3

I miss you



Reliving the moments, I had with you,

Each place I visited reminded me of you.

Those lanes, our long walks, the beautiful weather, 

The bench on which we sat and had witnessed the beautiful nature. 

Though you are far,

Let me tell you I miss you.

All I wish now is to see you soon,

Share my journey, which was incomplete without you.

-Heta Gala Naidu

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2

The beautiful Serena Beach Resort


My family at Serena Beach Resort- Mandvi

My family at Serena Beach Resort- Mandvi

An appealing paradise on the earth,

Located in the Maska village of the district Kutch.

The traditionally built chambers to dwell,

 And the amazing panorama to relish as well.

Occupied with all the modern and luxurious amenities,

It serves their guest with delicious food from the menu of chef’s specialties.  

The beautiful neighbouring beach can calm you by its soothing sound,

This magnificent resort would hold you spellbound.

Do visit this beautiful and magnificent place,

A perfect destination to enjoy and unwind in peace.

-Heta Gala

A month ago, my family had visited again the beautiful Serena Beach Resort situated in the Mandvi city in the Kutch district of Gujarat state. My amazing experience at this resort had enticed my family and a few relatives to visit and experience this wondrous beach resort 🙂 . For more details regarding the resort, you could read my Serena Beach Resort blogpost  here : A visit to Serena Beach Resort Mandvi- the Kutch Exploration Part 1

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The Kutch Exploration Part 3


Last time, I had shared my review on Shyamji Krishna Varma’s Memorial house. Today, I would gladly share three more places, I had visited in Kutch that were amazing and must-to-visit places in my opinion.

The Windfarm beach is situated in the Mandvi city in the Kutch district of Gujarat state. Yes, I had mostly visited the places around the city itself due to the time constraints, but still, I made sure, I got something new to explore. Beaches have always allured me towards its calm and peaceful environment. And then, as soon as, I heard we were visiting a beach today, I was instantly happy 🙂 . Windfarm beach as the name suggest has windmills that are lined up at one end of the beach that generates electricity for the area around. It is popularly called as Mandvi’s “Juhu beach”(One of the beaches of Mumbai, INDIA), but frankly it is way cleaner than any beaches of Mumbai. People here can  have a small walk along the pleasant water, or play around or can just go for swimming. They have some wonderful snacks to serve like some of the yummy chaats, fresh coconut water and various other delicious drinks. I had been here in the evening and the climate was very pleasant with the rains making it more salubrious.

                                                                                  (Wind Farm Beach, Mandvi)                                                                                                 (Wind Farm Beach, Mandvi)

The next destination that I had visited was “Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft park”  located in the small village named Bhujodi. Now this craft park was established to preserve and promote the art of Kutch that was disappearing due to the lack of the financial support to artisans. Mr. Chetan Shah, the managing director of Ashapura group got a vision to build a platform for these artisans to develop and promote their work to the masses. This platform enables them to pass on their legacy and preserve the cultural and historical arts of Kutch. Also, the artisans are provided with a daily stipend with the meals, boarding and lodging free of cost during their stay in craft park. The artisans don’t have to pay any charge or fees for exhibiting or promoting their work. This craft park also possesses a beautiful garden and a small pond to add to its beauty.     ( HiraLaxmi Memorial Craft Park, Bhujodi, Kutch)                  (A lotus pond in HiraLaxmi Memorial Craft park, Bhujodi, Kutch)                               ( The artisans above and below working and displaying their art work)hiralakshmi-memorial

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The last place before leaving the Kutch that I had visited was the Vijaya Vilas Palace. This palace is located on the sea beach of Mandvi and is one of the popular tourist destinations. The palace was constructed in 1929 and was built with red sandstone. The palace is set in the middle of gardens with water channels and marble fountains. The magnificent stone carved work of the palace has been done by the various architects from the places like Rajasthan, Bengal and Saurashtra with the help of the local Kutchi artisans and carpenters. The intricate high domes, the coloured glass windows, the elegant stone carvings make the palace worth visiting. At the pinnacle of the palace, there is a balcony that gives an amazing view of the surrounding of the palace and also of the beautiful beach. The Vijaya Vilas Palace offers air conditioned tented accommodations to the tourists near the beach with the spectacular view of it.                (Vijaya Vilas Palace, Mandvi, Kutch)            (The view from top of the Vijaya Vilas palace-Mandvi, Kutch) mandavi                                     ( The Air conditioned Tent rooms of Vijaya Vilas Palace Resort – Mandvi, Kutch)

So here ends the Kutch exploration and it was an amazing experience to visit these new places. If you plan to visit the Kutch soon, please do visit these amazing places and feel the experience on your own. I hope my posts helps to think to visit these places on your next visit to Kutch.

