Sneaker Fever!👟👟

This year sneakers have been a big hit. From skirts to denims, from dresses to overalls and maxi dresses, sneakers can be paired with anything and everything. So when everyone is following the trend, why would I have stayed behind 😁

Ever since I bought these adidas beauts, we’ve been inseparable. Though I don’t prefer buying white shoes but these were love at first sight. 🙈 Hehe. So when my cousins and I made a back to back movie plan for Saturday and Sunday , I knew I had to take these babies for an outing. Needless to say they didn’t disappoint me.❤

I combined a lot of trends like tie and dye, fringe, nauticals, batman, bucket bag in both the looks yet kept my comfort on top priority. These adidas superstars complimented my outfits to the T! 😍

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OOTD details

Tie and dye top & Batman top: Sarojini Nagar

Faux leather skirt, bucket bag & nautical skirt: Forever 21

Fringe bag: H & M

Hope you liked reading the blog. If you’ve white sneakers, get up and create cool looks and don’t forget to tell me about it.😎

Love,

Aakanksha 😘 

Lucknow Diaries!!

It had been 11 years since I last went to lucknow so when I was told that we would be going there for a family function I walked down the memory lane. Lucknow has always been one of my fav places, cause of my nani. She had just enough love to give everyone, be it her kids or grandkids. There is something about the air, the people, the food, I’m sure some of you might just think of Lucknow as a place but for me, its so much more.

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Spending the summer holidays, eating amazing delicacies, exploring the historical monuments, was a part of my growing up years. I used to wait for June to come so that all of us would meet at nani’s place and have fun. My maternal family is probably the coolest ever, everyone is given importance and respect regardless of the age. Nanajis, nanis, mama, mami, mausajis, mausis and all of us have always had a great time together.

I was extremely close to my nani, so 11 years back when I went for her funeral, I was very depressed. She was the reason I started believing in God, nani would explain to me the importance of family which I never understood back then. I would always sleep with her whenever she was around and she would patiently listen to my lame stories. After she passed away, I just couldn’t go to Lucknow, either the plan didn’t pan out or we weren’t free but mostly because I couldn’t imagine lucknow without her.

After the tickets were booked, I began googling the places I wanted to explore cause I had made up my mind that I wouldn’t be staying at home much as it might depress me. I scribbled down 9 places that I wanted to see and kept the paper in my bag. Almost all my family members were coming but since all the kids had grown up, I guessed they wouldn’t want to hang out with me since I was the eldest so I told my mom to go around lucknow with me and not leave me alone.

Throughout the journey, I kept wondering how would I react, what would I say but as soon as I reached our home, I felt so much at ease. Everyone was gearing up for the function, the kids were running here and there, the teens were busy on their smartphones (snapchatting, sorry had to mention it. Hehe) and the mausis were deciding what to wear. It didn’t feel that I had come after 11 long years.

 

It was my chote nanaji’s and nani’s 50th marriage anniversary wherein all of our relatives had come from different cities. Our mums were busy meeting people after ages and introducing us. The oohs and ahhs could be heard from a distance I guess. Hehe. “Oh she looks just like you” was the thing I heard the most. The music, the sound of cameras clicking, the giggles had set the ambiance perfectly. Everyone had made efforts to make the timeless couple feel special on their day, the kids had made a video and a card which was such a cute gesture. I guess when you enjoy, you don’t realize how time flies by cause by the time we wrapped up, it was more than 1 am.  After returning home, my cousins decided to play dumb charades, I joined them since I didn’t know what else to do. But boy oh boy, I have to say, I havent laughed this much in the longest time!! Even though I am more than 6-7 years elder to all of them, I felt like a part of the gang. I’m smiling reminiscing how crazy we must have looked while enacting the most insane of movies. We slept at 5 am which speaks volumes about the fun we must have had that day.

In the morning, my mausis and mami asked me to get ready for shopping as all the ladies were heading out. Can you guess what my answer was???? Well, I refused!! The people who know me or follow me on any social media platform know what a big time shopaholic I am, I’m out shopping every weekend so for me to refuse to leave the house meant huge deal but since I wanted to spend time with my cousins I stayed back. Mausaji, mama and my cousins decided to teach me to ride Royal enfield that day, which was such a adrenaline rush and also soooo cute. The cousins who taught me were the ones who would sit on my lap and pull my cheeks, I have given them piggy back rides and today they had grown up so much that they were teaching me something. Too much awwww happened that day. Hehe.

