Travelling is one of the most amazing and wonderful experiences that changes a person’s life. It is an exercise that makes you an artist, a creative thinker and above all a better human being. A person who travels a lot is totally different from others, and that can only be realized when you spend time with a travel buff. Dating a travel buff is no less than an awesome experience and the perks you’ll enjoy in return are priceless.
If you have not yet felt this life changing miracle, let us tell you the ways. And if you are doing it already; then you’ll be able to relate well. Don’t forget to give us a high five later. Here are the top perks you can enjoy if you date a die-hard traveller.
1. They Will Become your Travel Google: Know about the top places for sightseeing, vacations and destinations for your next trip as they have all the information that you need.
2. They Make the Best Travel buddies: A trip with a travel buff gives you a wonderful experience of exploring and enjoying the destination to the most. They are perfect travel partners and you’ll enjoy a lot in their company.
3. They’ll Get You Gifts from Different Places: Imagine your home filled with unique lamps, art works and paintings from different corners of the world. This will happen when your traveller guy/girl goes to a new place and brings something as a token of remembrance.
4. They are Always Ready to Travel: Even if your friends ditch at the last moment of your trip, your man/woman will always be there for you. You can always keep them for a back-up for your quick getaway and they’ll join wholeheartedly. Whether it’s a last minute plan or a pre-planned holiday, they will always be in.
5. They Love Trying New Things: Whether it’s about trying a new cuisine or going to a new destination, they will support you happily. You won’t have to think much before asking them to do something different. So, how about tasting Sushi in Japan or Feni in Goa with the man/woman of your life?
6. They are Amazing Entertainers: There won’t be a single dull moment in your relationship as they will always have something to tell you. Conversations with them will help you to learn new things and know more about them. You will have your own personal entertainer, yes free of cost! LOL.
7. They’ll Never Judge You: The best thing about dating a travel buff is that they don’t judge. They’ll accept you for what you are. You will get the freedom of doing anything and you can always open up your heart to them.
So, if you are enjoying the perks, you are the luckiest and if not, then you need to find one traveller guy/girl soon.
“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”~ Robert Frost
Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day just round-the-corner, it’s time for couples to get all lovey-dovey. Everything around seems to have just turned so amazing, with the air so fresh, sun so bright and moon so white. Couples are now too busy trying to figure out how to make the day special for their super special ones. Gifts, flowers, cards, pendants, teddies, movie tickets, candle-lit dinners, chocolates and…the list goes on.
Now, what is common between love and chocolates? Anyone? Yes… you are right, they both are capable of melting hearts. And the warm combination of the two can be lovingly relished on Valentine’s Day with these mouth-watering, lip-smacking, finger-licking scrumptious chocolate desserts.
A choco-cream filling, coated with chopped toasted hazelnuts, almonds or coconut along with chocolates and cocoa powder, shaped into spheres to add that perfect taste to an otherwise perfect day.
Blackforest Mousse Cake
What slowly sets on your taste buds are irresistible layers of cake, cream, butter, vanilla, blackberries, cherries and red currants.
The easiest way to sweep your sweetheart’s feet is with these delicious and classic chocolate fudge, blended with loads of butter and chocolate. Additional nuts would sprinkle more magic.
Rum Chocolate Cake
Dark chocolate and rum. Wow, yummy! What sets it apart is the dense flavours of this decadent cake which gets all intense on your senses with time.
Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts
What makes everybody’s favourite brownies all the more delicious is the addition of toasted walnuts just before baking the brownies, which brings in added flavours and new dimensions.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheese Cake
A divinely luscious cheesecake with rich chocolate, choco-hazelnut crust and creamy topping makes for an obvious choice for Valentine’s Day.
Moist and superb chocolatey brownies loaded with chocolate covered espresso beans and mocha squares create an appetizing, full-flavoured and extremely delicious decadent dessert.
Chocolate Lava Cake
An absolute delight for Valentine’s Day, the chocolate lava cake keeps the spirit of love flowing with its gooey centre and dense chocolate flavour.
