Book Review: Hot Commodities by Jim Rogers

After Street Smarts (& being considerably impressed by it), Hot Commodities seemed a logical sequel for reading. This book gives an introduction about the commodities market, something which you might find in your copy of Economic Times or WSJ, but which is difficult to comprehend. The book starts by making you familiar with terms which are increasingly used in the futures market. If you have already read Street Smarts, you will definitely find the similarity in writing-style, concepts and strategies. However, the most important thing about this book is the fundamentals of economics are hard-tuned with it. The concepts of demand and supply and how it affects the commodities market is something that every investor should keep in mind. The book primarily deals with how the prices of various commodities, listed in the futures market, have changed historically. As Jim tries to analyse the reasons behind a particular rise or fall, you start to understand why the fundamentals are important.

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However, if you have read other Jim Roger books, you would find some of the concepts repetitive. But it is important to understand that unlike triology sagas, this book is standalone. If you are interested in business books and thinking about a quick summer read, grab this book!

Verdict: Great introduction to commodities. Must read for everyone who is interested in both equities and commodities.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Book Review – Street Smarts: Adventures On The Roads and In The Markets by Jim Rogers

Business + travel wonderfully integrated with the nuances & emotions of life. Is there anything else you would want in your work-life harmony?

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The book – Street Smarts is written by the American investor, businessman & author Jim Rogers. Considered in the likes of legendary Warren Buffet, Jim Rogers is one of the most famous investors in the world. In this book, Jim begins his journey of life with how he accidentally joins Yale & Oxford eventually landing up in the  Wall Street in the 1970s. He talks about the bull & bear markets and how he learned to cross the markets through the bull & bear times. His strategies on stocks as well as commodities reflects his attitude towards life – that every problem has a solution and every fall is an opportunity to rise stronger than before.

The best part of this book is how it tells about travel as an integral part of life and what Jim learns through travel. Jim has actually travelled around the world thrice! His strategies of integrating travel with markets and learning how businesses are in different countries, learning how a war in one country can raise the price of a commodity through the world, his learning of getting the basics right, supply & demand is a learning for us. At each stage, Jim is constantly “learning” and importance of learning over knowledge makes this book philosophical. This book brilliantly connects the dots, which is very similar to Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement speech. You can only connect the dots backwards and I am pretty sure this book is written as an attempt to realize that.

The book also talks about how Jim’s strategies changed through time, a career spanning many decades, why he chose to become a Singapore citizen and wanted to learn Mandarin, on why probably there is a shift in terms of development from the US to the Asian countries in the 21st century.

Street Smarts is an amazing book. The hardcover, optimum font sizes and the way the book is written makes it a brilliant book. If you are interested in investing, business, travel etc then this book is highly recommended. The book is nevertheless important to everyone as it relates the beauty of things in the world and how everything is connected in the world. I started reading this book on an evening & trust me – all that I wanted was to read till I completed it.

Possibly one of the finest books ever.

 Rating: 5/5

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Book Review: Connect the Dots by Rashmi Bansal

Rashmi Bansal is one of the most famous authors from India. Her books – Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, Connect the Dots, I have a Dream have been big hits. All of her books are on entrepreneurship – she shares stories of people who have made it big. Stay Hungry Stay Foolish is book on 20 entrepreneurs with MBAs. This one is about another 20 without. Both of these books’ titles link back to the famous Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech.

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The book starts off the famous story of Prem Ganapathy, Founder of Dosa Plaza. The book then moves on to back-to-back biggies like Kunwer Sachdev(Su-Kam), Ganesh Ram(Veta), Sunita (Fem Care) and N.Mahadevan(Oriental Cuisines). All of these stories are gripping and an absolute delight to read. It will probably give one of those “Eureka” moments. The book then has stories on entrepreneurs in diverse fields – book store chains, agriculture, dairy, software products and what not! One surprise was introducing stories of entrepreneurs in the field of design & arts towards the end of the book. Some of the stories of enterprises like Reva, story of Harishchandrachi Factory movie inspires the readers to do think different.

