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S

The Indian
fAmILy HOLIdAy

perIzaad In corbeTT

sushmITa In dIsneyland

O my fRIend Kalpana has flown all the way from bangalore with her kids for a holiday in Corbett national Park. They are wildlife crazy and she feels it’s not enough for them to have been trailing the tiger only in nagarhole located closer home in Karnataka. And, my brother is flying all the way south from Lucknow to give his girls a vacation in Kerala during the festive break. year on year, they would come to delhi and we would drive up to the hills: Ranikhet, Kasauli, mussoorie… but this year they decided it was time to do different. The big fat family holiday is almost sacrosanct in most homes with means in India, and is led by the summer break when schools shut shop for a good two months and also by the festive season, October to december. People typically travel with children and often with the family elders as well. but no longer do they just head to the hills, or pack the kids off to the grandparents’. In fact, more and more Indian families are now veering towards customised, theme vacations as they go rafting, trekking, angling, diving, and beach bumming for some together time. Turn the pages to discover what is trending in family holidays. We give you insights into how India has been holidaying so far. And we give you some offbeat ideas on what to do next. Curious to know the top three places Indians googled for in 2012? Read on. Take your family to the Kruger national Park in South Africa for the most stunning wildlife experience ever. Or spend gentle time strolling in the hills, picking wild flowers and picnicking around an unfrequented homestay in dalhousie. Is there any family that can resist the lure of shopping? We handpick the 15 best shopping cities on the world map and tell you where to go for what. We also bring you an exclusive look into actor Sushmita Sen’s holiday in disneyland with daughter Renee, to celebrate the child’s 13th birthday recently. And before you start wondering if there is life beyond family in this issue, there is the brilliant design-led Away Spa at the W Hotel in bali, then there is the Jumeirah Golf estates in dubai. my pick of the month is Gandikota, in Andhra Pradesh, a fort which lies near the gorge formed by river Pennar with the erramala hills. Check out our Photo essay to see this stunning landscape like the Grand Canyon of India. In our food section discover the tiny town of dindigul near madurai in Tamil nadu for some of the best biryani ever! I am not a huge one for quotable quotes. but still going to leave you with one by mark Twain in this family Holiday special of ours: I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.

bHARAT AGGARWAL

abhIshek In chIcago

RITU AGARWAL ROHATGI

Send in your feedback to ritu.rohatgi@intoday.com
Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TravelPlus IndiaToday Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/ITtravelPlus Editor’s Blog: http://blogs.intoday.in/ Travel Plus Photo Gallery: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/gallerylist/travel/1/17.html

iNdiA todAY trAVel PlUs . NoVeMBer 2012 .

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Eminent dancers delight visitors with dramatic choreographies. Conceived as a festival of Classical Dances of India. the Sun Temple. which is held in an Open Air Auditorium showcases a magical parade of India’s classical and traditional dance forms. DINODIA PhOTO LIBRARy . Among popular events is the International Sand Art Festival that is held at the nearby Chandrabhaga Beach. Konark is a quintessence of imaginative craftsmanship of ancient Odisha. the objective of the Konark Festival is to promote Konark and Odisha as a tourist destination. The Annual Konark Festival. visitors can also attend the artists’ camp—an exhibition of Odishan temple sculptures which are often described as poetry transcribed on stone.[ PROMOTION ] Dance To The Divine Tune KonarK FesTival M odelled after the floating chariot of the mythical Sun God. The festival is organised for 5 days from December 1-5. Besides the dance performances.

Android.in/digitalmagazines BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.Touch Base with the World TRAVEL PLUS now available on iPad. . iPhone. PC and Mac. Kindle Fire.indiatoday. TAP TO DOWNLOAD App Store Available on the www. BEAUTIFUL PLACES. Grab your Digital Edition.

food fairs. gIRIsH masON/www. Hornbill Festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama. Kohima is linked to Shillong and Guwahati. flower shows. assistant Resident commissioner guwahati and shillong. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways fly to Dimapur. Nagas are fun loving in nature and songs are an integral part of all their festivities. The city is linked to Kolkata by air. wood carvings. within 24 hours of arrival. cultural medley—songs and dances. acquiring the entry permit is a must. New delhi. FoREIgn TouRISTS: Foreign tourists no longer require a Restricted area Permit (RaP)/Protected area Permit (PaP) to enter Nagaland in 2012. herbal medicine stalls. which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. PERMITS: Before travelling to Nagaland. The festival highlights include Traditional Naga morungs Exhibition and sale of arts and crafts. which is regularly serviced by major airlines. 12km from Kohima. Kolkota. each tribe celebrates the festival with dedication and passion. By Rail: Dimapur is a major railhead in the state that is linked to Guwahati. gospel songs that touch your soul or modern tunes rendered exquisitely to set your feet tapping. deputy Resident commissioner. and sculptures are also on display. poetic love songs immortalising ancient tragic love stories. In Nagaland. The distance between Dimapur and Kohima is 74km. RaP/PaP is still a requirement for Pakistani and chinese nationals. folk songs eulogising ancestors. sports. The new rules require foreigners to register themselves at the local Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) of the district that they are visiting. Traditional arts such as paintings. indigenous games and a musical concert. all the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. Naga wrestling. delicious traditional Naga food. Most of the country’s important railheads are connected to Guwahati. during the week-long festival. domestic tourists should obtain the Inner line Permit issued by the following authorities: deputy Resident commissioner. HoW To gET THERE: By Air: There is an airport in Dimapur. This is a temporary change in effect for one year. the brave deeds of warriors and traditional heroes. Nagaland House. crafts.INdIaTOdayImagEs. Proceed to Dimapur and then travel to Kohima which is 74km.[ PROmOTION ] The lAnD of folKlore The Hornbill Festival encourages inter-tribal interaction and promotes the cultural heritage of Nagaland I N NagalaNd. It is a great event for visitors to understand the people and culture of Nagaland. The festival is named after the bird hornbill. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland. Nagaland House. By Road: The state is well connected by roads. One such festival is the annual Hornbill festival organised by the government of Nagaland that takes place between december 1-7 in Kohima. games and ceremonies. deputy commissioner of dimapur. people enjoy colourful performances. musIc Is an integral part of life.cOm . Kohima and mokokchung. traditional archery.

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as indians get more experimental. customised and interesting. Ajay Khullar explores life beyond the swiss Alps and discovers its stunning lakes and waterbodies PAckAgES & DEAlS VFM offers. dipti Nair shares intriguing wildlife tales with family and friends 16 28 32 86 switzeRlANd NEWS & UPDATES Airlines. shopping. destinations. trade and business travel news As the country dedicates the year to ‘water’. is bound to thrill the traveller with labyrinths and untrodden bylanes filled with history and adventure oN tHe CoVeR Malaika arora khan PHotoGRAPHeR Farrokh Chothia loCAtioN Jordan CoVeR CouRtesy harper’s Bazaar india gooD bUyS Cool picks for the traveller . harsimran shergill tracks the trend 70 disNeylANd 92 the plus list y sushmita sen holidays with daughter Renee on her 13th birthday as a special treat 78 HiMACHAl PRAdesH Vandana Malhotra recounts how an unfrequented homestay in dalhousie became a place for bonding for her small family 15 Best shopping Cities cElEbrITy TrAvEl NEWS… 14 Ritu Agarwal Rohatgi discovers that Kruger National Park is as spectacular as it is harsh and the African bush can turn any adult into an awestruck child 72 soutH AFRiCA 82 tAMil NAdu At Northern Hay in Masinagudi. sindhuja Parthasarthy feels. hot deals 58 photo essay ANdHRA PRAdesH the Gandikota fort. the holidays get more experiential.IN THIS ISSUE 50 Hotels l l NovEmbEr 2012 travel m Fa ily ol H ida Bali Pune l l NCR Alibaug 64 cover story the all new indian FaMily holiday the the ubiquitous Family holiday has undergone an amazing holiday change over the last few years.

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NovEmbEr 2012 . new openings and the latest buzz in the gourmet world 105 locAl FlAvoUrS NAKuul MeHtA on his favourites in udaipur car & Bike 103 WINE colUmN spirited traveller by sourish Bhattacharyya 110 112 end notes DrIvINg HolIDAy the Konkan Coast 116 118 114 gADgETS oN THE go Great buys for the avid traveller bookS Review: Joseph Anton rEvIEW BMw 328i Pulsar 200Ns cArTooNS By Paul Fernandes 120 globETroTTEr Actor AKsHAy KuMAR 8 . dubai edmonton Colombo New delhi l l 99 FooD NEWS Products. which has earned itself the moniker of Biryani City and digs into some sinful soul food golF Jumeirah Golf estates. Karnataka 100 106 RestAuRANts l l l Food & tRAVel Mumbai Pune Anita Rao Kashi travels to dindigul. near Madurai. Punjab SHorT brEAk Mysore. events. INDIA ToDAy TrAvEl PlUS .IN THIS ISSUE travel 34 35 37 40 42 44 SHoPPINg colUmN world in a Bag by Queenie dhody NovEmbEr 2012 [ Lara Dutta and her nine-month-old daughter Saira Bhupathi were spotted at The Great Wall in China 14 ] food+drink HAPPENINgS events to watch out for cITy UPDATES Jordan with MAlAiKA ARoRA KHAN ITINErAry Patiala.

PC and Mac.T Style ouch with HARPER’S BAZAAR now available on iPad.harpersbazaarindia. In Grab your Digital Edition now! TAP TO DOWNLOAD Available on the App Store www. Kindle Fire.in/digitalmagazine Where Fashion Gets Personal . Android. iPhone.

3rD fLoor. 2221 3037.com or call +91-120-4078000 . 18-35 MILE sToNE. coNNAuGhT cIrcus.coM ● ImpACT offICeS: 1201. SiNdhuja ParThaSaraThY is a freelance travel photographer. INDIA ToDAy MEDIApLEx. Chumki Bharadwaj currently works for India Today Spice. 4Th fLoor. 443. NEW DELhI.L. DELhI-MAThurA roAD. sEcTor-16A. cAbLE: LIVMEDIA. fAx: 2656 5293. IsT fLoor. fAx: 2436 1942. phoNEs: (080) 2221 2448. decidedly her favourite in the country. she is the brain and force behind the hotel chain. ANNA sALAI. contact syndications@intoday. TEyNAMpET.V. ● 52. chENNAI. fAx: (0120) 4078 080. NoIDA-201 301. coNNAuGhT cIrcus.. 2377 058. pubLIshED AT K-9. NEW DELhI-110 001. PriYa Bala is a Bangalore-based journalist and a food and wine writer. team Senior General Manager (North. wrITe To: ThE INDIA ToDAy cusToMEr cArE. 12Th fLoor. fAx: (0484) 2377 059. A-61. NEW DELhI. AhMEDAbAD-380 006. phoNEs: (0484) 2377 057. she hopes to do nothing one day. Gifted with a high restlessness quotient. 3rD fLoor.in. golf Rishi narain Once India’s national champion and Asian Games gold winner. phoNEs: (079) 2656 0393. For this issue she reviews a homestay in TN. INDIA LIMITED.check in Drifter by choice and dreamer by habit. uTTAr prADEsh. Rama Rao Senior General Manager (National) We went to Bahrain last year to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. The Park. 2656 0929. cAbLE: LIVMEDIA. Assistant General Manager (West) General Manager (West) Suman Sharma Branch Head (East) Gurjeet Walia Assistant General Manager Aanchal Sharma deputy Manager Nitin Chand design director Sachin Stephen trAdE CirCuLAtioN Chief General Manager D. fAx: 2340 3484. the popular column by this well-known satirist continues to pack a punch. 10 AM To 6 pM. NoIDA-201 301. ● 202-204. sEcTor-16A. phoNEs: (033) 2282 1922. rIchMoND ToWErs. bEhIND WhITE housE. NEW DELhI-110 001. ● for SubSCrIpTIon ASSISTAnCe. fAx: 2221 8335. ToLL frEE No: 1800 1800 100 froM MTNL & bsNL LINEs. fILM cITy. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . phoNEs: (95120) 2479 900 froM DELhI & fArIDAbAD. We feature her photoessay on a less-know fort in Andhra Pradesh. CaRtoons paul fernandes Illustrator and avid people watcher.. LoWEr pArEL WEsT. ● INDIA ToDAy TrAVEL pLus DoEs NoT TAKE ThE rEspoNsIbILITy for rETurNING uNsoLIcITED pubLIcATIoN MATErIAL. CONTRIBUTORS Last family holiday Q Editor-iN-CHiEF Aroon Purie CHiEF ExECutivE oFFiCEr Ashish Bagga CHiEF oPErAtiNG oFFiCEr Mala Sekhri Editor Ritu Agarwal Rohatgi Executive Editor Kalyani Prasher Associate Editor Ajay Khullar Assistant Editor Harsimran Shergill Editorial Coordinator Neelu Sharma Art director Syed Salahuddin deputy Art director & Photographer Senior designer Sukumar Das Sr. dtP cum Layout designer Arun Marwah Chief Production Gajendra Bhatt deputy Manager Production Assistant Manager Production Senior Production Coordinator Ravi Kant My last family holiday was to Agra because my daughter wanted to see the Taj Mahal and the forts. shopping Queenie Dhody Globetrotter and jewellery designer. this time to discover a homestay in Dalhousie. GAuTAM buDh NAGAr. prINTED AT ThoMsoN prEss. ToWEr 2A. cAbLE: LIVMEDIA bANGALorE. soMAjIGuDA. I had no leave so we went for a day! Art Deep Pahwa ProduCtioN Shovan Banerjee Mithilesh Kumar We went to Nainital this summer for 4 days. she is a shopaholic ideally placed to bring you up-to-date information. j.b. MArG. pANchWATI. Defining the stasis between her travels as an occupational hazard. he adds zing to the magazine with his sharp wit and inimitable style. s. where she is putting together a travel talk show. My son really enjoyed activities like boating and ropeway. chENNAI-600 018. oNE INDIAbuLLs cENTrE. MArKEtiNG CrEAtivE ouR expeRts & Columnists CaR & bike Yogendra pratap Editor of Auto Bild. KArAKKAT roAD. E-MAIL: WEcArELsG@INToDAy. MuMbAI-400 013. NOVEMBER 2012 www. Olive Bar & Kitchen and LAP. KoLKATA-700 071. phoNE: (040) 2340 0479. hAryANA.M. bANGALorE-560 025. fAx: 6606 3226. 12 rIchMoND roAD. hyDErAbAD-500 082. phoNE: (022) 6606 3355. hotels priya paul One of India’s leading women entrepreneurs. sEcTor-57. LIVING MEDIA INDIA LTD. NoIDA-201 301. producer. phoNEs: (120) 4807 100. Read her feature on Sri Lanka. vaNdaNa malhoTra’S love for travel started in school with little trips across Rajasthan.in . fILM cITy.G. ● 39/1045. ● 6-3-885/7/b. diPTi Nair has found a new passion in radio. GuNA coMpLEx MAIN buILDING. fooD Chef saby He is the man who rustles up the delicious fare at acclaimed restaurants like ai. GAuTAM buDh NAGAr. c. Having edited a popular city supplement for several years she is now venturing into new media and setting up a website devoted to eating. She is writer. rEproDucTIoN IN ANy MANNEr Is prohIbITED.S. rAj bhAVAN roAD. off. fArIDAbAD121 007. uTTAr prADEsh. fAx: 2282 7254. fc-8. cochIN-682 016. roAD. East & West) Gauri Damodaran Poonam Hukku deputy General Manager (North) deputy General Manager (North) Mary Mehrunnisa Jaya Oberoi General Manager (South) Shveta T. fc-8. cAbLE: LIVMEDIA. “suryA rATh bLDG” 2ND fLoor. Vinod Das Senior Manager (North) Manish Shrivastava Senior Manager (East) Joydeep Roy General Manager (West) Rajesh Menon General Manager (South) Deepak Bhatt General Manager Rakesh Sharma oPErAtioNS CoNSuMEr MArKEtiNG SErviCES Head-Consumer Services Poonam Sangha Senior Manager: Subscriptions & Customer Care Rajeev Chawla Senior Manager Direct Distribution & Operations Gurpreet Singh volume IX number 9 for november 2012 eDITorIAl offICe: LIVING MEDIA INDIA LTD. NEhru roAD. ● ALL DIspuTEs ArE subjEcT To ThE ExcLusIVE jurIsDIcTIoN of coMpETENT courTs AND foruMs IN DELhI/NEW DELhI oNLy. tRavel log Jug suraiya Called our very own Art Buchwald. ● INDIA ToDAy MEDIApLEx. (0120) 2479 900 MoN To frI. cALcuTTA. cAbLE: LIVMEDIA. the spiRiteD tRavelleR sourish bhattacharyya Executive Editor of Mail Today is a wine enthusiast who has served on the juries of several wine challenges. ● 2c. writing. K bLocK. ● fIfTh fLoor. ● pubLIshED AND prINTED by MALA sEKhrI oN bEhALf of LIVING MEDIA INDIA LIMITED. phoNEs: (120) 4807 100. 2282 5398. phoNE: (044) 2847 8525. she pursues many interests including travel. ● reGISTereD offICe: 9. ALL rIGhTs rEsErVED ThrouGhouT ThEWorLD. After 21 years as a print journalist. (jupITEr MILLs). news & documentary at Radiowalla. 2ND fLoor. Read about her Bali spa break. uTTAr prADEsh. Her wanderlust continues to take her away from the cacophony of Delhi.syndicationstoday. theatre. eDITor-In-ChIef: ArooN purIE 10 For reprint rights and syndication enquiries. he is the first one to drive the Golden Quadrilateral and one of India’s best in automotive journalism. he now runs the Rishi Narain Golf Management. ● copyrIGhT 1996. 2340 1657.

Kindle Fire.co. Android. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING ON THE GO! Grab your Digital Edition now! TAP TO DOWNLOAD App Store Available on the www.GOOD HOUSEKEEPING now available on iPad.goodhousekeeping. iPhone. PC and Mac.in/digitalmagazine .

indiatodaygroup. your magazine definitely adds the ‘Plus’ to travel. Chandigarh We love your feedback and are always hungry for suggestions & comments. However. FC-8. Mumbai 2 Kudos for tHe se asia issue These days travel is about the road less taken. see…that makes travel easier. —Editor LETTERS 1 Honeymoon travels “10 Offbeat Romantic Escapes” (ITTP September 2012) is quite different and a good guide for couples who would like to enjoy more of nature! Though my personal opinion is that honeymooners should not spend more time outdoors than indoors! Otherwise the very purpose of a honeymoon is defeated. Lifestyle Group.com and editortravelplus@intoday. Ohio TOP5 oF THE MoNTH our reply Actors are travellers too! It is unfortunate that this part of our magazine doesn’t work for you. I think one should revisit the honeymoon destination after a few years and relive those memories and experience the destination in a more ‘touristy’ manner. —Jay Jasani. In the October issue. I feel researchers and writers will know better than some of the stars. accessible and fun. e-mail: itplus@intoday. The places you pick. India Today Mediaplex. and sometimes the places you write about in the magazine are out of the way and yet you still manage to make us want to travel there. Your insights on travel are intelligent and practical as well. Gautam Budh Nagar. Akron. Noida-201 301. Also after the honeymoon there are more memories of time spent together rather than places seen or visited. you did a good job of showcasing some out of the way places like the Cameron Highlands and Vietnam. New Delhi 5 tHe road less travelled Of late I have started reading your magazine and find myself looking for a copy each month. log on to www. NoVEMBER 2012 . Keep up the good work. Sector-16A.com 12 . US. however we hope you like the rest of the content and will continue reading. To subscribe to India Today Travel Plus online. Plus the information on new hotels and restaurants is also handy for someone like me who travels to different cities frequently. —Mahesh Kapasi. I just wanted to share this thought with you. New Delhi 4 tHe plus to travel Have to admit. However. The Southeast Asia Special Issue deserves a special mention because we as Indians have moved away from the usual Switzerland. but it’s the extra bit of information that you give—where to stay. Do your issues sell more if you link travel locations to movie actors? Does it make me want to go there just because a movie star has been there? I think we (your readers) are a bit more intellectual than you think we are. the experiences are all truly amazing. this has not swayed me Letters to the editor should be sent with the writer’s name and address to: tHe editor. So keep them coming readers as your letter might just win a gift hamper worth 2000 of ecofriendly clothing from Do U Speak Green? Write to us & be a Winner! 3 WHy tHe stars I love your magazine and use it for ideas to travel whenever I come to India. india today travel plus. Uttar Pradesh. —Vicky Singh. who would probably not be able to give as good an idea of a place and location. Film City. iNDia ToDaY TRaVEl PlUS . eat.check in Mail Box away from your publication. 3rd Floor. It’s good to get off the beaten track.com Letters chosen for publication may be edited for reasons of space and clarity. UK vacations and are exploring more affordable yet exciting holidays. the concept of movie stars talking of a place doesn’t seem palatable to me. —Rajat Bhatia. —Tannavi Kumar.

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So Lara Dutta and her tiny nine-month-old daughter Saira Bhupathi were spotted at The Great Wall in China while hubby Mahesh Bhupathi remained missing in action. wearing a black cotton turtle neck. Steve Jobs. The figure will remain at the museum till November 26. iPhone and iPad has been portrayed in his trademark relaxed style. nOVEMBER 2012 . attempting a diaper change on the Great Wall of China is no mean feat!”. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong revealed a new wax figure of legendary businessman and inventor. Lara twitted: “Star baby or not. The co-founder of Apple Inc and brain behind the iPod. 14 YOGEN SHAH . She’s among the mommies who are not into wasting any of that precious time when it comes to travelling. InDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs .travel Lara Dutta with daughter in China CELEBRITY nEws steve Jobs wax figure at Madam Tussauds HK Marking the first death anniversary of the Apple whiz. before travelling to Madame Tussauds Bangkok and Shanghai. The professional team of Madame Tussauds had also replicated a pair of Lunor spectacles which was custom made for Jobs. Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers.

This A SH is a turning point in my life. Aishwarya said. Illinois just outside of Chicago right.” H Abhishek Bachchan goes golfing in Chicago While wife fulfilled her commitments as a UN ambassador. Lee said: “Having travelled to India some 60 plus times. I don’t want to be just a poster girl. EN G YO I wanted to be associated with the UN at a time when I could actually contribute to the work and the causes. Mirza also spent time clicking pictures with students from the Operation Sadbhawna Group. to encouraging Indians to visit this wonderful country and experience all that Australia has to offer. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was appointed as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS. Dia Mirza visits the Taj Mahal Mixing business with pleasure actor Dia Mirza was spotted in Agra to launch Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre’s new. I now look forward. 2012. Aishwarya will help raise awareness on issues related to HIV/AIDS for children and advocate for increased access to anti-retroviral treatment. don’t want to be just part of a platform that will have my face.” InDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs . before the Ryder Cup.Aishwarya appointed the UnAiDs Ambassador in new York Joining the likes of Angelina Jolie and Sean Penn. Jr. she also took some time out to visit one of the three most Googled destinations in India this year— The Taj Mahal of course. And while she was in the vicinity. In her new role. quotes and voice. holding the hand of the organisation which will lead me to the real picture on the ground. FOTOCORP Brett promotes Australia QAMAR SIBTAIN He may have retired from international cricket but former Australian cricketer Brett Lee’s association with India keeps getting stronger. 15 . He joined Tourism Australia’s ‘Friends of Australia’ advocacy programme to promote the country’s tourism. He also met Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps and legendary golf coach Hank Haney. Bachchan took some time out to test his golfing skills at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah. “I will initially be like a student. nOVEMBER 2012 . The actor has been in Chicago shooting for his upcoming film Dhoom 3. as a Friend of Australia ambassador. The Ryder Cup is one of the most anticipated events on the golfing calendar. chic and stylish Tamaya Spa.

