Showing posts with label India traveler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India traveler. Show all posts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Heritage Transport Museum- The first of its kind in India

History and heritage have always been of my prime interest since childhood. Delhi gave me loads of opportunities to discover the rich heritage of Indian History through the magnificent monuments and preserved artifacts. This time it was Heritage Transport Museum where I  witnessed the grandeur of mediums of transport that has evolved across centuries. Being one of its kind and the only transport museum of India, you cannot give it a miss. Bring this on your do-do list in NCR and tick it off your bucket list like I did.

A brief history- The brainchild of Mr. Tarun Thakral, Heritage Transport Museum was opened to public in 2013 highlighting how transport changed its course in different era and how it influenced our life. You can read more about the same on its website.

The three acre space has four levels, with each housing an extra ordinary variety of transport mediums, paintings, collectibles and audio-visuals. The audio guided tour throws light on the history and usage of the displayed items. Here is a visual tour of the museum for you in brief.

The Basement has vintage cars, artifacts from roadside shops, fuel and gas station, display of transport used in Bollywood movies and more..

Fiery red beauties

Remember this from Dil To Pagal Hai?

Yesteryear's fuel station- A remake 

A rusty old van found near Ramgarh, picked in as is condition

The ground floor houses  initial history of transport, luxurious train, Horse/camel carts, carriages, tucks, buses, artwork by artists, souvenir shop, small pantry.

Wheels- From where it all started 

                   This terracotta toy, named a bird card was found during the Indus Valley Civilization. This proves that people were                                                  aware of the use of wheels and drew inspiration from the real world.

Set up of railway station from the past

Jodhpur Salon, the predecessor of Palace on Wheels

First Floor
- This houses bikes, scooters, legacy of Hero bikes, cycles, auto and interesting "jugaad" of few states.

Jugaad from Gujarat

"Jugaad" from Haryana

The second floor exhibits a small aircraft, marine transport, a library, the legacy of Maruti, Ambassador, works of artists, childhood nostalgia, toys.

Twinning with Ambassador. Well almost :)

Peek a boo

A smiley tribute to Maruti

The outer premises has traffic signals, truck bonnets and bus from the British time on display.


Timings- 10 am to 7 pm. Closed on Monday.
Entrance fees- Rs 400 adults, Rs 200 for children. Free for kid below 3 years
How to reach- While driving from Gurgaon, cross Kherki Daula toll, stay on the flyover. Take left on Torau Road. Keep moving straight. The museum will be on left.

The entire experience is enhanced by audio guide (The gadgets would be provided to you at the entrance)
Wheelchair friendly- Yes (With slope ramps and elevator)

Pantry- Grab a bite if hungry. Otherwise expensive. (No other restaurant or eating joint nearby). Advisable to carry food with you and keep in your car. 

Souvenir shop-  From stationery and books to mugs, wallets and coasters, the shop has a great variety but is too pricey. (I did not find it worth)

This is great place for history enthusiasts, car and bike lovers, artists, photographers, kids, elders Basically for all age group. No body would be disappointed here. The 400 INR that you spend here are totally worth it.

P.S: My visit to the museum was in September 2018.
The post also made it among the top popular post on Indiblogger.

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The treasures in McLeodganj

My travel journal of the trip to Mcleodganj continued from day 2. This is the second half story of our second day in McLeodganj. 

Memorial at Dalai Lama 

As we left from St John's Church, it poured heavily for a good forty minutes. We were stuck in a massive traffic jam for more than an hour on the two kilometer road. Yet, we enjoyed that traffic snarl because of the pleasant weather and lush greenery around. Such amazing weather is so rare in the city.

We reached McLeodganj by half past one. The slippery wet roads and traffic in the narrow lanes of the market welcomed us. Post a hearty lunch we headed to Dalai Lama Temple.

On your visit to McLeodganj, Dalai Lama temple is a must visit. You never know you might get lucky to meet his highness, the holy Lama.
The temple premises has basic infrastructure with beautiful view of the mountains around.

