Tag: #Weeklyphotochallenge

Narrow Gauge Journey

Narrow Gauge Journey- Title

If you are on summer vacations, or on sabbatical leave or simply have some spare time, take a ride on Indian Hill Railways or Narrow Gauge (NG) lines.  You will go through tunnels, little hamlets and over awe-inspiring bridges.

These rail journeys will give you an exhilarating experience when you pass through quaint mountain ranges, and cross over mangroves with thick and lush green environment around you.

Narrow Gauge Journey-Matheran
Matheran Railway Station

Neral and Matheran, in the state of Maharashtra, a hill railway track is a 2 ft. Narrow Gauge line covering 21 km in the midst of thick forests of Western Ghats. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is over 100 years since it was opened back in the year 1907.

Narrow Guage journey-Toy train, Matheran
Toy train Matheran

Being inside a toy train can be a lifetime experience, the tighter curves, magnificent water bodies and a wide variety of flora & fauna.  As the train wheezes up the clear mountains amidst mangroves you cherish these moments of a scenic view. Oh! What a journey it is.

Matheran is the closest hill station to Mumbai in the Sahyadri hill range in Raigad district of Maharashtra State. It is situated at a height of 803 m above sea level.

By train:

You can catch a Karjat bound local train from CSTM (a.k.a. VT Mumbai, India) on the Central Railway to Neral Station.

Use the foot over bridge at Neral and get to the other platform. Inquire about the toy train and whether tickets will be available. If you want to ride in the Matheran toy train, then make sure you have booked in advance.

Narrow Gauge journey- Toy train -Queen of Sahadri Hills
Neral Matheran train-  Queen of Sahyadri Hills

The Toy Train

Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy conceived the imaginative idea of a 2-ft narrow-gauge railway from Neral to Matheran (20 km). He imported three specially made engines from Germany in 1905. The railway was opened in 1907. This train became 100 years old on April 16, 2007.

Places to visit in Matheran:

Lake Charlotte – A spectacular waterfall overflows from the lake during and shortly after the monsoons. It has peaceful surroundings of dense evergreen forests, bird songs, and pretty butterflies.

  • Panorama point – is a very beautiful as you can see a panoramic view of the hills on the left and a beautiful Ulhas River to the right. This point is perfect for Sunrise and is also called “Sunrise Point.”
  • Heart Point – Here one can see a beautiful scene of the valley and this point looks like a heart, so gets its name.
  • Monkey Point – At this point can see the monkeys in large numbers and their mischief life-sized.
  • Malang Point
  • Luisa Point – The view from here to the waterfall (run off from Charlotte Lake ) during the monsoon is spectacular.
  • Honeymoon Hill
  • Echo Point

The other grand narrow gauge journeys in India are:-

  • Pathankot to Joginder Nagar in the state of Himachal Pradesh
  • New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal.
  • Mettapulayam to Ooty (Udhagamandalam) in the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Kalka to Shimla in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Cherry or Cherries on Top

Cherry on top

Black Forest Pie Cake Cream Cake Chocolate Chips

Recently, I attended a friend’s birthday party. The birthday was celebrated on a very grand scale. It was held at a famous 5-star hotel hall. The birthday cake was a Black Forest Cake.  A cream cake with a lot of chocolate chips and not just a Cherry On Top but cherries on top!

Let’s celebrate the cherries on top!

Details You Need To Look At While Cooking

Cooking is an art, technology, and craft of preparing food for consumption with the use of heat.  Across the globe, there are various techniques used from grilling food over an oven fire to gas stoves, to baking in various types of ovens which reflect the unique environmental, economic, cultural traditions and trends.

Go green with organic vegetables- Details of cooking ingredients.
Ecologically grown vegetables.

In cooking, you require Details about the ingredients used in a dish and the method of cooking to make that delicious meal. Ingredients comprise usually of  vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts as well as herbs and spices come from plants, while meat, eggs, and dairy products come from animals. Mushrooms and the yeast used in baking are kinds of fungi. Cooks also use water and minerals such as salt. Cooks can also use wine or spirits.

Ingredients that occur naturally contain various amounts of molecules called proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. They also contain water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals.

All cooking ingredients are measured with Metric style measuring cup set. It is an important utensil in the kitchen. The typical cooking measuring cup sizes are 1 cup, ½ cup, 1/3 cup, ¼ cup and 1/8 cup and in the case of typical spoon sizes, 1 tablespoon, ½ tablespoon, 1 teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon.

Nasi Lemak - Cooking details while preparing this dish
Nasi Lemak
Image courtesy- traveldelight.biz

There are various methods of cooking since antiquity – baking, roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, smoking, boiling, steaming and braising. A more recent innovation is microwave. Various methods use differing levels of heat and moisture and vary in cooking time.

These major hot cooking techniques comprise of
•  Roasting – Barbecuing – Grilling/Broiling – Rotisserie – Searing

•  Baking
Baking – Baking Blind – Flash baking

•  Boiling
Boiling – Blanching – Braising – Coddling – Double steaming – Infusion – Poaching – Pressure cooking – Simmering – Smothering – Steaming – Steeping – Stewing – Vacuum flask cooking

Fry – Deep frying – Hot salt frying – Hot sand frying – Pan frying – Pressure frying – Sautéing – Stir-frying

•  Steaming
Steaming is usually done by boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. It is considered a healthy form of cooking, holding nutrients within the vegetable or meat being cooked.


Smoking is the process of flavouring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smouldering material, most often wood.

Similarly, there are temperature charts for details on cooking meats, poultry, eggs, leftovers, and casseroles.

A delicious meal prepared with details of cooking.
Chinese Prosperity Food with Salmon Photography: ProjectManhattan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Cooking has been around for centuries and everyone is connected to it in some form or the other from bringing friends and family together or planning to make a fulfilling home cooked meal instead of ordering one.

Look up

Petronas Towers, Malaysia
Petronas Towers

As I Look Up, I see this splendid architecture. The 88 storey building features glass and steel exterior and traditionally inspired interior. The sky bridge that connects the two towers is the world’s highest two-storey bridge which is an excellent viewing platform as you get a magnificent view of the city.

Any guesses, where is this located?

Well, it is Petronas Twin Towers located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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