The book is, of course, non-fiction and writing style suits it. The language is simple. Any person can pick-up this book & read through 20 brilliant entrepreneurial journeys(without MBA). While the first few stories were totally gripping, the book seemed to lose its charm towards the middle. Some of the stories lacked details or were too short to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Also, too much of similar stories make it difficult for the reader to read it at a stretch. But towards the end of the book, as Rashmi introduces designers, photographers, dancers & movie-makers, the book totally brings back the wavering attention and gives the perfect finish.

Bottomline: The book was an exciting read for me and I totally recommend it.

Rating: 4/5

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Book Review: The Mckinsey Way

Book: The Mckinsey Way

Author: Ethan M.Rasiel

Who should read the book?

Any person who has little knowledge on how management consulting(MC) works. You could be an MC aspirant or someone working in the industry. You have a basic knowledge of how problem are solved in the industry and what methodologies are followed. But you are “curious” to understand how The Firm works and how it is different. Please note that this book does not tell any detail about the clients or problems already solved by Mckinsey. Client confidentiality is fully respected, perhaps just the way it is in The Firm. It will however give you a perspective on how problem solving is done and how Mckinsey problem solving is different. This is not the book to be recommended for someone with years of practice as a Management Consultant.

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Book Review:

The Mckinsey Way is a typical weekend read. You could perhaps read the entire book at one go during your flight or train travel. The book is very easy to read and the language is simple. The book starts off with the author’s life at Mckinsey, some of terminologies/everyday work at Mckinsey. The entire problem solving approach is then discussed, right from the initial hypothesis to issue tree to storyboarding. As my work includes most of these, I was easily able to relate to all of the processes used. However, this might be difficult to understand for an MC newbie but he will be able to grasp all of these.

The book states of the interesting approaches followed at Mckinsey – 80/20 rule, the elevator test, looking at the big picture – all of which is extremely useful. For someone who is aspiring to be an MC, these turn out to be something which is pragmatic in everyday work-life. The book then proceeds to the do’s and don’ts at work and will probably act as a guide for a novice. The book also tells some of the secrets(:=D) like waterfall charts in presentations. Turns out that I was already aware of things like 80/20, waterfall charts before reading the book, but I am pretty sure it will be interesting to someone who is new to MC.

The book also mentions how Mckinsey-ites gives importance to Clients, The Firm, Me – in that order as well as recruiting, mentoring – something which is essential for its functioning. The book ends with some interesting insights from ex-Mckinseyites about what they have learnt from the firm.

Verdict: The book gives a general idea on how management consulting works. Interesting read while travelling.

Rating: 4/5

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A Weekend at IIM, Bangalore

One Sunday morning, I got an email stating – “Your team has been selected for the Bootcamp in Eximius 2013 in IIM-B, the largest entrepreneurship summit in India”.

It all started a few months back, when one of my friends suggested me to participate in the Bootcamp in Eximius, an annual entrepreneurship summit in the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. I had submitted Musicperk, an initiative by me & some of my friends for Bootcamp. Bootcamp is an event that has “booths” or stalls by various ventures within the country(both by students & full-time entrepreneurs). It also has dedicated sessions essential for the bootstrapping a firm as well as sessions by successful entrepreneurs, professors from IIM-B which can help you run a successful organisation.

I looked at the IIM-B event website and realised that it contained multiple events for B-School students as well as some workshops, guest lectures and keynote talks. Our team decided to participate in the Bootcamp, an event for start-ups from India. I and Venkat decided to start-off for the two-day event. We couldn’t have a stall as we had very less time to prepare for it. I realised that Kiran Bedi, one of the eminent personalities of the country, was giving the inaugural speech with Kris Gopalakrishnan(Co-founder, Infosys) as the keynote speaker for the event.

We started off on 10th August,2013 early morning for IIM-B. It was atleast 20 Km journey but I realised Bannerghata road was far more developed than what I had imagined it to be.

The first thing you notice about IIM-B is the lush green campus –  I unusually found it similar to IISc, Bangalore. We first attended a social-entrepreneurship business plan event(of course I was just a part of the audience) where students from across the B-schools in the country presented business plans on social entrepreneurship focussed mainly on using the experience the 60+ age group to develop businesses.