◗ megha ajgaonkar has been promoted to Director of sales and marketing at the westin pune Koregaon park and pravin lembe has been appointed as the Director of Finance at the westin pune Koregaon park. Dining options include south indian cuisine at the all day dining facility. each of the resort’s sprawling 59 villas features a private pool and expansive views. the saffron restaurant features thai cuisine. the brand’s signature link sheraton communications hub in the lobby. the opening takes place in two phases. the hotel’s second tower. classical dance performances are presented in the bar lounge every night. where a selection of premium whiskys and wines are also on offer. cotai central. the leela palaces. other highlights include palms lounge. consisting of two sleek towers overlooking the cotai strip. the villa interiors are made using indigenous materials like coir. www. sheraton earth tower.travel HOTEL nEws Starwood Hotels open Sheraton Macao starwood hotels & resorts worldwide opened the new sheraton macao hotel.com Banyan tree opens in Kerala banyan tree hotels and resorts debuts with an all pool villa property in india. sheraton Fitness programmed is designed exclusively for sheraton guests. the sheraton sky tower that’s launched already. InDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs . prepared and served tableside. sheraton club lounge and the Kashgar grand ballroom. in his last assignment he served as gm. PLUSPICK 16 . reservations-kerala@banyantree.com welcomheritage noor-us-sabah palace bhopal is all set to eXpanD bY aDDing 100 rooms anD 20 luXurY suites APPOINTMENTS ◗ movenpick hotel & spa bangalore appointed biswajit chakraborty as general manager of the hotel. the luxurious sala pool on level four. chakraborty is a veteran hotelier who brings with him 25 years of experience with established hotels like the leela and the oberoi. shine spa and sheraton core performance fitness facility with all new health and fitness program. nOVEMBER 2012 .sandscotaicentral. one offering spectacular views of the cotai strip. located on nediyathuruthu in the alleppey district of Kerala. ornamental wood carvings and Kathakali art. and will offer an additional 2.829 rooms.067 rooms. contemporary design and a gueridon service presented. this is the second starwood hotel to open in macau. hotels and resorts where he was nominated as gm of the year by hotelier india. ◗ le meridien Kochi appointed saji Joseph as general manager of le meridien. features 1. as well as two more outdoor pools. saji joins with over 16 years in the hotel industry. opens early next year.

songsaa. room rates begin at us$ 359 per night. For reservations. all using chinese ink to celebrate the hotel’s asian roots. or visit www. the mandarin miami will showcase an exhibition of specially commissioned works by an elite miami artists guild. it will be on display at the hotel lobby throughout november. the transfers will operate four days a week (mon/weds/Fri/sat) for $688 one way and will depart from sofitel phnom penh phokeethra’s helipad or from phnom penh international airport. guests staying during this period will also receive a mandarin oriental art book as a special gift courtesy the hotel. the hotel will host a live art presentation on november 3.com AD . guests staying for over 7-12 nights can avail complimentary one-way or return transfers. www. call (+1) 305 913 8288. the exhibition will feature more than 20 artworks illustrating portraits. landscapes and still life. to kick off the exhibition.com/ miami The private island resort of Song Saa now offers chopper transfers the song saa and the sofitel phnom penh phokeethra has started private helicopter transfers for its guests from the city of phnom penh for a 90-minute ride directly to the island.Asian Art Exhibition at Mandarin Oriental Miami serving as a prelude to art basel miami beach.mandarinoriental.

com courtesY: Visit britain Stay at the Tamassa Beach Resort in Mauritius for 6 nights/7 days at 69. this might be just the right time to venture out for those literary tours. www. For the adventure seekers. literatours for austen advocates traverse the entire country: From hampshire where Jane was born. making it the world’s largest oceanarium. Resorts World Sentosa all set to open resorts world sentosa (rws) throws open its doors to the world on December 7. the Valtice castle has more than 100 rooms and 17 are accessible to the public. to bath where she lived.rwsentosa.travel DEsTInATIOn nEws A different side to Czech Republic go beyond prague in the very exotic czech republic. Doctor who and Jack the ripper (200th. the complex is considered to be the largest landscaped area in europe. whilst shakespeare devotees can head for stratford-upon-avon and Dickens fans can visit Kent—the author’s childhood home and inspiration for many of his novels.czechtourism. head to the beautiful lednice-Valtice complex in south moravia.in .tuiindia.990 per person.com Britain for the literature buffs the english are celebrating 2013 as the anniversary of pride and prejudice. the castle cellars are home to the famed wine salons of the czech republic where visitors can taste the best of czech wines. it’s time lots more featured in your itinerary. InDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs . with stunning buildings and vast parks. with the opening of the second of its two anchor attractions—the marine life park that has more than 100. it comprises five cycling trails altogether. drinks and unlimited watersports and outdoor activities. 18 . there’s lichtenstein paths—a unique complex of cycling trails connecting beautiful sights in the ledniceValtice complex and lower austria. www. it will have two ticketing options. giving guests the option of either getting wet or staying dry.photo. on unesco’s world heritage list. nOVEMBER 2012 www. The package includes all meals. 50th and 125th respectively).000 marine animals of over 800 different species. Do it different this time.

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DEsTInATIOn nEws
Get up close to the elephants in Thailand
From witnessing a glimpse of an ancient mahout ceremony, to joining an elephant behavioural research team, to performing a simple elephant health check with a specialist vet, the Four seasons tented camp golden triangle have come up with elephant whisperer package that brings you closer to the gentle giants in thailand. stay in luxury tents and enjoy a private elephant camp dinner for two, sunset cocktails and canapés experience on a raft on the ruak river and spa sessions. www.fourseasons.com

New Zealand beckons
representing a country known for its beauty tourism new zealand (tnz), announced its PLUSPICK partnership with malaysia airlines (mh) and auckland international airport (aial). the partnership is aimed at targeting the indian festive and wedding season and will offer indian travellers the convenience of flying to auckland from india on malaysia airlines for 58,717. bookings and ticketing for this deal are available till november 15, 2012 for the travel period valid up to December 15, 2012; www.malaysiaairlines.com.

Villa escapes is oFFering 7-DaY staY at pool-siDe Villas in italY, France, spain anD inDonesia at 99,000 www.thevillaescape.com

Carnival time in St Moritz
come november and st. moritz’s atmosphere is transformed into a never ending carnival. the birthplace of winter tourism in the alps, this season kick start with the st. moritz city race from november 30– December 2 (www.stmoritzcityrace.ch) and the ski opening Day (December 1-2), when equipment tests are offered to guests. in the evening, the ski piste will be transformed to a pedestrian zone for the city race (www. engadin.stmoritz.ch). round off with the sinfonia (between December 28–30) with the best musicians from berlin, Dresden, baden-baden, zurich, milan and bologna; www.sinfonia-engiadina.ch

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switzerlanD tourism/c.sonDeregg

becoming the second airline from the middle east after royal jordanian BA starts automatic check-in trials to make travel more convenient for its customers. if the trials are a success.airarabia. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs . customers will be automatically checked in. the frequency will be increased to five days a week in the months to follow.indiatodayimages. AIRLINE NEws Air Arabia increases Delhi flights to double daily making it easier for Uae-bound travellers.britishairways. the airline also signed a revenue sharing joint agreement with japan airlines (jal) for flights between europe and japan. for details visit www.com . earlier.com qatar airways has been elected a member of oneworld alliance. twenty-four hours before flight time. direct connections to male were through thiruvananthapuram and bangalore only. NOVEMBER 2012 bharat aggarwal/www. initially the airline will fly thrice a week.com 22 . the airline has started a trial for travellers flying out of airports in france. air arabia doubled its connectivity to new delhi by adding two daily flights from sharjah. ba is experimenting with its new automatic check-in service. assigned a seat and will receive an electronic boarding pass. Visit www. further trials of complimentary porter service for first and gold executive club customers will be undertaken at the heathrow terminal 5 in autumn. return flights depart from delhi international airport daily at 13:05pm and 04:40am. the automated check-ins will be extended to more travellers in the spring. departing from sharjah international airport. the aim is to make the service an option for all customers by the end of 2013. meanwhile.travel Direct flights to Male from Mumbai maldivian airlines will start direct flights between male and mumbai starting november 15 onwards. the airline currently has 7 weekly flights to delhi. this means better connectivity for travellers between europe and japan with 19 weekly flights between the UK and japan. there will be 14 flights per week at 07:45am and 23:20pm.

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indigo will operate its third daily and direct flight between mumbai and ahmedabad and mumbai and goa.goindigo. departing on wednesdays. the airline has created the ‘qatar airways culinary world menu’—a collection of signature dishes for its passengers. tom aikens and nobu matsuhisa onboard. Vineet bhatia. the airline also announced new flights to najaf that will be effective from january 23.com Fly with IndiGo and avail the ‘get packing’ offer with Shangri-La Hotel. Kathmandu for 15. 952 per night. the new menu is available on all flights to and from doha international airport. The package includes return airfares. featuring both business and economy class cabins. the new services will be operated with airbus a319 and a320. for flight schedule visit www.in Compiled by harsimran shergill 24 . visit www. IndiGo launches four new flights launching four additional flights from mumbai. flights will operate three times weekly. with return flights the following day.silkair. fridays and sundays. breakfast and sightseeing. 2013.travel AIRLINE NEws Qatar Airways begins inflight chef service getting top chefs like ramzi choueiri. additionally. for flight schedules. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUs . accommodation. Vizag is the airline’s eighth destination in india and together with singapore airlines both airlines will now operate from 11 cities across the country. both corporate as well as leisure travellers from mumbai will now have the opportunity to experience hassle-free connections. To book packages call (0) 99103 83838. NOVEMBER 2012 .in International flights from Vizag singapore airlines regional wing. there will be 12 flights per week to iraq and the airline will operate four direct flights a week to najaf via doha. visit www.goindigo. silkair has started direct flights between Visakhapatnam and singapore. the airline will also connect ahmedabad and goa to chandigarh via mumbai.

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O. 55-56. Rumtek Monastery. www.500 per person PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation. tel: (0172) 4687 777.990 per person ITINERARY: Port Blair. Sector 17-C. Valid till March 31. Gangtok. www. 2013 CONTACT: Grand Travel Planners Pvt.com PackaGes & Deals Great value-for-money offers! RITAM BAnERjEE/www.tridenthotels.sotc.arzoo. breakfast VAlIDITY: December 31. forest guide fee. Chandigarh.com MARRIOTT COURTYARD. breakfast. meals. two scheduled safari activities daily. Visit www. airport transfer. meals. 2012 CONTACT: enquire@sotc.000 for two PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation.C. Balinese massage.InDIATODAyIMAGES. accommodation. breakfast. 2012 CONTACT: For reservations call (0124) 4888 444. soak in the sun at Port Blair and Havelock Island DURATION: 5 nights/6 days PRICE: 227. gtp@grandtravelplanners. 2013.10029. Havelock Island and snorkelling at Elephant Beach PACkAgE INClUDEs: Airfare. pick and drop anywhere in Mumbai VAlIDITY: Till March 2012 CONTACT: Trident Hotels. for reservations call (011) 2389 0555 or toll-free 1800 11 2122. and Darjeeling for 15. S.com www. Tsomgo Lake. complimentary internet.000 per person/night (twin sharing) PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation. MUMBAI WHAT: A weekend of rejuvenation in a restful and soothing environment of the Trident Spa and Fitness Centre DURATION: Friday/Saturday PRICE: 212. transfers and sightseeing.COM AnDAMAn & nICOBAR ISLAnDS WHAT: For beach and water sport lovers.500. emergency medical evacuation insurance VAlIDITY: April 15.marriott. Ltd. transfers and sightseeing. The offer includes accommodation (twin sharing).in. KAnhA nATIOnAL PARK WHAT: Camping and safaris in the Kanha jungle DURATION: 2 nights/3 days PRICE: 221. VAlIDITY: December 19.in TRIDEnT. InDIa toDay travel Plus . GURGAOn WHAT: The hotel offers special rates and package for the guests who stay for 5 days or more DURATION: 5 days PRICE: Between 27.com The Best of East offer explores Kalimpon.grandtravelplanners. tel: 1800 2093 344 (toll free). www. novemBer 2012 . 2703 059.travel india TAJ SAFARI.com 28 .

com Stay at the Reef Villa & Spa.com nAM hAI. PO Box: 50400.ae. Paschimi Marg. airport transfers. Sri Lanka for US$ 440 per night and enjoy US$ 250 credit in the Spa. VIETnAM WHAT: A spa destination package for three restorative days of massage and yoga classes DURATION: 2 nights/3 days PRICE: Starting at 221. The offer is valid till november 15. accommodation. Vasant Vihar. sky ride. tel: +971-4-295 6666.18.avari. luxurious apartment with a number of special complimentary services. full car insurance. Universal Studios. city tour. song of the seas). transfers. tel: 1800 1028 747. airport transfer. 29 SInGAPORE TOURISM international AVARI hOTEL. close encounters with the underwater world and plenty of quality moments to spend with family and friends. 2012 CONTACT: Avari Dubai Hotel. breakfast. Val D’orcia. Vietnamese dinner for two.400 per night PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation. 2012 CONTACT: makemytrip.com.reefvilla. luge ride. complimentary aroma therapy and a full body massage for two VAlIDITY: november 30. dolphin lagoon. DURATION: 4 nights/5 days PRICE: Starts at 26.500 PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation. www.com hOnEYMOOn PACKAGE ITALY WHAT: join team Ferrari for a tour around Rome and Florence and drive their latest models. DUBAI . Dubai.ghmhotels. www. new Delhi.lushescapes. breakfast. airport transfers. tel: (0)98118 71888. underwater world. 2012 CONTACT: reservations@ thenamhai.com InDIa toDay travel Plus . wine tasting. breakfast and dinner. jurassic Park rapids adventure.makemytrip.550 ITINERARY: Sentosa Island Tour (includes admission fee. DURATION: 3 nights PRICE: 222. Balinese massage. tel: (+84) 5103 940 000. herbal oil and floral bath. breakfast. Florence and Orvieto (Umbria) PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation.com.000 per person ITINERARY: Rome. Singapore visa charges VAlIDITY: December 29. www. DURATION: 4 nights/5 days PRICE: 247. night safaris PACkAgE INClUDEs: Airfare. Visit www. info@lushescapes. www. reservations@avari-dubai. novemBer 2012 . complimentary shuttle to Hoi An Heritage Town VAlIDITY: December 20.BERTHOLD wERnER WHAT: Avari Dubai Hotel provides couples a chance to enjoy their romantic getaway in a private. spa treatments VAlIDITY: Throughout the year CONTACT: C-7.com. UAE.com SInGAPORE WHAT: night safaris.

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PackaGes & Deals
BAnDIPUR, KARnATAKA

m Fa ily

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WHAT: The wildlife at Bandipur Tiger Reserve in South Karnataka is both spectacular and abundant. Go on a jeep safari, nature treks and visit the neighbouring Mangala dam. DURATION: 2 nights/3 days PRICE: 25,000 onwards PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation, breakfast, transfers VAlIDITY: june15, 2013 CONTACT: arzoo.com; tel: (022) 6713 4444; www.arzoo.com

H

ida

WHAT: Special packages for the annual Pushkar Camel Fair held between november 20–28. DURATION: 2 nights/3 days PRICE: 229,999 per person ITINERARY: Camel rides to the mela grounds, hot air ballooning, cycle routes, hikes up to the Savitri Brahmin Temple, shopping trips to Pisangan Fort in Kishangarh. PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation, meals, yoga and meditation sessions, puppet show, magic show, Qwalli session in the evening, night safari VAlIDITY: november 20-28, 2012 CONTACT: Sewara Hospitality & Development, T-210 j, Shahpur jat, near Panchsheel Club, new Delhi; tel: (011) 2649 4531/32; www.sewara.com

SAnjAy RAMACHAnDRAn/www.InDIATODAyIMAGES.COM

PUShKAR RESORTS, RAJASThAn

KhAJJIAR, hIMAChAL PRADESh
WHAT: Exquisite views of the Dhauladhar range, this package takes you through Manali, Dharamsala, Dalhousie and Khajjiar DURATION: 8 nights/9 days PRICE: 220,999 (twin sharing) PACkAgE INClUDEs: Accommodation, breakfast, sightseeing and transfers VAlIDITY: March 31, 2013 CONTACT: makemytrip.com; tel: 1800 1028 747; www.makemytrip.com

©DISnEyLAnD, PARIS

DISnEYLAnD, PARIS
WHAT: A special offer to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland, Paris DURATION: One day PRICE: 116 per adult PACkAgE INClUDEs: One night accommodation, a ticket for Disneyland Park or walt Disney Studios Park) for every family member and breakfast VAlIDITY: november 6 CONTACT: For longer stay, contact (+33) 1 6417 9038 or mail on special-offer@vi-hotels.fr

Camp out at the Bannerghatta national Park, Bangalore for 2 nights/3 days and enjoy tiger safaris, nature walks and late night bonfire. The package includes all meals. Valid till June 15, 2013. www.arzoo.com

SRInIG

COmPIlED bY HARsImRAN sHERgIll

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travel

good buys

cool & quirky products
sCENT oF A WoMEN
While sifting through duty free stores, check out the elegant 58 Avenue Montaigne by S.T. Dupont. Price: 2,500 approx

celeb style

hookEd
COURTESY: S.T. DUPONT

These belts from the British luxury brand Bucks are understated, chic and classy. Price: 2,600

iT’s A WRAP
An ode to the traditional craft of Gulabdar, these mosaic scarves from Ahujasons make a prefect gift. Price: 50,000 onwards.

iN ThE bAg
This new Speedy Bandouliere, from the Louis Vuitton stable, is a smart anytimeuse bag. Price: On request

high TiME
This eye-catching nabucco Intenso by Raymond Weil is inspired by the famous opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Price: 3,20,760

EyE CATChER
For the bold and the beautiful, these red Cat Highs from Esprit bring back the retro look like none other. Price: 5,400 onwards

Miranda kerr takes casual to another level. she’s seen carrying her trusted celine bag topped with a stylish fedora hat.

Bucks belt is available at Bucks store at Eros Hilton, Nehru Place, New Delhi. Louis Vuitton bag is available at all their stores across the world. Visit www.louisvuitton.com to locate a store close to you. Avenue Montaigne by S.T Dupont is available at all duty free stores across the world. Mosaic scraves are available at Ahujasons exclusive stores in Main Market, South Extension-II, Karol Bagh in New Delhi. Visit www.ahujasons.com to find a shop close to you. Pick up the Nabucco Intenso from Raymond Weil shops across the world. Visit www.raymond-weil.com to locate a store close to you. Ray Ban wayfarers can be bought from leading stores in the country. Visit www.ray-ban.com to locate a store close to you.

compiled by harsimran shergill

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000 chocolate shops! Let yourself be captivated by this multilingual and multicultural country which is considered to be Europe in a nutshell. visiteurope. Gauja National Park . Europe has it all. There is always something to do and something wonderful to see. top-class museums to renowned galleries. Old 3 UM AN N BA RB AR A NE 5 4 EUROPA-PARk RUST 1. Océade and a planetarium.visiteurope. To get a taste of its heritage you must visit Gauja National Park in Ligatne region which has more than 500 cultural and historical monuments such as hill forts. the Mini-Europe Park. churches. gardens. a European holiday has something for everyone.com/Discover/Themes/Wellness---spas to experieNce the eNtirety of europe: Belgium seems to offer something for everyone: with over 200 museums. Perhaps the best part about this country is that it offers a lot for children such as Children’s Museum. And for shoppers there are bound to be some great deals on merchandise and gifts with a traditional touch. For example in central Europe. manors etc.com/Discover/Themes/Museums To get more details on European holidays please go to: europa. the official home of the Belgian king and the Atomium. don’t miss the beautifully decorated Christmas markets.youre.visiteurope.visiteurope.com/Discover/Themes/UNESCO www.com/Discover/Where-To-Go/Central-Europe Riga will impress you with its vivid art nouveau buildings 2 while Latgale with its picturesque lakes is a haven for nature lovers. Toy Museum.com/Discover/Themes/National-parks www. visiteurope. where you could see the world’s biggest nutcracker or a huge Christmas pyramid.visiteurope. There are over 2. www. peaceful abbeys as well as historic battlefields.visiteurope. will mesmerize you with its rich heritage and multicultural environment. Comic Strip Centre (the kingdom of the Smurfs.com/Discover/Themes/Beaches www. From art and architecture to beautiful cities. visiteurope. Germany has over 50 theme and amusement parks.com/Europe. Germany’s largest national park. Even nature lovers will take pleasure in exploring the flora and fauna of the region while visiting any one of the famous national parks in the region like Schleswig-Holstein Mud Flats National Park.visiteurope. Children with TV figure Little Sandman 4. If you are travelling during winters. The latter also is an abode of numerous beautiful churches including one of the most noted sanctuaries in the world—Aglona Basilica. Here are some activities that merit being part of your family’s vacation experience in Europe 1 N.ready LATvIAN TOURISM sightseeiNg aNd shoppiNg: Europe has a lot to offer when it comes to family holidays loaded with sightseeing and shopping. Scientastic Museum. stone castles. 300 art nouveau buildings in Brussels. every member of your family will surely have a blast.com/Discover/Themes/Shopping escape from your busy lives: If you are planning a quiet family vacation then northern Europe is the perfect place for you. a country like Latviaalso known as the pearl of Baltic States. whenever. Museum of Musical Instruments.eu/ readyforeurope/ Or visit Facebook page: facebook. Tintin and Lucky Luke). like Europa Park in Rust and Freizeit-Land Geiselwind in Bavaria to name a few. And while you are in Latvia you should not miss Jurmala—the largest and most popular seaside resort in the Baltic states as well as a popular spa town. It is a delightful way to experience other aspects of European culture—seaside holidays and spas.com/Discover/Themes/Sightseeing www. Don’t miss The Royal Palace. Grand Place by night 3. For instance. Europa-Park 5. MATS UMOT O Nature aNd theme parks: With numerous theme parks in Europe having exciting rides and exhibitions. 650 different types of beer and 2.000 chocolate shops in Belgium 2. a towering 102m structure. You will also be enamoured by its beautiful castles.[ PROMOTION ] TOERISME MECHELEN FAMILY FUN iN EUrOpE From keeping fractious toddlers busy and engaging the hard-to-please teens to reassuring the elderly and indulging in the high life.com/Discover/Themes/History---heritage www. Brussels’ answer to the Eiffel Tower. 35 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

On the way there are some local stores where you get fun casual clothes for a song. all original but you have to pay a premium because usually at the retail store there is a waiting line for it. There is a beautiful 7 theatre multiplex in isetan if you want to catch a quick film. sometimes difficult to acquire. There are also fun stationery shops worth a stop. This high-end place has a little lake in the lobby with boats in case you feel like a ride on the water while window shopping! Former Miss India. the Chanel PsT and the Bulgari Tubogas watch.” she said her pitch higher than before. it is situated on Orchard street next to the grand hyatt hotel. i looked at her perfectly made up face as she reached out for two products. as the duties make the product more expensive than other cities in the West. The Salaam gallery here has beautiful carpets and rugs. “i have something for you which when you use you will look like your daughter. they look like Michael Jackson. make the walk through to this mall interesting. Usually i don’t find the sales girls aggressive in singapore. were only available at a counter at Takashimaya or at the Raffles Hotel. She loves shopping and travels the globe. The famous Cut steakhouse is located here. The Tanglin Mall which is off Orchard street is one where you can find furniture as well as interesting knick-knacks for the house. some of the shops which are fun are Rara and I love Mystique. inDiA ToDAY TRAVEl pluS . The other two destinations to shop and have fun are the sentosa island and the spanking new Marina Bay sands Mall. i ignored her and started browsing through the cosmetics. “When indians use make up without using the right base. 34 . it is packed with interesting restaurants with all the cuisines you can think of. all these malls have subway stations with great transport connections which make shopping easier. T Ion Mall Old favourite Takashimaya is the mall which is upmarket and houses most european designer brands. The local brands. There are stores that sell fake herve leger dresses but i recommend you stay away from them as they clearly don’t look like the real thing. Earlier these famous chocolates. The shopping mall is huge with every store imaginable. Berkin. Oxford Street has a Royce chocolate stand-alone store. Queenie Dhody is now a jewellery designer who has adorned famous people. The Marina Bay sands Mall is beautiful and a pleasure to visit. Only in Singapore Popular with locals The Ion Mall is one of the most popular malls on Orchard street as it has a mix of the high-end as well as high street shopping. which you can buy at isetan. There is a busy casino as well. examines me within minutes. however if you are looking for original brands.travel Shopping column WORld IN A bAG quEENIE dhOdy SINGAPORE SECRETS he sales girl looks at us. which are exclusive to Singapore. noVEmBER 2012 . This is situated on the ground floor next to an eatery that sells delicious shawarma. figures that i have a daughter as tall as me and then knows what to say. i personally don’t recommend you buy these high-end designer brands from singapore. but this one took the cake! The Far east Plaza Mall is a fun mall and if you are in a mood for some interesting shopping it is a must visit.” she said. By the time i had left her store at the Far East Plaza Mall i had paid a hefty bill. there is a store that sells the herve. she had caught my attention. ‘The magic lip treatment’ called lioele and secret Pore rich Balm also by the same brand. sentosa island is half an hour cab ride from the city.

the Chemrey Angchok Festival in Ladakh. a padded vest for three-year-old girls. commemorates the auspicious time during the Hindu month of Karthik. the floats are decorated and set adrift. The devout believe it is propitious to take a dip in the holy Chandrabhaga river on a full moon night. held at Jhalarapatan in Rajasthan.EVENTS WHAT’S ON WHERE AND WHEN A monastic festival of the beautiful mid-17th century Chemrey Monastery. and 3 and 5 year old boys. The Chandrabhaga Fair. Gaze at the surreal sight as thousands of banana leaf floats lit with lamps on Thailand’s rivers and waterways during the Loi Krathong festival. that literally means sevenfive-three. Shichi-go-san. It is one of Thailand’s oldest festival. Held on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. Witness colourful parades and dance performances portraying stories from Tibet. Children dressed in kimonos visit shrines and also wear Hifu. celebrates Ladakh’s diverse culture. travel NOV 11 TO 12 INDIA S KALYAN NOV 27 TO 29 INDIA ComPILeD by ANITA rAo KASHI AD TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILANd © JNTO NOV 28 THAILAND NOV 15 JAPAN RTdC . is a traditional rite of passage celebration for 3 and 7 year old girls.

