Bangalore’s Top Vegetarian Eateries

28 December  |  Listicles

Bangalore is an epicurean haven. From the choicest of steaks to some of the most original dosa recipes, the food here reflects the cosmopolitan soul of this dynamic city. If you are a foodie and you have stumbled into the Garden City, then you will probably never want to leave.

It would be impossible, to sum up, the best restaurants in Bangalore in a few words, but you can at least learn about some of the most iconic ones which serve wholesome vegetarian food.

VV Puram Food Street

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If you are looking for a food street Bangalore boasts Visveswarapuram. Evenings are the best time to explore this mosaic of delicious flavors and spicy aromas. The Gobi Manchurian roll is a bit of a curiosity, a blend of Indian-Chinese with the convenience of street food. The Bath Masala dosa, on the other hand, is strictly South, but another innovation nevertheless. The floating pani puri at the famous Ganesh Chaats has many fans.

Central Tiffin Room

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Located in the Malleshwaram neighbourhood of Bangalore, Central Tiffin Room or CTR as it is commonly known has been a foodie’s paradise since the 1920s. The Benne Masala Dosa here is one of the celebrated culinary treasures of Bangalore but it is not the only highlight of the menu. Be sure to try out the Mangalore bajji and kesari bath. Top it up with an invigorating filter coffee.

Brahmin’s Coffee Bar

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Located in Basavanagudi, the Brahmin’s coffee bar is loved for its simplicity. It is a quintessential old-school Bangalore joint, where you can enjoy delicious and cheap takeaways or simple loiter around sipping on a perfectly brewed filter coffee. Some of the other specialities here include the kesari bath and idli vada.

Rakesh Kumar Pani Puri Stall

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For over two decades, the Rakesh Kumar Pani Puri Stall has been the place to be for all lovers of this popular Indian snack. This eatery has may be known for its spicy and tangy pani puris but other items that patrons swear by are churmur chaat and dahi puri.

Vidyarthi Bhavan

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The bustling hub of Gandhi Bazaar is home to many special eateries and the Vidyarthi Bhavan is where you can tuck into some delightful South Indian comfort food and snacks. A glance at its menu is like charting the food history of Bangalore’s common man. The restaurant which started off as a student hub in pre-independence India is now a landmark for any food lover in the city.

MTR, Lalbagh

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The Marvalli Tiffin Room or MTR in Lalbagh is a famous restaurant in a popular Bangalore location. This restaurant is now a big brand, with branches in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The rava idli that we all love was invented by MTR. If you are visiting on a Sunday, try out the Chandrahara, an MTR special dessert.

Apart from these, there are restaurants in Koramangala which offer cuisines from all over. Many top restaurants in Indiranagar, one of Bangalore’s top lifestyle destinations, have put the city on the culinary map of the world.

In case you need a break, Bangalore also has some top weekend getaways. Whether it is a romantic getaway or a corporate day outing, there are many resorts near Bangalore where you can unwind. If you want to dig into delicious food in the midst of a primaeval wilderness, you can book a resort in Kabini, a location famous for its wildlife and adventure activities.

 

History of Rowing in India

28 December  |  Adventure & Travel

One has to go back to 1858 to chart the history of rowing as a sport in India. The Calcutta Rowing Club is in fact, one of the oldest in the world. Rowing today is one of the most established disciplines in the Olympics. India has never won a rowing medal in the Olympics but claimed the gold in the 2010 Asian Games, in the individual category.

Rowing as a traditional sport in the subcontinent goes back millennia. Today we are familiar with the Onam races – the historic and famous Vallam Kalli. The annual snake boat race is held in the backwaters of Kerala and the most famous tournament is the Nehru Trophy. There are different categories of boats. The longest one is close to 150 feet long and accommodates 110 rowers. One can imagine a race of 20 boats, a spectacle of 2200 rowers competing at the same time.

Another famous boat race is held in Dawki, Meghalaya, on the clear waters of the Umngot River. The annual affair happens in the months of March or April. Manipur is also home to a rich rowing tradition. Heikru Hidongba is a festival that has been celebrated in the Imphal valley for more than a thousand years. One of the major highlights of this festival is, you guessed it, a boat race.

Where can we row in Karnataka?

If you want to experience rowing in Bangalore, the main organizations that facilitate competitions and workshops are the Karnataka Amateur Rowing Association and the Trishna Yacht Club.

