In the course of my vacation in the state of Haryana, there were a few places that were tagged alongside religion that hold any kind of reverence and awe-inspiring appeal to me. Besides architecture, a few places in the area are truly majestic in terms of legends that are associated with the place. The popular destinations have turned into tourist frenzy, thus taking out all the majesty of the place that it could have held otherwise. The Sthaneshwar Mahadev temple Haryana is one of the destinations on my charter that changed my outlook considerably.
The temple is located in the Kurukshetra district of Haryana. It is rumored to be the place where the legendary warrior brothers, the Pandavas, from the Indian epic, Mahabharata, had prayed to the God Shiva for blessings in the event of war. The temple houses a rich cultural legend which I could sense in the air the instant I stepped over the threshold. There is something invariably divine about the location that makes it unique from most of the other ancient temples that have made a turnover into mainstream tourism.
Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple Haryana | Image Resource : bhaktisangam.com/haryana/sthaneshwar-mahadev-temple-haryana.aspx
The temple is overly simplistic, with soft designs carved intricately into the façade. It serves as the home of Lord Shiva and is situated in the capital of the Emperor Harshavardhana. The architecture is created in the regional styles with a domed roof topped off by a pinnacle. It is a source of spiritual reverence and is still a venerable image in the context of the local people. With its several religious and legendary affiliations, it holds itself in a spiritually deep disposition.
Despite the many associated legends and artistic values associated with the structure, tourism, it seemed, had failed to make a prominent impact on the figure. Still being a moderately popular tourist destination, I believe that the Sthaneshwar Mahadev temple Haryana has retained much of its spiritual reverence due to the absence of artificial interference. I distinctly remember a feeling of being transported back in time when Gods walked the earth and legends were true. It constitutes as one of the most rewarding destinations on my catalogue.
Galaxy Mall, Haryana | Image Resource : skyscrapercity.com
Galaxy Mall, Haryana : Finally, the shopping day wanted to buy some Punjabi Jewellery for my latest up-coming collection from a well-known shop at Galaxy Mall. So just rushed with my friends to shop out. The mall is fully air-conditioned, big enough and has variety of brands and things to offer along with tasty food at food court and recreational activities.
I wasn’t about to leave Haryana without visiting one of my favorite places to spend a day in. The Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon was one of my choicest destinations in the area. I had my roots in fashion and so I had to be conscious of my health. The spa proved to be quite effective with a wide range of therapies to help cleanse the body and mind of any unwanted stress that may have formed. It summed up to be one of those incredibly memorable days that I know I’ll remember for the rest of my days.
What is a holiday without a little relaxation at the local spa? That was my general train of thought as I set off for the place. The lounge had a nice soft aura to it that spoke of a warm welcome. I was given a choice of therapies and their prices. The treatment is completely holistic in approach and there were several aspects that I was invariably attracted to. Swedish massages and Balinese massages were among my choice favorites. There were other therapies as well such as an aromatherapy massage, hot stone massage and a traditional Thai massage.
Front Desk of Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/
Waiting Lounge in Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/
Short Therapy Area in Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/
The spa boasts of excellence and considering the appearance of the center, I would have to agree that there is no room for false advertisement. I was led into the therapy room with a cordial and mannerly invitation and I was in for one of the laziest, most relaxing afternoon of my holiday. The staff is comprised of complete and adept professionals who can contribute to an excellent session.
Moksha – Ayurveda Room in Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/
Bliss – Holistic Therapy Room in Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/
I had settled for a Swedish massage, which was my intention from the beginning and also added a Lomi Lomi massage. The name of the latter had intrigued me highly, and I was rewarded with an excellent Hawaiian massage that left me rejuvenated. The packages at Blue Terra Spa Gurgaon, Haryana were not as expensive as I had made them out to be and I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure into one of the most relaxing days of my holiday. It can be safe to say that it only takes a day to attain nirvana.
My visit to Gurgaon was anything but uneventful. I prefer housing myself in places that are subtle rather than dynamic and have all the basic appearances of home. I had set up camp for my holiday and decided to stay in Divistha Guest House, Gurgaon. The guest house is situated close to Hanuman Mandir and constitutes a cozy spot to set up base camp for a prospective holiday. The guest house is easily accessible from all major tourist attractions as well as the airport and the railway station.
The airport is eighteen kilometers away, but easily accessible over public transports. The guest house is located in Sector 14. The train station is comparatively nearer, about four kilometers away. I have found the rooms to be quite comfortable with quite satisfactory services and basic amenities. It is important for a guest house or hotel to be comfortable in order to have a relaxing end to an exhausting day of sightseeing.