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Pub: The Public House (The Ventian. 37 . Go for the spiced chickpeas. Theatre: Opening to great reviews. drawings. with an atmosphere resembling an eatery in a Midwestern college town. between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) explores ‘Tokyo 1955-1970. eau. 304 West 47th street. Bouchet mussels. The show opens in mid November and runs till April next year. Runs till January. 212 432-1600) is a charming and popular pizzeria. Restaurant: The name Sushisamba (Heron Tower. fried artichokes. like a sommelier but for beer. Verandah Place. this show is all about water and stresses on the relationship between land and water. 020 7887 8888). 110 Bishopsgate. tuna salad and roasted lamb breast. The décor is bright. 702 698 7900) is inspired by Chinese-Mexican cuisine.city updates what’s New iN the big cities travel New york LoNdoN Restaurant: Homely atmosphere prevails at La Vara (268 Clinton Street. The Book of Mormon and Death of a Salesman. What’s endearing is the amazing food with the pan-fried black pudding. Yet. 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard. 702 407 5310) is unlike a pub. Named after the French word for water. There are also chillies to enhance colour and flavour. 702 891 7777) on November 17. Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking (47th Street Theater. foie gras parfait. 10th Street. Exhibition: A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance Art (Tate Modern. and high divers in a flamboyant show. as part of their ‘Long Road Out of Eden’ tour. but juxtaposed in such a way that the familiar and alien combine. Las Vegas Live show: By far the hottest and most enduring shows.’ that shows Japan’s recovery from World War II into an economic superpower. With over 200 beers. On display are nearly 300 painting. sculpture. Getting rave reviews are dishes like moqueca. The Strip. ceviche. Restaurant: China Poblano (3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Bankside. O by Cirque du Soleil (Hotel Bellagio. a group show explores the relationship between performance and painting from 1950s to today. Runs till February 25. NoVeMber 2012 . They will perform hits like Hotel California. with an Iberian theme and rustic furniture is bringing people into the bar in droves. It is large and rambling and has one of the few certified beer cicerones. 866 906 7171) is an amalgamation of acrobatics. such as cucumbers in white balsamic vinegar and suppli with ragu. spiced pork rinds and roasted bone marrow. it is a calm place. Yves Klein and Karen Kilimnik. cheesy eggplant. Wine: The lively Camino (15 Mincing Lane 020 7841 7335). Brooklyn. 718 422 0065). Spiderman. synchronised swimming. suckling pig and some quirkily named desserts. Cobble Hill. 020 3002 2640) it’s Peruvian food all the way. 212 239 6200) is a parody that takes goodhearted potshots at AS Evita. Rathbone Place. Try its popular dishes. Exhibition: The Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd St. Try the scallops. robata grilled eggplant and sashimi and sushi. Desperado. it’s a staggering task to choose. Pizzeria: Nicoletta (160 Second Avenue. Music: The legendary Eagles will perform at the MGM Grand (Garden Arena. iNdia today traVeL pLus . More versatile is the wine list. 020 3640 7330) should give adequate indication of its restaurant’s Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian fusion. Clean and well-lit. There’s dimsums. deepfried baby squid and globe artichoke hearts stuffed with chickpea purée. the place has an attentive and genial staff. crispy marinated skate. It covers artists who have been exploring the MUSTSEE politics of identity by using themselves as a canvas such as Cindy Sherman. pit barbecue pork and many options for vegetarians. Potato dominate the menu. 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard. Bite of Peru: At Lima London (31. apart from a wide range of pizzas. The food suits the spirit: there’s Welsh rarebit. Take It Easy.

On show are objects such as Qur’ans. Set to a contemporary theme. the pleasure doubles. crispy cod and cajita cake. NoVeMber 2012 YOGEN SHAH . bath salts. 6332 7798) showcases works of art drawn exclusively from the collections of the Asian Civilisations Museum. try the ham. then a must-try is Jordan’s national dish. which is made of lamb cooked in fermented dried yogurt sauce. tiramisu and strawberry crème brulee. The Dead Sea is known to be the source of a wide variety of health products including balms. the mansaf. leaning towards the Mediterranean. Exhibition: Opening to rave reviews the show Islamic Arts from Southeast Asia: Highlights of the Asian Civilisations Musuem (I Empress Place. with warm lighting. The show runs till late January. Restaurant: At Tres (17. Saket. Run by two friends. Said-ul-Ajaib. you can spend hours here. light salads and the traditional musakhan (bread topped with sweet onions and roasted chicken). A vintage furniture store with a lovely bakery-café on the side. Also don’t forget to finish your meal with some lip smacking sweet baklavas. and serves pleasing sangrias. It is served to honour a guest. comfy seating and open kitchen. I knew the experience would be like a dream come true. 6509 1488) thrills with its sights. chicken liver pate. nelli and nehari. but once inside Rose Café (2 Westend Marg. Café: The dusty lane outside is not a great advert. cosmetics and herbal sachets.travel city updates siNgapore deLhi Store: Carpenter & Cook (19 Lorong Kilat. it offers fresh baked goods. oxtail ravioli. Main Market. Café: The 1970s Café (Hauz Khas Village. but Dum Affairs (E-12. try the bruschetta. the place does make an impression. 2652 1970) is a charming Italian lunch kind of place with 70s music. RANVEIG 38 . 3rd Floor. It was an unreal but a very relaxing experience. beef cheeks. it could sound a bit slow. COMPILED By ANITA RAO KASHI jordaN WiTh Malaika Arora Khan l Malaika is a leading model. italian: Located high above ground. chorizo and mortadella slices. calligraphy. Done in bright and colourful shades. The menu is European. It also has some of the world’s best spas on its beaches. with generous. things not to be missed include the galouti kabab. ratatouille. lounge and eatery is sprawling and offers a wide choice. According to legend it is believed that Cleopatra loved the Dead Sea so much that she ordered cosmetic factories and resorts to be built along its shores! Food is huge high point of any trip to Jordan. It is bright and cheerful. Awadhi haleem. jacket potatoes and pizzas. and tomb markers. the steak. Restaurant: Said quickly. The food is delicious be it the bruschetta. chorizo and gorgonzola pizza and end with desserts like baked mascarpone. firni and malai gulla. and gorge on the dessert platter including tiramisu and raspberry panna cotta. If you are not worried about calories. actor & reality TV show judge I consider myself a spa junkie and when I got the opportunity to travel to Jordan for a magazine shoot. iNdia today traVeL pLus . 6463 3648) is every wood worker’s dream come true. minestrone soup. tenderloin. 10 Collyer sQuay. packaged jams and marshmallows. Small and elegant. South Extension II. the bar. 2953 3186) it’s an entirely different feeling. The furniture is largely European vintage and is handpicked. lamb chops. 8826808855) relies on its food to counter any slip of the tongue. Zafferano (Ocean Financial Centre. And if you are foodie. 2462 5520) the focus is on classical style with deep wood interiors and simple furniture. But where food it concerned. As for dishes. Feast on baked camembert. shormas. a carpenter and a cook. Spanish chorizo. I gorged on falafels. along with textiles. if not kitschy knick-knacks. and pottery from Indonesia and Malaysia and Chinese porcelain and enamels made for local Muslim patrons. Lodhi Colony.

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For the converted carnivores. Even today. A nominal entrance fee is small price to pay to witness the grandest years Patiala has seen. Then there is the Darbar Hall and Baba Ala’s jyot. that the founder of Patiala. an open pavilion with 12 arches. after which it shall be destroyed. Built in 1976 in colonial style. Maharaja Rajinder Singh. The softer the shoe. ‘inner fort’) has a collection of chandeliers that can put most modern one’s to shame. Before being converted into a hotel. In the same premise is the Laxman Jhula that is surrounded by statues of King Edward XIII and Queen Victoria constructed with industrial wrought iron. bhaags and those extremely popular Patiala salwars. that was once the residence of Patiala’s ruler. it was used as a repository of the Punjab State Archives. This is also the place to pick up phulkaris. While on your way back. So head into the interiors and start with Adalat Bazaar to get taste of the bygone era. for they might not exist in the next couple of years because of the condition they are in. A complete delight for both nature lovers and those interested in horticulture. when in Rome do as the Romans do—a trip to Patiala would be incomplete without shopping for the famous Patiala juttis. When buying juttis remember to always go for the soft sole that can be completed folded. The gardens also have an Italian Cararra-marbled statue of Maharaja Rajinder Singh. however you might need to take due permission to enter the premises. at Shambhu to visit the Mughal Caravan Sarai. Then there is the Yadavindra Kothi (now converted into the DSOI) and the Maharani Club located within the premises. make a pit stop. they were assembled by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh to replicate the flora of the hills. which has an intriguing story behind it. The main structure. parandis. the Qila Mubarak By HArsImrAn sHergILL While on the historic Grand Truck Road. It might be a good idea to see them once. stop by at Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib District to see the tombs of Ustad and Shagird and stop by at the Sarai Aam Khas Bhag. a must-buy is the jackfruit pickle that tastes just like meat. Both are a short 10 minute walk. Sadly it is the only remaining sarai that is looked after. The morning after. Most around the state are in shambles. Delhi and Kashmir. the palace is located around Mughal-style Baradari Gardens. look for one of the many friendly gardeners and ask for Shimla Gardens and the ferns house. then visit the oldest school in the area—Yadavindra Public School—founded by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh and those with a religious bent can head towards Gurudwara Dukhaniwarn Sahib. the Royal House of Patiala employees people to keep it burning. the Sarai was built as a resting ground for Mughal emperors and their entourage while travelling between Kabul. The end of this roads leads to the historic Qila Mubarak that has been witness to many a great celebratory processions. ANSHUMAN SEN & TANUJ AHUJA Day 1 Day 2 PHOTOGRAPHS BY RAVI S SAHANI/WWW. check into the Rajindra Kothi (now known as Neemrana Baradari Palace). A lesser known fact about these two is that.COM Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 40 .travel PATIALA ITINERARY There’s more to Patiala than the peg. the city that is home to the last example of Sikh architecture in the world. the lesser trouble you’ll have while walking. Baba Ala once proclaimed that as long as the jyot burns. Qila Androon (literally. Sheesh Mahal that houses the single largest medal and miniature paintings collection in the world. All along the old-fashioned bazaar. If time permits. about an hour before Patiala. which were constructed for both the royal and the common people. At Patiala. Constructed by Sher Shah Suri. the city shall exist. As the saying goes. salwars and phulkaris. Leave an entire day to go through the magnificent Old Moti Bagh Palace. head for a walk to the Baradari Gardens that has trees some 200 years old. A walk further down the road is the popular Datta Jutti store that boasts of selling juttis to the who’s who of Punjab. stop to taste mouth smacking pickles at Vaidji’s and chose between vegetables and meat pickles. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . NOVEMBER 2012 VIKRAM SHARMA .INDIATODAYIMAGES. (that was converted into a sports academy-Netaji Subhash National Institute for Sports). It is said.

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A verandah at Lalitha Mahal 2 is sure to put the spring back in your wearied step. for another day of taking in the charms of the city. 42 . unlike Bangalore. the lazy streets invite you to an afternoon stroll and the nearby hills are worth a gentle trek. rooms@royalorchidhotels. Watch the gardens awash with flowers of every hue as you sip your evening tea. the grandest of them.travel short break KaRNataKa tOuRiSm 1 MYSORE. INDIa toDaY traVeL PLUs . it even houses an antique bathtub imported from England with vintage fittings. the hotel is sure to transport you to times bygone with its heritage horse drawn carriage and sweeping driveway. there is yoga specific cuisine health centers and spas.in The Royal Orchid Brindavan 4. By NIRMALA RAVINDRAN W ith calm beautiful roads. yet another palace turned hotel. is both quaint and delightful. a collective gasp goes up when the palace lights up with thousands of flickering lights. coming back to palaces.500 per night. has lost its charm and the only way to experience it is to have a meal (or stay) at the Royal Orchid Brindavan. the marble banisters and the restaurants overlooking the gardens. 000 per night. a little more than a town and a little less than a bustling city mysore 1. tel: (080) 4127 6667. a three hour journey with a mandatory stop at maddur Junction to sample the crispy Maddur vade takes us straight to mysore.com Must do: Try the famous Mysore Pak at Guru Sweets at Sayyaji Rao Road the Brindavan Gardens. tel: (0) 8212 526 100. where almost every single duet in South indian cinema was filmed. The grand Mysore Palace on a clear day 2.cOm . the city is best experienced as a stopover enroute to Kabini. located within the gardens. it is however the palaces of mysore that entice and captivate. has managed to retain its inherent charm. after a hectic day spent wandering around mysore the best way to relax is with an ayurvedic massage. The nearest airport is about 3 hours away in Bangalore Stay: The Lalitha Mahal Palace at 8.iNdiatOdaYimaGES. almost every well known hotel in mysore was once a palace. NoVeMber 2012 GiREESh GV/WWW. You could stay at the Viceroy suite replete with silk and satin and experience royalty at its best. it might be a good idea to skip chamundi hills and instead wander around Gokulam where most of the yoga centers are located. the evening lights at the mysore Palace is akin to a ritual with hundreds of people thronging the streets to watch the transformation. it’s sure to keep the spring in your step. Bandipur or Nagarhole. mysore. the lalitha mahal Palace built like an italian Palazzo by the maharaja of mysore to host the Viceroy of india. tree lined avenues and a palace at every street corner. KARNATAKA the city of palaces continues to enchant visitors with its laidback charm. mysore has over the years become the yoga capital of the region and an entire industry centred around Yoga has sprung up. reservations@lalithamahalpalace.

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at 7. remember to book in advance at the on-site golf academy.travel DUBAI golf catches the downslope and helps you by nearly 50 yards. well appointed locker rooms. It will carry about 30 yards and roll 30 ft towards your target. Jumeirah Golf estates W a golf course named Fire in dubai draws inspiration from sand belt courses with waste areas and gentle elevations. long sand shots and the elevated “explosion” shot which gets a lot of height and doesn’t travel far. Choose an 8 or 9 iron. the estate rose to fame as the venue for the season ending finale of the european PGa tour’s year-long ranking competition entitled race to dubai. but strong bunkering has been carefully placed to catch wayward strokes.551 (Weekends). starting tee positions have been carefully placed to provide variety of length. the scorecard indicates that there are two par fives around 600 yards but on those. a bar and a restaurant all make for a great experience. A little practice will help you gain confidence before trying it in a real game. take a full swing and hit the sand two or three inches behind the ball.500 yards is best left to professionals. gentle elevation changes and rolling fairways. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results. the main challenge is the generous sand bunkering which defines the shape of the fairways and the best approach line to the green.500 yards which is recommended unless you are a competitive single figure handicap player at home. to have your swing analysed. so the championship tees at 7. tel: (0) 9714 3759 999 www.000 yards the next set of tees become extremely challenging. the dP World tour Championship is held at the earth Course at Jumeirah designed by the famous former World no 1 australian Greg norman.jumeirahgolfestates. the Fire course draws its inspiration from the classic sand belt courses of australia such as royal Melbourne and Kingston heath with sandy waste areas. .720 (Weekdays). 30 minutes from the Dubai Airport. THIS MONTH’S TIP The 40 yard sand shot is one of the most difficult shots to play. large sand traps means that if you need to be comfortable playing a variety of sand shots—full shots from the fairway bunkers. the length of the course provides a standard test from one set of starting tees at around 6. by rishi NaraiN ith ireland’s 23 year old superstar rory Mcilroy jumping back to the World no 1 ranking with his decisive UsPGa Championship victory. it is a fitting time to recall the corporate name that rory advertises so prominently on his golf cap—the Jumeirah Golf estates. direction and elevation. Generous landing areas entice shots towards safety. Jumeirah hosts the euro 10 Million dP World tour Championship which sees every top ranked player on the european tour compete for one of the two richest prizes in the history of golf. 7.com GettinG there Jumeirah Golf Estates is sandwiched between Dubai Investment Park and the International Media Production Zone. he also designed the adjoining Fire course which is the one we recommend you play. The key is to accelerate through impact area. fortunately you can get a big help as a well struck tee shot At a Glance Green Fee Green Fees: 5. a balcony coffee shop.

Valid till October 30.dubai creek golf club PhotoGraPhs CoUrtesy: GreG norMan GolF CoUrse desiGns Stay at the Park Hyatt Dubai for 52. The package includes stay.000 per night and tee off at the 18-hole Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. a light low-density alloy that enabled Ping engineers to optimize weight distribution for increasing forgiveness. Dense tungsten sole weights elevate Moi across the clubface and position the Cg for low-spin. The aerodynamic crown is engineered to reduce drag for maximizing clubhead speed and ball velocity. resulting in greater distance. Vertical AD from Mumbai . breakfast and a round of golf every day. golfing gear Ping i20 Driver The 460cc head is built from Ti 8-1-1. The i20’s striking matte-black finish absorbs light to eliminate glare and reflections. penetrating trajectories and long. accurate drives.

if you’re lucky you can spot elephants. There are more than 200 bird species both resident and migratory in the sanctuary. sambhar and crocodiles. Nanda Spottng a tiger in the jungles of Jim Corbett is a thrilling experience.INDIATODAYIMAGES. including forktail.[ PROMOTION ] Your affair with Nature and Adventure Experiencing Uttarakhand is like reliving a million stories. sloth bear. Himalayan black bear. Or you can visit the famous Zero Point and enjoy panoramic views of Nanda Devi. But for some real spotting. leopards. Apart from the tiger. The state offers a treasure trove of experiences for travellers—from trekking. It has been declared an important bird area by Bird Life International. HEMANT CHAWLA/WWW. Once the summer capital of the Chand kings. blackbirds.COM Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Binsar has the capacity to surprise you in a big way.INDIATODAYIMAGES.COM . Other species found here include the jungle cat. river rafting and paragliding. And then there are its majestic jungles where Corbett’s legacy is still alive. If birding isn’t your cup of tea. deer.200 species of flora and fauna and it has the highest density of tigers with 20 tigers per sq km. khalij pheasant. WILDLIFE Corbett National Park Named after author and wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett. There are more than 1. then stroll down one of the many forest trails that can be covered on foot. the Jim Corbett National Park recently completed 75 years of existence and is one of the oldest forest reserves in India. get yourself a guide and go for the early morning and evening safaris. laughing thrush. ghoral (goat-antelopes). parakeets and monal. Indian grey mongoose. Binsar over the years has become a popular tourist destination and the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary—a haunt for birding enthusiasts. It is best done with a trained guide in the evening safari HAJRA AHMAD/WWW. nuthatches. pangolin and owls.

For those interested in learning skiing. Mana Parvat and Doonagiri. Auli at 2750m.com. there is a 500m long ski lift that carries skiers back to the top. You can opt for a simple half-day tour or a four to five-day experience with a trained guide and choose between simple or expert levels. Other nearby attractions include Binsar Mahadev Temple. The most thrilling of them are the waters of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi.gmvnl. Auli and Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering. These slopes provide excellent opportunities for cross-country. Kamet. Dhauliganga and the Kali river. GMVN conducts ski courses between January to March. the main tributaries of the The tourism department organises several skiing courses and equipment and ski gear is also available for first timers ANSHUMAN SEN . The snowcapped slopes are flanked by the grand coniferous and oak forests. ADVENTURE Skiing Quickly becoming the destination for winter sports. With some of the best ski slopes in the country. Three official National Championships are also held in Auli.Kot. A major attraction for skiers is the three-kilometre long slope. The courses are conducted in modules of 7-14 days by qualified instructors from Skiing and Tourist Resorts. slalom and downhill skiing events. coupled with state-of-the-art facilities provided by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). To enrol visit www. Alaknanda. Gulmarg. Skiers have clean stretches of virgin slopes to sport on. Trishul and Kedarnath. Rafting What better place to enjoy the thrill of rafting than in the waters of Ganga. And to top that there’s a 180 degree panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like the Nanda Devi. To make Auli a professional ski destination. Kumaon hills and the town of Almora. Kasar Devi Temple and Golu Devta Temple. Auli 14km from Joshimath is a perfect winter destination. has over the last couple of years become a popular destination for travellers. cutting wind speed to the minimum—perfect for skiing. apart from annual skiing festivals.

