Posted in Travel

Mussoorie Gateway Resort

These days there are only a few hotels which provide excellent hospitality and stay in a budget. It was our first time in this hotel but the 7th time in mussoorie, we have always booked hotels which were either on the mall road or picture palace.
While surfing down internet we got a look at this hotel and the pricing was mind blowing. Our main priority has always been to book a room which provides a good mountain/valley view with a balcony. This hotel had met all our requirements that too in a lower budget as planned by us.

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Mussoorie Gateway is budget a boutique hotel situated 1.3kms approx from the library chowk. They provide you with spacious rooms, clean bathrooms with shower enclosures and all the basic amenities one needs. Parking is not a problem in this hotel as they have their own parking space.
Every room on the first floor has a balcony attached overlooking the Doon Valley & the ground floor rooms have a small porch for sitting. We booked two rooms with them, one on the ground & other on the first floor. The rooms were clean, everything was working and the view was majestic.

We never faces a problem with the In-room service, the food was tasty, no complaints with the lunch, appetizers or dinner. The only problem was with the breakfast, they take too long to prepare it. But please be clear of what you order for breakfast, because everytime they will forget something. The buffet system was not available when we checked inn, but its good for us, we usually prefer in room dining.

Now talking about the vicinity the sitting area on the upper level of the dining all is all about soaking into vitamin D and enjoying the lush green surrounding. One can sit there for hours just enjoying the weather and beauty of mussoorie. The walk arounds the hotel are pretty quaint and taking a walk on the road till the mall road gives you a very pleasant feeling.

Overall the hotel is perfect if you are on a budget trip & the most important thing, the hotel provides mall road pick & drop complimentary.

Posted in Travel

A Night In Reckong Peo

*BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Solo travelling has always been fascinating yet fearful at times. The time comes, when you feel like travelling places solo just to overcome the fear of solo travelling. Being alone is always an extraordinary experience, you get to know more about yourself. You are not in a group where people have different dreams, agendas and mind sets. Here I am talking about a solo experience of a girl, a friend and passionate traveller. You might feel that the story of this girl is scary, but that’s where you see the opposite, that even after her struggle, she didn’t QUIT. This story is about Kate (Made up name)

Kate started her journey to the cold barren lands of KAZA in a bus from New Delhi in search for some solitude. Kaza, one of the most beautiful towns in the state of Himachal Pradesh, situated near the Spiti Valley. It is the coldest place in India, located some 11,980 ft above sea level. There are several monasteries, hillocks and scenic places to visit. It is also known as “The Gateway to Ladakh”. so to reach kaza from delhi it usually takes 2-3 days depending on various conditions. the route which is taken is Delhi-Shimla-Rampur-Reckong Peo-Pooh-Nako-Tabo-Dhankar-Kaza.

Her first stop was Reckong Peo, A 19 hour journey from Delhi, although it is advised to take a stop somewhere in Shimla or Theog or may be Narkanda, but that depends on travel itenary made by you. Reckong Peo, also spelled Reckong Peo and simply known as Peo by the local inhabitants, is headquarters of Kinnaur district, one of the twelve administrative districts of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is a very small and less inhabitat village and only the mode of transport from Peo to Kaza is via HRTC (Himachal Roadways). You cannot get a prior booking and there is only 1 bus that leaves early morning for Kaza.

Kate reached Peo by nightfall and had to spend the night in Peo itself. The only way to reach Kaza the next day was to board the early morning bus. Kate described Peo as no man’s land, specifically after the dawn, because that’s when she reached. According to her there aren’t many hotels/hostels around the village. It took an hour for her to find a place to stay overnight with in her budget and comfort. She took a room in a small hotel, not very far from the bus stand and being a small city with less travellers she was only girl in the hotel. That night was pretty tiring and she overslept, making her miss the morning bus. The next day she roamed around Peo and Kalpa. It was 4.30 PM, while she was returning to her hotel, she gets an unknown call asking with a very similar voice asking if she is in the room or not. She answered back with a basic question, Who is this? Phone Hung up. Then she got another call after 10 minutes asking the same question again and she felt as it was the manager/owner calling her. This happened thrice which left her in frightened situation. She decided to leave the hotel and book a different one, but unfortunately no hotel was available. She had no choice but to stay in the same hotel, locked up until the sun hits up. All was good until 8.30 PM.

