23 March 2017

An Artist Playing Harp @Dubai Mall...

When I saw this artist playing Harp at Dubai Mall, I was just not mesmerized by the music, but introduced to a completely new instrument, which was even taller than the artist herself. A string instrument which was no where similar to common string instruments like guitar, violin, veena or sitar.
When I searched for Harp on net, it initially connected me to European string instruments, but further through, it showed evidence of Tamil Sangam literature and Samudragupta connecting it to Indian history. 
As per wikipedia,
It has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard, which are plucked with the fingers. They vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut or nylon, or of metal, or some combination.
The show was at the indoor fountain of the Dubai Mall, which is one of the main attractions of the mall. Check out more on this instrument here.

17 March 2017

Citrus Hotels Lonavala - Review

I was at Citrus Hotels Lonavala for Corporate meet few months back for a two days stay. The hotel is very close to Lonavala station and easily accessible. It was corporate booking and the check-in was quite quick.
The room we stayed was very well done, while few of my colleagues had complaints on maintenance. Rooms have mini fridge, snack basket, tea/coffee maker, safe, flat screen TV, guest slippers. Bathroom is glass partitioned and well maintained with toiletry kit, hair dryer and bath gown. Since its amidst the city, view is no great, not to expect anything for a hill station. Most of the room windows open inside the hotel towards the restaurant which looses privacy. 

Food was good, in open space restaurant with Indian and Mediterranean spreads. Breakfast is complimentary. They also have 24 hours coffee shop and cocktail lounge at the restaurant area.
There is swimming pool and enough place for ball games towards the back of the hotel. Also carrom board and pool table at the restaurant area. There is a private mini theater, best thing when you are in group and looking for a night out, watching movie.
The business center is quite sufficient for a meet of around 30 people. On the first evening we had karaoke party arranged by our management, while second day the hotel had arranged for DJ night.
You can check out the price on their website here.

4 March 2017

Ahmedabad Chronicles IV - Stambh and Minar of Ahmedabad...

While the Mahastambh stands tall in front of Hutheesing Jain Temple, the Jhulta Minara showcases the great craftsmanship. 
Mahavir Stambh
Tall towers have been representing victory and pride since ages. A replica of the Victory tower of Chittorgarh, this 78ft Mahastambh stands tall in the courtyard of Hutheesing Jain temple in Ahmedabad. Having heard a lot about Chittrogarh victory tower, we did not wanted to miss a visit to Hutheesing ni Wadi when in Ahmedabad. The structure is intricately carved with motifs, gods and godddess.

The temple reminded me of the 72 Jinalaya of Mandvi. Dedicated to lord Dharmanath, the main shrine is surrounded by shrines dedicated to 24 thirthankaras and other gods and goddess. Photography is restricted inside the temple premises.
Jhulta Minara
Very close to Kalupur Railway station is Sidi Bashir Minars, well known as Jhulta(shaking) Minara. Built by Sidi Bashir who was famous architect in the reign of Sultan Mahmud Shah I(1458-1511 AD), these 100ft tall minars are famous for their shaking property. If you shake one minar at the top, the second minar vibrates too. Unfortunately, climbing the minar has been restricted recently, but you can enjoy the great craftsmanship on the walls of this three storeyed minar.

I got to know about the Jhulta Minara through Sanrachana a series on EPIC channel. Check out the trailer of the episode below.
Travel info: 
 Hutheesing Jain Temple
Timing: 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and 05:00 pm, Everyday.
Temple is at Bardolpura, Madhupura, 3.6 km from Ahmedabad Station.
Jultha Minara
Timing: 05:00 am to 08:00 pm, Everyday
Minaras are near Kalupur Railway Station Road, Sakar Bazzar, Kalupur, Ahmedabad