Nanda Devi. About 24km from Haridwar. Rishikesh is truly the place to experience spirituality at its best. it is a trekkers’ paradise. then Uttarakhand is just the place for you. Legend has it that when Raibhya Rishi undertook rigourous penance. overlooking clear beaches on Ganga. Tapovan. camp fire. Madmaheshwar. These range between easy to moderate and difficult treks. The best time for trekking is between May-August. Khatling Glacier. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2010 . Some of the treks organised by the Uttarakhand Tourism include Auli Kauri Pass. the high-altitude glacial one’s are best left for seasoned trekkers and should not be attempted without a local guide. With over a dozen popular routes. making it a peaceful venue for rafters. the town is well known for both modem and ancient ashrams. Roop Kund. Uttarkashi-Dayara Buggyal. Camps are equipped with spacious double/single tents. Devaria Tal Tungnath. Rafting enthusiasts can opt for the tougher Grade IV to V rapids while beginners have the option to experience the thrill on easier rapids down Devprayag’s 70 km stretch meant specifically for amateurs. Day treks. Uttarakhand Tourism organises self-bailing rafts with hand picked river guides. Uttarkashi Kalyani Dodital. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . Mayali Pass. For detailed itineraries and booking visit: www. God appeared before him and 000 . Milam Glacier. While some of them can be done in groups with friends and family. Gangotri Bhoj Kharak Kedar Tal. Panwali Kantha.in WELLNESS Rishikesh Known as the yoga capital of the world. Kedarnath Vasuki Tal. situated between the mountain ranges of Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot. Har-ki-Dun. Panch Kedar. Bedni Bugyal. beach-ball games and jungle walks are also organised at the site. Over the years. this quaint little town tucked away in the Himalayas has become a centre for pilgrims and tourists from both India and abroad. For non-swimmers. Nandi Kund.gov.PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY: MINISTRY OF TOURISM The Pindari Glacier trek. Pindari Glacier and the Om Parwat. They also ensure pickups and drops from the nearest railhead to the camp site. Lahajung Bedni Roopkund. The state run tourism corporations organise most of treks with special arrangements of a local guide. Trekking If walking along the Himalayas with a view of clear blue skies and snow capped peaks is something you have dreamed of.uttarakhandtourism. Kagbhusandi Tal. porters and accommodation. Valley of Flowers-Hemkund. is an 8-day trek Ganga that meet at Devprayag.

in Hot springs Sprinkled all across Uttarakhand there are numerous hot springs that are said to have healing powers. Each year. Sukhi: A hot spring in a tiny village near Harsil. Ved Niketan and the Yoga Study Centre. Near ONGC Helipad. Tapt Kund: A natural spring situated at Badrinath. Many ashrams in Rishikesh offer stay and a great learning experience on religion. this is one of the places where you can take a dip in the holy water without prying eyes. Yoga Sadan Ashram Rishikesh. Shri Vithala Ashram and Transcendental Meditation Centres of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Shankaracharya Nagar (it is believed that the popular English band The Beatles visited the ashram and penned many songs here). These include Yoga Niketan Laxman Jhoola. Surya Kund/Gauri Kund: Are located at the site of the temple of Goddess Yamuna at Yamunotri. UTTARAKHAND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BOARD Pt. A haven for spiritual seekers. tel: (0135) 255 9898. 255 9987. one of the most popular hot springs.that is how the town was named ‘Hrishikesh’ and subsequently the place came to be known as Rishikesh. Held in the first week of March.uttarakhandtourism. yoga.gov. Hatha Yoga and so on. in Chamoli district. thousands of people come together to attend the International Yoga Festival COURTESY: PARMARTH NIKETAN ASHRAM INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . There are several ashrams where you can learn and practise yoga. Garhi Cantonment. Fax: (0135) 255 9988 www. 255 9900. Dehradun 248 001. Most are located near popular temples and en route the Chardhams. organised by Uttarakhand Tourism. Power Yoga. Pilgrims believe that a holy dip in this sacred pond relieves them of their sinful deeds and thoughts. this one is also believed to have healing powers. Rishi Kund/Gangnani: Is located along the way enroute from Yamunotri to Gangotri. It is among the popularly known hot springs. Some of the popular hot spots include: Tapovan: On the way from Rishikesh to Badrinath. Kriya Yoga. 000 . the town also hosts the International Yoga Festival. near Joshimath is Tapovan. meditation and ayurvedic practices. Deendayal Upadhayay Paryatan Bhawan. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2010 . spirituality. It is also believed to be the holy abode of Lord Agni. it gives yoga enthusiasts the opportunity to learn and practise multiple styles of yoga like Kundalini Yoga.

the prelude begins with some wushu breathing and stretching exercises—a technique inspired by the Chinese wushu 50 . i am as fond of a glow as the next narcissist. a first of its kind i am told. patiently allays my concerns by explaining that it merely refers to the 24x7 nature of the spa. Bali. and the succor it would render. whenever” emblazoned as the motto of the Away spa at the w Hotel in seminyak. Notwithstanding the power of pulchritude. Nine hours of compressed cabin time. NoVeMBeR 2012 . while 18th-century Americans prized the warm urine of young boys to erase their freckles. followed by some herbal tea. her eyes do most of the talking. inhaling pure oxygen from a handy little mask. but i am not sure that beautiful should always equal bizarre. so when i see “whatever. W. After this delightful ritual. are enough to help me appreciate the feat of endurance that this measure of service may invoke. i am led to my treatment room by my congenial Balinese therapist with the gentlest disposition and the most wonderfully expressive eyebrows. followed by a quick plunge in the cold Jacuzzi and a soothing soak in the hot plunge pool. not including the two hours of layover. Before the massage. And it is eagerly anticipated. since her english is halting. i am advised to kick back in the steam room. Bali I By Chumki BhArAdWAj t is widely believed that medieval noblewomen swallowed arsenic and dabbed on bats’ blood to improve their complexions. i am a little concerned. INDIA toDAY tRAVel PlUS . i am already feeling suitably lose limbed but apparently i have to do time in the detox chamber. dina Anggraeni.travel REVIEw hotel 1 Away Spa. their 75-minute traditional Balinese massage comes especially recommended for jet lag. Mercifully. the spa manager.

splendour and romance) or Fit & Fabulous (for the healthy and sexy mortal that delights in youth). At a Glance WHAT: 24x7 Spa and Salon: Three single treatment rooms. if you really want to go wild. Away promises to be the one-stop shop to urban Niravana. Choose from three scrumptious menus—serene & soulful (for the quiet passionate soul that delights in imagination and seduction). Glamour & Glitz (for the dazzling diva that basks in limelight. hair salon and a bar. Of course. tamarind and lime body wrap to tighten and coconut butter for that delicious after glow. in this calilbrated paradise. “After all. The spa also features a detox room 3. i feel so light on my feet. The spa’s design is inspired by Bali’s most sacred elements. there are few limits to explore sensory delights set against vivid colours. Apparently. Indonesia WHEn: Anytime (open 24 hours) COST: Average massage (75 minute) will cost approx 24. there’s nothing inconsistent with a bar at a spa.com pressure needed or wanted) uses traditional healing techniques such as acupressure. two double treatment rooms. strangely. stretching. Seminyak. wind and water. as i limber up. explore the “shhhhhh…” menu of rare and exotic Balinese 1. sip a cool juice made from fresh pineapple.martial arts. two spa suites. each detail has a subtext. Bali. we are pursuing a ‘w’ lifestyle. 2. Once the twisting and the stretching have Romance sufficiently warmed in Bali up my body to 220. to rally your senses around to a new you. the massage treatment. and whenever you can make the time to detox. the degree of www. A medium pressure tantric massage. 2 3 INDIA toDAY tRAVel PlUS . includes actually begins. imaginative sounds. 51 .000 for the light awaken the flow of my Fire couples Chi. Options also include whimsical cocktails or wine if that’s your preference. de-stress or refuel. even at the spa.600 VERDICT: Total value for money and time. combined with the application of warm ginger pouches to vital areas to loosen up the stressed joints and stubborn knots. WHERE: w Hotel & Spa. with an extravagant spread of indoor and some outdoor treatments. playful scents.” explains the manager (w Hotels are a chain of worldwide luxury hotels). The Chill Bar has its own ‘catwalk’ treatments: divine divas or Hot Mamas for the goddess glow using Balinese spices and candlenut scrub to smoothen the skin. she has to steady me. energising light and detoxifying potions. tantric meditation. whatever your bliss. palm and thumb pressure to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation. scrub and bubble massage (specify bath. coconut milk and ginger at the Chill Bar post treatment. NoVeMBeR 2012 .starwoodhotels. one beauty room.

the scent of lemongrass and flowers wafting discreetly through its wooden corridors. labrezza. and begins to chant. the spa’s highlight is its luxurious hamman—offered individually and for couples—and it also offers a watsu (water+shiatsu) pool. i’m trying not to let the ‘ha-ha!’ in my heart show. i’ve spent several months rolling my neck from side to side crankily until—if only to prove that God does care—i found myself zipping down the dNd toll to review. yoga and a gym. INDIA toDAY tRAVel PlUS . should you care for it. roomS All the rooms at Jaypee have balconies. Gym At 7 the next morning. when the trainer suggests a bout of boxing. then. TreATmenTS during consultations. WHERE: Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort. i’d have breakfast for lunch and dinner. served in miniature tureens. even more so for golfers. while Presidential suites cost about 280. The Spa has been integrated into naturally beautiful surroundings reSTAurAnTS if i could. but even someone who doesn’t worship at the altar of eggs and croissants will find it hard to resist eggspectation. where i lie on a bed of jackfruit wood for a massage-cum-foot-acupressure combo. it seems. especially the tuscan vegetable soup.travel REVIEw hotel new! Six Senses Spa at jaypee Greens Golf & Spa resort By pArvATi ShArmA i nto each life of sedentary employment. Avinash tiwari asks me to close my eyes. which i don’t have. even a kinesis machine. peace and wholeness entrancing. so i’m led to a room of hushed tones. SpA A whole 90. (secret: no vinegar). in fact. he stands behind me. some cervical spondylosis must fall. but something about the quiet surroundings. meditation. it also seems i can’t use any of this without proper shoes. At a Glance WHAT: The Thai luxury spa’s first step in India. colonic rejuvenation. NoVeMBeR 2012 .500. this would make me giggle. or any other luxury. soft and creamy. and the spa offers treatments. the poached egg here. dietary advice. six senses hasn’t stinted on space. But massages are only a small—if core—part of six senses’ vast menu. one hand just above my head.000. a spa. we begin with a consultation. i’m at the gym with a personal trainer guiding me through its array of treadmills. is the best i’ve ever had. the Ayurveda-trained dr. which has anything from body polishes to slimming and detox and even. and most fine it is indeed. makes the doctor’s invocation of well-being. offers italian fine-dining. 52 . COST: Deluxe double rooms start at 29. meanwhile.000 sq ft of spa. i just want my neck fixed. tiwari often makes startlingly accurate observations. even home-remedies (cinnamon is great for insomnia. and the beds are delicious to sink into after a bout in the gym or a round of golf. Having been diagnosed with mine. Normally. fitness balls. with views of either the lush green golf course or the pool. Fountains outside create a soothing illusion of rain. this is its first indian venture. and the thai chain wants to impress. of all things. Greater Noida. two pairs of hands work my nerves into calm somnolence—i’m half-asleep when it all ends. and the melt-in-the-mouth Chilean sea-bass. carrot juice for pigmentation) tailored to your needs. VERDICT: Perfect for a holiday without the travel. dr.

poker. GOld anchOr Service: Royal Caribbean International acknowledges that to make the cruise vacation truly memorable. free Stay in SinGapOre: You can now book a Royal Caribbean International cruise from Singapore between October 31. The cruise has a well-equipped 6. perfumes. Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. catch live performances and theatrical productions each night at the deck. to world class shopping in Hong Kong’s bustling open-air markets. a Karaoke Bar and the Champagne Bar. the Legend of the Seas has Romeo and Juliet as the main dining room where you can indulge in complimentary. Phuket in Thailand and new destinations like Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei. Solarium Cafe and Cafe Latte-tudes that serves Seattle’s Best Coffee and of course room service. For A Indian Travellers. For those who relish the theatre of life. Terms and Conditions apply. 2012 to March 31. 2012 to April 1. Get pampered like never before onboard the Legend of the Seas—Royal Caribbean’s luxurious cruise ship ddING exCITING PORTS to its itinerary.in or call India Representative. the Gold Anchor Service is a unique style of service that enhances each aspect of your stay. entertainment is incomplete without shopping. For information visit www. Passengers also have a choice between the Windjammer Cafe which offers a casual buffet almost around the clock.royalcaribbean. 2012-April 2013. and get a free night hotel stay in Singapore inclusive of airport transfers. apparels and more. The ship comes loaded with eight chic and stylish bars and lounges that never have a cover.[ PROMOTION ] Legend of the Seas Travelling to Singapore has got more exciting. 2013 in conjunction with round trip air travel from India to Singapore on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir (October 30. Royal Caribbean International gives its travellers a choice between the beauty and tranquillity of Cambodia. You can choose between 2-7 night round trip cruises from Singapore between October 31. TIRUN Travel Marketing at (011) 4906 1000 . including Anchors Aweigh Lounge. the spa—rest assured there will be someone to address the smallest of queries. It’s one of the reasons our guests keep coming back year after year. Going the extra mile. Wine and dine: Including fine dining to the cruise experience. No matter where you are—the pool. The international crew which is the friendliest and most attentive is focused on delivering a great vacation experience and personalising the service for guests. the dining room. 24-hours a day. 2013). it is the service rendered by the onboard crew that will make it stand apart. The duty free shop on the cruise feature top names for jewellery. Royal Caribbean has ensured that the Indian cuisine including Jain meals is a part of the experience. the flavours of Bangkok. Penang. Children can try lip smacking frozen treats at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. roulette and 117 slot machines where you can try your luck. Other thrilling ports include—Malacca. Some of the best dishes are served after a carefully conducted research by the culinary team. OnbOard entertainment: There isn’t a dull moment throughout the journey thanks to the Royal Caribbean’s world-class onboard entertainment options.500 sq ft Vegas-style Casino Royale with 17 tables for black jack. multi-course dining options.

you are taken to your room as soon as you walk in and check-in formalities (whatever little there are) are completed there. it is contemporary yet classy. The decor of the hotel is casual yet classy At a Glance WHAT: A luxury boutique hotel WHERE: S. there are three definite characteristics one expects when you say boutique hotel: location. 2H. the Chef’s signature dishes—pork ribs and mutton nihari deserve a special mention—are best had on a day when you do not have any other plans. you must keep a day aside at the HHi Pune just for the kitchen to delight you. Friendly. Plot No. people and hotels are graded with stars. Having opened in April 2012. it’s a concept not many indians are familiar with (a quick survey showed they think it’s a hotel with a boutique). From a 24-hour kitchen that delivers to your room to a thoughtful waiter who replenishes your empty glass—you are taken care of every step of the way. NoVeMBeR 2012 . the HHi Pune delivers on all these fronts. it couldn’t have chosen a better spot. internationally.travel REVIEw hotel breakfasts are light yet fulfilling. (that is not to say it’s not leisure friendly. with flavours.No. Neco Gardens Road. 1 The hhi pune By omkAr SAne i n an era where music. relax at the eye Club resto-bar and lounge 2. the 1. ServiCe the staff at HHi Pune almost anticipate what you need and with a smile. convenient and businessfriendly from the word go. deCor the decor too maintains the unique balance that’s the hallmark of HHi Pune—it is stylish yet subtle. there are no intimidating chandeliers nor crockery you would be nervous to handle. tel: (020) 6628 3535 COST: starts at 210. the lunch is sumptuous and the menu is rich with variety and the food. LoCATion the HHi chain has chosen unique locations across india. thankfully. and always happy to help—with just about anything from what to order for lunch to getting a car for local sightseeing—they are just as efficient as they are elegant. it’s not in your face and quietly makes for a charming backdrop for whatever is on your mind—business or leisure. Right from the colours to the motifs. HHi is well connected. it’s refreshing to step into a boutique hotel. at that. but most importantly. make it very difficult to stay awake through a long meeting. but more about that later). it has a small yet spacious lobby because HHi Pune offers express check-ins. Viman Nagar. you won’t find an HHi hotel in Mumbai or delhi. send your taste buds in a tizzy and not to mention. 33/1/1. INDIA toDAY tRAVel PlUS . casual yet classy. films. AmBienCe HHi Pune walks the tightrope between friendly yet formal.000 per night VERDICT: A first rate business and luxury hotel well worth the money 2 54 . Pune. but you can check into one at Varanasi or Bhubhaneswar and now. easygoing. the rooms are spacious and sophisticated and yet warm and inviting. CuiSine Right from the a-la-carte to the buffets—HHi Pune delivers cuisine that is set to melt your heart. ambience and service. the staff understands the difference between interruptive and attentive. Being so close to the airport and also right in the heart of the business end of the lazy city of Pune. from acrylic chairs to the choicest italian cutlery— HHi Pune is undoubtedly as modern as can be. with a team of cooks specialising in Asian and Chinese cuisine.

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Green. rain-washed. Far eastern to western. just that for me life is elsewhere. the choice of food is a no-brainer. the moment i sank into my deep soft bed. INDIA toDAY tRAVel PlUS . roomS A lot of space and ample comfort are what the rooms at the Radisson offer. there is a swimming pool. From the two operating restaurants. Malvani shallow Fry Prawns and Goan Pomfret.000 onwards per night.com COST: 215. the Mandara spa. NoVeMBeR 2012 . and which also houses the Radisson Blu Resort & spa—my current destination. VERDICT: Set amidst acres of greenery. The properTy what the first impression was. perhaps! Next time. And as we drove out of Mumbai i also drowned out its noise by the sound of smooth classic rock and shut my eyes and wished the city suburbs away. An hour later when i opened my eyes—i smiled and my surroundings seemed to smile back at me. pretty as the first flowers of spring. i chose the latter. while it is true that with any 5 star property. is also the last—the resort spread over 16 acres. But there would be time to reflect later—the journey had been long—having registered myself. there are perhaps few resorts that seem to seamlessly merge with their surroundings. a speciality restaurant that serves Malvani. the multi-cuisine Aparanta and Kokum & spice. Maharashtra. Food when you are down at the coast. lounge bar. wooden flooring adds a touch of grace and the rooms open to a huge balcony overlooking the property and in some cases directly to the swimming pool. library. expectedly the turnout from Mumbai and Pune is huge and the resort knows how to keep its guests. i requested for a light meal and the chef obliged with Prawns Masala. offers effective therapeutic and relaxation remedies. And so the feast began with three welcome drinks and starters such as Bombay duck. young or grown up. derived from the sanskrit word meaning giver of life. Malvani Kombdi (chicken) and Kajuani shahala. Could i have asked for anything else on my trip to Alibaug? Meeting King Khan at his beach side mansion. radissonblu. 56 . discotheque. some of the villas and top suites in this 156 room resort are so downright luxurious that they would leave you feeling guilty for such indulgence. with most of the land being lush green lawns makes for an ideal family getaway. conference rooms. However. it makes for a perfect weekend getaway.travel REVIEw hotel 1 radisson Blu resort & Spa. tel: (02141) 227 7777. that is first impression Radisson Alibaug has on the visitor. Nothing personal against thriving metropolises. gymnasium and games room. i retreated to my room. Goan and Manglorean cuisine. i slept with an easy mind. As light melodious music and the serene ambience soothes your nerves. i was on the road to Alibaug—the playground of the rich and famous—where industrialists and filmstars share boundary walls. SpA it would be injustice not to mention the wonderful spa the resort has. you know you are in good hands. At a Glance WHAT: A luxurious spa resort WHERE: Alibaug. you can choose from a wide assortment of treatments and massages ranging from indian. busy. i guess. Alibaug By AjAy khuLLAr The resort is spread over 16 acres and has lush green lawns and water bodies i turned my back on the city. you would expect luxury and opulence. a piano room. delicious though a tad rich.

hand-crafted metal adjoining kitchen. a three-bedroom option with the adjoining And that’s not all. priced at $27. A palette of deep gold tones and and comprises of six rooms. stylish and has all modern amenities that a hotel can offer. oversized soaking bath with • 24-hour check in/check out The suite is priced at $24. The wet bar. including a spacious calming creams play nicely off the wall-to-wall French master bedroom and bath. lighting. is stocked with floor heating. separate bidet. But what’s even better is that this is the very best of luxury in the heart of new york Peninsula Suite Living Room T The living room exudes both comfort and elegance he hoTel’s newly renovated Peninsula suite with art deco-inspired details with modern underpinnings features stunning cityscape views of Fifth Avenue and a baby grand piano. Maison bedroom. demand. hand-tufted carpets 80-inch lCD television including unlimited hD movies-onadd to its elegance. perfect for entertaining guests.000 per night a 26-inch leD television and a separate spa • Sleep Menu with three (plus taxes) and may also be booked as shower with steam and six water features.[ PRoMoTIon ] The Peninsula Suite New York It’s chic.peninsula. Toll-free India (000) 800 of the suite like the draperies. polished marble floors. silk draperies also busy executive. The master bedroom is large and provides a soothing Adjacent to the living room. choices of luxury linens. with décor that includes neutral tones an office and an alternate entertainment space. designed with basalt black marble and An intimate sitting area faces a 55-inch Macassar wood paneling. elegant living room. chrome and mahogany offers a dedicated multi-functional The master bedroom includes a large dressing area printer.800 per night. Guests can control all features • Entertainment options including unlimited HD www. ideal to recover from jetlags. fresh and confident style. elegant vanity area or simply sit by the • Dedicated iPad For more information. Designed by new yorker Bill Rooney.com temperature using bedside control panels. dining room with marble flooring and Italian silk drapery. and movies-on-demand and 852 1388 or email pny@peninsula. study and second lamps from the renowned French lighting house. designed with basalt black marble with integrated radiant • Unlimited wine/alcohol bar chrome and wood finishes.com/newyork and the city views. provides the optimal entertainment experience. Ideal for the and touches of pewter and celadon. premium cable channels • Twice-daily housekeeping service . the Charles. scanner and fax machine. toilet with unpacking and ironing beverages. The living room also has a sculpture residence with an ensemble of furnishings and finishes by Connecticut-based artist Rain Kiernan. the library functions as both retreat from the city. designed specifically for the suite lend a pleasing Peninsula suite gives the feeling of a grand new york soft lighting element. please visit oversized window—a perfect perch to take in www. a luxuriously large desk crafted from function as blackout shades. a double vanity with Kallista • Complimentary packing. complimentary premium liquors and chrome and crystal finishing.com. The living room curated to create a cohesive. with an Rich woods. you can relax in the pillows and duvets Deluxe suite. premium cable channels and a Blu-ray 3D player.nycgo. Suite perkS leD television that is equipped with the The bath has a large window overlooking • Airport transfers in the latest in gaming technology including wii Fifth Avenue and dramatic floor-to-ceiling hotel’s BMW 7-series and Playstation.

Whether you are a history buff. archeologist. architect. culture buff. sculptor. wild forests. geologist. massive red granite boulders and a rocky terrain. rock climber. adventurer or simply a nature lover you are sure to fall in love with this unexplored beauty.travel photo essay Gandikota is situated in the midst of beautiful deep valleys. impassable hills. .

guardian andhra pradesh of time a less known fort in southern India. Gandikota will thrill the intrepid traveller with labyrinths and untrodden bylanes filled with history and adventure that one can explore over days. By Sindhuja ParthaSarathy .

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Bouldering or rock climbing is a popular option. one such is from western edge of the fort. 2. quartzite stones and red granite rocks can be found all over the complex. There are quite a few interesting paths to the valley through caves. The fort was built by a Chalukyan king in 1123. the fort that surrounds the gorge. Gandi refers to the gorge that is formed between the erramala hills and the river pennar that flows about 300 ft below. 3 . a mindboggling natural arrangement of boulders.1 1. Kota. 3. One could camp at the lake between Jammalamadugu and Gandikota or by the riverbed.

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The gate marks the entrance of the fort and is about 20 ft high. This is an area full of the architectural glory of the past. Within the complex are two beautiful temples dedicated to Madhava and raghunatha. . also worth seeing is the Jumma Masjid belonging to the Qutub shahi rulers. its ruins a testimony of its history and magnificence. built in Vijayanagara style of temple architecture.

By HARSIMRAN SHERGILL deep pAHwA/www.com .IndIAtodAyImAges. customised and interesting. As Indians get more experimental.the all new trend indian family holiday Led largely by school breaks in India. the ubiquitous Family Holiday has undergone an amazing change over the last few years. the holidays get more experiential.

Actor Perizaad Zorabian holidays with daughter Zaha at Corbett in Uttarakhand .

long eXPLoring neW With an increased number of destinAtions working parents and limited time and resources. “This is because my children had never seen the sea. manali. For the children. the year that the global economy suffered the meltdown. Jodhpur ra Jaipur. musso owne national park. TUI.” Confirms Sunil Hasija. Lansd rAJAstHAn nthambhore. Kausani. The idea is to grow and evolve together. We have come a long way since. Sarika would take her 11-year-old daughter for a 10-day trip to Himachal Pradesh. A 6 nights/7 day package for 269. often in-laws and outlaws included. Gone are the days when you could stack children in a car and head off to the hills. “But lately.” Today as the children have grown they don’t want to sit and watch television in a sleepy town in Himachal. Ma . domestic tourism grew at 15. According to a study conducted by Yes Bank and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). pondicherry al. While the children stay busy. r AndAmAn & nIcoBA IsLAnds KArnAtAKA mpi . shillong tok darjeeling. So Travel Plus decided to explore what’s trending in the Indian Family Vacation Package this season. domestic one. people want to make the most of their time off. for instance. Now before planning a holiday. yet in no terms less exciting. domestic tourism has grown over 10 per cent in the last couple of years. hoLidAys Earlier the month long vacation during summer has largely turned into a ‘two-week’ one and a big reason for this could be the worrying economy. the content of the vacation is changing big time. Source: India Offices kemytrip. the parents can enjoy meals at top end restaurants or watch local shows which are also a part of the package. coorg tAmIL nAdUmahabalipuram. SOTC. while in 2009.travel trend vacations are precious. leisure. d nikhet. Goibibo Kuoni. travel and meeting up with parents. rest. Both Vishank and Sarika have worked in multinational companies in India and say that they do not have the luxury of time to holiday as much as they’d like to. Ha mysore. Earlier year on year. Last year the Sharmas went on a week long trip to Goa. “The travel industry has begun to cater to this group of people and we now have activities and packages aimed specifically at families who may have different interests but want to do something together. While in India these still typically follow the school holiday season. many of us seemed to have switched the much more expensive foreign trip for the affordable. filled with tourists on horsebacks walking down the ridge enjoying the afternoon sun while chapel bells waft through the cool mountain air… Stopping for photographs: almost wanting to freeze the moment dressed up in Himachali costumes and posing for overenthusiastic photographers for instant pictures meant to go up in family albums that would turn into an embarrassment years later! Family holidays in them days usually meant a trip to the hills with walks down the Mall Road and boating. Last year’s growth rate stood at 12. Udaipur. Apart from that there were lots of sports activities that they could indulge in. Executive Director. For us those holidays meant. it meant an annual trip to the grandparents. The joy of discovering newer things with your children is becoming the driver while planning vacations. To make these journeys affordable at a time when the Indian economy suffered from the depreciating rupee and inflation. dalhousie shimla. without a thought. they have to take into consideration their children’s likes and dislikes. Take the Sharma family. W HEN I THINK of “family holidays” an image conjures up in my mind: Shimla Mall Road in the early 90s. ooty. With couples working and the joint family system giving way to nuclear families. TOP 10 STATES Chosen for family vacations in 2011-12 goA KerALA JAmmU & KAsHmIr dakh srinagar. An UttArAKHorie. La prAdesH HImAcHALdharamshala. gang Ibex Expeditions.8 percent. however because of their children. Kodiakan nortH eAst . and while we as a nation still love to travel with the entire family. the family makes it a point to travel once every year. we have started exploring other places. Jim corbett ra nainital. Or. shorter Holidays are definitely getting shorter. of Thomas Cook. Kalimpong. the package includes access to unlimited watersports and outdoor activities. TUI India.990 ensures the families with varied interest have something to look forward to.1 percent.” A good example is TUI India’s Mauritius Tamassa Beach Resort Package. so they loved the experience. based out of Chandigarh. Leh.

