Quick getaway places in Maharashtra to beat the heat this summer

Nestled in the tranquil mountains of Sahyadri range and the Western Ghats, Maharashtra is home to several hill stations with pristine natural beauty and peaceful surrounding. These hill stations are quick getaway destinations from the hustle and bustle of the city which allow the travellers to enjoy the fresh air that refreshes mind, body and soul. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation brings the coolest places for this summer vacation to enjoy the scenic beauty.

Mahabaleshwar

Zigzag roads, gushing cool breeze, vantage points with spectacular valley and buzzing flea market is the reason why one must visit Mahabaleshwar. One of the many highpoints of going to this place is to visit the strawberry ranches in and around the beautiful hill station.

Mahabaleshwar

How to get there

By Air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Pune airport. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India.

By Rail: The nearby railway network is Satara, which is around 55 km away while the major railway junction is at Pune, 120 km

By Road: Many state transport buses go to Mahabaleshwar or one can also opt for private transport

Things to do and see:   

  • For the adrenaline rush, one can enjoy horse riding. For first-timers, this might be a bit of a task but it can certainly add a little adventure to their trip
  • Pratapgad Fort is just 22 kilometres from Mahabaleshwar and is positioned 1,080 meters above sea level, overlooking the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar
  • Elephant’s Head Point is one of the finest points where the overhanging cliffs look like an elephant’s head and trunk
  • Mahabaleshwar Temple, a prominent landmark for tourists, has Lord Shiva as its deity

Where to stay:

MTDC Resorts in Mahabaleshwar offers a comfortable stay overlooking nature’s beauty.

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 Matheran

Extremely popular for its stunning views of the Western Sahyadris, Matheran is a hill station just about 100 km from Mumbai. Its proximity to the city makes it one of the most frequented holiday getaways for Mumbaikars. The climate is always pleasing, allowing a bunch of activities suitable for all age groups. Indeed, one of the best places for a stress-free vacation!

How to get there

By Air: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai which is at a distance of around 100 km from Matheran is the nearest airport

By Rail: Matheran railway station is linked to most major cities and it is also connected with Mumbai and Pune railway junctions. Tourist can step down at Neral to head towards Matheran.

By Road: Mumbai and Pune are connected to Matheran through the Mumbai Pune Expressway

Things to do and see:

  • One can experience a majestic view of the sunrise at the Panorama Point in Matheran
  • Enjoy a remarkable view of the city and the remains of Prabal and Vishalgad Fort
  • Matheran is home to a diverse species of monkeys and langurs
  • Rambagh point is one of the most prominent picnic spots, offering a remarkable view of Karjat and Khandal

Where to stay:

MTDC Resorts in Matheran is located amidst lush green hills and valleys which offers a relaxed stay.

A Selfie a DAY, keeps memories AFLOAT, MOBIISTAR, leads the way!!

I don’t remember how and when I became SELFIE buff, so much so that I want to capture at least 4-5 special moments a week, be it with family, friends, office colleagues, occasion, non-occasion, or just clicking myself sipping morning tea. I have always believed in preserving memories, however mundane they seem now, but believe me few years down the line, they merit becoming special memories. The addiction rather fascination for selfies has been thickened by my colleague Bhagyashree and daughter Tanya. We love to take selfies at the slightest pretext, no excuse needed, unabashedly, we take selfies when we are out when we are dressed up colour coordinated in office, gone out for simple lunch, birthday celebrations, travelling, not travelling, meetings, conferences…office functions, where not! I think they have become an integral part of our lives, they are our mirror image.

All selfies are special for me; some are very special but the one I am going to talk about is truly special.

The selfie was taken by my daughter Tanya’s class group, UPES, Dehradun where she is studying Design. The youngsters represent starry-eyed Designers of India, who want to paint the world with their thoughts, colours, designs and patterns. The smiling faces have dreams in their eyes and ambitions in their heart to make it big in life. All look chilled, relaxed and happy amidst themselves and dressed smartly. The Selfie speaks a million dreams that India is cherishing through the eyes of these youngsters. Today, academics is their life, tomorrow profession will be their lives…making India proud with their designs. India – the country of colours, designs, vibrancy owes a lot to these budding designers who are here to make a difference to India’s canvass of future. 