Now that you know how to get a chocolatey win over your sweetheart, here’s wishing all a lovely Valentine’s Day ahead.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”~ Charles M. Schulz
Swimming in outdoor pool is what most of us die for. But, nothing can beat the surreal experience of swimming in an infinity pool, a water body that merges effortlessly into surrounding natural landscapes without clear cut edges. Here, the visual effect of the water reaching out to horizon and vanishing to infinity is a sight to behold forever. Infinity pools are set either in the midst of mountains or rainforest or right in front of a beach or harbour. They are dreamlike, they are fulfilling, they are absolutely pristine, they lead to an outright surreal experience. Many luxury hotels have adopted the concept of infinity pools, just to render a sweet refreshing touch to vacation. Goibibo has crafted a list of 10 breathtaking infinity pools in India, just for you. Take a look!
The Leela Palace, New Delhi
Needless to stay, the hotel boasts of a plush ambience, and its uniquely designed rooftop infinity pool is its sole element that help keep yourself away from the hustle bustle of the city. Submerge in the temperature controlled water of the pool and lose yourself to the spectacular vistas of the bustling city below.
The unique feature: This is the capital’s only temperature controlled rooftop infinity pool. Come, dip, breathe and rejuvenate!
Leela Kovalam, Kerala
Two infinity swimming pools and flawless radiant views of the long swathe of Arabian Sea’s coastline are much awaited visual treats. The pool in the central activity area of the Beach-View wing is encapsulated by a series of coconut grooves. The club house infinity pool perched atop the sea-view wing lets you bask in soothing waters and soak in the spectacular sunset views. Flanked by two wonderful beaches, Leela Kovalam makes way for an intensified swimming experience.
The unique feature: There are two infinity pools, so be prepared to double your experience.
Taj Malabar, Kochi
The hotel stares right at the wondrous backwaters of Kochi. The waters of its infinity pool, Aquarius, seem to merge with blue prismatic waters of Kochi harbour, thereby lending a highly striking view. The magnificent illusion it creates is one of lifetime experiences. Be it morning or evening, view from Aquarius is always spellbound.
The unique feature: Specially arranged candle-light dinner on the lawns of the pool. Sigh!!
Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala
Enamoured by tall palm trees, Kumarakom Lake Resort on the banks of Vembanad Lake is bestowed with a gorgeous artificial element, the infinity pool. While you unwind at the pool, the impressive views of blue-and-green expanse will come their way to hold you back for hours. The memory is bound to get etched in your mind forever.
The unique feature: An inviting jacuzzi by the poolside doubles the experience of relaxing under open sky.
Alila Diwa, Goa
Unwind yourself just like the infinity pool of the resort stretches itself into lush green paddy fields of Goa. It gives an exclusive chance to discover the beauty of Goa beyond beaches. The resort is an enclave of exclusivity and its endless infinity pool is one that steals your heart away. Swim, breathe and get lost in paradise.
The unique feature: The comfort of distinguished floating lounge chairs, which falls short of words to be described.
Wildernest Country Resort, Goa
How can the stunning beauty of the infinity pool of Wildernest Country Resort be left out? The pool melts gradually into the surrounding landscape of hills and valleys and lend the setting for a perfect date with the horizon. Be it dawn or dusk, it encapsulates you with myriad vistas formed as a melange of man and nature.
The unique feature: The sweet fragrance of medicinal plants that enamours you while bathing.
The 5 star property in the heart of Kolkata boasts of rooftop infinity pool that stretches to the horizon limitlessly. The pool is dramatic and while swimming, you can immerse in the captivating views of the city that extends up to the airport. Grasp the feel of being in a rooftop oasis in the midst of an otherwise thriving city.
The unique feature: An added dash of oomph is the romantic open air dining. Your 1st date is about to happen? Book a table by the pool side.