8.30 PM
There is a knocking at the door.
Kate- Who is it?
No answer.

8.40 PM
Another Knock at the door.
Kate- Who is it? (Scared voice)
Manager/Owner- Khana Kha Lia Apne? (Drunk Voice)
Kate- Yes and please don’t disturb.

9.30 PM
Another Knock at the door.
Kate went quietly and put her ear on the door and tried to listen what’s happening behind the door. She could only hear murmurs and giggles.

10 PM
She finally took a stand, that she had to run away from this hotel. She packed her bag pack and opened the gate slightly and found the corridor empty and just took off and while crossing the reception she could hear giggles and bottles rattling. If anyone is wondering why she didn’t use her cell phone, Peo is a no reception are, only BSNL works there. Now the scared girl is out on the streets in the dark, and in the mountains 10pm feels like 2am.

She decided to walk up to the bus stand and stay the night in open, while walking she found a soldier, near the cantt area. He asked her is she needed help, but she was in such a trauma that she couldn’t utter a word and just walked away. She told me that, she was feeling uncomfortable by every men who passed by, that is the reason, she couldn’t even ask the soldier for help. Around 12.30 am she found a small momo shop which was run by a lady in her house. She went up to her and asked for some soup and as soon as she said these words, she bursted in tears. The lady calmed her down and asked her the whole situation and also told her to file a complaint, but she was so scared and traumatized that she just wanted to get of that peo. The lady gave her shelter for the night, and her husband stood in the que for the bus ticket to Kaza and didn’t even take any money from her, for all what they did. She finally took her bus, went to Kaza and completed her entire circuit. She came back with a lot of good memories and also with this scary incident.

Even today she feels scared when asked about this incident, but she says ‘A bad past can’t let you judge the beautiful future’

Posted in Food

Artusi Ristorante

Artusi Ristorante is a charming, elegant Italian fine dining restaurant is located in GK2 M-block Market.  This restaurant embraces the culture, the traditions and the cuisine of the EMILIA- ROMAGNA region, a beautiful part of north-eastern ITALY. It is the home of famous products used in fine dining around the world.

The interiors of the restaurant are radiant and very well done which sets you in the right mood along with a rich and sophisticated atmosphere. The décor is minimal & classy, with white & yellow being the dominating colour. We were served an assortment of fresh breads along with a glass of nice white wine while we went through their elaborated menu. Their menu is vast with a lot of options to choose from.

The traditional way for italians to eat their meals differs from the ways a meal is consumed in the most other parts of the word. Italians eat many sequential courses of smaller sizes. They often start their meal with an Antipasto or an Aperitivo. A stimulating Italian Aperitivo cocktail or a glass of sparkling wine is very common and often paired. Italians do not have a main course. Instead they have a First course and Second course followed by a savoury cheese platter, or a sweet dessert.

Their pastas are hand-rolled and hand-cut daily, you can choose from various assortment of pasta. The best part is breads, dips, sauces —everything is made in-house, and you can surely tell. The restaurant has a courteous staff and they make sure that the customers have a complete fine dine experience. But the highlight of Artusi is the authentic Italian food. It will show up at your table perfectly cooked, just the right temperature, full of flavour with a superb presentation.

The service was outstanding throughout our dining experience- the servers were very polite without being overbearing, each dish was explained to us properly and excellent suggestions were given to us whenever we had asked for it. Yes, the prices are on a higher side, but the quality of the food, the service, and the ambience totally justifies the high prices and it is definitely worth it.

