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#HondaWeekends:Amritsar To Pathankot Road Trip

What if Shahrukh Khan didn't pass by to sing in those random mustard fields,imagine what DDLJ would have been.'Incomplete' isn't it?

Gurdaspur #Punjab gave us that 'Complete' moment with sugarcane and mustard fields in super bright yellow hues.


To know what I wore,click here

For previous posts:

#HondaWeekends:Hello Amritsar

Other Blogs on the roadtrip

Burn Your Fuel Blog 

Sometimes you just need wide open spaces to find joy in a journey than the final destination,your inner voice screaming “Keep going,just keep going”.As the wind gently sweeps the hair by your side,best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you don’t even care to ask.But no matter,the road is life.


With no stiff objective as such in our minds,except we vaguely knew we were going to drive down  the new Honda Mobilio from Amritsar to Pathankot,we were bang on the road with the boys(Akshay and Bharat) taking lead turn by turn.After all,we were in a New Car - with the excitement abound.

Trying my hand for a few minutes on a Honda Mobilio


The ruffle of the plastic cover over the seat,the smell of the newness was enough to keep us happy.





The random radio screeched in the top of the voice - local ads that we swiftly changed.I chose to sit with the window view on the middle seat,eyes in eyes with people around at the rear and front,having fun at each moment.The people at the back looked quite comfortable with the wide leg gap between the seats whereas usually in other cars the back seats are always cramped.

Amritsar To Pathankot: Along The Way 




 How anticipated a trip turns out to be when we know the places we are going to see.But how boring unpredictable the trip turns out to be when what we thought we would reach, never came as we got mesmerized by what we saw in between.Yes,the best part about all road trips is unlike trains or planes , you can stop just anywhere.Anywhere you feel like.

Gurdaspur : A Random Stopover



South Indian in North India :)

Driving through the highway onto Dhariwal and Gurdaspur,we stopped for the Pakora & Chai stop-over at Chennai Xprs at Nashera Majja Singh where we played with the two dogs who were tied by the swing and had our pakodas. The name was a welcome surprise that instantly made us to stop :)



 Along the way,we spotted a random Durga Ji Murti and a train passing through the fields. 







 In between I tried my hands for a few minutes of test drive in the mustard fields.And oh! how smooth the driving was.The reason I later realized how and why I was as refreshed as I left.No grumpy dismantled feeling to accompany me this time.Phew! #HappyDance #HondaWeekends #Punjab


The mustard fields





     
And in the sugarcane fields

     Honda Mobilio : Don't Just Drive Flaunt It With Style

A car that’s built to tackle the toughest roads and look stylish while doing so. It has smooth driving dynamics to match its futuristic design. Mobilio fits in perfectly with Honda’s ‘Man Maximum, Machine Minimum’ Philosophy that believes in maximizing space for you and minimizing space taken by the machinery. This philosophy reflects in the car beautifully as we have designed concave indents on each door that offer more space. Similarly, all three rows of seats are plush with ample area to ensure a  comfortable ride.

A stylish 7 seater MPV that is as much for you, as it is for your family and friends. Honda Mobilio is as powerful as it looks. With an uncompromising 100 ps diesel and 119 ps petrol of pure power under the hood, Mobilio promises a thrilling drive each time you take it out for a spin. It comes with 1.5L i-DTEC diesel and 1.5L i-VTEC petrol engines renowned for their best – in – class mileage. And like all Honda cars, Mobilio is fun to drive as well.




At Sujanpur Saddha Chulha Vaishno Dhaba

Finally going even further than we thought, towards Pathankot & Sujanpur - all for delightful Punjabi food.The trip is still not end.How can it be?We have the food trail of Amritsar coming in next post,shout one shout all...Hip Hip Hurrey! 



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Acre:Akko,Israel,Food,Crusader City


Me outside the Akko Fort,on the Acre sea wall

The Israeli Food is always a search ,always an excavation ,always a look , always an interpretation we never understand because each person understands it differently.In Israel,you are never just a Jew you are either a Jew who has come from Yemen or Morocco or Iran.Some people are half Yemen and half Moroccan. The youth is a fusion of all cultures and hence the culinary scene is a mix of all.


The Yesteryear Crusader City as Buried

The Mediterranean sea crash on the thick Sandstone walls making splash as we cross the tunnels that run through underneath the Crusader city and walked fast in curious wanderlust.Captured by Crusaders,and then Ottomans and then Napoleans,this place has a past rather mischievous but beautiful.


