Someone rightly said, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. India offers vast variety of cuisines to satisfy the taste buds of everyone. Costliest is not necessarily the Best and Best may not be the Costliest one…

Presenting herewith some of my own eating experiences in different parts of India.

Sukhdev Da Dhaba (Delhi-Amritsar Highway)

Beginning with one of my most pleasant experience on the Grand Trunk Road (Connecting Delhi with Amritsar and 50 KM from Delhi) at the Sukhdev da Dhaba… Pure Vegetarian, Multi Cuisine (with Indian particularly Punjabi cuisine being the best), Affordable (Rs 500 good two), Hygienic and Excellent Service are some of the mentions.

Sukhdev Da Dhaba

Sukhdev Da Dhaba on NH1 (near Sonepath)

Aloo Da Paratha @ Sukhdev Da Dhaba

Aloo Da Paratha @ Sukhdev Da Dhaba

Rajwada @ Indore

The other wise Jewelry market (Sarafa bazaar) of Indore during day time, converts into a heaven for street food lovers after 7 pm with hundreds of stalls popping up from no where. With more than 200 eateries, the place offers some of the best tongue teasing delicacies. Whether you have a sweet tooth or fond of hot and spicy snacks, this is the place for you.

A Sweet Shop @ Rajwada, Indore

Agrawal Sweets @ Rajwada, Indore offers savory deserts

Gulab Jamuns at a Sweet Shop @ Rajwada, Indore

Hot and Juicy Gulabjamuns @ Agrawal Sweets, Rajwada, Indore

Bhutte Ka Kis @ Rajwada, Indore

Bhutte Ka Kis (Sweet corn crush) @ Rajwada, Indore

Sabudana Khichadi @ Sanwaria @ Rajwada, Indore

Sabudana Khichri @ Sanwaria @ Rajwada, Indore. ‘Sabudana’ a Hindi name for the small granules made from the ‘Sagu’ powdery starch extracted from a kind of tree. Dishes made out of ‘Sagu’ granules are exempt from the banned food list during indian fasting… The Indori Sabudana Khichri is fore sure one of reasons you will fall love in with this city.

The Best from Rajwada Indore…. Joshiji Badewale


Strictly a not to be missed experience in case you are visiting Indore and a die hard Dahi bada foodie…

Pakodewala @ Sitabuldi, Nagpur

Nagpur is popular for its oranges. However the Orange city also offers some great hot spots or hide outs for the die hard food lovers. A very unique for Nagpur, there is a spicy cuisine named ‘Saoji’ is served in some of the restaurants mainly popular among students and non veggies. During my last visit to the city, I revisited one of my favorite snack stall ‘Pakodewala’ on the Sitabuldi main road. From a roadside vendor to now a renowned snack bar in the city, the owner Guptas have come a long way. Savory ‘Imartis’ were being rolled in the hot ghee and soaked in the sugar syrup. Have a look….

Thats how they are swirled and juiced in the sugary syrup

That’s how they are swirled and juiced in the sugary syrup





Some very typical of Konkan and Mumbai cuisine…

When we think of Maharastrian cuisine, the obvious names comes to our mind are Puran Poli, Thalipeeth etc… However, being a spicy food lover, my votes goes to the very humble but satisfying Maharastrian dish (particularly in Mumbai region) is Misal Pav.

Misal Pav in a Pen resturant

Dahi Misal Pav in a Pen resturant

Misal @ Union Special in Old Panvel, Navi Mumbai

Misal @ Union Special in Old Panvel, Navi Mumbai. Typically a Misal is a spicy curry made from sprouted bean (Moong, Matki, Peas etc)

A complete meal to begin your day

My favorite Misal Pav @ Union Special in Panvel is served with hot ‘Pooris’ or ‘Pav’ in early hours of the day…

Hotel ‘Union special’ in old Panvel is serving this very typical Misal Pav since last 60 years. The hotel opens at 6am is closes for the day by 11am after satisfying taste buds of limited loyal customers. The masala used in the dish is a secret recipe being passed on to generations. Try once ! You wont be disappointed !!

