Theatre Museum, Salt Lake, Kolkata

September 12, 2019 2 comments

Theatre Museum

Salt Lake, Kolkata

Recently Kolkata witnessed an opening of a large number of theme based museums. Included among them is Ami Kolkata, a museum dedicated to the city itself and Reserve bank of India (RBI) Museum.

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Portion of the modern theatre gallery, Theatre Museum, Kolkata

But the city has never been new to theme based museums. Birla Industrial & Technology Museum, Nehru Children Museum, Kolkata Police Museum, Postal Museum, Boat Museum, etc are integral part of Kolkata’s heritage.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum, Kolkata

August 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Reserve Bank of India Museum

Kolkata

Do you know, long before the introduction of money food grains, salt, replicas of tools, cowries and even giant donut shaped stones served as a medium of exchange? The newly opened Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Museum provides an extensive insight into the history of money and banking.

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An installation showing the evolution of money, RBI Museum, Kolkata

Opened on 11 March 2019 this is the second RBI museum in the country. It came 21 years after the inaugural one opened its gates at the Mumbai headquarters.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

July 17, 2019 5 comments

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh)

Chandannagar

See also: Rath Yatras of West Bengal

When it comes to Rath (or Ratha) Yatra (Chariot Festival) the first thing that comes into mind is Puri, Orissa (Odissa). The towering raths (chariots) of Puri have almost become synonymous with Ratha Yatra.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

But West Bengal, the neighbouring state of Orissa, also houses several Rath Yatra festivals, complete with towering raths. Some of this rath yatras dates back a couple of centuries and attracts devotees from far and wide.

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Yuksam, The first Capital of Sikkim

July 11, 2019 1 comment

Yuksam

The first Capital of Sikkim

Also see: Chalamthang and Yuksam, a family tour of South and West Sikkim

In the middle of the 17th century, Lama Lutsum Chembo travelled southwards from Tibet with the mission of establishing a Buddhist monarchy in the hidden country of Denjong (modern-day Sikkim), meaning the valley of rice.

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Throne of Norbugang, Yuksam, West Sikkim

After a long journey, he reached a place called Norbugang in 1641. There, he met Sempa Chembo and Rinzing Chembo. The three holy men started searching for a monarch to rule the land. They found the right candidate, named Phunstok, near Gangtok. He was the great grandson of legendary Sikkimese hero Guru Tashi.

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Walking Tour of Pelling, West Sikkim

Walking Tour of Pelling, West Sikkim

Chenrezig Statue, Skywalk, Sangachoeling Monastery, Rabdantse Ruins, Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park and Pemayangtse Monastery

Also see: Chalamthang and Yuksam, a family tour of South and West Sikkim

Pelling in West Sikkim offers breathtaking views of Mt Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak of the world, no wonder it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the whole of Sikkim.

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Giant statue of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara), Pelling

Apart from Kanchenjunga Pelling also has a host of other tourist attraction, which includes Rimbi & Kanchenjunga Waterfall, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, Pemayangtse Monastery and Singshore Bridge.

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Chalamthang Homestay, South Sikkim, a home away from home

June 20, 2019 7 comments

Chalamthang Homestay, South Sikkim

A home away from home

Also see: Chalamthang and Yuksam, a family tour of South and West Sikkim

Sikkim is known for its breathtaking views of Kanchanjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Places like Gantok, Pelling, Ravangla, Rinchenpong, etc offers great views of the majestic snow peak. No wonder they are always on the top of the priority list for tourist visiting Sikkim.

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Chalamthang Homestay in evening

But the landscape of Sikkim is never restricted to Kanchanjunga alone meandering rivers, deep gorges, rolling green hills and high altitude passes forms an integral part of the Sikkim landscape.

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Chalamthang and Yuksam, A family tour of South and West Sikkim

June 12, 2019 2 comments

Chalamthang and Yuksam

A family tour of South and West Sikkim

A family vacation to the Himalayas was long due. In fact our last Himalayan vacation was our honeymoon a decade and half ago. Although I have been in the Himalayas quiet a few times during this period but could never manage a trip to the Himalayas with my family. This was also the first Himalayan holiday for my nine year old daughter.

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Family pic at Rimbi Falls (Pic courtesy: Shyamal)

It was a six day seven night tour (including journey) and included a three night stop at Chalamthang (South Sikkim) and two night stop at Yuksam (West Sikkim).

The itinerary was as follows:

Day 1 (May 26): Transfer from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station to Chalamthang. Night halt at Chalamthang Homestay.

Day 2 (May 27): Day trip from Chalamthang covering Temi Tea Garden and Buddha Park, Ravangla.

Day 3 (May 28): Day trip from Chalamthang covering Tarey Bhir and Sandruptse (Char Dham in Namchi had to be dropped due to a political rally).

Day 4 (May 29): Transfer from Chalamthang to Yuksam. Night halt at Yak Hotel.

Day 5 (May 30): Day trip from Yuksum covering Rimbi Falls, Sky Walk and Chenrezig statue, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins and Khechiperi Lake.

Day 6 (May 31): Trek to the Dubdi Monastery and visit to the Throne of Norbugang. Transfer from Yuksam to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) Station. Night train back to Kolkata.

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