Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Call of the wild - R S Bhadoria, ex-chief conservator of forests of UP

Kanpur Zoo is his baby. R S Bhadoria, ex-chief conservator of forests of UP and founder-director of Kanpur Zoo freaks out on tales from the jungle. Lure of the wild is writ large on life’s canvas for him. As member of Zoo Designing Committee with Central Zoo Authority, he is a pioneer of sorts, designing enclosures and facilities for zoo animals and visitors. The zoological gardens at Kanpur, Chennai, Patna, Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkota and Mumbai have gained from his deep insight. R. S. Bhadoria lives in tune with wild fauna. More...

House guests in Lucknow?

House-guests could well be Lucknow’s answer to extending Lucknawi Mehman-nawazi to foreign and domestic visitors in a big way.

Chikan embroidery and Kebabs may be enjoying international fame, but Lucknow’s tehzeeb that originally lured many in search of El Dorado to settle right here, is yet to reclaim its claim to fame. Lucknow as a cultural destination is hugely undersold, feel eminent Lucknowites. More...

Gliding into Assam - Delhi-Rajdhani Express

Sunset over river Brahmaputra, Guwahati, Assam

The sun sets early here, I was told, before I boarded the train to 'beautiful Assam'. It did. I looked hard for signs of Shariagathi bridge over the tame looking vast spread of water -- the Brahmaputra. Light bulbs reflected off the water to let me know of its presence there. And that is my first meeting with Brahmaputra. Meeting? not really. Not yet.

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Destination India!

In Urdu, we'd say, 'der aaye durust aaye' :-) to this... Incredible India has identified 20 great destinations to promote and develop. This is great news to us desi travellers, plus a new opening for international tourists to explore in India.

The official word is that the Indian Tourism Ministry has identified 20 mega destinations for infrastructure development, since India is witnessing encouraging trends in the tourism sector with foreign tourist inflows touching 5 million mark in the year 2007.

Domestic tourism is also a key driver. The “Incredible India” campaign has led to immense interest and awareness and is likely to result in significantly larger numbers of tourists traveling to and within the country. All this requires infrastructure, particularly at the key destinations / circuits. 
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Sri Lanka's King Ravana

Sri Lanka has cultural links with India, somewhat like the rest of South Asia.  Among other things, Buddhism and the story of Ramayana bring the two countries together on several platforms.

Sri Lanka's king Ravana

Now that the Sri Lankan government has released formal information about geological finds dating to the era when Ram and Ravan had come face to face here, in the war talked about in the Lankakand chapter of Tulsidas's Ramayana, Sri Lanka will certainly see a spate of Indian travellers visiting the country for an update.

Ramayana has become the link to Sri Lanka's past and present. Sites associated with the Ramayana are being promoted by the Sri Lankan Tourism Board. More...

Now, online booking for bus service in India

The Indian travel industry has geared up to cater to convenience for travellers by way improving bus travel...

Online travel portal Ezeego1.com has tied up with bus tour operator redBus, to offer online spot booking on nearly 3,600 routes across the country. According to Ezeego1, the profile of tourists in the country is changing and most vacationers from metros are weekend hoppers, looking for a quick getaway to the nearest holiday town or fusing short-haul business travel with leisure.
It is high time too, that the Indian travel industry has seen the gap and done something about it. More...

The Indian Paan bazaar, Old Delhi

From Banarsi to Maghai to Awadhi, all kinds of betel leaf preparation as in the Indian paan are enjoyed for equally varied reasons. Like wine connoisseurs know their wines, paan connoisseurs know what their favourite paan is all about.

Paan preparation

Paan bazaar, an alley market in Sadar Bazaar, offers a glimpse of Indian culture in Old Delhi. In India, paan has been playing an important role in the social life and customs of people for hundreds of years. In the court of the Mughal kings and others rulers, the betel leaf or paan was offered as a part of hospitality, friendship and love. This bazaar is well known for paan and its products that attract a large number of customers from across the city.

The bazaar has more than 100 paan shops. There are at least 50 varieties of paan available at paan bazaar from rupees two to rupees 400 per doli. A doli contains 200-250 paan. You can get a Golta Madrasi paan, Bangal paan, Banarasi paan, Jagatnathi Desi paan, Dholak Pakistani paan, Hydrabadi paan or Afsana paan on the spot. The best betel leaf is the ’Magahi’ variety (from the Magadha region) grown near Patna, in Bihar.

Every paan-lover in India has personal favourites. Maghai pan being the most famous among them. Amitabh Bacchan's rendition of Khai ke paan banaras wala, khul jaye band akal ka tala, is exactly how paan-lovers praise their favourite chew. It refreshes the mind, they say.

Paan is such a hot favourite, and cultivation of betel leaves such a tedious affair that one needs to watch out for quality. Paan, however is available all over India, in all its regional avatars.

For authentic and mouth-watering taste, they use sachi paan leaves, chuna, gulkand, clove, cherry, flavoured saunf, masala cherry, sugar, artificial sweetener, menthol, date, saffron, condiments, sada bahar, dilkush, white gold, Tan Sen, pistachio, rose katri, anis, raisin, coconut, chaman bahar, coriander powder, jaggery, permitted food colours, cardamom and different flavours in different proportion and in different varieties as ingredients.

A visit to any region in India is incomplete without a taste of the local paan-beera. And top of the list is Paan Bazaar in Old Delhi. Must visit! Read More

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