23 March 2017

An Artist Playing Harp @Dubai Mall...

When I saw this artist playing Harp at Dubai Mall, I was just not mesmerized by the music, but introduced to a completely new instrument, which was even taller than the artist herself. A string instrument which was no where similar to common string instruments like guitar, violin, veena or sitar.
When I searched for Harp on net, it initially connected me to European string instruments, but further through, it showed evidence of Tamil Sangam literature and Samudragupta connecting it to Indian history. 
As per wikipedia,
It has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard, which are plucked with the fingers. They vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, whereas larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut or nylon, or of metal, or some combination.
The show was at the indoor fountain of the Dubai Mall, which is one of the main attractions of the mall. Check out more on this instrument here.

17 March 2017

Citrus Hotels Lonavala - Review

I was at Citrus Hotels Lonavala for Corporate meet few months back for a two days stay. The hotel is very close to Lonavala station and easily accessible. It was corporate booking and the check-in was quite quick.
The room we stayed was very well done, while few of my colleagues had complaints on maintenance. Rooms have mini fridge, snack basket, tea/coffee maker, safe, flat screen TV, guest slippers. Bathroom is glass partitioned and well maintained with toiletry kit, hair dryer and bath gown. Since its amidst the city, view is no great, not to expect anything for a hill station. Most of the room windows open inside the hotel towards the restaurant which looses privacy. 

Food was good, in open space restaurant with Indian and Mediterranean spreads. Breakfast is complimentary. They also have 24 hours coffee shop and cocktail lounge at the restaurant area.
There is swimming pool and enough place for ball games towards the back of the hotel. Also carrom board and pool table at the restaurant area. There is a private mini theater, best thing when you are in group and looking for a night out, watching movie.
The business center is quite sufficient for a meet of around 30 people. On the first evening we had karaoke party arranged by our management, while second day the hotel had arranged for DJ night.
You can check out the price on their website here.

4 March 2017

Ahmedabad Chronicles IV - Stambh and Minar of Ahmedabad...

While the Mahastambh stands tall in front of Hutheesing Jain Temple, the Jhulta Minara showcases the great craftsmanship. 
Mahavir Stambh
Tall towers have been representing victory and pride since ages. A replica of the Victory tower of Chittorgarh, this 78ft Mahastambh stands tall in the courtyard of Hutheesing Jain temple in Ahmedabad. Having heard a lot about Chittrogarh victory tower, we did not wanted to miss a visit to Hutheesing ni Wadi when in Ahmedabad. The structure is intricately carved with motifs, gods and godddess.

The temple reminded me of the 72 Jinalaya of Mandvi. Dedicated to lord Dharmanath, the main shrine is surrounded by shrines dedicated to 24 thirthankaras and other gods and goddess. Photography is restricted inside the temple premises.
Jhulta Minara
Very close to Kalupur Railway station is Sidi Bashir Minars, well known as Jhulta(shaking) Minara. Built by Sidi Bashir who was famous architect in the reign of Sultan Mahmud Shah I(1458-1511 AD), these 100ft tall minars are famous for their shaking property. If you shake one minar at the top, the second minar vibrates too. Unfortunately, climbing the minar has been restricted recently, but you can enjoy the great craftsmanship on the walls of this three storeyed minar.

I got to know about the Jhulta Minara through Sanrachana a series on EPIC channel. Check out the trailer of the episode below.
Travel info: 
 Hutheesing Jain Temple
Timing: 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and 05:00 pm, Everyday.
Temple is at Bardolpura, Madhupura, 3.6 km from Ahmedabad Station.
Jultha Minara
Timing: 05:00 am to 08:00 pm, Everyday
Minaras are near Kalupur Railway Station Road, Sakar Bazzar, Kalupur, Ahmedabad