were built in the historical region of Delhi. Read on to know more..

Hill Fort of Kumbhalgarh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Know more about this incredible World Heritage Site here..

The Immortal Kumbh Mela - Mahakumbha of 2013

Believed to be the largest congregation of mankind in the world, read my series of posts to know how it feels like to be amongst a magnitude of people

Guru Dongmar Lake, one of the highest in the world

Few destinations have the ability to change your life; Sikkim being one of them. Check out the series 'Sikim Soujourn' to find out why ?



Friday, April 26, 2013

Picture of the Week #28 - Sher e Punjab (Tiger of Punjab) Steam Locomotive

 Picture © Rohan A Singh

(Sher e Punjab was the last steam engine to run regular services, on the vast broad gauge network of the Indian Railways, until the year 1995 AD)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

'Don't Stop the Music' - HP Connected Music and IndiBlogger Meet

(Humming their favorite songs
have given many a weary travelers, renewed strength 
to cross the highest of mountain passes to reach his destination; 
Singing out loud, songs of inspiration
have given many a nervous travelers the courage 
to face the gravest of dangers)

Source - IndiBlogger

On the 'Afternoon' of 'Saturday' the 20th, IndiBlogger and HP Connected Music organised a bloggers meet in the Hilton Garden Inn in Gurgaon Sec - 50. It was a great event where hundreds of bloggers, who were 'Addicted' to music, turned up. The IndiBlogger team organised plenty of activities most of which were music centric. Mr Anup Johnson and Mr Prateek Shah, who are genuinely funny people, conducted interviews, made us dance in 'Gangnam Style' and distributed gifts like HP Headphones. There were folks from HP Connected Music too, who had come to the Bloggers Meet to help us understand and give us a hands on 'Experience' over the HP Connected Music Application.

The Blogger Meet in Full Swing 
Pic Source - IndiBlogger

This is what I understood about the application at the meet - HP Connected Music in collaboration with Universal (the biggest music label in the world), Hungama e.t.c. has created a music application to provide great entertainment for the users on their personal devices. HP has also tied up with Dr Dre's Beats to provide 'So Great' audio playback experience.. The HP Connected Music app features millions of songs spanning across many genres. Because the application has been made in association with Universal it basically means that the app has many of the biggest names in the music 'Industry'. The application also features a great collection of 'Bollywood', Classical and Regional tracks which cater to the musical needs of the Indian 'Listen'er.

The main features of the HP Connected Music Application are -  
Online streaming with Zero Buffering.. Something which would work really well in India given the slow internet connections in many parts of the country..  
We all like to 'Pump it (the music) Harder', So HP in Collaboration with Dr Dre's Beats ensures that the quality of the audio playback is superb..
You can download music and play music offline as well which is a huge plus..
You could download songs free till one year after activation of service..
The app also provides high bit-rate quality stereo surround music..  Which ensures that you could 'Move Like Jagger' if you wished to..
You can see live concerts on you device with the help of this app and even get an 'Opportunity' to go their personally (if you participate in contests)

So, for all those folks who 'Just Cant Get Enough' of music this application has given them a new reason to rejoice..

My job being that of traveling and living out of suitcases ensures that i have only a limited number of my 'Favorite Song's with me all the time, so I had to end up listening to the same track again and again. That 'Monkey Business' had been taken care of by this application. So if i go on a tour, or go to office.. my collection of music of my favourite artists like the Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, Rihanna, Maroon 5 and others would always be with me (Now that's a comforting feeling). With this musical app HP has certainly made its Windows 8 devices (PC's, Ultrabooks, Tablets) 'Different' from the others.


All these superb tracks are amongst the millions which can be found on HP Connected Music Application :- Afternoon - The Modern Lovers, Saturday - Carpenters, Addicted - Enrique Iglesias, Gangnam Style - Psy, Experience - Daniel Hope/I Virtuoso Italiani/Ludovico Einaudi, So Great - Tim Hughes/Various Artists, Industry - The Modern, Bollywood - Anamanaguchi,  Listener - DJ Shadow/Terry Reid, Pump it Harder, Monkey Business and Just Can't get Enough - Black Eyed Peas, Favorite Song - Colbie Caillat, Different - Robbie Williams, Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna, Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5, Opportunity - Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Friday, April 19, 2013

Picture of the Week #27 - Yumthang Valley (Sikkim, Eastern India)

 Picture © Rohan A Singh

Thursday, April 18, 2013

UNESCO World Heritage Day - April 18th

Today is UNESCO World Heritage Day, a day dedicated to raise public awareness about the importance and diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts which are needed by us to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability from various elements like encroachment, vandalism e.t.c..The theme for 2012 is 'World Heritage in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention'.

This is what we are fighting against.. Vandalism, Disrespect and Time !!
Clockwise from above - 'Vandalised Walls' of the Western settlement of Sultan Garhi; 'Cracked Pillars' of the 'brittle' cenotaph of Muizuddin Bahram Shah (brother and successor of Razia Sultan); 'broken bottles of beers and matches' lie littered in the Western Settlement Ruins of Sultan Garhi; the 'Vandalised information slab' for the tomb of Emperor Balban's son..

Conserving Heritage monuments is important because it is very important to know who we are, where have we come from, how has our knowledge evolved, how have we evolved and last but not the least.. do we have any lessons to learn from the past..

