After visiting Jallianwala Bagh we did some shopping. Like any other girls of 25 years, we were crazy for shopping and bought a lot of items from the market. Street shopping is another thing that we loved most. After spending two hours on shopping, we went back to the hotel and had lunch. Having rested for a while, we went off to Wagha Border, which is the only road border between India and Pakistan. The border is on the G. T. Road, between Amritsar in Punjab, India and Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan. It is 27 km from Amtitsar and 29 km from Lahore. It is open on all days of the week from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. You need not pay any entry fee to visit the place. We had a cab to take us to the border. The cab was stopped about 500 m from the border and we had to walk for the rest of the distance.
A lot of people had already gathered to view the flag lowering ceremony conducted at the border every day at sunset. As we reached early, we got seats in the visitor’s gallery and sat down at the Ladies Exclusive area to watch the ceremony. Soon all the seats were filled and a lot of people were standing in small crowds. As cameras were allowed, I had my camera ready in my hand to take photographs. The flag ceremony started at 5.50 pm.
First there was a parade by the soldiers from both the countries and then the iron gates are opened. One soldier stands at the iron gate of each country. As the sun sets, the gates open and the flags are lowered simultaneously and folded. After the flags are folded, the soldiers from either side of the border shake hands brusquely and then retreat, closing the iron gates. Lots of people from India and Pakistan, and also international tourists, come here to witness the ceremony. It was a spectacular sight and I took many photographs of the ceremony. As we walked back to the cab, we had tea and snacks from the roadside restaurants. We got in to the cab and were soon off to our hotel.
Qila Mubarak : Our next stop in patiala was the qila mubarak. This is a beautiful palace that is situated in Patiala. Since my friend “asha” has never been to punjab. She was quite thrilled to witness the Punjabi architecture for the first time. This palace was built in 1763 by Baba Ala Singh who was also the founder of Patiala dynasty.
The incident at Jallianwalla Bagh constitutes one of the dark chapters in the history of India. It was here that thousands of innocent Indians were massacred heartlessly by the British. It makes you wonder how people can be so cruel and hard to their fellow beings. We went to visit the place on the second day of our visit in Amritsar. The park was open for the public from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm and as we reached the place, it was already busy with lots of tourists.
We entered through a narrow lane that lead the park wondering what lay inside. We saw a memorial inside, which was built and inaugurated in 1961 by Rajendra Prasad, who was the president then. Later on a flame was added, which we saw, was made of red brick and stood to a height of 45 foot. It was made in the shape of a flame and is called the Flame of Liberty. We also walked past the Martyr’s gallery.
The guide who accompanied us gave us a brief picture of what happened on 13th April, 1919. It was the day before the Baisakhi festival, which was one of the major festivals in Punjab. The park was usually used for meetings and protests during those times. So, as usual, a meeting was going on in the park in protest against the Rowlatt Act. A lot of man, women and children were there in the park. It was a very peaceful meeting and more than 10,000 people took part in it. Suddenly fire was opened on them by General Reginald Dyer and his troop of soldiers. The park had houses and buildings around it and had only a few narrow entrances, most of which were kept locked permanently. The main entrance was blocked by the British soldiers. So the poor people had no place to escape. Some tried to escape through other lanes and got killed in the stampede that occurred. Many of them jumped in to the well inside the park and got killed. Thousands of people were killed and injured for no reason.
The story was very saddening and we made us realize the hardships taken to attain independence.
Anyone who visits Amritsar is sure to visit the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib, the sacred place of the Sikhs. On the day we reached Amritsar, we went to visit the temple in the evening. It was only 2 km from the hotel where we stayed and there was free cab service from the hotel to the temple. We got on to the cab and reached the temple shortly. The sight of the temple was so beautiful that we stood in front of it, mesmerized by it grandeur. It was golden in color and reflected in the evening sunlight. The architecture of the temple was unique to its own, built in white marble and coated with gold. It was more than 400 years old and is one of the most visited places in India.
The temple is surrounded by a lake called Sarovar and there are four entrances to the temple. Before entering the temple premises we had to remove our shoes and wash our feet in a pool of water. People also had to keep their heads covered when entering the temple. Adi Grantha, the sacred book of the Sikhs, was put on a platform decorated with jewels. The temple was open to all people, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. Inside the Gurudwara there were shrines dedicated to the Sikh Gurus and saints. We also saw many memorial plaques in the name of Sikh gurus and saints. The verses from the scripture were chanted in the temple throughout the day and it could be heard from a distance. We sat down and listened to the melodious sond for some time. Each verse had a meaning and it taught us a lot about our life and how to lead a meaningful life.
The kitchen in the Gurudwara was a large one and it served meals to thousands of visitors daily. The dining hall had the capacity to accommodate 35,000 people at a time. Here people from all walks of life sat together and had their food. The visit did not take long and soon we were on our way back to the hotel.