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Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial House- The Kutch Exploration Part 2


The Kutch exploration continues and I will blog today on the second spot, I had visited in Kutch. I had been to Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial house that is located in the Mandvi city in the Kutch district of Gujarat state. The memorial house was built to pay tribute to the freedom fighter Shyamji Krishna Varma. It is also an educational spot that enlightens the history of INDIA where many great warriors, freedom fighters, Social Reformers and many Indians had fought for our country’s freedom.

Shyamji Krishna Varma was born on 4th October 1857 in Mandvi city. He did his primary education in Mandvi and completed his secondary education in Bhuj city. Thereafter he went to Wilson High School, Mumbai for his further studies, where he learnt the Sanskrit language. In 1879, he joined as an assistant professor of Sanskrit in Balliol College, Oxford University. In 1882, he passed and achieved the BA degree from Balliol College. In 1884, he earned Barrister at Law from the Oxford University. After completing his studies, in 1885 he returned back to India and started his practice as a lawyer. Later, he decided to fight for India’s independence and in 1897, he left for England to fight against the British’s rule from their own country. In 1900, he bought an expensive house in Highgate. This house became a base for all the Indian political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and many others, to discuss the independence of India. In 1905, he published the first issue of ” The Indian Sociologist” and also founded “The Indian home rule society”. This organisation, was founded to promote the cause of self rule in British India. Shyamji Varma also established India House as a hostel for Indian students based at 65, Cromwell Avenue, Highgate. Soon the India House became one of the most prominent centers of revolutionary Indian nationalism based outside India. Due to the increasing pressure from the British Government, Shyamji Krishna Varma left Britain and went to Paris. He arrived in Paris in the year 1907 and continued his work there. The Indian Sociologist was shifted to Paris as the British government sealed the India house. Later in 1922, Shyamji Krishna Varma published two more issues of The Indian Sociologist in Paris. He died on 30th March, 1930. He had made pre arrangements with the local Government of Geneva and St. George Cemetery to preserve his and his wife Bhanumati ashes at the cemetery itself for 100 years and later send to the independent INDIA.

After 55 years of Indian Independence, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of INDIA was successful in bringing back the urns of the great freedom fighter Shyamji Krishna Varma and his wife Bhanumati. It was the dream of the prime minister Narendra Modi’s to build a memorial house to pay tribute to Shyamji Krishna Varma and many such freedom fighters, Indian warriors who fought for our country’s independence. Then, a replica of India House was built as a part of Memorial house. The India house has a library, an audio/video room and paintings of the Indian warriors, nationalists, revolutionaries made by esteemed artists of Gujarat.

If you are planning to visit Kutch, please do visit this Memorial house. I will share a few pictures of the memorial below.

                                                                            (The India House- Mandvi, Kutch) 

                                                                     (The ashes of Shyamji Krishna Varma)
                                                                           (The ashes of Bhanumati Krishna Varma)

                                                                                             ( The virtual homage)
                                             ( The virtual homage paid to the Shyamji Krishna Varma)

                                                                          ( The Indian sociologist Paper)

                      ( The prime minister Narendra Modi with the urns of Shyamji Krishna Varma and his wife Bhanumati)

                                                                        (Information on Shyamji Krishna Varma )

                                                                     ( The audio/video room of India House-Mandvi)

                                      ( The paintings of Freedom fighters/ nationalists/ revolutionaries at India House-Mandvi)

                                                          ( The playground with paintings of the freedom fighters on the wall)

8

A visit to Serena Beach Resort Mandvi- The Kutch exploration Part 1


   Recently, I had been to my native place Kutch. On this trip, I had visited a few new places like Windfarm Beach, India House (Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial), Hiralaxmi Memorial Craft Park and Serena Beach resort. Whenever we travel to a new place, we always get to learn something new or see something new of that place. Our experience when shared, induce others to visit the place and feel the amazing experience on their own.

