All packages from India

Andaman & Nicobar Islands (Memorable Andamans)
A shimmering jewel in the Bay of Bengal
12604 people have seen this

DAY 1:Arrive Andaman- Ross Island, Watesports Complex, Sound&Light show at Cellular Jail

·         Arrival at Port Blair in the morning/afternoon by flight and transfer to hotel.

·         Do note that Ross Island is only possible if you have booked a flight that lands by 1200 hrs or earlier.

·         Relax and rest at the hotel and after lunch visit Ross Island (Closed :Wednesday) which is about 2 km east of Port Blair and can be reached by a short boat ride from Port Blair (Ferry leaves at 1400 hrs and returns at 1600 hrs). The island is controlled by the Indian navy, which requires every visitor to sign in on entering. On the return spend some time at Water Sports Complex.

 

·         In the evening proceed to attend the enthralling Sound and Light Show at Cellular Jail - (at 1800 hrs or 1900 Hrs, depending on light and sound show ticket availability) where the heroic saga of the Indian freedom struggle is brought alive.

DAY 2:Journey to Havelock by Ferry from Port Blair and visit Radhanagar Beach at Havelock

·         Early morning departure by ferry from Port Blair – Havelock. The ferry takes 1 .5 - 2.5 hrs to reach Havelock.

·         On arrival proceed to selected hotel and in the evening visit Beach No 7 (Radhanagar Beach) rated as the ‘Best Beach in Asia’ by Time Magazine (Local Hot Tea will be offered)

·         (N/Ac Car/Jeep will be provided for pickup and drop, time spent 2-3 hours).

 

·         Return to hotel to relax and unwind.

DAY 3:Havelock: Excursion to Elephant Beach

·         (Car will come at 0800 hrs and please ensure you are ready as the boat will leave at 0830 hrs and it is a further 10 min drive away to the boat)

·         Embark on the most memorable snorkeling trip, just 25 min by Boat this beach offers snorkelers calm blue shallow waters and is the perfect spot for beginner snorkelers.

·         The boat goes right up to the beach and it’s so easy to slip on your gear and just start snorkeling. It’s also a great place to just spend the day lying on the beach and relaxing. The beach is very scenic with fallen trees and white sand giving the photographer some interesting shots.

·         The reef here starts very close to shore at a depth of about 1 metre. The large reef is mostly made up of hard coral and has plenty of marine life.

 

 

DAY 4:Havelock: check out from hotel, visit Kalapathar Beach and proceed to Port Blair

·         Check out and after lunch visit Kalapathar Beach, a scenic beach access to which is through a wonderful coastal road.

·         Spend an hour and then proceed to the jetty at Havelock to return from Havelock Island in the evening by the ferry 1600 hrs/ 1630 hrs and transfer to hotel in Port Blair.

 

·         Arrive only in the evening at Port Blair.  

DAY 5:Port Blair – City Tour, Mount Harriet and Chidya Tapu

·         After breakfast, at 0830 hrs proceed to Mount Harriet - the 2nd highest peak (365 meters high) in the Andamans, which offers a magnificent bird’s eye view of Port Blair’s adjoining islands

·         Must see: Spot where Lord Mayo was murdered/ Largest Church in Andamans/ Rs 20 VIEW /Summer bungalow of British/ The only kind of Mango tree in whole of S/E Asia/ Nicobari Hut) .

·         The summer headquarters of the Chief Commissioner during British Raj, it provides fascinating views.

·         Return to Port Blair and start a tour of places in & around Port Blair (1130 hrs) (City Tour) Chatam Saw Mill (one of the oldest & largest in Asia), Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries (Marine) Museum, Naval Marine

 

·         Museum (Samudrika). At 1530 hrs proceed to Chidyatapu located 30 kms away from Port Blair and also called the Sunset Point in Andamans (Hot Tea will be provided). Return to hotel in the evening for some local shopping. 

DAY 6: Departure- visit to Cellular Jail en-route

Visit Cellular Jail before departing (Only possible if guest is taking a flight which departs after 1100 hrs)

Port Blair with Fond memories of these mesmerizing Islands.

 

 

Package costing  ::

·         Offer per couple at   = Rs.55,000

                                                                                                          

Hotels Suggested

·         Portblair          =  03 Night stay at The Nest  in AC Premium room

·         Havelock         = 02 Night stay at Barefoot at  Havelock in AC Tented Cottage

 

 

The above rates include:-

1) Accommodation basis at the hotel mentioned above or similar category of alternative hotels.

2) Buffet/Fixed Menu: Breakfast basis at all hotels 

3) Daily breakfast, as indicated in the meal plan. (Except breakfast on day of arrival)

4) Entry tickets, permits and ferry tickets to all sightseeing places in the itinerary except only for Smith Island/MGMNP/Mt Harriet forest department fee for Foreigners only for which there is a separate permit charge payable by the client directly.

5) All transfers by AC cars in Port Blair and N/AC Jeeps at Havelock as necessary to implement the itinerary.

6) All applicable taxes

 

The above rates don't include:

1) Vehicle at disposal at Port Blair, Neil & Havelock.

2) Any personal expenses. Room service and special orders Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages

3) Any extra excursions or sightseeing apart from the suggested tour itinerary.

4) Camera Tickets, Guide Charges are NOT INCLUDED in the mentioned cost of Sightseeing & Transfers.

 

5) Other meals not mentioned laundry, telephone calls, and incidentals.


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Karwar
Go Gokarna
11566 people have seen this

Karnataka has a rich variety of landscapes. A few of us decided to explore the coastal belt. What better than a road trip to Karwar and Gokarna , which boasts of some of the best beaches in the state? Bangalore to Karwar, a distance of about 520kms, took us almost 9 hours.

We had chosen to stay at Devbagh which is an iconic spot in Karwar, known for its pristine beach and water sports. So, from Karwar jetty (dock) a ferry took us to Devbagh. The beauty of the island had us spell bound.

We explored the adventure options at Devbagh and participated in a wide range of water sports.

Scuba Diving (the water is not as clear as Lakshadweep or the Andamans), parasailing, and banana boat rides were the best.Water sports can be arranged by the resort/hotel where one is staying, usually at a small extra charge. Snorkelling is another enjoyable activity one can indulge in. We were lucky to see dolphins at a distance, swimming happily in a group. There are also boat journeys available for dolphin watching. I would recommend at least two nights at Devbagh to soak up everything. The coastal cuisine was delectable. Karwar specials include vegetarian dishes (with a liberal use of coconut) and a wide array of sea food preparations.

