The story of this gorgeous place subscribes to the idea of travelers poising on the knife-edge of a breathtakingly narrow ridge. Then there are waterlogged plains of Bangladesh, which you can witness from the top on the one hand with steep jungle gorges studded with waterfall on the other.
It is indeed fascinating to witness gushing waters into the void thus making this place all the more mysterious and awe aspiring.
Get transfixed as I was during my journey to this place.
It is a street off MG road:
1. Hard Rock Cafe
2. KC Das(Indian sweet shop)
3. Koshy (Bacon+eggs or Appam + Stew)
4. Bowring Club petrol station(KULFI- Indian ice cream)
5. The egg factory
6. Kabab Corner
7. Noon Wines ( potent Indian wine, great if a game is going on they have a large screen and cheap drinks)
8. Bacchus (drum and bass - wed eves)
Take a detour off St Marks Road at Koshys and walk down Church Street. Do look at Blossom - used book shop.
At Spiga on st Marks Road (Halycon Building) take a right (Spiga is on your right) onto Vittal Mallya Road for more upmarket shopping at The collective, Esprit, UB City(LV, Bottega Veneta etc.
Restaurants at UB City
1. City Bar
2. Cafe Noir (French cafe)
3. Rajdhani (Gujurati)
4. Shiro (Pan Asian + Bar)
5. Fava (Lebanese)
6. Tasy Tangles (Asian)
If you are here for a long time look at the ives club on the internet. It is a club for expats to meet other expats (if that is your thing). There is a party every Saturday and you will meet the single expats of the city and some locals.
UB City is expat hangout.
St Marks Road Bangalore - start at the MG road end.
Google map: bit.ly/d8mVg9
This is a lovely wee place with great views over both the market and the lake. I loved the choice of food and the welcome which is given to familiar faces.
On the left just before 'sweet street' as you're walking towards Brahma temple.
Sadar Bazaar Rd, Pushkar Lake
Amazing cheap snacks that are really filling and widely available. Kolkata was the only place I found them. If you're looking for something quick and delicious you should definitely try them. If you're in Kasbah try Shurav's, just off Rajdanga Main Road. Incredible!
Google map: bit.ly/9wDTFw
Blue Ginger is one of the best Vietnamese restaurants I know. It boasts modern interiors and absolutely delicious food. If you are tired of Italian, Chinese or Indian food in India (the three most popular cuisines), try this one. Besides, it is actually not expensive even though it is in the Taj Palace Hotel
The Pink House is a hotel and restaurant in Puri, far down the main strip right by the fishing village. We didn't stay there (the rooms on the beach look lovely but we were in need of air-con) but had one of the best meals ever on the tables in the sand. The fish is freshly caught and brought the ten meters up the beach, but the highlight was the chilli crab. I don't think we spoke for 15 minutes as we attacked it, watching the sun set over the sea. Absolutely amazing.
Built in 1450's by the Rathore prince Rao Jodha, this spectacular fortress is the epitome of Rajputana grandeur and royalty of the days of yore. One can get a panoramic view of the 'blue city' Jodhpur from the top of the fortress.
Mehrangarh houses several palaces, monuments, temples, palanquins and lush gardens. There is a museum too which showcase the artifacts and souvenirs, reflecting myriad colors of Rajasthan and Rajputana.
It is one of the destination of the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, a luxury train in India, one of the most luxurious mode of traveling across the choicest destinations in Rajasthan.
mygreatstay.com is an organisation which finds, assesses and monitors homestay accommodation in nine key Indian states and allows you to book with a UK credit card. At a homestay, you have a private room with attached bathroom and often breakfast and dinner. They are in fabulous locations throughout the country, including areas which have few hotels, and offer visitors a unique insight into the culture of the country. Your hosts are not intrusive but always available for advice and guidance. The last one I stayed in was with the delightful Mayekar family at Chivla Beach, close to the town of Malven in South Maharashtra, just north of Goa and nine hours by train south of Mumbai. I had a clean and comfortable double room for £12 a night, under the coconut palms with the Arabian Sea lapping only a few metres from the door. With a motor scooter rented for less than £4 a day to explore the pristine beaches and river valleys that are almost devoid of human beings, and two meals a day lovingly prepared by the ladies of the house for less than the cost of a capuccino at a coffee bar in England, I had an experience that no travel agent could ever devise, even for thrice the price.
tel: (91) 970217 5257
Om beach is a low key backpacker paradise, which has managed to remain undeveloped so far. Avoid the crowds with a beautiful quiet beach fringed by woodland, turquoise sea and great shack restaurants all along the shore. Yet, you can walk to the holy, buzzing town of Gokarna in 45 minutes over the stunning cliffs. Great people watching opportunities, before returning to laid back Om Beach to watch the sunset with a Kingfisher, and chat to new friends whilst eating delicious curry!
Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka, India
Google map: tinyurl.com/25jjyln
BnB New Delhi is a new luxury bed and breakfast in New Delhi. We stayed here four nights and absolutely loved the place. The hospitality of host was unmatched. We chose this accommodation after going through trip advisor reviews. Absolutely recommend this place for stay in Delhi if you are on budget.