Wildflower Hall, Shimla
Perched atop almost 8,250 feet, swimming in the infinity pool of Wildflower Hall gives an otherworldly experience of swimming amid mountains. While the never-ending stretch of cedar and pine trees delight the eyes, the view of snowy Himalayas at a distance is equally ravishing.
The unique feature: To add on to your comfort and healthy vacation, the outdoor pool is connected to a heated indoor pool.
Orange County Resort, Kabini
The azure waters of the infinity pool create an illusion of merging with the placid lake at Nagarhole. For a relaxed course on timelessness and to soak in an enchanting atmosphere, take gentle dips in the prismatic waters. Simply relax and get transferred to a world where time knows no limits. The golden morning sky or the russet sunset, all lend to the most memorable experience of swimming in an infinity pool.
The unique feature: Mixed experience contributed by the resort’s rustic look and its contemporary style pool.
Kurumba Village Resort, Coonoor
Situated amid the alluring Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu, Kurumba Village Resort is blessed with a spellbound infinity pool that stretches to the lush green valley of the region. A fascinating mesh of natural and artificial marvels, the pool is just perfect to swim, rejuvenate and go deep into the wonders of nature.
The unique feature: Though the resort is spread over huge landscape, it makes sure that the pool is just a walk away from all suites and cottages.
Forget tanning, just bask in the pool waters right under the blue dazzling sky, and let your tiredness melt away. Go, experience and share your story with us!
Engaged? Toh matlab baat pakki! And before you know, it’s time for the pre-wedding shoot. As if writing down the to-do list for the marriage preparation was not enough, there is the pressure of finding the best place and the best photographer for the pre-wedding shoot. On top of it, the tension of finding the right dresses and looking slim in them. Duh! Well, welcome to the ‘getting-married’ phase. So here we are to your rescue, bringing you the top places in and around Delhi for pre-wedding photography. And, some really, like really handy tips to make your shoot convenient yet memorable. All you have to do is padho aur follow karo!
First the Top Locations:
1. Lodhi Gardens
If you are looking for a natural setting and a romantic backdrop, then Lodhi Gardens is the perfect place for your photo shoot. Colourful flowers, historical tombs, soothing water body, small bridges and plenty of open space, nothing beats Lodhi Gardens when it comes to the pre-wedding shoot. The monuments inside the gardens will provide a nice, vintage feel to the photos and you won’t need any external props either. Don’t mind the onlookers though!
Best time to shoot: Early morning
Location benefit: No entry fee
2. Heritage Village Resort & Spa Manesar
Located at National Highway 8, Heritage Village Resort & Spa Manesar is encircled by vast acres of lush greenery. A Rajasthani haveli style palatial resort, it is the perfect den offering the perfect ambience and time to the photographer and you, away from the onlookers. You could choose getting clicked in/near the swimming pool, restaurants, garden area, lobby area or wherever your heart pleases. You might have to book a room if you wish to use the place for photography.
Best time to shoot: Any Time
Location benefit: Exclusivity
3. Garden of Five Senses
If an artistic setting is what you’re looking for, head straight to the Garden of Five Senses. A twenty-acre site, it is located at Said-Ul-Azaib village, close to the Mehrauli heritage area. Tell your photographer to make use of the variety of backdrops that this garden provides such as rugged rocky stances, Mughal era inspired architecture, waterfalls, modern art installations, water pools with lotuses and water-lilies, a spiral walk-way, life-size stone art displays etc. So much to choose from! However, remember to first take permission to shoot here.
Best time to shoot: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Location benefit: 1 km from Saket metro station
One of the most important roads in India, Rajpath or Kings Way runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate to National Stadium. Flanked with well-maintained gardens and fountains, Rajpath’s wide roads will make your photographs look amazingly beautiful.
Best time to shoot: Early morning
Location benefit: No fee
5. Hauz Khaz Fort
Most professional photographers love to shoot at the Hauz Khaz Village because it offers a variety of landscapes and backdrops. Overlooking a pond, Hauz Khas Fort stands tall in the centre of well-maintained parks and has beautiful long passages, staircases, arches and windows.