Next, we drove to Gokarna, (about 65km from Devbagh) Gokarna means “Cow’s ear” and there is a story behind how it got this name. The most famous spot at Gokarna is the Om Beach. The coast line of the beach is shaped like the word OM (in the linguistic form).

There are only a few options to stay by the beach side. So, book very well in advance to avoid disappointment. There is nothing much to do here other than what we can do the best – laze around!!! The Mahabaleshwara ( Shiva)temple at Gokarna is well worth a visit. It is said to be next in sanctity only to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and is often called the Kashi of the South. There are five beaches at Gokarna – Gokarna beach, Kudle Beach (largest among the five and quite crowded), Om Beach, Half Moon beach & Paradise Beach. You can trek from Om beach to Half Moon beach which takes about 30 minutes.

We saw a glorious, mesmerizing sunset , at the end of a lovely day at the beach … The sky changes from Blue to Gold…just like that ( in the picture) and the sun seemed to say “I’ll be back” , as it disappeared into the sea. We echoed the sun as we headed back, with a tranquil mind, stilled by the beauty of what we witnessed. We really enjoyed our weekend at Karwar and Gokarna. We trust that you would too. For those who love coastal delicacies, you won’t be disappointed. Tip: Those interested in Wildlife, can head to Anshi National Park (Further North of Karwar at approx. 60km) or even Dandeli Wildlife Sactuary (North of Karwar at approx. 100km) where during season time, you even have the option to indulge in White Water Rafting. Best time to visit Karwar & Gokarna is during September to March. The weather is moderate. April to mid-June the heat and humidity is high. During Mid-June to early September, monsoons are heavy and best avoided. Goa is approx. 2 hour drive from Karwar.


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Hyderabad
The city of Nizams
9599 people have seen this

Hyderabad, the City of Nizams, was founded in the late 16th century on the banks of the river Musi, by the Qutab Shahi dynasty - who contributed many beautiful monuments and mosques to the city. Keeping this in mind, start your tour of this remarkable city by visiting the most iconic structure of Hyderabad – The Charminar, the edifice around which the entire city was built in the year 1591. (This area gets extremely crowded . So if you are not too keen to shop, we suggest you go early in the morning to avoid the rush. Also, make sure to climb to the top for the magnificent views!).

The next stop should be the Chowmahalla Palace (walk able distance from the Charminar), famous for its well-manicured lawns, vintage cars and opulent architecture. You can also visit the Mecca Masjid and numerous other monuments and museums, if history interests you. A fitting finale to a day spent soaking up the architectural and historical interests would be a meal or even high tea at the Falknuma Palace that has been splendidly renovated by the Taj Group (please do reserve in advance).

For the shopping enthusiasts, a visit to the Laad bazaar (which has been functional since the time of the Qutib SHahi’s ) is a must. Mostly renowned for its bangles, semi – precious jewellery, sari’s and embroidered cloth, this place will definitely test your bargaining skills.

Visit Ramoji Film City, for a fun filled day for the entire family and if the movies fascinate you (it is about one hour's drive from Hyderabad). This sprawling 1666 acre property is certified by Guinness World Records as the world largest film studio complex!!. Hop on to the red vintage bus for the day long tour in wonderland. With its Filmi Duniya, Fundustan, Back Stage tours and numerous other attractions, this ‘city’ will keep you occupied for the entire day!

For a cultural fix and to pick up traditional arts and crafts, head to Shilparamam in Madhapur, Hi – Tech city. This 65 acre complex has artisans from across India, showcasing their talent. From pottery, a plethora of weaves, wood work, jewellery, clothes and the local crafts of each region of India is available here. The ambiance created by the rock museum, waterfalls and huts of thatch and clay is beautiful. There are recreational activities also to make this an enjoyable trip.

If you are physically fit and enjoys the outdoors, visit the Golkonda fort, built in the 13th century on the outskirts of the city. This region is famous for having produced the world’s most famous gemssuch as the Hope diamond, the Kohinoor and the Regent diamond. Ideally go with a guide so that you get to see all the hidden nooks and experience the architectural wonder and the acoustic effects that the fort is famous for. Plan your visit on time to catch the Light and Sound show in the evening which is a treat.

Ensure to sample some Hyderabadi biriyani before you leave. Made with Basmati rice and various spices, this amalgamation of Mughlai and Andhra cuisine is credited to have come to Hyderabad when Aurangazeb invaded the South. Though Paradise restaurant was probably the most famous in yester years, we suggest speaking to any local person to find the best Biryani joint in the area you are in. Watch out for the legendary Andhra chilli and ask for less spice if you can't stomach it.


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Athirapally
Niagara of India
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Athirapally Falls is approximately 90km from Cochin. We took an hour and a half to reach the falls. Nick named as The Niagara of India, Athirapally falls is not to be missed when on your tour to Cochin or Munnar. Nearest railhead is Chalakudy (approx. 30km away) and the nearest airport is Cochin.

When you reach Athirapally, you will need to buy the entrance pass to get in.

During monsoon, the waterfall is at its peak splendour. You can get down through a rocky path and reach the foot of the falls. But be careful as it can get slippery at few places and climbing the boulders is not advisable. Some of us slipped on algae surface and suffered minor bruises.

There nothing else to do here than adore the waterfall. There is one luxury resort here which we recommend. There are few other small resorts which we would not recommend for stay.

You get the best view of the falls from the resort. You even can dine with a view. It is an experience in itself. With a beautiful setting, all you need to do is relax. That’s what we call a leisure holiday. Contact us to help you make your dream destination come true.


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Marari
Beach Village
9865 people have seen this

Marari is located between Alleppey (approximately 25km) and Cochin (approximately 80km). After Alleppey visit, on our way back to Cochin, we decided to stopover for a night at Marari.

Mararikulam is a peaceful beach village with not much of activities. Nice place to unwind.

Late December to March are the best months to visit, when the weather is dry and sunny every day. Take part in an early-morning yoga session, enjoy an Ayurvedic treatment or simply swing the day away in a hammock.

Take a stroll to the neighbouring villages and watch the fishermen haul in their daily catch.

There are few luxury stay options at Marari Beach. There are few beach cottages also if you do not want to splurge. We stayed a luxury resort and enjoyed the services too.

After visiting Cochin, Munnar, and Alleppey this was a much needed leisure break for us before heading home. Those of you, who prefer less crowded beach, Marari is the right choice.

