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Travel Updates/ Notes

Travel to Rann of Kutch, Jaipur (Pink City) & Taj Mahal at Agra!

The Great Rann of Kutch is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert in the Kutch District of Gujarat, India and the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is about 7,505.22 square kilometres (2,897.78 sq mi) in size and is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. This area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people. The name “Rann” comes from the Hindi word ran (रण) meaning “desert”. The Hindi word is derived from Sanskrit/Vedic word iriṇa (इरिण) attested in the Rigveda and Mahābhārata. This is one of the hottest areas of India – with summer temperatures averaging and peaking at 49.5 °C. Winter temperatures reduce dramatically and can go below 0 °C (32 °F)

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( Photographed along with Folk Music singers, taken at White Desert, Rann of Kutch, 07th Dec, 2015)

Amitabh Bachchan in his promotions for Gujarat Tourism titled Khushboo Gujarat Ki has also extensively shot in the Rann of kutch. Several scenes in Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize winning novel Midnight’s Children take place in the Rann of Kutch, including a scene where the protagonist faints from heat stroke in the Rann’s brutal climate.

We did some riding on the camel across the desert. It was wet and I was told that by January end, the white desert will become hard enough to be a ‘football playground’ and most foreigners play under the moonlight.

Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18th November 1727, by Maharaja Jai Singh, the ruler of Amer after whom the city is named. As of 2011, the city has a population of 6.66 million, making it the tenth most populous city in our country. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India. Located at a distance of 260 km from the Indian capital New Delhi, it forms a part of the Golden Triangle tourist circuit along with Agra (240 km). Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India and serves as a gateway to other tourist destinations in Rajasthan such as Jodhpur (348 km), Jaisalmer (571 km) and Udaipur (421 km).

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(Photographed at ‘Rajasthani Food Specials’ Restaurant, 10th Dec, 2015)

– Dal Bati Churma – Dal Bati Churma is the famous dish of Rajasthan. If a person wants to experience the essence of Rajasthan, then one must go for it. The combination of dal bati churma is unique in itself. ‘Tuvaar dal’ is used for making dal which is garnished with coriander to enhance the flavor and bati is made from hard wheat flour rolls and churma is a sweet dish which is made from the thick flour mixed with ghee and condensed milk. Ghee serves the main essence of this dish without ghee the real taste will disappear.

– Ghewar – Ghewar is a deep fried sweet dish which is made from chasni. This dessert is not only famous in Jaipur but all over our country. The sale of Ghewar is more in the Makar sankrati festival.

– Kalakand – Mishri Mawa- Kalakand is a famous dessert which is served after dinner. Kalakand is famous all over our country. It is made from condensed milk and to give this special touch this delicious sweet is garnished with dry fruits. Alwar is the best place to taste this sweet.

– Bajre Ki Khichdi – Bajre ki Khichdi is prepared in winter since eating it keeps our body warm. Ghee adds the flavor and essence to this dish. This dish is served with curry and chilli pickle or with beans and carrot vegetable.

– Subji- Jaipur serves many special subji’s. These includes kachri ki subji, mangori, pakodi, gatte ki subji and ker sangari.

We had this typical Rajasthani Thali at a restaurant ‘Rajasthani Food Speials’ serving authentic rajasthani food located in the heart of Jaipur Pink city.

Visit to Agra – The Taj Mahal, in Persian and Arabic, means the “crown of palaces”, pronounced [ˈt̪aːdʒ mɛˈɦɛl]) is a white marble mausoleum located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658) to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal.

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(Photographed in front of Taj Mahal on 12th Dec, 2015)

In 1631, Shah Jahan, the Emperor during the Mughal empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his favorite of three wives and beloved companion, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1643 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished about five years later. ( Visit website: http://www.tajmahal.gov.in/ to know more)

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( Photographed on the outskirts of Taj Mahal, 12th Dec, 2015)

It was a great family vacation, spent along with my wife and my son.

(Source for write up on the places visted: Wikipedia)

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About Raman Ramamurthy

I am a Management consultant, an avid reader, play Lawn tennis in my leisure time and love Music. Presently, I am settled in India along with my wife and my son.

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