You can also indulge in an adrenaline-raising rowing experience in the wild. There are Kabini River resorts where visitors can learn the basics of this sport and negotiate the currents of the rivers. Rowing in the river would be a perfect team building activity for a corporate day outing. The sport tests the participants’ stamina and coordination. The beautiful scenery around the waters certainly helps add a memorable background to this occasion. You can enjoy some competitive rowing or you can just learn the paddling techniques and enjoy a few rounds on the currents.

A rowing experience in the wild would start with safety tips and instructions from an expert. Once you are ready to go, you will get a chance to row along the curves and multiple currents of the river, as you work with your fellow boat members on how to navigate the river.

Some of the other popular boat based adventure activities you can experience in Karnataka include river rafting in Coorg. Many adventurers are heading off to Uttara Kannada district to enjoy the Dandeli River rafting rapids in the lap of the Western Ghats.

Karnataka is a state that boasts some of the most pristine riverine landscapes in India, ripe for exploration. Informed travellers are seeking eco-tourism options as a way to unwind and take a break from the daily grind. Bangalore is favourably located from many eco-tourism destinations. From resorts in Masinagudi to a short stay in Nandi Hills, there is something for everyone, the trekkers, wildlife photographers, and the adrenaline junkies.

5 Temples in Coastal Karnataka You Cannot Miss

21 December  |  Listicles

Karnataka has an abundance of natural and cultural getaways. The long coastline is home to many historic towns and villages, religious nerve centres flanked by green mountains and the ocean. The temples of Karnataka also speak of glorious ages that live on in their ornate architecture and grand engineering. It is always recommended that you visit these famous temples in Karnataka, whenever you get the chance.

  1. Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple

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Gokarna’s beaches are famed as a bohemian destination – a favourite for backpackers and city slickers on a weekend break. The ancient temple town is also home to the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple, a 4th century structure dedicated to Shiva. The Gokarna temple is one of the most important shrines in Karnataka and is a place where many perform death rites for loved ones. The granite complex is an ideal example of Dravidian architecture.

  1. Kollur Mookambika Temple

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Head over to Kollur to visit another iconic place of worship in coastal Karnataka. Striking features of the Mookambika Temple include the ornate pillars on both levels and the open courtyard, along with the golden crest. The architecture of the temple is associated with styles more prevalent in the neighbouring state of Kerala. The temple’s location on the banks of the river Sauparni is another visual highlight.

  1. Dharmasthala Manjunatha Swamy Temple

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An 800-year-old structure, the Dharmasthala temple is dedicated to Manjunatha or Shiva. The unique aspect of this temple, which is located close to the banks of the Nethravathi River, is that it is dedicated to the Shaiva sect of Hinduism, the priests are Vaishnava and the administration is Jain. Some of the main features of this temple include the main gateway and the large Baahubali statue.

  1. Guddattu Mahaganapathi Temple

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The Guddattu Mahaganapathi Temple is located at the foot of a large granite rock and it is dedicated to Lord Ganapathi, whose deity is submerged in water in a cave-like structure. This temple is only 35 kms from Udupi.

  1. Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple

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Located in Dakshina Kannada district, Kateel is an old temple town which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. The most famous attraction here is the Durgaparameshwari Temple, built on an islet of the river Nandini. One can also enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and hills from this vantage point on the river.

  1. Visit Maravanthe Beach

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A pristine and picturesque seaside experience is in store for those who choose Maravanthe as their destination. The village is located just 55 kms from Udupi and the Suparnika River that flows through the place adds another dimension to the stunning landscape. The main cultural attraction near Maravanthe beach is the Maraswamy temple. Of the three deities worshipped at the temple, one is a unique wild boar incarnation.

Apart from the coastal scenery and the famous Karnataka temples, there are many getaways close to Bangalore. Browse through some Kabini river resorts for a nice weekend in the pristine wilderness. You can also find a resort in Masinagudi and enjoy safaris and other activities in the Mudumalai National Park. In case you are not looking to stray too far from the city limits, there are many resorts near Bangalore to choose from.

New Year Escapes from Bangalore

21 December  |  Adventure & Travel

Have you made your New Year plans yet?  Is it going to another last-moment, overpriced party? Maybe this time, you want to avoid the hangover and travel somewhere with your friends and loved ones instead. Usher in the New Year at one of these charming destinations and enjoy the distinctive experiences that they offer.

