Listicles

Best Places to visit in January in India

12 January  |  Listicles

It is the beginning of the year and you need to start it off on a positive note. The sub-continent is full of destinations whether it is nature, culture or adventure you are after. Here are some of the best places to visit in India in January when the weather is best for exploration.

Golconda Fort (Telangana)

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West of the bustling city of Hyderabad, one can explore the remnants of its medieval past. Golconda Fort was a citadel of the Qutb Shahi rulers and is where the famous Kohinoor diamond was stored. One of the best places to visit in South India, Golconda is technically a complex of smaller forts and some of the major architectural features here include the gateways, bastions and places of worship. Baradari is the highest point of the fort, where you can enjoy views of the sprawling city below. When in Golconda, you can also visit the beautiful tombs of the Qutb Shahi sultans.

Kalimpong (West Bengal)

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Often mentioned in the shadow of its more famous hill-station counterpart Darjeeling, Kalimpong offers a very distinctive experience to those who want to explore the rustic Himalayan foothills. Kalimpong is a town with a very long history. It was on a major trade route between India and the kingdoms of Tibet and in its more modern avatar is known as an education hub. The town is known for its picturesque location with the Himalayas in the backdrop and many rare orchids can be found here.

Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka)

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If you are in the South of India, then you can start the New Year with a rejuvenating trip to the cool misty forests at the foothills of the Nilgiris. Browse through the top Kabini resorts and enjoy an escapade that would include wildlife sightings, nature trails, and water adventures like kayaking and canoeing. Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary falls in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is home to a wide range of species like the Bengal tiger, leopard, and the Indian bison. Bird watchers would love to observe the myriad avian specimens in the reservoir backwaters of the Kabini River.

Elephanta Caves (Maharashtra)

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Chiselled and sculpted into caves on an island just off the coast of Mumbai, the rock-cut Elephanta caves offer visitors a glimpse into the blend of Buddhist and Hindu cultures of India’s golden age. The carvings and statues here are more than 1500 years old and some of the major highlights include a 20-feet tall Trimurti sculpture and the restored pillars of the cave entrance.

Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)

Fatehpur Sikri was capital of the Mughal Empire for a very short time and was abandoned in 1610, but for those who are looking to experience the grandeur of Persian influenced Mughal design and engineering, there are few places better than this. Some of the striking features of Akbar’s city are the Buland Darwaza, a 55-metre tall arch, the Jama Masjid, and the very popular tomb of the Sufi saint Salim Chisti.
Even if you do not have the time to visit the best tourist places in India listed above there are many fulfilling day-trip and weekend destinations just outside the city. Check out Masinagudi homestays for a rustic experience set in the lap of nature. If you need to soak in some crisp mountain air and enjoy some nice hikes, a Nandi Hills stay is never a bad idea.

Travel Tips for Travelling by Bus

06 January  |  Listicles

Bus journeys are fun in many ways but can easily turn to nightmares if you make the wrong choices or forget some essentials. From seating space to food and hygiene, here are some of the most useful bus trip tips.

  1. Choose Your Seat Carefully

Nowadays, when you book your coach online, you can choose your seat. The place where you sit is the most crucial part of having a comfortable journey. When choosing your seat note the time of the journey and whether you are heading south or north. If you want to avoid the heat, choose a left-hand seat for a northbound journey and a right-hand seat if the bus is heading south. Choosing the right place is one of the major safety tips for travelling in bus journeys. The seats in the middle of the bus are considered to be the most comfortable.  At the back, it gets bumpier. Window seats offer a view but the aisle gives you space to stretch.

  1. Keep Yourself Entertained

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Keep your options open when it comes to entertainment on the journey. Reading can be a good idea if the journey is smooth and there isn’t much movement but it can also cause you a bad headache and even worse, nausea if the road is rough. Your phone is probably your best friend during a journey and there is enough on social media to keep you occupied. However, long journeys could also mean going offline for a long stretch. Keep a movie or your favourite show ready on your phone or tab. Make a travel playlist. There is nothing more satisfying than listening to your favourite songs while staring out at the countryside.

  1. Bring Your Toiletries

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Public rest stops aren’t the most equipped and just getting access to a clean loo is quite a relief. Pack your toiletries with you. Longer journeys will include more stops and you always want to have the option of freshening up if you need to.

