Rajasthan.... the way I saw it...!! July 18, 2017 | Isitha Singh

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin in The Left Hand of Darkness. Traveling has always been something that intrigues me. We can live so many lives just by traveling, exploring new cultures, entertaining new ambiance. India is known for its diversity. From soil to traditions, ideologies to religion, clothing to cuisines, everything varies in the world's seventh largest country. A pure Banarasi from core, this year I visited several cities of Western Rajasthan along with my friends. The college trip(educational trip) organised by 'My Travel Diary' . The tour kick started on 25th of January,2017 from Varanasi station. With great enthusiasm and expectations we began with our journey. The total head count exceeded a century(about 135). It only added more to the fun all the way long. We had a dozen of office members and teachers for the supervision of the trip including 2 tour managers from My Travel Diary. The train was on time and we were destined to reach Jaipur the next day. without much delay and postponements (thankfully), we reached our first destination in the state of sand dunes, folk music and rich heritage- Jaipur. Once we reached there, we were allotted our buses which would carry us to the destinations. After exploiting the superb facilities exceptionally good hotel rooms and delicious food we were ready to breathe in the air of Rajasthan. Birla Temple, Jaipur- first stop. Well I need not mention what happened in the buses. We yelled and were definitely louder than the speakers! Aesthetic start. The sky couldn't be perfect. It was crowded but we certainly were too busy to notice. After a while we left for our next stop- Chokhi Dhani. I must tell you its everything one can ask for, expect from Rajasthan. An artificial village with the staunch feel of Rajasthan. A must visit. Although we couldn't en-cash it because it started to drizzle but its truly Rajasthan in a nutshell! Next morning it was Amer Fort. Massive, huge. Well I'll be running short of words to describe that place. We were divided in groups and provided with guides so that we could live the places. This happened till the last day of our tour. Next it was Jal Mahal followed by Jaigarh Fort. It was tiring but that was the reason we were there for- exploring. In order to end the day perfectly, we were left in the Bapu market where we shopped anything and everything! After a sumptuous dinner, we buried ourselves in the comfortable beds and fell asleep in no time! While traveling we came across certain destinations- Hawa mahal, pink city of Jaipur, and the list goes on. The journey which kick started in jaipur seemed to be never ending. The next destination was the Chhittorgarh fort. A haunted place which had something in its air- the mortifying history. After that we visited Haldi Ghati which reminded us of bravery, courage and sacrifice. After taking a quick tour of the near by places we reached Udaipur. The city palace, saheliyon-ki-bari, were a treat. After clicking sufficient pictures and collecting heaps of memories we moved to next destination- Mount Abu. The Honeymoon point is a surreal place. It cannot be penned down. Just visit once, you'll know why. Next morning after visiting the head quarter of Brahm Kumari, we visited the famous Dilwara temple. The fine work made me think how perfect something can be. After that we bid good bye to the uplands and then traveled to reach our final stop- Jodhpur. That city was amazing in itself. We visited Umaid palace, Mehrangarh fort & Jaswant Hada. We got the closest glimpse of what is called Royalty. We concluded our day with shopping at a local market. Next morning we boarded a train back to Varanasi but we are never the same person when we return after this hilarious trip. All I can do is provide to with a synopsis. If you really wish to know Rajasthan, you gotta Visit Rajasthan! and ensure that it was organized by My Travel Diary. The road journeys, those delicacy, the whole feel cannot be just inked. The organizers of My Travel Diary Mr. Ranti Dev Singh and the accompanying staffs added more to joy and flexibility. They were cooperative and way too supportive. Although my thirst of wanderlust can never be quenched, this was a soothing drink. Our trip officially ended on 3rd of Feburary,2017 but I am sure the memories is bound to last a lifetime because of obvious reasons- Friends, fun, destinations and memories. If I get a second chance, I will not give a second thought of visiting those places again! Rajasthan Love..!!