Best time to shoot: Early morning
Location benefit: No entry fee
6. Humayun’s Tomb
A UNESCO world heritage site, Humayun’s Tomb is the ultimate place for those who want to give their pictures a historical feel. The tomb’s mesmerising Mughal-Persian architecture, beautiful char bagh gardens, huge doors and stunning water fountains give a distinct flavour to the pre-wedding pictures.
Best time to shoot: Before 11:00 am or after 3:30 pm
Location benefit: Ample parking space
And Now for the Tips:
- Location: Be smart and choose historical, free-entry places like Hauz Khas Village, Humayun’s Tomb and Lodhi Gardens as they provide a perfect romantic setting with their old era forts, lush greenery and well-maintained gardens.
- Backdrop: Always prefer a natural setting over an artificial setting (read photo-studio) as trees, gardens and lakes make for awesome backdrops!
- Timing: Most professional photographers prefer sunrise as the best time since natural light works wonders for pictures and the place is less crowded. So you are free to practice your modeling skills without feeling embarrased.
- Changing Room: This is a tricky one. All historical monuments won’t have public restrooms. So personal experience says: Guys, park your car in a secluded place near the location and change in the car. Girls – Start your shoot with a tight-fit top and jeggings may be. Next, wear a kurta, anarkali, long skirt over the first dress to save time and effort. Get both the ethnic and western look without much hassle. However, if you have chosen Hauz Khas Village, you can go to any cafe, order a cup of tea/coffee and avail their restroom services. Similar for Lodhi Gardens with the Lodhi Restaurant next door.
- Photographer: Try and go for the photographer who will be clicking your wedding pictures as well. Firstly, he/she might give you a cost-effective package. Secondly, you will know their style and become comfortable around them. This will be of great help when the same photographer clicks you on your D-Day. The best option, however, is to maintain good relations with your photographer friends for a sasta aur acha experience!
So, this wedding season, if you are getting hitched, follow our easy tips and make your pre-wedding shoots stand out from the rest!
(With inputs from Priyanka Sharma)
From ‘Big Screen’ to ‘Small Screen’, actresses to next-door women, Punjab to Rajasthan – what seems common to all is the celebration of the beautiful occasion of Karva Chauth. Thanks to our very own Bollywood and the so-different-yet-so-similar stereotypic Hindi serials, Karva Chauth has been glamorized to an unimaginable extent. Their larger than life portrayal of every aspect of the occasion has surely been successful in sketching filmy imaginations in every young woman’s mind.
Honestly, I feel nobody really cares as to how and why this event came into existence but what really appeals is the pampering and indulgence associated with it. Every woman enjoys a day of complete gratification. From her husband, in-laws to parents, everybody and everything seems to revolve around the fairer sex. So what if this comes with a day of complete fasting, young people are anyway used to dieting on a regular basis for maintaining their hour-glass figure.
Karva Chauth is mostly limited to the northern and western regions of India with much prominence in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The day brings with it hopes, aspirations and wishes for a long and blissful marital life. Women, beautifully decked and dressed, are seen praying for the health and longevity of their husbands. Though rituals could be slightly different in respective states yet they follow a general pattern.
Morning Shows the Day
First and foremost comes Sargi, an assortment of sumptuous goodies comprising of fruits, Indian bread, fried potatoes, meethi matthis, phirni and milk-based sweets along with a basket of gifts, apparels, dry fruits, jewellery and loads of love, gifted by the girl’s mother-in-law. In few places, idols of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Kartikeya are worshipped as well. As strenuous fasting follows until night, hence women are expected to grab a wholesome bite before sunrise.
For the major part of the day, ladies are seen coddling in the parlour, getting their curls right and faces bright. Each mehendi-designed hand looks amazing with deepening colour instilling unmeasured happiness in their hearts.