I told you about Hindi movies in my first post
Can you see 'Aradhana','Dosti' here at Akko Market
Yes ! The world is connected.

If you remember my previous post,I talked about how we were driving towards Northern Side Of Galilee from Haifa to Acre(called Akko in Hebrew). Acre is the meeting point of the East and the West,the Old and the New,the so called cultural Israel.To check my previous posts on Israel click here:

Shalom From Israel:The Land of Mysteries
Haifa:Bahai Temple And Just Entered Israel
Finding Christ:My Journey To Jerusalem
Israel:First Time Israel and Things You Must Know

Posts From Other Bloggers are

Israel By Nisha Jha

Acre or Akko is a UNESCO world heritage site

Acre:Fish,Hummus And Knafeh

Over 5000 people in the city consisting of Arabs(75%) and Jews(25%) coexist beautifully;So much are the cultural peaceful coexistence over the years between various communities that

In 2000,all the clocks were changed and renovated having the seconds as Roman numbers,minutes and hours in Hebrew and Arab and till date remains the same.


Knafeh and Coffee in Akko

Akko has a happening food market where we get the Mediterranean fish in all its glory due to the big port.These fishes taste unlike the Sea Fish but more like a Big lake Fish as the sea on the western part is enclosed by Morocco making it a very big lake.The second famous food item in Acre is Hummus.

The third is Knafeh. Knafeh is orange in color and a classic Ramadan sweet .Knafeh is neither Israeli nor Lebanese but comes from the mountain of Galilee mostly found in the northern part of Israel and Southern part of Lebanon.

Knafeh is made of three important parts - The outer part is Goat cheese then we have Kadaif which is  strings of dough,sugared water,and little bit of carrot(not carrot flavored but carrot for the color itself),sometimes they put rose water,geranium sometimes and pistachios

Baklawas and Delights

Knafeh and Baklavas were originally eaten during the Ramadan time. Ramadan is a one month fast that Muslims have every year.The fast is from sunrise to sunset,so first thing you have after sunset is a sweet,then you will have a big feast of beef.So the Knafeh and the Baklavas were originally done in the month of Ramadan before and after.But nowadays you get it all year around in the shops.

Acre:Sacred For Muslims And Prophet Mohammed

The Mosque of Jezzar Pasha is a significant religious site for Muslims in Acre.A box(also called the sacred or the holy box) in the fenced off area( shrine ) on this mosque contains a single hair from the prophet Mohammed's beard.It is shown on ceremonies shown to public only on 27th day of the month Ramadan and 15000-20000 people come to be part of the event.It is a magnificent event each year.

Acre:The Story Of  A Carat

We measure Gold in Carat.But did you ever wonder what's the story of the present day Carat?

Spread all over Israel,Middle East and Mediterranean,is the story of the present day Carat.In these areas,there is a tree called a "Carob" tree. The Carob tree has fruit called Carob beans. The long green beans have beans/seeds inside all nearly identical in size. As ancient traders traveled around the Mediterranean and surrounding areas, they turned to the carob bean as a unit of measurement.Now Carob seeds today is used as an ingredient in chocolate.

First attested in English in the mid-15th century, the word carat came from Italian carato, which came from Greek keration meaning carob seed (literally "small horn") and potentially from Arabic qirat

The Carob Festival Is Celebrated In Israel During September.

Acre: Souvenir to Get:Carob Honey

One of the interesting souvenir to get back from Israel would be small jar of carob honey.Most of them just pick them off the tree and eat,its all over Israel and the Middle east and very commonly found.

Acre:Food Market


'Gems' in Abundance.Kids would love it!

During the end of October and the Beginning of May, most of the markets are filled with herbs specially in the Galilee and the hills around Jerusalem where farming is very very popular in local families.Driving down 5 minutes from Akko to the upper and lower Galilee you will find many kinds  of  fresh and variety of food .

Bread that Looks like our pooris..

Culinary scene in Akko is very very different.Everything is green, blossoming and fresh ingredients on display.Apart from these we have Galilee fishes,Cardamom,Chilies,Incense,Spices,different types of Bread and Antique markets you can have a look at.


Antiques

                                                                   ...And Spices

Since Israel has been conquered and re-conquered by Arabs and various communities,the culinary scene in a Akko is a mix.Also every sect of Judaism has different recipes that adds onto the culinary culture.

