Once upon a time Shimla-Manali were the go to destinations for all hill lovers. It offered serenity of mountain, small town charm, wonderful weather and lot of souvenirs to take home. Today there are too many places we know of, some are more commercialized and some are so secluded that reaching there itself is a task. But if I have to pick a place that has replaced Shimla/Manali of olden times that would be Dharmshala/Mcleodganj. I don’t know many people who has been to Himalaya in recent times and hasn’t been to Dharamshala ever. And so for me it was more of a tick box item to go there and see what the fuss is.
I planned my trip in March, when it was still cold enough to chill and not too cold either, and decided to stay at McleodGanj, which is also referred to as upper Dharamshala. I reached McleodGanj on a Tuesday noon and settled there for next few days exploring nearby attractions and devouring food. If you love hills for its raw beauty, Mcleodganj might not be your choice of destination. The place is very touristy with its sightseeing list, souvenir shops and fancy restaurants. And it probably represent a Tibetan town more than a hill station. During my stay I tried doing the regular sightseeing as per my lazy mind would permit, which means I missed out a few… maybe I missed out more than a few. But I definitely tried a lot of restaurants and found many great options. I will talk about both in this blog.complete article
I am a beach lover who happened to live in Mumbai, just an overnight train journey away from Goa. So naturally I keep heading to one of the many beautiful beaches of Goa every year. But even if you have found your perfect vacation spot, your heart keeps wondering what else is out there. So I jump at the mention of any new beaches nearby and if I hear good reviews about the place I am already packing my bag already.
Varkala was one of such names that I started hearing about since a few years back. I heard people ditching Kovalam and Goa for Varkala, I heard it being compared to Gokarna, I heard about its beauty and charm. And to top it all, I had this sudden realization that this could be a place which is mix of Goa and Kerala – how great would the food be there! Or how the hospitality of Kerala would find harmony with the swag of Goa. Interesting, right? That’s what I thought when I planned my Varkala trip in March this year.complete article
It was 2007 when I first visited Pondicherry. I was still in college and it was my first trip with friends. We started early in the morning from Chennai with very little money in pocket and a heart full of enthusiasm, travelled for four hours in a crowded bus, roamed around the streets of Pondicherry under a hot sun and retuned back exhausted long after the sunset. Actually it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Probably because I didn’t know that it could be better. The highlight of my trip was the French colony of Pondicherry – I loved the beautiful streets lined with colourful houses and cafes. Neither of which I could enjoy to the full extent.complete article