travel to the heart of India

I am from Rajasthan, the northwestern desert state of India. I went to Udaipur during the final year of my college with friends. To a Rajasthani, Udaipur is the only lake city they have heard of. If you tell them that there is a lake city in every part of this country, they will not believe it.

Such is the matter of exposure. You don’t know what you don’t know until you are exposed to it. Either your curiosity unfolds many less known territories in front of you. Or you are presented with them nonetheless.

This tale is about a sweet trip I had to the heart of central India. So, Welcome to Bhopal, the capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh, and the city of lakes.

I must call out that it is a beautiful city. Especially if you visit during the rainy season. All the greenery looks greener. And the hustle and bustle of the city rejoice. All the peeps head to the dams and lake views. And it all becomes more chirrupy.

For the first evening, we stepped out for some sightseeing. We went to Shahpura lake view. And stopped at the 10-number market for some snacks and sweet shopping. The coffee that we had at the 10-number market was exactly what I had in mind after a long day. We also had the Bhelpuri and Dahi-puri. And I should mention both of them were very very tasty.

Police came with their trademark siren in the jeep. Asking everyone to head back home. It was 8 pm in the evening. And it was time for the night curfew. It was when we left for home after the tasty hand-made coffee at 10 number market.

I drove from Shahpura lake to the 10-number market and then from there to our home. I had learned to drive very recently. And it was cool to realize that I could drive in a new place, different from the city where I learned to drive in the first place.

The next day was about the most beautiful experience I’ve had in a recent time. COVID has not just locked us down in our homes but also locked our traveling spirits in the cages of our stationary bodies. We can’t meet our friends. Beautiful sunsets are only happening at the terrace of our buildings, and weekend getaways are a thing of the past.

Amidst all this, I spent the most amazing day at the Jehan Numa Retreat. The most mesmerizing memory from this place has to be the enchanting music. Silently playing through the halls, and gardens, a fusion between jazz and Indian classical. This music had a very zen vibe to it.

We had an amazing lunch. I especially liked the potato starter, Tandoori Bharwan Aloo. I paired it with the lemonade that came with a hint of lemongrass in it. We had a nice handmade coffee in the evening. Enjoyed the scenic grounds of the property. Took a stroll around the gardens and the pool.

After having a nice steamy Thai curry with rice for dinner, we left back for our home. We watched Indian Idol with the family on the SonyLIV ott platform. Remembered the old days when Hindi movies music used to be good. Remembered Saregamapa, when Singing reality shows used to be good, and watched John Wick before going to the bed.

I left for my hometown early morning the next day.

This small little trip was the most rejuvenating thing that happened to me in a long long while. And I must admit I couldn’t have done without it. I really cherished it and enjoyed it thoroughly. I recommend you plan a trip to Bhopal this Monsoon if possible. The place has got some really good vibes.