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The collage of selfies featuring above have been taken over a period of time, capturing various moments during work, after work, outings, conferences, meetings with colleagues Bhagyashree, Reena, Veena, Prabha Madhulika, Charmi, Fatima – part of one big family. We never let go any chance of clicking a selfie or getting clicked in a selfie.

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SUPERFINE SELFIE STAR – MOBIISTAR 

Now, I need a higher version and better phone to enable me to capture selfies, here & there, everywhere. Mobiistar looks like one phone which will remove hiccups from my selfie sprees which have a viewing angle of 120 degrees. It allows you to obtain a broader capture of your photo or video thanks to its sensor of 120 degrees, which makes more people enter a selfie or a group selfie and more elements when you shoot landscapes. It’s like you have a GoPro-type camera, but without that fish-eye effect. Mobiistar has done very well bringing features that, in many high-end phones, have not yet been able to see. The shots will leave good detail and above all black and white photos without equal in the market. Smartphone users expect better and better photographic experiences, especially in their selfies.

The Vietnamese handset brand Mobiistar is set to enter the Indian smartphone market soon and has decided to make India its global headquarters to run operations in other countries. Considering that 4G feature phone happened in India, and 4G is growing fast, this is the market where all the major things in the mobile industry are happening in India.

Flipkart has entered into an online exclusive partnership with brand Mobiistar to bring its devices to India, targeting the mid-segment device market. The Indian online retail giant says it is the right time to push feature phone users to upgrade to low-cost smartphones as the piece of low-cost data and availability of online content is finally fixed.

Henceforth Selfies with #mobiistar.

I am participating in the IndiBlogger  #Enjoymore Contest:  A selfie a day keeps forgetfulness away.

I am ready to order #Mobiistar on #Flipkart.

CTB MUSAFIR – Features 29 Women Travel Bloggers

MUSAFIR – Featuring 29 Travel Bloggers – Women only, brought to us by NIRVANA FOUNDATION – Initiative of Founder – Mr Mangesh Lad.

Tag Line: every mile a memory

29 Bloggers from all over India feature in the Coffee Table Book after a lot of research and screening of the blog posts which could be part of this Coffee Table Book, aimed at foreign tourists to encourage them to visit Indian destinations, known, unknown, unheard of. The objective of the book is to present India through the eyes and pen oops mouse of travel bloggers who have explored these destinations, spent time there and wrote about them, not some fictional account of the places. With this thought process, the book began…

As India endows cultural unity & diversity, histories of places & people, diversity of seasons & vegetation, genetics, cuisine, customs, religions, festivals, social attitudes, language and literature, music and arts, in no other way it could have been possible to feature it all in one book. Nirvana Foundation wanted to come up with a book through which they can present absolute India with the remotest villages, waterfalls, peaks, temples, adventures being detailed beautifully and travelled meticulously.

Speaking about the CTB Musafir, Mr Mangesh Lad expressed, “This book says something which is truly special about India, its unity & diversity, seasons & vegetations, cuisines & customs…

…the book has the same essence that will take you through the distinct and equally evolved, ethnicity and adventure that our country is blessed with.” 

Every blogger is different; every journey is different – bound by the same passion for travelling & writing. The Bloggers feature purely on the merit of their blog posts who are from divergence backgrounds like some are working professionals, writers, homemakers, students and from all walks of Life.

I Bienu Verma Vaghela feature in the book with my travel stories on Rann of Kutch, Sabarmati Ashram, Mandavi Beach, Road trip to Indo-Pak Border and Shakti Sthal in New Delhi. My travel blog is www.travel-knots.com with 500 posts, nearly 70,000 views and 35,000 visits. My interview appeared in American web magazine – Sprangled.com. I have covered many Malaysian destinations on special invitation of Malaysia Tourism, besides many countries and Indian destinations.

Some bloggers prominently featured are: Anjali Sethi Joshi ( www.travelrasoi.com) Bienu Verma Vaghela (www.travel-knots.com), Deepanwita Chakraborty ( www.dipanwita.com), Srilata Suman ( www.cloudninemiles.com) Manjulika Pramod ( www.manjulikapramod.com) Vidya Suri ( www.vidyasuri.com) Shoma Abhyankar ( www.astonishingindia.com) Hitha Nanjappa ( www.thelostlander.wordpress.com) Deena Pinto ( www.skinnygirldierez.com) and the likes.

