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Reflections- April AtoZ Series

Reflections- Glimpse of India

April has been quite an eventful month for me. Blogchatter AtoZ series kept me in read-write mode and I got an opportunity to challenge myself. I consider myself a lazy blogger and completing 26 posts in the month of April is a HUGE success for me. Now that the challenge is over, I’m here to reflect what I gained (and what lost!?).

Before the beginning of the AtoZ challenge, I was confused about the theme of the series. It was my first AtoZ challenge and I was determined to prove myself. A few days before AtoZ Challenge was to begin, I had hosted the blog train for travel India with more than 70 posts shared on social media with hashtag #XploreBharat. I became more interested in knowing various cultures and landforms of India. AtoZ challenge gave me an opportunity to discover my own country through 26 blog posts:)

Next challenge before me was to write one post a day (Told you I don’t get started easily!!;). Luckily, the enthusiasm of my fellow bloggers rubbed off on me. It gave an (unexpected😂) boost to my writing power and yes, I completed the series on time!!

Wow! I’m an A-to-Z-Challenge SURVIVOR:)

My experience with AtoZ Challenge

🍂 Before the AtoZ challenge, my blog was updated sparingly because I was hesitant to use the words! Oh, literally! The challenge gave me confidence to start writing whenever I feel like, without any false assumptions.

🍂 I got to read the blogs of many wonderful bloggers whose work encouraged me to spend a part of myself in blogging.

🍂 After completion of AtoZ series, I’m counted as one of those reliable bloggers;)
What else do I need?

🍂 My Alexa rank shows a huge improvement and I’m happy with the progress. Pray, the power of Alexa be with me💪. Always.

🍂 I hope to continue updating my blog more often because participating in the AtoZ challenge showed me the right way to blog.

🍂 Last but not least, I would like to thank Blogchatter for mentoring me in wading through the blogging challenge:)

🍂 You can find all my ‘Glimpse of India’ posts 👉HERE. Please read and leave a comment to encourage:)

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A Week In The Journey Of Xplore-Bharat

A Week In The Journey Of Xplore-Bharat

When we started the blog-train ‘Xplore Bharat’, our aim was to cover each and every corner of vibrant India. By the grace of the Almighty, many enthusiastic bloggers joined the show and the outcome is stupendous!

I got the opportunity of summing up the posts of week 7. All posts are interlinked. You can hop from one post to another and enjoy the ‘Xplore Bharat’ ride while sitting in your couch;)

If you’re following our chain then there’s nothing that can stop you from packing your bags to explore the treasure called India:)

On Day 1, we reached Daman by Little Duniya. You can find things to do in this small city of Union Territory Daman and Diu.

On Day 2, our blog train was halted by Prerna at the land of Superstar Rajnikanth, Chennai with Prerna Wahi.

On Day 3, Manas paved the way for Hidden Gems of Goa-Vasco Da Gama and painted a different picture of Goa.

Sun was still shining bright and our bloggers were in high spirits. Suhasini took us for a trip to the Steel City- Jamshedpur.

On Day 4, Lifewithmypenguin created magic with her Aurangabad post. Exploring Aurangabad in Two Days.

Day 5 witnessed another amazing post on Goa from Saba. The bloggers wanted to chill on the beaches of Goa and she gave us a Beach-hopping post.

Day 6. We rode on a majestic ride with Ajit’s post on Surat – A Mix of Modernity and History

Last day of the week was celebrated in two extreme corners of our country, India.

Sthuti entered with Exploring Beautiful Bhuj and the White Desert, Great Rann.

Aditi gave an account on Tripura- The state less travelled.

Things to do in Tripura

We are celebrating each day of Xplore-Bharat blog train with a different location. One more week and the memorable trip will come to an end, thankfully giving rise to hundreds of travel dreams:)

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat BlogTrain hosted by
Aditi, Esha, Maheshwaran, Preeti, Saba,Pragun, Sanjota, Sudip, Suhasini and Supriya.

Finally a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.

KAIV

KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.

