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Tag History

Bikaner Havelis – On the Merchant’s Trail

When we were invited to stay at Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner, the itinerary included a few curated experiences to showcase the best of Bikaner to us. Among these, was a chance to see the Bikaner Havelis on the Merchant’s Trail. The very name brought to mind images of flowing silk, heavy bundles of wool, perhaps even spices, camels, and wealthy merchants that were favoured by the Maharaja. Turns out we weren’t

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Ghent Day Trip- Following our noses

We almost didn’t include this Ghent day trip on our Belgium Itinerary. To begin with, Belgium was a side trip squeezed in between the Netherlands and Sweden. At first glance, it seemed like a tiny sleepy town, not much unlike Bruges, and since we were already spending a couple of days in Bruges, it seemed like a waste of time to visit Ghent as well. Thankfully it was halfway between

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Terezin, Prague – The Star Shaped Concentration Camp

Terezin. Even the sound of its name isn’t as clinical and pain-inducing as Auschwitz. It’s lilting, almost poetic, and doesn’t give away any of the pain it holds. Bereft of the wire fences, spotlights and gas chambers, it wasn’t an extermination camp. Naturally, I had never heard of it before we began our itinerary research for Prague & the Czech Republic. I skipped into the bus excited to get out

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The 5 vital Reasons to Visit Israel – Why India is discovering it

Our reasons to visit Israel are manifold. Charles and I have both been reading a book that presents an alternate history of the world. One that reveals it wasn’t the Mediterranean that was at the centre of history, but in fact, the Middle East. We’ve been devouring page after page of fascinating and shocking information about once flourishing cities, cultures and peoples that were at the epicentre of civilisation. Israel features as

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Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal – A masonic mystery

Quinta da Regaleira (try pronouncing that one correctly!) was stupidly left for the last on our day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. After having hiked the Moorish Castle, huffed and puffed through the Pena Palace, trawled impossibly through the National Palace in the blazing sun, we were done. Pushing ourselves to climb the 2 km uphill (since no taxi was willing to go such a short distance), we were ready to

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Mount Nebo, Jordan – The holy land

While Mount Nebo may not have been at the very top of my list of things to see and experience in Jordan, I couldn’t deny the palpable excitement I felt as our bus turned off the highway and into the parking lot. Neither of us are very religious, however our interest in religious history is deep seated in the impact it has had on civilizations and cultures. Jordan had already

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Context Travel Prague: A walk through history

Let’s start with a little honesty first. We thoroughly research our travels before we leave home and in all modesty, there are quite a few times when we’ve baffled locals with our research on opening different doors in their city. But lately, we’ve found it immensely rewarding to join a walk led by a docent who has both professional and academic knowledge on a specific subject we’re interested in. We did this

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The Beatles in Rishikesh, India – My Magical Mystery Tour to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram

That India had once received The Beatles in Rishikesh was a revelation to me during the peak of my teenage “why wasn’t I around in the 60s?” phase. I grew up listening to the Beatles since my parents were big fans. Years later, when I was a teenager completely infatuated with everything that the likes of The Beatles, Hendrix and the ilk stood for, I made a startling discovery. I

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The Glittering Tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah, Agra – The Other Taj Mahal

The tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah seemed to me possibly the most unsung hero of Mughal Agra. A glittering jewel encrusted mausoleum, the first one to be made entirely of marble, when compared to the Taj Mahal (after all it is called the Baby Taj) what it lacks in size, it makes up for in style. The story of Itimad Ud Daulah Itmad Ud Daulah almost didn’t get his shot at

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Ajloun Castle, Jordan – A fortress with a view

Ajloun Castle. I first laid eyes on it from a fair distance away. Our guide had stopped the car several hills away, trying to point it out on a particularly dusty, hazy day in Jordan. We tried again from a closer distance, and finally did indeed spot it. It looked magical, sitting alone atop the hill of Jabal Auf in the distance. Several winding roads, steep climbs and gasps later, we

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The Taj Mahal, Agra – Do you believe in eternal love?

The Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument to love. One of the Seven Wonders of the World. India’s pride and glory. The most iconic Mughal structure. A tomb like no other, an eternal promise, a thing of beauty. One that has moved millions to tears, provided the backdrop for countless love stories through time, a symbol of hope and faith, that the great love, the kind that lives forever does

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