   As promised, I would share my critique of these beautiful places, I had visited. Let me start with the Serena Beach Resort. This resort is situated in the Mandvi city of Kutch district in the Gujarat state, INDIA. The resort is built on the wide acres of land with many beautiful huts built to stay, with all the luxurious amenities provided within. The hut has a small veranda outside to sit. The architect has done a marvellous job of building the huts by giving it the authentic look of the huts usually built in the villages. The surrounding of the resort is designed and decked with the vintage cars, tyres, and scooters which are painted in the vibrant and mixed colours.The huts are encircled by the beautiful garden around it. The resort has all the essential and opulent facilities like a swimming pool, a multi cuisine restaurant, a poolside bar and a fitness center. The resort is soon going to build the luxurious Villas facing the pool with a sitting room, a bedroom and a separate garden. The resort also provides a different space for holding meetings or conferences (with a proper wifi and the internet connections) or even weddings.

  The most prominent part of the resort is the beach. The restaurant of the resort is located exactly near the beach and having food with the spectacular view of the beach on the other side was amazing. Going for a walk on the beach was the best part of my visit to this resort. The white sand touching your feet, the only sound you hear is that of the waves, the sun setting in the evening, the open sky above and the peaceful surrounding calms you down and relaxes your mind.

 

  I was mesmerized by the beautiful resort built in the midst of the Maska village. I never expected to find such a beautiful modern place to relax in Kutch. On my review list, I would say, this resort has the excellent ambience, an amazing luxurious room, nice food, friendly staff and an astonishing location. The only cons, I felt were the room service provided was not as per my expectations may be due to the resort is a newly built! Secondly, the food served was nice, but was rather expensive and not totally worth. Though, I would surely recommend you all to visit this resort if you are planning to take a trip to Kutch. It’s a perfect place to enjoy and relax with your family or friends. 

For more details regarding this resort please visit the below site:

http://serenabeachresort.com/

Gallery: IMG_3095                                                                                    ( Huts of the Serena Beach Resort)

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                                                                                             (Huts of the Serena Beach Resort)

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                                                                                    (The hut room allocated to me and my family)

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                                                                                           (The scooter repainted in vibrant colours)

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                                                                                       ( The car repainted in vibrant colours)

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                                                                                          ( The view of the beach resort entrance )

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                                                                                           (The view of the beach from the  resort)

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                                                                                                         ( The Swimming pool)

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                                                                                            (The Fitness Center of the resort)

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                                                                                            ( The way to the beach of Serena Resort)

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                                                                      (Dunes- The multi cuisine restaurant of the Serena Resort )

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                                                                 (The view of the beach from the Dunes Restaurant- Serena Resort)

8

A walk down through the emotional memory


Waiting outside for my turn to come, I was eyeing around the old historic restaurant. The place was buzzing with many hawkers and with the people who were just waiting like me. My mind travelled back, a six years from now, when this place was filled with the cries and the blood of many innocent lives. People were running to save themselves from the firing of a few hungry vultures who claimed that they were serving their life for their Jihad.

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A few days back, I had been to one of the oldest restaurant and bar “Leopold Café” established in the year 1871. Yes! Leopold! Does it sound like a familiar name..Right! You might have come across the name Leopold café in Gregory David Roberts’s novel SHANTARAM, where the cafe was very well described ! It is one of the popular bars located in the Colaba Causeway of the South Mumbai, INDIA. It serves various delicious cuisines and is particularly famous for its delicious pastries and yummy cakes. As my name was called, I along with my friends occupied a seat in one of the corner of the restaurant. Once we ordered the food, we looked around the restaurant. People were talking, giggling and cheering with their friends and families. The restaurant inside is very simple with the round shaped tables and comfortable aligned chairs around it. It has a mezzanine level which is a bar. The exterior of the restaurant won’t seem great initially, but, you would fall in love with this place once you have been here. The interiors have a retro look to it, with the old paintings and portraits around. You will even get to read and see many funny one liners and the pictures of evolution of alcoholic beverage brands. There were a few frames of critics, displaying the credentials and the best dishes served at the restaurant. Suddenly, to my left, I noticed two big holes on the wall. With the curiosity rising inside me, I inquired with the security guard and I came to know that they were the marks of the bullets fired during the 26/11 attack. Later, he showed us a few more bullet holes around. None of the holes were sealed and they were kept as a memory of the 26/11 attack.

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Leopold café was one of the sites along with the Taj hotel, Trident hotel, CST station, Cama hospital, NAriman House and the Metro cinema that were attacked by the terrorists on 26th November 2008. The cafe was damaged as the terrorists had dredged it with many bullets and had killed many harmless people who had been there to enjoy with their friends and families.