FABZANIA

FabZania is an upcoming Food, Travel, Entertainment and Lifestyle web portal.

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Things to do in Tripura

Pic credit: Unakoti Sculptures

Tripura- The Road Less Travelled

Sprinkled with the colours of art, history and tradition, Tripura is blessed with nature’s undisturbed charm. To begin with let’s check some interesting facts about Tripura.

1) Only one national highway, NH44 connects Tripura to the rest of India.
2) Tripura is the third smallest Indian state after Goa and Sikkim.
3) More than half the area of Tripura is covered with forests.
4) Tripura is one of the most literate states of India with a literacy rate of about 88%.
5) The distance between Tripura and Kolkata was 350 km before the partition of India which was increased to 1700 km after partition.
6) Tripura got its name from ‘Tripura Sundari’ temple in Udaipur.
7) Tripura is world-famous for bamboo products, wooden carvings and hand-woven cloth.
8) Tripura is home to world-famous heritage sites in Unakoti, Pilak and Devtamura.

Pic credit : Location of Tripura in India

Things to do in Tripura

Traditional practices mixed with modern culture gives a unique recognition to Tripura. The state boasts of gigantic sculptures of Hindu deities that have been chiselled out of the hill and that are believed to date back to between the 8th and 9th centuries. Bamboo carvings, religious celebrations, local dance and music attract tourists from all over the world.

Tripura State Museum

Pic credit: Tripura State Museum

Situated in Agartala, Ujjayanta Palace that was once the palace of the kingdom of Tripura is now the State Museum. The palace stands tall on the banks of two lakes surrounded by gardens. The impressive galleries of The State Museum showcase art, culture, lifestyle, tradition and craft work of northeast India.

Akhaura Border Post

Pic credit: The Border Post Between India and Bangladesh in Akhaura

Akhaura, the India-Bangladesh border is famous as the Wagah of the East. In the beating retreat, flags of the two countries are lowered with a mutually coordinated performance.
Agartala-Akhaura check post is the second largest trading centre with Bangladesh after Benapole and Petrapole in WB. Not only a big trading point between India and Bangladesh, but Akhaura border is also a famous tourist spot.

Tripura Sundari temple

Pic credit: Tripura Sundari Temple

Tripura Sundari temple is situated in Udaipur, about 55 km from Agartala. It is considered to be one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. *Shakti Peethas are the places that got enshrined due to the falling of the body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered in Aryavartha in grief. The temple, in the shape of a tortoise is also known as Kurma Peeth. The magnificent ‘Tripura Sundari Temple’ is one of the holiest places in India and a popular tourist spot.

Ujjayanta Palace

Pic credit: Ujjayanta Palace, Agartala

Ujjayanta Palace was built by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya in 1900. The palace has three high domes, curved wooden ceiling, beautiful flooring and majestic doors. Mughal-style gardens enhance the beauty of Ujjayanta Palace.

Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary

Pic credit: Walk Through India

Located in Bishalgarh, Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its clouded leopards. Variety of other animals can be spotted in the dense forests of Agartala.
The sanctuary has an artificial lake and natural botanical gardens.

Pic credit: Unakoti Sculptures

Unakoti Hills

An ancient pilgrimage of Lord Shiva, Unakoti enchants us with rock cravings from 7th century. Natural green environment, rocky mountain backdrop and waterfalls, this is one of the must visit places of India.
The most spectacular feature of Unakoti hills is the 30ft tall head of Lord Shiva, also known as the Unakoteswara Kal Bhairava.

How to Reach Agartala

By Flight:

Agartala airport is connected to the major cities of India through Guwahati and Kolkata.

By Train:

Trains are available to Agartala from Lumding in Assam. Lumding is connected to New Delhi.

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat BlogTrain hosted by
Aditi, Esha, Maheshwaran, Preeti, Saba,Pragun, Sanjota, Sudip, Suhasini andSupriya

Finally a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.

KAIV

KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.

FABZANIA

FabZania is an upcoming Food, Travel, Entertainment and Lifestyle web portal.

Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has reached ‘Panoramic Ripples‘ to explore Tripura from ‘ Beautiful Bhuj and the White Desert, Great Rann by Sthuti
‘ The next stop of #XploreBharat Blog Train is Payannur, Kerala by Maya Bhat.

Passing the baton to Maya!

Pic credit: Unakoti Lost Hill Of Faces

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Freeze your Moments in Solang Valley- Manali Calling

Freeze your Moments in Solang Valley- Manali Calling

Diversity is the flavour of our motherland, India. In the Xplore Bharat series, we are trying to reach every corner of the beautiful country by sharing our experiences. Today, I’m sharing my ‘Solang Valley’ travelogue with you. Triggering a wish to visit the valley would accomplish my mission:)

When we planned a trip to Manali, visiting Solang Valley was something new and out of the box idea. I checked and rechecked the information on the net as my husband loves to visit lesser known places and I’m a fan of popular ones. Solang Valley, to my surprise, came out to be one of the must visit places in India. Excited, we packed our bags and began our travel to Manali by road.
It was March end and summer had already started showing signs of ascent in Delhi. We were dressed in summer casuals but our bags were full of winter essentials. Weather played us and we began to cover ourselves with layers of woollens as hills approached.

Amidst snow-capped mountains and glaciers, we made our way to Solang Valley. Solang derived its name from a combination of ‘Solang and Nallah’. The valley lies between Solang Village and Beas Kund.

Our stay at Solang Valley Resort was booked in advance. We were excited to see that the resort was frozen in the snow. Shivering badly, the first thing we did after checking in was to cover ourselves in the best woollens we had. The weather, the scenic visuals and nature’s pristine beauty; Solang Valley won our hearts in minutes.

Solang Valley is a haven for adventure sports lovers. From paragliding to parachuting to skiing, the rich palette of the valley has a lot to offer. We enjoyed Quad biking and skiing but stayed away from paragliding; a personal choice I suppose:)

Situated amidst snow-clad mountains, picturesque Solang Valley promises a holiday you’ve ever dreamt of:)
Nature has showered endless love on this hilly beauty. Mountains surround it aesthetically to present an enchanting picture.

A few kilometres away from Manali, 14 Km to be precise, Solang Valley is the perfect place to holiday in all seasons! Snow sports are the main attraction here. Parachuting, paragliding and zorbing are all-time happenings in this enthusiastic valley.

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat BlogTrain hosted by
Aditi, Esha, Maheshwaran, Preeti, Saba, Pragun, Sanjota, Sudip, Suhasini andSupriya

Finally a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.

KAIV

KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.

FABZANIA

FabZania is an upcoming Food, Travel, Entertainment and Lifestyle web portal.

Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has reached ‘Panoramic Ripples‘ to explore Manali from ‘Kolkata by Manas Mukul‘ The next stop of #XploreBharat Blog Train is Shantiniketan by Esha🙂

Passing the baton to Esha!

[PS- Stay tuned to ‘Blog Booster India‘ or @BlogBoosterInd for all the action:)]

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Chandigarh- City Beautiful with a Heart

Chandigarh- City Beautiful with a Heart

A person with Punjab connection resonates with the simple mention of the city beautiful- Chandigarh. I am one such fellow. Internationally known for its planning and architecture, Le Corbusier’s creation Chandigarh is one of the cleanest and the happiest cities in India. In one of the articles, BBC named Chandigarh as the perfect city in terms of architecture, modernisation and cultural growth.
Back in the 1890s, the first architect of the city Albert Mayer challenged ‘American claim that rejected the City Beautiful concepts’ and determined to build one. The city, later completed by Le Corbusier in 1949 replaced Lahore, the capital city of Punjab before partition.

Pic credit: Wikimedia.org

One can find a number of ‘The Open Hand sculptures’ in Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, a sign of peace and reconciliation. Chandigarh derived its name from the ancient temple of an Indian Goddess- ‘Chandi Mandir’ in Panchkula.

