Friday, December 31, 2010

Snow fall at Shimla Kufri on New Year eve

Hotel Willow Banks on the Mall road, Shimla
 31st Dec 2010- Shimla gets it's first snow fall of the season. Kufri got a heavy snowfall and is totally covered in a white cover right now. It's been more than 15 years since Shimla turned white on New Year eve. More snow is forecast by the Met department in the forthcoming days. Manali too has been having regular snowfall for the last few days. People can be seen playing with snow at Kufri and even Mall road has a good sprinkling of snow.
Lucky ones are already there in Shimla and Kufri to enjoy this beautiful spectacle, also with most of the schools being closed for winters people are heading for the Shimla hills to spend their holidays.
Plan your snow holidays with us at Around Delhi- Call us for your Shimla hotels booking or Stay at Kufri resorts. Choose from Hotels on Mall Road Shimla like Hotel Willow Banks Shimla or other hotels in Shimla.
As I write this blog news is that it is again snowing at Kufri, so head for the hills friends asap. The Shimla city witnessed intermittent snowfall during the day, while it received about 15 to 20 cm of snow last night. The road to Kufri was blocked for some time due to heavy snow. The NY festivities have started at most places in Shimla with music, live band and bon fires at many places. Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, joined the festive crowd by taking a stroll of the The Mall Shimla, greeting local people and tourists for the New Year.

Dont' worry if you were not there on NY eve, catch a train or take out you car and head towards Shimla or Kufri to view this beautiful spectacle. 

Manali area is having almost continuous rain and snow since last evening. 

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Thursday, December 16, 2010


Camps at Sam
                        After staying at Jaisalmer I planned to visit the famous and popular dunes of Sam and Khuri the next day of my Rajasthan desert safari trip. One can find desert sand dunes on two sides of Jaisalmer at Khuri and Sam, both about 40k. Both are in opposite directions and you can go to either of them. I planned to stay at luxury tents at Sam overnite and visit the Khuri dunes next morning just to compare the two.

Started from Jaisalmer after lunch in a Jeep, the road was fantastic as it is used by the Army to cover the Indo-Pakistan border areas. The first view of the dunes was totally mesmerising as it brought back memories of the desert as seen in Bollywood movies. The place was really abuzz with tourists, transferred to a Camel for a safari and seeing the sunset from a vantage point in the desert. The sunset was truly amazing as one could clearly see the ball of fire disappear all the way below the horizon. After the safari reached my abode for the night, the deluxe tents where I planned to stay the night. The tent was quiet spacious with two bed,chairs,table and still some space to move around. It also had electricity and an attached bathroom and English toilet with running water. Most important, the tents and the whole area was quiet clean inspite of a lot of sand around. After some light snacks and tea there were some great traditional Rajasthani songs and dances, the local artists were just amazing reminding me of Swaroop of Indian idol. The night was cold in the desert but the tents were quiet cosy. I really had a good night's sleep and planned to do another Camel Safari as it was much quieter now and very less people. The morning freshness of the dunes set the tone of the day. The tents had a small bathroom where hot water was also provided,didn't feel like we were in middle of a desert. After a hearty breakfast it was time to move on back to Jasialmer. 

                     After reaching Jaisalmer the next stop was the dunes of Khuri as I wanted to compare Khuri and Sam dunes as I had to leave post lunch from Jaisalmer. The dunes of Khuri are located next to the Desert National Park which is know for the endangered Great Indian Bustard, a magnificent bird found in relatively fair numbers here. The Desert National Park also has a collection of fossils of animals and plants of 180 million years old. Some fossils of Dinosaurs of 6 million years old have been found in the area. Khuri is a small village of Hindu settlers with fairly good dunes nearby. Khuri has developed later than Sam so it is less crowded here, also one of the camps I visited is away from the village and the dunes are almost to your own even in the evening, that was the best part about these camps near Khuri. The tents are simillar with attached toilets and bathroom. I concluded that though Sam dunes were bigger but you can have less crowded dunes at Khuri.