  1. Pack Some Treats

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If you are choosing a good bus service, the good chance is that it would stop at a decent restaurant where you can enjoy a good and hygienic meal. However, one cannot take too many chances especially in long journeys that are a little off the popular routes. It is also completely natural to get hungry on the bus. A pack of biscuits or crisps is always handy.

  1. Pack an Energy Drink

Another awkward situation you may face on bus journeys is the need to use the bathroom at the wrong time. Maybe you can get away with stopping the bus once but it is ideal to avoid this situation. Pack a sports energy drink that would help you balance out your body salts without over-hydrating you.

Apart from these travel tips, always remember to be alert about your luggage. If you are a solo traveller try not wandering off and stay close to the crowd during stops. Make some friends even. Some good trip ideas near Bangalore include the forest destinations at the foot of the Nilgiris. Find Kabini river resorts or Masinagudi homestays for a rejuvenating escapade just a short bus ride away. If you can only accommodate a day trip in your schedule, there are resorts in Kanakapura road where you can unwind.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Amazing Destinations for the Hippie in You

27 November  |  Listicles

The backpacker lifestyle is all about freedom and experimentation, as you celebrate the world’s different cultures and landscapes in your adventures and interactions. In the 21st century, the image of a backpacker has changed from the rebels of capitalism to the regular you-and-me, and we all have that hippie in us, waiting to get unleashed. Here are some top Indian destinations – ideal for a hippie experience.

  1. Varkala

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The cliffs of Varkala are a defining feature of this seaside town in Kerala. It has abundant history and a trip to Anjengo Fort is recommended. Apart from a tranquil seaside experience, you can also venture into the backwaters and coastal lakes to witness some unique eco-systems. Take a peek at some rare marine life at the Varkala Aquarium.

  1. Allepey

Allepey or Alapuzzha provides the curious explorer with a miscellany of experiences. The region is famed for its backwaters and beaches, along with many cultural landmarks that chronicle its rich history. A trip in an Allepey boat house is a must, as you sit back and meander over the gentle waters of the picturesque Kumarakom Lake.

  1. Kodaikanal

There are many interesting places to visit in Kodaikanal, a high-altitude nestled in the blue peaks of the Nilgiris. Soak in some quaint colonial vibes in the main town and enjoy exploring the Coaker’s Walk and the panoramic views it offers. Kodaikanal town is dotted with many eateries and cafes. Berijam Lake is another beautiful spot, just outside the town.

  1. Hampi

 A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins of Hampi is part of a surreal landscape that includes some of the greatest temple architecture in South India with the backdrop of the Tungabhadra River. Some of the places to visit in Hampi include Virupaksha Temple complex, the Hemakuta hill monuments and Ganagitti Jain temples.

  1. Gokarna

Beaches, sun, culture and a global crowd – this and more waits for you in Gokarna, located just south of Goa on Karnataka’s coastline. From hikes in the rugged seaside hills and relaxing on Gokarna Beachto jaunts into the less explored areas in the area, Gokarna has a unique natural charm about it.

  1. McLeodGanj

If you are looking for some Zen in your life, then a visit to the monasteries of McLeodganj is warranted. The town is home to the leaders of the Tibetan diaspora in India, and a magnet for backpackers from across the world. Many come to experience the Himalayan nature trails of the region.

  1. Kasol

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A riverside village in the lap of the western Himalayas, Kasol is a tapestry of cosmopolitan crowds, pristine natural beauty, psychedelic experiences and adventure activities. From the scenic Kheerganga trek to a trip to the famous village of Malana, Kasol is the perfect base for your Himachal Hippie experience.

The backpacker routes of India are expanding and the amenities and experiences are only getting better. It is time to make your list and call your friends but while you plan your personal hippie trail, there are some resorts near Bangalore where you can catch a breather from the conference rooms and the cubicles. Step into nature at jungle resorts in Kabini, or visit vineyards and breathe mountain air at a Nandi Hills resort. Start planning.

Must-see International Borders

20 November  |  Listicles

India dominates the sub-continent but our neighbouring countries also offer their own unique cultures and experiences, some shared across borders. We see these borders as dotted lines on maps, a result of political negotiations and cultural generalisations. Take a physical trip to the real borders of India and catch a glimpse at life in these fascinating transit points.

