Monday, December 10, 2012
Kashmir has always been a favourite location for Filmmakers of Bollywood---and perhaps few used it as extensively as the Bollywood Heroes Shammi Kapoor and his brother Shashi Kapoor.These two acted in a some Films based in Kashmir which went on to become huge Hits---and the way the Locales were filmed and presented was mesmerising and enchanting!!These went a very long way to help turn Kashmir into one of India's major Tourist attractions.The beautiful Vistas and Natural Beautycoupled with the intoxicating Air are definitely unforgettable.I have never been to Naples--but I definitely believe that everyone must see and experience Kashmir once in their lifetime!!
Our trips continued and we explored South India for a change.Again teaming up with Narayanda and Pushpaben as well as Samir and Sonal we journeyed first to Hyderabad in May 1989.Suhas's daughter,our niece Sonal too had joined on this trip.Hyderabad was an experience that was beautiful.Sight seeing the Charminar,Golconda Fort,Salar Jung Museum enthralled us.The beautifully built pure White Marble Birla Mandir was entrancing.However the extreme dry heat was unnerving--limiting our forays for exploring the City to the cooler mornings and evenings.Our first experience for Sightseeing was hilarious.Before we left Bombay, a cousin of Pushpaben's had informed her about the vagaries of the Autorickshaw drivers in Hyderabad.Not to be caught on the wrong foot we left for Sight seeing at 7 a.m. to beat the heat.On reaching the Rickshaw Stand, Pushpaben asked both the men to wait while she fixed the rates for our morning's trip.Somehow there was a huge gap between the price she was quoting and what was acceptable to the Rickshaw Wallahs--and thus we wasted almost 3 hours in the process!!!Finally Sudhir stepped in and we got a settlement that made everyone happy--and off we went!!Our first stop was Golconda Fort.This beautiful and fascinating Fort was the seat of Power and was built in the 13th.Century by a dynasty named The Kaktiyas.The Architectural wonders of this Fort are truly a sight to see.Built on the slope of a Hill,this Fort has a domed Gateway named Balahisar darwaza.The Dome has wonderful accoustic range---so built so as to catch and transmit even the slightest sound upwards into the Royal Palaces.All those percieved as "dangerous or risky" personages would be brought in through this Gate--and even a tiny clink of hidden Armour or Weaponry would reverberate around the Fort--sounding an early and quick warning to the Garrison!!This Fort was built to catch the Breezes during the extremely arid,hot Hyderabad Summers--and also had a system of Clay Pipes to carry Water for cooling the Royal quarters in the Fort as well as to supply Water for the beautiful Fountains and domestic purposes.