Romantic

Top 7 Perks of Dating a Die-Hard Traveller!

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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.

Traveller
Photo Credit: Aditi Bhardwaj

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.

1They 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.

Traveller
Travel Google

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.

Traveller
Go for an exciting road trip with your travel partner. | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/96234648@N02/9777068796/in/

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.

Traveller
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/odiosa/16148958957/in/

4They 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.

Traveller
Photo Credit: A still from the movie Tamasha.

5They 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?

Traveller
Trying fish pedicure together for the first time. | Photo Credit: Nidhi & Gaurav.

6They 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.

Traveller
Singing and playing guitar, isn’t that a wonderful source of entertainment! | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134220457@N04/21832683086/in/

7They’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.

Traveller
Photo Credit: Sahil & Tamanna

So, if you are enjoying the perks, you are the luckiest and if not, then you need to find one traveller guy/girl soon.

Valentine’s Day Special: 8 Chocolate Desserts for Your Special One

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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.

Chocolate Truffle

Valentine's Day
Chocolate truffle | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zanlein/1961180977/in/

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

Valentine's Day
Blackforest mousse cake | Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/foodandfoods/photos/

What slowly sets on your taste buds are irresistible layers of cake, cream, butter, vanilla, blackberries, cherries and red currants.

Chocolate Fudge

Valentine's Day
Chocolate fudge | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/crowesbythebay/5267473336/in/

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

Valentine's Day
Rum chocolate cake | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26211558@N02/6267615597/in/

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

Valentine's Day
Chocolate brownies with walnuts | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/luciebart/5462359015/in/

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

Valentine's Day
Chocolate hazelnut cheese cake | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paintpotdaydreams/13490211065/in/

A divinely luscious cheesecake with rich chocolate, choco-hazelnut crust and creamy topping makes for an obvious choice for Valentine’s Day.

Mocha Brownies

Valentine's Day
Mocha brownies | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/75842274@N05/7560229080/in/

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

Valentine's Day
Chocolate lava cake | Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/connasabor/11852312095/in/

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 to Infinity: India’s 10 Breathtaking Infinity Pools

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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

infinity pools
Infinity pool at The Leela Palace Hotel, Delhi | Photo Credit: theleela.com/locations/new-delhi/hotel-information/hotel-information-photos-and-videos

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

infinity pools
Soak into the sublime beauty of the infinity pool at Leela Kovalam | Photo Credit: http://www.theleela.com/locations/kovalam/hotel-information/hotel-information-photos-and-videos

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

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The stunning infinity pool of Taj Malabar, Kochi | Photo Credit: http://www.vivantabytaj.com/malabar-cochin/photo-gallery.html

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

 infinity pools
Placid waters of the infinity pool of Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala | Photo Credit: http://www.kumarakomlakeresort.in/kumarakom_photos.html

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

Infinity pools
Infinity pool of Alila Diwa overlooking the green paddies | Photo Credit: http://www.alilahotels.com/photo-gallery/alila-diwagoa-gallery

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.

Swissotel, Kolkata

infinity pools
Rooftop infinity pool at Swissotel, Kolkata | Photo Credit: http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/kolkata/spa-fitness/infinity-pool/

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

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Relax in the infinity pool of Orange County Resort, Kabini | Photo Credit: http://www.orangecounty.in/kabini-resorts/facilities/infinity-pool/

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

infinity pools
Infinity pool of Kurumba Village Resort placed amid thick greenery | Photo Credit: natureresorts.in/kurumba

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!

Top 6 Places for Pre-Wedding Shoot In and Around Delhi

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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

Pre-wedding shoot_Lodhi Gardens
Lodhi Gardens | Photo Credit: Dhruv Bansal

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

Heritage Hotel Manesar
Heritage Village Resort & Spa Manesar | Photo Credit: Anubha Sehgal

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

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Garden of Five Senses | Photo Credit: Tania Seth Photography

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

4. Rajpath

Rajpath
Rajpath | Photo Credit: Shoot Vhoot

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

Hauz-Khas
Hauz Khaz Fort | Photo Credit: Sunny Kapoor

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

Pre-wedding shoot_Humayun's Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb | Photo Credit: Neytra Photography

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:

  1. 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.
  1. Backdrop: Always prefer a natural setting over an artificial setting (read photo-studio) as trees, gardens and lakes make for awesome backdrops!
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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)

Karva Chauth: An Occasion to Celebrate Love

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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.