Markets in Akko

Guys these are not cakes but soaps..

Acre:Crusader Fortress

Such a nice idea(plant on a used shoe) at many of the homes in Akko

Close to the sea,the ruins of the Crusader fortress was a Crusaders' Royal palace and main headquarters after retreating from Jerusalem.The Knight Hall complex,The Dining Room,The Courtyard and The Prisoners hall are interesting places to visit inside.


                                                         How Acre looks like

One of the best ways to enjoy and take full advantage of Akko is to walk through the Tunnels to the Crypt where only one person can walk through at a time.


It is said that this tunnel was used by the Crusaders in order to allow underground access between the fortress and hidden armory caches.During excavations,a lot of coins,valuable items has been found.As per the map,it goes from one castle to another however one of the castles is closed and now the other side opens out in the ocean.You can also feel thin stream of water going underneath from the sides.On the other side along the sea is the fortress sea wall and the ruins.


                                                                 Lighted at its best



Opening up to the other end,we have the sea! Damn.


Now that we have little information about food and spices, tomorrow we are going for culinary adventure and have past life regression(not kidding) and taste some olives :)



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#HondaWeekends:Hello Amritsar!

Every time we travel in India,it takes us through dimensions we have had missed before,a new surprise element that makes every place our home for the duration of our trip,which we choose to subconsciously compare if the past “Kulchas” were better or these are.


#Selfies on the go : Honda Mobilio #HondaWeekends Honda Hangout with Bharat,Anmol,Lakshmi and Akshay

#Punjab has been on my bucket list for long,not that this was my first time because it wasn't,I have had touch and go experience at various places in Punjab covering major sites in the past but it had always been that I wished I had somebody local who would take me around to places he/she goes than to places listed in the map.

Every trip in India begins with a choice between “The New” and “The Old World Charm” and that’s what makes travel in India exciting.Amritsar falls in the later,it never changed but every time it feels new.

Honda Weekends is an initiative by Honda Car India under a new enthusiasts program in
development known as ‘Hangout With Honda’. Honda has always been keen to know the user’s side
of the story and hence, this initiative was conceived to give enthusiasts all over India an experience
like no other.

Bearing the same thought, they organized a weekend trip to Amritsar with 4 of our best people across the blogosphere. The idea was to explore & discover what’s authentic & truly amazing about the glorious city of Punjab & areas around it - in a Honda Mobilio.

To follow Honda Car India on Twitter:Click Here
To follow Honda Car India on Facebook:Click Here

Bangalore-Delhi-Amritsar:The Journey And Chit Chat

 Venturing on a group of 5 including the fun-hair-smiley-face Diwakar and crew on a Honda Mobilio,we felt that we have known each other for the longest time ever.Actually road trips are the best ways to break the ice,I wonder if anyone can keep mum on a road trip.Me and Lakshmi Sharath boarded the flight from Bangalore(and yes,I did sneak in the shoppers stop at Airport and bought the chilli earrings) and reached Delhi.

There are three ways to reach Amritsar - Flight(which had long transit hours in Delhi),Train(Which we found suitable for us) and Road(Which of course is a long drive).Since there was a time gap in between the plane and the train,we stopped for our first date with Punjab right in the middle of CP,Delhi at Punjabi By Nature.

 As the destination grows closer,most of us have the tendency to feel the place in our own place.Though they both are different ideologies but still... 

 So that’s exactly what was happening to us.The Galoti kebabs,the Butter chicken,The Thalis and the Lassis,we got the first mojo of travelling to Punjab.Hopping onto AC Chair Car and sharing Ghost stories built the excitement further.Well,if you haven’t tried,Ghost stories from anywhere in the world,are the deal breaker,for some reason it makes everyone closer..and closer over time.

It could be the scare factor or the rare display of story telling factor that binds us in.

 Passing through Ambala,Ludhiana and Finally Amritsar,our conversation had never stopped except the Chais and the Meals served on our Chair Car. Anmol supposedly the'preachy professor' shared his 'spy' stories and how and why he used to blog years back.We,imbibed in him the spirit to reboot and we said we would be the first followers...

Someones taking Swacch Bharat Campaign to the Chai cuppa

But finally at around quarter to 11pm we were where we were supposed to be.After having witnessed warm weather in Delhi,we expected Amritsar to be equal or a little less but it was cold.A jacket to all of us seemed the preferred choice.Somehow to me,Amritsar had very much of a Bangalore weather this time,warmer in the afternoons,mild cold by night.