Haji Lassi Centre, Itwara, Bhopal

I found this location by chance. While I was in Bhopal last summer, I inquired the locals about the best ‘Lassi’ being offered in the city of lakes. The obvious answer was ‘Haji Lassi Center’ in Itwara area. Although located almost 15 km from the hotel I have put up, me and my colleague decided to give it a try. The place was unique as I have been told that there are no servants in the shop. The entire family takes care of the customers and the service is awesome looking at the crowd.

Haji Lassi Centre @ Bhopal

Haji Lassi Centre @ Bhopal

Lassi @ Haji Lassi Centre Bhopal

Lassi @ Haji Lassi Centre Bhopal

Lassi @ Haji Lassi Centre Bhopal

Lassi @ Haji Lassi Centre Bhopal

Much more to share in the next post… Bon Appetite !

Beers Bruges Belgium

Had a chance to visit beautiful Belgium in February 2015. After lot of research, decided to visit the wonderful city of Bruges famous for its unique architectural houses, chocolates and of course, varieties of beers it brews and offers. You can reach Bruges from Brussels by trains (every 30 minute there is one) and it takes just 14 Euros and an hour for a one way trip. Sharing herewith my experience through these photos…

The town hall of Bruges

The town hall of Bruges located in the center of the city now turned in a museum..

Bruges town hall

Built in 1376 this building is a master piece of Gothic architecture


Town hall Bruges

Bruges town hall

Some early scenes of Indian movie ‘Peekay’ was shot here and the curiosity lead me to this place

Bruges town hall

Beautiful lamp posts near the town hall


Restaurants @ Market in Brugges

Restaurants @ Market in Bruges

The restaurants at

Restaurants @ Market in Brugges - 2

Restaurants @ Market in Brugges – 2

Restaurants @ Market in Brugges - 3

Restaurants @ Market in Brugges – 3

Restaurants @ Market in Brugges - 4

Evening time at Restaurants @ Market in Bruges – 4

Bruges town hall in the evening hours

Bruges town hall in the evening hours

A typical Brugges house

A typical Brugges house. The city architecture is a photographer’s dream destination.



Bruges Steets

A typical medieval city with narrow but beautiful streets. Just have a city map along with and these cobblestone streets can take you around all those interesting places without being lost…


Medieval building structures with no touch of modernisation. Very well preserved all across the city.


Canals in Bruges

These canals are integral part of this beautiful city and an easy way to have a look around the architecture riding in the small powered boats..

Canals @ Bruges

There more than 40 arch bridges all over these canals and some are very narrow where the tourists are asked to bend downwards to save their heads…





Clicked some beautiful formations by these royal swans across one canal passage…1


Clicked some beautiful formations by these royal swans across one canal passage…2


The great wall of beer… On display are more than 600 varieties and brands of beer.. A must visit place while you are in Bruges


Inexpensive and lots of combinations of beer available at 2-be pub which is most popular and populous. The staff is courteous enough to suggest you in case you are a novice in beer tasting….


Beer lovers @ 2-be…. Pic 1


Beer lovers @ 2-be…. Pic 2


Beer lovers @ 2-be…. Pic 3


Belgian beer at display and sale at shop of 2-be


Another photo of Belgian beer at display and sale at shop of 2-be





From cheery to coconut… You will find everything what can be prepared as beer. Unfortunately missed to visit the Brewery.