Karwa Chauth 2

 

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.

 

Sargi 3

 

Pamper Yourself

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.

Mehendi1

Getting Dressed

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.

karwa-chauth-ceremony

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.

Close-up of a young woman looking through a sieve

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.

Six Romantic Indian Destinations to Honeymoon in Bollywood Ishtyle

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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:

Kashmir

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‘.

honeymoon

Kerala

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.

honeymoon

Darjeeling

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.

honeymoon

Rajasthan

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.

honeymoon

Tamil Nadu

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.

honeymoon

 Madhya Pradesh

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.

honeymoon

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.

You never get a cup of tea large enough

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Tea Plantaion in India

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.

  1. Assam

tea garden assam

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.

       2.Darjeeling

Darjeeling tea places

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.

      3.Niligiris

nilgiri

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.

   4.Munnar

munnar

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

KTDC Tea County is a wonderful option to stay in the surroundings of tea gardens. For more info on accommodation, check resorts in Munnar.

Now what are you waiting for? This weekend, let’s go off to the tea gardens because where there’s tea, there’s hope!

Get Relished with the best of Wellness Tourism in India

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wellness_Tourism

From north to down south and crisscrossing western and eastern borders, India is a treasure trove of immaculate natural and man- made wonders. However there are many other things to explore in Indian soil and many ways to soothe tiring nerves and restless minds. India’s fertile soil, vivid flora, eco- friendly resorts and abundant herbs, spices and natural products act as healing balms and wellness measures for millions of globetrotters. With time natural healing and rejuvenating therapies in India have captured the attention of all globetrotters.

From the Himalayas and Ganges to impregnable forests and sea shores, Indian wellness retreats are outshining in natural healing therapies. Wellness tours in India in the below stated destinations bring the joy of experiencing Ayurvedic massage and yoga and meditation training:

  • Rishikesh

Rishikesh wellness retreat

Hours of learning yoga and meditation and seeking spirituality by the side of Ganges help you find joy, solace and inner peace. International tourists love to explore Rishikesh’s fusion of yoga and meditation that takes them miles away from the mess of city life. Ananda in the Himalayas, Rishikesh is the best rated wellness retreat in India. Its scenic setting on the foothills of Himalayas is ideal to revitalize with Ayurvedic massage and traditional form of yoga. Application of Ayurvedic massage oils boosts blood circulation and eradicates pain. Sattva Spa & Wellness Retreat and AnandLok are two other popular wellness retreats in Rishikesh.

  •  Kovalam

Kovalm Wellness retreat

Bbeyond breathtaking beaches, Kovalam is also a paradise of wellness tourism in India. Abundant medicinal plants, herbal oil and natural powders along with Ayurvedic massages and spa are best means to re-energize yourself. Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, Ideal Ayurvedic Resort, Shin Shiva Ayurvedic Resort and Niraamaya – Surya Samudra are some of those favoured wellness retreats that offer authentic Ayurveda and yoga therapies with local natural extracts. They help in detoxifying stress and eradicating insomnia and bringing in relaxation.

  •  Bangalore

Yoga-Bangalore

Yoga based treatments and meditation coupled with herbal spa and body massage can be best experienced in Bangalore’s Ayurvedagram and Shreyas Yoga Retreat. Set amidst acres of green gardens, these resorts are blessed with peaceful environment and the best of wellness regimes and beauty treatments. Various forms of yoga when coupled with Ayurvedic medicinal treatments and experienced in eco- friendly environment, bring with them the desired freshness and eradicate diseases like obesity, diabetes and depression.

  •  Goa

Goa wellness

It is where you can experience holistic wellness, Ayurvedic treatments, natural therapies and yoga and meditation classes. Amidst lush greenery in a secluded locale and nearby Goa’s pristine beaches, Yoga Magic Eco Retreat, Little Cove Yoga Holiday Retreat and The Mandala attract globetrotters to their world of natural medication and traditional care. Experienced yoga trainers, Ayurvedic medicines, natural beauty therapies and spa in these eco- friendly retreats make your Goa vacation healthy and rejuvenating.

  •  Thekkady

Wellness tours in Thekkady

This forested locality of Kerala take your senses on a soothing journey and pamper you with best natural treatments. Fragrance of fresh hill air, pleasant wet soil and freshly grown flowers, leaves and herbs is a tonic for the body and soul. Niraamaya- Cardamom Club is a popular name in Thekkady’s wellness resorts that offers a holistic treatment with Ayurveda therapies, massages, spa and counselling on lifestyle and dietary guidelines. Usage of herbal medicinal oil and experienced hand movements are apt to cure ailments and provide holistic rejuvenation.