Not To Be Missed:

Gran Paté
•Tomino
•Reginette With Smoked Salmon
•Reginette Al Ragú Bolognese
•Pork Chops(Red Meat)
•Panna Cotta (Dessert)
• A glass of Pinot Grigio

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The food here is so scrumptious- it is simple, rustic, and absolutely delicious, and for food this good, Artusi should always be bookmarked for constant visits!

That’s what makes Artusi so special—it doesn’t try to please everybody, it does what it knows, and it does it perfectly.

Posted in Travel

Top 10 hotels To Book In Mussorie

Mussoorie is a hill station which is visited throughout the year and is located in the Dehradun District of state of Uttarakhand. It is about 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km from New Delhi. This hill station is in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range. The adjoining town of Landour, which includes a military cantonment, is considered part of ‘greater Mussoorie’, as are the townships of Barlowganj and Jharipani. Being at an average altitude of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft), Mussoorie, with its green hills and varied flora and fauna, is a fascinating hill.

We have been visiting mussoorie since 2011 and almost every year. There are many areas where you can book your stay ex. Library End, Picture Palace, Landour and Barlowganj. Barlowganj is 5 kms from mall road and mainly has 5 star properties such as Jaypee Residency Manor. Picture Palace is the best area to book your hotel as it nearby to the mall road and the road to landour goes near to picture palace. If you love to stay in serenity and a little away from the hustle bustle then opt for library end, we stayed once on the library side and it was amazing.

We are listing down few properties in which we stayed and which we love-

1) Jaypee Residency Manor- Barlowganj
2) Golden Palms- Picture Palace
3) Rokeby Manor- Landour
4) Dancing Leaves By Sterling- Library Hill
5) Kasmanda Palace- Mall Road
6) Fortune Grace- Library End
7) Mosaic- Picture Palace
8) Welcome Hotel The Savoy- Library End
9) Claridges Nabha- Barlowganj
10) Ivy Bank- Landour

Wild Card: JW MARRIOTT WALNUT GROVE- Kempty Fall

Posted in Travel

Neemrana Hill Fort

Being a traveller, you’re always fascinated about finding new places and exploring different routes. But this time it was different for me, I wanted to relax and rejuvenate. Then what came to my mind was something I was dreaming about for a long time, HILL FORT KESROLI BY NEEMRANA.

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I have been to this place 3 times in a row but there was a gap and my plans for visiting this place again always got postponed. But this time it was a spontaneous trip and finally I was going to the most beautiful fort I have been to. HILL FORT is nearly 200kms from Delhi and takes around 4-5 hours to reach with 1 stop. The route you take is via Alwar-Bhiwadi highway to Kesroli village and then a kilometer off road to Hill fort.

The fort has its own private parking but there is a good ascend till the reception area. The property is simply beautiful and words actually fall short to describe the prettiness. The entire area is lush green, calm and detoxifying. We usually used to book the Shanker Mahal, unfortunately it was booked this time and we got TEETAR Mahal and BAAJ Mahal , both the rooms are small yet comfortable for a couple. Teetar Mahal has 2 single beds and the washroom area is almost as big as the room itself and BAAJ
Mahal has a double bed and a standard washroom. All the room in Hill Fort are different from each other and now they have extended their property and added more rooms on their list. So before booking a room I would suggest you to call the property and ask them which area and floor is the room you are choosing. Breakfast and evening high tea is complimentary with all the rooms but you have to pay for the lunch and dinner directly at the fort and it is always a buffet.

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Activities to do:
Swimming Pool
Badminton
Board Games
Spa

It was the fourth time at this property and it never lets you down. Kudos to the team of Hill fort and their commendable hospitality.