The 260 Page book is a compilation of Travel Blog Posts from the archives of travel bloggers. The book takes you through destinations across India right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, many rare destinations from far-flung even near inhabited places.

The book witnessed high – profile launch at Hotel Orchid Mumbai on April 29, 2018 where Mr Mangesh Lad spoke about his latest initiative Ab Ek Goonj, many celebrities and almost all bloggers featured in the CTB attended the launch. An interesting panel discussion was also held amidst travel bloggers during the launch.

Please wait for the new & brilliant initiative of Nirvana Foundation, helmed by Mr Mangesh Lad – Ab Ek Goonj. More power to WOMEN!

 

 

This summer head to ND’s Film World, near Mumbai

ND’s Film World, first of its kind Bollywood theme park in Karjat (64 Kms. from Mumbai), offers visitors a platform to fulfil their filmy dreams and much more. Visitors can explore their favourite film characters and sets of super-hit films like Jodha Akbar, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Jail, Indu Sarkar and many more. Everything is larger than life here and India’ first Bollywood theme park very well lives up to the tag line: Jeelo Apni Filmy Khwahishein. Not only that, visitors can also dress like their favourite Bollywood stars and there is a 20 percent discount on the entry fee from Monday to Wednesday.

ND Art World Pvt Limited was started in 2002 by the veteran art director Shri. Nitin Chandrakant Desai to create a foothold in the entertainment industry. Shri. Desai started his career as an art director with Tamas and then moved on to the big screen. He worked on a variety of films winning many national awards for his early works. In 2005, he started ND, a film and television production studio, in Karjat. At ND Studios, he has created a place where there are no restrictions for art to flourish. The studio offers a unique proposition as it provides services for all stages of Film production, from the initial stage of storyboarding to the final stage of VFX.

As Nitin Desai started out as a production designer, he believes in giving attention to every detail of his design, in a similar way he believes that every production-taking place in ND Studios should have minute attention to detail and he wants to guide artists to make the film that they want to make. ND’s Art World has the vision to intersect tourism, media and entertainment industry through India’s first and only entertainment theme park, which is just a few hours’ drive from Mumbai and Pune. This Park is the perfect getaway, which allows visitors to fulfil their filmy wishes and promote Bollywood tourism. You can visit:  http://www.nitindesaiartworld.com

ND’s Film World reservation number – 02192 273354.

When:  Monday to Wednesday (Summer offers), Timings –  10.00 AM to 7.00 PM

Take your children who have a creative streak in them.

Pracheen Hanuman Temple in Nayi Dilli!

We recently visited Pracheen Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place after a gap of four years. However, I always make sure that I visit this unique temple, whenever I am in Delhi, but it doesn’t always happen. This time, the trip was planned in such a way that Hanuman Mandir visit must happen and it happened. Early morning trip to the temple is really divine experience and I was very happy being there after a gap of so many years.

I always give complete look at the main foyer of the temple which has massive silver plated doors, which are engraved with scenes of the epic Ramayana story. The foyer is ventilated with clerestory windows that are adorned with paintings of Hanuman in the cardinal directions depicting his four aspects. Below each Hanuman painting, the full text of Tulsidas’s Sundar Kand is inscribed on the marble tablets affixed on the walls. It is a great feeling to watch it all…

…I experienced some real nostalgic moments as soon as I entered the temple, which I use to visit many years ago while my stint at BHEL and Mummy use to join me every Tuesday morning to visit the temple. Praying at the temple, made us sail through many challenges in life like the untimely death of my father, and circumstances followed thereon. As everything passes away, so did the tough times but temple visits stayed with us.

It is my favourite religious destination and I miss that most in my life while living in Mumbai besides many other things like evenings in Connaught Place, Shopping in Sarojini Nagar, Dilli Haat, Dilli Chaat, Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan, Lodhi Gardens…my beautiful house in Mayur Vihar.  Life has to move on…though! As a ritual, I applied mehndi from the mandir’s mehndi waali and did some bangle shopping in the bangle bazaar in Mandir campus. The bangles sold there can only match the ones being sold in Jaipur’s manihari bazaar.