As we entered the security check zone, to my surprise mobile phones and cameras were allowed as against my last visit in 2014 when they were not. People were free to take pictures even inside the premises this time!

Prayer Wheels of Dalai Lama Temple
Prayer Wheels of Dalai Lama Temple

Prayer Hall at Dalai Lama Temple
Prayer Hall at Dalai Lama Temple

The temple complex attracts tourists globally who come in search of answers to questions of life and death. His highness Dalai Lama's temple houses a hostel complex for monks and students. Many have converted into Buddhists who spend their lives serving mankind or mediating there. The first floor with prayer bells and mediation hall gets the maximum footfall. 

Deep dive into the beautiful spiritual sojourn as you witness the large holy sculptures of Buddha, Avalokiteshwara and Gilded Chenrezig

We had looked forward to spend some quiet peaceful moments in the temple, but it just did not happen. The place became noisy and a ground for selfie obsessed crowd. It surprised me to see the priests totally cool about it. We settled with some pictures of the deities and moved towards the prayer bells. It was not a pleasant experience unlike my last visit. Teens and young people obstructed the way of the prayer bell direction, posing for pictures and refusing to budge. Whatever happened to the peace of mind and maintaining the sanctity of a holy place?

The view from the first floor overlooking the green mountains is a visual treat. Infact the balcony view is more soothing than the statue premises. 

The whole premises takes less than an hour to see and soak in the positive vibes. We sat across the front gate of the ground floor trying to calm our minds and heal our hurt soles. By 3 pm, we departed from Dalai Lama temple, ticking it on our travel bucket list. :-) 

Our cab driver, suggested us to either go for para gliding or visit Khanyara. For the former we were not prepared nor had planned anything. So choosing the latter sounded a better option to us. Curious to explore, we covered a distance of around twelve kilometers to this lesser known place.

With very less footfall and serene beauty around, the isolated place boasts of a very old Aghanjar Mahadev Temple and a little river flowing in the backyard. Of-late this has emerged as a fun picnic spot.

Walk through this main entrance and see the open temple under the sky. The simplicity of the temple and the people is worth noting. No show of money, no royal ancient carvings on walls, no customary 'chadhawa', no loud bhakti sangeet would make you feel so free and at peace. I pondered over the show offs God is disturbed with. Isn't it? Why not just thank God for his blessings and give him a break? That's my idea of praying to the almighty.

History of the temple- During Mahabharat era, once when Arjun, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains. Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place Baba Ganga Bharati has fired "Akhand Dhuni" (Sacred Fire). 

Descend from a flight of stairs at the backyard, cross a little bridge and treat yourself to a splash of cold water from the Himalayan river.  
Slippery in many places, its good to seat yourself on the big stones. Dip your feet in water and relax. The backdrop is perfect for few selfies too! hehe


Though the place is extremely relaxing and worth travelling a long distance, Indian tourists always disappoint big time! Needless to mention how they litter all places and prove their cheap traits. To add to all this, there were beer bottles  at a holy place! Only God knows why does the temple authority ignore this. Atleast  people should respect the place! 

Anyway, we left the place heading to The Kashmir House crossing the Kotwali bazaar where we shopped for local specialties. We filled our shopping bag with lemon and honey flavor green tea, coconut cookies and tangy apple jam, of which the latter is my favorite. 

We retired to our lovely hotel and unwind-ed before packing and leaving from Dharamsala the same night after an eventful weekend. Dharamsala and McLeodganj happily ticked on our travel list in two days :-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rohtang and Solang

Itinerary Day 2


We had booked a cab for Rohtang from Govt authorized Hiamchal Taxi Operators Office a day prior to Rohtang visit. Advisable to book from authorized operators who charge reasonably and drive responsibly. To know what all we explored on the first day, read here

Though we were a little disappointed on learning about the ban of snow activities, yet we were geared up for the next day trip to Rohtang Pass, 51 km from Manali. Since the snow had not touched the lower hills, we did not rent snow dress, which otherwise is a must have during heavy snowfall. Negotiate for your dress cost in the market, which may range from 200 to 500 INR per person. Do not rent from shacks just before Rohtang.