With evening starts the major part of the ritual. Brightly-coloured suits, sarees, ghagras or lehengas, along with the traditional red dupatta on the head, are seen draped around bright-eyed women flaunting their bridal finery. With scintillating exteriors and bubbling interiors, they sit around the idol of Goddess Parvati, placed on the sanctified ‘kharia matti‘, listening to Vratha Katha narrations. Each woman places a red thread-tied karva full of water with seven pieces of pua in front of her and sprinkles water, aipun, roli and rice on the deity.
The Moon Finally Shines
Ladies are gathered in large numbers listening to tales and praying for their husbands’ welfare until the moon finally shines in the night sky and the day-long wait comes to an end. With lit-earthen pots, water-filled containers, chhanni or sieve and eager faces, the moment seems magical with a romantic spark in the air when each wife looks into the eyes of her husband through the sieve. Her fast finally ends with her husband feeding her water and a morsel of food.
The eternal bond of marriage simply strengthens with time. Little gifts and heart-felt expressions just add to its beauty. Even romantic songs sprinkle magic in the air. Bollywood is totally ecstatic about romance and has revived the concept of love time and again through its evergreen films like Hum Apke Hain Kaun, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and so on.
Now ladies, with Karva Chauth just round the corner, plan everything before-hand to make your day simply perfect and gentlemen, fully explore your cities to discover the best gift for your better half.
As wedding bell rings, two humans start weaving their fairy tales, whose every chapter gets entangled with their souls for eternity. The sweet, traditional, ritualistic and most memorable chapter of marriage gets followed by honeymoon-a vacation that takes the couple to the helm of affair and let them unwind amid some priceless beauties of man and nature.
India is a land of romantic sagas of lost empires that bring to forefront many of its bewitching destinations. Those stretches of snowy mountains, water bodies, lush valleys and golden deserts have come up time and again in Bollywood movies. The locations are not only remembered for their settings, but also for epic love songs screened there. If you wish to spend your honeymoon in Bollywood style, take a look to these evergreen numbers Goibibo lists below:
Nothing can be better than the postcard-like landscape of Kashmir. The soothing melodies of ‘Chupke Se Sun’ from Mission Kashmir along with a romantic Shikara ride on shimmering waters of Dal Lake carry with it the unbound beauty of the valley. The thick green meadows of Gulmarg and localities of Srinagar, which once served as scenic backdrop of ‘Yeh Hasi Vaadiyaan’ from Roja, can now be your honeymoon destination. With Zabarwan Mountains at the backdrop, the green meadows of Pahalgam is perfect to dance like a free bird to the track ‘Jiya Re’ from Jab Tak Hai Jaan‘.
Your affair can attain heights at Kerala backwaters. The soothing rhythm of Dil Se’s Jiya Jale Jaan Jale in the background makes the perfect setting for a romantic evening . Undulating tea plantations of Munnar and gushing water of Athirapally Waterfalls reverberates lovey- dovey memories of Aiswariya Rai dancing in the lyrics of ‘Barso re Megha Megha’ from ‘Guru‘. Luxuriant grasslands, verdant hills and misty valleys of Munnar create an idyllic setting to weave epic love story on the lines of ‘Bann ke titli dil uda uda’ of Chennai Express.
The hill station of Darjeeling in West Bengal has been featured in several Bollywood numbers like ‘Kasto Mazaa Hai Lelaima’ from Parineeta, Mere Sapno Ki Rani from Aradhna and Mein Kya Karoon from ‘Barfi‘. If you dream to cherish your honeymoon memories like those couple, then a joyful Himalayan toy train ride, walk along tea gardens, sunrise over snowy Himalayan mountains and breakfast at Keventers await for you at Darjeeling.
Weave your love stories like those royal prince and princess amid the historical forts and palaces of Rajasthan. Be it Le Kabira from Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani or ‘Gulabi’ from Shuddh Desi Romance, Udaipur’s Taj Lake Palace, Jaipur’s City Palace or Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort bring alive the beauty of the epic love stories of the royal land.