Goa- The Land of Beach, Food and Party! A Travel Guide to GOA April 3, 2018 | Anuj Kr. l My Travel Diary

Goa is more than about beach, food and party. Being home to a former Portuguese colony, the old Goa has a beautiful architecture, which is visible in its plethora of churches to witness. The smallest state of India, also known as the ‘Rome of the East’ is home to number of Wildlife Sanctuaries like Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuaries which is home to more than 200 species of birds. Apart from this Goa is also famous for its Spices plantation and Cultural Festivals & Events all throughout the year. International and domestic tourists visit this tiny state every year, in a large number. Tourists are attracted to its golden beaches, architecture and places of worship. It is a biodiversity hotspot and is rich in flora and fauna. Places to See in Goa: a. Beach- Sun, Sand & Sea that is what you come for in Goa. Goa is essentially divided in to North and South Goa. Heaven for Beaches, Shacks and Bars North Goa is the place where all the parties, nightlife and hustle and bustle take place. The famous beaches in North Goa are Candolim, Calangut, Baga, Arambol & Anjuna. However if you are looking for peace of mind, relaxation, meditation quite time with your loved one, you can definitely head to South Goa which is less crowded and offers neat and clean beaches. Popular beaches of South Goa are Mobor Beach, Palolem Beach, Majorda Beach, Cavelossim Beach, Varca Beach and there are couple more. b. Church- Sightseeing to Goa will be incomplete without visiting a Church. Goa offers some of the most beautiful churches one of which is a UNESCO world heritage site known as ‘Basilica de Bom Jesus in Goa. c. Fort- Chapora fort offers a beautiful view of Arabian Sea. This is another very popular destination for tourists and is especially a favourite evening place to chill out. The fort overlooks the Chapora river and hence its name. However, there is a more interesting name given to this fort i.e. 'Dil Chahta Hai' Fort after it appear in the famous Amir Khan Movie. d. Doodh Sagar Fall- Located 60 Kms from Panjim, Doodh Sagar fall is India tallest waterfall. The falls is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats. The waterfall forms the border between Karnataka and Goa states. The area is surrounded by forests with a rich biodiversity. The falls are not particularly spectacular during the dry season but during the monsoon season however, the falls are fed by rains and form a huge force of water. Things to Do: 1. Sports Activity- You can indulge in some water sports activity at the beach side. There are plenty of water sports activities in North Goa. Dolphin Watching- If you like Dolphins you can definitely try Dolphin watching tours. Festivals & Events- There are plenty of festival happening in Goa throughout the year on of which is SunBurn Festival. The festival offers Music, Entertainment, Food & Shopping to name a few. Food in Goa: Undoubtedly the best sea food can be found here. Rice, coconut, vegetables, meat, pork and local spices are some of the main ingredients in Goan cuisine. Apart from this BEBINICA is the most famous sweet. This is a multilayered cake made from egg, coconut milk, sugar and ghee. Its a must try. CRAB XEC XEC another popular Goan delicacy made from grounded coconut, coriander and dry mixed roasted spices, which are added to crab meat. As far as drink is concerned the most popular one is Kaju Feni made from local grown Kaju or Cashew apple. The word Feni means froth and when poured in a glass the froth appears at the top which is an indication of a good quality. Best time to Travel Goa: November to February: This is the best time to relax on the beach in Goa and to indulge in other activities. December is the time when Goa witnesses the highest tourist footfall due to extensive Christmas and New Year celebration. March to May: As March approaches, the mercury level rises too. But the fact that it is less crowded and prices of the hotels become reasonable. It is a fair deal to give yourself a nice break of 3-4 days from your hectic schedule. June to October: There are parties across the length and breadth of Goa to welcome the rains that hit Goa during this time. If you love the monsoon and the lush green countryside, July to September is a great time to visit.

"Let's be at peace, Lets meditate. Let's visit Himanchal Pradesh." April 26, 2018 | Pragya Dev