Suspension Bridge at Sheesh Mahal, Patiala : I was in Punjab to attend my college friend's wedding. I took one of my work colleagues with me. Since she was from Tamil nadu we thought of taking her to small tour. The first destination in our list was the suspension bridge at sheesh mahal in Patiala. This beautiful palace was built by Maharaja of Patiala, Narendra Singh.
Traveling with my friends is one of my passions and whenever I get a break from my busy schedule of working as an architect, I go out visiting new places. Being a foodie, I never forget to taste the local cuisines at each place I visit. Camping, yoga and meditation, photography etc are some of my other hobbies that I share with my friends. This time it was to Amritsar that we planned to go. Choosing budget travel, I booked the ticket for all the four of us in Amritsar Express well ahead of our travel. Train travel from Agra Cantt (AGC) to Amritsar Junction (ASR) by Amritsar Express takes less than a day.
The departure time of the train from Agra station was at 12.16 at midnight. I packed all my things in the morning, taking care not to forget my SLR camera, as I have the habit of taking photographs wherever I go. I had my dinner at 9 pm and set off to the railway station at 11.00 am. I reached the station 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the train. My friends were already in the station and we all waited eagerly for the train to arrive. The train arrived at 12.10 pm and we all got in, waving good bye tour parents. I had booked our tickets in AC two tier and soon we were seated on our respective seats, excited and looking forward to our visit in Amritsar.
The train had a halt in the station for 8 minutes and then took off at the correct time. We sat and talked for a while, too excited to go to sleep. However, after a while we were all sleepy and went off to sleep. I got up late in the morning, at about 9.00 am. I saw that we were about to reach Ambala Cant Junction, and soon the train came to a halt at the station. Since it had a halt there for 20 minutes, we all got down and had a cup of coffee and some snacks.
Our train travel from Agra Cantt (AGC) to Amritsar Junction (ASR) by Amritsar Express came to an end at 4.30 pm, when we reached Amritsar Junction.
Hi friends, I am back with the recipe for delicious Agra Petha. I love it so I thought I must share the recipe with people who follow my blog. I am a foodie and this recipe is a special dedication to all those who follow my blog. I have made this at home and it turned out really well. Enjoy preparing this lovely Agra speciality. Do not forget to add your own special touch to make it all the more delicious.
Petha/ Ash Gourd- 1 kg
Alum Powder- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
Method of Preparation
The yummy Agra Petha is now ready. It takes barely 30-40 minutes to prepare the famous Agra Petha. The quantity prepared can be used to serve four people. This is a wonderful vegetarian dessert and can be easily prepared.
Do tell me how you find the recipe. Also, send me your valuable feedbacks.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal : Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya Bhopal is one of those popular attractions that never cease to impress. I only had around 30 minutes to check out this place as I reached there just in time for closing. Also known as National Museum of Mankind, it shows the lifestyle of various tribal communities. The museum is necessary visit!
It was the sixth and last day of our holidays in Bhopal. We had already spent about one week in Bhopal and still it was hard to believe that the entire trip had come to an end. On the last day, I got up early in the morning and all five of us checked out from the hotel and headed towards the Raisen Fort. The Fort is one of the repositories in Bhopal that contains remains of few buildings, mosques and schools in Bhopal which were most probably built in the medieval period.
Don’t know whether the name of the district came from the Raisen Fort or the name of the fort came from Raisen district, but the term Raisen refers to a huge fort which was located on the top of a hill. The fort came into existence very long back in the year 1200 AD. The fort was under the ruling arm of Hindus in India, or more precisely the Rajputs. But later it was taken up by Nawabs of Bhopal in the year 1760.
Other than the name Raisen Fort, the architecture is also known as Hazrat Peer Fatehullah Shah Baba who was an acknowledged Muslim saint. The place is believed to be one of the most sacred places of Bhopal as people keep faith that their wishes get fulfilled in this pilgrim place. There are several caves which depict wall paintings drawn from the ancient period by the artisans. Apart from the Durgha, there are temples and palaces built adjacent to each other. The large water reservoirs, number of well decorated and painted walls and domes increase the value of the place to a much larger extent. There are about 40 wells located inside the fort itself which represents a very good water management methodology. The history of Raisen can be dated back to many centuries which unfold newer discoveries every time.
Shaukat Mahal & Sadar Manzil : Hi folks! This is just a frontal view of the classic Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil. This is one of the most outlandish structures I have come across in recent times. Interestingly, it is a perfect blend of exquisite post-renaissance and gothic style architecture that has lent a unique character to this fantastic creation. Its more beautiful in reality.
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A big hello to everyone here... I am 'the' Geeta Sharma, a young, vibrant, and fun-loving girl from Agra. As a kid, tall buildings always inspired me and now as I type, I myself have attained a master’s degree in Architecture and am working on several projects in and around my city. Whenever I feel taxed of my job, I find a way out in the nature, my second habitat for obvious reasons! Meditation, camping, and photography are activities for which Mother Nature inspires me! On my way back, I also make it a point to get my mind and body relaxed at nearby spa centres. That is about me and you will find much more in detail with regular blogs and updates from me. So stay tuned and sit tight for new experiences every day!