Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Showing posts with label Fort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Soumenlinna, Finland

Google Maps: Soumenlinna, Finland
Soumenlinaa & Vallisaari are two islands south of Helsinki in the Baltic Sea. It takes €4 and half hour to reach the islands - cheap for the rustic life one witnesses here. It was the same day we reached Helsinki that we ventured for these islands and loved what we saw. Clearly the brightest gem of tourist spots in Helsinki, that were a perfect start to our visit to Scandinavia.

Fortress of Soumenlinna

Monday, 30 April 2018


Google Maps: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Lucknow was shining bright as we alighted from Shatabdi. Our hotel was little far in Gomti Nagar but thanks to readily available taxi for hire, we checked in within next half hour. Plan was to rest for an hour and chalk out the route we need to take to maximize our stay. The Imambadas (Bada & Chota) were definitely in the list and so was the delicacies of Aminabad - Tundey Kababi, Prakash Kulfi and Netram Kachoris to name a few.

Chota Imambara

Friday, 22 December 2017

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Google Maps: Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya Lion Rock is not just a tourist attraction. History says it was seat of the most powerful king who ever ruled the island nation. Add to that the buddhist monastery in the caves of the gigantic monolith and a view to behold from the top. The result is an unmatchable structure that may very well have cake-walked into the Unesco World Heritage Site list. While the front view of Sigiriya is intimidating, the trek and the experience is equally exhilarating.

View from middle, Sigiriya Lion Rock

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Galle, Sri Lanka

Google Maps: Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle (pronounced Gaulle) is a seaport in southern Sri Lanka. We chose it as our base because of its equal distance from Weligama and Hikkaduwa. The fact that Unawatuna beach was a mile away was a bonus. The plan was more or less a success as we were able to easily nevigate through major beaches in southern province. However a better approach would have been to stay at Unawatuna itself, watching the sunrise and enjoying the buzz of the commercial beach.

Lighthouse, Galle Fort

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Golkonda Fort

Google Maps: Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, India
  • Golconda Fort is a major attraction of Hyderabad. Trek to the top on an October morning is heavenly. The whole city is visible.
  • Take as little baggage as possible. Take water and some food. The top of fort is a huge terrace where one can sit and relax for hours.
  • A digression from main path will take you to one of the edges from where view of the city is uninterrupted. Steep fall below and chill air with the landscape in front is a view to behold.

We visited Golkonda Fort first thing in the morning. Still it was 11. Thanks to the incessant rainfall for last four days, the air will chilly and there was ample greenry around. In front of us was the grand Golkonda, famous for its sound system.

Golkonda Fort

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Agra Fort

Google Maps: Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Visit before Taj Mahal as its bigger and takes time to complete a round. It is closer to the Express Highway as you enter Agra.
  • A weekday trip is recommended given the crowd on weekends. On Monday both Agra Fort and Taj are closed.
  • Guides are good to have given the expanse of Agra Fort although it sometimes get intrusive to have them.

Agra Fort is the automatic next destination to Taj Mahal, both being UNESCO World Heritage Sites and as rare as it is with heritage sites, they are only couple of miles from each other. Spread wide across the banks of Yamuna, the fort boasts of being home to five generation of Mughal Emperors.

Huge motes, Agra Fort

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Google Maps: Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Trip: Bangalore > Pune > Lonavala > Mumbai > Gandhinagar > Udaipur > Ranakpur > Chittorgarh > Ajmer > Jaipur > Delhi

We reached Udaipur by noon and started searching for a suitable hotel. It was serendipitous for us to find Hotel Lake Pichola at such short notice. It is one of the hundreds of hotel adjacent to Pichola Lake but also has a view of palatial complex across the lake. Our room was modest in a royal fashion.

City Palace across Hotel Lake Pichola @ Udaipur

Friday, 18 April 2014

Gwalior Fort

Google Maps: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India
Trip: Delhi > Gwalior > Khajuraho > Raneh Falls & Delhi

Gwalior was a quicky. We were on our train to Delhi from Khajuraho when we saw the fort palace and decided to pay it a tribute. We had to look for a hotel or take Shatabdi @ 7.

