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 ?

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Picture of the Week #115 - Baavan Deori, Kumbhalgarh (1464 AD)


Picture © Rohan A Singh

The year of 2014 has been a roller coaster ride for me, especially the days of July and August. From experiencing the high of visiting Thailand (my first foreign trip thanks to TAT) to being forced to deal with a severe emotional loss as a result of my beloved granny departing the physical realm for her final journey, within a fortnight of me returning. In a state of bereavement i had to lead a group of travelers (as a part of Roots Travel Group) to Kumbhalgarh, the fortress of Mewar rulers.

This particular picture is of Baavan Deori (Baavan means 52) a temple located at a distance from the main tourist sections of the expansive Kumbhalgarh and at a location where mobile signals aren't available. It had started to drizzle and we were contemplating whether to head back when we saw the shikhars of this temple (at a distance) and we decided to dash through the rain and checkout this isolated temple which had a charm of its own.

Travel helped me, in a way, to come to terms with my loss and my visit to Kumbhalgarh will always be special in my heart !

Friday, December 19, 2014

Picture of the Week #114 - Phra Sri Rattana Chedi (Golden Stupa) (1855 AD)


Picture © Rohan A Singh
Located in the Grand Palace Complex in Krung Thep (Bangkok) this holy stupa was covered with golden mosaic tiles, on the orders of King Rama V of Thailand.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Picture of the Week #113 - BhagsuNag Falls, Bhagsu


Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Picture of the Week #111 - Lakkar Wala Gumbad (16th Century AD)


Picture © Rohan A Singh
This early Mughal Period monument was located originally in Azim Bagh and is today located in the Sunder Nursery, near the Sunderwala Burj and Sunderwala Mahal. The Aga Khan Trust restored the original design work of these monuments with the help of latest technologies and original materials.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

World Heritage Week - Nov 19 to Nov 25, 2014

From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan to the destruction of the remains of the Mesopotamian civilization by ISIS, from the callous construction of the 1982 Asian Games Village over the ruins of the former city of Siri to the encroachment and vandalism by people of our monuments.. These are the issues and the mindsets which are attempt to be tackled during the World Heritage Week which is being celebrated from November 19 to November 25.

Ruins of the 3rd city of Delhi called Darul Khilafat (popularly known as Siri) (Const 1303 AD)

The chief purpose of celebrating the World Heritage Week is to increase awareness and encourage people about the preservation and safety of the cultural heritage and monuments of our nation and the world. To understand our ancient/medieval/modern cultures, heritage and traditions it is very important that we protect and preserve the priceless historical monuments and preserve the rare cultural and traditional practices which are the treasures of the human civilization.

Graffiti is something people, strangely, love to indulge in, with respect to historical monuments
 (Domes of the Begumpuri Masjid, Const 14th Cent AD)

In the modern times people, in their thirst for modernization and development, conveniently forget how much important it is to preserve our cultural and historical heritage. In the last walk conducted by Roots (Travel Group) we had observed how badly people had encroached upon the remains of the former city of Siri.

Time claws away our monuments, brick by brick. So, if we do not take steps at restoration of our monuments then they might be lost to us forever (A collapsed ceiling of Begumpuri Mosque, 
Const 14th Cent)

Historians, Archaeologists and Heritage Enthusiasts/Lovers are coming forward to raise the banner of conservation of heritage (for our future generations) by conducting special walks, events and exhibitions and through them trying to raise the levels of awareness of Heritage amongst the people. Their efforts, i believe, should be lauded !

The solitude and desolation of our monuments is often exploited by alcoholics and drug addicts who indulge in their addictions inside them, make such places their dens, forbid people from visiting those monuments and spread considerable litter (Western Settlement, Sultan Ghari) (Const 17th-18th Cent)

While Roots is not an out and out heritage group, but we do respect and understand the value of heritage. And keeping in mind our vision of exploring the unexplored we go to those monuments those ruins which people usually skip, the biggest example being the Siri Fort walk we did on November 16.

The canopy above the tomb of Ruknuddin Firoz, near Sultan Ghari would have collapsed due to cracked beams had ASI not built extra pillars to support the cracked beams. (Const around 1240 AD) 

Keeping in mind the reasons for celebrating the World Heritage Week and the fact that we were unable to do any event to support the cause during the week, we would like to dedicate our Panipat-Sonipat Trip (to be held on Dec 13, with an aim to highlight the very ignored heritage and cultural aspects of Haryana) and the Legacy of Delhi walks (whose aim is to make people aware of the unknown yet incredible heritage of Delhi namely the former 8 cities of Delhi) to the main cause of the World Heritage Week, to create Heritage Awareness.