Do get in touch with us for accommodation suggestions and reservations.


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Wayanad
Serene Wayanad
8371 people have seen this

My trip to Wayanad was unforgettable! We drove from Bangalore early morning, reaching Wayanad by afternoon (took about 6 ½ to 7 hrs). One can also opt for a flight from Bangalore to Calicut and then take a local cab to reach Wayanad in about approximately 3 ½ hrs.

We had a sumptuous lunch with local cuisine delicacies at our resort and after resting for an hour, we set out to see ‘Wayanad’. A combination of hill station & wildlife, Wayanad offers a unique charm and challenge for hikers, trekkers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Options of Ayurveda & relaxing spas are available if one wants to detox or soothe tired limbs.

We first visited the Pookot Lake – a fresh water lake nestled among wooded hills and Lakkadi – one of the highest locations in this destination with scenic hills and streams. Then it was time to head back as in the hill stations night falls fast!

The next day, after a delicious breakfast, we went out to climb the Chembra peak - one of the highest peaks which gave us an awesome view of nature’s scenic beauty. The view of Neelimala view point and Vaduvanchal which is an excellent venue for trekking with lots of inspiring trails also gives an incredible view of the Meenmutty falls which I feel is one of the largest and most amazing waterfall in Wayanad district.

After lunching out at Chembra with the picnic lunch we had carried we took in some more of the scenic sights of Wayanad before heading back to the warmth of our resort and a delectable dinner. This is one place where vegetarians and non-vegetarians have an equal choice of delicious options. 

On the last day in Wayanad, we covered Wayanad’s wild life sanctuary - Muthanga. We got to see quite a few elephants – a majestic sight indeed and some bison, deer, peacocks etc.

We then drove to the Eddakal caves which has rock carvings inside the caves dating from prehistoric times. The climb to the caves is a little tiring and may not be advisable for people with bad backs or legs.

We also visited the beautifully cascading Soochipara waterfalls, another gem of nature’s treasures.

For the rest of the day we unwound with a soothing Ayurvedic massage and steam followed by yet another wonderful dinner.

We left the next morning & reluctantly said good bye to Wayanad which was our paradise for the past 3 nights and drove back to Bangalore with memories of an unforgettable and perfect holiday!

Wayanad has a variety of resorts to offer with varying facilities in picturesque locations. Get in touch with us to find out which would be most suitable for you! 


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Thekkady
Wilderness of Thekkady
7472 people have seen this

We decided to visit Thekkady on a weekend, which is 190km from Cochin, which takes 6 hours approximately. The Periyar Tiger Reserve is located around the Periyar Lake. Though spotting a tiger is near to impossible today, there are other wildlife animals that one may be able to sight.

Once we reached the resort, we had light lunch as we decided not to laze around too much. We went on a guided short trek through the forest, which lasted for 3 hours. The trek takes place at two time slots - between 0700 hrs - 1030 hrs. And between 1400 hrs - 1500 hrs. You will be accompanied by a trained tribal guide.

The trails often pass through evergreen and deciduous forests scattered with marshy grasslands. Possible wildlife sightings include the Asiatic Elephant, the Indian Gaur (Bison), spotted deer and a variety of tropical birds. This trek is normally conducted for a maximum of 5 persons at a time.

IMPORTANT:

  • The guided trek needs to be booked in advance
  • Children below 12 years are not allowed.
  • Wear light coloured clothes when going to trek. Do not wear gaudy coloured clothes.
  • Don’t wear perfume or deodorant while going on trek.
  • Always wear cap / hat to protect from the sun.
  • Carry basic medicines with you while trekking.
  • Carry packed lunch from the resort / hotel you stay at, for the day long tour.

 

 

 

 

There are two type of boat safaris at Thekkady. One is the motor boat. The boat has a single and double deck. If you are taking the double deck boat, we recommend the upper deck for the best view. The best time for a safari is at 0700 hrs. This is when the probability of sighting would be the best. These boats are a little noisy and get a little crowded on weekends.

NOTE: It is mandatory to wear life jackets while on a motor boat, keeping the safety measures in mind.

The other is the Raft Safari, which is a different experience. Made out of bamboo and paddled with oars, it is the ideal approach for safari. You could also book a day long raft safari online or go for a short raft safari which lasts for about an hour and half. We opted for the day long raft safari.

There is a soft trek for about 4 km through the jungle accompanied by trained tribal guide & an armed guard. The raft cruise starts at 0900 hrs and includes basic lunch, tea & snacks and ends at 1600 hrs.

IMPORTANT:

  • It is recommend to the clients to carry their own packed lunch for the raft safari as the lunch provided would be basic.
  • We advise you to wear a head gear or hat to protect from the heat. There is no roof for the raft.
  • Carry water bottles with you, but be responsible to dispose it back at the resort. Please do not litter.

We got to see herd of elephants & a herd of Indian Gaur, commonly termed as “Bison”.

We visited the Connemara Tea Factory originally built by an Irish engineer in 1941, located amongst Connemara tea estate which is spread over700 acres. The tour lasts for about an hour. It begins with a slide show of how tea leaves are produced and processed. After which is a tour of the factory where they make powdered tea. You end the tour with a tea tasting session.

It is informative and the accompanying guide will answer your queries regarding the tour. There is a wealth of knowledge about tea to be learned here and the guide was able to answer our questions.

Thekkady has ample spice trade which is a daily event. We purchased good quality spices from the market area.

Best season to visit is September to March. Thekkady has moderate climate throughout the year.

We decided for two nights stay at Thekkady as we wanted to participate in all the activities. If one does not wish to go for a day long raft safari, then just a night’s stay at Thekkady is appropriate. There are several accommodation options outside the forest reserve and a very few within the forest. We chose the most exclusive one which is inside the forest where the animals share their boundaries with our resort.

It was an awesome experience. However, the service at the hotel was not up to the excellence, but was satisfactory. So, do not have high expectations when staying at this exclusive resort inside the forest reserve.

We can plan your holiday to make it memorable. Get in touch with us today.


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Yercaud
Picturesque Hill Station
10119 people have seen this

Yercaud is ideal destination for a short getaway from Bangalore or Salem. It is a small hill station located 22km from Salem and approximately 225km (approx. 5 hours) from Bangalore, at 5000ft above sea level.

