Jaisalmer Travel Diaries - Part I

(Image Source)

Hello hello!
Finally here is our travel diary of the road trip to Jaisalmer that we took this month. I would be doing this story in three parts so that  I can cover all the aspects of our travel.  Jaisalmer is not a very big city, in fact, it is quite a laidback town. And mid-January, when we had visited was apparently the near end of the tourist season - meaning, less crowd and more time for us wherever we went (not to mention discounts :D).

We drove down to the city through beautiful rustic Rajasthani landscape, which, I must say is not all desert (as we might have been made to believe in school times). But the roads are extremely good and the traffic well-regulated, so if you ever plan to drive down to the state, even with kids or elderly people, do not hesitate a bit!

This post is about my visit to the Jaisalmer fort, which stands tall above the city and is the center of attraction.

Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as we enjoyed experiencing it :D

The Jaisalmer fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1156 AD by then ruler Rawal Jaisal. The fort is made of yellowish gold sandstone, intricately carved, hence it is also known as Sonar Qila or Golden Fort. My guide, Bharat, informed me that a famous Satyajit Ray's movie named 'Sonar Qila' was filmed here, after which Jaisalmer came into prominence in the tourist map.

About 500 families still live inside the fort, and I couldn't help but wonder about their lives. Having your grandparents, parents, yourself born in the same  house that you would continue to live now, Wow, some history there!

The stone carvings here are divine!

Panoramic view of the city from atop the fort.

Along the bylanes inside the fort, in a lot of placed you would find little shops selling patchwork crafts (bedcovers, runners, etc), silver jewellery and 'antique' items. I know that what costs inside the fort is almost 4-5 times of what it costs outside in the streets, so I did not even bother them asking the price of these items. Never hurts to admire them from far though :)

A shop selling 'touristy' items just outside the gate.

One of the exits of the fort which lead to shopping streets outside.

Weekend Links

Hello hello!

What's up folks? I got back from my Jaisalmer trip about a week ago and will be uploading the trip posts soon. This is already the last weekend of the first month of the year! Time is flying so fast and I haven't even started work upon my plans for the year. Gotta buck up!!

Meanwhile, here are a few interesting links from around the web..

 9 amazing women at Jaipur Literarature Festival.

A humorous take on designer baby names.

How to conduct a wardrobe audit.

Just came across this home decor blog and I'm hooked!

Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard? A video that changed my life!

This instagram account is H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S

This beautiful apartment in Dubai.

Currently crushing - these perfect wedges.

Have a great weekend!


5 Ways To Be More Indian This Year

Happy Republic Day to all you lovely people!

68th year and we have done pretty well for ourselves. But is it just me or have you noticed as well, that slowly but surely, our generation and the upcoming one has been moving away from most things Indian, even to the point that these days parents refuse to teach their children native languages and it's only English at school and home as well! The logic I will never understand. I do not consider myself as a fanatic patriot, but I have realized that through small and simple daily means, we can contribute a little towards maintaining Indian-ness as well as to help our countrymen grow in their respective lives. Here are top 4 ways you can be that lovely, supportive, warm Indian too, famous for their smile, hospitality and kindness:

  1. Eat Local : Yes, Kale, Broccoli and continental are all fine and posh. But try a local dhaba next time you plan a dinner out. Or a vada pav stall when you miss your breakfast. Try a Rs 30/- filter coffee that tastes so much better than a Rs 300/- Starbucks. And honestly, I've eaten much better burgers in local eateries than I have at McDonald's/KFC etc. And please don't go looking for a Pizza Hut next time you're in culturally rich places like McLeodganj!No, I'm not asking you to boycott international food chains, but just make an effort at least once a month to try out something new, something locally made.

  2. Wear handloom: If you know me, you know I can't stop talking about this. Please give handloom a chance. I haven't seen anything woven so lovingly, with so much passion, handlooms are a divine manifestation of man's patience, devotion and faith in the beauty of handmade. Try them. Start with a stole, or a kurti or dust off that saree in your closet. If you prefer something western, do try the wonderful new brands marying handloom fabrics with new age designs.
  3. Travel within the country: There are SO MANY amazingly breathtaking places within our country that even this one lifetime won’t be enough to cover it all! And I don’t even know where to begin .. Look below. Or check out this link.
  4. Be beautiful Indian way: Before we had pure, organic, eco-friendly cosmetics, we had dadi-ma's haldi-besan ubtan. And weekly oil massages. Before we had chemical shampoo's one solution for 5 problems, we had amla-shikakai powder for all our problems.OK, so we don’t have to let go multinational brands altogether and adapt a desi lifestyle. But at least, this year, we can give a chance to go natural, to try homemade solutions for all our skincare issues.Nobody ever looked more beautiful than our grandmothers or mothers. Didn't they?
  5. Buy Local: Farmers market, homegrown coffee, locally produced fruits, earnest Indian brands porividng you with the best of food, health and lifestyle products. Just give them a chance.

    Image source: NDTV

5 Simple Ways to Make Your New Year Happier

Happy New Year, lovelies!! 

Do you feel same as me, that even though the days seem so long, the year just whizzes by? I mean, it feels like just yesterday that we were wishing each other for New Year 2016, and now 2017 is already here!

An important thing that strikes me is, that even though at the beginning of a year I plan of so many thing new things to do, I just don't get down to doing it and the year just flashes away.

So here I've identified a list of 5 simple ways you can make your 'Happy New Year' be just more than a greeting, and a joyful journey indeed:

  1. Write down your plans: Be it your goals for the year, a travel dream or something that you'd been wanting to do for long. Trust me, writing down is so much more helpful as the first step than having everything just float in and out of your mind. Penning down your thoughts, dreams and goals ensure that your brain also works on how to go about achieving it. And you have more chances of attaining it. So there you go! Take than pen and just W.R.I.T.E
  2. Travel to one new place this year : Nothing enriches your life the way traveling does. And even then people spend years staying in the same place, or just taking a holiday to the same old comfortable place they go every year. Try new. Travel new this year. Even if it is just one small place. Just go!
  3. Make one new friend: I know, esp at our age, making new friends is hard; especially for introverts like me. But just take that one step and go and say that first hello. Ask them their name, where are they from, what is their story. You will be amazed by the fact that behind ordinary faces, there are such extraordinary stories. And you will have one new friend to share your life with.
  4. Learn to cook one new dish: Cooking is therapeutic, cooking can be fun, Cooking is creativity at its tastiest! Be it a secret family recipe your grandmother and mother having doling out for years, or instant noodles in a different style or a new omelette recipe, just try something new. Better still, cook as a family. You will get to bake your cake and eat it too! (pun definitely intended!)
  5. Let go of one toxic factor from your life : Be it a relationship, a habit, a food item, anything that you know is plain harmful for you. Just gather the courage to just kiss it goodbye. It will be difficult to do so, but it is not impossible, and you will forever be thankful for doing it. There is more to this life than just being bogged down by all the negativity. 
Have a good year!

(Image sourced from UnSplash)