Travel in the footsteps of historically iconic Indian women
International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe on 8th March and not only gives the world a day to focus its efforts on ambitions such as empowering women, but also creates opportunity to celebrate and remember the mold-breaking women throughout history who made their own bold steps towards achieving equality.
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, is celebrating these gender role-breaking women and the destinations where they made history and where their stories began. Booking.com research reveals that 71% of female travelers plan to take more independent trips in 2019. Now is the perfect opportunity to take a solo trip for the strong independent woman in you, and follow in the footsteps of these iconic women.
Mannikarnika (Jhansi ki Rani): The queen who died a warrior’s death in a time when queens were not allowed to step out of pardah. Rani Laximibai is a name to reckon with when you reminiscence India’s freedom struggle against the British rule. She was brought up in Bithoor, a small town in the Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Her upbringing was unlike any other woman of the time. She was taught the skills of horse riding, swordsmanship, archery among others. Her fearless demeanor and vehement protests in the face of Kranti against the British atrocities never went unnoticed.
She married the king of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao but was widowed after a little over a decade. That’s when her struggle began to sustain the kingdom of Jhansi without a legal heir. A day before the king’s death, they adopted a son who would then become the rightful heir of the kingdom. But the British did not accept this, and took over basis their Doctrine of Lapse. Even today Rani Laxmibai’s name draws up the image of a fearlessness warrior on a horseback, with the reins between her teeth and swords in either palms, while her son is tied to her back.
Take a trip to Jhansi and be transported back in time as you read about one of the greatest female fighters India has ever seen.
Where to stay: Bundelkhand Riverside, on the outskirts of the city of Jhansi provides you with a perfect opportunity to explore the bygone era of the town while you also enjoy a relaxing stay by the river. The accommodation has old world charm to it, with its handcrafted furnishings and the warm fireplace. One can even go canoeing in the river after exploring the historic heritage of Jhansi. Bundelkhand Riverside is 1.5 km from Jahangir Mahal and 2 km from Raj Parveen Mahal. It is 13 km from Jhansi Junction Railway Station and 19 km from Jhansi City.
Savitribai Phule: Often referred to as the India’s first feminist icon, she was born to a farming family in Naigaon, Satara. She was married to Jyotirao Phule at the age of nine, and was tutored by him. Savitribai was a pronounced Indian social reformer, educationalist and a poet. She worked relentlessly for the education of girls, abolishing the caste system and for the widows and rape victims. She and Jyotirao Phule together opened the first ever school for girls by an Indian. She was looked down upon by the society for educating girls, even pelted stones at but she did not give up. She is also regarded as the first female teacher of India. She played a significant role in championing women's rights in India during British rule. She died nursing patients in the plague epidemic.
Today, the University of Pune takes its name after her, recognizing her efforts in the emancipation of women.
Where to stay: Sheraton Grand Pune, an amalgamation of old-world décor and contemporary comfort, Sheraton Grand Pune offers luxury on a platter. An outdoor pool, a fitness centre, a squash court, a nightclub – you name it and they have it. The hotel is within 10 km to various attractions such as The Aga Khan's Palace, The Pataleshwar Caves, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum and Koregaon Park.
Indira Gandhi: She was a woman of many firsts - the first and the only female Prime Minister of India, first female recipient of the Bharat Ratna award among others. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, was an assistant to her father when he was the Prime Minister and learned the ropes from him. She then became the second longest serving Prime Minister after her father Jawaharlal Nehru. She was strongly opinionated, disciplined and a ruthless leader when it involved the well-being of her nation. She served the nation from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1984 until she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.
She was known for her unprecedented centralization of power. During her tenure, she went to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement and also aided the creation of Bangladesh. She instituted a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 where basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was censored. Making her one of the most influential woman in the history of India and its politics. Opening up opportunities for many women in the field.
This women’s day take a visit to the city where her story began and let the historic sites of the city marvel you.
Where to stay: Hotel Relax Inn, this capsule hotel is perfect for your solo adventure, they serve amazing breakfast and vegetarian meals. The accommodation also offers a terrace with a view. The rooms are air conditioned and it is considered one of the best value for money properties in Allahabad.
Kalpana Chawla: She was the first Indian woman and the second Indian ever to go to space. Born in Karnal, Kalpana finished her early education in Punjab, and later moved to USA to finish her Masters in Aerospace Engineering, and further obtained a doctorate in the field. Her extensive contribution to NASA began in 1988, and she first flew on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997. On that mission with a crew of six members, Kalpana was a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.
She got her second chance to fly as a part of the crew of STS-107. A crew of 7 astronauts flew out for a 16-day journey. They completed more than 80 experiments which were a part of Kalpana’s microgravity research. However, that was her last space journey as the shuttle disintegrated over Texas while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, 16 minutes before it was supposed to land.
Kalpana journey was that of perseverance and dedication. Today she is an inspiration to many. She opened multiple avenues for not only women in India but around the world. She became and will always remain the first of many to follow.
Take a trip to Karnal before you head to the national capital to explore its sites of historic heritage.
Where to stay: Hotel Noor Mahal, is a luxurious, 5-star property featuring a traditional mix of Mughal and Rajputana architecture styles. Enjoy the ambience as you relax at the hotel’s spa and wellness centre or browse around their shopping arcade for some self-pampering after the day’s expedition in town. The accommodation is 2 km from Karnal Railway Station. Other nearby attractions include the Jurassic Water Park, located 15 km away, while the historic sites of Panipat and Kurukshetra, are at a distance of 25 km from the hotel.
Lata Mangeshkar: Often referred to as the voice of the millennium, Lata was born in Indore to a Marathi father and a Gujarati mother. Her father was a classical singer and a theatre artist, she lost him at an early age of 13 to a heart disease. She began her training in singing post that and moved to Mumbai in 1945. She started her career in singing with Marathi films, then bhajans, later taking up training in Hindustani classical music and eventually entering Bollywood. She is the most awarded Indian singer winning award titles like Bharat Ratna and Legion of Honor among others.
Her fame is not limited to India, people around the world recognize her for her melodious voice. Her career that began in 1942 has spanned over seven and a half decades. Her versatility and passion for music is unmatched. People today believe that there will never be a singer like her. With thousands of songs already in her name, we agree too!
Take a trip to where her journey began, you are sure to find some jewels in this city that are waiting to be explored!
Where to stay: Hotel Nahargarh Palace, is located 3.5 km from ISKCON Indore. A perfect blend of culture and contemporary the accommodation screams elegance. The property is just 9 km from Rajwada Palace.