A quick itinerary for Hampi-Hospet

Hampi is an ancient town in Karnataka with a population of a few thousands. The focal point of your visit here is the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire, once a flourishing kingdom dating 1 CE. It has been pronounced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spread over 11 km, the ruins can take up to 2 to 3 days to explore by yourself. But if one is pressed for time, here is an option to do…

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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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Six amazing travel activities for families in India

India is a vibrant and diverse country, although it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves as a family-friendly destination. It took me a long time to realise this too. Before exploring my own country, I had seen parts of Europe, Middle East, South East Asia, even studied in the UK. It is only in 2013, that I started taking travelling in India seriously. Since then, I’ve ticked 18 Indian states off my list. 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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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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The Last Bungalow of Seven Bungalows Survives

Ever wondered why Seven Bungalows is called Seven Bungalows? How did it get its name? Here is some interesting trivia about Seven Bungalows. During early British era, this area was a marshland. Nothing but seven bungalows stood here in the midst of mangroves and coconut palms, while the Arabian Sea lay adjacent. Most of these bungalows were owned by affluent Parsis; one even owned by Dadabhai Naoroji – Founder of the Indian National Congress. Dadabhai…

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Goa State Museum – Rich Collection And Honest Exhibit Intentions

I am going to admit, I am a museum person. Getting to know culture, history, civilizations by strolling through exhibits, listening to audio guides and leafing brochures fascinates me. I also believe museums say a lot about a city or state; and hence it is imperative to have city and state museums. Considerable efforts should be drawn by every state or central government to preserve and/or restore artifacts, relics, galleries, cultural anthropology, et al. and…

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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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Prince of Wales Museum – The Best Museum Mumbai has to Offer

I took a break from my Gujarat posts and visited Prince of Wales Museum two weeks back. This is my second visit to Prince of Wales museum, since I was not able to do justice to the museum in my first visit in 2012. As a Bombayite, I could afford to visit Prince of Wales museum twice. But some of the readers of this post may/would not like to be in this position. Hence, I…

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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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Gilbert Hill – To See Or Not To See

Gilbert Hill is as old as ‘The Age of the Reptiles’ dating 65 million years. It is made up of black basalt rock columns that were a result of molten lava that got squeezed from the Earth’s clefts. Gilbert Hill is often compared to the Devils Tower in Wyoming and the Devils Postpile National Monument in Eastern California. This also translates that these 3 monuments are the only one of a kind in the world.…

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