Over the next two days, we rode the bike, went for midnight drives, strolled around, pulled each other’s legs, clicked a million pictures, argued who gets to be Chandler Bing ( which we all eventually agreed was me) talked till 6 am, watched movie (VIP seats) hehe, made funny videos, we even invented games. I had come with a mindset that they wouldn’t like me hovering around and that’s why I had made an itinerary but they made sure that I didn’t feel left out, which meant the world to me.

Lucknow might be a place for everyone but for me it was, is and will always be home. No matter how old I get, no matter where I go, lucknow will always be my happy place. My family is undoubtedly the best, from my nanaji to the youngest cousin!

Thank you for teaching in your own sweet way what family truly means , the kid back then didn’t understand what you meant but the girl writing this, knows.

Love,

Aakanksha

Gangtok: The Final Chapter

As the name suggests, this is the last blog from my north east travel diaries! Did I just catch you heaving a sigh of relief??!! Haha!!😜 I can’t forget this trip! I loved it so much that even talking about it makes me want to go back in time and relive those days!😍

The last day was the cherry on the cake! We were to go to an altitude of 14,500ft to see Changu Lake and Baba Mandir. We embarked on the journey at 8 am. The snake shaped roads gave us goosebumps and the weather couldn’t have been any better.💜 We felt we could literally touch the clouds! Our driver was one hell of a man, all along the way he kept telling us stories and urban legends of Sikkim.

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Changu lake, also called Tsomgo lake, is is a glacial lake in the East region of  Sikkim, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Gangtok. It is located at an altitude of 12,313 ft. The locals told us that the lake’s surface reflects different colors with change of seasons and they hold it in great reverence. The lake is surrounded by steep snow clad mountains, has a surface area of over 60 acres, which is frozen during winter. During summer the snow cover melts and forms the source for the lake. We were fortunate to see the lake cause we were told that the lake generally remains frozen till May!

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Manju Lake (enroute Baba Mandir)

The Sikkimese people have put up shops near the lake, one can buy souvenirs, or shop for jackets, sweaters etc or just enjoy a cup of tea and coffee while appreciating nature’s beauty. You can also take pics with the yaks there!📷

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Next on the list was Baba Harbanjan Singh Mandir, our driver told us that since everyone can’t go to the original Baba Mandir, they have made an exact replica at a lower altitude so that people who have breathing problems or are old to see the original one can see the replica!

We decided to take a chance and go to the original one! For those who don’t know much about Baba, he was a Major in the Indian army who died in 1968 near the Nathu La in eastern Sikkim. He is respected by soldiers of the Indian army and often called the “Hero of Nathula”. The army men have also built a shrine in his honour. Many believe that his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas.

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Top of Baba Temple

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The Indian Army has built a temple near the bunker were Baba used to stay while he was serving in the army. Once you’re near the temple, you’ve to climb 25-30 stairs to reach the bunker. There’s a golden idol of Babaji inside the bunker, his clothes are ironed everyday, his shoes are polished daily which many have claimed that he uses everyday!

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As the story goes, Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier while trying to lead a column of mules carrying supplies to a remote outpost. As the first casualty of the 23rd Punjab Regiment in that war, a manhunt was launched to find him. His remains were found after three days and he was cremated with full military honours. It is said that it was Harbhajan Singh himself who helped the army find his body. Through a dream, he instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine in his memory.

Indian soldiers believe that in the during wars between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian soldiers of any impending attack at least the three days in advance. Even The Chinese acknowledge his presence and during flag meetings between the two nations at Nathu La, they set a chair aside to honour of Harbhajan Singh. People claim to have discovered him visiting the camps at night. It has also been claimed that the regiment still keeps an empty bed and other items of daily use. Some sources suggest that he continues to draw a major’s salary every month till date. Sends chills down the spine, doesn’t it?

