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Monday, November 30, 2009

My travel diary

My current job ,demands traveling out of Delhi often. Though I have frequented many places a number of times, there are two places which I long to visit again.

Recently I was on an official tour to Agra. Amid the busy schedule I found some time to enjoy and laze around .It became a nice holiday rather. Since I had seen Taj Mahal before, I asked my colleague to visit the massive Agra Fort. I had no idea how was it going to be, but I swear I was speechless the moment I entered it. The huge monument still stands tall with pride and sets a remarkable example of perfect ancient architecture. Be it the Deewan-e-khaas , Deewan-e- Aam , Jahangiri Mahal,Sheesh Mahal or the entry gates for the Army, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the fort comprising a blend of white marbles & red sand stones. My colleague agreed with me that ancient engineering has no equals and nobody can reproduce the magic with the same grace and perfection. Some portions of the fort are not accessible to the public, of course for security reasons .The portions which are open for all, are masterpiece of creations.

I am too fond of sweets. So I hogged Agra’s pethas. I was surprised to see a huge variety like Angoori petha, Chocolate petha, colorful petha and so on…..I had a feast with pethas and hot kachoris with finger licking “aaloo ki subzi ” 

My official tour to Amritsar happened to be my first visit to Punjab. Visiting Amritsar was a wonderful experience, even better than what I had heard and read. I wonder why is the Golden Temple not one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Left spellbound again by the lovely construction of the Gurudwara, I appreciate the efficient management which controls the crowd so well and keeps it running 24×7. The Gurudwara also called Sri Harmandir Sahib is home to the shelter less and treats all castes-religions with equal love and request. I was touched to see physically challenged people working and helping the temple management since they believe that seva to mankind is seva to God.

From Golden Temple we headed towards Wagah Border the same evening. The place was overcrowded much more than what I had expected. The sunset ceremony which takes place daily is a spectacular event which I witnessed that day. The tall BSF rangers from India proudly walked at the gate while the audience hooted and cheered enthusiastically. The black uniformed Pakistani Rangers were seen walking with the same pride and attitude. Post the 1947 partition, Wagah village, controversially lies half in Pakistan and half in India. Both the countries host colourful functions on their sides. The flags are lowered at sunset and the rangers confront each other after the gate opens. It was a wonderful sight to watch. With the loud thump of the rangers, my heart was pounding loudly. I was full of pride for the nation and for the Armed forces who have left no stone unturned to keep the country’s honour.

Not to forget the people in Punjab- cheerful, helpful and open hearted. I couldn’t digest the amount of butter I was served with each meal yet I loved the local food.(Can never forget Phirni, lassi, sweets and parantha). I felt so safe in the new place which I never felt in Delhi despite having spent 6 years here. Such was the lovely connection I made with Amritsar in mere 1 day and the memories will be cherished forever.

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