My Travel Book for year 2016! Looking for more in 2017

It’s 31st  December the last day of the year 2016. Everybody is busy planning what to do and where to party tonite to welcome the new year 2017 ahead. But look at me. I am sitting and scrolling through my travel book. I want a glance of the memories and photographs I took in the year 2016.

The year 2016 was a real miracle for me. I was a person who loved traveling but never knew how passionate I was for it. My Love Tashi Aggarwal helped me in finding out my hidden talent. I realized every travel place is unique in itself, each road says its own story, there are natural and so beautiful places where poems are written by itself; people don’t need any music to fall in love, and just traveling together can do all the work.

Anyways, the point is 2016 showed me a path of travel blogging, photography and here I am in front of you all.  I did almost 8-10 long road trips, few weekend trips and 2 air trips in 2016.

Here are few of the glimpses of my travel book 2016.

Road Trips – Travel book 2016

The year starts with winters in North India and it was fun experiencing snowfall at Tosh, Himachal Pradesh. The snowfall seems like cotton candies and it always gives me a thrill all over. I can get lost in this white ceramic natural beauty like I did in the beginning of 2016.

At Tosh village, Kasol, Himachal - My Travel Book for year 2016, Looking for more in 2017

The day trip to the UNESCO’S world heritage sites in and around Delhi, especially during winters, is always exciting. It gives me a chance to click a lot of pictures with sunlight falling on them. And one such trip was to Humayun’s Tomb.

 Humayuns Tomb, Delhi- My Travel Book for year 2016,, Looking for more in 2017

Another Day trip was to the World’s finest Wonder Taj Mahal, at Agra. Here is the picture of white Taj across Yamuna river from Mehtab Bagh.

Taj across Yamuna river from Mehtab Bagh - My travel book of 2016! Looking for more in 2017

The hidden gem and UNESCO’s site – Fatehpur Siki has a splendid architecture.

Fatehpur Sikri, My Travel Book for year 2016!looking ahead for more in 2017

The Longest trip of the year was to Spiti valley. The valley opens it the gateway for tourist around April – May. The wind, land, mountains each one in this valley has its own aura and check the innocent traffic jam. I don’t mind waiting here for clearance as got some time to admire the beauty and click pictures.

Traffic jam on the way to Spiti Valley- my travel book for year 2016! looking for more in 2017

And when there so many long weekends in 2016, so how could I skip the single chance. The first one was for Nainital (Always on my weekend getaway list) and I always enjoy staying at the earls Court, Nainital for their hospitality and courteous staff.

The Earls Court Nainital, My travel book for year 2016! looking for more in 2017

And the next nearby weekend getaway from Delhi is Rishikesh. I enjoy spending time at cafes around the Ganges and dipping feet in the water. In the evening this places seems ethereal.

Laxman Jhula at Rishikesh - My travel book for year 2016! looking for more in 2017

The other closest summer weekend getaway is Danaulti, just 30 km from Mussoorie but much more quite and green. These stairs seem like taking you to heaven and actually at the top you get beautiful views.

Dhanaulti - My travel book for year 2016! Looking for more in 2017

And yes there were two adventure trips too – the first one was to the place where Lord Shiva has meditated for years i.e. a  Trek to Hot water Spring, Kheerganga. (Click to read the complete post)

Kheerganga - my travel book for year 2016! looking for more travels in 2017

The second adventure trip was in the woods of deep forest at Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Binsar - My travel book for year 2016! looking for more travels in 2017

Air trips – Travel Book 2016

Who says Monsoon is not the good time to visit Goa. I was there in July and agree the beaches are rough then, but it was awesome too. Everything was vacant, reasonably priced and got the chance to explore Goa without bumping into crowds. Rains make Goa clean, fresh & green and look how beautiful Hacienda De Goa Resort (Near Vagator Beach) has turned in monsoons.

Haciedna De goa Resort, Goa - My travel book for year 2016! looking for more travels ahead

Last but not the least trip during off seasons was to the amazing beaches of Thailand.

Thailand - my travel book for year 2017! looking for more in 2017

My all the trips were a big celebration in themselves, so big cheers to 2016 and looking ahead for more travel with health and happiness, to create a better travel book for the year 2017.

Wishing everyone lots of fun-filled travels in 2017!! Keep reading and enjoying.

Pre-Christmas Celebration Sale by Samant Chauhan, Shahpur Jat Delhi

Located between the narrow lanes and unpaved roads where the vehicles don’t enter and everything fancy and designer can be shopped on foot, this place is no other than Shahpur Jat Village. Oh! I said village. Don’t go by the name, it has the essence of more than a village and less than the city. Here at Shahpur Jat; the top most designers like Monika & Nidhi, Samant Chauhan, Pratik & Priyanka have set up their boutiques and manufacturing units because of the space availability and low price tag of real estate as compared to other markets. This holy place for shoppers is a blessing who want everything fancy and designer.

