Who doesn’t love desserts? Well at least according to me, most of the human population never say no when offered a dessert. From cupcakes to puddings to varied chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mint, and/or your own cultural delicacies, they all turn out to be irresistible. Now, let’s dig into my experience of savouring one such dessert, popularly known as the “Chocolate Bomb”. Looking at the large dish with ice cream on the sides, a base made entirely of chocolate with sprinkled white choco-chips and finally the large brown spherical heaven-on-a-plate placed right in the centre was itself mouth-watering. The wait and the anticipation of what was to come next was almost unbearable. Slowly, as hot melted chocolate was poured on the sizzling plate, the hard exterior of the chocolate bomb began to melt and reveal the unexplored mystery within. As soon as the waiter left our table, my spoon instantly dived and sought out the sweet, chocolate crumbs and ice cream inside the bomb. Mhm absolutely delicious, the perfect amount of sweetness, crunchiness entered my digestive tract and I felt an emotion of utter bliss. I think I kept on eating and eating until I could see the white plate beneath despite having a full-fledged dinner just minutes before. Truly lip-smacking. Take care and stay safe((:
Varanasi or Banaras or Benares or Kashi, along the banks of the Holy Ganges, is home to Hindus, Buddhists and, Muslims. It is one of the oldest cities, supposedly found 5000 years back, well-known for its “gallis”(narrow lanes). Our first day was spent exploring the creators behind the gorgeous and intricate “banarasi” textiles, popularly known as “brocades”. I was stunned to witness the hard work, effort, patience and, meticulous craftsmanship of the artisans who took nearly a month to weave a single saree. One’s wardrobe seems incomplete without one of these exquisite pieces. Later that evening, we got an opportunity to explore the banks of River Ganga on the newly started Alaknanda Cruise. We saw all of the 84 beautiful ghats, each with its own significance. The ghats that caught my attention the most were:
Dashaswamedh Ghat- The main ghat where the extravagant and mesmerizing Ganga Aarti is carried out and we were amazed to see it from the cruise boat.
Gaay Ghat-This is the ghat where people bathe to wash away their sins, generally the sin of killing a cow.
Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats- These two are the cremation ghats, a place where the auspicious rituals are carried out as the ashes of the departed are devoted to the Holy River. The irony here is that a single place is chosen to perform a ritual for a new beginning and also the last rites of an individual.
The next day we drove amidst the heavy, common traffic to Dashaswamedh Ghat to visit one of the 8 “jyotirlingas”, that is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, where all honest prayers are answered. The strong positive energy of this place can be felt by each pilgrim. It also gives a beautiful view of the Ganges. Nearby lies the temple of the Goddess of grains, “Annapurna Ma”. As the evening passed by, our excitement to watch the enigmatic Ganga Aarti increased. We were lucky to get a seat close to the Pandits performing the evening Aarti. The Aarti began with the blowing of the “Shankha”, whose melodious sound uplifted the whole atmosphere. Then the smoke of the “dhoop” seemed to purify the air surrounding the ghat. This was followed by the lighting of 108 “diyas” on a single, brass lamp and the soothing sound of ringing bells, marking the beginning of the main Aarti. The most eye-catching and fascinating moment was when the Pandits carried out the Aarti in complete sync. Around 50,000 people, from different states and countries, were gathered to witness this moment and offer their prayers to the Ganges. We were left enchanted by the spell this ritual cast on us. The trip to Kashi is incomplete without visiting the Kaal Bhairav temple to take the blessings which would protect us from the evils of the world. The next day was spent exploring the museum of Sarnath which provided us with vast knowledge about the history of Gautama Buddha. The museum is filled with beautiful sculpted relics and antiques, associated with Buddhism. Sarnath is also the place of the first commemorative “stupa” built for Buddha. It is home to the ruins of the first few monasteries, which is indeed a sight to see along with a 121ft. tall marvelous Buddha statue. Remember to savour the delicacies offered by this city, like the “Banarasi puri and bhaji”, the “chatpatti khaasta kachori”, “Banarasi pan”, the sweet and delicious “kulhad (earthen glass) lassi” and tea. Oh! and also, don’t forget to take home the mouth-watering “aloo ke papad” and “achaar (pickle)”. 😉