Bedroom in Divistha Guest House Gurgaon | Image Resource : divistha.com/contact.html
Divistha Guest House Gurgaon | Image Resource : divistha.com/contact.html
There are several sightseeing locations available well within reach of the house. The Hanuman Mandir is a mere half kilometer away. The temple is constructed beautifully and is an attractive tourist destination. It is also a short way to Leisure Park and its famed fountain, which I enjoyed thoroughly upon my visit. The other attractions that lie in easy access from the hotel are Sitaram Mandir, Qutab Khan’s Tomb and Masani Temple.
All the tourist places around the area can be reached efficiently and easily through public transports or, as I had done, by hiring a vehicle for private touring. The stay in Divistha Guest House, Gurgaon was rewarded by the delicacies that were at my disposal. The multi-cuisine restaurant in the house is a delight for all foodies and creates an excellent set up for an eventful vacation. Gurgaon is not officially a primary tourist destination, but it does serve to be the destination for a small holiday, which involves some casual sightseeing and shopping. The guest house proves to be an apt reflection of hospitality and comfortable living while on holiday. I concur with a positive testimonial on the subject.
Lodi Garden Haryana | Image Resource : commons.wikimedia.org/
Lodi Gardens Haryana : A nice and calm place with picture perfect beauty, the Lodi gardens had been during early evening so was sparsely populated. Mostly, peak hours are during the evening with a good crowd coming in. A perfect place if you are looking for a calm walk or jog and self-Relaxment. There are perfumed flowers wide spread, which spread a nice aroma all over.
I was halfway through my holiday when I came upon the chance to spend a day at Leisure Valley Park, Haryana. The first aspect of this place that intrigued me was its famous illuminated musical fountain. It was a sight rarely seen and I intended to check it out for myself. The park is also host to some popular leisure activities and constitutes to be an attractive tourist destination in the interest of sightseeing.
Leisure Valley Park Haryana | Image Resource : panoramio.com/photo/1083964
Picnics are a common activity at the park and I anticipated looking forward to enjoying the fountain view. I also needed to carry a tripod for a little photography in the low evening lights. It was a short journey from the guest house where I had holed myself up for the holiday to the park. There are several entrances and the park itself expands for over twenty five acres.
The place is effectively connected by a metro station and is home to a few of the best breakfast spots in the area. I had an interesting afternoon with photography and found myself several interesting subjects to capture on frame. The park is generally a fun place to be on weekends and is full of squirrels and well-maintained trees. It is also a great place for lovers considering the number of couples who were visiting around the same time. There is a Roots café in the park that provides strictly vegetarian foods and is a good place to hang out and snack at.
Roots Café Leisure Valley Park Haryana | Image Resource : yadavsuneet.blogspot.in/2013/03/roots-eco-friendly-restaurant-located.html
Thali in Roots Café Leisure Valley Park Haryana | Image Resource : shrutika123.tumblr.com/post/73286620789/thali-in-roots-cafe-leisure-valley-park-haryana
The park is most spectacular in the evening with the famed illuminated musical fountain. Although it is not so impressive as to inspire awe in the eyes of a beholder, but it suffices for a pleasant evening and photography. The fountain is lit once the light of day subsides and darkness settles in the evening sky. The Leisure Valley Park in Haryana is a good place to spend an evening and even for hanging out with friends at a breakfast joint. I did come across some excellent photography subjects to adorn my album. The park has also retained several aspects of its natural roots and artificiality has not yet established a hold on the greens.
No day is uneventful with a little sightseeing planned out. I had picked the lazy afternoon to check out Humayun’s Tomb in Haryana for some pictures and some souvenirs. The tomb is situated in the middle of a garden and has served to be the inspiration of most of the Mughal architecture, including the Taj Mahal. The tomb was built by the widow of the second Mughal emperor of India. It stands as one of the highest orders of architectural achievements even to the extent of the modern day. It is also the first garden tomb to be built on the Indian subcontinent.
I entered the garden through the south entrance, which constitutes as the main entrance to the garden with the tomb at the very center. The mausoleum is built on a high and wide terraced platform. The walls are adorned with cupolas and arches in the form of cells along the sides. The structure is domed to the roof. It is shaped in the form of an irregular octagon with four long sides and four short ones. The roof is mounted with a double dome which is over forty meters high.
Humayun Tomb | Image Resource : trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/India/North/Delhi/Delhi/photo489654.htm
The dome is surrounded by pillared kiosks and cupolas that are decorated with smaller ones set intricately into the face of the structure. I spent quite some time walking and looking at the entire structure and figuring out the different sides of the tomb. The structure has been kept in superb condition, and as I found out, there were very little interventions made on account of renovations. There are pools which are joined by channels merging into the center. It was also used by various other royal members as a burial site and is considered a Mughal necropolis.