I hurried back to Jaisalmer to have lunch and then catch my train to Jodhpur for my next leg of the journey.
Next- Jodhpur
Dr. R.Anand

  Also see Bikaner trip, Jaisalmer Attractions , Udaipur Devigarh.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Reached  Rajasthan today.Am at Jaipur with a group. Stay was at Gold Palace.
Here is the itinerary for Jaipur corporate trip  

Reached Gold Palace at 7 AM
Breakfast at the resort 
Moved to camps nearby by bus for adventure activities.
The total group of about 60 people enjoyed a fun day with lot of activities like 
Spider net crawling, tyre wall climbing, Burma and triangular bridge crossing,
artificial river crossing, obstacle courses, Tarzan swing and climbing on Fiber glass wall. 
After a hearty lunch at the camp the group had a game of cricket in the lush green lawns.
On the way back some of the group members visited Amber fort which is closeby, 
                                Returned to the resort and in the evening and everybody enjoyed Evening DJ with cocktail snacks and drinks in the lawns. After a late dinner the group hit the bed to wake up to a hearty and refreshing breakfast. People took a dip in the pool or went for a walk in the lawns, some of them enjoyed TT,snooker and group games in the lawns.After some official meeting in the Conference hall the group departed to Delhi after a satisfying and fun stay.

While the group returned to Delhi, I prepared for the next leg of my Rajasthan Desert safari trip covering Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Follow my Rajasthan trip.

Dr. R.Anand

Please contact us for a simillar itinerary for Jaipur, Rajasthan including adventure activities and other fun activities or even a conference. Call us at 9811193634/9891458220 or email us at
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Monday, December 6, 2010


                                           Continuing my trip of Rajasthan (See Jaipur-Bikaner trip) I caught a night train to Jaisalmer to reach early morning at the station. The only problem was that there is no A/c class available and one can only travel in 2nd Sleeper. One can also do Bikaner-Jaisalmer by road and a distance of about 240k can be covered in around 4 hours. I was booked at Hotel Jaisalgarh and was fortunate to get a room early in the morning. 
Jasialmer Fort
Nathmal Haveli
                                            Jaisalgarh is a nice modern hotel with lawns, swimming pool and nice clean rooms. It is about 2 km from Jaisalmer Fort or the Sonar Quilla as it is called, the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city's population resides within the fort. The fort imposes upon the whole of Jaisalmer and definitely worth a visit. Jasialmer city as a whole gives you that golden look with a lot of buildings using the local yellow stone at the facade and even the floors etc. It is a small city easily covered even on an auto. The old city is quiet crowded and apart from the Fort one can see the various Havelis like  Salim ji ki haveli, Patwon ki haveli and Nathmal ji ki haveli. The havelis are known for it's minute carvings, murals and gold and silver embroidery.
                                         Other places one can visit around Jaisalmer are Gadsisar lake,a famous picnic spot in the sandy city,  is among the most beautiful tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. It attracts hundreds of migratory birds during the winter season. An evening spend near the lake around Sunset time is really enchanting. About 15 km from Jaisalmer is the Akal Wood Fossil Park,where stood a forest 180 millions years ago. Then the area submersed in to the sea and the tree trunks got preserved in the form of fossils. Covering about 10 sq. Km of bare hillside, the Fossil Park contains 25 petrified trunks, in total.One can also visit  Lodurwa, the ancient Jain temples or Kuldara village an architectural wonder of the medieval times. Jaisalmer town needs at least one full day to have a good look at it's tourist attractions. I have specifically not mentioned the sand dunes of Sam and Khuri, the major tourist attraction near Jaisalmer as I will be covering them in my next write up. 
Dr. R.Anand 
 For booking of Rajasthan itinerary including Jaisalmer Call us at 9811193634/9891458220 or email us at . You can also book Jaisalmer Hotels and Camps with us.
Also see Jaisalmer-Jodhpur leg and Udaipur trip.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