18 February 2017

Lake View Cafe - Renaissance, Mumbai

Renaissance Powai is one of the well known land marks of Mumbai. The view of this Marriot group luxury stay and din place is well known for any one traveling on JVLR. Powai lake view from its rooms and restaurants make the place unique and has been Bollywood hot spot. We had come across their coupons on Dinout app and planned for lunch on my birthday. When we checked at the reception about the coupon, they said they were no longer collaborated with Din out and agreed for a direct discount.
Pic Courtesy The Marriot

This Multi cuisine restaurant offers buffet service with variety of spreads including salads, Indian main course, rice, pastes, noodles. While the buffet includes Indian Gravies, surprisingly rotis(Indian breads) are not included in the buffet, you need to order separately. The Indian street food counter is one of the highlights of the restaurant. The dessert and salad counter at the entrance of the restaurant attracts most of the kids.
Pic Courtesy The Marriot
If you look for more luxurious dinning option, you can book a separate private dining section at Emperor's Court, or if you just want to experience the Mumbai Local snacks, desserts, brewed Cuppa coffee at the Five star luxury you can opt for Mumbai Express. 

For booking check their website here. Dinner for 2 people at Lake View Cafe - Rs. 3000(approx)

Note: Since it was my b'day I was busy clicking my own selfies and pics, and forgot to click pics of food and the cafe ;) So took courtesy of Marriot Page.

10 February 2017

Happy To Share - II

Few months back I had shared, I took up running since last year and had shared few of my Finishers Medals. Though I didn't get to be part of much of the marathons this year, one of me and hubby's last year's Walkathon(MaxBupa, Walk for health) pic was published in Times of India, Mumbai edition on 21st Jan, a big surprise on my birthday. Then after the pic was printed again on 28th Jan in Mumbai Times, then in Delhi and Bengaluru Times.
Pic courtesy The Times Group
Walkathon is lined up in Mumbai on 12th Feb, Delhi on 19th Feb and Bengaluru on 26th Feb. I will be walking in Mumbai on 12th Feb. Rangoon star Kangana Ranaut will be there to flag off this walkathon.  Join the fun walk with family and friends here.

31 January 2017

Lal Bagh Flower Show..

Few of the best occasions to visit Bengaluru is during Independence day and Replublic day to catch with the biannual flower shows at Lal Bagh or during Christmas and New year for Cake Show. While many touristy places and shows have come up in Bengaluru off late, the flower show which was started 2 centuries ago has become an historical event and attracts visitors equally.
We were in Bengaluru during  this Republic day for my niece's naming ceremony. We reached Bengaluru on 26th January and the whole route from Corporation to Jayanagar, via Lal Bagh was packed because of heavy traffic at Lal Bagh entrance for flower show. We planned for 27th morning, being a working day so that we could visit the show in ease. It was hubby and kiddo's first visit to flower show of Lal Bagh and both were eagerly waiting after seeing photographs of previous shows.
Replica of Gol Gumbaz
The main attraction of the show is the replica of monuments made from flowers at the Glass House. This year's monument was of Bijapur's Gol Gumbaz. Made of different colours of roses, the replica takes the center of the glass house with different plants and flowers arranged around. 
The whole park is laid with numerous colorful flowers. Its just not the colours but also medicinal plants, fruit plants, herbs, bonsais which add to the show. There are also stalls set up which sell organic, herbal, eco-friendly stuff encouraging visitors to go green. Saplings and flowers are spread through out the park apart from the Glass House.
Floral Carpets
Kiddo named this smiley flower, doesn't it look like a smiley?
Do check out my previous post on Lal Bagh and Glass House to own more about the park and plan a visit.

14 January 2017

Skywatch - Sheikh Zayed Mosque Ajman...

I was going through few of my old photographs and came across these pictures of Sheikh Zayed Mosque Ajman, which I had clicked almost a decade back, on our way back to Dubai from Flamingo Beach Resort.

I hardly explored Ajman much during my 2 years stay in Dubai, but came across Sheikh Zayed mosque every time on my drives to Northern Emirates. Its on the outskirts of the city towards Umm A Quwain.
Happy SkyWatching!!!