On your next India tour, treat yourself with a complete wellness package offered by these widely spread out nature- friendly retreats. Their tranquil environment with the best naturally produced oil massages and yoga treatments give you a better life and enrich with a better way of living.

Land Ahoy-Top 5 Island Destinations in India

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Around 5000 miles of coastline lined by coconut trees and far-flung sandy beaches keep India much ahead of international island destinations. As the blue sky bows down to kiss turquoise green waters, travellers fly from different corners of India and abroad to catch a glimpse of the country’s vivacious beauty. It is romantic to sink your feet inside waters over sun-soaked beaches, and thrilling to go for early scuba diving in search of dolphins and more. With hundreds of islands anchored over seas and rivers, Island trip in India has taken the country’s tourism to great heights.

Island_India_Travel

From Bengal in the east to Kerala in south, islands with their very own community of islanders gave birth to a culture typical to their land. By travelling to these destinations, you can feast on local cuisines, explore their art and architecture and enjoy the natural melange of sun, sand and sea. Goibibo picks up the best of islands in India where memories are crafted to remain forever.

Diu Island

Diu_Island_01

The mix of opaque emerald waters and Portuguese history of Diu in Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula take you to a world of pristine beauty. Diu is comparatively small making it an island to explore over a weekend. Diu’s Portuguese culture, white-washed churches, foreign tourists, less traffic, and English cafes give that non-Indian feeling within the Indian heartland. The renowned Nagoa Beach and Jallandhar Beach along with Diu Fort, Seashell Museum and caves of Nayda make it a paradise for island lovers and history buffs.

It also offers some great accommodation options. Browse our portal for more info on hotels in Diu.

St Mary’s Island

St Mary's Island_02

Take a ferry ride from Malpe to the spectacular St. Mary’s Island in Karnataka, India. Its endless coastal line with a horizon that turns crimson during sunset brings forth the astonishing beauty of nature. St. Mary’s Island is a big fishing harbor. Unlike other island destinations in India, St. Mary’s is uninhabited and does not possess accommodations. Yet, its concrete benches make you sit for hours and loose yourself to the site and sound of never ending waves.

Chorao Island

Chorao_Island_03

There is always something unique about Goa, and Chorao Island is one of those. Around 5km away from Panaji, Charao Island happens to be the largest island in Goa. Presence of legends, mangrove swamps and Goa’s largest bird sanctuary, can be traced here. Take a regular ferry boat from Ribandar and land on the remains of Indian and Portuguese colonizers marked by Catholic churches, Hindu temples and dozens of churches.

Elephanta Island

Elephanta_Island_04

Shelter to a labyrinth of ancient cave temples, Elephanta Island is nestled picturesquely in the middle of Mumbai Harbour on the Arabian Sea. A large stone elephant near the shore and framework of courtyards, halls, pillars and shrine of the main Shiva temple narrates the glory of India’s past.

Munroe Island

Munroe_Island05

With eight tiny islands in Kollam district, Munroe Island forms an integral part of Kerala backwaters. It is where you can take a canoe tour, glide along narrow canals, halt for a cup of tea and see tall trees and colorful birds pass by. Apart from luxury houseboats, you can reserve home- stays right by the side of serene backwaters. Get down at Kollam Railway Station and proceed for your onward journey to Munroe Island.

Pack your beachwear and head for a spectacular island travel. Before that, check our exclusive Island travel & tours packages.

5 Most Expensive Hotels in India

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May be money can’t buy everything, but when it comes to luxury it surely can provide you anything you want. And who can tell this better than the rich people who don’t shy away from staying in expensive hotels in India in order to get that extra special treatment or feel like a royal. For elite guests such as movie stars, politicians and industrialists, luxury is all about the best without any compromises. So we bring you a list of five most expensive hotels in India where every penny spent is worth it.

1.Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace is one of the best 5 star hotels in Udaipur that offers a picturesque location and excellent services. The hotel’s Grand Presidential Suite named as Shambu Prakash is one of the most expensive in the country at Rs. 6 lakh. High-end amenities in this hotel include pickup facility from airport in a shiny Jaguar or a vintage car from the Maharaja’s private fleet, private butler, Jiva Spa treatment ‘Mewar-E-Khas’ and shikara ride on the moonlit lake Pichola.