Our monuments are very popular picnic spots but the flip side of it is that people chuck litter all around. It only shows that lack of respect and awareness towards the monuments, a problem which is attempted to be solved by the World Heritage Week

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Note - All pictures are copyrighted in the name of Rohan Anirudh Singh.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Picture of the Week #110 - View of the Gulf of Thailand


The Phraya Nakhon Cave is located at the Khao Sam Roi Yot Park National Park
© Rohan A Singh

Friday, November 14, 2014

Picture of the Week #109 - Sunderwala Burj (16th Cent AD)

Picture © Rohan A Singh

This beautiful 16th Century AD monument, a tomb, was extensively restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. The salient feature of the monument is the magnificent plasterk on the interior of the dome, which was restored as it had deteriorated due to rainwater seeping from above. This monument is located in the Sunder Nursery near the Lakkar Wala Gumbad and Sunderwala Mahal. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Picture of the Week #107 - Ranakpur Jain Temple (Const 1437 AD)


Picture © Rohan A Singh

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Lonely Planet India Unexplored Contest 2014



Some Facts- India is the seventh largest country in the world, has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, has one of the most diverse wildlife in the world, is a pot pourri of multiple cultures and cuisines (something which cannot be found in any other country in the world).... and yet the number of visitors who arrive in India from abroad is one-third to the number of visitors who go to Hong Kong, China (a region whose population and total area is lesser than that of Delhi, the capital of India) as per the figures of United Nations World Tourism Organization !


Clockwise from Left - Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak (Ajmer), Poddar Cenotaphs (Ramgarh Sethan, Shekhawati Rajasthan), Yumthang Valley (North Sikkim), Kumbhalgarh Fort, Baglep (Tibetan Cuisine), Velankanni Beach (Tamil Nadu)

The limited number of tourists who come to India make a beeline to Taj Mahal (Agra), Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, Goa and some of the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Khajuraho, Hampi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Shore Temple e.t.c. The domestic tourists of India make a beeline to the same destinations which I just mentioned apart from hill stations like Shimla & Mussourie (popular with Delhi-ites), Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling (Popular with Kolkata-ns), Ooty and Kodaikanal (popular with Chennai-ites) and Coorg (popular with Bangaloreans).

Buddhist Monasteries (of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley), Jhansi Fort, Surajkund Reservoir, Baoli of Farrukhnagar, Basilica of Our lady of Graces (Sardhana, Uttar Pradesh), Murals and Frescoes across the Streets of Ramgarh Sethan, Chand Baoli (Abhaneri), Sheesh Mahal (Farrukhnagar)

While the mass of tourists concentrate on these and some other destinations only, the rest of India remains Unexplored. Destinations like the murals and frescoes of the bylanes of Shekhawati Rajasthan, the stepwells of Gujarat, majority of beaches of Karnataka, majority of the forts of Maharashtra, the blue hills of Mizoram, the monasteries of Arunachal Pradesh and Spiti Valley, the temples of Chhatisgarh (Sirpur, Bhoramdev e.t.c.) and stupas of Bihar are just a few of the numerous destinations which are still waiting for travelers so that they can come and admire 'their' magnificence and might too.

Clockwise from Left - Streets of Churu (Shekhawati Rajasthan), Citadel of Ajabgarh Fort, Lal Kot (the first fort of Delhi), Pataleshwar Temple (Pune), Pandeshwar Temple (Hastinapur), Minor Rock Edict of Ashoka (Garhi, Delhi), Gurudongmar Lake (North Sikkim)

Lonely Planet India has started a wonderful initiative in the form of a contest called 'India Unexplored' where travellers are encouraged to send in their entries of places or destinations which have been unexplored as of yet. Apart from submitting entries about a destination, one can also submit entries about 'activities' which can be done in unexplored places (like the Chadar Zanskar Trek), 'Eateries' which are really good but not in the knowledge of the visiting tourist and local 'markets' or 'shops' where one can go for shopping ! While this is a great oppurtunity for travellers to submit entries about places which are rarely visited and win Cool Prizes, this is also an awesome oppurtunity for people who want to know more about India (and wish to gather knowledge about the various unknown destinations which are not in the bucket list of the normal tourist) as all the information would be available at one place - the India Unexplored Site apart from the Lonely Planet books off course !!