Kiran Bedi lighting the lamp, a symbol for a great start

Dr. Kiran Bedi lighting the lamp, a symbol for a great start

The highlight of Day 1 was definitely the inaugural talk by Dr. Kiran Bedi – a social activist, the first woman IPS officer, Founder of Navjyoti India Foundation(an NGO for welfare and preventative policing) and India Vision Foundation(an NGO for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention and child  welfare) and also the recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994 for Government service. The talk was on her life and experiences from it where she highlighted her experience in India – as a student excelling in Tennis as well as academics, as an IPS officer from the early 1970s, her work in as Civilian Police Advisor in the United Nations, her role as an Inspector General of Prisons and prison reformation, the techniques she had jused for controlling Delhi traffic(one can never forget the famous towing of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car for parking violation), vipassana meditation and her role through reformation and welfare programs in 1990s and 2000s. The most important take-away from this talk was the importance of discipline and how it help you strive your goals in life. It was easily one of the best talks I have listened to.

The afternoon went on with a discussion with the rest of the startups in the Bootcamp. Each of them pitched in their start-ups, discussed some of the problems they face in the day-to-day life. I met many interesting people including  Shashank – a full time entrepreneur who was working on an Cloudsgreen – a startup working on the amazing idea of digital printers.

The evening started off with the keynote speech by Kris Gopalakrishnan – Co-founder, Infosys. This talk wasn’t based on his own story but on 3 stories in which he had played a role – in his own way. The three stories were about Panindra Sama(Founder, Redbus.in – a personality everyone would look up to), Sanjay Vijaykumar(Founder, MobME and Startup Village) and the Infosys story. The highlight of the talk was on Startup Villlage – an incubation cell based of Kerala, which has not only reformed the education in Kerala but has also produced hundreds of entrepreneurs every year.

Day 2 was much unexpected and it totally refined the way I think. I had expected it to be a day full of sessions by guest speakers. Instead, the day had sessions by IIM-B Profs. It started off with an introduction to NSRCEL, an IIM-B incubation cell, some of its ventures including Just Books, one of Bangalore’s finest rental libraries. There were sessions on pricing, pitching, marketing and experience from start-ups. It is always great to learn from your own experiences as well as experiences from others.

The weekend was well spent in IIM-B learning things, meeting new people and getting a better idea of how things work.

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Imagination Beyond Intelligence

I was switching TV channels when I found this particular show “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel interesting. It was interesting not because the show had aliens & UFOs & ETs but because it was relating to Albert Einstein – his extraordinary intelligence, his ability to change & define the rules that governed physics at that point of time.

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As we all know, Einstein, in a period of one year wrote 4 papers that changed the rules of physics. They included the famous E=mc2 as well as the theory of relativity and the paper which proved that light is of particles in nature & not waves. It is said that Einstein was deeply immersed in himself & he called it the “thought experiment” – a state of mind where his thought process was at its best. At this state of mind, he could visualize himself as particles of light & think of how light travelled – in his mind.

Einstein’s brain was researched by scientists for decades & they found that a certain part of his brain was wider & also that Einstein’s brain – at the age of 76 was similar to that of a youth. Now, the show’s obvious insight from this was whether Einstein was communicating with super powers, cosmos and aliens from other galaxies to write the papers which were practically impossible to write in 1 year! But let’s come to this point later.

Socrates was a great philosopher & a visionary & it is said that he was in touch with “demons” (not the ones that are evil but this was something similar to demi-gods who were in touch with the humans). Ramanujam, possibly the greatest mathematician to live on Earth, was supposedly in touch with his family God, who could impart the knowledge which no one in Earth knew about. He supposedly, could visualize equations in his dreams, memorize it & write it back when he woke up. Nikola Tesla, who defined modern day Electrical Engineering, could not only visualize to build a motor but he could also visualize how a motor would work. Isaac Newton, my favorite, could redefine mathematics, physics, history & whatever you can think of! The question now is whether these scientists were crazy, immersed in their own thoughts or whether he were more sane than most of the individuals on Earth & think beyond what is present on Earth. The discussion in the show moved on to the Angkor Wat & Mahabharata – that parallel universes exist & all knowledge was predefined & it’s the individual’s will to attain it or not(Now, that’s something which you need to decide, not touching upon on philosophy here).