Yercaud Lake is a prime location and we spent some time boating over here in the evening. Both self-peddling boats rowing boats are available. Generally, the weather is pleasant throughout the year and it provides a welcome change from the blistering heat of some cities during the summer.

We then visited Kiliyur falls, which is approximately 3 kms from the lake. It is actually the surplus water from the lake that falls about 300 ft. into the valley below. Though the sight of the flowing water was beautiful to see, the waterfall is best visited during monsoon and winter when the water levels are at a maximum.

We also stopped at Deer Park. This is a small park where kids can spend some time looking at the herds of deer, hamsters and rabbits.

As we were interested in plants and flowers, we visited the Orchidarium, which is approximately 4 kilometres from Yercaud Lake. There is a wide variety of plants and shrubs on display in addition to some indigenous orchids and endangered ones as well. Orchid bloom at various times of the year and can last for several months, so chances are that you will also get to see them whenever you visit.

We then proceeded to Pagoda Point. This lies on the Eastern side of the Yercaud hills and is also known as Pyramid Point. The name comes from the hill tribes having made four piles of random stones in a Pagoda or Pyramid formation reportedly to mark some event.

We also visited Shevarayan Hill Top. It is a flat hill-top with a magnificent view of the nearby hills.

There are two other viewpoints – Tipperary View Point & Elephant Tooth. As on July 2013, the roads to these points are not good and there are wild elephants which move around these points. Hence, we do not recommend you visit these points.

There are accommodation options at Yercaud near the lake. It is better to book accommodation in advance, as due to weekend demand during season, the rooms are sold out quite fast. As Yercaud was used by the British as a summer getaway when they were ruling India, you will also find few heritage buildings dating back to 1820.

Generally Yercaud receives rainfall only during October/November, so it is a year round destination. Do remember to carry warm clothes as nights are cold!


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Bekal
The Undiscovered Paradise
7314 people have seen this

A fascinating weekend getaway for nature lovers, hikers, bikers and kayakers, Bekkal is still relatively unknown.  It is located in Kasargod district in north Kerala, but is also easily accessible from Karnataka. Mangalore is the closest airport to Bekal so it can be reached by road in approx. 2 hrs drive from the airport.

If you are driving to Bekal from Mangalore there are a few attractions in Mangalore that you can visit such as Panamboor Beach, Pilikula Nisargadama, St Aloysius College Chapel etc. Kapu Light House and Sultan Battery Watch tower are also worth a visit.

On reaching Bekal from Mangalore, one enters into an enchanting secluded world away from the concrete jungle. Bekal has currently only a few resorts set amidst the waters – the backwaters, the estuary & the sea. We would recommend a minimum of 2 nights to really explore the place.

Bekal offers a variety of holiday experience’s – It is a promising location for adventure and also for those who want a destination to just relax and settle down in the quietness of the surrounding which is so mesmerizing with the serene waters and the wind giving one a soothing touch. With very few tourists around, it can be your cocoon if you are looking for a real paradise all for yourself.

On the day of arrival in Bekal, one of the first places of tourist interest would be ‘The Bekal Fort’ which gives a view of the entire beach from top. The attractive feature of this fort is its giant keyhole shaped structure and it is a famous and well preserved monument of Kerala. It is so near to the sea that the waves keep striking on the rocks near the Fort - quite exhilarating to watch.

The long stretch of the Bekal Fort also leads to a rough trekking trail so those who want to enjoy more of trekking can continue with the trek for the rest of the day and get back to the hotel in the evening.

If Trekking is not your interest then Bekal is a joy for a Kayaker’s heart too! – So post lunch you can head for Kayaking with the assistance of a professional team through Hammock Holidays. The winding river and the vast expanse of the backwaters gives a breath taking kayaking experience.

Hiker’s will also love Bekal - Hammock Holidays will help you plan an exciting hiking adventure, where you can start off in the morning in a boat to reach a small peninsula beautifully surrounded on all 3 sides  by the sea, the backwaters and the estuary. It has a narrow coconut plantation trail which is perfect for hikers because there are no other vehicles passing by. Proceeding a little away from this coconut plantation, you reach the calm, serene beach secluded and ideal for a small exciting packaged picnic lunch. You return back to the resort in the evening after enjoying your hiking and picnic experience.

The next day, early morning you can mount on your bicycles (arranged by us) and go cycling to savor the empty roads by the coast line and the backwaters.

In the afternoon, you can explore a couple of other interesting nearby locations. One of the major backwaters in Kasargod is the Chandragiri backwaters. One can enjoy t a cruise along the backwaters of the Chandragiri river and there are numerous small islands to take a boat trip too (if available depending on weather conditions). There is a rich variety of flora and fauna around these backwaters. The trip through these backwaters can be done in houseboats which are also called as Kettuvallams. 

You can even can visit Nileshwar which is approx. 35 kms away from Bekal. This place has a backwater and beach so it is possible to opt for a backwater boat ride here too. Ananthapura Lake Temple, Anandashram and a few other temples can be visited around Nileshwar.

If you want to enjoy a picnic at the beach instead of a backwater cruise then Kappil beach is approx. 6 kms from the Bekal fort - a perfect picnic spot - calm and peaceful.

Do let us know if you want to experience this exciting adventurous holiday.  We at Hammock Holiday can tailor make your trip! 


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Varanasi
The City of Light
8418 people have seen this

Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world has always been a fascination for me. Originally named Kashi, meaning the city of Sacred light, the city was later known as Benaras. 

There is a subtle grace to this city, which I felt arose from its unique blend of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. There are as many as 80 plus Ghats here and each one is for a different purpose. Some are related to a particular deity, some are for religious rituals while others are simply to bathe. There are also a few Ghats that are privately held. Our tour was scheduled in November as we were told that October to March is the best time to visit Varanasi, the earthly abode of Lord Shiva.

To discover Varanasi, which in itself is a museum of architectural designs, I chose a cycle- rickshaw instead of an auto-rickshaw. The sculptures & wooden figurines on building awnings, like the one here may be a few hundred years old and have many stories to tell!  

Vehicular traffic is not allowed at the roads leading to Dashashwamedh and other Ghats for most part of the day. Around the Ghats, walking may often be the fastest mode of commuting as traffic jams are common.

The Ganga Arathi, a religious ritual performed on the river banks every evening is a must see. There is truly a unique relationship between the river Ganga, the Ghats and the City, which is the actual essence of Varanasi. Here in Varanasi, death is not considered the end but a new beginning..