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'Path Rarely Taken' believes in exploring the rarely visited places and bring them to the notice of the world and so it supports the India Unexplored contest as it has the same philosophy as the blog !

Friday, October 10, 2014

Picture of the Week #104 - Kuha Karuhas Pavilion in Phraya Nakhon Cave


Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh
Located in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (near Pranburi, can also be reached from Hua Hin) in the Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, this cave has a mystical touch to it. A cave which has formations of both stalactites and stalagmites has a sense of peace which can't be matched anywhere in Thailand. The fact that the Kings of Thailand used to come here regularly (and erected the golden pavilion) stands as a testament to that fact.
The Phraya Nakhon Cave is undoubtedly on of the 'best' places to visit in Thailand !

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This post marks 2 years of the series which has captured the lengths and breadths of India, various landmarks in Australia, Italy, Denmark e.t.c. (Thanks to Traveler Richa!) and Thailand. 
A lot of effort has gone into presenting the sights and the information (about it) to you in the best and concise-est possible manner ! Hope that you have loved the journey uptill now and are raring to go ahead because we are :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Picture of the Week #103 - Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho (Bangkok)


Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 26, 2014

Picture of the Week #102 - Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Ratchaburi


Damnoen Saduak is one the most famous floating markets in the world. The items which are sold from boats and shops (on the banks of the waterways) include fruits, vegetables, Thai fast/street food (i am inclined to use the term floating food rather than street food as it is sold from boats) and souvenirs.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 19, 2014

Picture of the Week #101 - Thanon Sukhumvit (Road), Bangkok


Also known as Thailand Route 3 the Sukhumvit Road is one of the major commercial hubs in Bangkok and thus in Thailand. It starts from Bangkok itself and runs uptill Cambodia while running parallel to the coast.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 12, 2014

Picture of the Week #100 - Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat, Bangkok (1882 AD)


Phra Thinang Chakri means 'Seat of the Chakri Dynasty' (the monarchs of Thailand). This is the Throne Hall of the Rulers of Thailand.
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, September 5, 2014

Picture of the Week #99 - Beach on Gulf of Thailand, Pranburi


An upcoming beachtown, Pranburi is also is also the closest to Phraya Nakhon Cave. Boats going towards the cave leave from here. This pic was shot doing low tide, so the gulf had receding some 100mts away.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tranquil Thailand #1 - The Begining


In the days of old when travellers like Ibn Battuta, Hiuen Tsang, Christopher Columbus amongst others went on their journeys the expenses of their journeys were covered by either their rulers (of the country they lived in) or by seeking sponsors or paying from their own pockets as travelling (full-time) was, is and will remain an expensive affair.. So, when I got an invitation from the Thailand Authority of Tourism to visit Thailand and see from my own eyes how the things (the atmosphere in Thailand) are, it didn't take me much time to say 'Yes' !!

Pictures of some of the greatest travellers the world has ever seen ! One of the biggest similarities between them, apart from their penchant for travel, is that they all had to struggle to arrange for funds to go on their epic journeys !!

Being a popular travel destination, travellers from all parts of the world make a beeline to go to Thailand so therefre there are a lot of general perceptions vis a vis Thailand which float around and I wanted to know whether they really stood true. I have talked to many people (friends/relatives/acquaintances/travellers) and discussed with them about Thailand as a tourist destination. For the Europeans its the beautiful beaches and the calm locales of Phuket and Koh Samui, for the Indians it's the party destinations of Pattaya and the shopping experiences of Krung Thep (Bangkok) and elsewhere, everyone has their own reason to head to Thailand. But of recent the number of people heading to Thailand has come down as the general perception regarding Thailand, which is prevalent in the world is that as there has been a military coup (and as military coup's in other parts of the world are all about blood and gore and everything nasty), it is not safe to go there.

A 'Welcome' signboard at the gate of the grand palace

So, when Thailand Authority of Tourism called, I was more than keen to go myself and observe myself as to what is it in Thailand which inspires tourists to make it their preferred travel destination year after year, and whether the rumours (that all was not safe in Thailand, and tanks would be rolling on the streets as a military coup had happened) held true or not. I knew, from discussions with travelers from other parts of the world, that much of the 'unsafe Thailand talk was Not True' but nonetheless when i had an oppurtunity to see from my own eyes the ground realities i would surely accept it !

The people of Thailand are a calm and simple lot. More prone to smiling than anything else !