For the uninitiated, Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place, New Delhi, is an ancient (pracheen in Sanskrit) Hindu temple and is claimed to be one of the five temples of Mahabharata days in Delhi. The idol in the temple, devotionally worshipped as “Sri Hanuman Ji Maharaj” (Great Lord Hanuman), is that of Bala Hanuman namely, Hanuman as a child. The temple, which has a self-manifest idol of Hanuman, has an unusual feature fixed in the spire (Viman) in the form of a crescent moon (an Islamic symbol) instead of the Hindu symbol of Aum or Sun that is commonly seen in most Hindu temples. This became particularly important during the Mughal period corroborating this extraordinary depiction.

The Sanctum Sanctorum, which houses the Hanuman idol, is on the north wall on the right side of the entry foyer (pictured), with the idol facing the southern direction in a small bass Relief carving (pictured). Images of Radha and Krishna, a central triumvirate of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita are also installed to the right of the Hanuman idol on the same wall. As the idol of Hanuman faces the southern direction, devotees can discern only one eye of the idol. The idol depicts a Gada (mace or club) in the left hand with the right hand crossed across the chest showing veneration to the adjacent idol of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. A tapering crown adorns the idol, which has a sacred thread on the right shoulder and is clad in a fashioned dhoti. Hanuman. The height of the temple is reported to be 108 ft (32.9 m). The ceiling of the main mandap (hall or pavilion) depicts the epic story of Ramayana artistically painted.

Whenever you are in New Delhi next, don’t miss visiting this great abode of Hanumanji.

Source: Hanumantempledelhi.com

& the Baraat Beckons!

Coming back to where I had left on Arjun’s Wedding!

It was in a long time I was going to be part of a family baraat. The concept of baraat is not that strong in Mumbai as you are invited to the venue – Hall (Read: Hole by Gujaratis),  straight for the reception, hand over Cover ( Read: Shagan) and finally Jaman ( Banquets). Your visit to marriage is over.  But that is not the case in North India, we all love to be part of baraat, welcomed by Ladkiwalas, enjoy some good music, catch up with long lost relatives, have fun with friends, cousins…welcome bride to the mandap and then finally jaimaal.  Of course, baraat procession is to watch out for. You can dance your heart out, or if you can’t dance, you can watch people dancing!

After rocking sangeet, the day came for Baraat, for which all of us were quite excited. After ceremonious sehrabandi, Gurchari and temple visit, the baraat left for the venue in singing and dancing mode. The crowds danced like as if no one is watching to Bhangra beats, hip-hops wat not. Music was loud, but we all loved it. Arjun was looking every inch a Prince in the Chariot and Jijaji, handsome father of Prince ( So you understood who) and Vandana, proud mom of Dulha.

The bride looked resplendent in beautiful designer maroon velvet lehenga, complimenting the outfit of the groom and they made a breathtakingly handsome couple, much in love, they proceeded for the Jaimaal.

In between all this and more, we enjoyed sumptuous cuisine spread laid out by Leela Palace banquets.

Coming to fashion trends, heavily embroidered lehengas are in vogue mostly in pastel shades, teamed with just one heavy neckpiece. Tanvi, Arjun’s sister looked like a princess in her ivory, gold and dabka work lehenga with her doll Omairra in tow, probably in a designer one.

For me, Designer Yashi, suggested Lehenga for me for the first time for baraat, though I was quite apprehensive about her choice. But she convinced me and selected a teal colour raw silk lehenga with pure georgette dupatta, straight cut outfit. She styled, stitched and sent the Triveni Set for me, which I could not even try due to the paucity of time and watch yourself, how beautiful it complimented me.  Never before, I had received so many compliments on the choice.

Please watch the breathtakingly beautiful performances by Egyptian troupe put – up for the Saxena & Sharma family members.

Truly a memorable one!

 

To be or not to be in Arjun’s Marriage?