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The velocity of the wind at that altitude was so high, I felt I fall down. It was quite a task not to feel dizzy there. Before reaching the mandir, I was really concerned about my dad falling sick, but it was my brother and I who were gasping for air and had to sit down! But after that it was playing with snow time!! Yay. I couldn’t enjoy Rohtang much cause my cousin threw a snow ball at me which hit my nose badly and I couldn’t breathe properly then. So I was all set to enjoy the snow here, I still remember my brother asked me to come and sit in the car cause my hands had turned BLUE cause of the snow! It was so cold and to think that I didnt want to wear a jacket to begin with makes me go hug mom who forced me to wear one!🙈

I was thrilled to be there, it was once in  lifetime experience for all of us. We stayed there for around an hour, soaking in the energy that the place has.🙌

The last place to visit was the flower show, sadly it turned out to quite  disappointment since it was off season and most of the flowers weren’t in the blooming phase yet we took a few pictures cause for me, nothing is unworthy of a picture!

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Looks like someone found true love! 😛

And with that, the final chapter of our wonderful, adventurous north east trip ends! It was an experience that I will never ever forget in my life. The picturesque views, the happy go lucky people, the cold wind, everything about north east is beyond beautiful. If you love travelling and north east should be on your bucket list!

I’m all ears to know how you liked my trip and the various adventures we did!👻

Keep travelling and keep discovering! Life’s too short to be whiled away!

Love,

Aakanksha😘

 

Gangtok: Day 1

I think I have eaten your heads enough with my blogs about my trip, Hehe 😝 but just two more to go! Hang in there, the torturous ordeal is soon about to end! Haha! 😜

After reaching Gangtok, we were all so tired that we just checked into the hotel and crashed into our beds!
Gangtok city was a little warmer than Darjeeling and the roads were wider which is a given being a capital city. Once you enter the city, you do get the city vibes and oh the smiling faces! The best part about the trip to north east were the locals, I have never in my life seen people happy and chirpy all the time even at 5 am in the morning when I’m just struggling to wake up and drive all the way to the gym! 😤 The next morning we woke up to a gorgeous view. A pair of birds were sitting in our room’s balcony and all we could see were clouds and snow clad mountains! I come from a land of forts, deserts and palaces, yet when I see those I get excited like a kid, now imagine how difficult it is for me to contain my excitement when I see snow! 🙌

After golloping down the breakfast we were all set to set foot at Banjhakri Waterfalls! A  100-foot waterfall located in a landscaped park with forested area, is at a distance of about 7kms from Gangtok town. There are paved pathways and footbridge around the park which spreads across some 2-acres of land area, there’s also a man-made lake here with a dragon at the center. The entire park is themed on Shaman culture and you can see Sikkimese architecture visible all across the park. Ban Jhakri means ‘Jungle Priest’, according to a popular Nepali urban legend, the first Jhakri or Shaman acquired the power of mastering the evil spirits from the gods. However, he required to identify the right boys and teach the technique secretly in his forest cave. And after the training the boys themselves became Jhakris being able to cure anybody affected by evil spirits. Hearing this, I saw a ray of hope that my evil spirited brother👿 would be cured now! Sadly he wasn’t and still bugs me day and night! Hmmmphh 😭

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I’m the craziest in my crazy family, I guess the pic says it all!

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The temperatures suddenly drop when you reach the place, but you feel like you are in a different world. The chirping birds, the sound of water splashing over rocks, the wind teasing the leaves just makes you smile and forget everything and soak in the beauty of nature! We are family of nature admirers, so visiting such heavenly places makes us adore and cherish God’s glory! 💞

After clicking around 100-200 pics near the waterfall (oh you think that’s too much, haha you don’t know me at all then 👻), we left for Dro dul Chorten, which is a stupa in Sikkim.