The TAT in association with the Thai Airways and our hosts the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside and the Amari Hua Hin organised a trip for us media personnel (i have been a travel blogger for 4 years but i am still coming to terms with the fact that us bloggers are considered as media around the world, unlike in India where majority of people are yet to wake up to the power of Bloggers) to see for ourselves the beauty of Thailand, the rich culture of Thailand, to see for ourselves that nothing had changed (and if change happened it was only for the better) and to see for ourselves the character and resilient nature of the Thai people as after the coup (which succeeded a long period of political turmoil) took place they put their entire house in order within 2 months. This trip had a purpose, a mission !

The flag of Thailand is a common feature across the country, one can see it fluttering atop buildings, market places, boats e.t.c.

(to be continued..)
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I am naming my series of posts over Thailand - 'Tranquil Thailand' as that is how i found the people, the atmosphere and even the gulf (named after Thailand) to be.. Completely Tranquil !! To quote our friend Saravuth, ' In Thailand calmness is the norm, anger/rowdiness is frowned upon'

Friday, August 15, 2014

Picture of the Week #96 - Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur (Const 1899 AD)

Built by Maharaj Sardar Singh, in memory of his father Maharaj Jaswant Singh II, this memorial is made of finely polished white marble..

Friday, August 8, 2014

Picture of the Week #95 - The Past and Present of Jodhpur

This Panoramic 180° Pic encapsulates the former seat (Mehrangarh Fort) and the present ceremonial seat (Umaid Bhawan Palace, circled to the left) of the Rathore Dynasty (The erstwhile Rulers of  the Kingdom of Marwar, currently known as Jodhpur)
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, August 1, 2014

Picture of the Week #94 - Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur (1459 AD)

Constructed by Rao Jodha in the year 1459 AD and extensively refurbished by Raja jaswant Singh in the mid 17th century, the Mehrangarh Fort (literal meaning - Fort of the Sun) was the seat of the Rathore rulers of the Kingdom of Marwar (Jodhpur) until the Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by 1943 AD..

Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh


Friday, July 25, 2014

POTW #93 - Passageway (Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur) Const 1943 AD


Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh


Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Picture of the Week #91 - Pandeshwar Temple, Hastinapur (1500 B.C.)

The current structure of the temple was constructed in the 18th Century but it is widely believed to have been 'originally' constructed by the Pandavas (from the epic Mahabharata) in their capital city of Hastinapur, the compound of this temple had been excavated by Archaeologist Mr Lal (from the ASI) in the 1950's to look for remains from the times of the Vedic Age. He was successful in unearthing greyware pottery which, upon carbon dating, was found to date back to 1500 B.C.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Picture of the Week #89 - Jangali Maharaj Temple, Pune (Late 19th Cent AD)

89
Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, June 20, 2014

Picture of the Week #88 - Pataleshwar Cave Temple Complex, Pune (8th Cent AD)


A Panoramic 180° Pic of the Pataleshwar Rock-Cut Cave Temple built during 8th century by the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The circular mandap in centre left of the pic has a statue of the Nandi Bull which faces the Garbha Graha (Sanctum Snactorum).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Picture of the Week #87 - Pataleshwar Cave Temple, Pune (8th Cent AD)

Picture © Rohan Anirudh Singh

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Evening to Remember



Come Saturday the 17th and  Microsoft Devices and Indiblogger would come together yet again to organise an event 'The Nokia XL Indiblogger Meet' at The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi. In certain terms a follow up event of Your Wish is My App - S2 this event would be a golden oppurtunity for bloggers to check out and perhaps suggest various innovative, thoughtful and useful apps which we could use in our daily lives to make it even more simple and enlighten their readers about.. 'Apptasting' to be precise.

Microsoft Devices continues to charge ahead in the search for even more innovative applications for Nokia handsets which could come extremely useful for all Nokia Users (like myself). Apps like 'Building or Destination Recogniser' and 'Face Recogniser' (you hold your Nokia Lumia mobile camera to the face of the person or in front of the building you need to recognise and the app will do the rest) are a result of these brain-storming but fabulous events..

Hosts for the Day - Vikas Khanna and Rajiv Makhni

Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna and Gadget Guru Rajiv Makhni would be coming together to host this event and along with all the other Indibloggers would make this event a magical one (technologically speaking).



I have written many articles about Indiblogger events but have, somehow or the other, always missed out on mentioning the in-house host from Indiblogger - Vineet Rajan. Come tomorrow and he will ensure that all the geeks, book bugs, and bespectacled writers (like myself turn into some sort of military personnel) and will be swinging our fists and yelling 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' after him !! Very Subtle, ain't it Anoop ?!