“The discerning Indian domestic traveller is increasingly demanding interest based. Head Sales B2C. Confirms D’Souza: “Scuba diving and white water river rafting are really picking up in India. adventure sports. child friendly resorts etc. trekking and river rafting etc. Kale. We camped by the Ganga in the mountains and what an amazing time we had.000. Among the many popular themed holidays are royal Rajasthan.” A holiday for the Sihags. a mountaineer and explorer. jungle safaris.Holiday Family the top 3 tourist landmarks googled by indians in 2012 yAmUnA expresswAy KerALA tHe tAJ mAHAL ACtive While Indian families earlier preferred easybreAks going holidays. once they saw the arrangements by the hotel. explains why Rajasthan is high up on the travellers’ list. Scuba diving is often combined with activities like underwater photography.” Rajeev D. Mandeep. Anita. Kuoni India explains. and Founder and Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions. spa and wellness and spiritual holidays. His wife and business partner. Bandhavgarh. camping and hot air ballooning. jeep safaris. Tour Operating. But when it came to affordability. which is one of the first and foremost IndIA tOdAY trAVeL PLUS . Kerala or the Andaman Islands and families are willing to shell out between 235. “We have done the jungles of Ranthambore and numerous heritage palaces in Rajasthan and frankly doing the same thing year after year was just getting monotonous. expert guides and top quality equipment and gear. 67 . 000. the average that a family of three is willing to spend on a holiday is just over 220. Both Mandeep and Anita Soin of Ibex Expeditions stand testimony to this changing trend. confirms: “Most of our customers are looking to combine good places to stay with activities like bird watching. The next holiday on our list is a Spa vacation. According to the report. nature trails. Even though my parents were aghast at first. Daniel D’Souza. a family into farming from Haryana. “Luxury travellers are opting for royal holidays in palaces of Rajasthan. feast on food fit for the kings made from recipes handed down the generation in the royal kitchens. National parks like Corbett. mountaineering. They settled for a vacation by the Ganga in Rishikesh. calm your soul as you sink into rose petal baths surrounded by scented candles…” Jungle safaris follow close on heels in terms of popularity. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd reiterates the paradigm shift. Chief Operating Officer—MICE.” money We get to understand some of the mAtters spending pattern of Indians on family holidays through a recent report put out by IbiboGroup who offer customised holiday via their travel portal Goibibo. nOVeMBer 2012 . we are now getting used to the idea of active or different types of vacations. Holidays are meant to be a new experience so we decided to move away from the familiar and opted for a new experience. Information courtesy: Google maps CUstomised Travel agents are continuously theme PACkAges on their toes to provide custom-built itineraries that suit the families’ preferences. These palace hotels allow the travellers to escape reality into an unreal fantasy world of living like the maharajas: float in royal barge drinking champagne as the sun sets. More and more people are gravitating towards active wildlife holidays that include bird watching. While organising these trips we ensure camping facilities. who works for an NGO in New Delhi decided to experiment with the idea of camping. Says Abhilasha Sihag. weekend rejuvenating programmes for the parents with fun activity for the kids. decadent spa and wellness experiences. weekend getaway stays at villas. established one of India’s first Adventure Travel Company back in 1979. they breathed a sigh of relief. Cruises and Sports Holiday. Pench and Kanha are the top favourites. Throw in an exotic location like Jammu and Kashmir.” This is why ‘themed holidays’ are becoming a popular trend in the country. Until their daughter. Domestic. personalised itineraries: Safaris with trained naturalists. Panna.000-40. always revolved around Rajasthan.

CEO. Apart from being the world’s largest salt desert stretching over 16. It could be enjoying the thrill of white water rafting in the freezing waters of Rishkesh or facing your fears in the jungles of Nagarhole. mAdhyA PrAdesh bhopal for its food. the list is endless. not far away is cherrapunjii the rain capital of the country. we’d like shillong to retain its identity and hundreds of years of tribal history and culture. the Indian side is pretty mesmerising. PLUs PiCks next vacation try something different kArnAtAkA badami for its temple architecture. nOVeMBer 2012 . West bengAL sunderbans even though a large part of them remain in Bangladesh. ibiboGroup. For nature lovers a must-do are the Kanha and Bhandhavgarh wildlife parks. but Bhopal in itself is an all-round experience with the very best of traditional mouth smacking cuisines to its palaces. 68 . The purpose of a family holiday is still the same. don’t get intimidated by the 2. lakes and wildlife parks. So things look vibrant and constantly evolving on the domestic travel front. “We have recently created a Goa Carnival package to make it even more exciting for Goa junkies. opposite to the fort Badami. Says Ashish Kashyap. Kutchi art. Destinations like Nanital and Goa stay the evergreen favourites but both the travellers and the service providers are looking at trend newer ways to explore them. however.” That picture of the Shimla mall road now is fading. a visit here ends up being an extremely satisfying and humbling one. wooing them and willing to customise to any extreme.travel decisions a family takes before planning a holiday— Uttarakhand was rated among the most affordable destination at just under 210. The new picture mind is conjuring up is that of a bucket list of must-dos at least once in a lifetime in our own country. or make a trip along the fascinating narmada river as it traverses the cities of maheshwar and omkreshwar. we think its one of those hidden treasures that surrounded by three of the most revered hills of the Khasi tradition—the sohpetbneng. Lum diengiei and Lum shillong. IndIA tOdAY trAVeL PLUS . From super luxury to simple homestays and farmstays the world is your oyster. gUJArAt the rann of kutch for its birding. Travel agents are focussing on the customer like never before. Travel in India can be an experience to remember. the rare wild ass and the Banni grasslands.000 sqkm. culture.000. we recommend it because it’s an entirely different experience from one you’ll have anywhere in India. Brahmaputra and meghna rivers and with the continuous degradation of the eco system. carved from a hill. meghALAyA shillong It’s a little cheesy to call it the scotland of the east. there are four cave temples out of which the first cave that depicts Lord shiva as natraja with 18 arms in 81 dance positions is an absolute must-do.000-odd stairs—the climb is worth it for this is some of the best temple architecture you will find in India. this dense mangrove forest lies on the delta of the ganga. the focus is now more on how these breaks enrich our lives. we suggest you see them while they exist. architecture.

Let them run about and disturb others—better them than you! n Pack sandwiches and dry snacks to avoid spilling the dal-roti-sabzi the train will provide. to sit in a tight space is a much harder on them than you. air and road in that order. Carry enough baby food. n No long journeys with babies. diapers and remember to overpack for delays during travel TravellinG by air n Plan the trip with as few connections or stops as possible and if you can’t escape stopovers. n Promise a treat to the children to endure the journey— remember. Babies are not good with change in routines and don’t have much resistance to change in temperatures and hygiene standards. milk. n Introduce them to the destination beforehand and let them make a list of what they want to see. n If needed. n Always keep a change of clothes at hand.General n See a paediatrician before leaving and carry all the medicines you need. games along n The preferred mode of transport will be train. n Upon reaching the destination. for instance. never hand any travel documents over. n If they start yelling and don’t settle down. wipes. Book window seats in advance n Chair car only for short journeys. n Involve them in a big way— hand them the camera and make them responsible for the pictures. Engaging with the holiday plan will delight them. n Get as spacious a car as you can. n With babies. take your own. 69 . n Avoid very early morning or late night travel—well rested children make for somewhat peaceful travel. make them carry an identity card (with your phone number) in case of emergencies. n Never introduce a new food to the baby on holiday. n Research the country of your travel—don’t rely on the there’s-always-Mc Donald’s theory as even they have different food in different countries. GarGi haBiB and manjira dutta IndIA tOdAY trAVeL PLUS . and have them pack their own favourite clothes. carry something to suck on for take-off and landing in case of ear pain. e Carry som per n Booking lounge access in a hotel n and pa pe may be worth the expense as your s or colour child will have a large space with food and internet access to while away hours after or in-between sightseeing. However. nOVeMBer 2012 . check for nearby medical facilities or a doctor Take some on call. Keep them for later. n Hill roads can disorient children. n Don’t assume you will get simple food everywhere. n Give them their space on holiday and it’s best to book them a separate room. Simple bread and butter sandwiches are ideal. n Books and hand-held games are a must. your child is 0-2 n Always carry the stroller. TravellinG wiTh children n Break regularly for them to feel some air and space. n No matter how ‘responsible’ your child wants to feel. make them longer so you don’t have to sprint through an airport. n Don’t rely on an airline for appropriate food for toddlers. give them some cold chamomile tea or similar relaxant. Set a limit on electronics use —KALyAnI prAsHer with inputs from Vatsala Kaul Banerjee. Whining guaranteed after two hours. check with the doctor about which altitude sickness medicine is safe for your child. n Pack a few surprise gifts to occupy them during travel. especially for allergies (keep these in your handbag). if your child is 11+ n Good luck. your child is 3-6 n Prepare them about what they will experience during travel. your child is 7-10 n Make them carry their own stuff in a backpack. horse-rides etc). favourite toys and n Avoid long journeys. n Don’t expect children of this age to appreciate nature or art as much as you do—activities should be non-taxing and engaging (museums. n Stick to the routine as much as possible with food and sleep. TravellinG by Train n This is probably the best kind of journey with children. for instance a plane’s take-off. For instance in many countries in the Middle East you get Arabic bread which your children might refuse to eat. remember to book a bassinet well in advance and recheck during check-in. TravellinG by road n Try to avoid a road journey of over 4-5 hours.

lists of things to do and of course a wishlist of things to bring back. Finding Nemo submarine voyage. The most interesting part of this is that. My princess. I took few of my close friends and my daughters to Miami—the city which seems to be on a permanent holiday! We went to Disneyland and seeing her delight in watching all her favourite characters come alive was truly special. We have all watched the world of Disney as children but to experience it in person is quite different. lists of what not to forget. which features some of the world’s tallest and fastest water slides and I have to tell you this. another one is already taking shape in my consciousness—Trinidad and Tobago to soak up some Caribbean Sun… I simply can’t wait! SuShmita Sen makes it a point to take out time to bond and vacation with her daughters. I particularly have special memories of Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Renee. while one equates Disneyland only with the characters. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . recharge and reinvigorate. She was ‘Alice in Wonderland’ on that day! I hadn’t imagined that this trip would turn out to be such a wonderful one. turned 13 and I wanted to give her a very special birthday treat. lots and lots of list—lists of things we need to take. there is really a lot to do—Pirates of the Caribbean treasure hunt. This has been a very special year for me and special years always demand special vacations. shopping and the interactive attractions. we are always making plans to go away together and make memories for each other. It all begins with lists. As you must know me and my family of two—Renee and Alisah—have a very special bond to say the least. As as one holiday has come to an end. Renee and I absolutely loved the adrenalin rush. the actor took her for a special birthday treat to Disneyland. When Renee turned 13 this year. NOVEMBER 2012 .H Memories Making olidays for me are a time away to replenish. By ankit Gupta 70 . I see them as time away for me and my family to let our hair down and soak up some fun.

Holiday Family INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . 71 PHoTogRAPHS CouRTeSy: SuSHMITA Sen . NOVEMBER 2012 .

teeming with wildlife. can turn any adult into an awestruck child. BY RITU AGARWAL ROHATGI .travel South africa explore GO WILD! Kruger National Park is as spectacular as it is harsh. And the African bush.

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the hoyo explore hoyo tosnga lodge. and that’s the last time they attempted to count. he was to have the last laugh as. lion and leopard. the massive guy is making lunch of the tree right next to me while I stand frozen and shivering. woody vegetation but can live in a variety of habitats and we get lucky to spot one as the white ones are easier to find. the Bomabraai is a african barbeque experience enjoyed in the outdoors with game meat 4. this is the Big 5 territory—elephants.travel wIld afrIcan elePhant is eyeing me. I find that my friend the elephant has wandered that ways as well. buffalo. 180 cheetah. they usually prefer dense. It may not have been so terrifying if I was not in the midst of wilderness. he laughs at my cynicism.000 zebra.000 leopard and 1. and one of its creatures is about to add me to his lunch menu. 25. outside my room.000 hectare concession inside the park.000 impala. over the next three days. Occasionally a baobab tree pops up on the horizon. rhinos.000 warthog.000 blue wildebeest. occasionally dotted with some trees as we enter the park gates. all rooms at the lodge are atmospheric A 1 . the South african savannas are as rough as they are spectacular. under an outdoor shower.000 kudu (antelope). there are blankets in the safari vehicle. 5. a rhino stands framed against the golden glow of the sky as sunlight breaks over the bush. and even cure. It is a black rhino. cancer. as I walk towards the central deck and dining area. we tick off one from the list almost immediately. It is freezing cold. the dining deck at hoyo hoyo is a vantage viewing point for animals as it is located in complete wilderness 3. the most famous tree in all of africa it stands eerie. I gather my wits and dash inside the room at the hoyo hoyo tsonga lodge located on the Mluwati river. Built on local tribal traditions the lodge has six air conditioned ‘bee-hive’ suites. Miles on miles of stunted thorn trees and shrubs. with king size beds. & 2. décor and objet d’art are sourced from the local tsonga community.00.000 a kg with the myth spreading that consuming it can prevent. 10. Sweet Boy is up and ready very early morning to take us game viewing. “are you sure you guys don’t stage this?” I ask Sweet Boy our resident resort and safari guide. this is the Kruger national Park. cylindrical in structure with earth coloured walls and a tapering thatched reed roof. often 1. the gateway to the park which is a three hour drive from the airport. bordering the northern Sabi Sands and Manyeleti reserves. the air feels biting cold as we hurdle up and drive on. harsh and massive—352 km from north to south and covering over 1. One wouldn’t expect that in South africa. yet I am shivering in my light-weight jacket.500 lions. South africa is currently battling a crisis of poaching as the street value of rhino horn soars up to uS$ 65. a one-hour flight from Johannesburg takes us to hoedspruit. and is staging quite a show for the benefit of the guests. most of whom forget the food to grab their cameras. 9. but it is. promoted by Kingfisher resorts. which is god knows how long ago. the landscape transforms into a world of grass and shrubs. en-suite bathrooms. points out our guide. over 1. is located on an ancient elephant route on the Mluwati river in a 10. outdoor showers and private game viewing decks. the drama of Kruger unfolds and leaves me reeling.9 million hectares it is crawling with over 1. all fabrics.

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the guide’s enthusiasm is quite infectious and laudable as he drives into bushes and seriously rough terrain to follow any lead. we watch the giant creatures as they cross the road ahead and make their way once again into the wilderness. which is why an independently booked and planned safari is usually a better option for those travelling with children under 12 Your child is dreaming of zebras and giraffes but do note that each lodge has rules about allowing children on game drives.html Safari with children PhOtOGraPhS By rItu aGarwal rOhatGI/www. there is enough of cereal. they chat us up as they ensure we get eggs to order with mushroom. elsewhere. the guide spots a fleeting feather as earnestly as he does a wild beast.travel m Fa ily explore 4. nibbling away at leaves even as a pretty lilac breasted roller watches on indulgently perched atop a tree nearby. INDIA ToDAY TrAVel plUS .co.cOM H y W e tick the elephant off our list next as we literally drive into a whole herd. the fruit of which ‘drives elephants mad’ when dropped to the ground and lightly fermented. tea.krugerpark. there is much excitement as a baby lumbers up. NoVeMBer 2012 .IndIatOdayIMaGeS. Kudu steak and stew are often part of our menu over the next few days in Kruger. any flap of the wings. any movement.000 year of age. hunting kudu is an official and popular trophy game in South africa. at extra cost. what follows is a trip to enchanted land. there is fresh hot and cold breakfast waiting for us back at hoyo hoyo. cheese. there are Marula trees. breads. of hiring a vehicle and ranger exclusively to take your family for a game drive customised for children You will also want to decide between staying in a ‘private concession’ which lies within the park or in a ‘private reserve’ which flank the park Check this link for some family holiday offers in Kruger: www. Shrubs and thorn trees suddenly give way to unending stenches of golden grass. Check in advance to avoid disappointed kids! Many lodges offer the option. potato and sausages on the side. we spot a herd of kudu with their strikingly beautiful long spiral horns. the staff is very warm and friendly.za/ Kruger_Park_Safari_Packages-travel/ kruger-park-family-holiday-packages. Giraffes loom tall nibbling the top of a the wildebeest is a native animal of africa and a common sighting at Kruger 76 . chatter and lunch later we are saddled up inside the vehicle with Sweet Boy yet again for the afternoon safari. and the meat makes its way onto the dinner table. muffins and fruits to go around for everyone. hot baths. ol ida Many safari tours have age restrictions on children.

he is not too far away. 247. You cannot come away without experiencing a Bomabraai. he remains elusive. l Binoculars! How I missed them l A good camera. a roar echoes somewhere in the distance. Some offer special night safaris. my mind goes “Pumba!” this is the perfect lion King snapshot. This is essentially a barbecue around the boma. Sweet Boy parks the vehicle at a safe point for a sundowner. All the safaris you probably can during your stay. and he is reiterating that this is his territory. e-mail: res@extraordinary. Try some ‘pap’. as we sip the best of wines and dig into a lovely spread. This is Kruger.co. the deck at the lodge has a bonfire up and running.680 (217. close and personal as she cuts across in front of our vehicle. Johannesburg to Hoedspruit: SAR 1. an outdoor enclosure with fireplace in the lodges at Kruger Park. it’s a bit difficult to imagine we are actually in the wild. central reservations: +27 11 5164367. salads and breads washed down by some of the finest South African wines. 77 . African maize meal (like porridge).500 approx) twin sharing and SAR 4. a couple of zebras stroll around and we spot some wildebeest at the other end. Children above 8 years only and they are accommodated in their own rooms at adult rates. Kruger National Park. You never know what you may be missing if you get lazy & skip one. I get to see a lioness up.500 (approx 210. the ride back to the lodge in the dark is an experience by itself.000) DO something to cover your ears. It’s a lion. with a zoom.Getting up close to a rhino during an early morning safari couple of trees dotted here and there as impalas frisk around their lanky long legs. But as we walk back to our huts. Early mornings in open safari vehicles can get very cold. Beef is common but at a braai. The resort can arrange for a transfer from Hoedspruit to the property in Kruger. INDIA ToDAY TrAVel plUS . the night sky of the southern hemisphere is startling. At a Glance GETTING THERE Fly Delhi to Johannesburg on Emirates. the sun turns a red ball of fire and then slowly melts into a golden orange sky as a folding table is set up with drinks and finger food. the hunt for the elusive leopard is long and hard. Baobab trees look haunted with their leafless branches stretching upward like gnarled fingers.000) for a round trip. include 3 meals & 2 safaris. as I stare out of the open vehicle I am stunned by how close the stars are. You cannot have enough.000 (approx). the headlight catches a startled hyena mooching along. so is wild game like kudu or impala. the sunsets in africa are some of the most brilliant ones you will ever witness. though there are goose bump moments with lions. the break energizes us for what lies ahead. And you are here for the wildlife. These animals are in plenty so you need not feel guilty.za Cost: SAR 2. One of our team actually gets to witness a kill in progress. The meat is similar to venison.020 single (226. Most lodges do an early morning & a mid afternoon safari. Sweet Boy has a search light that illuminates a huge owl and we hear the howl of a pack of wild dogs on the prowl. Rates are per person per night. even as the afternoons are very hot under the African sun. Grilled meats. NoVeMBer 2012 . caRRy l A warm jacket and EaT STay Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge. I feel like I have a pretty black sari studded with crystals stretched above my head. as a wild boar jumps out of the bush.

it is still nowhere in the league of say . But the thought of the invading hordes that high summer brings with it is enough to turn you off. Moreover. NOVeMBeR 2012 At home in the himachal pradesh HEn lookInG to escape Delhi in the heat. its charm. luring them back again and again. Unlike some of its peers. By Vandana Malhotra Shimla or Dharamshala. The town is named after lord Hills . natural beauty is the draw card here. one naturally thinks of the many hill stations up north. after great deliberation. Though Dalhousie does attract large weekend crowds due to its proximity to Punjab. INDIA TODAY TRAVeL pLUS . these crowds disappear by Sunday night leaving you to enjoy your walks in peace on weekdays. Which is why. and the beauty of the surrounding hills. I chose Dalhousie. it has retained most of its forest cover over the years and instances of tree logging are said to be few and far between. Dalhousie is largely about long scenic walks and picturesque hikes.travel expLORe W 78 An unfrequented homestay in Dalhousie becomes a place for bonding for a small family.

we were greeted with cups of Himachal chai and shown into our rooms. the lounge soon became our favourite haunt. Fitted with deep sofa chairs and a floor lamp. devouring the most delicious pakoras and following the adventures of Hercule Poirot late into the night! Though the sky remained overcast throughout our stay. We’d opted for a suite and another room on the ground floor with a small tv and reading lounge in between. Since running INDIA TODAY TRAVeL pLUS . Vickram himself is as interesting and knowledgeable a host as you’re likely to meet anywhere.Holiday Family Dalhousie. 79 DInoDIA PHoTo lIBrAry . Being a cantonment town has helped it retain its unspoiled charm and a semblance of order. Whenever it rained—and it rained quite a lot during our most recent stay—we sat here looking out over the garden. the Governor-General of India from 1848 to 1856. NOVeMBeR 2012 . the hill station of Dalhousie has prospered. I picked Silverton Estate for us. the sudden furious bursts of rain and hale gave way to more even-tempered weather in between. a small hill with great views. Ushered in quickly out of the rain. A 150-year-old private estate built by its present owner Vickram Singh’s grandfather. A fairly recent convert to the unique charm and hospitality of homestays. Perfect for a 4-day family holiday between weekends. right till before the Indian Uprising. it is advantageously located on Moti Tibba. While he continues to be a controversial figure much criticised by historians for his callousness and neglect. playing endless rounds of rummy.