The common points that we discussed here is something about “lucidity” (one of my favorites – after Nolan’s Inception – now you know why Nolan is a genius). The famous scientists, philosophers whom we discussed had ONE thing in common – all of them could visualize things beyond the normal “state” of mind – in a lucid state of mind (It is upto you to decide whether they were in touch with cosmos, extra-terrestrials, aliens or whatever) but what is important here is in the “lucid” state of mind. How does the mind connect with your body as well as something beyond “normal” things? This is something which we need to think about. The foundation lies in one of Albert Einstein’s papers which states that a particle when split has an ability to connect with each other(to be in sync with each other) no matter what the distance of separation is. (which brings us to philosophy here – body is made of particles which can can be in sync no matter what the separation is & so on. Also, this reminds us of what Hindu mythologies say – about body, about soul et cetera but again let’s limit to philosophy with this).

 Nolan is someone who has himself said that he has been in lucid dreams which inspired him to create “Inception”. Nicola Tesla, in one of his letters to the Red Cross has stated that he received communication from the world beyond.

Possibly the greatest of the application of Albert Einstein’s papers is yet to come. It is the “time travel” something which is based on his theory of relativity – something that can prove that parallel universe can exist, which can redefine not only physics, but everything in this world & also how we can think.

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What are good movies?

This question has lingered in my mind for years together – What are good movies? Good – is such a relative term, very subjective. A movie buff will probably have an answer – IMDB rating. So before you watch a movie, you check the IMDB rating & decide whether it’s good or not. I personally consider anything above 7.5 in IMDB to be good. But is that the only criteria? IMDB is more like a poll – the rating is based on the average of different people rating a movie; the top 250 are calculated by a formula which includes the rating the movie as well as the no. of people rating the movie.

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Perhaps you already might have an objection – just because so many people rate a movie good/bad, it’s not necessarily that my tastes should match with the majority. For eg: just because Shawshank Redemption is rated as the best movie ever might not necessarily reflect my tastes – I might not even like the movie that much! I would probably tell you that Inception is the best movie ever, but wait a minute – we are starting a very big debate – aren’t we?

I have always liked movies which bring in new concepts. Movies like Inception – great concepts. Equally complex movie(which is why many people don’t like that – or might not consider as the best movie). Christopher Nolan is brilliant. The first Nolan movie which I had seen was definitely Batman Begins. Watching Batman Begins on the first day – in PVR cinemas, Bangalore, a class 10 guy definitely felt a big difference in this Batman movie when compared to any other superhero movie. The difference was realism. Nolan made the superhero – human, he brought in realistic experience. I personally believe The Dark Knight is the movie whether Nolan got his true recognition. I need not explain more about the movie – it’s so awesome – you can watch it yourself – and I guarantee you – you will watch it again! Movies such as Prestige tell us what Nolan is. Inception stands for Innovation. I would rather finish up with Nolan here – you can experience his master-class on your own.

Nolan is the only reason why James Cameron moved to #2 in my favorite movie director’s list. James Cameron might strike you for Avatar or Titanic – definitely some of the best movies or the 90’s guys would love Terminator 2: Judgement Day( Hastala Vista Baby). But my personal favorite would be The Terminator(Terminator > Terminator 2 ? Yeah) for a simple reason – 1984 wasn’t the time when you could visualize advanced computers & AI & everything. Hat’s off to you – Sir. Arguably Avatar was his best movie ever.

Alfred Hitchcock? Steven Spielberg? Quentin Tarantino? Many more. Amongst all of them, I particularly like Hitchcock – possibly the best thriller movies director, ever.

My favorites consist of movies much more than this list. I like movies of every theme(but I particularly want to highlight the above directors)

All of this has probably made a certain impact on you – but they were my personal favorites. Coming back to the general question – a “good” movie may essentially not be reflected from the IMDB rating or say a review – it may only influence you in a certain direction in the end – you decide what is a good movie! In the space age, when we consider even the duration of the movie to be important, I guess a simple check will solve all your problem (of course you can tell whether a movie is good or bad only after watching it). If you never realize how much time it has been watching it, you are watching a great movie! Reading a review, having a look at the IMDB rating is only directional – take up the initiative, watch the movie & decide whether it is “good” or not.