  1. Jaigaon–Phuentsholing

It is common for residents of Assam’s border villages to step across to Bhutan for a picnic or two, but the main India Bhutan border crossing lies in Phuntsholing – the border counterpart to the West Bengal town of Jaigaon. Despite being just a matter of metres, the well organised and quiet Bhutanese town a contrast to the typical Indian buzz of Jaigaon. Indians do not need complex paperwork to enter Bhutan, so you can enjoy a peek into one of the most isolated countries in the world.

  1. Rann of Kutch

The Rann of Kutch is a desolate eco-system that is part of the Thar Desert and falls on the border with Pakistan’s Sindh province. The Rann becomes a wet salty marshland during the monsoon months and is home to some rare species. It is a breeding area for flamingos and also provides habitat to the greatly endangered Indian Wild Ass. The international border falls on the northern part of the Rann of Kutch.

  1. Dawki

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India shares a 4100-km long border with Bangladesh. One of the best border towns on this long border is Dawki in Meghalaya, famed for its crystal clear rivers and streams and for being a hub of freshwater scuba diving. The river Umngot acts as a natural boundary of sorts between the two countries, along with the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, which give way to the plains of Sylhet. The presence of the tribes living on both sides of the border is an example of how young international boundaries can divide old communities.

  1. Nathu-La

Nathu-La Pass on the northern border of Sikkim is one of the most popular and historic mountain passes and today acts as a stage of interaction between India and China. The trip to Nathu-La itself is a great experience as you climb up to more than 4000 metres above sea level, as you negotiate narrow roads on the sides of mountains. Tsongo Lake is another popular attraction on the way.

  1. Dhanushkodi

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Until 1964, Dhanushkodi was the cross point from the Indian side to Sri Lanka, a ferry service that was part of a larger rail network between the two countries. The Rameshwaram Cyclone of 1964 changed that and Dhanushkodi now lies abandoned, at the tip of the sub-continent. The Dhanushkodi beach and the ghost town are now rather offbeat attractions in the Rameshwaram route. One of the highlights of a Dhanushkodi visit is the road from Rameshwaram to the town, a straight stretch with the ocean on both sides.

  1. Kakarbhitta and Pashupatinagar

The IndiaNepal border stretches from Garhwal to Darjeeling districts. If you are travelling from India to Nepal by road, the most common border crossing is Kakarbhitta, a border town on the Nepalese side which is around 35 kms from New Jaipalguri. Kakarbhitta is a busy town and close to an airport, where you can catch flights to Kathmandu. The border crossing from Darjeeling to Pashupatinagar is another popular site, involving a scenic route through thick pine forests.

An escape to the border frontiers need to be planned in detail but you can also step out for a weekend to catch a break in resorts near Bangalore. There are jungle resorts in Kabini and for something close you can opt for a Nandi Hills resort for a rejuvenating weekend. And once you get a taste of the adventure you can start planning your border visits with your travel buddies.

Tips for your First Trek to the Himalaya

13 November  |  Listicles

Most of us romanticize treks, until of course; we finally step on to the trail. Trekking in the Himalayas rewards you with postcard-perfect vistas, snow-capped peaks, white rushing waters and clear streams – but it also involves you stepping off the grid, for a few hours maybe, a few days or weeks too. Therefore it is important that you do not take this activity lightly, for nature can be a capricious guardian and a small mistake or oversight can make things go a little awry. Here are a few trekking tips.

  1. Design an Itinerary

You cannot trek the Himalayas without a proper itinerary. There are myriad trekking routes, some that crisscross each other and some that are part of a larger trail. Find a route that will fit into your timeline and underline the stops where you will camp/stay and take meal breaks.

  1. Set your budget

With Himalaya trekking, you have to be prepared to pay more for certain items and services, especially in places that are far from urban centres. You may also need to rent camping gear or hire porters – and this will cost a certain fixed price, which is usually non-negotiable. There are lots of internet forums which will give you granular details on expenditures. Research well, determine your budget and design a trip around it – keeping extra aside for emergencies.

  1. Time your trek

It is important that you ease yourself into the trek and maintain periodical targets on your progress. If you start off too intensely, you will get exhausted sooner. If you have a slow phase, you will have to speed up and that too will lead to exhaustion. When choosing an itinerary, give yourself some buffer time, so you can be flexible with your pace and also enjoy some scenic breaks. It is, after all, the Himalayas.

  1. Safety First – Check your Gear

High-altitude treks require specific gear because of the low temperatures. Wear your trekking shoes a few times before you set off for your trek and if you are carrying your own tents and bedding, give them a few trials. Check for loose parts and holes and get them fix.