Snow-clad hilltops, clouds in the way, lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls added sparkle to our journey. Apart from the fixed rate of the taxi, we additionally paid a toll tax of INR 50 only. (No driver should charge you more than this). The entire route is maintained by BRO (Border Road organization). The curvy roads, at times bumpy and at times smooth, pass through a village named Marhi, which is the last village before Rohtang. Recommended to buy eatables or have meals here, since there are no shops in the 15 km stretch till Rohtang. The village has a Tibetan Temple  which is a good place for photo opportunities Pic courtesy- Hubby :-)

As we touched Rohtang base, frozen winds hit our ears hard. We trekked towards the snow top braving the rocky steeps. Wear gripping shoes, warm clothes and do not carry heavy bag pack with you. As oxygen levels are low in mountains, you might feel dizzy, breathless or heaviness in chest. Its 14000 feet above sea level after all. Advisable to trek up slowly with short breaks in between. Do not forget to sip water in short intervals. 

Snow falls up to a thickness of 12 feet in peak season, making it practically impossible to trek up. We were lucky enough to trek in offseason with good visibility and comparatively warmer weather. Trekking tests your endurance and gives you an unforgettable lifetime experience. When you see the clouds playing hide &seek with the Sun, mount tops painted with snow, plush green hills disappearing in foggy blanket, herds of sheep grazing, massive yaks walking past and vibrant hues of mountain plants, you start wondering how much nature has in abundance to offer, which we are ignorant of! The mesmerizing experience gives a shudder in your body. You feel as if you have discovered something substantial or perhaps the substance of life. You suddenly want more; want to break free and carry on!  At least I felt so. While hubby faced a little difficulty in hiking up, he patiently went ahead, beyond his limit, just to accompany me. Such activities bonds people stronger, trust me!

Some distance from the snow at Rohtang
We halted at multiple spots to catch our breath, sip water and watch the beauty around. It feels out of the world. Every halt that we made felt like an eternity and we only wished time could stop. We relaxed, soaked in the warm sunshine, breathed in pure air and kept moving towards the zenith. Seeing the locals and other mountaineers trekking to the snow point, gives you a kick within. I wanted to go on, but stopped, as higher altitude multiplies the risks. Also, hubby was tired pertaining to less oxygen level. He was almost out of breath.

For many, trekking down seems an easy task. However, it is MORE difficult than what it looks like. While descending, your legs bear the maximum force to control and balance the body. Applying brakes to legs is more painful and difficult hence. Only good shoes can save you in such case. Be careful while stepping on stones for they might be slippery. The risk rises during snowfall. Expert guidance is needed there.

I enjoyed the journey to and fro as much I loved the trek to the peak. The entire experience gave me a different perspective of life. Following are the pictures that I took on the way to and back from Rohtang. 

Rohtang is an easy trek for beginners. One only needs to be alert and careful while trekking the mountain, especially when it snows. I finally ticked off Rohtang from my bucket list but do want to visit again. 


After a good 2.5 hours at Rohtang, we headed to Solang Valley, about 20 km from Rohtang. Had fun taking pictures among grazing sheep, colourful valleys till we reached a green pasture-land Solang Valley. Paragliding, Zorbing, snow scooters have been banned here as well. The only activity open was Ropeway Trolley Ride, which covers 3 km over a vast expanse of deodar and pine forests.

The view from the trolley is fantastic. However, each seat costs 500 INR, which I felt was a bit high.

Once you reach the hilltop, take a relaxing break in nature’s arms. The beautiful velvety stretch of little flowers, tall trees and trimmed grass makes the trolley ticket price worth it.

It is picture perfect and beautiful beyond words. Little benches have been planted in the bays for people to unwind. If only rope-way would operate whole night, I would have spent the whole night there. Reluctantly we descended the rope-way bidding goodbye to Solang.

The whole day trip left us refreshed and rejuvenated. We ended up with a stroll and late dinner on Mall Road, till we retired to the hotel room and crashed. This was on account of two days. To know about the third day, stay tuned for the next blog post. :-)