With the deserts done and the bill Paid, we were on our way to the exit. The place was still buzzing, people were still waiting for their turn for a table. My visit to this café was delightful, but, when the images of the 26/11 attack emerged in front of me, I felt very bad for the people who lost their lives in this attack. I left Leopold Café with some blissful and emotional memories. If you are in Mumbai, India, I reckon your trip is incomplete without visiting the Leopold Café.

4

A short trip to Mahableshwar


A place that stands close to my heart, filled with some fond memories and a lovely romantic city “Mahableshwar”. It’s been more than a week, I was off from the blogging as, I was having my leisure time in Mahableshwar, a lovely hill station situated in the state of Maharashtra. It was a much needed break for me and I truly enjoyed to the core. A lovely stay, the delicious food and many wonderful places I had visited, still mesmerizes me. Let me share some pictures of places I had visited there 🙂 .

1)Tableland:                                             Table-Land-Panchgani

This plateau is situated a few kilometres away from the Mahableshwar city in Panchgani. It is counted as the second largest mountain plateau in Asia.

IMG_0094                                        (My image at Tableland)

2) Veena Lake:

IMG_0216                               (A photo clicked by me of Venna Lake )

This lake is one of the famous tourist attractions in Mahableshwar. It is surrounded by greenery from all the sides. The visitors can enjoy boat ride  and can have a nice view of the whole lake by this water ride.

3) Pratapgarh fort:

IMG_0155

( A photo of Pratapgarh fort clicked by me)

This fort is situated in the Satara District and has a great history behind it. In the battle of Pratapgarh, the great Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj had won the battle against Adilshahi general Afzal Khan. The fort has many small temples of the various deities and has a statue of the King Shivaji Maharaj at the upper level of the fort, which was inaugurated by our First Prime minister Mr. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. At the lower level, there is the Afzal tower constructed, where  the general Afzal’s head is said to be buried underneath the tower. Though it was very tiring as a person has to climb approximately 200 steps to reach the upper level of the fort, but I truly enjoyed visiting this fort and it felt worth after seeing the view from the above.

IMG_0162                              (A statue  of the King Shivaji  clicked by me)

4)Kates point:

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(A photo clicked of Kates point by me)

This point is 1280 meters high and is famous for two reservoirs Balakwadi and Dhom.

5)Parsi Point:

IMG_0115                                   (A Photo clicked of Parsi point by me)

This is a very small point but has a beautiful scenic view of The Krishna Valley.

6)Arthur Seat point:

IMG_0368                                  (A photo clicked of Arthur seat by me)

This point was named after the British officer Sir Arthur, who sat at this point and gazed at the river Savitri where he lost his family in a tragic mishap. Along with this point there are other  small points like Malcolm point, Tiger spring point, Echo point, Monkey point to view.

7)Connaught peak :

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(A photo of the Connaught peak from the top of the point clicked by me)

It is the second highest peak in Mahableshwar and has a beautiful scenic view from the top.

8) Lodwick point:

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(A photo of Lodwick point clicked by me)

This point is named after the first European Mr. Lodwick, who set the foot on this point.

9)Needle point or Elephant head point:

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(A photo clicked of Elephant head by me)

A few meters ahead of Kates point, there is one more point named Elephant head. The point is named as Elephant head due to a particular rock formation which gives the shape just like the Elephant’s head and trunk.

10)Mapro Gardens:

IMG_0601

(The Mapro Gardens photo clicked by me)

It is situated between Panchgani and Mahableshwar city and is a popular tourist attraction. It has a small flower garden, an eatery stall and also has a small chocolate factory.

11)Kaas plateau:

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(A photo of Kaas plateau clicked by me)

This plateau is located at the height of 1200 meters and is famous for wild flowers which blooms only in the month of August and September every year. This plateau is declared as a Biodiversity World Heritage site by the UNESCO.

12)Kaas Lake:

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(A photo of Kaas Lake clicked by me)

The Kaas Lake is situated a few kilometres down the plateau and is surrounded by the dense forests from all the sides.

13)Lingmala Waterfall:

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(A photo of the mini waterfall clicked by me)

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(A photo of Main Waterfall of Lingmala clicked by me)

There are two waterfalls here, mini and main waterfall formed by Venna river. The main waterfall is approximately 750 meters away from the mini waterfall.

I truly enjoyed my trip and every place was worth a visit. After returning back from the trip, I had fallen ill and due to which I am blogging about it after so long time. I have visited this hill station three times till date and believe me, I would never get tired visiting it again and again 🙂 .