Wednesday, 28 December 2011

GPS By MapmyIndia

GPS Device
As we travel a lot by road, the two biggest problems I mostly face are the constant nagging of my wife and finding the way to our destination. To help me with this, I carry a bundle of maps of India, divided into each state.

You can imagine this scene, where the map is spread out in front of my navigator (my wife), her head buried in it, trying to figure out where we are and what route should we be taking.  Once in a while, we are forced to roll down the window and get someone direction, from people standing by the side of the road. Occasionally, while rolling down the window, the air blows the map of her hand, landing on my face. Sometimes we end up exactly opposite to where we are supposed to be. 
It’s not easy to ask people for direction when you’re in the middle of traffic or when it’s late in the night and you can’t find anyone. Maps in India are not easy to read.  The point I am trying to make with all this is people who love travelling by road should get a GPS for their car.  

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Pets & Aqua Show

Pets & Aqua Show
I love animals, the kind that swims in water or flies in the air or even the kind that walks on land. Oh yeah, no matter how vicious they are or how sluggish they can get. Big or small they are amazing. So when I heard there is a Pet & Aqua show coming to Kerala (Kochi, Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor). I was excited. 

On the day it was supposed to open, I woke up my wife from her sleep, asked her to get dressed, as I wanted to be among the first to see it. It was suppose to start on 15th December at 2pm (It goes on till 25th dec, timing been 2pm–9pm). Even though I reached on time, could not catch the act because they said it would open at 7 pm only. So we decided to see it the next day. 

My excitement peeked as I imagined puppies playing around and also being able to see some rare fishes and so on, I imagined a fun filled day. I arrived the next day just about when it was supposed to open, paid Rs 40 for the tickets and walked in. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior Fort, which is about 4kms from the centre of town, was our second destination. After we visited Jai Vilas Palace, it was a change of scenery. Driving up the mountain, we got a glimpse of the Fort standing on an isolated rock. A narrow road takes us up the mountain to one of the gates of the Fort. On the way up, you can see figures carved into the rock face. Later, we discovered that it was "Tirthankaras".  

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Jai Vilas Palace

We were driving from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh to Delhi, on our way; we stayed in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) for a few days. Getting here from Jabalpur was like the climactic scene from a movie (where we have to fight the villains off, under gun fire and explosion); the villain here was the roads. As I have stated before, roads in Madhya Pradesh are the worst once I have driven on. It's like driving on a battle field. 

A fair warning to all travelling by road, if its monsoon season, be afraid, be very afraid. The pot holes grow into deep wells and also failing of trees can block roads. Either carry a GPS device or a map which is utterly useless in India or a guide or someone to show you alternative routes. If you are travelling on a time constrain, then plan ahead, a lot ahead.

Distance from Jabalpur to Delhi is about 790kms about 20hrs. But it took us about 15hrs just to get to Gwalior (455kms) and 11hrs from there to Delhi. 

It was our first visit ever to Gwalior. I grew up listening to the phrase "Gwalior Ka Pagalkhane Jana Hai Kya" (Do you want to go to the mental hospital in Gwalior?) For me it was more famous for its "Pagalkhana" than the fort or even Tansen. We reached Gwalior late at night, so had to book a place through internet. This hotel looked fine, but had no hot water available in the bathrooms and the food wasn't so good. The truth is we couldn't really find any good place to eat except for McDonald's. I'm glad the city had McDonald's. We even tried a 3 Star restaurant thinking it would be good, the food did taste good but by evening every-ones stomach was upset. So be careful where you choose to eat.

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