Pondicherry

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A vignette of Pondicherry’s colonial past can be felt in detail as one wanders around the neat villas of the French Quarter. The union territory tucked on the Eastern coast is one of the most visited seaside destinations in India, but its attractions are more than just sun and surf. Culturally, Pondicherry and the nearby settlement of Auroville offer visitors a glimpse into the bohemian side of this region. Foodies would love Pondi, where you get the best of Chettinad and local seafood, and you can also munch on baguettes and pizzas. Places to visit in Pondicherry would include the Promenade and its many attractions, Auroville beach and the gothic Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Kabini

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There is no dearth of natural getaways close to Bangalore and Kabini ranks right up there. Research your options of Kabini resorts and find yourself a beautiful stage for the festivities, amidst the pristine riverine landscape of this wild region. Activities you can enjoy here include kayaking and trekking. Kabini is also known as a great place for wildlife sightings; the leopards here have been captured by many top photographers. Can there be a better excuse for a safari?

Masinagudi

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A scenic xx-km drive away from Bangalore, Masinagudi is located in the heart of one of Southern India’s most diverse wilderness areas. A few days here would rejuvenate even the weariest of souls. There are many Masinagudi resorts you can choose from. Some of the highlights here include the Kalhatti waterfalls. Spend your holiday with some gentle pachyderms at the Theppakadu Elephant Camp. You can also venture into the Mudumalai National Park on a safari trip.

Wayanad

Nestled in misty mountains, Wayanad is a wild place. The Asiatic elephant roams the jungles here in large herds and waterfalls gush across the landscape. An escapade here in New Years’ will provide you with a contrasting experience, where strobe lights are replaced by the verdant scenery, and the soundtrack would be the chirping of tropical birds. Chembra peak and Mudumalai National Park are some of the places to visit in Wayanad.

Chikmagalur

If you want some nippy mountain air to wake you up on the first day of January, then the green meadows and sprawling coffee estates of Chikmagalur are the perfect getaways. There are many places to visit in Chikmagalur. Have some good old-fashioned outdoor fun with a trek to Kudremukh peak. Baba Budan Giri is another popular trek-worthy destination. The Hebbe Falls is a popular attraction.

If your schedule cannot accommodate a Masinagudi homestay experience or a trip to Chikmagalur, there are many resorts near Bangalore where you can enjoy the biggest party of the year. You can stay in Nandi Hills for a luxurious eco-friendly getaway and enjoy some excursions into the nearby countryside. Make your plans, and relish the anticipation of a new year in a new destination.

Things to do in Bangalore

12 December  |  Listicles

Bangalore tourism revolves around its lifestyle and entertainment centres, sprinkled with a heavy dose of culture. From delicious cuisines to amusement park rides, the city is a treasure-trove of activity if you look in the right places. Here are some things to do in Bangalore, to ensure that you feel the multiple vibes of the Garden City.

  1. Enjoy Nature at Cubbon Park

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For close to 150 years, Cubbon Park has been the lungs of the city of Bangalore. Spread over 100 acres, a morning trip to this centrally located park is recommended. Some of the highlights here include a vast collection of exotic plants and trees, including beautiful Golden Oaks and Gulmohars.

  1. Stargazing at the Planetarium

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The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is an iconic stop on the Bangalore sightseeing itinerary.It is one of five present in India and there are many informative and entertaining shows in the domed auditorium of this institution, perfect for space enthusiasts. Highlights include the Dawn of the Space Age and Exploring the Universe shows.

  1. The National Gallery of Modern Art

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One of the places to see in Bangalore is the National Gallery of Modern Art, home to hundreds of exhibits by prominent artists of the country. Some of the famous names present in the collections here include Rabindranath Tagore and the 19th century Indian painter, Raja Ravi Varma.

  1. Bannerghatta National Park

One of the major tourist places in Bangalore, Bannerghatta National Park is just outside the city limits and one of the major attractions here is the Safari. Hop into a vehicle and take a tour of the tiger and lion enclosures for a thrilling experience.

  1. Visit the ISKCON Bangalore

Located in the northern part of the city, the beautiful ISCKON temple is one of the major spiritual attractions of Bangalore. There are multiple shrines and areas in the sprawling complex and many markets have sprung outside, where you can pick up religious articles and decor.

  1. Feel Majestic at Bangalore Palace

A piece of Tudor grandeur that looms amidst expansive grounds, the Bangalore Palace is a reflection of the opulence and splendour of Mysore’s old royal family. Some of the striking features of the building include the turrets and battlements. The Palace houses many valuable pieces of art and the Durbar Hall is one of the highlights of the interior structure.