The beer vending machine at 2-be

Many more things to do in next visit to the heaven on earth…

Rose Garden @ Chandigarh

Been there. Seen that. Was in Punjab this December for some official work. While returning to Chandigarh airport, sighted this Rose Garden signage in this beautiful capital of Punjab. In spite being late for the flight, I took out few odd minutes to watch, admire and shoot some of the most beautiful roses I have ever seen. Pending my full day visit to this beautiful garden hosting more than 800 varieties of roses and spread over 40 acres land, I cant resist sharing some lovely photographs I took at this place. My apologies for not being able to name the varieties of roses although the names were prominently displayed at every garden…


A rose must remain with the sun and the rain or its lovely promise won’t come true – Ray Evans


But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose ― Anne Bronte


There may be many flowers in a man’s life, but there is only one rose – Unknown Author


What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet – William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)


You cannot pluck roses without fear of thorns, nor enjoy a fair wife without danger of horns – Benjamin Franklin


Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose – Gertrude Stein


A single rose can be my garden; a single friend, my world – Leo Buscaglia


There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted – Henri Matisse


The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart – Unknown


Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense – Mark Overby



A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses – Oscar Wilde



You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses – Tom Wilson



The Rose Garden @ Chandigarh is best maintained, free to all, peaceful and has a serene atmosphere making it a must see destination for all nature lovers visiting Chandigarh

Why is rose the national flower of US ?

In 1986, the US Congress passed an act declaring the Rose to be the “floral symbol” of the US. The following is a quote from President Regan at the signing of this act : Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose…..

Mystique Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is one of the favorite weekend destination for many of the Mumbaities. Located in the western ghats this place is more than 4000 ft above the sea level and is approximately 250 km south east of Mumbai. From Mumbai, you can reach Mahabaleshwar by either taking the NH18 (Mumbai Goa Highway and parting at Poladpur village for Mahabaleshwar)  or you can go via Pune then taking Satara Highway and finally parting at Surur village for the hill station. 

The hill station offers hotels and restaurants suiting all budgets. I prefer to stay at the MTDC resort as it is outside the town and away from the buzz of crowd. About fooding, if you are a strict veggie, try the Gujju thali @ Hotel Dreamland. We preffered dinner at the Sayali as it offered varieties of cuisines with sizzlers being the best.  Ambience of the family bar and superb service of the staff will make you visit again at this place.

One thing which first catches your attraction,  the moment you enter into Mahabaleshwar are the fresh and colourful strawberries on sale at every nuke and corner of the small town. 

Land of Strawberries

These strawberries are often placed in beautiful small heaps placed on a cane basket by the local vendors. Price ranges from Rs 80 to Rs 200 per heap in Oct/Nov months.


The main street of the town is full of shops selling Jams, Jellies, Fruit syrups & Juices, winter clothings, deserts like walnut fudge, chikkis and most important ‘chana’. Yes the very humble chick pea of chana is a must have in Mahabaleshwar.

Malvi's Shop_1
Malvi’s Shop_1

At the end the main street there is a shop exclusively selling food products of ‘Malvi’ brand. What attracted me was the symmetry of the placement of various stull on the racks.

Malvi's Shop_2

‘Saffron and Cardmom syrup’ is the best in the class item being sold by Mavis, the amount of effort put in by the staff in decorating and maintaining the racks with superb colour combination is just amazing..

Malvi's Shop_3
Malvi’s Shop_3

The racks are backlit and the effect of background light on the vivid coloured bottles of syrups is a treat to watch. A must shoot spot for any photographer, I suggest..

Malvi's Shop_4
Malvi’s Shop_4

Just another shop selling different brands of food products…

Just another shop

Fresh red radish and carrots are also seen being sold on main street and many other parts of the hill station. As told, the red radish has many medicinal properties (more at .. 

Red Radish_1
Red Radish_1

This local produce comes at a quite cheap price (Rs 20 for a bunch of around 10 radish). Do taste it with a dash of salt and lemon juice with your lunch. Unlike white radish, this is neither pungent nor brings bad breathe or burping effects…. 

Red Radish_2
Red Radish_2

You will find practically every visitor buying this humble Chana or chick pea in Mahabaleshwar. Plain, Salted, Spicy (Nimboo, Hing, Schezwan or Mint you name it and they have it)…

Chana for Sale
Chana for Sale

Mama Chanawala is the most popular amongst all chana venders with their fourth generations doing the honours. Along with chana, they also sell chikkis, fudge, syrups and honey etc. Shop is located at the end of the main street.

