Located on the bank of the Surma River, Sylhet is one of the oldest cities in Bangladesh, having a vast historical and cultural background. Originally part of the Bengal Presidency and later Eastern Bengal and Assam; Sylhet was part of Colonial Assam between 1874 and 1947 when, following a referendum and the partition of British India, it then became part of the then East Pakistan.
So near, yet so far. This is how I would like to sum up our recent visit to Darjeeling, Gangtok, and Kalimpong. We flew from Kolkata to Bagdogra — the gateway to the North East located in Siliguri, in northern West Bengal. We hired a vehicle for Darjeeling, popularly known as the 'Queen of the Hills.' Darjeeling is a favoured tourist destination, noted for its scenic beauty, quaint houses, and mountain clad forest panorama.
It was during one of our visits to Kolkata that we decided to explore the various temples and other places of interests. The very first morning, we drove for almost two hours to reach the Dakshineswar Kali Temple located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River.
The Philippines is a diversified island country consisting of some 7,000 islands and islets. Interestingly, the Philippines takes its name from Philip II, who was King of Spain during the Spanish colonisation of the islands in the 16th century. It is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. The country has always been one of my favourite destinations.
Manaus is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. Located on the north bank of the Negro River, above the confluence of the rivers Negro and Solimões, which later form the mighty Amazon, it is the most populous city of both the Brazilian state of Amazonas and the Amazon rainforest, and thus the hub of tourism for the adventurous.
It was a dream come true for me, having longed to visit Brazil — one of the most diverse countries on the planet and home to the wonderful Amazon forest and the Iguazu Falls. After a long gruelling flight, we reached Rio De Janeiro Airport early morning and immediately started for Copacabana.
Bangalore, now called Bengaluru, is the capital city of Karnataka in South India. The weather is relatively pleasant throughout the year, hence referred to as ‘the air conditioned city’. And because of several well planned parks and gardens within and outside the city, Bengaluru deserves to be called “the city of gardens.”
We landed on a chilly winter evening at Schipol International Airport, Amsterdam — one of the busiest airports in Europe. The airport formalities were pleasantly efficient and we passed through easily. A mere 20-minute drive brought us to our hotel in the famous Museum District