I had packed a snack for the afternoon and had the time of my life exploring the nooks and corners of Humayun’s Tomb, Haryana. I learned that Indian history has a long binding with the Mughal rule and dynasty. As evening set in, I headed back to my hotel to have a relaxing end to what turned out to be a very eventful day in the interest of sightseeing.
Jindal Park Haryana | Image Resource : hoparoundindia.com/haryana/attractions-gallery/48354/jindal-park.aspx
Jindal Park Kurukshetra, Haryana : This place reminds me of childhood, a musical fountain garden Jindal park kurukshetra is quiet famous among the families and children specially. The fountain is a must watch during late evening. Lights cool water sprinkling and blend of music makes the place look superb. We too became children and enjoyed few slides and swings was most fun loving time
My love to learn more about the culture and history of the country took me to the next exciting place I longed to visit. The Indian capital is home to a few of the most prestigious remnants of history that traces the ancient royal bloodlines who ruled the nation. I had decided to spend part of an entire day in the presence of the gigantic monument. I left the hotel around ten after breakfast and packed a light snack from the hotel to have it before a late lunch.
Qutab Minar | Image Resource : shalusharma.com/the-qutub-minar/
Armed with my camera I arrived at the monument around eleven. The towering structure is built at the center of a giant complex called the Qutab complex. It houses several other medieval structures and ruins. The towering structure was started by Qutab-ud-din-Aibak and completed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1368. The structure forms the highest minar in India standing at an overwhelming two hundred and thirty eight feet high. The base diameter is fourteen meters and narrows to about three meters at the top. The Qutab Minar was used as a watchtower. It is built entirely of red sandstone and is covered with Islamic scripts from the Quran. The foot of the tower forms the very first mosque that was constructed in India.
I entered through the main gate and wound my way through the complex. The ruins were incredibly photogenic and the lazy afternoon sun caught the shadows beautifully. The main path that led through the complex ended at the minar. The iron pillar is the only artifact in the complex that is engraved with Brahmic inscriptions on it. It predates the Islamic tower and is a metallurgical wonder as such a pillar is a complex formation on account of its era.
Qutub Minar Entrance | Image Resource : liveindia.com/redfort/qm.html
There are several beautiful examples of Islamic architecture that adorn the tower. I had a full view of the eccentricities that were built out of stone at the Qutab Minar. The balcony is a place where the view is breathtaking and I can guess why it was used as a watchtower. The place is ideal for a small picnic and I even picked myself a few souvenirs. The evening constitutes a more somber appearance and the tower is illuminated for tourists.
One of the major attractions, which lie a simple two kilometers south of Delhi, is the Surajkund Lake, Haryana. The lake is a remnant of an ancient reservoir, which was built in the tenth century. The reservoir is fed by the Anagpur Dam, which lies in the north east. Both the dam and the lake is situated in Haryana and most easily accessed from Delhi. It serves as an excellent tourist spot and the afternoons are especially beautiful. I went by road and it led me past a stream that feeds the lake from the dam.
Surajkund Lake Haryana | Image Resource : columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1200_1299/delhisultanate_early/surajkund/surajkund.html
The view of the Aravalli Hills from the car was exquisite and the clear day sun could have escalated me into nirvana. The lake is an artificial one and is built in the backdrop of the Aravalli hills. The lake is an amphitheater shaped embankment that was constructed on a single semicircle. It was host to a sun temple. The temple, however, now lies in ruins. The lake was built by a king of the Tomar Dynasty in the tenth century who was also a sun worshipper. The ruined temple lies on the western bank of the lake.
Aravalli Hills Haryana | Image Resource : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aravalli_Range
The Surajkund Lake is also one of the popular sites for ancient Stone Age relics. The Aravalli hills are famous for being host to Stone Age civilizations. The artifacts found in and around the lake date back to Microliths and lower Paleolithic age. The lake is rich in history with artifacts related to the Tomar dynasty and the Tughlaq dynasty. The history of the Aravalli constitutes of a few of the most famous royalties in the Indian testaments. The sunset is beautiful to watch from the lake and the view offers chance for a few of the best landscape photographs if one loves to take it. The dam was also worth a visit and as I found out when I got there, the place was a photographer and culture lover’s delight. There were several interesting artifacts and a breathtaking view to experience. It was a short drive back to civilization as I prepared for the following day.