After a long time, my cousin Vandana broke the news of her son Arjun’s marriage, in the end, January 2018, which we have been keenly waiting. My joy knew no bounds about the news, as it offered meeting my maasis, maasas, maamas, maamis, naana, naanis, nieces, nephews, grand-children Omairra and a whole lot of my nanihaal side brethren, moreover another chance of visiting my hometown New Delhi

As February approached, in office the dates of Real-Estate Golden Pillar Awards were announced and lo and behold the date finalised was April 24. Though I had booked tickets for April 24 to attend Sangeet on April 25 and marriage on 26th April but my hopes really dashed with the awards dates. Still maintaining the eerie silence on the mental dilemma – to be or not to be in Arjun’s marriage took a heavy toll on my thinking. One side was official responsibilities and on other side was family commitment. I announced at home, it looks impossible but let’s hope against hope, some miracle to happen. And it really happened, after a lot of deliberations, dates got shifted to May 5. I took a breather and started preparations for THE marriage in my nanihaal – my nephew!

Before leaving, I tried to complete as much work as possible amidst preparations of marriage. Still, it was looking impossible to leave as a lot of work remained on my plate and I was discouraged no end by some quarters. But I must say that my teammates Bhagyashree, Reena and Fatima took all on them and made sure that I left for Delhi joyfully. The trip is dedicated to them and not to miss the mention of my colleague T.D. Joseph who made sure that I attend this marriage. Amidst all this and more, I left for Delhi in my favourite train Rajdhani Express…for rest you read below:

I would like to make special mention of TriveniEthnics’ Ms Yashi Kavita Das who took the onus of my styling for sangeet and baraat by selecting, designing, stitching and delivering me the appropriate outfits for this special occasion. It took off so much burden from my head. An off-white lehenga teamed with electric blue dupatta with sequins all over was decided for sangeet which turned out to be a big hit amidst ladies’ present. It looked sober and bright at the same time and I was successful in achieving that Chennai Express look. The outfit is so light that it provided me utmost comfort while dancing, even doing some major steps.

Now comes evening full of fun, frolic, music, dance and dining and winning. Vandana and Jijaji made sure that guests had a great time during their son’s sangeet. DJ belted out some great musical medleys, bhangra beats to new songs, old songs and some very old songs. Jijaji dancing for her wife, Vandana, Ae Meri Zohra Jabin…la Amrish Puri style made for quite a performance. Me Jijaji and Meeta Pandey dancing on Kajra re Kajra re tere kare kare naina followed by me and Meeta dancing Kaun Pardesi tera dil le gaya and Arjun taking the cake with his performance, Chandani o meri chandani ( Bride’s name Chandani). Dimpy and Rimpy matching the steps on heavy-duty bhangra beats and Raja with lovely wife putting up some heave duty dancing was a sight to watch out for. Music was great, food was sumptuous and enthusiasm of the family noticeable.

Amidst all this and more, we danced till 1 PM in the night only to prepare for some great fun in baraat following day, accompanied with my husband Mukund. 

 

 

 

 

Let’s TOGETHER Make MUMBAI GREEN!

How a small initiative turned into a major movement!

From last many years I have been nurturing a desire to contribute something to the society but could never figure out how to accomplish this secret desire. Whenever I expressed this to my circle of friends and acquaintances, they discouraged me saying – this coming from fashion, lifestyle & travel journalist – तुमसे न हो पायेगा!

I never believed in the saying: अगर आपकी कोई इच्छा है, तो सारी कायनात उसे पूरा करने में जुट जाती है! Till Mission Green Mumbai happened in my life.

I still vividly remember my first call to Subhajit Mukherjee sometime in July 2017 few days before Change of Guard when Mr Mayur Shah was taking over as President, CREDAI – MCHI in a grand ceremony at Taj. He is a man on a mission to make Mumbai, Green, Cleaner & Skilled abode for all Mumbaikars. I had noticed him working on Link Road where he was relocating trees from the Metro route. After speaking to him, I was delighted to note that he was the same person, working for the cause of Mumbai & Mumbaikars!

It was decided to honour Mr Subhajit Mukherjee for his immense contribution towards Green Mumbai during the function. I invited Mr Mukherjee for the same and he happily obliged. He was there on time, smiling and friendly Subhajit accompanied by shy wife struck a chord immediately with all of us. & the association rolled & there was no looking back since!