Here one comes across saffron clad sadhus meditating with rudraksh malas in hand, priests chanting holy mantras, Brahmins sitting under palm leaves, tourists soaking in the entire atmosphere, children playing cricket or flying kites..

There are scores of sacred cows roaming around and it is supposed to be a good omen, if one comes into your shop and settles down! Consider it as part of your good karma that the cow chooses your textile shop to spend the day in, chewing cud. It’s business as usual :)

There are small lanes everywhere lined with tiny shops selling almost everything from puja items to Darjeeling tea.  We spent time walking along the unending lanes, stopped by a random tea stall for some masala tea which was served in an impossibly chipped, but clean glass!!  

The mornings are breath-taking. I suggest that you opt for a morning boat ride on the Ganges, watch the rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges, bathing the temple shrines and the high-banks in a golden hue.  Listen to soul stirring hymns and mantras in the background - the fragrance of incense wafting in the air.  

Varanasi has always been renowned for music, arts, crafts and education. The Benares Hindu University here is one of the biggest Universities in Asia. In fact, Ayurveda is said to have originated here. The art of silk weaving - some of the finest silks (Banarasi Silk Sarees) as well as gold and silver brocades are made here.

Varanasi is networked with numerous Gali’s (lanes). Most of them are very narrow and to me all of them looked the same.. I can assure you that you can be completely lost in less than two minutes into one of these colorful, vibrant and thriving lanes.. So keep your GPS handy or hire a local guide from the hotel.

Two things to bring back from Varanasi are the Gajak (a dry sweet, made of sesame/til seeds) and the Achaar (pickle). The Gajak tasted really nice and we regretted having bought just one box.

On the last day at Varanasi, we had a day tour planned for Sarnath which was about 10 km away from Varanasi. This is the location where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after his enlightenment.  

After four days at Varanasi, the dream was coming to an end… We departed on an overnight train to our next destination, the Temple town of Khajuraho.


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Lonavala & Khandala
The Mighty Twins
9983 people have seen this

When an extended weekend came up, we decided to go on a quick getaway to the twin hill stations of Lonavala & Khandala. Situated approximately 2000 ft above sea level in the Sahyadri ranges, it demarcates the Deccan Plateau and Konkan Coast.

Lonavala is well connected via road and we took the Mumbai – Pune Expressway to reach there. It takes approximately 3 hours from Mumbai and approximately 2 hours from Pune. Alternately, Lonavala has a railway station for those who are traveling from other locations.

Our first stop was the Lonavala Lake. It was quite pleasant to just take a stroll around the lake and enjoy the pristine nature. It is also known as the ‘Monsoon Lake’ as it gets filled with water during the rainy season, but dries up during the winter.

We then reached The Duke’s Nose, which is a unique point. The hill here has taken the shape of a human face and a stone protrudes out like a nose. Located in Khandala, this point is visible when driving from Mumbai to Lonavala. It is named after the Duke of Wellington.

According to us, the two caves Bhaja and the Karla Caves, are the must see sights at Lonavala. The rock-cut caves, nestled in the hills of Lonavala, are one of the oldest examples of early Buddhist Temple art in India.

The Bhaja Cave complex comprises 18 caves and 14 stupas. Dating from around 200 BC, these architectural curiosities lie amidst thick greenery in a setting that’s so calm, it is almost mystical.

The Karla Cave, the largest Early Buddhist shrine in India, replicates wooden art. Dated back to 80 BC, the striking structure includes a depiction of the Buddha, and a passage made up of 37 pillars and carved elephant heads, which once had actual ivory tusks.

We then visited an ancient fort at Lohgad. We were amazed observing the architecture. Built by Shivaji as one of his battle stations, Lohgad is a prominent destination in Lonavala. Lohgad means “Iron Fort”. From here we got to see a panoramic view of the other hills as well.

We also visited the Tiger's Leap (also known as Tiger's Point) during our stay. It is a cliff-top with a sheer drop of over 650m, giving a wide view.

NOTE: A distance of about 1.6 km has to be covered on foot to reach.

Just around tiger's leap, there is a small waterfall which is alive only during the monsoon. Adventurers can hike down the stream, though occasionally stepping back on land where the water current is too strong and the fall is vertical.

Rajmachi Point is located about 6.5 km from Lonavala. We got a view of Shivaji's famous fort, Rajmachi and the surrounding valley. An exquisite location indeed.

What more can be appropriate to end your evening, than watch the sun set over the splendid valley of Lonavala? After a daylong sightseeing, we had our dinner and hit the sack.

The next day, after a hearty breakfast, before heading back home we made sure to stock up on the famous Lonavala Chikki. This is a sweet made generally from groundnut and jaggery. There are other varieties like the sesame, puffed rice, grated dry coconut etc. in addition to some special varieties made from almonds, cashews and pista as well. We opted for an assorted pack to get the taste of the different varieties.

On our way back, we visited the Celebrity Wax Museum at Varsoli. Though not as exceptional as Madame Tussade’s wax museum, this small wax museum is approx. 5km from Lonavala on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway. There are wax models of Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Jackson, Angelina Jolie, and few others.

If you want to take a break to Lonavala, do not hesitate to contact us. Advance booking of accommodation is recommended as the destination is preferred by many during the weekends. Also make sure to carry comfortable shoes and warm clothes, keeping in mind the terrain and the temperature at night.


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Pondicherry
The French Riviera of the East
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I had been waiting to travel to Pondicherry or "The French Riviera of the East” as it is called, for the lovely beaches, cobblestone streets, French architecture and of course the good food and wine! The opportunity presented itself when a few colleagues of mine decided to go there for a short trip to recharge during the weekend. Pondicherry is ideal for rest, relaxation and culture as opposed to the bustling nightlife and water sports, for which Goa would be a better option.

We decided to start out trip by making a visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram which was established in 1926. This was the ideal place for some meditation & reflection and it was a wonderful way to begin our relaxing weekend.  In the afternoon, we continued on to explore the French Quarters with its wide boulevards and distinctive architecture with buildings painted in cream, yellow, pink and white. Many of the homes here have been converted into boutiques and restaurants, so we leisurely walked around and had some amazing food.

We had reserved an entire day for Auroville, the universal township started by Mirra Alfassa (or “The Mother” as she is fondly referred to), a spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo.  Auroville is home to more than 2000 people from 35 different countries and is meant as a place to realise human unity in diversity. We rented some bicycles to explore the various zones and of course to visit the Matrimandir - a concrete globe of astounding dimensions, located in the centre of Auroville.  The Matramandir just radiated peace and serenity and the crystal ball located in the centre (which glowed with a single ray of sunlight that was directed on it) left us absolutely spell bound.