  1. Shop and Pub at MG Road

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Bangalore is a cosmopolitan haven and the city loves to celebrate the finer things of life. Step into the popular watering holes of MG Road. Some of India’s best micro-breweries are in this part of Bangalore so you can skip your usual brews and try out some artisan lagers and ales. MG Road is also the retail centre of the city, where you can check out the biggest brands and unwind at the many malls in the vicinity.

  1. Fun at Innovative Film City

One of the popular places to see in Bangalore is Innovative Film City, a theme park where you can spend an entire day with friends and family. Some of the attractions here include the Aqua Kingdom and Cartoon City. Have some fun in the mini-golf area.

You can also step into the countryside for some fun. There are many resorts near Bangalore, ideal for a quick getaway. Bangalore is also a gateway to pristine wilderness. Enjoy some adventures at a jungle resort in Masinagudi. There are Kabini river resorts where you can witness the beauty of Karnataka’s famed forests.

Things to do in Discovery Village Kabini

12 December  |  At Discovery Village

An escapade into the wilderness is a rejuvenating experience. At Discovery Village’s Kabini resort, you can connect with nature while enjoying a tranquil stay with all the modern conveniences you need.Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the landscape with a host of activities which will only make you crave for more. From jungle safari to river adventures, memorable experiences await the curious traveller.

About Kabini Resort

The Kabini River is one of the important tributaries of the Kaveri, and it originates in the misty mountains of Wayanad. Discovery Village’s Kabini Jungle Resort is located just 220 kms from Bangalore and getting there involves a scenic drive into the verdant ranges of the Nagarhole National Park. The rooms here are well-equipped and comfortable, designed keeping the vernacular architecture in mind and fitted with all the amenities you expect. Swimming pool facilities and an activity zone make this resort an ideal choice for large groups, such as colleagues on a corporate outing.

Step into the Water

Discovery Village Kabini is in river country and you need to experience the cool gushing waters to get the full experience of the place. Enjoy sessions of kayaking, as you negotiate the currents and observe the plant and animal life around you. You can also enjoy a relaxed boating experience on the waters of the Kabini River, a perfect activity if you are with the family. There are many water-based activities like canoe-building and raft building, which can be highlights of a corporate trip.

Wildlife Wonders

The forests around Kabini are known for the rich diversity of flora and fauna. Wildlife enthusiasts will love to embark on a Kabini safari. Animals like the tiger and the leopard prowl these jungles, rich in prey. Evenings are considered a great time to spot the leopards of this range, including their stunning melanistic versions, commonly called black panthers. The river is home to the Indian freshwater crocodile and a large number of waterfowl. Bird watchers would love a trip here – some of the bird species found are great cormorants, ospreys, eagles, Malabar trogon and more. In total, more than 350 species of birds have been identified in the Kabini forests. When in Kabini, you will also encounter majestic pachyderms, as the range is part of a very large habitat for Asian elephants. Early mornings and just before dusk are a good time to enjoy a safari in these deep woods.

Other Activities

Nature walks are a good way to see up close, the myriad plant species of the region, and feel the terrain up close. Nothing can beat the thrill of experiencing the forest when the predators prowl and darkness prevails. Night trails allow you to immerse yourself in this ultimate setting. Target shooting is another fun group activity at the Kabini resort, where you can enjoy some good-natured competition and bond with the rest of the gang.

Bangalore with its constant buzz is also a gateway to some of the best kept natural secrets of Southern India. Discovery Village’sresort inKabini blends right into the pristine environment, offering you a stage to unwind and indulge.

If you are looking for something closer you can opt for a stay in Nandi Hills, where you can enjoy some trekking. These resorts near Bangalore are also ideal for a corporate day outing, with enough activities to ensure bonding between participants.

5 Essential Hacks for Travelling with Small Kids

07 December  |  Listicles

Travelling with small kidsis a very enriching experience. Family vacations are full of unforgettable moments and the bonding in a trip is unforgettable.  For older children, travelling is a priceless cultural education. A lot of new parents do dread the fact that a getaway with kids can have some avoidable moments. Here are some travel hacks that will help you plan a perfect trip with the little ones.

  1. Plan your packing

It is very important that your packing is planned well. Baby travel involves a few extra essentials, from medicines to sanitary napkins and special baby food, which might not be available at your destination. Then there are the different clothing materials to make sure the little one is protected from inclement weather.

