Author: taleof2backpackers

Excavation sites at Gour Malda

The excavation sites at Gour, Malda tells the tale of the erstwhile kingdom of the Bengal rulers. A bye lane from the road towards Firoz Minar from Qadam Rasool mosque will take you to the excavation sites. There is very little called road, it is just a muddy and dusty path. A few minutes walk or you can take your vehicle too and you will be standing in front of a mammoth wall – the Baisgazi wall. Baisgazi Wall: There is a huge wall called the “Baisgazi Wall”. As the wall is measured 22 Bengali yards i.e. 42 feet...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal – II

In our previous post, we had written about the grandeur and beauty of Gour, the ancient power seat of Bengal. We had told the stories of the Kotwali Darwaja, Lottan mosque and Tantipara mosque  in our previous post. The rest follows…. Lukachuri Gate: Next we passed through the “Lukachuri Gate”. It appears to have been built by Shah Suja, brother of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1655 AD. This has large double storeyed gate, with guard’s room on sides and a Naqqar Khana (drummers chamber) on top is built of brick and stone and is the eastern entrance into the...

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Gour, Malda – the erstwhile power centre of Bengal

Malda – the first thing that comes to our mind about Malda is mangoes. But Malda is much more than that. Malda has a very rich history and was the seat of power for many empires. Malda thus have a few historical relics scattered throughout with Gour and Panduah being the most famous. The history of Malda can be traced back to the medieval periods and centres around the cities of Gaur and Pandua. Gaur being an ancient city, its mention can be found even in the Hindu Puranic texts. The historical records of the city however can be...

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Wah Taj ! – Taj Mahal at Agra

“The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.” – Rabindra Nath Tagore Taj Mahal is considered to be the epitome of love and one of the most beautiful mausoleums of India and perhaps the most famous one too. So before actually visiting the Taj Mahal, you have seen the white marble structure a number of times in photographs and videos.  But that does not in any way lessen the awe of visiting the Taj for the first time and seeing it with your own eyes! Tha Taj Mahal...

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Travelling together is fun

Dedicated to all the travelling couples.. Imagine watching the sunset from a beautiful beach holding the hands of your partner or watching the snow capped mountains with your beloved by your side. What can be more romantic that that? Travelling together is indeed fun! I agree solo travelling also has its own benefits.  But travelling together has also its advantages. After travelling solo for a few years, now I am discovering the wonders of travelling together with my husband. A few reasons why I think that travelling together is great… The first and foremost reason is that you have...

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A Photo story of the Darjeeling Zoo

The Darjeeling zoo or the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the largest high altitude zoo in India. Darjeeling is one of our favourite destinations and the zoo always adds to the charm of visiting Darjeeling. We are never really tired to visit this gem lying in the lap of the Himalayas. It houses the rarest and endangered Himalayan animal species. The zoo was opened in 1958 at an elevation of about 7000 ft. A 3 km walk from The Chowrasta Mall will take you to the Jawahar Parvat – the place where the zoo stands. Sprawled across an...

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The Hemis Monastery – Ladakh

Hemis Monastery is the largest monastery in Ladakh, and perhaps one of the most beautiful one. Located about 49 km south from the town of Leh on the Leh-Manali route, Hemis is one of the richest monastery of this region. Hemis monastery follows the Drukpa lineage or the dragon Order of Mahayana Buddhism. GyaIwa Gotsangpa Gonpo Dorje a main disciple of the 1st Gyalwang Drukpa, Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorie (1161-1211), and one of the most celebrated yogis in the Himalayas, came to Ladakh in the 13th century and established the Drukpa Lineage hire. Gyalwa Gotsangpa meditated In a cave...

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Beth El Synagogue Kolkata

Beth El synagogue is situated in the busy Pollock Street, one of the busiest roads in Kolkata. The place is surrounded by shops and thousands of people walk down the road giving the yellow gigantic structure a miss. In fact, on a busy day, you will see the white marble stairs of the building inviting you, but will barely notice it. So after visiting the Magen David Synagogue and the Neveh Shalome Synagogue, we walked down the busy Pollock Street looking for Beth El. Beth El stands tall with an arched entrance. Above the arch there is a glass panel...

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Neveh Shalome Synagogue Kolkata

Neveh Shalome Synagogue is the oldest synagogue to be built in Kolkata. After an overwhelming visit to the Magen David Synagogue, we ventured for the other two synagogues of Kolkata. The Neveh  Shalome Synagogue was built by Shalom Obaida-Ha-Cohen in 1831 in the memory of his father Shalom Ha-Cohen. The Neveh Shalome is not as ornate and magnificent as the Magen David Synagogue which is situated right beside it. The entry to the synagogue is through a domed arch whose door is now hidden by the myriads of shops in front of the gate. The Neveh Shalome synagogue was...

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Magen David Synagogue Kolkata

The Magen David Synagogue touching the skylines of Kolkata stands at the busy junction of Canning Street and Brabourne Road. You could hardly see the gate of the synagogue as the gate is flanked by shops selling make accessories and junk jewellery. But you will not miss the tall tower of the synagogue which is often mistaken for a church. Welcome to one of Asia’s finest synagogues! We reached the main gate and called out for the caretaker. The caretaker opened the door and we asked whether we are allowed to visit the synagogue. He was very cooperative and...

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The Jews of Kolkata – Then & Now

My first introduction to the Talmud – Torah was during my tenth standard text book through a story called “The Needle” by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Later on read a little more in “The Class” by Eric Segal. But little did I know that our very own Calcutta had a thriving Jewish community back in the nineteenth century. Although in decline, there are landmarks of Jewish community. Calcutta had always been a potpourri of various cultures and traditions and the Jewish community which came to Calcutta were welcomed with open arms here. The Past: The Baghdadi Jewish community came to...

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Darjeeling Himalayan railways – A romantic prelude to the mighty Himalayas

The toy train ride in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR) is like a sweet lullaby in the midst of a dreamland. Though much has been said about the present condition of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and Darjeeling itself, a toy train ride through the misty tracks from Darjeeling to Kurseong will definitely rekindle the romanticism in a person. First let me say a little about the history of this wonderful creation. The DHR was constructed by Franklin Prestage from 1879 to 1881. The toy train covers a distance of 88 km from Darjeeling to Siliguri on a 2 feet wide...

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