Although a lot of Pondicherry’s beaches have been lost due to coastal erosion, we made sure to visit Paradise beach which is located along the Pondicherry – Cuddalore highway. This still remains as a nice getaway with the backwaters on one side and the sea on the other. Access to this beach was through a boat ride from the Chunnambar boat house.  We made sure to carry some beach towels and a picnic hamper as there aren’t too many options for food. 

(Note - The boat house operates from 9 am to 6 pm. Going to the beach via the boat is not recommended for senior citizens as accessibility can prove to be a bit of a challenge.)

Pondicherry is also a shopper’s paradise, with numerous boutiques, markets and shops. Some of the items that the place is famous for is Aromatherapy candles and oils, incense sticks, handicrafts, handmade paper, pottery and leather items.  As we were there during the weekend, we explored the Sunday market (open from 8 am to 10 pm) that turned MG Road into a lively, vibrant open air bazaar.

Before we headed back home we went to the Manakula Vinayagar temple that we had heard so much about. This temple is highly revered by the locals and we were lucky enough to get blessed by Lakshmi, the temple elephant.

The accommodation options in Pondicherry include quaint city centre boutique hotels, as well as lovely resorts with their own beach fronts.. Just let Hammock know what takes your fancy and we will book it for you.


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Hampi
The Empire of Vijayanagar
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My craze for architecture will never end. I decided to visit Hampi (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in North Karnataka) over a long weekend in the winter. It is the former capital of Vijayanagar Empire and can be reached by bus or train. The nearest railhead is Hospet, which is approx. 15km from Hampi. I chose to travel alone, and to go by an overnight train from Bangalore.

One can also drive from Bangalore, however the journey is long (approx. 350km) and once you take deviation from the National Highway near Chitradurga, there are several towns you will pass by and will have to slow down due to road humps. When you are nearing Hospet, the roads get worse and might damage your vehicle’s chassis if it has a low ground clearance.

I chose to stay at a hotel in Hospet keeping in mind the accessibility factor. After freshening up, I took a hand map and a cycle to go around. The first stop I made was at the Virupaksha Temple. Earlier there were shops and eat outs in the same street as the temple, but they were recently razed down.

The impressive Virupaksha Temple is still active with daily worship and is located close to the Hampi bus stand.

The best way to get around to see the monuments and sights at Hampi is by renting a bicycle. On a hot day, it will definitely be difficult to walk around the place. Due to the boulders, the heat reaches great levels.

As you go around the sites, a noticeable architectural feature is the Mantap (used as resting area or at times as town watch towers). There are single and double storeyed towers. There are a few Jain Temples close to the Virupaksha Temple as well. It is simply superb to see the confluence of two religions in different periods, but at the same destination. 

I then cycled my way to Badava Linga. The story behind this icon of Shiva is that a poor lady in Hampi promised to build a temple for Lord Shiva if her wishes are fulfilled. She then carved the linga out of a big boulder. As it was a poor woman who built it, it is called Badava Linga. Badava in local dialect means poor.

One of the famous icons in Hampi is the Ugra Narasimha temple, right next to Badava Linga. This is a depiction of Lord Narasimha slaughtering King Hiranyakashipu.

After visiting temples, I then continued cycling further to about 1km. I reached the Hazara Rama temple, Queen’s Bath and the Stepped Tank. I was extremely exultant on seeing the archeology of the stepped tank. No one knows why it was contructed that way. It is not clearly visible in the monsoon as the water fills up. I had been here in October, hence I wasn’t disappointed.

I then referred to my map for my next stop. It was 6km away. As I was carrying water and juice cartons, I was comfortably cycling around. The next stop was Vittala Temple. I had arrived to the most exciting destination at Hampi. The Vittala Temple is in ruins. There are two highlights at Vittala Temple, Hampi. One is the pillared Hall, which was being restored when I had visited.

The second highlight is the Stone Chariot. The stone chariot is a leading attraction of Hampi. This is actually a shrine built in the shape of a chariot, located near the Vittala Temple at Hampi.

Just by the Vittala Temple, the river Tungabhadra flows elegantly post monsoon. There are coracle boats which one can hire and go across the river. There is a Hanuman temple atop a small hill.

By the time I returned to Vittala Temple, it was almost late afternoon. Had a quick lunch and proceeded to Hemakoota hill at around 5PM.

There are quite a few sunset points at Hampi. It is an awe inspiring, picturesque sight to see the entire landscape turn into a golden hue, and as the sun sets, the silhouettes of the boulders and monuments impart an ethereal feel.  Do get to the sunset point on time to avoid disappointment.

I recommend that you book your stay in advance as during season time or weekends, getting accommodation may be a challenge as there are not too many options. Also, make sure to carry water bottles with you, as there are hardly any shops once you leave the Hampi town area.

Tip:

You can extend your tour to go to the region around Hampi which is known as the cradle of Temple Architecture in South India - namely Badami, Aihole & Pattadakal. Get in touch with Hammock to arrange the holiday for you.


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Mahabaleshwar
The Evergreen Hills
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Mahabaleshwar (situated at an altitude of approx. 4500 feet MSL), is said to be Maharashtra’s most popular hill station. It was once the summer capital of the Bombay Presidency during the British Rule. From Pune it takes approx. 3 hrs to reach Mahabaleshwar and from Mumbai it is approx. 5 hrs away. Mahabaleshwar is surrounded by valleys on all sides so the views are very scenic and beautiful. 

I was visiting Pune along with my family for a marriage and I was coaxed by my kids into taking them for a holiday to Mahabaleshwar. I agreed as I thought it could be covered as a short trip for one night. 

We decided to drive from Pune to Mahabaleshwar so that we could have the car with us for the sightseeing. In addition to being a popular weekend getaway for people in Mumbai and Pune, it is also an important pilgrimage center. 

Before the uphill climb, we had to take a permit to enter. Since we had left early morning we reached the foot hills quite soon and decided to visit the Strawberry farm on the Panchgani - Mahabaleshwar road as the kids were eager to do so.  Strawberries, Mulberries and the locally grown corn (corn patties made from this corn are delicious) are the specialties of Mahabaleshwar.