UNESCO World Heritage Day can also be a day to discuss  and debate one of the biggest topics amongst conservationists.. Whether to conserve the monuments as we see them or restore them, wherever possible, to their former glory..

The Humayun's Tomb and its restored ceiling (at the top) and the Lakkarhwala Burj and its restored ceiling (at the bottom)

Various tourism boards, state governments and NGO's in India are celebrating UNESCO World Heritage Day in their own way.. So while the Indian Government is throwing the doors open (ticket free entrance) to the visitors to all monuments, the Odisha Government organized a "heritage walk" rally, seeking public support for conservation of ancient temples and monuments, the Heritage Activists in Goa submitted a 16 point agenda to their Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, for protection of the state's heritage through conservation and enforcement of the law..

 A small example of our world's heritage which we need to conserve.. Clockwise from above - Rani of Jhansi's Fort, Red Fort, Qutb Minar, the alpine Yumthang Valley of Sikkim (which needs to be protected from Global Warming)

Internationally, the UNESCO World Heritage Day is being celebrated by all the countries in different ways - While Chile is hosting seminars and inviting young volunteers to clean 4 heritage monuments in Santiago as part of an Awareness drive, the United States is celebrating the 40th year by issuing passport booklets highlighting the United States 'World Heritage Sites' amongst other activities..

In the end I would like to wish you all a very Happy World Heritage Day !!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Traveling with HP Connected Music

If some folks, in a sense of wonder or doubt, ask a traveler how is 'Traveling related to Music ?' he should not mind the smile which might come across the traveler's face. The reason behind the smile is that Music is a very important component of Travel. One only needs to ask a long distance traveler like me and he would tell you how long time in transit, can become if there is no music to accompany him on his journeys.

While listening to your favourite genre of music (my favourite genre is Ambient) can help you pass your time or help you unwind and get you in the mood for writing, listening to regional music can give you a sense of the country or place you are visiting.. For a traveler having access to an efficient music app, on his HP Notebook, in which he can stream the music of his/her choice, across the world, without any hitches is a must..

Pic Source - IndiBlogger

This is where HP Connected Music Service comes in.. HP in partnership with Universal Music and Hungama brings this wonderful application to HP's Windows 8 line-up.. On one touch HP Connected Music provides us free access  to exclusive content and access to over one million songs from more than 20,000 artists, from different genres across the board, which effectively makes it the largest online music catalogue in the world..

The ‘Money Can’t Buy Experiences’ offered by the HP Connected Music Service gives access to unique content such as previews, behind the scenes content, VIP events and many more exciting activities. So, it doesn't matter whether you are on the move, or not, you can always connect with their favorite artists.. For more informtion visit - HP Connected Music India

HP and IndiBlogger would be hosting a great blogger's meet on Saturday the 20th of April in New Delhi for an afternoon of music and fraternizing amongst bloggers.. So if you are a blogger and haven't signed up yet.. Well.. you are really missing something..

Friday, April 12, 2013

Picture of the Week #26 - Rani of Jhansi's Fort, Jhansi (Central India)

Picture © Rohan A Singh

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Heritage Photowalk in Lal Kot (Const. 1050 A.D.)

 Walking over the crumbling battlements of Lal Kot (the first fort of Delhi)

Built by Raja Anangpal Tomar II in the 11th century Lal Kot (Red Fort, not to be confused with the one built by the Mughals in 1648 A.D.) was the first city/fort to come up in Delhi.. While the capital city of the Tomar kings was present in Delhi since the 8th century, the fortifications were built by Anangpal Tomar II in the 11th century, perhaps in reaction to Mahmud of Ghazni's ruthless invasion of India..

An Enthusiastic Photographer

As the fort is located deep inside the Sanjay Van (A Protected Forest) people rarely travel to see this landmark monument.. This Sunday, I had an opportunity to go on a Photo Walk organized by Mr. Vikramjeet Singh Rooprai, a heritage enthusiast and the admin of Delhi Heritage Photography Club.. The difficulty level for walking around this fort is considered to be tough.. We all ended up trying to avoid thorny shrubs and playing hopscotch across loose stones and crumbling battlements (risking our limbs) while trying to move forward..

Climbing down the crumbling battlements (with the possibility of tumbling down looming large) was a nerve-wracking experience

I recalled Traveler Merwyn's quote 'In the wild, only humans come to the assistance of humans' while observing how other photographers including myself tried to assist folks especially the ladies and the elderly to climb down from the crumbling walls of the fort (as there was no other path to lead us forward)..

In the Photo Walk, in which about 60 photographers and heritage enthusiasts participated, we covered the fort of Lal Kot, which is located at a desolated location within the capital city, and other monuments like Anang Tal, Adham Khan's Tomb, Dargah of Saint Ashiq Allah and Zafar Mahal.. At the end of the PhotoWalk Mr Vikramjeet and the rest settled in the balcony of Zafar Mahal and discussed historical facts related to Mehrauli (One of the oldest suburbs of Delhi, even older than Old Delhi)

Mr Vikramjeet and others discussing the history of Mehrauli

Given the fact that visiting the Lal Kot is something only an adventurer would try on his own (because of the lack of proper paths, secludedness of the area, lack of water e.t.c.), this Photo Walk was really significant from that Point of View.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Picture of the Week #25 - St Jude's Shrine, Jhansi (India)

Picture © Rohan A Singh