Punjabi wedding, Shimla trekking and Chandigarh sightseeing, Mar 08

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
After watching many Bollywood movies, I always wanted to be in a Punjabi wedding. Huge families coming together, dancing and singing, as shown in the movies fascinated me a lot. When Gaurav invited for his wedding in Chandigarh, I was the first one to say “Yes…lets go to Chandigarh !!!!”. Peter and Bhellsun also showed interest, and finally we three decided to go ahead and attend our first Punjabi wedding.

We took a flight to Delhi on 27th early morning 4.45am, and reached Delhi around 7.30am. Delhi seemed to be quite cool in early morning, when we landed the outside temperature was around 20C. Gaurav arranged a car for us, which will take us to his home town near Chandigarh. Since we went for a movie previous night, everyone slept well during the journey. We stopped on the way in a dhabba for breakfast. The dhabba was too huge to call as road side dhabba. Peter as usual wanted poori, but that was not available, so we settled for Aloo paratha. We didn’t realise that, Aloo paratha will be the food for next four days!!!! It was tiring 5hr journey in that car. We reached the place around 2pm. A nice room was waiting for us, so we landed up there and ordered some food and took bath to get ready for the much awaited evening. Gaurav’s friend came and met us in the room and said that the wedding function will start around 6.30pm, which left us the option of taking a small nap.

We slept till 6.30pm, so thinking that it will be late we started getting ready in a hurry. Bhellsun dressed aptly for the occasion with kurtha and paijama, and I wore jeans with the dark party wear shirt. We left the hotel by 7pm and stared walking towards the wedding place, as it was near by our hotel. To our surprise, we were the first ones to reach that place. The wedding place surely deserves some words. The entrance itself made us to tell wow!!... we entered through a nicely decorated pathway towards the main lawn. The path was decorated with flowers on both side and glittering with coloured glasses. The lawn was huge and nicely decorated with lights and filled with round tables. At the sides there were tables for food and drinks. There was a separate dance floor surrounded by huge speakers and a DJ desk. Wow!!! Isn’t it really cool…a special DJ and a dance floor on wedding place…!!!… Apart from that there was huge hall which also had food and tables. Entire place was very well decorated and arranged. Since we were the first ones in that place, we took some coffee and waited. We spent some time by taking snaps of the place. After a while we closed our camera and waited for them to arrive. As the time goes we stared feeling bored and it was 9PM still the bride and groom have not arrived. We stared taking some juices (colourful juices) and waited there.

Finally the Gaurav arrived with big music and dance. They were dancing on the way to the lawn. Gaurav was surrounded by some pretty girls and few guys, and everyone was dancing. Even the groom got a bit loose at times and danced. It was nice to see everyone in the family taking part in the proceedings. The bride’s family was waiting for the groom’s arrival and there was ribbon tied on the entrance. After doing some wedding traditions, the groom cut the ribbon and entered the place with the music and dance. And it was dance and dance, as if god said “Let there be Dance”!!!!…then Gaurav went and sat in the place where the stage was specially designed for couple. And when asked about the bride, they said she is yet to arrive!!!! It was already 11.30PM, and finally bride arrived with nice music and four people escorting her in a special way. There was small stage set for both of them to stand. As they stood there with garlands in their hand, rose petals were raining on them. It was really a cool setting thru which rose petals was thrown above the couple, which really felt like flower rain. As the music also started they exchanged their garlands and the flower rain flowed on them for few minutes. All cameras stared to click the important moment. Later every one started to dance, from the small kid to older grandpas every one shake-ed their leg a bit.

By that time dance floor was fully crowded with girls and guys dancing. DJ was playing some peppy Hindi numbers and Punjabi music. Everyone in the family danced and enjoyed the wedding. Peter got excited and danced like anything. Even though he struggled a bit with his Punjabi moves, he learned it quickly and danced. Gaurav’s friends were pulling us to dance floor and made us to dance a bit. Then we went for the dinner inside and had some interesting conversations with Gaurav’s friends about Gaurav and about their friendships ;-) . And by the time dinner got over, the bride and groom started having some custom ceremony on the lawns. With a priest leading the proceedings every one from the family sat around them. It was already 3am, as we guys need to walk back to the hotel, so we started and came back to the hotel. We were so tired, as we slept immediately.

Next day morning we got up so late and waited for Gaurav to arrive. He came around 12 and took us to his home. His home was in near by village named “ramgarh”. His home stood colourful in the place and we can easy make out that wedding has happened in that house. Every one seemed to be tired in his home, as the wedding ended around 6am in the morning. We went to the nearby fort which also has a restaurant. That fort apparently had a huge door, which happens to be the biggest door in India. After taking some snaps in that fort we landed up in the restaurant and finished the lunch. Then we went back to the Gaurav’s house and waited for the cab to arrive, which will take us to Shimla. Around 6pm the cab came and we said goodbye to Gaurav and his family and started our journey towards Shimla. The journey to Shimla took 4 hours as we reached there by 10pm. It was so cold around that time in Shimla. After searching for some hotel to stay, we decided to stay in the hotel Himland, which also seemed to be a nearer place for city centre.