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Inside this stupa, there are a complete set of Dorjee Phurba, Kangyur relics (Holy Books) and other religious objects. Around the stupa are 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. The stupa is surrounded by Chorten Lakahang and Guru Lakhang, where two statues of Guru Rinpoche are present. The monks rotate the prayer wheels and chant along the recitation of mantras imprinted on wheels. It was such a peaceful place where you feel disconnected from the rest of the world. Everywhere I looked, I was greeted with spectacular views, young monks playing, sound of bells, a prayer area where around 200 candles were lit cleansing the aura of the place. After rotating the prayer wheel, we sat inside the prayer area. I don’t speak for everyone but when I’m inside a holy place, I feel more anchored and in sync with my soul.

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We would have sat there the whole day, had it not rained cats and dogs! It started drizzling and our driver called us back and within a few mins, I could see hailstones all around me. We decided to head to the hotel as we could barely see as the car windows were completely occluded by the mist. Kudos to the driver for driving like a pro on those hilly roads and taking us back safely to the hotel.

Unfortunately cause of the rain, we couldn’t see the other two places on the itinerary but as soon as the hotel staff told us that we were to a height of 14,500 ft the next day, my brother and I had the widest grin!

The next day turned out to be thrilling adventure! But more on that in the next blog so stay tuned! Please please come back for the next blog, I promise that’s the last blog of my north east trip! Then I would just bother you with some other blogs. Hehe 🙈

Love,

Aakanksha😘

 

My Fav Look Books!

While looking for mother’s day gifts, I came across Social Print Studio. I was thrown off my chair looking at their awesome ideas for gifts which were so different from what I had earlier seen. I was so inspired by lookbooks, that I decided to create a lookbook of all my favorite looks. With their custom photo books it is a great way to bring all your digital favorites at one place. Having something in physical form is a nice thing to have, isn’t it?

I was super excited and my mind started running in every direction about which looks should I include in the blog. You can obviously understand how difficult it is for a fashion addict to choose her fav looks! Haha 😎

I thought to talk about a look of each kind, like one from ethnic, one from work and so on.

  1. The Travel Look Book

I recently went on for a trip with my family, needless to say I had packed my most comfortable clothes without compromising on the fashion front. All the outfits that I wore were casual and cool at the same time. The outfit that I’m going to feature int he blog is one of the most stylish one. Since the north east part of India was super cold at time I visited, I thought of layering my clothes instead of wearing a thick trench coat or hoodie. I wore a denim shirt dress with stockings and to keep the cold at bay threw in a chic black blazer, grey woolen cap and a grey stoll. I intentionally choose dark colors to keep myslef from falling sick. This is how I looked, the overall look was quite comfy and yet I managed to up the style quotient!💁

 

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2. The Brunch Date Look

My friends and I get together a lot, and like any other girl I start thinking about the outfit that I’m going to wear once the plan is finalized. The look I put together here is a summery one. I try not to wear jeans and pants when going out to chill, since that’s what I usually wear to office. This particular plan was made to ditch the mall and meet somewhere outdoors, so the outfit demanded to be a little loose fitting. A long slit skirt is probably one fashion item that every girl swears by in the hot weather, so I circled it out on a yellow printed skirt. I paired it with a sleeveless loose black top and a pair of gladiators completed the look.

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3. The Party Look

Party calls out for our most fashionable outfit, doesn’t it? When I had bought this dress I couldn’t believe my luck that I had scored on such a trendy maxi. Plaids on a maxi, that too in my favorite color, I must be God’s favorite child I guess! Haha. Its a simple yet elegant maxi which doesn’t require a lot of styling, as the dress basically speaks for itself. I wore it to my cousin’s birthday and all I had to do was pair it with the classic black pumps to get a sophisticated look!

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4. The Festival Look!!

India is a land of festivals, we love to celebrate our festivals with pomp and show! So when the biggest festival, Diwali, was drawing near, an elegant ethnic outfit had to be put together. I was bored with the lehenga which we love to wear at almost all functions so I decided to wear an evergreen saree. I got a gold blouse stitched and wore it with my mum’s red saree which I chose after ransacking her entire wardrobe! Hehe. Guess that’s my birthright to have a sense of ownership over her clothes! With a few gold pieces to match with my outfit, I was all set to rock the festivities! IMG_20151111_214140_211

5. The Office Look

Now how can my favorite look books be over without the classic white and black combination! I prefer trousers over jeans any given day as they are more comfortable and let the body breathe. So when I had to attend an office meeting, I knew what I wanted to wear to cast an impression, a crisp white shirt, black trousers and skater shoes were the answer! Stylish yet so comfortable that you can go day to night in it.