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By the time we reached our next stop, around sightseeing was not on our agenda, it do the Bakrota a small rocky beach that allows easy access suited us just fine. In fact we made it a point Walk, a denselyto the ravi, it had begun to rain again. We to avoid all the tourist spots. After feasting on wooded 5 km paved road that took shelter in the ramshackle teashop along sumptuous homemade dosas and a long the local elite the road and ordered ourselves bowls of siesta, we walked to Subhash Baoli, a small frequent every steaming Masala Maggi. spring well that Subhash Chandra Bose used evening Maggi, I’ll have you know, is the staple of to drink from when he came to Dalhousie to practically every teashop in Dalhousie. you can recover from tuberculosis. Beyond Subash Baoli, take your pick from the add-ons: vegetables, egg or lies Jandrighat, the residence of the former rulers of ketchup! As we sat at the back of the shop in a tin-roofed Chamba. This lovely estate draped in cedars served as balcony facing the river and being buffeted by gusts of the setting for the rather poetically shot “Ek Ladki Ko rain-laden wind, it felt little short of paradise. When the Dekha To Aisa Laga…” the popular song from the film storm finally tired itself out, we approached the river, 1942: A Love Story. hopping from one rock to another till we reached boulders we could sit on. It isn’t easy to forget the rain-drenched fter a leisurely breakfast in the open the next day beauty of the scene in a hurry. we headed down to Chamera Dam on ravi river in Day three saw us setting out for kalatope wildlife Chamba Valley. As we drove down to the floor of sanctuary, a pristine jungle of gigantic deodars that the valley, the line of majestic deodars (cedars) gave way dwarfed every other living creature in sight. With hills on to a profusion of pine trees. Much to my ten-year-old’s one side and drops on the other, the 3km path snakes its delight, we chose to walk across the dam rather than way through serious sloth and brown bear territory. We going round it through a tunnel in our car. made slow progress thanks to Urja’s frequent stops to The young, they say, know no fear but I confess my chase butterflies and place harmless ladybirds out of the heart sank when I looked down 741ft over the railing into way. At the end of the path is an old government forest those deep swirling waters! From the dam to the reservoir house that to our amusement was then being used as was a short ride. Giving in to the demands of my daughter, I persuaded my parents to come boating with us but the 30-minute ride turned out to be pretty tame. What I’d The atmospheric silverton estate is an ideal base to discover recommend instead is a short spin in a powerboat though the quaint hill town. it will make a good home away from home, I didn’t dare try it myself with a kid in tow! especially for your children

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There is a lot to do and explore with your child. Share stories under a shady tree, or a plate of piping hot Maggi noodles at a tea stall. You can also buy a range of colourful handicraft from the local bazaar

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a shooting location for a film starring ranbir kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha. not wishing to intrude, we stayed away from the set but Urja couldn’t resist inching closer for a dekko of her favourite movie star! Back from kalatope we spent the evening visiting the shops along the Mall and buying a couple of capes from lall Ji’s. With its own factory not far from town, lall Ji’s promises to replicate any possible design you can present them with in wool of your choice. Another great buy in Dalhousie is the Chamba Chukh, a delicious chilli-gingergarlic chutney. We couldn’t resist the fabulous spread of jams and preserves in flavours such as apple-cinnamon, peach, orange and kiwi either. But the piece de résistance of the entire trip was the magical hike up Dainkund Hill. It seemed as if we had stepped into a fairytale world of mountain slopes speckled with thousands of wild yellow and white daisies bobbing their heads in the breeze. As the swirling mist floated our way, it felt as if we were walking through the clouds. That the hike comes to an end at a couple of dingy teashops is a bit jarring. A little ahead of the shops stands an old temple with just some tridents wedged into the ground— you’ll find no idol here. In the absence of a specific deity, both kali and Shiva are worshipped. on the way back, nature seemed to have taken on a much wilder mien— deep, dark clouds rolled up the ridge from the east and the wind picked up speed. As the mist came in faster and I clutched Urja’s hand tight, I felt as if we were the only ones in the world!

A quarter of an hour or perhaps just a few moments later, the mist suddenly parted and the real world swam into our view again. We made our way back to Silverton in more or less total silence. And then on to Delhi on the evening train. And the memories, oh yes they travelled back with us too.

At a Glance
GETTiNG THERE Fly into Delhi and take the overnight train to Pathankot, from where Dalhousie is about two hours by road. Taxis are available at the station; strike a deal for the rest of the stay. WHEN TO GO Anytime except December to Feburary, when it is closed due to extreme temperatures. Silverton Estate, Above Circuit House, Moti Tibba. Contact: Vickram Singh; tel: (0) 94180 10674 Cost: Starting 23,000 for double room You should definitely have a meal at Kwality, the town’s oldest fine dining restaurant. l Red Chilli Chamba Chukh, the fieriest version of Chamba’s ginger-garlic chukh. l The melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pudding prepared by our host’s wife.

InDIA PICTUrE

EAT

sHOP Capes and woollen jackets
from Lall Ji’s, and Vale’s jams and preserves. Phuntsokling Tibetan Refugees Handicraft Centre to observe how traditional Tibetan carpets are made.

sTAY

sEE

INDIA TODAY TRAVeL pLUS . NOVeMBeR 2012 .

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travel
Tamil Nadu

experience

Holiday

Family

The Sound
he only sound that was heard in the stillness of the late evening came from the rumbling and rattling of the open jeep that we were travelling in. As its suspension creaked and squeaked from the impact of the bumpy forest path, we sat mesmerised with the thought of the little adventure that awaited us in the dense forest. The jeep slowly made its way through the narrow forest path and our eyes darted all around to spot the wild creatures of the night. no points for guessing that it was a tiger we were hoping to spot. Past experiences in an Indian jungle safari had taught us to rein in our expectations. We had spent two days in the forests of Ranthambhore a couple of years ago wanting to have a glimpse of Machli and returned home disappointed. spotting a tiger is a matter of chance, we had been told then. With half pragmatism and half hope we sat in the jeep, letting nature take its course. We tried to match the enthusiasm of the guards when they spotted wild rabbits scuttling into the bushes, or when they pointed out the 200-year-old pine tree that added to the eerie feeling of being in the jungle after dusk. And then it happened—all within a matter of seconds. The driver cum guide stepped on the accelerator calling out, “Ma’am, I spotted a tiger, tiger ma’am tiger ma’am…!” And sure enough it was the majestic beast himself. It was a huge six-footer, his mouth open, baring his sharp canines as if warning us that this is what we need to be afraid of. his stripes glowing like ambers in the dark. Tiger, tiger burning bright. he almost did a short catwalk for us, sliding through the shadowy bushes. long enough for us to admire his unhurried and confident gait before disappearing into the wild. he was obviously on an early leisurely stroll before he seriously started making plans for dinner. long after he had gone, we sat silent in the now stationary vehicle. each of us bound in a silent communication with the cosmos. “It leaves you speechless and then turns you into

of Silence
a storyteller.” That’s how the legendary traveller Ibn Batuta described the magic of travel. And magic it certainly was. The universe had arranged itself—our sudden plan to take this trip, choosing this particular day for the safari and then making the tiger walk past just as we approached that particular spot—to grant us our long cherished wish. It was such a blessing to receive this gift. And it is moments like these that add to the lure of going on a wildlife holiday with the family. northern hay in Masinagudi in Tamil nadu promised us a ‘wildlife fix’. And they kept their word and how. We had the opportunity to spot wild boars, the beautiful burgundy coloured Malabar squirrel, a wild tusker, deer in plenty, an eagle circling high above the tree that a Malabar squirrel was perched upon, whistling thrush and quail. It was a perfect holiday for my family of three. It helped that our 13-year-old is a wildlife enthusiast. he realises that being in the territory of the animals you have to give them the right of way. northern hay is a coffee plantation sitting on the edge of the Mudumalai forest. Guests have had the opportunity to spot leopards and elephants right on the property itself. In fact, a particular couple who had decided to spend their honeymoon here were so horror struck after they saw a tiger chase a wild boar right in front of their eyes while they were sipping coffee on the porch that they took the same taxi back to civilisation. The caretaker Babu has many such tales to regale you with when he takes you for a morning walk on the plantation. Mind you it is no walk in the park though. you could be surprised by an advancing wild boar, or suddenly come face to face with a tusker. This is not a nature that invites you to wander off on your own to soak in the charms. you have to stick close to the more experienced companion who is leading you.
The homestay Northern Hay is an attractive space with an earthy design. Sitting next to the mudumalai forest reserve, it is surrounded by quiet and green spaces

At northern hay in Masinagudi, your family can bond over several intriguing wildlife tales of fellow travellers, while gathering thrilling new tales of your own. By Dipti Nair

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PhoToGRAPhs By dIPTI nAIR .

travel Old world charm The old colonial building is beautiful and cosy. with no time to engage in any tiring physical exercise. sedentary creature like me. There is a library with books on birds and wildlife and large pictures of the Raj era framed on the walls with a fireplace adding to the charm of the room. The internet and television are not particularly missed. the caretaker organised a bonfire. you take your chances… and if you are lucky you come back with a rewarding experience like we did. We spent most of the day either reading. There are individual cottages. “The guard in front of us will divert them while I will take you to safety. the old colonial building and various artefacts and paintings in the house add to the quaint charm of the holiday.” he replies stoically. In the evenings. But that’s life I guess. inDiA TODAY TrAVeL pLUS . nOVeMBer 2012 . I think what he really means is that you just run! For a city-bred. a tree house within the property becomes a vantage point for spotting animals and will thrill the children 2. It resembles a living room that could have belonged to one of the pucca sahibs… dIPTI nAIR 1 84 . Though wildlife is the main draw of this holiday experience. And it is actually not much of a challenge to keep a small family content and occupied here. munching on fresh onion pakodas or playing cards and carom on the long verandah that circles the whole house. this does not sound like a good option at all. All the rooms are aesthetically furnished with minimum fuss and designed to bring in the flavour of a homestay. experience “so what happens if we see a herd of elephants?” I ask Babu as we make our way through the wet plantation grounds. and sitting around it with the stars twinkling above us on a clear night sky we spoke in hushed tones almost hoping 1. many guests have spotted elephants right from the property itself dIP TI nA IR even tree houses and a recently-added mud house.

If you want you can instruct the cook to make your kind of daal or curry. A small picnic is also organised during the day along a mountain stream. l This is not a zoo. take the Ooty Road. it is the accompanying chutneys and preserves that are mouthwatering. At a Glance GeTTinG There From Bangalore. nOVeMBer 2012 .com Cost: Starting 25. and children should understand that spotting any animal is a matter of chance. spotted deer and. Good To know The evening safari is your best bet of spotting wildlife. northern hay. Make sure your children don’t feed or tease them. including the big cat. tel: 1800 425 2737 (toll free). even wild elephants. www. l Best to travel with children who are 10 years and above and who understand the rules of the jungle and respect animals. When we left the resort behind after two days on a bumpy kaccha road. and since that is at the edge of the Madhumalai forests animals are easy to spot. if you are lucky as we were. l Carry comfortable clothes and walking shoes. But now we didn’t want it to end because although we had been fortunate enough to spot so many of the local residents. 85 dIPTI nAIR . Stick to blues. Make sure to have an SUV to negotiate the difficult terrain from here to the plantation. It is a good thing that the animals know no borders! TiPS l Do not pack STay clothes with bright colours. greys and pale shades. l Do not wander around the plantation on your own. it still felt as if the dense forest cover contained many more magical creatures who had decided we were not worthy enough for a glimpse. On the way. You can try your hand at free style fishing. there are chances of spotting langurs.2 that the majestic cat comes lounging by to pay us a visit. mahindrahomestays. If you are eaT wondering how night safari is allowed here when it is banned in our forest reserves. the official clarification is that the safari is restricted to the plantation areas. book through Mahindra Homestays. l There are many langurs and monkeys around. After you cross Mysore. the thought uppermost in our mind was the same road had felt never-ending when we were approaching the resort.575 for two with breakfast There is no set menu. More than the mains. inDiA TODAY TrAVeL pLUS . Northern Hay is about five hours on the BangaloreMysore Highway.

we explore life beyond the Swiss Alps and discover its stunning lakes and waterbodies.travel switzerland explore The land wiTh beauTiful blue eyes As the country dedicates the year to ‘water’. BY AjAY KhullAr .

SwitzerlAnd touriSm .

it was a better afterlife than life. Sometimes we need to take a break.000 years and vertical mineral baths can be found in Samedan. my mind looked lonely and bare. life is harsh. “Perhaps a sip of water from the lake tasted like wine.travel explore I anyone else on the busy street of lucerne seem in a hurry ’ve been cloSe to death a few times. vast head…” i hummed to myself as the There are various thermal turquoise blue lakes and snow soft drizzle trickled down my face. Switzerland for the domestic dream—wood panelled. considered and declined. the attention is towards treating sunburn . in the beauty of the land and the houses that lined the side of the foreground were the male and female leads. you get a sight of some quintessential so pure that you can simply dip your flask in any of the Switzerland—lush green countryside. think Switzerland. think mountains. it was the end of summer and the Alps the moment of final closure drew near. lived in for repose and restfulness”. As you go up slowly in innumerable waterfalls. in the lake seemed to have been modelled for the perfect background was the snow white Alps. baths and treatments offered capped mountains in the i did not run for shelter. the towers of the i have grown up on a healthy diet of Yash raj films. it was undoubtedly a charming world. we discover new my next destination. now think cows that look fashionable with their Switzerland. town managed the difficult task of complementing the where the Alps have played the perfect prop to love. considered by many as Switzerland’s prettiest everyone. i wanted a lotus in a beautiful pond. In Gstaad. lucerne looked all the more prettier from the boat— welcome to Switzerland. elegant bells. but lucerne looked as pretty as wandered towards what heaven might be like. it wasn’t a pond really. A life where beauty was taken the lake lucerne—vast and at the centre of the city. young and “raindrops keep falling on my The goodness of water old. it’s not for lucerne. more than 120 glaciers. rainwashed. trekkers. “do for granted. not just from india but from around the lawns with lovely flowers. it is perhaps a truism that as we age. gorges and rivers! And the water is the cogwheel. Baden for instance has enjoyed the benefits of thermal springs for 2. ambling up the hill. mark twain had undertaken the same journey eyes are equally beautiful. i’ve also been a cruise?” my guide prodded and so we set sail on lake close to life—most of my life. a land where raindrops were the thought was tempting no doubt. facets to ourselves—that though you might have been many. “this is the charmingest place we have ever Switzerland has about 7. where you aged but never grew old. the with an affirmative wink. think water. remarked. lakes and take a sip.000 lakes. peaceful under a violent sky. tiled roofs. has always been about mountains—the matterhorn. Switzerland is just about waking and it had made an impact enough on him to have up to its deep blue eyes—its lakes and waterbodies. but i was not equipped for happiest to fall. manicured casual traveller. nor did around the country. city. many summers before i went up to mt rigi in praised all this while for your lustrous hair—your deep blue a cogwheel. where a swim. you saw the mountains—among which was mt rigi. where angelic women replied to a query you want to take a swim in the lake?” my guide asked. city and even as you tore your eyes away to look the other eiger and Jungfrau. And each time to escape the rain. side. so i smiled.

Valid till but the sound. life was pretty pAcKAge and i felt at peace with my surrounding. might have looked like a scary rollercoaster but was really a mild joyride where your heart never missed a beat. the trek that we were warned was ‘considerably tough’ was pleasant and ironically. spread the wings of its charm over me. region. day was to be a mild trek along the Aare Gorge as includes airfare we made our way towards the bernese oberland from Delhi. but the sky was clear.650 Switzerland though had just about begun to explore lucerne.background. it was the simple sounding barefoot blueberry picking trail that left the sole of your feet aching. you are often close to nature. in the Swiss countryside.com created by the happy river left you feeling fresh and energised. with a birdseye view of the panorama. the next and interlaken. it was an interesting experience. the funicular that i took to the Gilmer lake. For 285.makemytrip. might give you a feeling of mild thrill but never is there an element of fear. lucerne is a perfect blend of a modern city with an old world atmosphere 2. where you walked on 1. the cogwheel that might take you up dizzying heights to the mountain. taking the cogwheel to Mt rigi PhotoGrAPhS courteSY: luzern touriSmuS AG SwitzerlAnd touriSm 2 1 3 . of being really close to nature—in all its force—yet in a what you felt was a controlled environment. what started as a causal stroll along the accommodation. it was a fun close-to-nature exercise. on a wooden platform at an elevation from the river. fury and the sheer atmosphere December 31 www. pathway lined by trees soon turned to be an excursions and exciting hike along a gushing river. And then you were on rigi. sight. yet it is programmed and controlled. it was windy that SwiSS day at rigi. we were walking travel insurance. the steam boat is used not only for cruises but also to get across town 3.

travel explore SwitzerlAnd touriSm walking along the aare gorge is a dramatic experience .

Charges start at approx 15. If you want to shop in style you could pick up a classy watch from Rolex.palaceluzern.ch Shop The Swiss watch and clock industry is one of the oldest and dates back to the 16th century. A must try is the Wienerschnitzel (a special veal prepared at your tableside) and the rosti. two pretty girls in my group broke into a spontaneous dance with the sound of waterfall as gentle music. On the barefoot blueberry trail. Stay In Lucerne a good option is Palace Luzern. www.com . 91 PhotoGrAPhS bY AJAY khullAr/www. As i stood at the foot of the Giessbach Falls. charmed. offer a moment of such tranquillity that it is impossible to let the little things in life come in the way of nature’s goodness. starts from 20.1 1. i could think of nothing—no words of gravity or an insight into life came to me. i smiled.indiAtodAYimAGeS. it was a fine summing up to what Switzerland was really all about. the first skier appeared on the slopes only in 1891. grass and sometimes uncomfortable rocks and by the end of it you were very glad to be finally back in your shoes.000 from Delhi and 46.000 approx.lindner. T he bernese oberland region with its towns of interlaken and Grindelwald is as charming as the rest of the country.000 approx. French and German Cuisine. soft moss. www. stand by a river. buses and boats. with a slight sprinkle of water cleansing my soul. now a popular winter sports destination. the region also offers some breathtaking lake cruises and waterfalls like the Giessbach Falls. Giessbach Falls in the Bernese Oberland region 2 At a Glance GettinG there Swiss Air has flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Zurich Fare: 52.000 from Mumbai (return fare) When to Go The summer season from June to September is a great time to be in Lucerne with perfect conditions for outdoor activities and lake cruises. Tag Heuer or any of the other famous Swiss brands. starts from 21. many years after Switzerland’s other slopes had been discovered.800 for four days. 2. though it gets quite crowded and you have to book your accommodation well in advance. this wasn’t skiing season but the town had much to offer—you could just walk along the countryside. Omega. out of joy perhaps. my mind was a blank where the only picture was of the waterfall and then suddenly. a Swiss staple.ch In Interlaken you could check into the Grand Hotel Beau Rivage. I particularly loved my veal at the Old Swiss House restaurant in Lucerne. more so perhaps as it is still being explored by tourists. GettinG around A Swiss Pass gives you unlimited travel on trains. which though not hollywoodised by Sherlock holmes like the reichenbach Falls.de/en/LGHBR INDIA ToDAY TrAVel plUS . If you are travelling towards the Bernese Oberland region the mountains offer good hiking trails and during winter Grindelwald region has over 90 miles of ski slopes. NoVeMBer 2012 . You can pick up a ‘2 for 1’ Swiss Pass where you get one pass free. it was a moment of innocence and beauty. Löwenplatz 4 CH-6004 Lucerne. in Grindelwald. eat The Swiss menu has a heavy influence of Italian. take pictures of the wonderful chalets and shop for souvenirs. info@oldswisshouse.

travel the plus list BEST SHOPPING CITIES If you are a compulsive buyer of clothes. you must be familiar with these cities. curios. We tell you where to get what! 15 . food items. or just an expert window-shopper.

The busy Causeway Bay in Hong Kong is great for brands DInoDIa Photo LIbrary .

ocean Centre. armani Casa (31. via Manzoni). b&b Italia (14 Via Durini). Drop off your bags: hotel Plaza athénée Paris. orlando has a new attraction. baleri Italia (8 Via F. Cassina (16.hongkong. and avenue Montaigne. Sony. also check Causeway bay.com It’s renowned for the fineness of its craftsmen.travel the plus list 1 2 CoUrtESy: CoLEttE COUTURE AND FASHION PARIS For over a century it has been the world’s go-to city for fashion and couture and things aren’t changing anytime soon. the city of joy is master of all types of zardozi and thread work. www. filling up their suitcase at the rest of the stores. iNDiA tODAY tRAVel plus . including b&b Italia.oberoihotels. www. via Manzoni). Unmissable stores include Muji (415-419. Lorenzi (9 via Montenapoleone). Comme des Garcons (10 Ice house Street. and alessi (9. home to the first couture house of Charles Fredrick Worth. Many. not just an annual visit. www. Via Durini). Milan is a year-long destination with the best-known contemporary furniture and home stores. yves Saint Laurent and more recently Isabel Marant and Maison Martin Margiela. who begin their shopping at a luggage outlet. +91 33 22901048) and the two biggies anamika Khanna (2/1 outram Street. Designer Sharbari Datta (40/1a broad Street. bengal home Industries (Park Lane) and Good Companion (russell Street) offer more English embroideries. Paris remains an immovable feast when it comes to matters of style. Dior. which gives out on to rue St honoré. h&M. they’ve made orlando one of america’s best shopping destinations for domestic and international tourists. and there are lines in front of most of them. Cassina and Cappellini. Cavallotti).grandhoteletdemilan. Whip out your credit card: three malls—Premium outlets International Drive. Whip out your credit card: Kantha work on apparel as well as household items like tablecloths is found in Gariahat. G. Park Circus) and Sabyasachi (545 Lake road) do exquisite embroideries. hMV. bonus points for a stop-off at Colette.waldorfastoriaorlando. and is lined with every brand under the sky. NOVeMBeR 2012 . Whip out your credit card: tsim Sha tsui is the centre of brand shopping. Giorgio armani. Dior. Drop off your bags: Grand hotel et de Milan. and Salvatore Ferragamo. Drop off your bags: the oberoi Grand. Whip out your credit card: rue du Faubourg Saint honoré. burberry. Drop off your bags: Waldorf astoria. you can find it. in fact— 500 factory outlet stores. Unmissable stores include Driade 30. the capital of chic also gave us Coco Chanel. Sony Style hK (East Point Centre). the city’s coolest store. good. Shanghai tang (I Duddell Street). Coach. other mustsees are Skitsch (11 Via Monte di Pietà).com 4 HONG KONG BRANDS In hK every street corner has Louis Vuitton. Shop b2). these streets are lined with the ready-to-wear flagship stores of almost every designer under the sun. tiffany and Cartier. Drop off your bags: the Langham. Christian Dior. and the incredible prices their work is available. Whip out your credit card: Via Durini. on rue St honoré. and wannabes gather to show and see the latest trends and the best of home and product design. and Lake buena Vista Factory Stores—offer over 250 outlet stores including brands like hugo boss.langhamhotels. Via Manzoni and Corso Matteoti are the streets to target. you name it. harbour City). Corso Matteoti).plaza-athenee-paris.com 5 KOLKATA EMBROIDERY 94 . where the great. www.it 3 OUTLET SHOPPING ORLANDO Move over Disney World. while the workshops of karigars can be found in the bylanes of Park Circus and ram Mandir area in Central avenue. orlando Premium outlets Vineland avenue.com HOME DECOR MILAN It’s the home of the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile. www.

you know they’ve got something special going on.com 8 JAIPUR GEMS AND JEWELLERY a historic centre for gem and jewellery trading.com banDEEP SInGh iNDiA tODAY tRAVel plus . Drop off your bags: Park hyatt Dubai. oxford Street). besides the variety and cuts. add in the fact that Dubai is a duty free port and you have products likely to be cheaper here than at their country of origin.6 LONDON HIGH STREET From the country that defined the term—which refers to a town’s main street where all the principal stores that cater to the general public are located—it’s the city with the best on offer. Whip out your credit card: Johri bazaar and Surajpol bazaar are both good for silver. it’s known for kundan. James Street) and Marks & Spencer (458. and silver jewellery. Cos (222. oxford Street). Drop off your bags: raj Palace. Jaipur is still unmatched when it comes to these precious buys. 95 . from the tourist friendly oxford Street to the less crowded and more stylish Kensington high Street (where Salvation army stores give up a wealth of designer wear at high street prices).uk CoUrtESy: VISIt brItaIn 7 MALLS DUBAI When a city spends as much time at malls as Dubai does. amrapali (Panch batti. you’ll also find a replica regent Street. faux Mediterranean decor and shark viewing to round off the fab experience. Kurt Geiger (1. Dubai Festival City. Drop off your bags: Grosvenor house. www.co. Deira City Center.hyatt. the flagship store on oxford Street attracts fashionistas the world over with reason. Whip out your credit card: two words! top Shop (214. regent Street). www. which lays claim to some of the largest in the world. www. Jewels Emporium (MI road) and Surana Jewellers (b-7 E Surana Enclave.dubai. oxford Street).marriott.rajpalace. For some serious buying head to the Gem Palace (MI road) where the Kasliwals have wrought jewellery for the rich and famous. other stores to visit include Uniqlo (311. London has multiple high Streets. Sawai ramsingh road) are worth visiting. MI road). Malls are a fine art in this emirate.park. Whip out your credit card: the Dubai Mall of the Emirates. meenakari work. Mercato town Center and burjuman Center cover everything from luxury brands to gold souks to supermarkets. NOVeMBeR 2012 .

it also likes to discuss from where the food was sourced. other chocolate houses of note are neuhaus (27 Grand-Place). Whip out your credit card: Place du Grand Sablon has at least eight chocolate shops of note including master chocolatier Pierre Marcolini’s (39 Place du Grand Sablon). Drop off your bags: hotel amigo. Whip out your credit card: For the best of organic head to Whole Foods Market (1765 California St). Frederic blondeel Chocolatier. Godiva (47 Place du Grand Sablon). Zaabär. bryan’s Grocery (3445 California Street). home to master chocolatiers.com 96 . www. Grand Sablon). www. (125 Chaussée de Charleroi) and Mary (36 Galerie de la reine).000 tonnes of chocolate a year. Wittamer (6&12 Place du Grand Sablon). the Ferry building Marketplace (Market Street) is the city’s best-known market that sells everything from farm produce and speciality grocery to wine and cookware. It’s the city that invented the praline. (24 Quai aux brix). NOVeMBeR 2012 . and Laurent Gerbaud’s Passion Chocolates (2/4 rue bodenbroek.travel the plus list 9 FOOD SHOPPING SAN FRANCISCO Few cities in the world celebrate food fads quite as much as San Fran. the purest chocolate and produces close to 200. the city not only enjoys the best of eating out. iNDiA tODAY tRAVel plus .starwoodhotels. how local and organic the produce is and the same goes for shopping. bi-rite (3639 18th Street).hotelamigo. Drop off your bags: W San Francisco.com 10 Van hULSt CHOCOLATE BRUSSELS there are some places where it’s criminal not to indulge your vice and brussels is top of that list.

