Travel and Culture

Travel and Culture

Have you been to the oldest museum in Mumbai yet?

Real museums are places where time is transformed into space. ~ Orhan Pamuk I have always enjoyed trips to museums. My penchant for a visit to museums goes back to my school days when our teachers would take us for trips to museums and gardens. In most of the cities that I have visited, I have gone to see the city museum to get a hang of the history and heritage of the place. I find the museums to be treasure houses of wealth where one gets to see and know how generations have lived and progressed through the ages, understand their way of life, and appreciate their art and culture. Furthermore, the entry to most of the museums is either free or highly subsidised. The oldest museum in Mumbai Last weekend, my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the oldest museum in Mumbai. Needless to say, I was more than happy at the suggestion. Off we went to see Mumbai’s city museum, which was first opened to the public in 1872 as Victoria and Albert Museum. The readers of this blog may recall that some time back I had written about my visit to the  Albert Hall Museum…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 3

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Continued from Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2 Part 1 can be found here : Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1 Afternoon Safari The second safari was in the afternoon. The zone allotted for our safari was Kanha. The gate, this time was far off from the resort. It would take about an hour to reach the forest. We started at 2.30 p.m.  The hot afternoon Sun was radiating its intense fury in the form of oppressive heat. With a scarf and hat on my head and a wet towel over my face, I endured the gruelling heat and the dry hot wind in the open gypsy. Somehow we managed to reach the forest gate. Inside the forest, it was much more manageable as the shadowy trees absorbed much of the heat. A stray hare or two would suddenly cross the road, and jungle fowl would crow cock – a- doodle –do every now and then.  During the drive, we caught the sight of birds such as the Black drongo, Golden oriole, White-rumped shama, Kingfisher and Indian rollers hovering between the trees.   Barasinga Deer While…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Continued from Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1 Morning Safari At 5 AM in the morning, there was a slight nip in the air. We had a cup of tea and were ready to leave for the morning safari. Two jeeps were booked for our group of 8 people, with each jeep accommodating four people, and a driver. As we got into the Gypsy earmarked for us, the attendants handed out blankets to us. The jungle, they said, is cold in the morning. And, so we set out for our jungle sojourn. The National park is divided into 4 zones – Kanha, Kisli, Mukki and Sarhi. It took us around 15 minutes to reach the Mukki Gate. As early as 5.30 AM, there were already 8-10 vehicles lined in front of us. At the gate, a guide from the Forest Department accompanied us on the Gypsy and we entered the Kisli Zone. As soon as we entered the forest, we could feel the fresh morning breeze. On either of the road were sal and bamboo forests, with an undergrowth of wild grass and thorny bushes. We could hear different bird songs coming…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Summer, they say, is the best season for wildlife sightings. The scorching summer heat dries up the water sources in the forests, affecting the animals and birds. So, these denizens of the forest frequently gather around the waterholes to quench their thirst, after those are refilled by the Forest Department.  “A good tiger sighting would more than make up for the sweltering heat.” This piece of advice from a trusted friend made us agree to plan for a Jungle Safari to Kanha National Park, in Madhya Pradesh, in the month of April last year. We knew that the trip would require us to brave the soaring mercury levels. A thrilling sensation of adventure took over as we as we set out for our trip to Raipur from Mumbai. We would soon be heading for the jungle, which provided the inspiration for the tales of Mowgli and Bagheera in Kipling’s Jungle Book.

Travel and Culture

Jaipur: My solo trip – Part II

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Continued from Jaipur: My first impressions. Jantar Mantar “Jantar Mantar” meaning “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens” is situated right opposite the City Palace in Jaipur. Coming out of the gates of City Palace, I stopped at the ticket window to purchase the entry tickets to the observatory. As I entered I found that the observatory complex is a large one, and has a collection of several (19 in all) architectural astronomical instruments that had been constructed in the early 18th century, with stone, marble and bronze. These devices were used to measure time and space, and for observing the astronomical positions of planets and stars. One of the instruments was the world’s biggest stone sundial, which gives the local time with an accuracy of 2 seconds.   Of particular interest to me were twelve instruments, known as Zodiacic Circles, which were used for measuring the latitude and longitude of celestial bodies. There are twelve such instruments corresponding to each zodiac sign.

Travel and Culture

Jaipur: My first impressions

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   On the last post ‘Why women should travel alone at least once,’ many readers shared their valuable thoughts, highlighting things that may seem obvious but nonetheless are very crucial for female travelers. Mabel Kwong, who is an avid traveler, pointed out that while preparing for solo travel, she plans very thoroughly and checks out if the place has been in news recently for any wrong reasons. I couldn’t have agreed more. Monica, a travel consultant understands the initial fear of some of her clients to travel solo, and feels happy when she helps them to overcome their fear. Jennifer Jeneu finds solo travel empowering. Em Aboard believes that you definitely take in your surroundings much more when you travel alone. ‘Travelling solo helps us to connect with self and the surrounding with equal vigor,’ says Nihar Pradhan. True that! Being in a different place and in a different context helps us to see things in a new light, and being on our own makes us more perceptive to our surroundings. Based on our perceptions of the place, we form our impressions of the place. In this post, I share my impressions of the city of Jaipur, while…

Travel and Culture

Solo Travel: Why women should travel alone at least once

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   It’s been an exceptionally long break of about two weeks from blogging for me. Just in case you are wondering where I had disappeared, here I am back before the year end, scribbling down my thoughts. Resuming after a break sometimes becomes a bit challenging, but then I remembered the advice that I often dish out to others about blogging regularly, and pushed myself out of my self imposed hiatus. With the year coming to an end, my stream of ideas was somehow drying up. I was also yearning for a change and wanted to break away from my routine. But, with a new member in our house– a cat named Po, a family vacation is not feasible. Po happens to be an overtly sensitive creature, who is a source of constant amusement to us but he needs to see known faces around him and he cannot be left alone overnight.  

Travel and Culture
Travel and Culture
Travel and Culture

Karbi Anglong – An enchanting hill district of Assam

By Bhudeb Chakrabarti Karbi Anglong, meaning Hills of Karbi people is one of the two autonomous hills districts of Assam. It has a blend of thickly forested hills, dense tropical rain forests and flat plains with three-fourth of the area being covered by forests. I got the opportunity to visit Karbi Anglong a few years back. I was lucky to go to some of the remotest places and meet and talk to the people. Here I share my observations on the enchanting land. Image Source  

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