Mama Chanawala
Mama Chanawala

The main street offers some thing for every age group. These cubical alphabet beads used for making friendship bands being sold on the main street prompted me to try my photographic skills. Size of each bead is less than 5 mm. Feel free to rate the photo… 

Having been to Mahabaleshwar plenty of times, I skipped most of the so called tourist points. However this location (Needle point enroute to Panchgani) offered me this speactacular view of the Balakwadi lake.  

Balakwadi Dam

A macaque enjoying the bananas offered by my son at Kate’s point. Shot by my little photographer for whom this was a learning trip of basics in photography. Somehow he has shown particular interest in the macro or bokeh photography.

Macaque at a tourist spotMacaque at a tourist spot

Although it was too late, our trip to Kaas flower plateau offered some exciting photographic opportunities. Given below are some of the wild but tiny flowers shot in the valley of flowers…

Wild flower and the FlyWild flower and the Fly

Photographer in the making. He simply copied my style of holding the camera and his photographic instincts have started delivering the results. You wont be able to guess the photographs he clicked in this article with his Nikon L110 while I was with my newly acquired Nikon D5100…

Learning first lessons of PhotographyLittle Photographer

Just another wild flower commonly seen across the valley…

Wild flower_2Wild flower_2

These commonly found tiny wild flowers were shot in the evening hours by Sahil…

Wild flower_3Wild flower_3

Wild flowers blossoming in the valley…

Wild flower_4Wild flower_4

This rare (at least to my knowledge) butterfly was pointed out by my son while we were wandering in the Kaas plateau. Butterflies are very difficult to shoot as they dont given you enough time to prepare. This photograph was shot from a distance of 4 feet using my Nikon DSLR.


The Mapro Garden and Factory Outlet on Panchgani Road

While we travel from Mahabaleshwar to Panchgani, Mapro Gardens is one of my favorite stopover. This place is my favorite not because of the discounted products it offers but for the small but very beautiful garden it maintains there. In my previous visit, there were lots of Dehlias however this visit offered some exotic flowers and colourful but delicate orchids. Sharing some those marvellous flowers shot by the duo…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_1Flowers@Mapro Garden_1

Another wonderful orchid….

Flowers@Mapro Garden_2Flowers@Mapro Garden_2

One of the grass flowers….  

Flowers@Mapro Garden_3Flowers@Mapro Garden_3

Riot of colors…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_4Flowers@Mapro Garden_4

Before this, I saw this kind of orchid only at the The Changi International Airport at Singapore…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_5Flowers@Mapro Garden_5

Heavenly retreat…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_6Flowers@Mapro Garden_6

Another grass flower….

Flowers@Mapro Garden_7Flowers@Mapro Garden_7

Ek Mein aur Ek Tu…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_8Flowers@Mapro Garden_8

Hum Saath Saath Hai…

Flowers@Mapro Garden_9Flowers@Mapro Garden_9

Touch Me Not… 

Flowers@Mapro Garden_10Flowers@Mapro Garden_10

Finally we wrapped up this visit with buying lots of products from the factory outlet counter at the Garden…

Sales Counters at Mapro GardenSales Counters at Mapro Garden

Dont miss to taste the different varieties of juices and syrups at these tasting counters… No limits for number of tries and choose your favorite pick only after suiting your taste buds…. 

Sample Tasting @ Mapro GardenSample Tasting @ Mapro Garden

Last memories…. The Falero containers on display….

Falero Containers on Display @ Mapro GardenFalero Containers on Display @ Mapro Garden

Feel free to suggest improvements….

With Best regards / Sunil

Mysterious ruins of Paddhargadh fort in Kutch

Early this year, I was on an official visit to Kutch. On the weekend, I got an opportunity to tour beautiful Kutch excluding the Rann part. The same day return journey covered visits to Bhuj, Ashapura, Narayan Sarovar and Mandvi. Between Bhuj and Aashapura, near Manjal village, a ruined structure could not skip my attention. Out of my curiosity, I decided to further explore the same. I believe, Paddhargadh must have been a very beautiful small fort. Sharing herewith some photographs and information which I could gather about this place.