Posted in Travel

Top Summer Treks In India

Trekking is gaining too much exposure these days, everybody wants to be a traveller and not a tourist. For me trekking is not less than breathing, because it gives you a rush and also it helps in detoxification. I have roamed a lot in the mountains and the only thing which makes me go back again and again in the serenity and the calmness. When you trek to the far regions who tend to explore the nature more widely. Now that winters are receding summers are approaching we would like to list down ur favorite summer treks for beginners.

  • The Deo Tibba trek-is a great choice for beginners and amateur trekkers. It takes you through forests and pastures of the Gaddi shepherds and on to the village of Khanol. The trail leads to Seri and Chandertal Lake with its distinctive crescent shape. The next leg of the trek covers hamlets with temples framed against the lofty Himalayas before ultimately reaching the Deo Tibba base camp.
  • Kedarkantha-a mountain peak whose trekking trail draws adventure enthusiasts from all over. The base camp offers panoramic views of the Himalayan range, making it one of the best Himalayan summer treks. Although located at an altitude of 12,500 feet, the trek is considered easy to moderate, giving beginners and amateurs a good opportunity to hone their trekking skills. While it doesn’t require prior experience trekking, it’s important to stay in shape so you don’t tire out halfway on the trail.
  • The Har ki Doon Valley is a beautiful cradle-shaped hanging valley in the Garhwal Himalayas. It’s surrounded by alpine vegetation and towering snow-capped mountains. The trail is a popular one among trekkers who are just starting out and those who have trekked higher altitude trails.
  • Valley of Flowers is set in the Valley of Flowers National Park, famed for its endemic flora and home to endangered animals. ‘Discovered’ by mountaineer and explorer Frank Smith in 1931, it soon became a popular destination for nature lovers yearning to glimpse the valley filled with flowers. It’s now thought to be one of the best Himalayan summer treks for many.
  • Triund  trek can be described as a tranquil trek which can be easily accomplished by almost all age groups . Triund has an unambiguous byway which goes through a beautiful mixed forest of oak, deodar and rhododendron . Trek is fairly easy for the first five kilometers but the last one kilometer may require a bit of toil , the last one kilometer is popularly know as the “22 curves” as it has 22 tiring  curves before you finally reach Triund
  • Kheer Ganga (3050 meters) lies at the extreme end of Parvati valley and the last inhibited village while trekking to pin valley via Pin-Parvati pass. Kheerganga’s panoramic skies and vast greenery are a much-needed delight to the trekker’s eyes and especially the tired legs. It is a holy place with a hot water spring, a small temple of Lord Shiva and a bathing tank. It makes a rare combination for any trekker to bath in hot spring water when everything is covered by snow.
Posted in Food

Keventers #OriginalNine

In the earlier blog we introduced the new flavours launched by Keventers. So we decided to put our hands on a few flavours and try them out.

Almond rose: Remember when your mother made you ‘badaam doodh’ late at night so your exam preparation did not take a toll on your health. This flavour is none less than dream for rose lovers. Take the first sip which will give a hint of almond and by the end of the sip, the palette will be all about rose.

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Almond Coffee Rose: Tired of the cappuccinos and lattes? Yes we all are. Try the new mix of almond coffee and rose and let yourself indulge in the mixture. The coffee is always on a higher note, so the maximum flavour you get is coffee with a hint of rose.

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Paantastic: Do you like PAAN? Are you the guy who heads out at night just to have a paan at odean? The this shake is certainly for you and all those people who want to try paan but are scared. Who says paan can only be eaten, keventers has proven it wrong by introducing their Paantastic. Every sip is nothing but paan and the more you drink, the more you will fall in love.

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Macadamia Mayhem: Made from the finest nuts in the world, which are sourced all the way from the tropical climates of Australia, Brazil, and South Africa. This shake will give you a feel of having a snickers or a toblerone shake, because its chocolaty in nature and every sip consists of bits of nuts. As a chocolate lover we happy to gulp this flavour down with in seconds. We assure you it will cause a MAYHEM in your mouth.