Shahpur jat delhi
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I have been to Shahpur Jat several times before but this time the things were special. I was invited for “Biggest Samant Chauhan Pre-Christmas Celebration Sale” on 22nd December.  The location for the same was 417, Gora Street, Near Jungi House Lane at Shahpur Jat, New Delhi. This was exciting and thrilling as it was my first event as a Blogger.

The Samant Chauhan boutique is spread over three floors. The entrance has a nice cool Christmas decoration in white with the wood all around.

Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi

Throughout all the floors, I could feel the shopping spree. Be it on apparels, accessories like leather pouches, jackets, belts, bags, shoes, jewelry etc.  (There were good discounts from 30% – 70 %)

Leather Belts & wooden wine bottle box at Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi

Everything was so creative. Check these bags with the bird’s embroidery in leather. Aren’t they adorable? I simply fell for one of them. And my luck, there was no discount on it.

Leather bags, pouches, Laptop Sleeves at Samant chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi

I could catch Mr. Samant Chauhan during drinks for a small chit chat to find out what is so exclusive about his collection. And the answer is their costumes are designed on Bhagalpuri Silk or Tussar silk and they mostly use white, cream and beige colors. White at times can be boring but not when they have a unique style and are made colorful with embroidery and other works on it. Check the few intricate designs I could capture.

White & beige couture with intricate designs by Samant chauhan at Shahpur jat Delhi

Check out the bag and trunks collection which were the part of wall decor as well as the selling products.

Hand Bags and Trunks at Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat delhi

And here are some brand partners associated with Samant Chauhan boutique. The first one is a cute girl Meenakshi, the name behind useme. She collects all type of scrap and makes some beautiful creative art pieces out of it.

Meenakshi, Founder of Use Me at Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi
Meenakshi, The founder of Use Me
Pouches made from kits, zips and denims at Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi
Pouches made from kits, zips and denim scrap

The second Champ is a girl with splendid knowledge of fragrances and perfumes. She runs her own brand by the name ITC Haute Parfumerie. I was knocked down by their perfume with wood and absinth fragrance, (I don’t know much about the fragrances but she explained me certain things quite well) priced around 12,000/-. And their other fragrances range usually from 4K – 24 K.

ITC Haute Parfumerie at Samant chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi
ITC Haute Parfumerie

And how can I forget the girl who customizes beautiful footwears? She has her own brand in the name of Flori and supplies to 24 outlets in India. I could capture own of her design and really loved her whole collection for comfort as well as designs. (I wanted to grab these green ones at a very nominal price of Rs 1200 but didn’t get my size)

Footwears by Flori at Samant chauhan Shahpur Jat delhi
Footwear by Flori

No celebration is complete without drinks. So, how can this be? Here was a toast to Samant Chauhan and his success at a small bar within his establishment.

Bar at Samant Chauhan Shahpur Jat Delhi

And at the end of the day, it was a pleasant goodbye with some Christmas goodies as a return gift.

Christmas Goodies by Samant Chauhan at Shahpur Jat Delhi

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Kalpana: an Imagination! Book review

Kalpana an Imagination - Book review
Author – Yogita;   Publisher – Yogita;

Date of Publishing – 2016; Category – Fiction;  Language – English

Love is the most beautiful thing. It has the strong power to make up or break up. Love is everywhere, between everyone – be it friends, a mother and son/daughter, a student and teacher or brother and sister. Love gives one the courage and motivation to face each situation and circumstance of life.

About the book

Kalpana is a Hindi word and name of the book; which itself means an imagination. It is a fictional story of a girl named Kalpana. The purpose of writing this book is to uplift the society from their orthodox thoughts, to highlight the social stigmas, to follow at least some ethics and fill the gaps of disparity.

Kalpana is a beautiful, cute innocent kid born to the lovable Indian family with their own traditions and culture. She is an apple of everyone’s eye and lives in her own imaginary world. The changing circumstances and scenarios at each step of life from infant to childhood, teenager, and adulthood taught her new lessons. She was courageous and didn’t lose heart or break anywhere but stood as a much stronger and bold person after each setback. At the age of 21, she is a much more mature person compared to youngsters of her age.

Nidhi, the first and eldest child of the joint family, was a teacher, friend, sister and guardian to Kalpana. She was a role model but just a single mistake by her ruined the honor of the family. The whole family went into depression and became conservative. Rules changed for other siblings too and they had to fight for every action. Kalpana had to fight even for her future and education. The fight didn’t end there. Further the malicious or false allegations of pregnancy made her life worst.

