Tag Archives: Jaipur

Movie Review: Shuddh Desi Romance: A Crackling Storyline

Shuddh Desi Romance

By Ankush Kumar

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, Vaani Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor.

Introduction: ‘Kamine hai re’ This desi romance is no way shuddh but is a crackling film all the way.

Plot: Raghu (Sushant) is a guide, about to get married when he develops cold feet. Enter Gayatri (Parineeti) and they fall in love. Fall out of it, fall in it again. Vaani is the damsel in distress who loses out eventually. Set in Jaipur this movie catches the essence of youth and their confused minds.

Tech Spec: The pink city has turned blue for this one, yet is captured very well. The minutest detailing by Jaideep Sahni is very intriguing in the screenplay. The music has a feel good factor to it and enhances the plot in totality.

Acting: Vaani makes an impressive debut and essays her role with ease, Sushant Singh portrays the role of a rustic guide with elan, but its Parineeti that steals the show. She is vivacious and will leave the audience spellbound with her performance. Rishi Kapoor: Do we say more?

Citizen Kane moments: Many of them but the stand out ones are a jalebi vendor scratching his back with a spoon, or the scene where Sushant cheats neighbors two be the cousin of Parineeti or the scene when they fall in love.

Kela moments: The final clash between Vani & Parineeti is a huge let down.

Brownie points 4 out of 5.

Yashraj stable has reversed the trend. Watch it for the new order that has been established.

Attractions in Bharatpur, Rajasthan: Part 3

This is the third of the three blog series delineating the unmissable attractions of Bharatpur. This post will talk of the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.

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Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary

Egrets, Cormorants, Siberian cranes, Pelicans, Darters, Herons, Pintail, Common Teal, Shelduck, Mallard – and you just have to name the variety to be able to spot it in the Park! Starting from the gracious Saras cranes to migratory water fowls to predatory Imperial eagles to some of the most beautiful peacocks you will ever spot – the park has all the varieties to complete the avian food chain.

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Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary hosts more than 375 species of birds and is the breeding ground for over 135 species. This is despite the fact that the park itself is just 29sq/km. For bird lovers, the Park is a pilgrim spot since migratory birds from China, Europe, Siberia and Tibet can also be found here. Some animals, too, can be spotted, including the Sambhar, Nigais, Black Buck, Spotted deer and Pythons.

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The sanctuary’s existence is traced to the British reign when it was known as one of the ideal duck shooting spots. In 1956, it was turned into a reserve for birds and soon named as a National Park. Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary has also been named as a world heritage site.

Quick Tips for the National Park

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  • Your visit to the park will last for 5 hours or more. Therefore, it is advisable to carry your sunshades and water bottles. For a very enriching experience of the bird sanctuary, you must carry your binoculars.
  • Entry fees is 50/- for Indians and 200/- for foreign nationals.
  • The best way to explore the park is either on foot or by bicycles. However, you can even opt for open horse carriages and cycle rickshaws. A horse carriage will charge up to 800/- for a 5-hour trip.
  • If you have opted for an Electra Van which is offered by the forest department, your vehicle will be allowed only till the Shanti Kutir.
  • There is an accommodation facility inside the Park – Bharatpur Forest Lodge – maintained by the government of Bharatpur.  There is also a lesser expensive Shanti Kutir, maintained by the ITDC.
  • Surprisingly, the carriage and rickshaw drivers can double up as guides and prove to be quite a repository of information regarding birds. For those of you looking to save some money can confidently rely on these drivers since they have been trained by the sanctuary management in bird watching.

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Quick Tips for Bharatpur

  • The best time to visit Bharatpur is between October and March. Summers and monsoons are best avoided. March to June sees the temperature varying from 37°C to 45°C. The monsoon month (July to September) is comparatively cooler at 27°C, but humidity makes sightseeing quite a task.
  • Bharatpur is 200kms from Delhi, 270kms from Jaipur and 70kms from Agra.
  • Bharatpur has a large number of hotels and guest houses – government and private, forest rest houses, budget motels and dak bunglows. (Check this). The mode of travel within the city is, more often than not, auto-rickshaws. You can even consider booking a jeep.

Attractions in Bharatpur, Rajasthan: Part 2

This is the second of the three blog series delineating the unmissable attractions of Bharatpur. This post will talk about the Deeg Palace and fort.

Deeg Palace

Deeg Palace and Fort

While this is another proof of Maharaja Suraj Mal’s fort-building spree and aesthetics, Deeg is also a nature lover’s hotspot. This town lies north of Bharatpur and boasts of a beautiful garden township

IMG_3420and a meticulously-laid palace which displays the engineering skills of the era at its best. Probably, the Deeg palace draws its charm from the fact that it was the idyllic summer retreat of the royals. And like most vacation homes, the palace is replete with spectacular fountains, well-preserved garden, imposing arcades and spacious pavilions.

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What’s spectacular about the fountains? The Deeg palace fountains are still in working condition and they emit colorful water. Despite the reservoir supplying water to the fountains is the same, every jet spews out water of a different color. These fountains are turned on only twice a year.

IMG_3400Deeg Palace houses several bhawans or mansions by the names of Gopal, Suraj, Kishan, Nand, Keshav and Hardev. All these mansions form a quadrangle. Gopal Bhawan is the largest of the mansions and is divided into two smaller sections, called Sawan and Bhadon.

IMG_3393An interesting feature of the bhawan is that while a front view gives the feel of a single storey, the rear view clearly shows an additional storey submerged in water. This architecture served two purposes – it lends a cooling effect in the summers, while creating an illusion of a lake palace.

Another curious feature is that this mansion has a hollow ceiling and pillars, equipped with iron spheres. Water was engineered to flow through the ceiling and the columns. When the iron spheres would collide with each other, they would produce a sound very similar to that of rain. The mansion walls also have small apertures through which water can flow sufficiently to form a curtain. Running fountains, sounds of thunder from the ceilings accompanied with pleasant sprays from the water curtain, the Maharajas would never feel the dearth of monsoons in Deeg.

If you wish to visit the Deeg Palace, the best season would be February. Not only would Rajasthan be more pleasant in that month, February 4 is also the day when the fountains are turned on.

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Quick Facts

  • The best time to visit Deeg is between October and March.
  • Deeg is at a distance of 32kms from the Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
  • Bharatpur is 200kms from Delhi, 270kms from Jaipur and 70kms from Agra.
  • It is always recommended to stay in Bharatpur, which has a large number of hotels and guest houses – government and private, forest resthouses, budget motels and dak bunglows. (Check this). You can stay in any of these accommodations and take a jeep or an auto-rickshaw to visit Deeg.

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