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 All the flavours are priced between Rs. 195 to Rs. 350/-

Posted in Travel

Bijrani Jungle Camp

Corbett is an excellent place to spend a few days in the lap of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. A six hours drive from Delhi, Corbett National Park is among one of the most visited national parks of the country. Our property, Bijrani Jungle Camp, turned out to be one of the best I have stayed in around Corbett. There are 4 zones of Corbett park: Bijrani, Dhikala, Jhirna, Sitabani, Dhela & Durga. Corbett Camp is situated just 500mtrs ahead of Bijrani Zone Entry Gate and the best part of the property is that its inside the jungle, not too much in the interiors but you get a good feel of living inside the jungle.

After an easy booking process with The Himalayan Cove, we were excited to be there as soon as possible. Although our trip dates were goofed up by them, they ensured that we dont face any issues during our stay. We did a late Check-In, so the staff ensured that we get our food super fast because our safari jeep was waiting for us. In fact just after our very first lunch, we realized that the food served truly stood out and was simply divine, homemade, finger-licking. Never did either one of us ever think that we would be complaining about overeating by the end of the trip, but we all did.

It was time for the safari, we had booked an evening slot, timing 2-5pm. The entire journey through the jungle was exciting, as we all were doing it for the first time. The picturesque jungle and the landscapes were simply beautiful, each & every moment was filled with adrenaline rush. Every nook and turn that we did made us feel that the next stop we take will be because of the tiger, but unfortunately we did not spot any tiger, BADLUCK. But the entire safari was amazing and we gathered as much memories we could, because not every day one visits a dense forest. All we could spot were all kinds of Deer, Hornbill, Sound of Woodpecker, Big Old trees, Peacock and tiger pug marks.

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Coming back to Camp, we had our tea & snacks, took a little detour of the property, which is spread in a huge area, consisting of more than 10 cottages, Dining Hall & Play zone. The rooms are all basic styled, No A/C, but equipped with Desert Coolers. The bathrooms are neat and clean. All the rooms are for TWO people, but it has space for accomodating +1.

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Tips: While you check the website Himalayancove you are bound to find some package deals, but I would advise that before making any decision give them a call as you are likely to find a better deal with more options. Be sure that the dates given by you are clearly mentioned by them as same.
No 3g/4g coverage in the area.

 

 

Posted in Food

Keventers- #Original Nine

Festive season has just begun and this winter, India’s iconic dairy brand, Keventers has added nine new delightful flavors to satiate your palate. Along with these new flavours to tingle the taste buds, Keventers is also kick starting its campaign #OriginalNine as a sneak peek for the new flavours.

 This winter say hello to:

·        Almond rose: Remember when your mother made you ‘badaam doodh’ late at night so your exam preparation did not take a toll on your health? Let Keventers take you for a stroll down the memory lane with this new Almond rose shake sure to make you reminisce your school days

·        Almond Coffee Rose: Tired of the cappuccinos and lattes? Indulge in the lip-smacking flavor of Almond Coffee Rose and fall in love with coffee all over again

·        Snicker Superior: A bar of Snickers is constant go to for all your hunger pangs. Its time you take a dive into the deliciousness of your favorite chocolate in a milkshake form

·        Banoffee: Butter, caramel, whipped cream and a pinch of chocolate – all infused together in a beautiful Keventers bottle! The Banofee shake is just the right concoction to satisfy your sweet tooth

·        Banana Pine Coco: Experience the richness of the tropical forests in one sip of the Banana Pine Choco milkshake that is guaranteed to transcend you into another world altogether

·        Salted Caramel: The cold can be harsh, but just a whiff of this smooth flavor can lift your spirits! Are you ready to try the new Keventers Salted Caramel milkshake?