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Comic Con Express – Bangalore

It was September 8th, a Saturday night. As I was switching the TV channels, two interesting news grasped my attention. One was – KANE is in Bangalore! Something that I had already missed that day – never knew he was coming to India – that too in Bangalore Landmark! The other news was that Comic Con Express was held in Bangalore on Sept 8 & 9, 2012.

I had heard of Comic Con somewhere – was it some kind of comic fair/festival?  I found a few guys in costumes in the news channel and one of them told – “It took me one & half weeks to make this costume”. I decided to check it out the next day. As I called up one of my friends to ask if he’s coming along, he reminded – “The Big Bang Theory”. There you go!

Bangalore is one of the places best to be roamed around with a bus pass. Getting into random buses, not knowing what its destination is – FUN! As I entered the Koramangala Indoor Stadium, I realised that the place was full of like-minded people – comic lovers! Right from DC comics to Amar Chitra Katha to local Indian comics, the place was vibrant. About fifty stalls, people dressed up into various comic characters, exciting comic merchandise, special events by TV Channels, Comic Con Express in Koramangala was one AWESOME event.

I felt that the event could have had more publicity and probably have been BIGGER.  The next Comic Con events in India will be:-

Mumbai Film and Comics Convention: Oct 20-21, 2012

New Delhi – 3rd Annual Indian Comics Convention: Feb 8-10, 2013.
Hope it’s held in Chennai soon.

 

 

 

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The Mayonnaise Jar and The Coffee

Disclaimer : The following post is based on – “The Mayonnaise Jar Lesson”, a popular story which I read in the internet. 

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar – and the coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.  The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ” I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.  The sand is everything else-the small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.  Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  Play another 18.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.  “I’m glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

While some other versions of the story state that the two cups of coffee are “love” and “care”, the story line remains the same :=)

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Travel to Udaipur and the Mewar Circuit

I have always wanted to write a travel blog. In fact, I started blogging to write on travels. Incidentally, over the years, I have become lazy enough to procrastinate writing about travels.

This travel article is on the Mewar Circuit – Essentially Udaipur, Chittaurgarh, Kumbalgarh, Ranakpur, Mount Abu, Haldighati, Eklanji and Nagda. The trip is a 6 days/5 nights one and trust me – Mewar Circuit is a must visit. The best time to visit this place is around November since Rajasthan is quite cool and Mt. Abu is at its best at 2 degrees Celsius. This travel article is almost 18 months old now – recreated from my diary.

Day 1 : Enter Udaipur  

The highlight of this trip is Udaipur – The City of Lakes. If you judge Rajasthan by Jaipur and Jaisalmer, you are probably wrong. Udaipur is one scenic city with many artificial lakes making it a summer retreat for those in Rajasthan. It is often referred to as the “Venice of the East.  No wonder it hosts many of the popular weddings worldwide. I reached Udaipur at 2 PM. With little time left for the day, one can visit the City Palace complex, the Lake Palace and the nearby Jagdish Mandir. Other important places include Dood Ki Talaai, Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake (near the City Palace) and Golab Bagh (meaning “Rose Garden”- you cannot compare it with the Lalbagh gardens but considering Rajasthan’s landscape, you can visit the gardens when you find time). When in Udaipur, do not miss the boating in Lake Pichola (best time for boating is morning – the reflection of the palace in the lake is one thing you must never miss in this trip). You can spend the evenings shopping in handicraft shops and local markets. Of course you need one full day for Udaipur (Note that I spent another morning boating, ropeway ride for Neemach Mata temple etc). Night stay at Udaipur.

View of City Palace and golden waters of Lake Pichola, Udaipur

Day 2 : Chittaurgarh  (a.k.a Chittorgarh)and Nathdwara

Chittaurgarh is a 2 hr drive from Udaipur. Incidentally Chittaurgarh is Asia’s 2nd largest fort (14 km length). There are plenty of places to visit inside the Chittaurgarh fort including Rani Padmini Jauhar, Meera Mandir (according to the folklore, poison which was offered to Meera Bai – a worshipper of Lord Krishna turned into nectar here ), Adinath Temple, Vijay Stambh (or Victory Tower which has 7 floors), Rani Padmini Palace and Mrig Van (Deer sanctuary towards the end of the fort), Kali Mata Mandir and Kirti Stambh/Jain Temple. All these places are inside the Chittaurgarh complex. The complex also has  a Gaumukh reservoir.