Ruins of Paddhargadh fort in Kutch

Lost in the History

Contrary to monolithic structures (which are made carving a single rock as in the case of famous Ellora or Karle Kind caves), these types are called megalithics in which large blocks of stones are carved and used in building the structure.



As mentioned in the ASI board at this abandoned place, this fort was built in 10th Century by some Ra’ Punvro (even I could not get any details about this) and that this was an extensive fort that time. Reasons of destruction are not known to anyone although it is believed that this was destroyed due to invasion by the Jakhs.



Looking to the pattern of the this double storeyed structure, one will admire about the taste of the king who might have built it. The upper deck is supported by cylindrical blocks measuring about 7 to 8 ft and some of them still stand pretty after facing the cruel jolts of Kutch earthquakes time and again



The columns were seen with somewhat square tops on which head of animals and men were seen.


The display board put up by ASI briefs about the myth surrounding this beautiful structure. The site could have been preserved by ASI beautifully which seems to be lacking on their part.

Interesting place. Visit in case u r enroute Ashapura temple from Bhuj side any time. Geo coordinates are 23.258461,69.381637.

Magnificient Architecture of Ancient India – Stupas of Sanchi

Always wondered about the great engineering skills our Indian ancient civilisation possessed. You are taken aback thousands of years whenever you visit these rich Indian heritage sites be it the religious structures like Stupas of Sanchi or Monuments of Hampi or temples of Khajuraho & Meenakshi etc. Most of these ancient monuments are unique in architecture and need to be preserved from natural and other calamities looking to their importance in Indian history and heritage. In year 2011 I had several visits to MP and during one of those visits, I had an opportunity to visit the Sanchi (a world heritage site) to witness the amazing craftmanship of the then civilisation had put in to erect these fantastic structures. The stupas along with few temples and monasteries were built on a hillock by Emperor Ashoka and dates upto 300 BC.

Places must see : Stupa No 1 or Great Stupa and its 4 gateways, Archaeological museum, Monastery and temple. Brief information about the site is given on the ASI plaque near the great stupa and the same is shown below.

1. Great stupa

The stupa no 1 is also known as ‘great stupa’. This hemispheral dome shaped structure is around 100 ft in dia and 50 ft in height. Apparently it seems to be made of bricks and mortar. There is a raised terrace with fenced circumference around the dome shaped stupa. The stupa is accessible from 4 sides through magnificiently carved gateways (called as ‘toran Dwar’ in hindi) depicting the epics of lord budha’s life and morale stories called ‘Jataka’s.  It is learn that each of these gateways have been made from carving out a single stones weighing more than 400 tons.

Great Stupa

Great Stupa

Lord Buddha Statue on the periphery of Main Sanchi Stupa

Lord Buddha Statue on the periphery of Main Sanchi Stupa

a) Northern Gateway

This is one of the best preserved gateways amongst the four however with the wheel in the uppermost area is in broken condition. The carvings on the gateway depicts scenes from Lord Buddha’s life. Both the pillars are supported by four elephants facing different directions. The gateway is crowned with a wheel of law which is in broken condition.

Northern Gateway

Northern Gateway

b) Southern Gateway

As learnt, this is the oldest amongst the four gates depicting scenes from Lord Buddha’s birth and some events from the life of Emperor Ashoka after his adopting the Buddhism.

Southern Gateway@Sanchi

Southern Gateway@Sanchi

Four back to back lions are sitting pretty on both the square shaped pillars of this gate. These back to back four lions are not knew to any Indian as they form our state emblem (I feel, saying this, you guys must be comparing the emblem on the Indian coin with the above image). The gateway is carved with the stories of Buddha’s birth and also life of Ashoka the Great after he took over Buddhism.