In association with our Women’s wing we planted trees at various venues in Mumbai but unfortunately, I could not join this activity and I still regret that.

Then followed CREDAI – MCHI Maha Property Expo in November, where Subhajit offered to distribute free saplings to all the participants and the visitors attended the program. The initiative turned out to be super hit with visitors and Subhajit happily interacted and encouraged them to take selfies at the selfie booth. I must say, with his Green Mission, he became a star attraction.

Now, it seems that time has come for my DREAM!

Our organization CREDAI – MCHI has collaborated with Mission Green Mumbai (NGO) to plant 1 lakh trees all over Mumbai, which I am anchoring and have associated with this GREEN initiative of our organization. On Earth Day on April 22, we are undertaking tree – plantation and beach – cleaning drive at Dadar Beach where Mr Aaditya Thackeray, President – Yuva Sena will be Chief Guest. Since his confirmation, the occasion has taken the form of a movement with many celebrities like Dia Mirza and Shibani Kashyap joining in. INS Hamla lending logistic support, this is for the first time that they have lent support to any Civilian program.

Led by our President, Mr Mayur Shah, many Managing Committee Members would be planting coconut trees on the beach.

The seed of this program was germinated by our ideas man T. D.Joseph. You are invited to join the green initiative on Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) at Dadar Beach between 8:00 am and 11:00 am.  Your efforts will have the support of other concerned leaders, organizations, NGO and media representatives who will also be present.

Let’s all work together to make Mumbai a Greener and Cleaner City.  Your presence is much needed to encourage citizens to keep beaches clean, increase the green cover and stop the use of single-use plastic products.

I am closely associated with this program, why don’t you too, whichever you want to!

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर लोग साथ आते गये और कारवां बनता गया

This is for Subhajit Mukherjee! Knowing him has brought in me an attitudinal change towards our social responsibility of making Mumbai Green which we want our future generations to inherit. It is my good fortune to have known him and associating with him.

Let’s Plant Trees/Adopt a Plant Together/You are needed to do your bit for Mumbai

 

 

 

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This early piece of morning is MINE, can be YOURS too!

Walk your way to good health!

I am a great proponent of “Morning Walk” but I don’t know of anyone around me, whom I have inspired by my lectures on benefits of a morning walk. Though some of my friends have started travelling inspired by my travelogues on the blog, for morning walks resistance is higher. We all know that walking is beneficial for the overall health of the being…

…I started walking some 25 years ago, without really thinking about its direct or even fringe benefits. I just liked walking, the peace, the breeze, the ideas, the mental & physical synergy, the fellow walkers…all added value to my walking regimen. I remember going with my father as a young girl, who used to walk much faster than me, but it was good fun catching him. After which it became a habit with me. Moreover, being over-weight, I always thought, walking balances it all. I remain fit, physically energetic and mentally more agile. When Baba Ramdev emerged on the scene, I added deep breathing to my regimen inspired by his Yoga Sessions.

Times changed and “Wellness” became a fad, morning walk attained new dimensions, suddenly we could see walkers in branded track pants, T-shirts and keds in all colonies/parks / jogging tracks walking briskly with mobile and earphone in tow. Conventionally, earlier morning walk was associated with old people (Subah ki Sair), who needed to pass time after retirement. With changing times, millennial generation made a morning walk fashionable. I am sure morning walk has become pan Indian phenomenon with people of all strata of society jumping the fray…old people, not so old people, young people, college students, boys & girls, ladies & gentlemen and children, the whole lot. Reasons for everyone’s walk may vary, but the objective is the same to attain mental & physical fitness. I have many fellow walkers who have been walking in the same park with me for over 15 years. Not all walk, some do yoga, some exercise, some do deep breathing, some just enjoy morning breeze, some listen to music and some are there to gossip. My reason for walking doesn’t include any of the above as it has been more of a habit and ritual with me which has benefitted me immensely. I set my day’s work during the morning walk, all creative ideas cross my mind then and fitness, that is for everybody to see. I am more energetic and creatively inspired than colleagues nearly half my age, more so hardly any medical leaves in my career. Can I ask for more?