Tamil Nadu might sound bit offbeat for honeymoon. However, remember the track ‘Mast Magan’ from ‘Two States‘? The scenic gorgeousness of Ennore Beach, Chennai and beautiful craftsmanship of a Mylapore temple create a unique rendezvous between you soul mates. Give a try!! ‘Chal Chaiya Chaiya Chaiya Chai, Chal Chaiya Chaiya Chaiya’… wow!! Aroma of tea and coffee plantations, misty clouds adorning the Western Ghats and seductive climate.. Ooty boasts of a true setting for a romantic escapade in Nilgiris.
Madhya Pradesh is known for many reserved forests. However, the small village of Bhedaghat gained popularity amongst couples after the song ‘Raat Ka Nasha Abhi’ from Ashoka was screened there. Dhuandhar Waterfalls and boat-ride in Narmada River amidst natural marble rock formations create the most beautiful honeymoon ever.
The magic and mirth of nature is crisscrossed through India. Sit back, allow your wandering heart to dream of your honeymoon just like those Bollywood couples in pictures. Then open your eyes to see that you have landed in the most astounding, blissful and romantic locales of the country kissed with bounteous beauties of nature.
Chai – The staple beverage of India. Land anywhere and you’ll find a steaming cup of tea, the aroma of the tea leaves simmering through. The roadside vendors to the high tea boutiques, all of them are found loaded with people in line for a rejuvenating tea session. India happens to be a lead in production of tea alongwith China. Tea in India is not just a drink, it is a means of survival. It is life. It is everything. The splendid tea estates of India are quite a garner for tourism.
The North-east and the southern part are one of the biggest sources of tea in India. Let’s take a look at some of the best tea plantations in India.
British were the first ones to truly understand the scope of the tea industry in India. Amidst the majestic hills and playful breeze lie the wonderfully laid out tea gardens in Assam. There are number of places to visit in Assam such as the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Kamakhya temple in Guwahati and ofcourse the tea gardens.
Where to go?
Dibrugarh and Jorhat, both the cities of this state are known for their tea estates. You may try any of the following:
- Banyan Grove, Jorhat
- Thengal Manor, Jorhat
- Burra Sahib Bungalow, Jorhat
- Mancotta Tea Estate, Dibrugarh
The best time to visit any of these is during May and June. You may also visit Jorhat in Novemeber when the tea festival takes place.
Next to Assam comes the beautiful hill station of Darjeeling. A part of the state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is an apt place for nature lovers and honeymoon couples. The serene surroundings and pleasant climate are sure to take you to a different world.
Where to go?
Darjeeling produces close to one-fourth of the total tea production in India. Following are the tea estates to pay a visit to:
- Happy Valley Tea Estate
- Glenburn Tea Estate
- Selim Hill Tea Estate
- Makai Bari Tea Estate
Try not to make a trip during the monsoons. The best time to visit these estates is between March and November. Apart from this, there are a number of places to visit in Darjeeling such as Ghoom Monastery, Mahakal Temple, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, etc.
Apart from the hills in the north, it’s the spectacular south that attracts the tea lover. Savour a cup of tea with your beloved in the Niligiris situated in the state of Tamil Nadu. Take a walk with your partner in the lush green tea cultivations and don’t forget to get talking to the tea planters, they have a host of stories to tell.
Where to go?
Few tea estates to try out in Coonoor include:
- United Nilgiri Tea Estates
- Highfield Tea Factory
The winter season is the best time to visit this wonderland of tea cultivation.
Yet another hill station that is known for its scintillating tea gardens is Munnar. The biggies of the tea industry, Tata Tea find their footprints here. A visit to the nation’s Tea Museum will get you close to the town’s association with this magical drink.
Where to go?
The place owns more than 50 tea estates, the key ones being the following:
- Harrisson Malayalam
- AVT Tea
- Brooke Bond
- Sevenmallay Tea Estate
Now what are you waiting for? This weekend, let’s go off to the tea gardens because where there’s tea, there’s hope!