The four lions

The four lions

c) Western Gateway

Four pot bellied dwarfs are carved on each of the supporting pillar and this gateway mainly depicts the scenes from seven incarnations of lord Buddha.

Western Gateway of Sanchi

Western Gateway of Sanchi

d) Eastern Gateway

This is the most interesting of the four gateways. This eastern gateway depicts scenes of Lord Buddha’s entry into Nirvana. The ‘Yakshi’ or the statue of a goddess hangs beautifully on one of the pillars while it is learnt that the gateway originally contained two statues.

Yakshi hanging on the Eastern Gateway

Yakshi hanging on the Eastern Gateway

2. Pillars

Pillars near the Great Stupa

Pillars near the Great Stupa

3. Ruins of the Temple from the Gupta Era

Remains of temple from Gupta era

Remains of temple from Gupta era


Some random pics @ SanchiDSCN2223DSCN2220DSCN2219DSCN2218DSCN2259

Remains near the Buddhist Vihara

Remains near the Buddhist Vihara

How to reach & where to stay

Sanchi is around 45 km eastwards from Bhopal and is easily accessible by road. One way is through the district of Raisen whereas there is another direct road from Bhopal bypass near Karond flyover. The nearby town is Vidisha (Loksabha constituency of Shri AB Bajpai). At Sanchi, there is an excellence restaurant run by MPTDC in case you want to stay or have food.

A trip I will always relish in my life and would like to come here again for the serene, calm and holy atomosphere. The dedication with which this architecture might have been built, makes you feel dwarf. Guys, I tried my best to collect the information about this site through the local guide, plaques and some information from internet but still if I have missed some things or any facts, my sincere apologies.

Your comments for improvements / suggestions would help me a lot in improving the contents my blogs.

Suspension Bridge @ Gokak Falls

I happened to visit Southern Maharashtra sometime last year. The itinerary comprised a brief religious stopover at Kolhapur for seeking blessings of Goddess Mahalaxmi and then long awaited visit to the spectacular suspension bridge built by Forbes Gokak over the Ghatprabha river just before the mystic Gokak waterfalls. Gokak, is a small industrial town in Belgaum district of Karnataka almost equidistant from the cities of Kolhapur and Belgaum. We reached the Gokak falls early in the day, parked our car on well built parking lot on the banks of the river and after having a sumptuous breakfast, we headed to explore the beauty of this place.

Just near the entrance of the waterfall, there is a beautiful lord Shiva (Mahalingeshwar) temple built by the Chalukyan dynasty. The architecture of the temple is simply mesmerising. Its a well maintained temple.

Mahalingeshwara Temple Gokak

With the monsoon rains subsided, the water levels over the stone cliffs leading the cliff were quite low but still offered a picturesque view. An interesting rock formation (below) caught attention of my daughter and was immediately clicked by me…

Rock formation @ rock beds at Gokak falls

Rock Heart

Even with the receded waters, the roar of the water fall could be heard from long. Best season to visit the fall is in August / September although my visit happened in last week of October.  At the bottom of the fall (cliff is around 50 mtr in height), still exists a non functional hydro power plant supposed to be the first hydro electric plant in Asia built in 1887. The cliff of the fall is U shaped amidst a beautiful lush green valley.

Gokak Fall

Finally, we reached the most beautiful part of the this place. The suspension bridge (still being maintained by the Gokak spinning Mills) over the rock beds of Ghatprabha river is almost 200 mtrs in length. A walk over the bridge is offers a nerve breaking thrilling experience as the bridge swings as you walk along. Supported by thick wire ropes and wooden plates at the bottom, the bridge would be any mechanical engineers delite.

Suspension bridge @ Gokak Falls

Suspension bridge @ Gokak Falls

For all those travel enthusiasts, location map of Gokak falls….

Location Map @ Gokak Falls

Location Map @ Gokak Falls


Next on the wishlist in Karnataka….. Jog Falls in Hasan district and the great Hampi temples..