Zafar Khan Ghazi Dargah and Mosque – Complete Guide


Zafar Khan Ghazi Dargah and Mosque – Complete Guide

Have you seen the entire complex? Have been to the back of the Mazar? The man constantly followed us while we were busy trying to photograph each and every section of the mausoleum. At one point the man assertively pointed out to the various Hindu mythological characters still very much visually present. He then smiled and said, “Sir, I am a Hindu and I come here often, not only me but many like me have been coming here for generations and seeking the blessing of the Ghazi. You wish out here and it will be fulfilled by the Ghazi”.

It took me five years to write this blog, not because I was lazy but because to start with my first set of photographs of this place was not clear as it had become dark during my first shoot way back in 2015 and finally when I could again shoot the entire complex I had to deal with various conflicting version of Zafar Khan Ghazi.

For some historians, he was an Islamic crusader while some legends talk of him as the worshiper of Ganges while some refer to him as the Sufi who built Madrasas and Mosques. Do you know who Ulugh-i-A’zam Humayun Zafar Khan Bahram Itgin was? Probably not, do not worry even I did not know before finishing my last blog in the Chinsurah series. Today I am going to take you to Tribeni, which is a small town in the Hooghly district in West Bengal, India. This small town has the tomb of Ulugh i A’zam Humayun Zafar Khan Bahram Itgin or better known to all as Zafar Khan Ghazi Mosque and Dargah or was it someone else who was buried there?

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Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Day Tour


Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Day Tour
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Day Tour

Bond, James Bond and it completely blew my mind off; it was the very first Bond movie that I was watching and I fell completely in love with Mr. Bond. I still remember the hotel room where I completely glued myself to the television set watching From Russia with Love. What I have noticed in every Bond movie is that they highlight different countries and its unique tourist places. Bond has come to India, Iceland, Russia and in this movie The Man with the Golden Gun, Bond had come to Thailand and during a particular chase scene, he can be seen running away from goons around Damnoen Saduak and its famous Floating Market.

Last month when I had visited Thailand a part of the tour which was organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Smile Airways included a trip to Ratchaburi Province which is around one hour drive from Bangkok. This place is famous for its Floating Markets. A trip to Floating Market can be a good half a day tour from Bangkok and can be easily combined with the Maeklong Train Market. Usually, tourist visits these two places together as a part of a day trip out of Bangkok.

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Bangkok to Maeklong Railway Market Tour


Bangkok to Maeklong Railway Market Tour

One of the most common videos that you will see coming out of any Thailand trip would be that of the Train Market. Being from Kolkata (India) it is something that I have seen from my childhood days but slightly is a different way. For our daily fresh vegetables and meat, my father used to go to the market located beyond the railway line and sometimes I have faint memories of going along with him. While most of the shops were located after crossing, the railway lines I still remember some vendors especially fruit sellers and household accessories being sold on the abandoned and less used railway tracks. The railway gateman would often make an announcement over his loudspeaker to warn people of incoming trains.

On my recent trip to Thailand, our group was taken for a tour of the outskirts of Bangkok to a place called Samut Songkhram. This place is located on the outskirts of Bangkok and one needs to take a private car, taxi, bus and other means of transport to reach this province. This place is however more famous for its slow train which people often refer to as the Maeklong Railway Market.

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Thailand Free Visa on Arrival Process


Thailand Free Visa on Arrival Process

I have been lucky enough to travel to quite a few Visa on Arrival countries. In fact, the very first country that I had visited was Sri Lanka, which then had a visa on arrival for Indian citizens. Things, however, were very complicated when I was traveling to Europe, which required a Schengen Visa and that meant tons of paperwork and then waiting for the application process to go through.

Thailand off late have exempted Visa requirements for Indians which means you can just plan a trip overnight and head out. Especially tourist from Kolkata have an advantage considering the distance between Kolkata and Bangkok. Prior to my recent trip to Thailand, I had quite a few doubts and found it difficult to find a single source to get all the consolidated information. Therefore, I had decided that when I come back I would write one consolidated blog covering all the variables.

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Kolkata to Bangkok Thai Smile Flight Review


Kolkata to Bangkok Thai Smile Flight Review

One of the very first countries that my father visited nearly four decades back was Thailand. I would often see photo frames hung around our staircase with collages of photographs from his Thailand trip. The dancing girls, seafood, people always amused me and I really wanted to visit to see these myself. Over the years and decades, the photographs slowly faded away, after some time the photo frame also disintegrated with termite attack. What remained was a plastic wall hanging flower holder but that too was lost over time. The memories also slowly faded just like those photos in the frame.

After a decade of blogging, I got my first ever chance to go for a familiarization trip organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to Bangkok. The opportunity was not pre-planned and within a week I was ready with my bags packed for my first ever trip to Thailand.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum Kolkata


Reserve Bank of India Museum Kolkata

When we were young my grandmother used to keep telling us about how her father that is my great grandfather had lost quite a significant amount of money due to a bank run. I was too young to understand the meaning of a bank run and was assuming that the owner of the bank had run away with all the money. Much later during y college days when I was studying Economics at university did I really understand the actual meaning and the basic reason why such things happened in the first place.

For the last couple of years during any heritage trail around Dalhousie area of Kolkata, you are sure to pass in front of an ornate red and white building with the name “Reserve Bank of India” on it. Located right opposite of yet another famous landmark St. John’s Church this building is usually referred to as the building that once housed the “Alliance Bank of Simla”. A couple of month’s back I had the chance of visiting this building on coming to know that RBI (Reserve Bank of India) had recently opened its one of a kind museum out here.

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