  1. Respect Your Environment

When you trek the Himalayas, you are entering a fragile eco-system. Make sure you are not disposing of your waste and garbage recklessly. Part of the trekking experience is to immerse oneself into the environment. Be aware of cultural sensitivities too.

  1. Bring your Essential Medication

You will be exposed to stressful conditions during a trek so there is bound to be a sniffle or two. Carry medicines for fever, allergies and acidity. Also keep in mind the different symptoms of altitude sickness and keep medicines handy as a last resort. Motion sickness medicines and antibiotics are also part of the list. Keep some extra nutrition handy. Water purification tablets or portable filters like Lifestraw are a great addition to the list.

  1. The Essentials

Cold weather and windproof clothing, appropriate camping and sleeping gear, sunscreen and shades, insect repellent, Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a multi-purpose knife, a sturdy backpack, a navigation tool and a good flashlight or headlamp are just some of the essentials for a trek.

Not just for the Himalayas, but you can keep these trekking tips in mind even for your weekend escapades closer to home. There are many adventurous resorts in Bangalorewhich allow you some outdoors time. Book a Nandi Hills resort and enjoy some cool air or find adventure in the jungle resorts in Kabini. While you step out for even the shortest of hikes, be prudent about where you step, what you wear and make sure your backpack has all the essentials.

5 Best places to travel in November

08 November  |  Listicles

November is here and the weather is perfect for a trip with friends and family. All over India, there are many destinations which come alive in this magical month, marking the end of another year and the onset of winter. From the spiritual to the cultural, here are some of the best places to visit in November in India.

  1. Pushkar, Rajasthan

Get a dose of vibrant desert life at the famous camel fair of Pushkar, one of the holiest cities in North India. This fair is one of the oldest livestock fair in the country and highlights include the exhibition of different breeds of horses, camels and cattle. The fair is also a showcase of local arts and crafts where you can pick up vibrantly designed jewelry, textiles and other decorative pieces for the home. Make sure you do not miss the camel races and riding skills shows. Top places to visit in Pushkar include the Brahma Ghat and the Meera Temple.

  1. Old Goa

St. Francis Xavier was one of the most influential and revered Christian missionary and his remains now rest in a silver casket in Goa’s famous Church of Bom Jesus. Every year thousands gather, as the feast of the saint is celebrated in total pomp and splendour. This cultural event offers visitors a chance to experience the original laidback Goan Christian culture, which has been overshadowed by the state’s modern image of a party destination. And of course, while you are in India’s vacation capital, you can check out the best beaches in Goa to complete your seaside escapade.

  1. Kabini, Karnataka

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As winter begins, you can celebrate the new season by stepping away from the crowds and enjoying some adventures in some of India’s most pristine forests. Browse through some Kabini resorts to enjoy memorable momentsin this part ofthe Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. The riverine landscape is a magnet for a diverse spectrum of bird and animal species, so get your binoculars and DLSRs ready. Kabini is also leopard territory, so watch out for this elusive cat in your safaris.

  1. Coorg, Karnataka

The verdant hills of Coorg could be your November destination. One of the biggest occasions on the social calendar here is Puthari, the harvest festival of the Kodava. The opening ritual of this auspicious day involves the cutting of a fresh paddy sheaf. Witness up close the rich traditions of this storied community, including the traditional attires and special local cuisines during the festival days. The opening puja at the Igguthappa Temple marks the beginning of Puthari. Highlights of this festival include various folk songs and dance.

  1. Hampi, Karnataka

The Vijaya Utsav is a beautiful spectacle set amidst the glorious structures of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 360 kms away from Bangalore. The annual festival is a cultural extravaganza as the lit-up architectural ruins provide the stage for myriad performances, a celebration of the region’s rich legacy. You can also immerse yourself in the local arts and craft during this festival – there will be stalls selling puppets and other local handicrafts. Decorated elephants and people in attire from the golden age of the Vijayanagar Empire are some highlights, along with a concert of folk music, an elephant parade and a light and sound show.

Besides these major destinations, you can also choose some nearby resorts in Bangalore for a good November getaway. Head over to Mysore for some cultural treats or enjoy rejuvenating cool weather in a Nandi Hills resort. A short vacation is the best way to recharge and refresh – start planning your adventure.