Things to see and do

Funny how 10 days feels like a month! It’s only been ten days since my last post but when you go out of town and come back, even if you have been out only for 3 days, it feels like you have been away for at least a fortnight! At least it feels that way for me. I have been travelling like crazy. I was in Delhi-Rishikesh-Haridwar-Agra on a vacation, and then I was in Mumbai for the last four days. So please forgive the time gap between my posts. Many of you have written and asked me if I am ok—yes I am! And no—I have not forgotten my resolution of posting more often! It’s just one of those rare times that I did not have Internet access and when I got back there was a mountain of pending work that clearing it seems like a behemoth task, not to mention the colossal number in my Google Reader which I am scared to even open and look at! [I'll get around to your blogs slolwly--as I recover my breath :) ]

Even though I had seen the Taj Mahal many times before, we still decided to visit Agra as my children were seeing it for the first time. The magic works each single time. There is something mesmerising, magical and enthralling about the Taj. We stood and stared along with the children. The story of Shah Jahan’s love for Mumtaz continues to move millions of people who travel across the globe for a glimpse of the Taj, even centuries after it was built.

Rishikesh and Haridwar exude spirituality like no other place. There is so much of a vibrant energy in both these places. The colours, the sounds, the atmosphere, the River Ganges all of it was so overwhelming and enchanting. As an Indian (That too again it was not the first time I was visiting the place) I was swept away completely and so I can imagine how a Foreigner visiting this place will feel. (Many come here to do white water rafting trips)

The best part of course was pigging on the food. The parathas at the roadside dhabas are irresistible, and the dollops of butter added to it only make it even more so and for once I did not watch the calories and relished the food.

I leave you with a few images that I really liked—and they were all clicked by my son (he just turned eleven) who loves photography.

If you have seen the Taj, then you know what i am talking about and if you have not seen the Taj, take out your calendars, mark your dates and plan a trip right now!

It indeed is a MUST do.


  1. Welcome back.

    Your son is a professional Photographer in the making!!Look at the angles and the lightings!! Wow! Amazing pictures!!

  2. You came to delhi!!??? I so wanted to meet you :(((

    And you must hone this special talent your son has in photography. He is really good at it.

  3. Those are just wonderful pictures! Atul is an amazing photographer! I loved the last pic the best.

    I miss Delhi so much.

    How was the vacation?

  4. ahh....welcome back :)

    Nice pictures :)

  5. ahh....welcome back :)

    Nice pictures :)

  6. great holidays... the pics your son clicked are real nice....

  7. Good to see u back....
    Hmmmm...Taj Mahal has been a must see on my list for sometime now.....but a 1 month vacation is too short a time to spend with family the wish fulfillment keeps getting delayed.....hopefully soon:-).

    The pictures are beautiful...Atul seems to have the 'eye' for it:-).

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  9. Welcome !!
    I was waiting for ur next post..
    This is d first time am gng to comment on ur blog n i will surely keep in touch as i love wat u write!!

    For Taj, its indeed beautiful!!

    n al we can say on watching it is "Wah TAJ!!"

    N to ur son "Wah atul!!" (for the photos!!)


  10. Hi di,
    Even I held my breath when I had the first glimpse of taj!
    It is very mesmerizing indeed!!
    Wanna visit it again with hubby dear when I am home next!!
    and the photographs are just awesome!
    u r son's turning to be a very very good photographer isint he?
    good job kiddo!!
    well done!!

  11. next time try viewing the Taj at not sure if they allow that anymore thanks to all the security threats.

    its a feeling hard to replicate.

    great to know that you had a great time.

    kudos to atul.

  12. Junior have the eye - get him trained or try to get some hands on tips from a professional photographer - he will become a good professional one :) TAJ is still in my list... was wondering where did you vanish... now got the answer :)

  13. Hi there!A first timer on your blog.I too love photography and must say your son did a splendid job.I saw Taj Mahal almost three years back and of course aren't we just proud of it.But I really want to see it at night.Never been to Rishsikesh,I am sure it is as vibrant and full of energy as your post says.

  14. hi !!

    it's true that taz is really mesmerising.

    photos were really beautiful

  15. nice post and photos!
    i always wanted to see taj mahal, seen it only in books and online photos. hope one day i'll get there and experience it.
    thanks for sharing! ;)

  16. Wow..seeing the picture of Taj I feel so J...have been wanting since long to visit Taj and still its in the planning stage:-(.I remember Bill Clinton qouting after his visit to the Taj-The world can be divided into two sections-One those who have seen the Taj and one those who haven't.I think it aptly describes the beauty of the place and makes me want to visit it at the next availabale opportunity.And kudos to Atul for the wonderful pics!!

