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Dansborg Fort, Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

November 24, 2021 1 comment

Dansborg Fort

Tranquebar (Tharangambadi), Tamil Nadu (TN)

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu

Although India has been a British colony for almost two centuries but few pockets have been under the occupation of other European powers. Goa and Pondicherry remained under the Portuguese and French occupation respectively even after independence of India in 1947.

Dansborg Fort, Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

Dansborg Fort, Tranquebar (Tharangambadi)

Apart from French and Portuguese the Dutch and Danish also had there share of tiny colonies spread across British India. West Bengal also had its share of European colonies along the River Hooghly

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Emden Plaque, Madras High Court, Chennai

November 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Emden Plaque, Madras High Court, Chennai

The only attack on Indian soil during World War I

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu and WWI Memorial in India

Over a million Indian soldiers served the British Army during the First World War (WWI), which was initially known as the Great War of 1914 – 18. Over 70,000 died fighting in different war theatres spread across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Emden in 1910 (wikimedia commons)

Emden in 1910 (wikimedia commons)

Today numerous meorials and plaques dot the entire landscape of the sub-continent in memory of the fallen Indian soldiers who died fighting for the King of another country in far off lands.

This memorials consists of well known land marks like the India Gate, Delhi or the towering Glourious Dead Cenotaph, Kolkata.

They consist of elaborate memorials like the Teen Murti Memorial, Delhi and also include a tiny nondescript plaque on the walls of a health centre in Mehruli region of Delhi

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Flamingos and Salt Pans of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi)

October 20, 2021 1 comment

Flamingos and Salt Pans

Tuticorin (Thoothukudi)

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu

At glance it seems like endless snow field but the scorching heat will soon take you back to reality and it is not snow but salt. Under the blazing sun, the mounds of blindingly white crystals as far as the eye can see, creates a striking contrast with the deep blue sky in the backdrop.

Flamingos at the salt pans of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi)

Flamingos at the salt pans of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi)

Located at the far south of the Coromondal Cost, Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) is a major port city in Tamil Nadu and home to much of the state’s salt harvesting terrain. This industry is over a century old in these parts.

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Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)

October 13, 2021 2 comments

Shore Temple

Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram)

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu

55 km south of Chennai lies the ancient port town of Mahabalipuram (now Mamallapuram) known for its towering pagodas, gigantic rock cut caves, massive monolithic structures and intricate bass relief panels.

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), view from west side

Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), view from west side

The structures date back to the 600 – 700 CE and were constructed by the Pallava dynasty. Mahabalipuram offers a interesting mix of history along with golden sand beaches washed by the thundering waves of the Bay of Bengal.

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Giant Swing, Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Giant Swing

Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

The bright red towering swing stands at a busy intersection in Rattanakosin area in the heart of Bangkok. Know as Giant Swing (or Sao Chingcha in Thai) it is a Hindu religious structure associated with the festival of Triyampawai.

Giant Swing, Bangkok

Giant Swing, Bangkok

The Giant Swing dates back to the time of the formation of the Chakri dynasty, which still rules Thailand. The huge teak wood structure was commissioned by the founder of Chakri dynasty Rama I (reign 1782 – 1809) in 1784.

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Sheherwali Cuisine and much more at Bari Kolthi, Azimganj

December 5, 2019 3 comments

Sheherwali Cuisine and much more at Bari Kolthi

Azimganj, near Murshidabad

Also see: FAM Tour of Bari Kothi, Azimganj

A decade after the death of the last great Mughal Aurangzeb, Murshid Quli Khan in 1727 declared himself the independent nawab of Bengal Province. A province which consisted of present day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.

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Dinner at the grand Durbar Hall, Bari Kothi, Azimganj

As the Murshid Quli Khan took up his charge, the trade and commerce flourished and historical records even suggested that Murshidabad contributed about 20% of the Indian economy and a staggering 5% of the world GDP.

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Chhath Puja, Azimganj from Bari Kothi

November 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Chhath Puja, Azimganj

Exploration from Bari Kothi

Also see: FAM Tour of Bari Kothi, Azimganj

The Chhath Puja is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya and his sister Shashti Devi mother of Kartikeya (Chhathi Maiya) in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. It is the only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God.

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Chhath devotes wait for the sun to rise, Bhagirathi River, Azimganj

The Sun, considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath fesival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.

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Ban Bang Phalp, Community Tourism, Samut Songkhram

March 27, 2019 2 comments

Ban Bang Phalp, Community Tourism

Samut Songkhram

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Thailand is not just about beautiful beaches, exotic sea food and exciting night life but the country has something more to offer.

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Bicycling tour of Ban Bang Phalp, Samut Songkharm (Photo courtesy: Aso Lori)

Taking in the rural landscape on a bicycle, walking through coconut groves and watching local people go about their business is one of the best ways of experiencing rural Thailand.

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Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

March 21, 2019 4 comments

Wat Pho, Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Wat Pho (also spelled Wat Po) is a large temple complex in Rattanakosin Island (Also see: Heritage walk of Rattanakosin Island) of Bangkok. It is located just south of the Grand Palace.

Wat Pho 1

Reclining Buddha, Wat Pao, Ratanakosin Island, Bangkok

Wat Pho is popular, or rather wrongly, known as the Temple of Reclining Buddha. Apart from the shrine of Reclining Buddah the complex houses several other shrines including prayers hall, giant chedis (stupas) and galleries housing 1000+ Buddha statues, more than any other temple in Thailand.

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Chao Phraya Express Boat

February 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Chao Phraya Express Boat

A river boat service in Bangkok, Thailand

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

My Heritage Walk of Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok started with a ride in the Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat and ended with a ride in the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

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Boats in Chao Phraya River, with Wat Arun in the background, Bangkok

No trip in Bangkok is complete with a boat ride in the Chao Phraya River. There are plenty of options starting from luxurious sun set cruise, which comes with a gala dinner to tourist boats with English speaking guides. Read more…