                                             I had been planning to take a trip to Rajasthan for a long time, but Anaesthesia and AroundDelhi had me in their grip and did not let go. Finally post Diwali mid Nov 2010 I was able to make it and started with a train trip from Jaipur to Bikaner, took train no 0234 at to reach Bikaner early morning. You can also reach Bikaner directly from Delhi via Rajasthan Sampark Kranti overnite journey(10 hrs), via road one can reach Bikaner via Mandawa, Jhunjhunu. I was to catch a train to Jaisalmer in the night so I knew it was going to be a hectic day, I took up a retiring room to save time and was ready in time to have a tour of Bikaner and see some accommodation options  too. The first stop was the Junagarh fort, this fort was built by Raja Rai Singhji, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who ruled form 1571 to 1612 AD. Raja Rai Singhji could Marshal the revenues of a Kingdom increased by the conquest of half Marwar and grant of half Gujrat and made use of ample funds from Jodhpur and Western Deccan for the construction of this fort. 
Junagarh Fort
Map of Bikaner                                                                     The important portions of the old palaces in a sequence of visit are Harmandir, Tetis Crore Devi-Devtaon-Ka-Mandir (in this tepmple nearly 700 precious Bronze idols are stored that were brought by the tenth rules Maharaja Anup Singhji from Deccan), Mina Deodhi, Karan Mahal and its Courtyard , Kunwar Pada Mahal, Anup Mahal Courtyard, Phool Mahal ki Sal, Chander Mahal, Rai Niwas Katchery, Anup Mahal, Sardar Niwas (Badal Mahal), Sur Mandir Chaubara, Gaj Mandir Courtyard, Gaj Mandir, Chattar Niwas, Dungar Niwas, Lal Niwas, Ganga Niwas Mahal and Ganga Niwas Durbar Hall, Maharaja Ganga Sinhgji's study room and Vikram Vilas Durbar hall. 
Karni Mata Mandir
                    Next stop was the Karni Mata Temple, it is 30 Km south from Bikaner on the road of Jodhpur, at Deshnok  who is worshiped as an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The temple is unique as the rats called Kabas, are venerated here and the shrine is a sanctuary for them. It is believed that these Kabas carry souls of future Charans/bards (children of the goddess)  who inhabit the town of Deshnok. The temple has fascinating huge silver gates and marble carvings. The most attractive feature of temple are the rodents who scamper freely within the premises and if one touches your feet its considered auspicious. They are regarded  sacred and devotees buy prasad (feeding) to offer to them.
Gajner Palace
         Also about 30 km from Bikaner on the way to Jaisalmer is Gajner wild life sanctuary.The lush foliage of the woods here have a number of neelgais(blue bull), waterfowls, chinkara (black buck), particularly flocks of imperial sandgrouse and wild boar living here.It is considered as the prettiest place in the region, with a lake, a palace, wooded hills and gardens. The lake at Gajner attracts water birds in thousands, the imperial sand grouse from Siberia being the most important of these. Large herds of deers can be seen here grazing freely. One can stay at Gajner Palace right at the sanctuary. Though I could not see the Camel breeding farm near Bikaner but it is definitely worth a visit. There are also sand dunes near Bikaner,like Jaisalmer and one can spend an evening at the dunes with a camel Safari or stay overnite at the camps.
So Bikaner is definitely worth including in your Rajasthan Itinerary.
Contact us at Around Delhi Holidays for planning a trip to Bikaner and Rajasthan. Bikaner itinerary Bikaner Hotels
Call us at 9811193634/9891458220 or email us at
    (Coming next- Jaisalmer trip with Sam and Khuri dunes.)


Jai Shri Ram After the highly successful Chalo Ayodhya 2017 under the aegis of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Mr Sohan Goenka and friends f...