Friday, June 19, 2015

Tea Time India - Tea & Snacks

Tea and Snacks go hand in hand in India. You can describe them as fritters or pakoras but there are many more to relish.  Snacks are something which are part of life here, in between meals you can call them. They are had with tea, with drinks and cocktails or just any time any moment.   

India is a diverse country and probably all things are steeped deep in the diversity. So are the yummy snacks and min boggling variety of tea blends. From chai stall snacks of samosas, aloo bondas and pakoras the choice extends to sophisticated home finger foods to that churned by elite restaurant with some phoren recipes.

One of the snack that has Western origin is the sandwich and is being followed by burgers and what not. Cutlet is another popular snack especially available in Indian Coffee Houses and Tea Lounges. This delicacy is not known to the Westerners...before you get the notion.

Tea in India comes as thousands of blends some as masala chai or spiced tea. The variety of leaves available offer the common mind boggling flavors of the tea. Chai as it is called in the country is consumed not only in the morning and with high tea it is drunk whole day long. 
Photo Courtesy:   Wagh Bakri Tea Company
Tea & Snacks

Cardamom Chai

Darjeeling Green Tea
Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge


Some of the snacks can also be consumed as full meals. These Dahi Vada, Idli, Vada, Dosai which are part of a meal be it lunch or dinner. In some big towns people snack late in the night a habit which has disastrous effect on health.  

In the images below you will find chai and snacks appealing enough for you to head for the kitchen. 

Sev Usal



Dahi Vada
Photo Courtsey: Nandita Amin

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Destination Bandhavgarh - A Wildlife Lover's Delight

Tucked away in remote access of Central India Bandhavgarh is the land of the tiger. Things do not end here the destination offers some of most ancient and exotic architecture amidst overgrown wilderness. Dating as far as 2000 year back the numerous artifacts and structures are lying untended all over the place.  
Fort Entrance

The fort built by the Gond Rulers is called Bandhavgarh hence the name of the park. The idols and structures are an archeologists delight albeit the fort is no more only scattered remains exist. There is an ancient Ram Janki Temple facing the park.  

The gate a looming arch is suggestive of large encampment that must have been manned by a retinue of  sentinels always at war with the invaders. The zoomorphic idols of Lord Vishnu are a treat to discover. Made of igneous rock they depict Vishnu in form of animals    

Temple at Fort Complex
The remote location and inaccessible terrain must have acted as a hideaway for the numerous dynasties that came to rule over its dizzy heights. A mile below the campus is Shesh Shaiyya a reclining idol of Lord Vishnu besides a fairy pool surrounded by verdant greenery in betwixt the dense forests on the slopes. The Charanganga originates from the mountains and drops down to the plains. It creates slushy meadows as it meanders between the low lying hills covered with dense vegetation. This is the land of the tiger and leopard the big cats that roam Central India. The climb to reclining Vishnu is steep and needs experts to drive up. The erstwhile Maharjahs of Rewa Estate nearby were regular visitors to the Fort. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve was the shikargah of their domain and hence received lot of protection.       

Ram Janki Temple
The hunting preserve was declared as a protected area in the year nineteen sixty eight. It was given the status of a National Park and eventually brought under the aegis of a Project Tiger.       

Bison were relocated from Kanha National Park after the original stock had died down due to disease.   Other animals to  be seen here are the dhole, leopard, sloth bear, nilgai, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer and four horned deer.  Wild boar, peacock and langur are a common sight besides many avian species.
Sesh Shaiyya
ManMade Reservoir

Male Tiger

There are more than two hundred fifty bird species to be found in the tiger reserve. Reptiles are nocturnal but on rare occasion a python could be seen. Other nocturnal animals and the less seen ones are ruddy mongoose, small Indian civet, pangolin, toddy cat, ratel to name a few. 

The park is open from  October 16 to June 30th every year. Most tourist prefer winter months for tiger safari. But lot of holiday crowd arrives during summer whence tiger visibility increases slightly. 
Tiger in Water

The preserve is located in Umaria District about four hours drive from Jabalpur Airport and Railhead. Road connectivity exists from many nearby towns.

Tourism is well organized in the park. For accommodation there are many wildlife resorts in Bandhavgarh which are economic. There are many luxury hotels which are expensive but preferable. A couple five star and three hotels also provide accommodation to up market crowd.   Government accommodation are few and reserved only for state employees and VIP.

Khajuraho can be reached from here which is about eight hours drive by road. About 45 km from Khajuraho is the Panna Tiger Reserve another tiger heaven.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

India Ancient Delights - Through Lens of Amateur


Chhatris at Orchha


Orchha Fort

Fort Complex 

Ganesh Idol Khajuraho

Photographer at Jehangir Mahal Orchha

Kalinjar Fort

Kanlinjar Fort gate

Kalinjar Fort

Kandariya Mahadev Temple

Khajuraho Dence Festival

Mural at Orchha Palace

Mural at Raja Mahal

Orchha Cenotaph

Fort View Orchha 

Orchha Garden

Rajah Mahal Corridor


Raneh Falls Ken River Chhattarpur

Maintaining a travel blog means just that Well I cannot afford to do that so often hence I publish images of my face book friends with their knowledge. 

Over a period of time I have realized that one need not be a professional photographer...for what you do with passionate zeal. It brings out the best in the images. The photographer Nandita Amin from Baroda I believe is an avid traveler and a foodie, both the passions go side by side as I realize from her face book activities.     

Here are some of her travel photos from Central India.  She has exquisitely portrayed images of  ancient monuments a memorable record of one among many of her exotic journeys.      

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kerala Holiday Lens - Vishal Bhasin

Vishal Bhasin

Market at Cochin

Cochin Street

Dam at Munnar


Flower Seller

Poovar Beach

House Boat


Fishing Net

Street Food



Kerala Martial Arts

Periyar National Park

Indian Ocean

Tea Garden Munnar

Vivekananda Memorial
People travel to far off places on holiday but few care to record the event through their camera. More so the images here portray as the holiday happened rather than a professional and artificially planned photo shoot. Here are some of the images taken by the photographer on tour to Kerala.

Vishal is also experienced in travel business  having worked with major companies. He is now having his own travel company and manages a website of package tours in India. He is fond of travel and visits interesting places of holiday with his family.