It was a real pleasant sight to see these beautiful fruits. The kids loved the ice creams which had generous portions of fresh strawberries; and the rest of us enjoyed other dishes like the fresh strawberry shakes, pizzas and sandwiches with cheese. After this sumptuous break at this wonderful garden restaurant we continued driving and reached our hotel.  

 

We checked into our hotel and relaxed for an hour after which we left to see some of the tourist attractions. We first visited the Panchanganga Mandir, where five rivers Krishna, Venna, Savithri, Koyna, and Gayatri meet.

We then went to see Arthur’s seat. This location provides good scenic views of the valleys and surrounding hills. It is said that Arthur Mallet was the first person to have built a house here, hence this place is named after him.

Following this, we visited The Venna lake which is one of the main tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar.  The lake is surrounded by trees on all sides and we were happy that we did not miss the late evening boat ride because it really made our trip delightful. One can even opt for a horse ride next to this lake.

We returned to our hotel in the evening and had a delicious vegetarian dinner (most of the hotels in Mahabaleshwar serve only vegetarian food).   The next morning, we checked out of our hotel and went to the Needle hole point, which consists of a natural rock formation with a hole in between, giving the name Needle-hole

We then drove back to Pune to join our relatives and take our flight back to Bangalore that evening.  Our trip to Mahabaleshwar was spontaneous and we had not planned our sightseeing well and hence missed seeing some places.  I think ideally a 2 night stay is required to cover everything in a relaxed manner.

For our next visit, I will make sure to contact Hammock for a better planned holiday!


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Belur & Halebid
Architectural Jewels of the Hoysala Empire
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We decided to go on a weekend trip to explore the culture of Karnataka and shortlisted Hassan, with a short stop over at Shravanabelagola for this trip.  Hassan is approx. 3 ½ hrs from Bangalore and 2 ½ hrs from Mysore. 

We left Bangalore early in the morning at 6 am and took a deviation from Tumkur road NH for about 20 kms and reached Shravanabelagola by 9 am, after a brief stop enroute for breakfast.  

Historically Shravanabelagola dates back to the 3rd century B.C.  Carved from a single block of stone, the serene 1000 year old statue of the Jain deity Gomateshwara (Bahubali) stands majestically atop Indragiri Hill and is a marvel to behold. Regarded to be one of the tallest monolithic statues in the world, we had to climb 614 steps (carved out of sheer rock) to reach the top. Since footwear is not allowed, do not forget to carry socks with you to prevent your foot from being scorched!

We left Shravanabelagola by 12.00 noon and reached our resort in Hassan in time for lunch. After putting up our tired feet and taking a short nap, we proceeded to Belur (about 45 minutes from Hassan) – which was a flourishing capital of the Hoysala empire about 800 years ago.  Developed under their rule, Belur is famous for its strikingly beautiful temples and architecture. 

The largest and most ornate of the temples in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple built in AD 1116 and it is said to have taken almost more than 100 yrs to complete! Noted for its 38 exquisite bracket figures, we were amazed by the rich detail, gestures and subtle nuances of emotion that were depicted. 

The exquisite jewelry, elaborate coiffeures and the sartorial elegance of these carved figures would leave even modern designers and hairstylists awestruck. We would recommend taking an authorised guide along, so that you do not miss out the finer details.

We returned back to our hotel in Hassan after a day well spent. The next morning we left for Halebid, which was approx 45 mins away. Halebid has several Hoysala temples and Jain Shrines. For want of time, we decided to visit only the famous Hoysaleshwara temple. 

We were told that due to the Sultan’s invasion, the temple still remains incomplete in construction despite 86 years of labour! This temple is a sculptural marvel with excellent craftsmanship. What struck us was the way the temple was faceted with horizontal and vertical friezes creating a marvelous interplay of light and shade which was breathtaking. 

We were told that the Kedareshwara temple is a smaller version of the Hoysaleshwara temple and the temple was mutilated by an invasion and has sadly not been restored after that period. 

 

The Jain temple complex, which is close by houses 3 indisvidual shrines of the 12th Century. It is supposed to have unique pillars which produce different sounds.  

We returned to our resort in Hassan and checked out to leave back to Bangalore, making a quick stop for lunch at Hassan town. In hindsight, we realized that a minimum 2 night’s stay is required to soak up all the beautiful architecture that was around.

 


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Mahabalipuram
Land of Pallavas
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Being an archaeological enthusiast, I have been to various archaeological sites in India. My most recent trip was to Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram. It is approximately 60km from Chennai, located on the coastline of the Bay of Bengal and is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We drove from Chennai to Mahabalipuram by the East Coast Road and it was a splendid drive indeed.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived at Mahabalipuram was this wall type structure with lot of carvings. This is called Arjuna’s Penance & Descent of the Ganges. It depicts the descent of River Ganges to earth led by Bhagiratha. There is also a depiction of Arjuna’s penance and Lord Shiva handing over Pashupata (a weapon).

We then proceeded to see the Shore temple. To visit the Shore Temple and the Rathas, one needs to buy entry tickets. All the monuments date back to 7th century A.D and portray events which are related to the Mahabharata. The stone here is granite and all the temples & shrine are carved intricately. The main temple has been constructed elegantly and I was happy to just sit there for a while admiring the architectural marvel.

It is quite amazing to see that these monuments were constructed with absolutely minimum tools and pure craftsmanship. 

We then walked our way to the “Five Rathas” dedicated to the Pandava Kings. They were named as Dharmaraja Ratha (Yudhishtir), Bhima Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Nakula Sahadeva Ratha and Draupadi Ratha.

It is easy to walk around the town to see the architecture. While you are looking around, you will definitely sight a big boulder which is freestanding on a slope! Known as Krishna's Butterball, it is a giant natural rock perched on a hillside.

We had our lunch at Mahabalipuram and while proceeding back to Chennai on the ECR (East Coast Road), we visited The Crocodile Bank & Snake Park. This is a breeding center for crocodiles, alligators and snakes. It is an amazing place for anyone, as one can see various breeds of snakes and crocodiles under one roof.

We also got an opportunity to see the venom extraction process at the Snake Park. After the venom is extracted, it is sent to various labs in the world for processing anti-venom.

Early January 2013, one of the most special snake breed were brought to the Snake Park – The Green Anaconda!!! We were thrilled to see the snake during our visit and it was a very special experience for us. As far as I know, there is only one such centre in South India. These reptile species have been rescued and are bred under controlled environment with the help of a tribal community known as the Irula.

