Saturday, May 21, 2016

A visit to Chandigarh, Kasauli and Amritsar

Last year I took my first trip to North India. I started blogging about it once I returned but then lost track of it. I thought I could resume from where I left off last time. This was the trip where I created my own travel hashtag - #GshnyTravels that I currently use whenever I am on road enjoying everything travel has to offer.

Let me start this post by summarizing what I have already blogged about. Mom, bro and I started our 10 day trip by flying from Bangalore to Delhi by an early morning flight. We had booked a cab which picked us up at the airport and took us sightseeing around Delhi where we covered Qutub Minar, Lotus temple, Delhi Haat, India Gate and Akshardham. The next morning we head out to Agra via the Yamuna Expressway to reach Taj Mahal and post lunch we headed out to Fatehpur Sikri where we visited the Akbars palace and Durgah. We reached back in Delhi at midnight. I have written 3 blogs detailing the events of first 2 days of that trip. In this blog I will cover the next 3 days.

On day 3 we took our first train ride of the trip – Shatabdi from Delhi to Chandigarh. The train was clean and we were served breakfast on the train. Looking at the food we actually felt like we were in a flight.
We reached Chandigarh at around 11am and after checking into our hotel we head out to the city sightseeing. Chandigarh is really small when compared to Bangalore and we can go end to end of the city in 200rps (including surge pricing). The city was clean and peaceful. Hardly any traffic. We started the city tour with the famous rock garden. The artificially created waterfalls, caves and all those rock sculptures were good to see.


Next up was the rose garden. The weather was pleasant considering we were there in April.
The only other place worth visiting in Chandigarh was the Sukhana Lake. It kind of looked like Sankey Tank in Bangalore except that this lake has a scenic background of hills.

We called it a day and on our way back we managed to visit the Museum and Art Gallery. I ended the day by meeting one of my friends in Chandigarh. It was still day-3 of our trip and we got sufficient rest that night. The next morning we rented a cab and went to Kasauli. Kasauli is situated in Himachal Pradesh and is around 2hrs drive from Chandigarh. It’s a nice drive through the hills to reach Kasauli. There is an Airforce station here which has this place called monkey point. It is believed that lord Hanuman stepped here when carrying the Sanjivini hill.
We were back in Chandigarh by evening and took the express AC coach train to Amritsar. We reached Amritsar at night and retired for the day. We woke up to a pleasant weather and light drizzle next morning. We visited the Golden Temple in the morning. You can have lunch at the langar in Golden temple. You can feel peace of mind when sitting by the pond surrounding the temple.
Jallianwala Bagh is right next to the Golden temple. The sad page in our struggle of independence. The bullet marks and the well where people died still exists. Back then freedom fighters got shot and now people here were busy shooting selfies.
The final location for the day was the Wagah Border. After listening to all the mentions of Pakistan in the media, there I was, a few meters and I would have had one more visa on my passport (but if I tried to cross, I would probably be shot first). As the crowd builds up to watch the retreat ceremony, the BSF prepares itself for the ceremony. Patriotic songs were played and the chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Hind” brought out the patriotism in me. It was an amazing experience being there. Make sure you reach there early to get a seat with a nice view. The cabs charge around 600 for Amritsar-Wagah-Amritsar.

The ceremony ends by sunset and we were back in our hotel to pack up. Oh and before I forget the pics of the food we had in Punjab :D

That was end of Day-5 and we had covered Delhi, Agra, Chandigarh, Kasauli and Amritsar in these 5days. We took the night train to Haridwar where we spent 3 days followed by 2 days in Jaipur. But all that in separate blogposts that will follow. We flew back to Bangalore from Jaipur at the end of Day-10 :)

You might also be interested to read: Delhi, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri

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