Offbeat Goa: Reis Magos Fort restored to charm

It’s unlikely to find Reis Magos Fort on a tourist’s wish-list of things to do in Goa. This partially works because you have the beautifully restored fort to yourself. Originally built in 1497 by Adil Shah of Bijapur, the Reis Magos Fort was later captured by the Portuguese in 1543. By the 1900s the fort was no more used as a defensive structure but a prison. It remained in a state of abandon for over a…

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A lesson in history in Maheshwar

When I landed at the Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar airport in Indore, I was curious to know who Devi Ahilya Bai was. Why has an airport been named after her? I got my answer in Maheshwar! We took a detour to Maheshwar on our two nights and three days trip to Indore, Ujjain, Mandu and Omkareshwar. Maheshwar is popular with pilgrims as much as it is with tourists. I am hardly a religious person. So Maheshwar…

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Three ‘monument’al moments in Agra

places to visit in agra

Somewhere in the Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, I was sitting outside my tent and chatting with fellow campers about our travel experiences in India. We mutually agreed that Agra left us spellbound and went on to discuss our experience in this city at length. Agra, the capital of the Mughal Empire once upon a time, is every history buff’s delight. The Mughals gave us three UNESCO heritage monuments in Agra alone…apart from several other finely…

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Everything you need to know about Exploring Aurangabad in 3 Days

It was a long weekend when Holi coincided on a Friday. I quickly planned a trip to Aurangabad. Three days is all I had and it was sufficient time to explore Aurangabad (strictly from a corporate slave perspective). Aurangabad is great for history lovers. There are caves, forts, Mughal architecture and traces of Buddhism. The best part about Aurangabad is that it’s conveniently accessible from major metros like Mumbai and Pune. I’m sharing my itinerary…

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Photo Essay: Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lakulisa Temple in Champaner-Pavagad Archaelogical Park - road trips from mumbai

50 km from Vadodara is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has not received its due. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is disappointingly overshadowed by popular Hindu pilgrim site – Kalika Mata Temple. Champaner was ruled by Mahmud Begada, Sultan of Gujarat around 1484. He fondly named the city Mahmudabad and made it the capital of Gujarat. But Champaner’s glory was short lived. Mughal emperor Humayun attacked this flourishing city in 1535 and brought it to ruins.…

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Bhau Daji Lad Museum – Go there for the Renaissance Revival Architecture

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City museum is an integral part of Mumbai’s museum scene. It is the oldest museum in Mumbai, established in 1872. At that time, it was known as the Victoria and Albert museum. In 1975, the museum was renamed after an eminent physician, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad (1822 – 1874). He had keen interest in archaeology and his role was pivotal to secure funds for the museum construction work from philanthropists…

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Karla Caves, Lonavala – Architecture and Blind Faith Sightings

I have visited Lonavla a couple of times before, and hence, had already seen popular tourist spots like Bhushi Dam and Tigers Point. In the quest to explore something new, this trip covered the Karla Caves. Karla Caves Lonavala Background: Karla Caves are rock-cut monuments from the Buddhist era dating two thousand years old. Location of the caves may have been of strategic importance since it was a major trade route during that era connecting…

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Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara – Of Royals and Royalty

road trips from mumbai - Laxmi Vilas Palace

The last time I visited a royal palace was the Buckingham palace in London in the summer of 2010. Cut to present, in my road trip to Gujarat, I saw the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara that (might I say) is as much royal as the Buckingham Palace. The Laxmi Vilas Palace is the home of the Royal Gaekwad family who were once the rulers of the princely state of Baroda right until Indian…

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Global Vipassana Pagoda – Meditation for Mumbai

Global Vipassana Pagoda is an angelic structure constructed as a dedication to Buddha, his teachings and the monks who practice Vipassana (meditation). It is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar which is claimed to be the oldest pagoda in the world. After a planning of 3 years, construction for Global Vipassana Pagoda began in the year 2000. It is built on a donated piece of land under the guidance of founder Lt. S.N.…

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