The city has produced many renowned personalities. Industry exposure, the freedom of expression and a great many opportunities, Chandigarh attracts learners and achievers from all over the country.
Ayushman Khurrana, Abhinav Bindra, Yami Gautam, Yuvraj Singh, Bani J, Sachin Bansal- Binny Bansal and Gul Panag are a few of the famous personalities from the city:)

My Connection with Chandigarh

When I was a child, Chandigarh was my parents’ favourite place to visit on weekends. Just two hours drive from our home and complete with amazing things to do, Chandigarh carved a deep influence on my mind and heart.
The city is well-planned and the breathtaking modern architecture takes you on a dream ride. My all-time favourites are Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Sukhna Lake, Musical fountain, Sector 17 market and Japanese Garden.

Rock Garden

It was the creative mind of Nek Chand who built sculptures from waste materials like broken crockery, glass and bangles. The man raised the 13-acre empire of pottery covered concrete structures. Rock Garden was opened to the general public in 1986. A workforce of 50 labourers was allotted to Nek Chand to develop the garden.

You will be surprised to know that Rock Garden is the second most popular place in India after Taj Mahal.

Sukhna Lake

Sukhna Lake is the place Chandigarh people love to boast about. Le Corbusier created the lake for the care of body and spirit. Seasonal steam ‘Sukhna Choe’ was dammed to develop beautiful Sukhna Lake. Tranquil lake, green patches and picturesque view, Sukhna lake is adored by one and all. It is frequently visited by tourists, health-conscious walkers, families seeking quality-time together and enthusiastic youngsters.

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden is counted as one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh. Japanese architecture, Pagoda tower, meditation hut and Japanese food; Japanese Garden takes you to Japan without travelling too far. Buddha idol and other sculptures make your visit enjoyable.

Laser Musical Fountain

You can’t afford to miss the Laser Musical Fountain in the happening market of sector 17. Colourful patterns of light dancing with the fountain water presents a breathtaking view. Wait for the night to fall for the exclusive light and sound show. It will be a precious addition to your cherished memories:)

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat Blog Train hosted by
Aditi, Esha, Maheshwaran, Preeti, Saba, Pragun, Sanjota, Sonia, Sudip, Suhasini and Supriya

Finally a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.

KAIV

KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.

FABZANIA

FabZania is an upcoming Food, Travel, Entertainment and Lifestyle web portal.

Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has reached ‘Panoramic Ripples‘ to explore Chandigarh from ‘Jaipur by Bookhippo‘ The next stop of #XploreBharat Blog Train is Ooty by Sitharaam Jayakumar.

Passing the baton to Sitharaam Jayakumar.

[PS- Stay tuned to ‘Blog Booster India‘ or @BlogBoosterInd for all the action:)]

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Invitation to join #XploreBharat Blog Train

Celebrating the occasion of 70 glorious years of Republic India, my enthusiastic blogger friends decided to begin a blog journey visiting various places throughout the country. India is a vast country having vibrant hues on display. The Blog Train is a great way to know about the shades of India. Dear bloggers, hop on even if you’ve travelled a few places in India. Contribute by sharing your travel stories and be a part of the prestigious journey.
I’m sure you don’t want to miss the fun we are going to have:)

Onboard XploreBharat Blog Train, you might be interested in the rules to follow!

To commemorate 70 years of Republic India, ‘BlogBoosterIndia’ group is hosting #XploreBharat blog train from 1st February 2019. A minimum of 70 posts will be posted by different Travel-loving Bloggers touching 70 beautiful and unique places of India.

If you meet the following criteria fill up the form through the link given below.

YOU ARE ELIGIBLE IF:

1) You are a Travel-loving-Blogger who writes about places within India.

2) Have Social Media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

3) You can join the FB Group – BlogBoosterIndia.

4) You can post your articles on the date committed by you.

5) You can Read, Comment and Share all the posts published in this #XploreBharat BlogTrain through your social media accounts.

6) Sign Up Form Link.

Meet the think tank behind the grand show👉

Preeti, PraGun, Suhasini, Maheshwaran, Esha, Sonia, Saba, Aditi, Sanjota, Sudip, Supriya.

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