Family, India, Uncategorized

Thinking of returning to India? Here is the best place to return to….


India, Travel, Uncategorized

Sights and Sounds of Hyderabad, India

History which can neither be re-created nor re-lived can only be felt through present day influences. We got to feel this as we visited the the ‘City of Pearls’ or Hyderabad recently. What does Hyderabad immediately make you think of? If you are thinking of Charminar, Golconda Fort, Biriyani,pearls – then you are right on!

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana, India. Hyderabad owes most of its present day influences to its rich history. Indian history is fascinating and we can see that the Nizams and Mughals have carved their impression on Hyderabad even today. The history of Hyderabad can be explained in a few lines from Wikipedia “In 1724, Mughal viceroy Asif Jah I declared his sovereignty and created his own dynasty, known as the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nizam’s dominions became a princely state during the British Raj, and remained so for 150 years, with the city serving as its capital”. The air that we breathe and the architecture of the buildings in Hyderabad still remind of you of the Nizams.


The ‘Charminar’ is synonymous with Hyderabad. It was built in 1591 and it was built by the fifth ruler of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. It has four minarets with the typical dome shaped structure.


The writing describing ‘Charminar’


The ‘Charminar’ with its minarets


It was interesting to reach the upper floor of the minaret. There were 149 steps which were steep and winding.It almost reminded us of the steep and winding steps in the Statue of Liberty’s crown(when we climbed it prior to 2001) Once we reach the top, the view from the top of Charminar is spell binding.

The inner dome visible from the upper floor of Charminar



The Charminar is surrounded by ‘Laad bazaar’ which is a shopper’s paradise for bangles, pearls and other miscellaneous items.

Fun, excitement, life, hustle and bustle, hawkers, crowd all describe India’s shopping markets and that is what we got to experience at the Charminar market too!



Velvet bangles, anyone? 🙂

Salar Jung Museum:

The Salar Jung museum houses artifacts collected by Salar Jung III. It has artifacts related to the Indian, Far Eastern art and European art. The Salar Jung Museum takes more than 3 hrs to admire.The cost per adult to see the different artifacts in the Salar Jung museum is only 20 Rs! (not dollars!! :))  It has the musical clock, Veiled Rebecca, ivory collection, art collection and so on.



This is the clock that has the bearded man stepping out 3 minutes before the hour and striking the gong for the respective hour. There is also another blacksmith who is busy striking the seconds with a hammer.

There is a big crowd waiting patiently and orderly to see this magnificent machinery in work!


Hussain Sagar Lake:

Hussain sagar Lake is the man made lake built by Hussain Shah Wahi in the year 1562. It connects the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It has a beautiful Buddha statue in the center which can be accessed by fun boat rides.

Buddha statue at the Hussain Sagar Lake
India flag
Skyline of Hyderabad from the Hussain Sagar Lake


The park adjacent to the lake boasts of a number of activities and rides to keep everyone entertained.

Our trip was completed by tasting Hyderabad’s very own biriyani… 🙂  These were 2 days in Hyderabad with a whirlwind of “Mughalai” activity!! Join me as I seek more of Indian historical sites….




Travel, Michigan, Uncategorized

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Michigan’s climate can be described as beautiful during the summer months from late May to early Sept. Fall slowly creeps in by September with the trees showing off their beautiful colors.Winter sets in by late Nov and the weather can be quite brutal with temperatures dipping to negative readings(in Fahrenheit!) Snow is a common scene in Michigan and sometimes we can see it as early as September.

Mackinac island is located between the lower and upper peninsula of Michigan. It is best enjoyed in the summer months of Michigan because can be quite brutal. It is situated on Lake Huron and is about 3.8 square miles in area.mackinac_thumb3

We visited Mackinac island in 2004 and again in 2009 and enjoyed mother nature at her best. We reached Mackinac island by a ferry service from the lower peninsula. The unique part about the island is that motored vehicles are NOT allowed on the island. To get around the island, we used bicycles or horse drawn carriages. It was fun to ride on bicycles along the Lake Huron shoreline. Both of my kids were young then and it was an exciting experience to do tandem bike riding around the island with them.

The Mackinac island butterfly house boasts of many butterflies and insects and was another good place to visit.

Butterfly house


The crisp, clear and beautiful waters kept us wrapped in mother nature’s glory. We came back with the very popular ‘Mackinac island Fudge’. This place will  always be in my dreams!