Indeed, there are some tangible and intangible benefits of walking like: If you are diabetic, 30 minutes’ walk enables you to maintain glucose levels. It is strongly advised by all doctors. Walking combined with good sleep and a healthy diet can do away doctor in your life. You will be astonished to find out that good old walking is a single practice which could significantly benefit the whole body and mind. It’s free, easy and requires little effort. Waking up early morning and drag yourself out to the park is quite an effort though.

According to the American Heart Association, walking is no less effective than running when it comes to the prevention of heart-related disease or stroke. This activity helps avoid heart problems by lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improving blood circulation.

Walking is an aerobic exercise which increases oxygen flow in the bloodstream and helps train your lungs, as well as eliminate toxins and waste. Because of better and deeper breathing, some symptoms associated with lung disease may also be relieved.

Muscle tone and weight loss (in overweight cases) may also be achieved through walking. The practice of walking 10,000 steps a day may be counted as an actual workout in a gym, especially if you add some intervals or walking uphill. Additionally, it’s low impact and there’s no recovery time, which means no sore muscles and regrets for missing tomorrow’s workout due to being too sore the next day.

Walking can provide more joint mobility, prevent loss of bone mass, and even reduce the risk of fractures. The Arthritis Foundation recommends walking moderately at least 30 minutes a day on a regular basis to reduce pain in your joints, along with stiffness and inflammation.

Mushrooming of gyms all over the place shows that for any benefit, we are ready to pay a hefty price, but we will not value those things which are freely available to us. So set – up your alarm, sport your walking gear & get set go!

If my post inspires, even one person around me, I am happy.

Hope Reena is listening oops reading!

 

 

 

Ajmer: The abode of the holy shrine – Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti

Last night while watching Travel XP, I noticed they were showing a Dargah, which looked very familiar to me and my joy knew no bounds when I came to know that it was none other than famed Dargah of Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.

I have very fond childhood memories of visiting Dargah when my chacha (father’s younger brother) use to take us while we visited him during our summer vacations in our school days. I was very fascinated by the shrine as it had very divine and serene atmosphere with a huge congregation of devotees always. Childhood memories became vivid as the show moved on, I recollected visiting all these places as a child but unfortunately could not visit in a long time, though I always long to visit the place especially for Dargah.

Any tourist visiting the state of Rajasthan cannot afford to miss the Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah in Ajmer besides many other things which beautiful city of Ajmer has to offer. It is old saying that people who visit Ajmer Sharif and pray with pure faith and loyalty at his Dargah will free their soul. Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti is also known by different names as, Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, “Sultan-Ul-Hind”, Khwaja Baba, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Ajmeri, Khwaja Sahib, Khwaja Saheb, Khwaja Ajmeri Saint Moinuddin Chishty. The Dargah Khawaja Gharibnawaz ( R.A) has several tombs, buildings, Daalaans and courtyards are of  Mughal architecture. As a child, the big degchi fascinated me the most where tons of rice was cooked for Chadava and devotees. I always wondered how they would be cooking in such a huge vessel and that still remains a mystery.

Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ajmer Dargah, Ajmer Sharif or Dargah Sharif is a Sufi shrine (Dargah) of a Sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti located in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India. The shrine has the grave (Maqbara) of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chisti. The dargah of Moinuddin Chishti (Gharib Nawaz -Benefactor of the Poor), is an international waqf, an Islamic mortmain managed by the Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act, 1955 of the Government of India.

Ajmer Sharif Dargah is 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from the main central Ajmer Railway station and situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, and consists of several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Akbari Mosque, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It contains the domed tomb of the saint.

Akbar and his queen used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow when he prayed for a son. The large pillars called “Kose (‘Mile’) Minar”, erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) along the entire way between Agra and Ajmer mark the places where the royal pilgrims halted every day. It has been estimated that around 150,000 pilgrims visit the site every day.

The main gate to the shrine is the Nizam Gate, followed by the Shahjahani Gate, erected by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. In turn, it is followed by the Buland Darwaza, built by Sultan Mahmood Khilji, upon which is hoisted the urs flag, marking the beginning of the death anniversary rituals.

So if you are planning a trip to Rajasthan, do pay obeisance to the holy shrine in Ajmer and achieve that unique divine experience.

Source: Wikipedia

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