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I hope you loved reading my blog and liked the looks I put together. These were my top 5 look books till date, though it was really difficult to compile just 5 cause I put in a lot of thought into what I wear for specific occasions! Girls just love dressing up, don’t we?

Happy Reading!!

Love,

Aakanksha

 

 

 

 

Enroute Gangtok!!

If you have been following my blog, you’d know that we recently went on a trip to north east. I’ve already blogged about the first two days of the enthralling journey, if you haven’t read them yet and wish to participate in my adventure, here are the links of the blogs! (Day 1 & Day 2)

The next day we were to go on road journey from Darjeeling to Gangtok. My family truly believes that the journey is always better than the destination so it was a given that we would have a lot of stop overs enroute Gangtok! 🙂

After hogging on a resplendent breakfast, we went all set to enjoy our escapade. 😀

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I was totally mesmerized by the views on both the sides of the road, the dense coniferous forests, the weather were all so bewitching! It felt as if a fairytale had come to life. I had never seen a place so magical in my life, the only thing missing was a prince on a white horse to sweep me off my feet! Hehe. If only all wishes came true! 😂😆😍

P.S. Mom Dad if you are reading this and think that this is where I’ll say that this is my dash of humor, trust me, I seriously wanted the prince to come! Hmmphh.😠

After a few miles, when I looked to the right side, my jaw dropped and I quickly asked the driver to pull the car! My brother and I ran literally sprinted off inside this park which looked like a mystical forest. Lamahatta, as the place is popularly known, is located 23 kms from Darjeeling! A picturesque mountain village situated 5400 feet above sea-level, it is surrounded on all sides by pine forests and gardens with panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjungha. It is an ideal place for those who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and enjoy natural solitude, with its various beautiful species of flowers carpeting the landscape and the surrounding gardens.:)

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Trust me when I say that none of the pics taken do any justice to the beauty of the place.

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Tall towers, flowers everywhere, gigantic trees and oh the clouds!! I recalled the scenes of the movie, Tangled! Yes, that’s an animated movie and yes I have watched hundred it numerous times! I even climbed on one of the towers and pretended to be Rapunzel with my shoulder length hair. Don’t laugh, a girl can live her fable if she wants to! Hehe 👸

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After spending over an hour, we were back on track. Our driver told us there would be beautiful tea gardens on the way and he’d stop at one.

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We couldn’t see a tea garden in Darjeeling unfortunately as we had limited time and loads to see. Except for my mum, none of us really felt grim to not being able to see a tea garden, so at the mention of tea gardens, you can guess who was the most excited! The tea gardens were truly a treat to the eyes, mum posed like a little girl infront of the tea gardens. 👧

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We thought we were pretty much done for the day when we saw the milestone which read that we were hardly a few miles away from Gangtok! Just when I was about to close my eyes for a while, my brother screamed “River Rafting”! We weren’t able to raft in Manali due to an accident that had taken place that time. So we thought that River rafting would have been the best end to the road journey and we asked our parents if we could go for it. My parents’ exact words were “What do you mean that you want to go for it, what about us!!” Haha, my family is always up for adventures. 👪

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All geared up with the safety suits, we were ready to tick river rafting off of our bucket list. I just love being near water, be it boating, swimming, or just sitting near a beach gazing into the Sun so I was really enthusiastic! Boy, was it extraordinary or what! Water splashing all over us got back the kids in us. Laughing like maniacs and clicking pics, I’m sure the instructor thought we were crazy, but who cares, we were having the time of our lives! 💞🎉🎊

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Completely drenched and shivering, we got back in the car and were ready to head straight to Gangtok. I still remember no one spoke a word for the rest of the journey. We were just too caught up basking in the adventures, the ones we experienced and the ones we were about to come our way!

Keep watching this space if you want to know how our first day in Gangtok went!

Hope you’re excited to read all about it!

Love,

Aakanksha!😘

Darjeeling: Day 2!!