·        Rasmalai:  A personal favorite for all Indians! Just the thought of cottage cheese dipped in condensed milk is enough to leave your mouth watering. Enjoy your favorite desert with the Keventers Rasmalai shake

·        Paantastic: Ever thought of a paan shake? Experience this unique and interesting drink with Keventers Paantastic

·        Macadamia Mayhem: Known as one of the finest nuts in the world, these delicacies come all the way from the tropical climates of Australia, Brazil, and South Africa. The Keventers Macadamia Mayhen is sure to appeal to the health conscious in you

 Priced between Rs. 195 to Rs. 350/-, these new flavours are a delightful must have for any and every food lover.

Posted in Travel

India City Walks

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board empanelled ‘India City Walks’,
based out of New Delhi a three-time national award-winning brand as their official agency for curation and operation of Heritage Walks and content driven tourism in several cities of Madhya Pradesh – Khajuraho, Orchha, Mandu, and Bhopal.
With a mission to offer engaging interactions with local cultures ‘India City Walks’ intends to showcase Madhya Pradesh’s rich heritage through storytelling and create experiential delivery of tours for showcasing living heritage, which is not just conceptual but has intangible aspects like regions language, lifestyles, ceremonies, festivities, cultures etc. The heritage walking tours will focus on unique story, develop visitor experience, preserve the assets of the region and increase footprints.
Speaking on this, Dr. Srikant Pandey, IAS, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board said “Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board’s initiative of Heritage Walk is not just a statement but is a commitment. Our inheritance is our history and it is also a testimony of our culture and tradition. So please join us in this great initiative and help us continue the invaluable legacy of Madhya Pradesh”.
Mr. Sachin Bansal, the Founder & Chief Explorer of India City Walks says –“The vision of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board goes hand in hand with the vision of ‘India City Walks’. We are humbled to have been chosen to deliver the heritage walk experiences in the State. We are a passion driven organisation and intend to showcase every city with its own flavour and tale. Madhya Pradesh has a lot to share in terms of history, heritage and culture; we wish to capture it for all our travellers and guests".
Taking this vision forward ‘India City Walks’ organized their first Heritage Walk on the third day of the Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart, 29th October in Bhopal. The three hour Heritage Walk and Sightseeing Experience starting at 6:00 AM covered heritage properties like Iqbal Maidan, Moti Masjid, Sadar Manzil, Sheesh Mahal, Shaukat Mahal, Taj-ul- Masjid and Taj Mahal. The Heritage walk was organized to showcase the fascinating amalgam of scenic beauty, old historic city and modern urban planning of this historic city and offer local immersions by creating an experience to cover all nuances of the city.

The idea behind such an initiative is to make the National and International Travel and trade fraternity aware about the variety of destinations that the state has to offer and revive the fast-growing tourism sector and to market and promote Madhya Pradesh and get travellers closer to treasure troves of history, heritage, cultures and humane values which are fast becoming a forgettable relic in a rapidly transforming society.

About Madhya Pradesh Tourism: (www.mptourism.com)
Since more than four decades Madhya Pradesh Tourism is facilitating high standard travel services for travellers visiting Central India for Tourism. Madhya Pradesh is an important state of Central India with an enormous scope for tourism, covering all types of tourism like heritage tourism, wildlife tourism, cultural tourism, pilgrimage, tribal tourism, rural tourism etc. Their sincere efforts to manifest such aspect of Central India tourism to rest of the world so that tourists can come and explore Central India tourist places, trace their history, enjoy their holidays and return with beautiful memories is the USP.

About India City Walks’: (www.indiacitywalks.com)
India City Walks ’is a three-time National Award winning brand that came into existence to connect and showcase both historical and contemporary facets of different cities in India as mélange of cultures.  “India City Walks” delivers immersive experiences through an array of itineraries that cover heritage, culture, art, gastronomy and local activities and are handcrafted to help travellers explore a city’s soul and create a forum where they can engage with local experts and receive unparalleled access to the treasure troves of history and culture, making each interaction and experience memorable and worthwhile.