The writer has clearly coordinated the role and significance of each person in the family, especially towards a growing child. How a single incidence can spoil or change the environment of the house and simultaneously impact the relations. She has smartly marked the emotions like a struggle, trust, gesture, feelings, learning etc with the relations and incidents happening in the family.

As such there is no end to this story but then, this is just the part one of Kalpana. The writer promises to tell us what continues with her in next phases of life. So stay tuned to know ahead and I personally feel there is something exciting ahead which will tell us more about the truths of life.

My Verdict on The Book Kalpana

I won’t say Kalpana is the best books I have read till today, but surely it is a great effort by the young author and technocrat. She holds a good motive to bring the gender equality, to make women realize they can choose what they like or not and fight for her rights. The book is simple and breezy read.  It holds you till the end to know what will happen in the next chapter. The book can be read in a calm and relax manner. It runs over 99 pages and has strong deep hidden messages on each page. I recommend this book to all the readers (both men and women) and especially to the youngsters, so we get some inspiration and together make an effort to change the social marks of disgrace for everyone.

Ratings – 3.5/5 stars from me.

Oh! You want it right away. Buy here at!

A day trip from Delhi to Fatehpur Sikri

Being in Delhi and not visiting the ancient monuments is like missing the important part of our history and culture. I am not talking about the monuments only in Delhi but also about the ones nearby which can be covered in a day trip. The first name which comes in mind is Taj Mahal at Agra, but this time it was different and we took a day trip to ancient city Fatehpur Sikri.

Badshahi gate at Fatehpur Sikri
Badshahi gate

Also Read: Visiting Taj Mahal with Kids

The Fatehpur Sikri was built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century; to honor Saint Salim Chishti. The red stone fortified city; was completed in 15 long years (imagine the architecture and planning that was done). It has series of royal palaces, harems, courts, mosque etc. The each and every structure is a true architecture in itself and that is why the property is on UNESCO world’s heritage list.

Buland Darwaza Anterior view at Fatehpur Sikri
Buland Darwaza Anterior view

Fatehpur Sikri once the proud capital of Mughal Empire now stands deserted because of being declared as a Ghost town.  The city was abandoned by its occupants within 15 years due to a shortage of water supply and other resources.

A day trip to Fatehpur Sikri

We started our journey at 8:00 am from Delhi via Taj Expressway (Distance from Delhi – 269 km) and reached Fatehpur Sikri around 12:30 pm (approx. 4 – 4:30 hrs by car) when the sun was at peak during winters in 2014. The important is that car doesn’t go all the way to the top of the ridge as all the tourist vehicles are parked at a designated spot. From there we could either walk all the way up till fort or hire an auto rickshaw in 10 Rs per person. We choose to hire an auto.

Buland Darwaza Anterior view at Fatehpur Sikri
Buland Darwaza

As I got the first glimpse of it, I was like Wow!! How Mughals designed this majestic structure and how masons built it. The name Buland Darwaja stands true for this 55metre high door. All you need to do is climb 40 -50 stairs to reach inside the monument (Just a small exercise and see the work is in progress for restoration).

Dargah Saint Salim Chishti at Fatehpur Sikri
Dargah Saint Salim Chishti

 In the center of a huge courtyard stood a white marble Tomb of Saint Chishti which looked magnificent with the sun rays falling on it. The passageway around the grave chamber is covered by carved jalis and stone in geometric designs. I was completely lost in their intricate designs and also could tie the sacred thread in the Dargah.

Geometric Design of jalis at Saint Chisthi Dargah in Fatehpur Sikri

On one side stands the largest mosque Jama masjid, built at the highest point in Fatehpur Sikri. There are white marble carvings inside the dome which were under the restoration process.

Jama Masjid Mosque at Fatehpur Sikri
Jama Masjid Mosque

Another interesting structure was Panch Mahal supported on 176 columns. It is a five storied structure where each tier diminishes in size till the top and the last one is just a single domed structure. I wished to climb it but it is not allowed.

Panch-Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri

From the back, we saw Hiran Minar, also known as Elephant Tower. This circular tower has stone projections in the form of tusks.  It is a unique design but couldn’t get the clear answer for its construction.

Hiran Minar at Fatehpur Sikri
Hiran Minar

I wandered through each courtyard, passages, and rooms imagining the royal life kings and queens enjoyed in those eras. The most interesting thing is that the whole red-walled city is cool and airy naturally because of its clever architecture. My guide also told me that there is a tunnel which connects Fatehpur Sikri to Agra and Delhi but it is closed and not open to public as part of it has collapsed during the war.

Inside the fort, there were people selling stone and marble carved stuff. The products were really nice and I ended up buying this beautiful single stone carved candle stand.

Stone carved candle stand from Fatehpur Sikri

Also Read: A first timers guide to doing Delhi, the Capital of India