When the first day happens to be quite an amazing one, the expectations for a better next day are quite high! We all secretly wished that the next day turns out to be a great one but kept telling each other not to get the hopes up high, cause we didn’t want anyone to be disheartened. That’s what families are about, isn’t it?😍

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Peace Pagoda

The first thing on the second day was Peace Pagoda. Just like you, even I wondered was a pagoda meant. Thanks to my smart phone, I could google it and find out. This is just one of the advantages of owning a smartphone! Don’t worry, the blog isnt about the perks of smartphones, this was just directed towards my parents so that they buy themselves one! Hehe. 😜😂 Anyway back to the place, basically, a Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa; a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. it was built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan and founder of the Nipponzan- Buddhist Order. The pagoda was designed by M. Ohka, and it took 36 months for constructing it. The height of the pagoda is 28.5 metres (94 ft) and diameter is 23 metres (75 ft). It was a very peaceful place with statues of Buddha constructed in the circular fashion covering the outer walls of the stupa. The view of the place was spectacular, the coniferous trees, clouds everywhere just uplifted our spirits. There is a japanese temple just walking distance from Peace pagoda, where you can sit and silently pray. I really like sitting in temples and praying cause that way I feel cleansed.😇

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Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park was the next destination, which was at par with all the other places we had seen. Flora and fauna of varied species was a treat to the eye, and for someone who enjoys visiting zoos, this place should be on the itinerary. They were yaks, snow leopards, tigers to name a few. Personally, my brother and I aren’t fond of zoos cause we feel that animals and birds are meant to be free and not held captive. Though a pair of cute little red pandas resting on a tree outside the zoo made us smile!:)💜

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Me trying to photobomb my bro’s selfie!!

We headed to Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling next. It was established on November 4, 1954 to encourage mountaineering as an organized sport in India. The first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary sparked a keen interest in establishing mountaineering as a well-respected endeavour for people in the region which led to Jawaharlal Nehru establishing HMI in Darjeeling. Tenzing Norgay was the first director of field training for HMI. The place basically has a boasts of a huge museum wherein you can see who all have ascended Everest, K2 and Kachenjunga successfully, how they trained hard, what all they used at those heights, the newspaper cuttings, the letters written by them, their gear and what not. I was quite fascinated by how lack of technology back in the day didn’t deter them and the mountaineers worked with whatever they could manage. Unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed so I don’t have pictures to post here.:?

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The last time when I went on a ropeway was 6 years ago, so the thought that we would be hopping on one made me quite excited. The ropeway in Darjeeling is spread over a distance of 3 kms. The journey on the ropeway offered beautiful views of the hills and the valleys around Darjeeling. The impeccable tea gardens, clouds, the hilly roads, I truly can’t put the experience into words as to how stunning it was. One has to be present there to enjoy the beauty of the place. By the time we were back, I could feel elephants pounding in my stomach and hogged on two plates of momos.🍲

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Tenzing rock was the last place on the itinerary, it is a gigantic natural rock in Darjeeling is named after Tenzing Norgay, the man who created history by climbing the Everest first time along with Edmund Hillary in 1953. The right face is gentle and surface is easier for climbing whereas the left face of Tenzing rock will make shivers run down the spine. The steep and almost vertical rock comes up from far below and rises high above the road level. Tenzing Norgay himself used to practice climbing on this rock. Being the daredevil that I am, I held the rope and starting climbing but before I could climb up high, I was shot down by a native who said it is dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted without professional help.😈 Just like my dad, I’m all up for adventures, and that’s what worries him a little cause he knows I don’t get scared that easy!💁💪

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I know I know Tenzing rock was the last on the list but can a girl’s trip be over without indulging in shopping! Hehe👗👜👚👢👠. In the middle of buying some souvenirs, it began to pour, my dad has something against shopping so the rain made it easier for him to discourage my mom and I but like I said, I’m always up for adventures, so here I was completely drenched alongwith my mom to bargain for some bells which, no points for guessing, got on my dad’s nerves. Hehe. What a day what an experience!😛

So this is how our second day ended, now we had to head to Gangtok the next day which I shall talk about in next blog!

New place and new adventures!!

Love,

Aakanksha😘