  17. ya TAJ is really one of the most mesmerising monument that one can see in India.. I have been to TAJ and still remember it's magnificient white marble which has stood the test of time.... The pics were awesome and tell Atul to start taking his hobby seriously..:)

  18. Wow! Looks like you really enjoyed your holidays...I still have a couple of days left.

    Beautiful pics, I'm sure your son is heading somewhere great :)

    I visited the Taj two years ago. Loved it! look at my not so clear pic carefully, the background is the!

  19. Wow, the geometry of those photos is amazing!
    Yes, I do feel like that when I'm travelling. Take it easy slowing down now. You've got time (ok, maybe you don't but pretend you do)

  20. Hey,
    Indeed some of India's Architecture is unbeatable.
    And as you say, how many ever times you see the Taj Mahal, it still is a treat!
    And your son is just too good:-)
    Glad you posted his pics, will sure encourage him to do more!

  21. I can only sit and wonder how fantastic it must be to stand within such an amazing building...which is so much more than 'just' a building...a cultural and artistic icon for a whole nation and one of the 7 wonders of the world!

  22. When I visited after a really long stay in the US, my parents and I took a trip to Delhi and Agra. I cannot begin to tell you how much we enjoyed the city, particularly Agra and the Taj. I still can remember the look on my mother's face. She was captivated.

    This post brought back memories!


  23. Welcome back! :-) This post brought back great memories of my childhood.. I had visited the Taj with my family and cousins when i was in my teens.. Remember being mesmerized by the beauty and just standing there blank for abt 5 minutes.. We then played in the garden with the water pipes.. Good old days.. :-) and yes! you must hone this talent of Atul.. He has an eye for colours.. Great pics!

  24. ur son is certainly a professional photographer in the making....Do encourage all his talents more so that it can grow along with him...he will make u proud...
    I have always wanted to c the taj, but havent got a chnace till today, i guess i have to make it there some day soon...

  25. Not just Taj, the Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh, The Har ki Podi in Haridwar are all must go places!

    Did you try white water rafting in Rishikesh. I've heard its wonderful. I am planning a trip there this year. Not sure when though!

    Lovely Pictures Atul!

  26. In which place was the last picture captured? Jantar Mantar?

  27. I was also thinking what happened to your 2 posts a week resolution. You are being missed Preeti :)
    And yeh Atul is a wonderful photographer(I'm not saying 'in the making'. He already is). And yes Delhi n agra is in my list. But somehow not yet able to visit these places(tho I have been to Delhi) :(

  28. for some strange reason i am just not able to bring myself to go visit the taj... i think its the same reason that we sometimes don't want to watch a movie made on one of your favorite books... i think it will disappoint in real life...

  29. abs professional in the making... brilliant stuff

  30. welcome back! and yes Taj is indeed gorgeous all the way! :)

    and loved the pictures!



  31. For me, Taj was just a distant memory of a sight I'd seen long back when I was seven years old. Back then, I couldn't understand the philosophy behind the underlying love, nor could I fully appreciate the beauty. I was complaining about the heat!!

    As I read your post now, I feel like kicking myself for not savouring that visit. Awesome post, as always! :D

    Must gear up for a trip to Agra soon. Only if I had the money too! :(

  32. feels so good to see your post again:)awesome fotos..i liked the third one ie that of the pillars especially:)..


  33. Wat a great way to begin the year!!!

    Atul is shooting excellent pics! Pls do tell him that. My hubby loves photography as well..n when i showed him a few of the picsclicked by atul that u've posted..he was very impressd too. U could enroll him in some photography classes:)
    [saying it as a fan..pls dont take it otherwise]

    n yes..ive done the Delhi-haridwar-Rishikesh-mathura-Agra trip... n i enjoyed it every bit. I was in awe when i saw the Taj mahal and the Ganges...words n pics can never do justice in trying to xplain wat it feels like.wish im able to go there again.

  34. Pavi: Thanks!Dont worry--everything you said is gracefully accepted.I dont think there are any photography courses for children!

    Geetha: me too :) Thanks

    Hari: In summer heat can be opressive.I guess we also enjoyed it so much as it was winter.

    Mama mia:Thanks :)

    Monika: :)

    Guru:Even I am like that when it comes to much hyped things.For example I read the Harry potter first book only very recently.But trust me the Taj will not disappoint.

  35. Dhanya:Coming from you and considering the superb pics you take I do consider it a fab compliment.Thanks :)

    Varun:Yes to all except white water which we have to do.

    Enigma:Will encourage and yes do plan a trip in winter.

    Sango:Thanks! Even i had first visited the Taj as a child.

    Vidya:Reminds me of the scene in the Jhump lahiri book 'The namesake' :)

    Niall:I do hope you visit India.