Drop off your bags: Check out the Plaza hotel. while anime fans should head to Evangelion. head for more unusual home items to Stockhome (25. the big apple may have everything. 97 . bangkok has an exhaustive variety of things to buy. 20th century Scandinavian design to Modernity (6 Sibyllegatan). Whip out your credit card: begin at Ikea (Kungens Kurva.11 13 BANG FOR YOUR BAHT BANGKOK Even if you haven’t already visited. bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth ave). Covered alleyways lined with stalls selling ceramics. Whip out your credit card: the 35 acre Chatuchak Weekend Market has more than 8. think Ikea. dressed as their favourite anime character or milkmaids. Saks Fifth avenue. shopping can be done till late at night. just off the main street. jewellery. blond wood. you’ve heard the stories of just how much your rupee can buy. while Faline.theplaza. Pratunam is where the locals go for wholesale fashion.M (20 alströmergatan). a pedestrian only street in tokyo’s harajuku area. Skärholmen). though authenticity and prices both need to be given a good hard look. cosmetics.com iNDiA tODAY tRAVel plus . www. www. while Macy’s (712 Fifth ave) and bloomingdale’s (1000 third ave)—home. Unleash your inner bargainista. www. For local designers head to Siam Square. Packed with teens in the latest in street fashion or character play. Whip out your credit card: barneys (660 Madison ave). Souk rahba Qdima for rugs and carpets.mandarinoriental. www. Carry cash. Souk des bijoutiers for jewellery. Macy’s. It’s a hard-to-beat experience. takenoko sells masks and costumes. for modern furniture and signature botanical prints to Svenskt tenn (5a. From street markets to air conditioned malls. and a modern crafty feel.kempinski. head to Souk Semarine for fabrics. colourful plastic furniture by designers like Philippe Starck to Kartell (6 Smålandsgatan). Souk el attarine for perfumes.lamaisonarabe.com SOUKS MARRAKECH DISTINCTIVE STREET FASHION TOKYO SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN STOCKHOLM Sometimes people-watching can be as much fun as shopping and never more so than at takeshita-dori. Mari’s rock is your place for punk. dates and spices form a maze of souks. Souk Cherratin for leather and Souk Chouri for wood work. but Ikea is just the starting place in Stockhom. a day in each might just do them justice. henri bendel.com/tokyo/ this is about clean lines. Drop off your bags: nobis hotel. and there are plenty of these grandes dames to choose from—bergdorf Goodman. www. henri bendel has more youthful appeal.se NEW YORK DEPARTMENT STORES When it comes to shopping. or punked up and gothed out. Whip out your credit card: Some stores are so cheap you may not need the card. Drop off your bags: Mandarin oriental.000 stalls of pretty much anything you can dream up. for architect designed furniture to nordiska Galleriet (11 nybrogatan). bloomingdale’s. food halls.o. NOVeMBeR 2012 . clothes. Drop off your bags: La Maison arabe. while tha Prachan is lined with vendors selling vintage.nobishotel. Strandvägen). they buy most of their clothes on takeshita-dori. the Patpong night Market is another landmark visit. and the latest releases to the flagship store of bang & olufsen (52 regeringsgatan). is one of the city’s most iconic boutiques. rugs. Even better.com 12 14 15 It’s a scene out of Arabian Nights. and yes. Kungsgatan). expensive and excellent design to r. barney’s. credit cards only work at big stores. but there’s nothing more new york than a visit to one of its many sprawling department stores. Go lingerie shopping at Lovx bldg. and Saks (611 Fifth ave) offer a range of classic luxury labels.o. Drop off your bags: Siam Kempinski hotel. Whip out your credit card: the famous Djemaa el Fna leads off to a number of souks.

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It opens with a village fest to introduce the visiting chefs. robust platters. coffee bean-picking contests and even a Miss Kona Coffee Pageant. and gourmet a la carte meals by guest chefs at the restaurants participating in the festival. The Sarmentelles. Details on www.umami. so vegetarians should stay away. a party that follows a bonfire of the sarments.konacoffeefest. the famed young wine. The threeday festival begins on November 15. nOVeMBeR 2012 . You can also attend cooking classes and taste the newest and best in both wines and tequila. the cuttings from the vines. anyone? Gourmet burgers are quite the culinary rage at the Trend moment. Wake up and smell the coffee If the heady aroma of coffee gets you going. Cocktails by the team include an Andy Warhol that comes in a Campbell soup can. The whole of France celebrates the event with Beaujeu being the hub of the revelry. joSEF KANDoLL W Coffee Cruise The whole hog London’s exciting culinary scene gets a quirky addition with the opening of Beard to Tail in Shoreditch. This is the newest outlet of the chain and is pitched as its flagship. is uncorked. As the name suggests it’s all about the whole animal here. head to Hawaii from November 2 to 11. Shoreditch. Beard to Tail is at 77 Curtain Road. You can also tuck into savoury Umami chips. Tradition dictates that the fruity.com compiled by priya bala neW IndIa tOdaY tRaVeL pLus .com Gourmet burgers KoNA CoFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL Umami burger. www. There’s also a coffee and art stroll at Holualoa village worth checking out. And ever-trendy LA keeps up. The gastronomic extravaganza. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival includes cupping competitions. when KailuaKona hosts its longest-running food and coffee festival. the little town to the south of Burgundy in France. light wine must be all consumed by Christmas. It is on this day the Beaujolais Noveau.food+drink news & updates Beaujolais Noveau Festival Say hola to Vallarta It’s a celebration of the best of Mexican dining at the International Gourmet Festival of Vallarta from November 8 to 18. Small plates may be chic elsewhere. followed by a Sunday brunch with traditional mariachis. with the newlyopened Umami at The Grove. Exclusives on the menu include the Grove Truffle Burger. is now in its 18th year. the stylish shopping and entertainment hub. www. is worth attending.festivalgourmet. with a line-up of star chefs participating. Signature dishes include a Rumpie Pumpie Suffolk Pork Rump on a wooden platter with a jam jar of apple sauce and a jug of rich gravy. London. You can also sign up for farm tours. but Beard to Tail’s preview menus are all about large.com Restaurant opening The third Thursday of November is very special in Beaujeu. 99 . a juicy beef patty topped with Parmesan fondue and truffle sauce.

and. ovens and you can even learn how to cook what burner. budget and a few steps away the sink.FOOD+DRINK canada RESTAURANTS Kitchen by brad 101. till golden brown. and a table around which you can Designer food can often be some giggle and gossip. remove and cool. keep things simple. NOVEMBER 2012 . 10130-105 St. Hand crush the a call or drop him a line and he will be potatoes till you break the skin and slightly flatten. Far from the usual fine dining places. 2 tsp recommendation. The most important A low and elegant part of Kitchen. is Brad himself. Horseradish Sourcream Dip Kitchen by Brad Smoliak 500 ml sourcream (not low fat). ¼ cup comes with my highest chopped green onion. after Salmon Grillato dining table just as all. with high chairs and textures you can understand. Strawberry Gelato is far away in ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper Canada. a fairly reasonable budget. Next to the cooking area is he did for you. If you are in Edmonton. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . and hearty (Alberta Elk Loin.ca Website: kitchenbybrad. for about 30 minutes. happy to spend time discussing your * Drizzle with oil. restaurant. else my diet would have * Bake the potatoes in a 400º oven. roasted) to light and delicate (Crushed Little Potatoes. season with salt and pepper. back special menu and accommodate for 20 minutes. with tastes dining atmosphere. turning once. to celebrate a special occasion with family. The best part however. He you enter. 2 tbsp lemon juice. comfort seating. if you prefer a cosier is that the food is simple. give Brad * Once done. You cracked black pepper (not ground). adjust seasoning and refrigerate! —Kalyani prasher 100 .ca Wheelchair access: Fair Meal for two: You can decide your budget. For * Serve hot with dipping sauce. M REVIEw odern day living has taught us that if it’s unassuming. it must be really good. on a parchment lined baking failed again. no doubt a great chef in the making. with black pepper crème Recipe by Brad fraiche). a good looking offers you the flexibility to wine cellar just behind and decide your menu. Now empty it and put in only kitchen stuff. do you? Blend all together in a metal bowl. That is not the case here. Edmonton. where simplicity starts from the very name of the… for lack of a better word. So it was with some excitement that I entered through the humble doors of Kitchen. What every bit as entertaining and as proud Brad offers ranges from wholesome of his creations as you would expect. his shy son. Kitchen takes posh to a new level with an intimate setting. I am great fan of lemony dessert and can only thank god that Crushed little potatoes his creamy Lemon Bar with 1 kg little potatoes. who serves as he attempts to fade into the background. and way healthier than potato business acquaintances or chips. Imagine a designer studio: Fine lines. Canada Tel: +1 780 757 7704 e-mail: brad@kitchenbybrad. They are also great entertaining high profile at room temperature. a few pretty colourful things to make a striking contrast to the brown and grey. sheet. 2 tbsp canola oil. type of foam or froth that you pay Brad Smoliak is not as intimidating a bomb for and pretend to have as some of these chefs can get but is loved. all glass metal and wood. what’s more. Let’s talk more about the background. 1-2 tsp kosher salt. 2 tbsp seldom go wrong if you creamed horseradish. a chef who comes blustering out of the kitchen with almost prepared dishes and gives them a final touch with a flourish only chefs can achieve.

tel: (022) 6693 3344 cuisine: Contemporary Spanish cuisine cost: With a drink each. in a balsamic reduction and the vegetable paella were faultless. the Pica Pica. the lobster rice was subtle and light. —neeti Mehra INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . tempered with crunchy onions. Mumbai. a special recipe of the Chef. the bar menu celebrating gin couture. top the list of his vegetarian specialties. a lovely way to end a quiet meal. Non-gin lovers can quaff from its wine cellar which stocks up primarily on wines from Spain and from its selection of spirits and more. drizzled with pine nuts. but the cheese croquette was rather pleasing. Chef Arola’s Indianised version of Catalan tomato bread: warm pillowy naans served with diced garlic.mumbaI arOla JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai. Juhu Tara Road. ✓ The Filet Mignon. is a must have. ✓ In salads. Rather than fret over options. Arola is perfect for an early romantic dinner and brings a whiff of contemporary Spanish and Catalonian fare to the city. cherry tomato and spicy green chilis that melted in your mouth. with tomato and toasted bread. Accompanied with the refreshing Sangria de Sergi. NOVEMBER 2012 . The curved bar serves as center stage of the restaurant. From the Sea and From the Land. This was followed by the vegetarian Pica Pica selection that came with a rather ordinary crispy asparagus along with romesco sauce and gazpacho. 101 . marinated tuna and black Alentejo olives. marinated fillets. the knife cut steak tartar. charred to perfection. ✓ The Sardinas. served with a soy sauce and wasabi infusion. The sublime eggplant. Our meal commenced with a heartwarming bread basket. While the delicate flavor of the crab Chef Sergi Arola’s Signature Dishes ✓ The mealy Patatas Bravas. was lost in the richness of the salad. The main menu is divided into the self-explanatory sections: From Garden to Table. the ‘Tomates Maduros’ tossed with extra virgin olive oil. deep fried potatoes filled with a spicy tomato sauce and topped with aioli. Chef Arola’s interpretation of Spanish and Catalan cuisine. the latter a traditional sauce. an assortment of mains served on a communal platter is a wise choice. diners can be rest assured they’re being served haute cuisine right off the griddle. offering over 30 varieties of the tipple and an extensive list of signature and classic cocktails such as the Spanish Martini and the Bella Rosa Cobbler. salt and pureed tomato. a gooey delight of local biscuits and mandarin sorbet with a hint of cinnamon—a wonderful mix of crunchy and mushy. though a tad too salty for me. mango sauce. The meal ended with Chef Sergi Arola’s interpretation of Crema Catalana.200 reservation: Required entry age: Above 21 years only W REVIEw ith culinary stars flocking from across the world to India. The Gambas or prawns were sautéed to perfection with garlic. chili and parsley. plus there is a selection of main courses to choose from. filled with a spicy tomato sauce and topped with aioli were hearty but could have been crispier. a stunning medley of ginger vinaigrette. The cylinder shaped Patatas Bravas. two shared platters and one dessert a meal costs approx 26. The recent-most entrant making a splashy debut in Mumbai at the JW Marriott Mumbai is Two Michelin Star Catalan Chef Sergi Arola with the ArolaRestaurant & Bar. starting with razor thin sea scallops. we continued with a platter of seafood.

Set up by Puja Sahu and Vivita Relan. I’ve never tasted authentic Bihari cuisine before. but I will say is that the food sure gave me an appetite and I polished off the last morsel and then some more.FOOD+DRINK coLombo PunE RESTAURANTS nEw dELHI Ministry Of crab Old Dutch Hospital Colombo-1 Tel: (0094) 2342 722 Website: www. legendary Sri Lankan cricketers. boneless chicken in creamy pepper preparation and Khada Masala Mutton with rice. The Ministry is certainly all about W REVIEw P REVIEw crabs.500 Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR) timing: 6 pm-11 pm bistrO Oakwood Premier 81 Mundhwa. Next come the Polenta Chips—deep fried polenta served with garlic aioli and sundried tomato paste and drizzled with olive tapenade. tel: (011) 4161 2048 cuisine: Bihari cost: 21. We start with the Bruschetta. That evening as Kumar Sangakkara. The innovative contemporary Italian cuisine is a welcome change from the ubiquitous white sauce pasta that has dogged Italian restaurants for long. which is the perfect combination of room temperature tangy tomato glistening with olive oil and crisp bread. Koregaon Park Annex Pune. 4th floor. which I believe are the best wings I have tasted in a while. these wings are char grilled with a dark balsamic glaze and served with a sprig of spring onion. so I’m not really in a position to make comparisons whether this is quintessential or repackaged. The Ministry of Crab restaurant.500 for two (without alcohol) reservation: Recommended on weekends the pOtbelly The Potbelly 116-C. it is also about cricket—it is owned by Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardene. actually. Unlike the sweet sticky red wings that moonlight as a savory dessert. near Asiad Village. Tel: (020) 6525 7788 cuisine: Contemporary Italian cost: 21. Chef Shailendra Singh has designed the menu to satisfy the needs of their discerning long stay guests as well as Pune’s residents who have come to love this neighborhood café. I detest pumpkin but I am in debt to the chef as the velvety pumpkin and goat’s cheese encased in delicate parcels of pasta melts on the tongue.ministryofcrab. is the Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli. There are daily specials as well as a Pizza Bar. —ajay Khullar 102 . The Potbelly in Shahpur Jat in South Delhi is a sunny. is not merely about crabs. For a city dweller who’s never really taken a bite from a Bihari thali. a banker turned entrepreneur and I sat on brown functional chairs. Shahpur Jat. though. then notorious. And their new ‘coach’ is Dharshan Munidasa. it’s all about mum’s recipes with a modern twist at Potbelly. I get started with the interesting sounding Phish Phingers (yes. off late there have been some residents of Bihar who have been giving the state a good name. To be honest. This is followed by some Golmirch Chicken. the cricketer talked of his wild crabs—they are not farmed or fattened—how he has graduated from steamed crabs to garlic crabs. Other things on the menu include spicy teriyaki and desserts. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . the Bistro is most certainly the jewel in Oakwood Premier’s crown. and the view from the 4th floor is pleasant. colourful café that serves ‘gourmet Bihari food’.com cuisine: Seafood cost: Crabs (550gms) start at 2. Rukmankan Sivaloganathan. The décor is bright and modern with furniture in a riot of colours. of the Nihonbashi fame. So. it’s pretty much fish fingers. however. Potbelly with its uber chic feel is probably the best place to start. On the menu. It is a customer favourite along with the BBC chicken wings. —reshMa Krishnan O REVIEw nce glorious. The dish that will have me going back.5 kgs? Oh My God? You wouldn’t be off the mark. the music in the background is soft. they just spell and make it the Bihari way) and then move to the very MUSTTRY litti chokha basic—Litti Chokha served with aubergine mash. Sangakarra believes. —preeti verMa lal art of the Oakwood Premier. of crab claws flowers from his garden that stand tall in glass vases and why cutlery is only brought in on special request—crabs are meant to eaten with hand. but prawn options galore. NOVEMBER 2012 . the colossal crab is called the OMG crab.200 for two (without alcohol) reservations: Not mandatory hat would you say of Colombo’s hippest eatery that is housed in a 400-yearold Dutch hospital? What would you exclaim if the crab on your platter weighs more than 1. The Clay Pot Prawn Curry is a hot favourite.

Pineau des Charentes (a French aperitif which is now a hot cocktail ingredient) and liquid gold! ABSOLUT-LY UNIQUE PROMOTION IF YOU visit the sky shops website (www. you go to make a discovery.com. When you go shopping for wine. Each flight has three 125ml pours of related wines in a happy ménage a trois. 103 . where you get up to 25 per cent discounts and. then it’s the duffel bag that swings your decision. the initial sweetness of the drink melts into tangy orange notes with hints of spiciness.be). If you love wine. complimentary tastings). is organised like a gentlemen’s club because it’s only for serious connoisseurs of fine wine who also like to invest in the ones that get them hefty returns. says Eater. for only a handful of them have anything apart from the most commonplace labels. a one-night stand is all that you get—you either go for the label you know best. The wine flights (tasting) are the top draws of 1707’s menu. doesn’t get the attention it deserves. and just amusing yourself with the thought that you are where Lord Byron. talking with the shop assistants. the word of an unnamed American scientist just sticks to your mind: “Never forget that you are unique. and it leaves a long impression on the palate. In the bargain. the liqueur is priced at £35. is Berry Brothers & Rudd. NOVEMBER 2012 . is how much you’d have to pay for the World Cocktail at the World Bar on the United Nation Plaza in New York City. just like the world associates Harrods with high fashion. but this one takes the cake and the icing too.com INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . I first fell in love with its website (www. the poet and man about town in his time. a diva demanding that you fuss over her. And when you figure out why it’s there. where its premium outlet. informs us that the Drambuie 15 Year Old may just make you change your mind. Mail your questions for him to editortravelplus@intoday. My favourite in London. You learn by browsing through the labels (wines and whiskies).bbr. Its ingredients are pricey: Veuve Clicquot Champagne. you’ve got to check out the iconic wine shop of your destination.skyshop.COLUMN FOOD+DRINK BUY OF THE MONTH SPIRITEd TRAVELLER SOURISH BHATTAcHARYYA W WINE LOVER’S ONE-STOP SHOP HICH Is tHe best place in the world to go and buy wine? Certainly not the airport duty-free shops. but now the very useful blog. you can’t miss the circle made with the rainbow-hued Absolut Unique bottles. Berry Brothers is in Hong Kong as well. FLIGHTS OF THE FANcIFUL THE MENTION of Fortnum & Mason conjures up images of its festive food hampers. the swedish vodka maker has released four million Unique bottles for the travel retail business in 80 markets and each one has a design and colour palette that is unique to it. 1707. Remy XO cognac. the wine bar at F&M. Just being at Berry Brothers is a learning experience. Imagine getting a duffel bag for a couple of bottles of Penfolds—wine marketers couldn’t have come up with a more undignified way of downgrading a beverage that’s made with a lot of care and respect for history! But when you have all of five or 10 minutes to arrive at your decision.com). at price points ranging from £14 to £40. for every bottle of wine is like a woman—an enigma waiting to be explored. so you could have the Riesling and Pinot Noir flights. US$ 50 THAT.” We all know that Absolut is a B-school marketing success case study. for instance. whisky liqueurs are going out of fashion. on certain days. you can make as many combinations as you wish. used to drop by before making his forays into gambling halls and fashionable balls. or the Spanish and Bordeaux flights. which is as much an encyclopedia of wine as an online B2C platform. herbs and spices. and like being taken by surprise. Whisky for Everyone. or look for the freebie that comes with a wine or champagne. golden yellow liqueur is one or several 15-year-old speyside malt(s)—the details remain a secret—infused with honey. times have changed. you don’t have time to savour the quirks of the fine world of wine. Sourish Bhattacharyya is the Executive Editor of Mail Today and writes on food and drink. tHeRe was a time when a bottle of Drambuie used to be de rigueur in every middle-class Indian home— it was held up like some badge of honour. With 13 flights in all. just like everybody else. Berry’s Fine Wine Reserve at the Alfred Dunhill store in Prince’s Building (Central Financial District). the base of the sweet and tangy. When you are rushing to catch a flight. but two flights serve you the equivalent of a bottle of wine. and much later discovered the store (and its ‘binend’ outlet at Basingstoke.

ITTP WH SUBS IRY NOV 2012 .

105 . Back in the days when health wasn’t such a fad and we weren’t programmed to count calories in every morsel we ate. Having grown up in Udaipur. Sai Sagar Coffee Shop’s chilled froth-full coffee beverage can give the better known Cafe Frappes of established coffee chains across the country a run for their money. times have changed and today it has become a once-a-year indulgence. I can’t think of bidding goodbye to Udaipur without gorging on ker sangari. As told to SuNORy DuTT INDIa ToDaY TravEl Plus . yet light on the wallet! My favourite for the longest time. anyone from the family coming back from Udaipur always makes it a point to bring me my favourite kachoris.local flavours FOOD+DRINK UdAIPUR delights WITH KACHORI Nakuul Mehta JAYESH MISTHAN BHANDAR Chetak Circle The cold winter mornings of Udaipur are best enjoyed with JMB’s spicy and delicious pyaaz ki kachoris and a cup of tea. On warm summer evenings in the Lake City. it’s the perfect thirst-quencher while soaking in the scenery of Fatehsagar. Nakuul Mehta is an actor. Santosh ki daal baati was a staple diet. DAAL BAATI SANTOSH DAAL BAATI BHOJANALAYA Surajpole This small restaurant serves the best daal baati with urad-chana daal mix and choorma in Udaipur. Alas. TOTO NANDY KER SANGARI THE ROYAL RETREAT Badi Hawala Road This lavish yet serene resort surrounded by the majestic Aravalli Hills serves the most authentic and delectable ker sangari—a Rajasthani delicacy made of berries and beans—at its Durbar Restaurant. Despite not being able to travel to Udaipur as much of late. GOVIND GATTA the lead protagonist of ‘Pyar Ka Dard Hai…’ on star Plus. NovEMBEr 2012 . this is the only place that comes close to the taste of daal baati my mum makes minus the generous dollops of ghee they serve it with here. anchor and model. the Mewar royal takes us down food street in the fascinating city. COLD COFFEE WITH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM DEEP PAHWA SAI SAGAR COFFEE SHOP Along Lake Fatehsagar With panoramic views of Lake Fatehsagar as the perfect backdrop. It can also be polished off with warm rice and pickle. SHILPI RESORT Rani Road A trip to Udaipur would be incomplete without savouring the scrumptious Rajasthani culinary delight Govind Gatta (fried gram flour dumplings in gravy) with tandoori roti or butter naan here. A mouth-watering experience. deliciously heavy on the stomach.

