Mini Switzerland of India – Khajjiar

Our one hour zig-zag journey from Dalhousie in the green Chamba range seemed rewarding once we reached Khajjiar. Its nickname truly justifies the natural beauty present there. Khajjiar sits on a small plateau with a small stream-fed lake in the middle that has been covered over with weeds. The hill station is surrounded by meadows and forests.

 

To make things better, an array of snack shops and small restaurants cater to the needs of the tourists. We eagerly grabbed a table with the most scenic view or should I say, every sitting had a beautiful view. After gulping down the north-Indian thali and feeding the little one, we went forward with our venture.

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Our little one was happy to play with rabbits available there by vendors who charged a nominal amount if you wished to get clicked with the furry animal. We also bought football for him and he could not help but kept running on the lush green field. We spotted cattle comprising of sheep, horses, cows and bulls. Our little one was delighted to see his farm book coming to life.

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Though the center of the field was muddy and difficult to get through, we kept ourselves on the periphery of the field and enjoyed a lot. My husband took the little one for a little horse-riding experience in the thin lanes of the mountains. Soon, it was time to return.

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‘Do I look scared ?’

Overall, I found Khajjiar to be a very child-friendly destination. Only negative was reaching there as it was quite an adventure. On peak days, you can be stuck in traffic-jams on the thin curvy hilly road for more than two-three hours. Luckily, we did get back in time to Dalhousie.

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Thinking about the next mischief 😉
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CHOKI-DHANI (The perfect glimpse of Rajasthan)

Jaipur is one of the most convenient destinations from Delhi when it comes to impromptu travel plans. Good railways, roads and air transportation connect Delhi and Jaipur. So, every time we travel to Jaipur, we try to experience something new. Therefore, this time, we took a trip to the much-acclaimed Choki-Dhani.

Choki-Dhani is a mock village for travellers to have a real time experience of an Indian village. It literally means ‘ special village’. And true to its name, it is a wonderful and unique experience for all tourists.

Choki-Dhani has a unique entertainment style, which includes conventional forms like traditional dancers (who dance with a stack of clay pots on their head). Acrobats who will do their best to provide a spectacular show without any formal training like walking on a tightrope or riding two bicycles at the same time.

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This cultural village has a special section dedicated to children that include fun activities like slides (again, with clay finishing, to give the appearance of a village). They also have a tunnel for kids to hide and play. There are also some swings for the kids.

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Apart from these activities, there are various royal rides like the ride on an elephant, horse-cart and even a camel. Sadly, we were not able to click any good picture of them but they were all fun especially for our little traveler.

HORSE CART

A maze, which is again made up of clay, is present in the center of the village for a thrilling experience. There are different snack shops and souvenir shops throughout the site.

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There are also other areas of interest like the waterfall and boat ride in the man made lake. There is a copy of Vaishno devi temple for the devotees. The epic battle of Haldighati and its glorious history is recreated at Chokhi Dhani cultural village through giant statues and amazing light and sound setting.

 

There are open-air restaurants which give you the perfect surrounding of any village house with walls made up of soil and lights lit by traditional oil lanterns. To add to the experience, the food served is the delicious authentic thali (full Indian meal). There is also a royal Rajasthani thali, which is served in an air-conditioned hall.

At the end, we had great family fun at shooting arcade. They give you wooden rifles and you have to shoot the balloons to gain the gift. What attracted me most was the manual wooden bowling alley, where the people employed were picking the bowling pins and passing it on. The darts and other such feast games were also present.

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Overall, it was an excellent experience with our little one. There was so much to do in so little time as the village opens at five in the evening till eleven in the night. The competitive advantage of this cultural village lies in its effortless layout, which depicts an average Indian village with authentic village stuffs including the numerous Charpai (wooden beds woven with ropes) spread all over the village.

Trip to Agra with 9 months old

Taj Mahal is beautiful to even an infant. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of curiosity within us.

Going to Agra is convenient when you are traveling from Delhi/NCR. We drove in our own car stopping whenever required. Our little one also had fun during the road journey as he was able to notice different vehicles throughout.

We stayed at The GateWay Hotel Fatehabad Road Agra. Offering the best amenities alongside magnificent view of the TAJ MAHAL from its terrace, it made for a wonderful stay. The green lush garden adjacent to swimming pool was full with toddlers playing with balls. We were glad of our choice as our son was not the only one enjoying the sunny day in January weather.

We went to visit the Taj Mahal the next day. Given the prestigious position in the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is one of the most populated tourist destination in India. Therefore, we went to visit it right after the breakfast. There were two good reasons to do so : a) beating the rush , and b) utilizing the energy of our little one who was fully charged with a good night sleep.

There is no word to describe the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Maybe its the reason for its construction or the love in the heart of millions of people who come to visit it, the whole ambience around Taj is full of warmth & affection. We enjoyed the view and sat there for a couple of hours. Clicking pictures and showing different objects to our little one, we enjoyed sitting under the sun. River Yamuna which flows right across the Taj adds to the exquisite beauty in its own natural form. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of comfort within us. Its rightly said that Travel is the comfort food of the soul. 🙂