Renuka S.

 Articles by this Author

Lahore - The City of Gardens

Spread over fifty acres, Lahore Fort is located in the northwest corner of the Walled City. The fort was built by Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar during Akbar's reign between 1556 and 1605. Succeeding Mughal emperor including the Sikhs and the British all added to the original construction, making it a unique structure which represents a complete history of the architectural influences in Lahore. The fort boasts of two imposing gates on the east and the west sides. The western gate, known as Alamgiri Gate, a magnificent double-storey gate is presently used as the main entrance.
Ladakh weaves a magic spell with its mesmeric beauty and mystic charm. Whether it is the silent, stunning views of the amplitude of the mountains, mammoth prayer wheels laboriously turning away, sampling butter tea and Tibetan thupka under a starry night or the effervescent, incessant convergence of people navigating their way into the severe and barren landscape, to travel across steep valleys and gigantic mountains under skies that are as bright as the smiles of the ladakhi people. Little Tibet as Ladakh is popularly called is lost in time. Life is unchanged. The villagers grow wheat, rajma, vegetables and apples; they tend to cows, buffaloes, goats and sheep and still weave their own clothes. Ladakh escaped the colonial British attempt of civilizing hill stations, they never built a ‘hill station' here nor did they lay rail tracks or construct sprawling bung laws. You can spend an entire lifetime here, surrounded by the magnificent mountains, without seeing anything remotely human.

Ladakh was a kingdom of isolated tribes with only the constancy and contours of the mountains to give them company since the 10th century. Under King Singge Namgyal, Ladakh prospered and became an important route between India and China. Mule caravans carrying precious stones, spices, raw silk, carpets, and silver from the Punjab to the towns of Central Asian would stop at Leh to buy handicrafts, soft pashmina shawls and tribal jewelry, it soon transformed into a bustling commercial city. Gulab Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir annexed Ladakh in 1834 into the state of Jammu and Kashmir which was occupied by the British at that time. The exquisite pashmina shawl had invited the greedy attention of the ruler and proved to be the reason of the ultimate loss of independence of Ladakh. History repeated itself a hundred years later when Ladakh was partitioned into Baltistan, now a part of Pakistan and Ladakh which remained in India as part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. If you are passionate about Tibetology, Ladakh is the answer to all your questions. The land of Buddhism, lamaism being a unique feature of the Buddhist way of life style here, which places great importance on celibacy and monastic existence for its disciples. The Ladakhi people are devout Buddhists, famous for their benevolence and righteousness.

Nairobi - Green City in the Sun

The city of Nairobi is known by many names. The capital of Kenya, it has been called the ‘Green city in the Sun’ and ‘Nai-robbery’ due to its high crime rates. The original name however, is a Maasai term meaning a ‘stream of cool water’. The city originated as a transport hub and since then has expanded upwards and outwards to accommodate a population of over three million people! Its diminutive colonial buildings jostle for space with high-rises and concrete apartment blocks.

Karachi - The Busy Port City of Pakistan

Karachi in southern Pakistan, is the capital of the Sind Province, and lies on the Arabian Sea, at the northwestern edge of the Indus River delta. With its wide sunny beaches, deep-sea fishing, and horse racing all-year round, the city keeps you on your toes throughout your stay.