" जमीन पर जन्नत दिखाएँगे तुम्हे, हमसे मिलना कभी हिमांचल दिखेंगे तुम्हे ! " With these words echoing in my mind, here i am to present my tiring but fascinating tour organized by My Travel Diary. It was a college tour having more than six scores of total head count. It was supposed to be our last college trip before graduation. The last one and the best one, yes the best. Indeed it was! We began with a wonderful box of food containing so much in respects of taste and variety, just like the journey we together had just begun. We were prior informed and our seated were allotted before hand so as to escape any probable chaos. There was a delay and we reached our first destination three hours late which was New Delhi, the captivating capital of India. The arrangements were well taken care of but because we were already lagging behind in our schedule, so we had to hurry up. We missed our breakfast but doesn't matter as it was covered up well with the provided Brunch. Next we straightaway hit the never ending but extremely pleasing roads and highways, all leading us to our next Destination which was Chandigarh. Although tired, we were all owning high spirits within ourselves which was rekindled when we stopped to have our meal at Dawat. It was a royal place where we were served all that one could wish for after a tiring day - juice, fruit salads, different cuisines and what not. After feasting for almost for an hour or so, we resumed with our journey. The provided buses made it a lot easier for us to travel as they had proper working A.C. along with comfortable seats. Every student had the liberty to choose a desirable seat in their allotted buses sorted according to the groups they themselves divided in before the tour. At Chandigarh, we visited The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a sculpture garden. It is also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957. It is completely built of industrial and home waste and thrown-away items. It is near Sukhna Lake which we visited after exploring the garden which consists of man-made interlinked waterfalls and many other sculptures that have been made of scrap and other kinds of wastes. Our tour Coordinators took care of all the small and big requirements and made us feel securely independent. Fairly tired for the bed, we straightaway collapsed in our comfortable hotel beds after the quick dinner as we had just begun! Next morning without giving all the staff members a tough time, we all were out of our rooms along with our luggage, too excited to reach our next destination - Shimla. We were supposed to visit a couple of places en route Shimla which was an adventure park and Kufri. Four Adventure Sports stood waiting there for us. I really cannot describe how the feel was when I sprang up and up and up. The view that place was blessed with was surreal. In the lap of nature with hills putting up a great show, we enjoyed our lunch. Then shortly we left the beautiful place and reached our hill view hotel named HIMDEV. By the time we reached there, it was evening. After a little bit of all the possible site seeing, we were left to explore the famous Shimla Mall Road. Such colors it contained! After almost emptying our pockets, we returned to our serene hotel rooms with breathtaking view. Next morning we left for Manali. The bus journey was tiring but they were fun as we were provided with proper speakers. We reached our destination at night but still we were able to visit a nearby monastery. There we were introduced to a monk who who was kind and humble enough to share his knowledge with us regarding the history of the auspicious place. It was indeed re-vibrating. Next day was the most awaited one. There are some pockets of nature that leave you spell bounded. They cast a spell and you fail to snap out of it for many days. The trek to Jogni Falls in Manali, Kullu HP, is one such place. After offering prayers and seeking blessings in the Vashisht Temple, we headed towards the minor yet thrilling version of trekking. We were headed by three trek leaders who kept motivating, teaching little but very useful tricks along with sharing their first hand experiences which made our journey seem shorter to a little extent. Mind you, wear good shoes because they are the ones which whom your life rests, besides yourself of course. The experience when we reached was really synonymous to the feeling when we conquer something. The location, majestic view are still good enough o give me chills. I hope it does the same to you when you visit it. After heading back we visited a set of places on the hired cars as buses are not allowed everywhere in mountains. We really had no idea what waited for us the next morning - Gulaba. In proper suits which was all provided by the respected authority, we landed on snow the next morning! It was the best destination for me because having a day out there in snow without any pressure and only for pleasure is not a common boon that people often receive. Yes, we were definitely the lucky ones. I guess all our fatigues and tiredness was blown away by the freezing wild wind and got buried somewhere in the sheets of ice we found there. After spending good number of hours there along with maggi breaks, coffee recharges, we returned to our hotel rooms. We were allowed to explore the Mall Road of Manali that night after visiting the Shawl Factory at Kullu and the very famous Hadimbi Devi Temple, also known variously as the Hadimba Temple. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himālayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in 1553. We were provided with the details by the guide who was a local and knew so many legends. At Manali, our special bonfire was organised which was rejuvenating and such a fun. The best part of the provided meals was that it presented us with options- vegetarian and non vegetarian almost everywhere. Next day we headed straight to our final destination - Dharamshala. Dharamshala (also spelled Dharamsala) is the second winter capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and a municipal corporation in Kangra district. It also serves as the district headquarters. It was formerly known as Bhagsu. The Dalai Lama's residence and the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamshala. It is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. Somewhere it engulfed our minds and left an impact on our souls. When we visited the holy Dalai Lama temple, that place held an aura of its own which was one of it's kind. We were given ample time to explore the expensive yet different markets of Dharamshala. After having our last maggi of the hills, we returned exhausted yet smiling to our hotel rooms. Next day, early morning, we hit the roads to return. We were in Delhi, the place where we started this whole affair. We had to return to the same regular lives with same day-to-day experiences but there was something more definitely added to our personality in terms of experience, morality and something more that was added to our core constituents. I would really extend my vote of thanks to the organizers, professors and the accompanying staff members and to the air of Himanchal which has the power to freeze my mind just with a mere thought of it.