Welcome to Dubai, the city of flamboyance, the city of the rich. This city is one of the most developed cities in the world, with its high skyscrapers and shining cars across clean, solid roads. Beginning with the most predictable and wondrous location, the Burj Khalifa. The cloud touching building consisting of 163 floors is the tallest skyscraper in the world. The modern interiors, the digital floor-displaying lift, exquisitely built glass front and the marvelous view from its 125th floor is a sight that would be etched in your memory for a lifetime. Not to miss out on the longest fountain in the world located right next to this landscape, it looks beautiful from the top of The Burj and even more appealing while standing in front of it. The synchronized beats of the music along with the rise of water is an alluring view for the eye. Located right beside these two wonders is one of the largest malls in the world(yep it’s hugeeeee!), i.e The Dubai Mall. This posh mall of extravagance is home to nearly every national and international brand known. As soon as we entered, we were met with stores like Chanel, Vero Moda, Forever 21, Gucci, Prada, H&M, and many more lined up on all sides of it. Two of Dubai’s famous gardens are the flower garden and the butterfly garden. However, at the time of our visit, the butterfly garden was closed so we had visited the flower garden. Soon, the air we breathed was filled with the pleasant aroma of the flowers all at once. The place could be compared to heaven as we looked at all the beautiful flowers and structures like the peacock, clock, heart, etc. made using this God’s gift. Our day came to the perfect end as we had a movie-like dinner on The Dubai Marina river cruise while gazing at the beauty of the illuminated city. Then comes the well-known desert safari. Before we rode on the jeep to reach the desert, strangely, the tires of the jeep were deflated a little. All hell broke loose after that! It was like a roller coaster when we glided through the sand dunes of the breezy desert. The evening meal was filled with the delicious Mediterranean food, drinks, music, and the belly, Arabic Tanoura dance to entertain us as the cold desert winds blew. Last but not least, the unbelievable palm island along with the huge Atlantis, The Palm is a must-visit destination. Located on the crescent of the largest man-made island, The Palm, Atlantis is a marvel of its own. From the amazingly delicious Cold Stone ice-cream to the informative aquarium, Atlantis does not disappoint. Lastly taking the journey through the palm island on a monorail is the most favourite part of this trip for me. The site from the monorail was mesmerizing as we passed each branch of the palm island. So go visit this city that never settles for anything less than first place. ~Vee
This Heaven On Earth is a destination you wouldn’t want to miss. With its small towns, lakes, hills, and mountains, it never fails to amaze. This posh country is famous for its watches and chocolates that are sold worldwide. Bern, one of the most beautiful cities at night, makes people look at it in wonder. It’s known to have the famous clock tower and over 100 vintage fountains, 11 of which have retained their original structure. The view of glimmering lights at night from its Dalmazibrucke bridge is no less than bright stars in the night sky. I am sure most of you love chocolate or at least like it. Broc, a small town in Switzerland is home to the factory outlet of one of the most famous chocolate selling brands in the world i.e The Maison Callier, Nestle Chocolate Factory. When Maison Callier opens its factory doors for you, the aroma of chocolate and glorious sight makes a person feel like it has come straight out of a fantasy book. The sparkling water of Lake Lucerne is an eye-catching location with its cruise as it takes you around the city, displaying its beauties and historic structures. One of which is the “Crying Lion” or the “Lion Monument” who cries out the victory tales of immortal warriors. Being at the Top of Europe is like being on top of the world. Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe (located in Engelberg), with its chilly weather, snow-covered peak and the awe-filled view of the other mountains makes your soul feel complete. The tiring hike of Mount Pilatus is worth the effort when the refreshing air at the top and the view of City Interlaken rejuvenates one. Interlaken – a city between two lakes is home to the statue of our famous Indian film-maker Yash Chopra! I assure you that Switzerland, the Heart of Europe is bound to stun you. ~Vee
What was the first thing that came to your mind when you read the word Paris? A dream destination? Couple’s paradise? Fashion capital? It is all those things and so much more… One of the most historic and famous monuments of the city is the Eiffel Tower standing tall in all its glory. The iron pillar, being the most visited location, it oozes confidence, strength and makes people look up to its stature. Its beauty multiplies when looked at from the mighty cruise of Seine River with its dancing waters and beautiful scenery by its sides. The feeling is overwhelming while being up there. The anxious wait to go reach the top and then the extravagance glorifies when one looks at the large city turn tiny, looking at the symmetrical houses and structures. The tales of the victorious Arc de Triomphe haven’t been unheard. Standing in all its might, it also has a proud story to tell. Apart from these places, there’s the glorious Lovre Museum along with the Cathedral and its religious visitors. The city is also home to delicious coffees, homely-cozy cafes, and diners that look like they have directly come out of a fantasy. (Ps – They are actually very comfortable and cute!). Walking across the Champs- Elysees, looking at all those different people, has always been a sight of wonder. Locals with their iconic fashion looks and couture, couples walking hand-in-hand fascinated and locking their love in each other’s hearts.Different people having different stories, different cultures, different destinations, all residing or visiting and mesmerized by this one place, Paris- the city of love.