Incredible India

I found this interesting list cum tag at Uniquely Priya’s space and immediately thought of taking it up!

We all know, how vast, rich and incredible our country is! There is a lot to explore, discover and experience from our heritage, culture, food, history, wildlife, pilgrimage, crafts, adventure… I have travelled a bit and this tag is perfect to list what I have experienced and what’s still pending to explore in India.

The rules are:
1. The list contains all the states of India and their capitals are in brackets.
2. Make bold the states you have visited, and mention your favourite memories of that state.
3. Include only states that you have really experienced, and have felt the culture of the place. The touch-and-go while travelling in a train does not count, because that way I believe I’d have seen a little more, but it does not give me a feel of the place and so they need to be actually visited.

Note: The format is State (Capital). The ones I have visited are in bold.

1. Jammu & Kashmir (Srinagar): Jammu, our home for the last 2 years… came with a lot of sceptism but it’s been a wonderful experience staying here. A lot of myths got dispelled about J&K. Have been to Srinagar, Pahalgam, Ladakh…. BEAUTIFUL is the word for Jammu & Kashmir

2. Punjab (Chandigarh): My birth place. Rupar, Chandigarh, Ambala, Ludhiana have been our summer vacation destinations as majority of the clan stays here. A trip to the amazing Amritsar was made last month. The rich food, lively people and trendy Punjabi suits, phulkari work… sure, I’d like to go to Punjab again and again!

3. Haryana (Chandigarh): Since Chandigarh is the common capital, so I have been to Haryana too! Chandigarh is my favourite city. Love the cleanliness, orderliness of the whole place and the shopping at 17 sector. And not to forget Gurgaon!! Was there last week and simply freaked out on shopping at the huge malls!!

4. Rajasthan (Jaipur):  Jaipur is our hometown! Studied in Kota and Bikaner. Jodhpur was our home too for 3 years. Udaipur, Mount Abu has been holiday destinations!! Rajasthan is truly amazing and vibrant in each and every aspect! Padharo Mhare Desh!

5. Himachal Pradesh (Shimla)

6. Uttaranchal (Dehradun):  A wedding of a friend took us to Dehradun and vacations to Nanital and Mussoriee. The Forest Research Institute at Dehradun was very impressive and loved the shopping and bargaining in the Tibetan Market at Nanital and Mussoriee!

7. Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow): The bestest city that we have stayed in is Lucknow! Loved the ‘metro but not a metro’  feel of the place… the kebabs and biryani, the lakhnavi embroidered kurtas and sarees, the multiplexes and huge malls, the culture and tradition, all gave some wonderful fond memories!

8. Bihar (Patna)

9. Jharkhand (Ranchi)

10. West Bengal (Kolkata): Quarterly Official Meetings at Kolkata and a field visit to Malda is West Bengal for me, up till now! Exploring on foot around our hotel, The Park and  rides in a Metro and a Tram (my first ever) showed parts of Kolkata to me. The vastness and a totally crowded Howrah Station at 5 am amazed me! The devotion and faith at Kali Ghaat was mesmerizing!

11. Orissa  (Bhubaneswar)

12. Sikkim (Gangtok)
13. Arunachal Pradesh (Itanagar)
14. Assam (Dispur)
15. Tripura (Agartala)
16. Nagaland (Kohima)
17. Mizoram (Aizawl)
18. Manipur (Imphal)
19. Meghalaya (Shillong)

20. Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal): A two day official meet at Bhopal showed a bit of the city to me.

21. Chattisgarh (Raipur)

22. Gujarat (Gandhinagar) : Ahmedabad was another place, which I visited frequently for work. Never ever missed going for the Gujarati Thali at Vishala and Pakwan and shopping for handicrafts and traditional stuff at Law Garden and Gurjari!

23. Maharashtra (Mumbai): Mumbai, where life runs faster than the clock was our home for 8 years! The dhakka-mukki in the Local Trains and focus on catching the Bo 8:03 F , vada-pav and bhel at Juhu beach, mystical evenings on the Marine Drive, the hot coffee on the road by the coffee-wala on the cycle, the incessant rains, the traffic jams, the roads with potholes, some wonderful friends… created loads of magical memories in Mumbai.

24. Goa (Panjim): The beaches and churches, fun and food, sun and sand, cashews and coconuts, Goa is pure pleasure and fun place! Need a leisure trip to Goa sometime soon, again!

25. Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad ): Frequent work trips to Hyderabad and got to enjoy the ethnic and traditional culture of Rajasthan in AP at Dhola ri Dhani and Ramoji Film City. Bought some pearls and enjoyed the Biryani near Char Minar!

26. Tamil Nadu (Chennai) : Chennai for me is synonymous with Sarvana Bhawan. I was never tired of having breakfast and dinner on all the days of the stay here, much to the chagrin of my colleagues! Buying sarees at Nalli’s for friends and colleagues was fun too.

27. Karnataka (Bengaluru): Bangalore reminds me of sudden rainfall in the evenings and lovely weather. Once I needed to photocopy some papers urgently and while hunting for a shop at 9.30 pm went very far off from the hotel and got lost in the process!!

28. Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram) :I was in Kochi (for an official meet) on my second Karvachauth. It was pouring outside, and inside I could have drowned in my own tears! Finally at 11 pm, after numerous rebuking phone calls from hubby, offered my prayers to the moon God who still chose to hide behind the clouds and had food!

29. Delhi – A frequent destination, the capital city is always fascinating. And last week, a flying visit to the city left me very very impressed. The infrastructure development due to CWG has done wonders! And the bestest I liked is the International T3 terminal (our flight to Jaipur was a connecting International flight!). The international airport is truly world class!

That’s 16 on 29. Wow, not bad!!

There’s still a lot to explore in our Incredible India!

For those who feel we often write about what our country is NOT, would you like this tag to write about how incredible India IS? If yes, go ahead and leave me a link in the comments.

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