2.Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

Taj Falaknuma Palace_Hyderabad

The former residence of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Taj Falaknuma Palace is featured as one of the top 10 heritage hotels in India. At Rs. 5 lakh plus taxes for a night, the Grand Presidential Suite which is also known as Nizam suite is the costliest accommodation. The suite offers recreational facilities such as private Jacuzzi, private swimming pool and salon.

3.The Leela Palace, New Delhi

The Leela Palace_New Delhi

Based in the posh Chanakyapuri, The Leela Palace hotel of New Delhi is one of the best luxury hotels in India. The Grand Deluxe Room charges Rs 25,000 and Maharaja Suite costs around Rs. 4.5 lakh per night. Guests staying in the Maharaja Suite can enjoy a private temperature controlled plunge pool and Jacuzzi which has a seating area that overlooks the city’s skyline.

4.The Oberoi, Mumbai

The Oberoi, Mumbai

 

Located on the Marine Drive The Oberoi Mumbai boasts of unrivalled ocean views from rooms, public areas and restaurants. A Deluxe Room at the Oberoi can cost you around Rs. 25,000 while the Presidential Suite a grand Rs. 3 lakh. Spread across 2,056 square feet, the Presidential Suite features a master bedroom, bathroom, pantry, dining area and two living spaces.

5.The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

 

Situated just 600 metres away from the iconic Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas is one of the popular 5 Star Hotels in India. The Kohinoor Suite of the hotel charges about Rs. 2.5 lakh and has windows open to beautiful views of the Taj Mahal. In-room amenities in the suite include master bedroom, living room and dining room with attached pantry. Moreover, there is a standalone bathtub which offers uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal!

Lakes are Calling! Gear up for Your 2016 Valentine’s Day Expedition

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Valentine's Day

“You and I, in this beautiful world,

Green grass, blue skies, in this beautiful world……”

The song with other romantic medleys reverberates a bit more as you start thinking of celebrating your Valentine’s Day with the love of your life. The doorbell rings and he/she waits with red roses, teddies and chocolates. Shades of pink and red blow in the air and holding hand in hand you walk miles together cherishing the day you first met or fell in love. And here arrives that time of the year when you fall in love again!! If you are in India during this romantic season of the year, then I can assure you are going to have the most treasured Valentine’s Day ever. India is where love sagas of the past swings till date and where romantic destinations are kept alive by millions of worldwide couples and honeymooners.

If you love the sight of serene flowing lakes, raindrops on the water, boat ride far away from bustling cities or two of you watching the magical sunset over a water body, then lakes in India will give wings to your much awaited dreams. From south to north and across the east, India is blessed with picturesque lakes where a vacation creates memories to treasure till eternity. Minutes of romance and hours of smiles together alongside India’s beautiful lakes and lake resorts will make your Valentine’s Day a poignant memory to stay in your hearts forever. Here’s our list of recommendations.

Dal Lake in Srinagar

valentine's day
Dal Lake in Srinagar

The valley of Kashmir is where love stories of Mughals were created and since then this ‘Paradise on Earth’ has witnessed thousands of love stories. Sun gradually setting down, sky turning orange, birds returning back to their nests and calm placid waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar embrace you with a heavenly feeling. Lie on each other’s shoulder as the Shikara will take you miles away from the bustling city right at the bosom of nature. Waters below, mountains behind and tiny hamlets around you create a true romantic snapshot of life.

Bhimtal Lake in Uttarakhand

Valentine's Day
Bhimtal Lake in Uttarakhand

In north itself, there is another romantic gateway that turns your Valentine’s Day into a splendid and unique one. Perched around 5000 feet above sea level and adorned by the majestic Himalayan ranges, the historical Bhimtal Lake in Uttarakhand is a heavenly abode for all love birds. It is where beauty sublimes, morning starts with a tranquil boat ride, nights end with a romantic stay in any luxury lakeside hotels near Bhimtal Lake and love stories are relieved again.

Chilka Lake in Odisha

Valentine's Day
Chilka Lake in Odisha

Move aside to the east and you will come across one of India’s most romantic destinations, Chilka Lake in Odisha. That passionate kiss, gentle hug, soft romantic background music and a walk to nowhere are felt in their true sense here. A trip to the lakeside assorted with an excursion to Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary will turn your Valentine’s Day escapade into a bit different one.