FOOD+DRINK feature bowled madurai Prabhakar. the proprietor of dindigul’s famous Ponram Biryani Hotel. poses next to his popular creation 106 . NOVeMBer 2012 . INDIa tODaY traVeL PLuS .

which has earned itself the moniker of Biryani City and dig into some sinful soul food. proved that only quality ingredients were used and the biryani was slowcooked to allow the grains to completely absorb everything—ghee. He carefully laid a large. by AnitA RAo KAshi pics: senthil KumARAn “ ee? No oil!” This was followed seconds after a spoonful of biryani was dramatically dunked into a transparent glass full of water. it was certainly fascinating. i was startled and transfixed in equal parts. 107 . the surface of the water was surprisingly clear and the expected film of grease failed to appear. near Madurai. NOVeMBer 2012 .over by biryani You’ve probably tasted it many times. Take a journey to Dindigul. The test. Prabhakar painstakingly explained. spices and flavours of the meat. but never quite like this. the visual equivalent of ‘i told you so’. fresh banana S INDIa tODaY traVeL PLuS . Startled because it was totally unexpected and transfixed because it is a surreal sight to watch grains of biryani making their way through water. partly in acquiescence and partly because i was so blissfully overdosing on the most glorious biryani. A triumphant look. As the grains and spices slowly sank to the bottom. mixed with pride. But Prabhakar was not done yet. As demos went. swept across Prabhakar’s face. i could only nod in stupefaction.

keema (minced lamb) fry. vegetables and curries.” he said. Unlike the biryanis of the North. It uses 150 kg rice. The methods are old too: the biryani is cooked over firewood and red hot coals are heaped on top. ginger. chicken curry. i took his word for it. garlic and ½ kg cloves to produce its lip-smacking signature biryani but sells out within minutes. And it was not difficult to see why. where people travel from nearby towns just for some taste of some sinful biryani. INDIa tODaY traVeL PLuS . A fact that came home to me as i tucked in gleefully. and which my companion assured me was quite tasty and fulfilling. 1 kg each of cardamom. kari dosa. He continues to follow the recipe which belonged to his grandmother and is a zealously guarded secret. Having arrived in Madurai the previous night.FOOD+DRINK feature That’s a lot of biryani! On a typical day. enjoying the meal. Meanwhile. was tender. a kind of aromatic small grain rice grown in Tamil Nadu) was packed with flavour and the meat. mutton in this case. Both are cooked in a special kind of ghee that Prabhakar sources locally and monitors strictly for quality. Ponram Biriyani Hotel dishes out 500-750 portions of biryani. After a bit of waiting. it 1 leaf on the table and then proceeded to drop some biryani on it. but not so much as to be overwhelming.” he explained. quality is everything. in fact. Prabhakar grew up learning to make it at his father and grandfather’s knees at the restaurant started by the latter almost four decades ago. 108 . A third generation restaurateur belonging to Dindigul’s Ponram Biriyani Hotel brand. Prabhakar tried to entice me to try some of the other non-vegetarian dishes popular at the restaurant such as mutton fry. always a good sign. The rice (called jeera samba. A nondescript eatery. which i did. the eatery dishes up a Tamilian thali with rasam. NOVeMBer 2012 . Predictably. sambhar. Prabhakar’s family is among a handful that has helped Dindigul. it seemed almost too criminal to dilute the taste of the biryani with anything else right now. there was none of the heaviness that one would expect. but never too far away. falling off the bones and melting on the tongue. “i need to be able to go and check from time to time. such that there is heat from both sides. it was mild brown in colour and slightly spicy. “The grains stay separate only if it is slow-cooked and the method is correct. on their own. The grains plopped on the leaf with a dull sound. the recipes are ageold. 15 kg ghee. i tucked into one of Madurai’s specialities. separate and all of them uniformly glistening brown in colour. For vegetarians. i was amused by this notion since i had happily gorged on vegetarian stuff less than five hours earlier in the day. cinnamon. they were good. with mutton biryani being the most popular. So popular is the dish that Ponram has opened many branches in town and a couple of other places. it was buzzing with people. i had headed to Konar Kadai near the railway station. And despite the ghee. but they didn’t quite measure up to the biryani. attain the moniker of Biryani City. So too with this. He should know. an otherwise nondescript town 60 km north of Madurai. 120 kg mutton. South indian biryanis tend to have a more robust flavour. each batch takes almost three hours.

to try one other Madurai delicacy—kothu parota. coriander. i was spoilt for choice in terms of accompaniments: a plate of idlis came with four kinds of chutneys— coconut. Now that i had tasted the biryani. 32/33. Opp Canara Bank. i was too full from the goodness of the idlis and didn’t want to mess with its taste. carvings. Besides. unlike the biryanis of the north. Having worked up an appetite for breakfast. but the biryani was almost nirvana-like. comprising 12 gopurams. kothu parota means a layered maida paratha which is minced on a griddle and sautéed along with onions. Besides which. the kari dosa and kothu parota had no peers. You might also want to sample the kothu parota at madurai 2 INDIa tODaY traVeL PLuS . Ponram Biriyani Hotel does brisk business 2. but i regretfully declined.000 sq mts. near Railway Station. The idlis had been superb. sculptures depicting various stories and incidents from the Puranas and epics. as was the egg dosa. Madurai What to eat e arly this morning. Delicate and soft.involved a spicy dry curry of minced lamb and fresh broken egg encased in a soft but firm dosa. lightness. West Veli Street. i had to battle myself in and managed to find a seat. i was glad to have left it for last. Started more than 40 years ago. i knew why fans swear by the restaurant. From there. and a stunning edifice called the 1. At its simplest. Madurai. such was its 1. the waiter suggested i try one of the dosas or uthappams. i chose chicken and the concoction was an explosion of flavours and textures that lingered long after i had reached my hotel for the night. Ponram Biriyani Hotel. With the very first bite. mint and tomatoand sambhar. Spread over 60. but locals insist that’s where you get the best variety. Salai Road. 196. 32. enthused by the blissfully beatific look on my face. they were clean and everything was made fresh in front of you. i wolfed down four idlis without realising it. Fussy eaters might balk at having to eat at the roadside stalls. 109 . and then launched into the idlis. i wanted to be adequately prepared for the biryani at Dindigul.000 Pillar Hall. tel: (0451) 244 1003 Idlis and dosas at Murugan Idli Shop. it is a mesmerising place full of assorted sounds and myriad colours. chicken or mutton. it was delicious. i am sure Freud will have a field day with this: i even occasionally dream about the biryani and i swear i wake up with its taste on my tongue. and whatever other accompaniments you may want to choose such as egg. exquisite pillars. i decided on a quick visit to the sprawling Meenakshi temple complex in time for the Suprabhatham. i headed to the bus stand. intriguing ceiling art. to one of the pushcarts. tomatoes and spices. tel: (0452) 234 1379 Kari dosa/egg dosa at Konar Kadai. there was just a hint of the urad dal and methi seeds in the idli. i headed to another of Madurai’s institutions—Murugan idli Shop on Westmasi street. Westmasi Street. the place is always crowded. south indian biryanis tend to have a more robust flavour Biryani at Dindigul. NOVeMBer 2012 . and it completely dissolved on the tongue.

we made good progress. We were told it was scenic. adventure lovers can indulge in watersports like snorkeling and scuba diving while nature lovers can stroll or trek along the scenic coastal road INDIA PICTUre 1 110 . What lay ahead was a narrow. but with consistent downpours on the two-lane road. we knew. It would also take us twice the time and possibly also be dangerous. after a good night’s sleep and barely any traffic. busy and broken excuse for a national Turtle Bay adventures Make a pit stop and enjoy breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea on one side and the calm backwaters of the River Sowparnika on the other. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . Fresh. Or. on wet narrow roads with manic bus drivers. but riding a bike. By vikrant singh e HAD two choices. The four-lane highway disappeared thereafter.car & bike karnataka DRIVINg hOLIDAY cruise on the coast W For the sheer abundance of nature’s goodness it’s difficult to find words to describe a journey along the Konkan Coast. we could take the more challenging coastal route. either we could take the easy way. The honeymoon though was soon over leaving us with poorly marked diversions. riding up the NH-4 from Bangalore towards Belgaum taking a left towards Goa— a day’s journey on uninteresting straight-four-lanned roads. We headed out of Bangalore in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the maddening traffic towards Mangalore. it would not be easy. If we were driving. The distance between the two is less than 400km and the initial few kilometres of NH-75 are beautifully laid. safety issues would have taken a backseat. NOVEMBER 2012 . At Turtle Bay. was no doubt the tougher and foolhardy option.

When in Mangalore it’s good to set a few days exclusively to travel to neighbouring places like Udupi. at least not so far. GooD to KnoW: The best time to visit Mangalore is just after the monsoons in october up to February. And minutes later after crossing Kundapura beyond Udupi. Mangalore is all about pretty beaches and temples. 111 . when you are surrounded by such immense beauty. it’s the journey that matters. We were greeted by blue skies and dry tarmac instead. NOVEMBER 2012 . something that we were secretly waiting for. Karwar is a naval base and it’s evident the moment you ride in. not the destination. you mind and most importantly to live it. Don’t expect the world of service or sumptuous delicacies here. was the sea. at a glance Mangalore GettinG arounD: There are number of ways of getting to Mangalore including trains. we saw the most awesome sight. its human to stop and take in the moment. Thankfully the road wasn’t too bad as we tugged along. Belluru and Hassan before hitting the Western Ghats. We trudged along bouncing over potholes and sliding over gravel patches. we decided to move on. The hutments.800. Hills mushroomed and tiny waterfalls appeared every now and then along the way and villages disappeared to make way for an odd lonely hamlet. the roads are well marked and the traffic is orderly. The next morning we decided on tracing the coastal road to Goa. it isn’t the most comfortable. However. the scenery around us changed drastically. In fact. we rode past and entered India’s most happening party hub—Goa. One of the many virgin beaches at karwar 2. For the record. there was nothing scenic about the route. Pit stops to soak in the scenery are a must on this journey highway. at a distance emerged a turquoise blue river that flowed with utter serenity. It’s clean. Like the popular saying goes.1. the route only gets scenic towards the end and though it is a cheap and flexible option. With a few hours lost just gazing at the horizon. 218 NH 4 MAHARASHTRA Belgaum BANGALORE TO GOA Hubli Bellary GOA NH 67 NH 748 Karwar NH 4 NH KARNATAKA ANDHRA PRADESH Do Chitradurga NH 69 NH Bhatkal NH 69 VIKrANT SINGH NH 69 16 9 NH 69 4 NH 4 NH Udupi Chikmagalur NH 73 NH 73 Hassan Depending on the budget there is a good collection of hotels. buses and flights. the slush and the crowd started disappearing making way for lush green trees. As it began to pour. Then. Thankfully the rain gods spared us as we passed Kunigal. the variety of temples in and around the city can overwhelm you. the view kept getting better. And to complete the picture. stopping every other hour to give our saddle-sore backsides some relief. If you choose to drive down though. SUKUMAr DAS Moti Mahal and a beach resort called Summer Sands as well. At Karwar the sea disappeared for a short while and then reappeared a some distance away at the border town before Goa. As we continued climbing. We decided to pull over and take a break at an equally beautiful place called Turtle Bay. The city’s weather is at its best at this time. otherwise either it’s hot or pouring. It’s similar 2 to a road side dhaba but we weren’t interested in the food. Sometimes. one can also have a clean. the rain was gone just as suddenly as it had appeared. There’s a ginger besides other reputed hotels like stay Mangalore BANGALORE KE RA LA INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . as we came around a corner for the umpteenth time. a must visit is the Krishna temple in Udupi. To breath it into your lung. But it wasn’t to last long. It was the view that kept us glued to Turtle Bay. well kept and decently appointed room with television and air conditioning for as low as 21. On our right was the river and to the left. So this one had to be experienced—to be thanked for. since there wasn’t much to do here. They seemed to escort the road like the guard of honour meant for presidents. The second day we crawled along thanks to a heavy downpour.

The weight distribution meanwhile. What isn’t as admirable is the handling. it dials in the revs with a kind of t urgency and refinement that’s hard to find. The engine options are limited to two. the new one isn’t as precise with handling. knobs and controls that gives the car a fresher feel. An outstanding handling to go with all this… not quite. The new 3-series looks more luxurious but what we really like are the high tech buttons. as is a top speed of 250 kmph. By Vikrant Singh roomier too. The 328i comes with four Engine: 1997cc. of course. We are talking about the top-ofthe-line new 3-series BMW. feature rich and better finished than the older version. What’s more? it sounds fantastic. in fact. The engine revs to almost 7. The straight line stability is good and with an improved ride quality. Both these super-refined engines are coupled to an 8-speed automatic box. the 328i isn’t supercar fast. Between the diesel powered 320d and the 328i petrol though. With lots of comfort equipment. Ballistic performance—check.000rpm. as a car to tour with. is 50:50. the new car is. So. the family won’t mind travelling long distances in the car. The throttle response is crisp and the rush when the throttle is mashed to the floor will make you smile. even in more expensive cars. the new 3-series does well. but it’s only the sport Line version on the petrol that gets paddle shifters. in typical BMW style. but it is more comfortable. This car in its sixth generation avatar is completely new ground up. one doesn’t have to tip-toe over broken roads. The interiors are better appointed. here’s what’s new. WesoMe engine note— check. but a 0-100 kmph time of less than seven seconds is certainly commendable. Talking about weight. BMW has also widened the track lengths to improve the car’s stance and handling characteristics. Before getting more into the handling bit.Car & bike Packed with power review The new BMW 3-series is a performance explosion that is high on practicality and output. petrol Max power: 245bhp@5000rpm Max torque: 350Nm@1250rpm Gearbox: 8-speed sport auto Wheelbase (mm): 2810 LxWxH (mm): 4624 x 1811 x 1429 Top Speed: 250kmph 0-100kmph: 6.9s Tour rePorT unlike its predecessor. it is the latter that tells us best the big strides that the new 3-series has taken with engine improvements. Fancy drive modes— check. is PHoTogrAPHs BY suresH nArAYAnAn A . It is better suited for both inter-city travels and for a quick dash to a nearby hill station. it’s also longer than its predecessor and thanks to a longer wheelbase. lighter than the one it replaces. the 328i. twin turbo. and both the petrol and the diesel 2-litre engines run twin turbos.

it actually wallows and even feels a bit unsettled. Bajaj has gone in for a street fighter styling. a monoshock with a box section swingarm at the rear and reasonably fat tyres. NoveMBer 2012 . it’s impressed engine is heavily T drive modes—eco. sport and sport+—which alter the engine. the connect that you’d expect from a car that carries the BMW badge and its firepower is simply not there. it’s also retained its muscular look. which is mainly down to its tyres. we managed to max out the ns at a top speed of 141kmph As for its cornering abilities. meaty front forks. There’s no real effort required to get the bike to turn in on quick direction changes. the Pulsar 200ns is absolute brawn. Bajaj has made changes to the head. particularly one that caters to the enthusiast. besides running a single overhead cam against a DoHC setup on the Duke. it also lacks the planted feel of the r15 around a bend. Price: 90. The switchgear looks a bit tacky and so does the fuel cock and the plastic around the rear seat lock opener. And. like no other bike. not only did it set the stunt scenario rolling. the ns lacks feedback. Testing it at Bajaj’s challenging test track. The excess wallowing that plagued the previous Pulsars has been eliminated as well. iNDiA ToDAY TrAvel plus . And not just in looks.9 lakh (ex-showroom. Also Bajaj wants the 200ns to have a respectable fuel economy. Today when most bike makers have chosen the fully faired route. comfort. The new 3 ushers in a different styling philosophy for BMW when it comes to the insides and something that we haven’t seen even on the likes of the 5. The new Pulsar. gearbox and steering characteristics. However. but it doesn’t feel that sharp at turn in or well balanced mid corner. The throttle response is sharp however the gearbox though could be better. the ns also gets three spark plugs against unlike one on the KTM. We would have liked the footpeg hangers better finished. it also displaces the exact same capacity and is liquid-cooled.000 (est) —VIkraNT SINgh . 113 PAWAn DAgiA l Interiors are better appointed and put together. Mumbai). with the 3 reacting well to steering inputs and always managing to head in the intended direction. so. is an outstanding bike. in the sport or the sport+ modes. from the headlamp to the tank and its extensions and even the size of its tyres.close up Pulsar 200NS He PuLsAr is a legend. Then there’s the gap between the tail piece and rear seat that looks like an unfinished job. l The stereo plays all formats of audio files while the climate control system offers two separate temperature zones. it’s not as well weighted as the competition.or the 7-series. there was digital instrumentation. Apart from the three spark plugs all other changes have been carried out to reduce costs including the use of a carburettor instead of fuel injection. in terms of feel. no surprise it gives the rider a lot more confidence now. it does get a hybrid twin spar frame of pressed steel. The ns feels easier to corner with than the CBr 250r and the r15! However. You’d never feel at sea. the engine is an easy revving one. Here too the engine is coupled to a 6-speed gearbox. which will go along with its expected pricing of under a lakh of rupees. backlit switchgear and of course the concept of proper muscular styling. The end result is less power and torque and a slower acceleration time. it’s rather nimble on its feet. no wonder it continues to be the motorcycle to beat when it comes to sales. But it lacks the connect of the r15. it has changed the landscape of motorcycling in india. to the sunroof to the outside rear mirror being operated via motors. if the road is bumpy. the 200ns. Price: 237. The instrumentation is easy with lots of information. The equipment list is massive from airbags to satnav to a multifunctional steering wheel and cruise control. However. to almost everything from seats. it has good drive in the mid range too which makes corner exits quite enjoyable. based on the KTM Duke 200’s engine. it also introduced a number of firsts.

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his sensible commentary on politics and society. insecurity? Once you hit upon that word. racism rears its unfamiliar head. for a very long time i tried not racism rears its to judge Rushdie’s self-love. you cannot stop reading. he might have never met the future mother of his second son. also. his relationship with his son and his father further restores faith in his humanness. or shall we say Joseph anton. a clutterfree compilation that will be a collector’s item. Rushdie. Sold on request. traveller’s companIon the second sikkim book by photographer parvin singh is an allyou-need-to-know travel guide on the most popular north-eastern state. lovers. peers scorn love reject or admire him. declaration of how misunderstood he is. Elizabeth West was to visit a home borrowed by Rushdie-in-hiding to feed the resident parrot and. that famous writer of fascinating stories.END NOTES a covert journey BOOkS the book will keep you hooked with gossipy details he from Rushdie’s private life. irrational expectations from people who love him. bad writer. jealous of him. malingerer. Aleph. has got it right. his constant complaining. his valid here’s point on the right to his opinions. often in thin disguise. www. ignore the name-dropping. Rushdie’s is a life worth writing about. stayed on. Deprived of the gift of hearing. You may end up disliking him but you will talk about his book and make people read it. lover. Random House India. women come and go. and. much as the author In the years will wince at the word. be so blind to this absolute self-obsession and. women unfortunate political timing of The come and go… Satanic Verses will make any man bitter. it’s all in here. By Kalyani Prasher “ f it hadn’t been for a thirsty parrot. 799 On the shelf the wIlDIngs well known literary critic nilanjana roy must have put her book out with some trepidation but it turns out she has nothing to fear. that public intellectual. gastronomy. Joseph Anton will not disappoint. a brave decision for a 13 year old. this book will inspire you to travel to sikkim. one can I imagine. providing lots of details. it’s his side of the story naturally. and cat. referring to news and notes. and ever tranquil homestays. and. well. as the author all but school and the says. for how wonderful a person. great one for fiction. festivals. but it’s complete (down to amusing descriptions of protection vehicles). only because of the him. how utterly terrible she is). peers scorn love just when he was living the best reject or admire type of life. you are able to focus on better things: you admire this work for being candid and honest. then comes Midnight’s Children and. From the first line itself this charming book about cats of nizammudin will engage you. disregard for women in general and some in particular (his ex-wife Marianne is a thief. as far as gossip value goes. Ordinariness.” says Salman Rushdie. obviously hard life he had to lead. Unlike many other authors who feel compelled to write about themselves. the name he took on in the ‘fatwa years’. bawdy exchanges from a marriage doomed from the start. above all. NOVEMBER 2012 . Rushdie has clearly worked hard. you cannot believe. needy. 595 sIkkIm. liar. from his easy childhood in Bombay he goes to a disturbed teenage in the UK. bullies bully him. self-obsessed. Trysts & Traces. brilliance at last. it must be impossible to survive 11 years of such oppression and shame without erecting a wall of ego to protect the self. 499 prabha shah simply named after the artist. the world recognises his writerly life.com 116 . says and thinks. quite literally. negativity and. the rampant megalomania in Joseph Anton becomes near unbearable. a visually rich and graphic relationship that can be witnessed in her incredible work. shah formed her own connection with the world. there’s more: his skill. competitive. bullies bully him. Rushdie is a great teller of tales and the way he works words to his advantage is enviable.prabhashah. love for everything he does. history. as you read on. defines his between high life. how can Rushdie. as the author points out. despite rolling your eyes ever so often. Rushdie becomes human again as you realise. suspicious. nag. and a sense of underaccomplishment haunts him. incidents from his personal life will keep even the least interested hooked: juicy bits about a delusional woman ready to make love on worktables. a journey seeped in culture. his dismissal of all opinions contrary to his own. craftily. that insecurity doesn’t leave even the most famous alone. But within 100 pages. INDIA TODAY TRAVEL PLUS . his name-dropping. writer he has always been—all this is befuddling. with some fear. the unfamiliar head. in the years between high school and the writerly life. yes. notes from his private journal. You begin to chuckle at the insults. this is a collection of prabha shah’s evocative art. and then help you plan and enjoy a great journey.

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I’ve never played so many games in my life since I’ve had one. adventure and the perfect setting for a spectacular yacht trip. a small heritage town in Karnataka. to bring in my wife’s birthday and ring in the New Year. film cast and crew while travelling. But I have been asked by a passenger in 1st class “Don’t you think they should put 1st class at the back of a plane!” I obviously followed the question with “why would they do that?” the gentleman decided to reply with “Well. whether it’s action or comedy. every time I go in one I’m so tempted to pass my flying exam and take my son around India… It’s good to dream!! 3 Delhi… I’d be lying if I’d say anywhere else. It’s become a yearly ritual now. NOVEmBEr 2012 Last year we ventured to romantic Rome and visited the spectacular Island of Capriin in southern Italy. great beaches. I love Mumbai. Mumbai and I can’t seem to get enough of their prawns sautéed with garlic. 7Trains. I’m lucky my shootings owk Chandni Ch take me there. I’m more of a fan of choppers myself. it’s a place of beauty. richness. 2 Must take along while travelling 6 Weird onboard conversation wns Garlic pra I usually have known people around me. planes or automobiles 8 Your latest acquisition RITESH SHARMA Neither of the above. be it my family. so I get to visit my favourite streets of Chandni Chowk. but the best feature is Skype. monthly magazine . it’s where I live but Delhi will always be my home. He tells us where he vacations with his family and how he stays in touch with them when he’s out shooting 1Recent vacation Unfortunately my recent vacation was not so recent… Went for a quick getaway to Goa. Mumbai made me famous. but Chandni Chowk gave me the roots to make it this far. it was just a little something to say thank you for being the mother of my children. but my dearest friends have just opened a new Spanish restaurant called Arola at the JW Marriot Juhu. and they do a Seabass to die for. chilli and parsley. so I put on my blind fold and attempted to sleep through the entire flight. charismatic even in its ruined state Hampi As Told To rupali dean Published on 28th October 2012. Being able to Skype with my son every day before he leaves for school and my wife every night before she goes to bed when I’m on outdoor shootings is a blessing for any family man. YOGEN SHAH It used to be my cell phones! But the need for my iPad has become much more. V NAGRAJ 4 Most extravagant holiday 120 .END NOTES gLOBETrOTTEr akshay kumar This handsome actor can pack a mean punch. I discovered a new whole place which I didn’t even know existed… Hampi. INDIa TODay TraVEL PLus . have you ever heard of plane reversing into a mountain!”… I sat there stunned at his choice of conversation. and great fun!! 5 Newest thing tasted I’m a lover of desi food. A city you love I recently bought my wife a ring and a watch that she had had her eye on for a while. It’s the family’s favourite getaway—great food.

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