You are basically packing on behalf of your small kids; it is highly unlikely that your seven-year-oldwill think of throwing in an extra jumper in case the evenings in Madikeri get a little nippy. Therefore you need to plan very well, for every scenario.

  1. Plan Travel Entertainment

What you are looking for on your trip is totally different from what your children are looking for in their experience. AT the end of the day, no matter how beautiful that sunset is over the sea, children get restless and bored. This can lead to unpleasant moments, a bit of a dampener on your perfectly planned (and expensive) holiday. Thankfully, that obsession with the tablet that little Nisha or Rahul has can be a blessing in disguise. When you are on a road trip, you can also engage the kids with some interactive games.

  1. ChooseKid-Friendly Lodging

When you travel with kids, it is important to choose a place that is sensitive to their special requirements. A nature-filled experience is always an advantage. There are Kabini river resorts where your small children can engage in activities in a safe and secure environment.

If you are going for a long vacation which involves some stops where you don’t want to take the kids, you need to find a hotel that provides day-care centre services. Check out the room pictures online to ensure that it is a safe layout for your children. Remember that they tend to fall and stumble around once in a while.

  1. Baby Travel Gear

When you are travelling with an infant, it is always recommended that you invest in some specific gear to keep the precious one comfortable and secure. Strollers and carriers will help with your mobility. Foldable cribs are also another great addition to your baby travel gear list. That way, your baby can rest safely nearby while you have your hotel room bed to yourself.

  1. Dirty Laundry Storage

Children get messy more than adults. Hence you will first need to pack from extra clothes to avoid expensive laundry bills, and, when those clothes start getting dirty you need to keep them separate from your main luggage. Carry plastic bags, it is the cheapest hack for this problem.

You can choose from a range of options for your family trip. It does not have to be a long vacation too. You can find a kid-friendly resort near Bangalore, or find a nice place to stay in Nandi Hills, where a weekend with the family with fun activities can be just the rejuvenating experience that you need.

Responsible Travel

07 December  |  Adventure & Travel

The Rise of Ecotourism

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world, a lifeline for many regions. From cosy homestays to larger than life luxury hotels, the tourism industry needs a lot of resources to run. Travellers contribute to a large section of the carbon emissions. With unsustainable business models and the vagaries of climate change becoming a real concern, ecotourism has risen as a responsible option for a large majority. In fact, ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of the entire tourism industry.

Ecotourism allows you to enjoy all the luxuries of travel, but in a manner that is in harmony with the destination that you have chosen. The focus on ecotourism is the exclusive natural beauty of a place, and business models of this type tend to contribute to conservation efforts. Wildlife is an integral part of ecotourism and the number of travellers opting for a jungle safari as a highlight experience is increasing every year.A traveller who is conscious of his or her impact on the local environment, and enjoys more rustic and earthy experiences, would choose the ecotourism route, and the rewards are plenty.

How can I be an eco-friendly traveller?

The profile of an eco-conscious traveller can be described as someone who is informed and passionate about the destinations he or she covers. If you love the outdoors, then ecotourism is tailor-made for you. Find a minimally intrusive, activity-based itinerary that would put you in the midst of nature.

Riverine landscapes allow for some of the most eco-friendly activities that also provide a big dose of exhilaration. Kayaking is an increasingly popular recreational activity and Southern India’s forest regions are full of water bodies waiting to be navigated. If you are looking for something more relaxing, you can enjoy a session of boating.

To be an eco-friendly traveller, you also need to ensure that the hotel or resort you stay in uses green methods as part of its operations. It could be self-generated energy or responsible water resource management. Building designs go a long way in determining the amount of energy required to run them. Ecotourism involves architecture and engineering that is in harmony with the local area.

Innovation and smart engineering are the hallmarks of a fun ecotourism destination. Local traditions and resources are maintained while modern amenities are not compromised. Choose resorts that work on promoting natural beauty over luxury, the latter should be an add-on rather than the main attraction.

You don’t have to head off too far for some sustainable travelling. There are many resorts near Bangalore and surrounding districts where you will enjoy unique and responsible experiences. A Kabini safari is a great introduction to the rich wildlife of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, one of India’s largest patches of continuous wilderness.Find Kabini river resorts where you can literally immerse yourself in the pristine, untouched environment whilst relishing all the modern luxuries. You can even organize a corporate day outing based on the principles of sustainability, local flavour, and of course, lots of fun.

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