How weather travels - I proudly can say I transported the weather to one of the northern parts of India. 

Amritsar : The First Glimpse


Amritsar Railway Station:Why is it,the way it is?But its nice..

 Coming back to Amritsar,Amritsar railway station is quite a different piece.It’s rather small but the structures feel like an extension of Golden Temple.In fact,at many places in Amritsar I felt the same including the Hathi Gate.It is these domes,the random gates,the golden touch,that make me wonder if it has any history attached.Not that I found any.If you know why,give me a buzz.

Painted Tricolor

Hathi Gate:I wonder how the gate got its name!

 The vehicles came as a pick up to the hotel ‘Golden Tulip’ which was located just a stones throw away from Railway station.


Amritsar:The Food,The Unusual,The Colors That Kept Us Busy

In the morning,we decided to have a quick breakfast in the city.Getting into our Brand New Sparkling White Honda Mobilio,we started for our morning food adventure and little bit this and that in between.


 So the city begins with its fascination for ‘Coke’.Well ‘Coke’ is everywhere!On the boards,on the hoardings,in fact I have had never seen or heard of Coke Chowk before Amritsar Happened and until Bharat pointed it out.

Coke Chowk

The funniest and the unusual part that I like and that makes me giggle about these small cities in India is ‘How important the trivialities of life are’.

What we consider regular in our world,is never a regular but always termed as ‘One of the best’ and sometimes the word stands true to what it claims. 

Oldest,World Famous 'Bharwan Da Dhaba'

 One such was our foodie delights in one of the oldest and famous restaurants in Amritsar called ‘Bharawan Da Dhaba’ .Aloo Kulchas with Lassi and Chole made our mouth melt in silence.Yes,when we eat yummy food,speaking and eating becomes two different entities.

Silence on the bite @ Lakshmi

Pleasure as it is called,is what it is felt.And no disturbance,I pardon,no nothing,can break our chain of solitude in silence on that bite.Teamed with oodles of butter is what makes #Amritsar such a food hub.

Pickles

And Aloo Kulcha..Need I Say more?


Actually the last time I felt in love with Amritsar was also ‘Aloo Kulchas’ near the Gurudwara,looks like my infatuation for them was never forgotten.I wish I could pack some,only if it wasn't fresh but somethings are best eaten fresh

How funny can that be 'Bade Bhai Ka Brothers Dhaba'

.I wish I could learn some recipes,how is it that every place has different Kulchas some mouth watering some not as great.How is it that Amritsar makes one of the best .‘Does it never happen that they share the recipes,has it never happened that somebody stole them”.

 Grabbing our ‘Bites’ and eating them ‘Well’ as our stomach said ‘Thank You In Loud Voice’ we headed towards Pathankot.

I said TOWARDS is because I am going to share a secret you will be amused at later.Just as we were in the city of Amritsar,it exploded with such colors of ‘small town wonder’ that it wasn't a moment our camera was in.

Sugar candy


As a pit stop on random anywhere,we watched a lady with an attitude on her husband’s bike sipping onto tea in colorful Kurti and Patiala and Dupatta,oblivious of the fact that we were quite stunned to see her from a distance.Lakshmi requested her if we can take her picture and so we did.

Tashan In Amritsar

Blushes when close

Now that the attitude was gone and changed into much subtle ‘I know you caught me unaware’ blushing face.We missed her attitude for the moment but her smile filled us with joy.Her husband smiled back at us on ‘what did we find so fascinating’ yet we thanked her and said she looked beautiful.She blushed again.

Red balloons.I just said sparkling colors,didn't I?

 Just then,a bunch of red balloons caught our view.We then got into our Mobilio and passing through alleys and paths of Amritsar ,we got into a chaos of the town just as we were getting into the state highway.Not that it mattered.

And Blue Turbans

#HondaWeekends Where we go,there we take you :)

After such bright and peppy colors,we needed a slow state of mind.A state of mind which takes us to freedom in the next post.So what are you waiting for,share your stories on how your trip to Amritsar and beyond had been fun. Would love to have all ears.

 /*This trip of mine was with Honda Car India and Thanks To Anmol and Ayesha for accompanying us and thanks to Bharat,Lakshmi and Akshay for the trip as friends.Thanks to rest of the team including Diwakar,Harmeet.Ankit,Garvit and Dablu for the 'bites' */

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