View from right flank @ Gwalior Fort

Monday, 14 October 2013


Google Maps: Srirangapatna, Karnataka, India
Trip: BangaloreRamnagaram > Srirangapatna >  Mysore >  Bandipur >  Mudumalai >  Ooty >  Coonoor >  Bangalore

Srirangapatna is a small diversion on Bangalore-Mysore highway and so we took it on our way out from Mysore. The geography of this fort city hints why Tipu Sultan moved his capital here. It is a natural island created by forking of river Kauveri.

3 Points @ Srirangapatna Tourist Map

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Daulatabad Fort

Google Maps: Daulatabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora > Aurangabad

  • A full fledged 7 tiered fort, Daulatabad is worth studying on the defense systems of forts used by early rulers of India. At worse its a healthy trek to the top.
  • Dont miss the bat cave, a set of staircases to the top only few hundred metres long but full of squeaking bats. You need to cross it to reach the top.
  • Within few miles of Daulatabad are the grand Ellora Caves and Grishneshwar - one of the twelve jyotirlingas, both dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Daulatabad Fort is impregnable by the look of it - a layer of seven increasingly difficult barriers from bottom to top. We arrived at the foot of this hill fort through a shared auto that runs frequently from Bawa Petrol Pump in Aurangabad City. The entrance is a massive wooden gate that opens to view of a high watch tower and the fort itself. The gate is not counted among the seven layers of defence.

View from Bharat Mata Mandir

Monday, 24 December 2012


Google Maps: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: AurangabadAjanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

When we told friends that we will be in Aurangabad for Christmas the question we faced invariably was 'What's there in Aurangabad?' Any reply to that question would be an understatement. 

Chand Bibi's Tomb, Aurangabad

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Google Maps: Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Mumbai > MahabaleshwarPanchgani > Bangalore

The twelve of us had gathered from different part of country for a cool-down break. Mahabaleshwar was expected to be cold this time of year. We were prepared but our preparations were never tested thanks to the daily dose of alcohol and a milder than expected climate at this hill station.

View on way to Sydney Point@Panchgani

We stayed at Panchgani, our hotel window opening to a majestic view of Dhom Lake. Morning excursion included trek to Sydney Point for a panoramic view of the lake. Unfortunately I had to take this up alone as everyone was in lazy hangover state.

Waterfall on way to Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

We started for Pratapgarh fort late in the afternoon after brunch. Pratapgarh Fort was headquarters to none other than Shivaji. It has height and defense to suit the resume of great Shivaji's den. We took the nose-side view of this fort. The visibility was another proof why this fort stood tall under attack.

Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

On our way back we visited the Table Land - a large flat plateau in the middle of Panchgani. Sunset was beautiful from here. By the time we came back it was late evening. We refreshed ourselves for another round of merriment at a nearby roadside restaurant.

Ravine Hotel@Panchgani

Next day we had a brief business session before we started for Kate's Point. From here was a view to behold. I could pledge we were in some other world. It was the winner of this trip and the team really enjoyed watching the Balakwadi reservoir from as many different angles as possible.

View from Kate's Point@Mahabaleshwar

We spent a good hour here before returning to cosy hotel room. It was time to say goodbye to our little expedition of fun. The next morning we checked out early and took a flight from Pune to Bangalore.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Fatehpur Sikri

Trip: Delhi > Agra >  Fatehpur Sikri > Delhi

A trip to Agra is not complete without visiting the capital of Mughal Empire during Emperor Akbar's reign - Fatehpur Sikri  The drive to this small fort town is partly rough partly smooth.

Friday, 3 December 2010


Google Maps: Nice, France
Trip: Paris > Nice > Monte Carlo > Antibes > Cannes

The dipping mercury level at Copenhagen was enough reason for me to plan my next trip down south of Europe. Hence I was standing on the massive coast of Nice in French Riviera on the first weekend of December. The beach town is small and walkable.

Morning on the beach, Nice

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Google Maps: Naples, Italy
Trip: Copenhagen > Venice > Naples > Copenhagen

On a magical morning I was walking through narrow alleys that went up and up somewhere near the centre of the city of Naples. A fort like structure was visible now and then at the top of this city and all I wanted was to be there. Although it was foggy, I should have anticipated what I was going to witness after passing through the station of Pompei earlier that morning.