    Durga:Yes--he did feel happy :)

    Devil Mood:Has your email id changed?I mailed you this morning but it bounced.

    Still thinking : :-)Will find out soon what you're doing.

    Sushobhan:It indeed is and I will.

  36. Divya: Oh--i didnt know that Clinton quote.And you will get your chance soon.Somehow I know.

    Iriz:I really hope you do.It is enchanting.

    Aparna: Oh yes--it is.Thanks.

    Moons muse:I guess Rishikesh haridwar will appal more if one is into Hinduism.Otherwise one just senses the vibrancy without really understanding.

    xh:Wish i had asked YOU to give him tips when we met.Next time!

    Gazal:Yes--even I dont know if its permitted anymore

    Swath:You must!

    pam: Thanks for finally commenting :) Taj is indeed 'wah'

    Reflections--Out of a month three days are enough to visit Agra and get back! :P

    Jaanvi:Thank you

    Prakhar:Thanks :) and thank you for that sweet reminder too in my last mail

    Aathira: Vacation was FANTASTIC esp as we met up with some dear friends.

    NM: We had to catch up with a coupl of really good friends.So couldnt meet many people that i wanted to.Maybe next time!

    Maddy:Thank you!!And you were the first to comment!!

  37. Dear all,
    A special message that my son wanted me to convey to you all. He read each and every comment on this post and he says "Mama, please do tell all of them that it is very sweet of them to encourage me and thank them from me". So a thank you each one of you from Atul.

  38. nice pics!!!!! as always the post was enjoyable.

  39. Hi Preeti, just wondering if your son has a flickr account or not. Get him one. He can learn the techniques better in flickr by joing different groups. I particularly like the Qutubminar shot he has taken. Without any post processing - that shot is very good, I must say.

  40. Atul is doubt about it...those are excellent pictures....

    yes, the taj mesmerises you the moment you step inside the gate....i've seen it several times but that first glimpse never fails to make me pause and stare....

    they must have been thrilled to see the rashtrpathi bhavan, india gate...stuff which you read in school kids were very thrilled to see the monuments which they read about in school books...

  41. am probably one of the few guys who have never seen the TAJ...I think it would be one among my resolutions whenerver am back in India for good...

  42. What a lovely Vacation :)
    nd kudos to the Photographer, its quita hard to discover your tru tallents, lucky he's found it so early :). Im still searching for mine :D

    PS. I have Tagged you hehehe :P, eagerly waiting for your response :)
    and in case u've already gt a similar tag, plss share the link :)

    - Link:
    >>>> <<<<

  43. Does your son give free photography lessons?


    WOW u went to the Taj Mahal? How lucky r ya! Lovely pics. I wanna go there too..always wanted to. I think after seeing the pics here and reading ur post, Im inclined to do it sooner :)

    tnxx hun!


  45. Nice post as always. Catching that nice talent of your son at this young age will definitely help him.Encouragement from you all is definitely going to take him places.
    Rishikesh,what an enchanting place. One just feels at peace sitting on the the banks of mighty Ganges.
    Good you are back after an enchanting trip, look forward to more of your nice posts

  46. Everytime I see Atul's photography, I am amazed at how well he captures the moment. I love to click pictures too, but I can't boast of such finesse! So here's to you Atul!! You are absolutely brilliant :-)

    India truly is incredible, where beauty can be found in the most obscure places. All that is required is an eye for detail. Delectably written again :-)

  47. Stillness speaks:This time i thought writing was just ok--not particularly delectable :) U give me far too much credit than i deserve but I aint complaining :)

    Never ending memories:Thank you :)

    CU:Thanks so much.Rishikesh is indeed serenity!

    Kesshi:You must! And a happy new year!

  48. Cris: i think he'll like you even though you're slightly older than him :P

    Shimmer:Saw the tag :) Will do it in your comment box itself.Is that ok?

    Mathew:Many havent seen.Its worth seeing.

    rm:Will tell him

    Suma:Oh yes!!Mine too were delighted to be seeing everything that they had read about in their text books.They esp loved the Dolls museum.

    Last Cigarette:I went to flickr and saw--what groups can one join?Pls suggest--mail me.U already have my id.

    Iam: Thanks :)

  49. yeah thats fine :)

  50. I agree with the beauty of Taj.. and Hrishikesh and Haridwar.. simply great.. I love the positive vibes there.. esp the har ki pauri is simply mesmerizing..
    Your kiddo seems to be very talented.. I hope he pursues his photography interests :)

  51. Lovely pictures Atul, like I've said before, I clearly see u getting better by the day :)
    PS, :( I am so very disappointed.. I remember u agreeing that we'd meet the next time u come to Mumbai..


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