Next day morning we got up around 9pm, the room was quite warm and the rug provided kept us warm and made us to sleep longer. We finished our breakfast in the nearby shop and stared again to Kufri. Kufri is a small place, 12kms from Shimla, which offers a nice view and a temple with apple gardens. As the car stared moving up we started feeling the cold. It was so cold that the normal cloths which we were wearing seemed to be nothing. After reaching Kufri we searched for some place where we could buy some winter clothes. We found a place and bought some stuff to keep ourselves warm. Then we visited a near by park which happened to have some animals, but only some black bears was there. So we took some photos and came out. While coming out the guard at the gate told that there is a trekking path which can also be visited.

The word trekking immediately brought some cheer to Peter, so he took us in that path. We walked few kms uphill and down hill in pine forests, which also offered some nice views on pine forest hills. After taking snaps we came back to the same place. Then we took two horses and stared toward the Kufri hill top. Peter decided to walk, so myself and Bhell took the horses and went ahead. Horses were easy to control, and as they were used to the same path, they walked easily on the same track. Bhell got acquainted with his horse and started calling by his name “Tiger”. With in few minutes we reached the place and parked our horses. There was view point from where you can view most of the hills in Shimla. We took snaps and went to the temple near by. The temple also offered breathtaking views and some distant views of snow covered mountains. That place was around 2700mts above the sea level and it was so cold. After having some hot tea and good burger we stared walking again searching for apple gardens.

Apparently we found that we were walking near the apple gardens, and since this is not season we saw only empty land. Peter wanted to take the path which went to some unknown village. As it was cold I couldn’t walk further, so Peter and Bhell went and I waited for them by taking some snaps and also helping other by taking snaps of theirs. Peter and Bhell came after almost 2 hours and seemed to the fully tired of walking. We took the horses back to staring point and took the car back to hotel. After freshen up in the hotel we went to the much awaited mall road. Mall road in the Shimla is shopping place, where no vehicles are allowed and fully lined up with shops. It was really nice to walk on that road. At the end we found a nice pub and lanced up there for some drinks. After having several rounds we came out around 11pm and headed back to the hotel.

Next day morning we decided to start to Chandigarh without spending much time in Shimla. So we started immediately after having breakfast. On the way we saw a McDonald’s and stopped, but unfortunately they were closed for renovation. At the same time we found a shop where they were selling “fruit wines” – apple, peach, grape… based wine varieties. We reached Chandigarh around 2 and we reached nice mall, which looked like a huge place with really huge parking space. Mall was not huge in number of floors, but spawned for some acres. All the buildings in that place was only two storied in height in which the ground floors had shops. It was relay nice to see a mall in that way, after watching huge malls in other cites. Surely this place will change the conception of shopping mall in your mind. We had our lunch in a restaurant called Hot Millions, and started to famous Rock Garden.

Peter kept on telling that Rock garden and Rose garden were the important places to visit in Chandigarh. So that really increased our curiosity a bit. We first decided to visit Rock Garden. Rock garden was place created by a person called “Nek Chad”. All the sculptures in the garden were made out broken ceramic items or waste items like broken bangles or stones. Entire place seemed to be creative, so many different kinds of sculptures and dolls. We took lots of snaps in the place, or I would say we three were the only persons who took so many snaps in that place. After coming out of this creative place, we proceeded to the Rose Garden. The Rose garden was “THE” real garden, which had all types of roses. The entire place seemed to be so beautiful, fully covered by green lawn and with all kind of roses. The yellow tree at the middle of the garden added an extra beauty to that place. As our cameras clicked so many snaps we were started felling the tiredness of the travel. Our camera clicking stopped only after the place started getting dark.

We had booked the bus to Delhi at 9pm, so we had couple of hours to spend. So we went to the same mall back and started roaming around shops. Peter was impressed by the beauty of the girls in Chandigarh. And that called for the explanation of Indian history of Dravidians and Aryans. By the time Peter had a history lesson it was time for our bus, so we headed back to the bus stand. It was A/C bus and also quite comfortable, so we got some sleep on the travel. We reached Delhi around 2.30am in the morning, and took an auto to the airport. Our flight back home was at 4.45, so we waited in airport for some time. Our flight came back to Chennai sharply by 7.30, and peter driver was waiting with the car. So we took the car and came back home after four days of tiring trip.

And a special thanks to Bell for his Hindi, without that we would have struggled a lot. He managed every where with his Hindi, but struggled at some place where he had to deal with number.:-) It was really a great four days, as we enjoyed a lot. The wedding was the “BEST”. As Gaurav would say, it’s not a “Punjabi” wedding, its “FUNjabi” wedding. It was really “FUNtabulous”. The fun factor was never less in that wedding, as everyone enjoyed and celebrated. We were totally stunned or rather awestruck, after seeing the wedding and the wedding still stays in our minds and will stay forever in our memory.

Story written by Balaji

Trekking trail in Google Earth:

Photo Archive:

Punjabi Wedding in Chandigarh
Punjabi Marriage, Apr 08

Shimla, Mar 08

Chandigarh Rock Garden
Chandigarh Rock Garden

Chandigarh Rose Garden
Chandigar Rose Garden, Mar 08

Fire spitting video:

Dancing video 1:

Dancing video 2:

Dancing video 3:

Marriage video:

Bhellsun's album:


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