The ancient city of Pompei@Naples

Monday, 8 November 2010


Google Maps: Rome, Italy
Trip: Zugspitze > Pisa > Rome > Vatican City

The original idea was to cover the five points of the cross decribed in Angels & Demons. However at 3PM the three of us were only checking into a hotel room. It was walking distance from Station. We now had exactly 24 hours in Rome  By 4 we had a definite plan which was bit different from the original one. Colosseum was the closest and hence we found ourselves walking towards the grand structure in no time.

The Colosseum@Rome

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Google Maps: Luxembourg
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

Luxembourg is the fairy tale city of Europe. We started late night from Copenhagen by a City Night Line. The tiresome journey with three changes at Koln, Coblenz and Trier was proved worth it the moment we entered the realms of this city.

The most beautiful balcony of Europe @ Luxembourg

Friday, 6 August 2010


Google Maps: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
A month had passed by without a trip worth blogging. Hence I ventured into the 10 hour drive from Bangalore to Hyderabad alone. Surprisingly the road was in perfect conditions and the weather was agreeable. A good 200 miles passed by in a flash. It was time to take a break.

It started raining while I was having some snacks at the only Reliance One stop. I enjoyed the sprinkles for a while before starting again. Soon the 99 km milestone came up which meant I would be there in a couple of hours.

Hyderabad was dull when I entered the city at 11. By the time I reached Manish's flat, I was too tired to think about anything else but sleep. Not without a couple of drinks though. Next morning both of us visited the Charminar area which had many restaurants known for the famous Hyderabadi Biryani.

After having a sumptuous lunch we moved to Golconda Fort. It was majestic. It was raining the entire day  and hence we decided not to get too adventurous at the slippery steps of the fort. We were back to our place by 8 PM and started drinking right away while watching the highlights of day's play of Test between India and SL.

The next day we started off for Ramoji Film City. It is a popular outing in Hyderabad. We were convinced when we saw a big crowd entering the place in the last slot of 2 PM. The theme park has all the ingredients to make a Hollywood movie. There is London and Dharavi located adjacent to each other. A mini Taj and Golden Temple adorned the lower levels of this huge establishment.

We were back in time to relax and start again for Hard Rock Cafe. The drive to Banjara Hills was serene and without hurdles. HRC offered us a couple of beers and some snacks. I had to start early the next morning for Bangalore.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Trip: Delhi > Jaipur > Udaipur > Ranakpur > Ahmedabad > Mumbai > Davangere > Chitradurga > Bangalore

We started early from Davangere. A delectable bene-dosa (butter dosa) at a famous restaurant gave us the right kick and we drove the 40 odd miles to Chitradurga in an hour. Although I was here twice before, the agenda for this time was very clear - we had to reach the top.

We reached the foot of the hill we targeted to climb. Small steps were carved on the rocks to help us although the hill was steep enough to generate fear as to how we will climb down without tumbling. We reached the top after three rests and were welcomed by the city entirely visible from there. The ground of fort was chequered with grey rocks and green grass. It was richness in abundance - a treat for eyes.

We decided the climb down from the other side. It turned into an adventure after we realized midway there was no route further. It took some jumping, skidding and falling before we saw the ground. It was time for a break. Unfortunately the bottle of drink we bought was picked by one of the monkeys and we satisfied ourselves with water.

Walking to the other side of the fort we realized that there is a staircase made to the top of another hill which was still higher that the one we were on. We decided to take that one. The nature started conspiring in accordance with our plans.

As we reached the top of the Chitradurga Fort it started drizzling. We were tired with the climb and hence welcomed the rain and the wind with open arms. Standing at the top of the fort in rain and enveloped by clouds was really special. I don't remember many occasions such as this one.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


Google Maps: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • From Aamer at one end to Chokhi Dhani at another,  Jaipur is full of must go places.
  • Budgets boutique hotels are readily available here thanks to being a tourist hotspot. Decide based on where you want to go after Jaipur.
  • Don't miss the amazing top view of entire Jaipur from the window Of Madhavendra Palace. 
The two of us started at 10.30 AM on 23rd, December, 2009 from Delhi for a long drive. The road was smooth and the drive was fun. Somewhere on the way we decided that we should go all the way to Jaipur. Consequently we were standing in front of Aamer Fort at 4 PM. It is an old majestic fort stretched in few square kilometers. We walked on the walls of the fort before getting hungry.

Front View of Aamer Fort@Jaipur