The Chittaugarh   complex can be covered by afternoon. I was enroute to Nathdwara by 3 PM. Nathdwara has the idol of 7 yr old Krishna and is often referred to as Srinathji. The water for purification in the temple comes all the way from Mathura as the idol belongs to Mathura. Nathdwara reminded me of Mathura – the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The temple can be covered within an evening. Night stay at Nathdwara.

Day 3 : Kumbhalgarh & Ranakpur

Kumbhalgarh is a place where you will realise why India is Incredible when you visit it.  One of the almost inaccessible places in those times, Kumbhalgarh was the secret base for Chittaurgarh. It is named after Rana Kumbha. This is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. The fort is 36 KM long and it has the 2nd largest wall in Asia, yes – that’s right after The Great Wall of China. It is said that Kumbhalgarh, the base camp was used to warfare through the mountain ranges – as there were no airplanes way back then – no one could locate the Kumbhalgarh fort amidst the mountain ranges. The fort is just spectacular – you really can’t describe it in words but that’s one place you must really visit.

After leaving Kumbhalgarh around 3, I reached Ranakpur in the evening. Ranakpur is one of the holiest places for the Jains and it is known for its spectacular Jain temple. The Main Temple has 1444 pillars including a stambha named after Rana Kumbha. The stambha fell many times during its construction and is 15 feet high. It is believed to be a sign of good luck for the people who visit there. The jain temple has 4 idols which are exactly the same in all the 4 directions, so that anyone could see it, from anywhere. The temple has 1 pillar which is slanting and is lit by traditional lamps. Night stay at Ranakpur.

Ram Pol (Ram Gate) at the Kumbhalgarh Fort

Day 4 & 5 : Mount Abu & Haldighati

Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan. Well known for its intricate carvings in the Dilwara temples, Mount Abu is located along the Arbuda Hills of the Aravalli Range. The places to visit in Mount Abu are Sunset Point, Arbuda Devi Temple, Honeymoon Point, Ganesh Temple and Dilwara Temple Complex (consisting of 4 temples). Guru Shikhar is the highest point in Mount Abu and Dattatreya Temple is located on top of it. The feet of the Dattatreya Idol (along with a bell) is top of Guru Shikar making it the highest place in Mount Abu. Boating can be done at the Nakki Lake which is an artificial lake. You can find a lot of tourists from Ahmedabad here as it is a weekend trip from Ahmedabad. Night Stay at Mount Abu.

Haldighati is the place where the famous battle between Maharana Pratap and Man Singh (and Akbar’s forces) was fought. Haldighati is called so as the rock contain a colored liquid which looks like haldi. Maharana Pratap lost the battle but escaped due to his swift white Arab horse – Chetak.  Haldighati has Chetak Samadhi – which died in the arms of Maharana Pratap. Maharana Pratap ruled only for 4 years and spent the life in the forest. As I travelled through the mountainous paths in Haldighati, I was constantly reminded of the famous doha (couplet) :

Aage Nadiya Padi Apaar, Ghoda Kaise Utare Paar

Rana Ne Socha Is Paar, Tab Tak Chetak Tha Us Paar

“Lies the boundless river ahead, How will the horse cross it?

While Rana thought on his side, Chetak was that side!”

As I returned to Udaipur, I visited 2 other places including Eklanji which has a Shiva Temple where Raja Udai Singh used to pray and Nagda. Night stay at Udaipur.

A Rajasthan trip is incomplete without the camels

Day 6 : Back to Udaipur

Day 6 was spent local sightseeing Udaipur including the boating and ropeway trips as mentioned before.

 The 6 day road trip was amazing.  The golden waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the majestic forts of Kumbhalgarh and Chittaurgarh, the on-top-of-the-world-moment at Guru Shikar (Mount Abu), the holy Nathdwara temple, the battle reminding Haldighati, the peaceful Ranakpur Temple – these are some of the moments which I cannot forget.  The Mewar circuit is one of the less popular tourist destinations in India – but it is one of the best places in the country.

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