Wards Lake in Shillong

Valentine's Day
Wards Lake in Shillong

Surprise your partner with a cozy dinner under a moonlit sky right at the lakeside. A stylish white wooden bridge, exotic boat ride, sight of swans swimming and landscape gardens of Wards Lake, Shillong are what you should not miss during your Valentine’s Day outing. Take a laze stroll with your partner or head for a tranquil boat ride to celebrate the most goodie goodie days of life.

Vembanad Lake in Kerala

Valentine's Day
Vembanad Lake in Kerala

Down south, awaits you one of the most scenic, postcard like, romantic and tranquil lakes of India, Vembanad Lake in Kerala. To have an altogether different Valentine’s Day trip, plan a houseboat cruise along the backwaters of Vembanad. Savoring the delectable Kerala cuisine, you will cruise along the placid waters, pass an endless range of mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut trees and enjoy the most magical sight of nature filled with collage of blue, green, yellow, white and brown. Time will fly like a fighter jet and two of you will weave the most romantic episode of your life.

Regardless of your hectic schedule, take some time out and travel to these beautiful lakes of India, where nature and its pristine beauty will be the only witness to your fairy tale.

Hill Stations where you can directly Fly

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Our country is blessed with some of the best destinations to visit in the Asian continent. The fact that India experiences variable climatic conditions in different regions at different times of the year makes it an all-time favourable place to visit for people across the globe. Hill stations, for instance, have always been a popular choice among domestic as well as international travellers. Due to their scenic beauty, pleasant climate, rich culture, unique art and handicraft and sumptuous food, they are undoubtedly the first choice for holiday trips. Connectivity is the only issue that crops up while planning out a tour to the hills. Quite often, train routes make vacationers change more than two times. Thus, in order to avoid such difficulties, it’s always good to fly off to these places. Here, we bring out to you a list of hill stations where you can directly fly.

Dharamshala

Dharamshala
Photo Courtesy: Adventure Singh

 

A lovely hill station located in the snow capped mountains of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Also referred to as Little Tibet, Dharamshala offers an insight into the Tibetan culture and Buddhist way of life. Visit the place for some serene moments, sumptuous food (especially dumplings or better known as momos) and adventure sports.

Fly off to the Gaggal Airport (also known as Kangra Airport or Dharamshala-Kangra Airport) so as to experience the best of hills. All major flights fly from significant locations of India to this airport.

Shillong

Shillong
Photo Courtesy: Whacky Wanderlust

Situated in the north eastern state of Meghalaya, Shillong is the capital city and is home to the tribal group of Khasis. Regarded as the ‘Scotland of the East’, it is famous for its captivating scenic beauty, cool and calm waterfalls, historical buildings and hand woven shawls. Shillong Peaks and Elephants Falls are a must visit for those landing up in this city.

In order to reach Shillong by air, book tickets for Shillong Airport located at Umroi which lies some 30 km away from the city. Shillong Airport is an important airport and all domestic airlines fly at regular intervals to this city.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling sightseeing
Darjeeling

Located in the state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is known for its tea gardens, monasteries, adventure activities and natural beauty. A combination of two words, ‘dorje’ and ‘ling’, Darjeeling stands for the ‘Land of the Thunderbolt’. Touted as one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, its tranquil climate offers the best for newly married couples.

The nearest airport to Darjeeling is Bagdogra Airport which is situated at a distance of about 95 km. Those landing here can also cover Siliguri, Gangtok, Kalimpong and Mirik, all of them situated close to each other.

Gulmarg

gulmarg
Gulmarg

The meadow of flowers, Gulmarg is a hill station infused with astonishing beauty, adventure sports and ever warming hospitality. A blessed habitat in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it offers some great attractions like Alpathar Lake, Ningal Nallah and Drung.

In order to reach Gulmarg by flight, one needs to get down at Srinagar airport that lies just 56 km away. A visit to the Kashmir region is incomplete if you do not go to Pahalgam and Baramulla along with Pahalgam.

Shimla

Shimla
Shimla

Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and also the summer capital during the colonial rule, is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in India. Every year during the summer season, people from India as well as abroad come down to this splendid city to experience the ecstasy of nature and the old world charm.

Fly off to Shimla Airport from anywhere in the country. It is located in Jabarhatti that is 22 km away from the main city. Also, try visiting nearby destinations such as Kullu, Manali and Solan. Alternatively, vacationers planning to take a trip to Kullu before can get down at Bhuntar Airport (also known as Kullu Manali Airport)