I - 9 Maharani Bagh, New Delhi - 110065, India
Tel: 00 91 11 4132 7609
Google map: tinyurl.com/3878j7u
I did the Golden Triangle myself back in March of this year, pretty much the best time to visit India I'm told, and had an absolutely wonderful time. As an ex-backpacker I'm now appreciating the luxury of a fuss-free properly planned tour so much more!
I had been told so much about India, good and bad, and wanted to make sure I got it right, so I did the Triangle reasoning that with so many destinations there was bound to be something I liked. I wasn't wrong. I spent two nights at Delhi, two at the Ramada in Jaipur and two at the Mughal at Agra.
As an Englishman and a first-time visitor to India I wasn't quite sure if I was going to be harassed down the street by crowds of hustlers, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about - there are probably too many white faces to even notice any more. What was even better was that the majority of people speak fairly good English. I remember getting a cab from the Viceroy's Palace and telling the cabbie I wanted to go to Humayun's Tomb. He didn't understand the destination the first three times I repeated it, and so out of desperation I said it again with a ridiculously put-on Indian accent. "Ah, Humayun's Tomb! Of course!" he replied.
India is, of course, rather hot, but dress properly and drink plenty of water and you should acclimatise fairly quickly. Bear in mind, of course, that England will feel even colder when you return.
So in summary I did lots of sightseeing, lots of shopping, and yes I couldn't resists a visit to the Taj Mahal. It really is quite fantastic; I didn't realise that the inside is as breathtaking as the famous outside. Walking on the marble floor made me feel like a raja. The hotels were great and the staff friendly, all the transfers were handled without fuss and about the only complaint I had was with my partner who suddenly developed a love of expensive rugs. (Really, how are you going to get a rug home? Fold it sixty-five times and put it in a suitcase?)
My own traveller's tip is to consider getting yourself a tailored suit whilst in Delhi. You will not find one of better quality for a lower price. Just hold firm on haggling.
I would thoroughly recommend Travelpack, who organised my own holiday faultlessly.
Fancy trying your hand at teaching English abroad without the cost of some "volunteer" gap-year projects, or the hassle of completing a TEFL course? I wanted to stay in a community in India for longer than just a fleeting few days.
I sent a few emails and chose the Marshall school in Dehra Dun. Not only did they offer free accommodation and meals, but the location was ideal: in the foothills of the Himalayas and well off the beaten track (I was the only white face I saw in the three months I was there and the only white person most of the children had ever seen outside of movies). I got to know the place and people intimately and had an unforgettable experience... I'm heading back next year.
A long, narrow stretch of beach on the remote island of Rameswaram. Nothing but fishing villages for miles. With the help of my trusty phrasebook, I helped the locals trawl in their nets and weigh their catch before hitching a ride 10km back down the beach on the roof of a fishing lorry.
On Pamban Island, off the coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Connected to mainland by the Pamban Bridge.
It's not the Taj, but it's spotless, comfortable, quiet (a blessing!) and very close to the airport. If you have an early morning flight, check in here the night before rather than drive to the airport for three hours on your last day. Good breakfast, too.
Less well known than Bandhavgarh National Park, Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve is a beautiful, remote park in the foothills of the Himalayas, a great place to experience real wilderness.
There are about 100 tigers in the park - so you have a good chance of spotting one - plus Asiatic elephants, crocodiles, otters, jackal, sloth bears and leopards.
World Big Cat Safaris is a fully-bonded UK-based tour operator run by former safari guides. They arrange tiger safaris across India.
Surekha is a native of Delhi who does weekend group tours and private tours of Delhi, its history, architecture and more. She's highly informed and enthusiastic about her subject and provides the best, most informed and interesting introduction I can imagine to New Delhi (and Old Delhi). I can't imagine visiting Delhi without spending time with Surekha.
If you think Goa’s all about soulless package hotels and overcrowed beaches then think again. Reaching Agonda in the far south of Goa is like finding the holy grail – an almost deserted but absolutely beautiful beach. We stayed at Agonda White Sand in a simple but stylish en-suite wooden cottage set in a coconut grove with lots of space to chill out. And the beach was bang on our doorstep for swimming, dolphin spotting and the most amazing sunsets.
- Stay at the ITC Grand Central (although it's kind of removed) in the Towers. You can use Starwood points
- Check out the Ellora Caves on Elephanta Island
- Buy a Thailand Tatler
- Stop by Dhobi Ghat. Be prepared for some interactions
- See Haji Ali Dargah
- Go next door to the Mahalaxmi Temple (and bring socks)
- Shop at Bombay Electric if you want fashionable clothing and price is no object
- Lunch at Not Just Jazz by the Bay
- Enjoy evening cocktails on the deck of The Intercontinental
- Visit the Jain temple near Malabar Hill
ITC Grand Central:
Not Just Jazz by the Bay:
Information on many of the tourist spots is available on Wikipedia:
- Visit the Hindu Temple in Varkala Town on a Sunday morning. Intimidating but interesting. You will receive a lot of attention.
- Take the cliffwalk south, past the shops and restaurants. It's very pretty
- Look into the Blue Water Beach Resort
- Book some spa treatments. Spas rated as Olive Leaf or Green Leaf by the Kerala Tourism Board are "legit"
- Just because beer isn't on the menu doesn't mean it isn't available.
- Eat at Cafe del Mar.
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