NOTE: The Crocodile Bank & Snake Park is closed to public on Mondays.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Mahabalipuram and the memories will stay with me for a long time.


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Manali
The Beauty of the Beas
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What started out as a pleasant Monday in August, quickly metamorphosed into a packed week of hectic activity.  Client meets, drawings, estimates.. Three of us in the design dept. decided to go on a long stress buster drive from Delhi to Manali – Himalayas.. yet again.. yes, this is going to be the second getaway in less than 30 days!

It was a 14 hour drive from Delhi and we reached Manali very late in the night and got into a hotel close to the Mall. We did dinner at Johnsons' Café and the trout was excellent. 

The next day, we took an early morning stroll on the Mall road, visited the Hadimba Devi temple and then we were off to Rothang snow point. 

The winding mountain road along the Beas river is truly a sight to behold.

The pass had a lot of snow and already there were a lot of tourists trying out the snow scooters.. some playing with snow balls and others building snow men.. We did our share of snow mobile rides and then opted for a leisurely lunch at a ‘maggi’ shop in the snow. 

At 13,100 feet, Rothang pass is the principal road connecting Lahaul-Spiti valleys and Ladakh with the rest of india.  They are now building a 9 km long tunnel under Rotang La into Lahaul- Spiti.

Up there in Rothang, it was getting crowded & full like a bazaar. You could get anything from maggi to T – shirts. On the return, we stopped over at Solang Valley – The sporty spot in Manali.

We got back to our hotel in Manali by evening and bit on the chill pill for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow would see us taking a leisurely ride back to Delhi.


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Mysore
The City of Palaces
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On an extended weekend, we decided to go Mysore for a quick holiday. We left early morning. About 30 kms on the Bangalore – Mysore road, we took a deviation of 10 kms to see the Big Banyan Tree or Dodda Alada Mara as it fondly referred to by the localites. This 400 year old tree is spread over a staggering 3 acres and stands on 500 prop roots and is incidentally the 4th largest Banyan tree in the country! 

We came back to the highway and proceeded to Ramnagaram. The landscape with its big boulders and hillocks was enough reason for us to stop and enjoy the place where the blockbuster film Sholay was filmed. 

About 10 kms further, we entered another different world known as Chennapatna or Gombegala Ooru. This small town on the highway is famous for its colourful wooden toys and lacquerware. 

We bid the toy city goodbye and then stopped for a quick bite of the famous Maddur Vada in the town which it was named after. 

We then proceeded to Srirangapatna, where the decisive battle was fought between Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Mysore who roared in defiance against the British forces. We engaged the services of a local guide and made a quick visit of the sightseeing places – Tippu’s Summer Palace, Gumbaz (Tippu’s tomb), the beautiful garden Daria Daulat Bagh, the Fort and the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple.

We took a 5 kms deviation from Srirangapatna to go to Ranganathittu Bird Sactuary, an island on river Cauvery and home for an astonishing variety of migratory birds from as far as Siberia. 

We reached our resort in Mysore in time for lunch. After a couple of hours rest, we left to see the Philomena’s Church - a beautiful Cathedral of Gothic architecture. Make sure to check out the musical organ at the church as well.

Our next stop was the Railway museum, a small but fascinating place which reflects the growth of Indian railways. There is even a Maharani’s (Queen’s) Saloon carriage dating from around 1888, complete with the royal toilet! 

We then decided to call it a day and got back to our resort for a hearty dinner. The local cuisine is good out here with a lot of delicious sweets to savour. 

 

On the next day, we visited the Mysore Palace and Residential Museum. The Palace, formerly the residence of the Wodeyar family, is one of the largest of its kind in India. It is said that its architecture was inspired by Buckingham Palace in London.

We really felt that without the service of an authorized guide, we would not have been able to enjoy the architecture and artifacts. We finished the tour of the Palace in half a day, though it could have occupied our entire day easily. The Palace is illuminated on weekends and public holidays and it is indeed a sight to behold!

In the afternoon, we also visited the Sri Jaya Chamarajendra Art gallery which is housed in the Jagan Mohan palace and has wonderful antique instruments and wall paintings.

We decided to do some shopping and visited the Cauvery Arts & Craft emporium (a Govt. of Karnataka undertaking) which is famous for carved sandalwood, silk sarees and ivory inlay works. You can be sure to get genuine products from this shop. Beware of other shops that the driver/ guide may take you to such as Kaveri Arts & Craft emporium.

We also went to the Devaraja market, a lively bazaar which has different sections selling flowers, fruits, vegetables, spices, incense, souvenirs and numerous other things! Our bargaining skills came in handy and we managed to pick up many items. 

 

On the third day, we checked out of the resort early in the morning to visit Chamundi Hills. The Chamundi Hills speaks of the legendry story of how Mahishasura (from whom surprisingly Mysore got its name) was defeated by Goddess Chamundeshwari.

We opted not to take the motorable 13 km road to the Chamundi temple, but instead chose to climb the 300 year old flight of 1000 steps laid by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century.

Halfway up the hill is Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, a majestic 16 feet monolithic statue. From the summit, the view of the landscape was simply beautiful with a paranomic view of Mysore city. As we were tired, we requested our driver to come to the summit and returned to Bangalore after a weekend well spent.

Time did not permit us to visit the Zoo, which was set up under royal patronage in the 19th century and ranks amongst the best in India, offering a natural habitat for the animals and birds. We also skipped the Brindavan gardens and Krishnarajasagar dam this visit. 

There are many other interesting ways to enjoy Mysore such as going on a night walking tour, vintage jeep tour, Mysore Silk tour or even a Yoga and Spirituality tour. Get in touch with us to find out more!


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Cochin
Queen of Arabian Sea
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I have been wanting to explore Kerala for many years now and decided to start with Cochin. Cochin in the local dialect means a small lagoon and it boasts of one of the finest natural harbours of the world. It was also used as a centre for spice trade for many centuries. It is well connected by international and domestic flights, and can also be accessed by train (you have to alight at the Ernakulam station).

There are ample accommodation options at Cochin and At Hammock’s suggestion, we opted to stay at Fort Cochin.  This erstwhile, trading port had witnessed the Portuguese, Dutch and the British before the pre independence era.  Moreover, you can walk the length and breadth of Fort Cochin and cover the sightseeing destinations.  

On the day we arrived, we started our tour in the evening with an authentic cultural extravaganza. What more would be befitting than to watch the traditional Kathakali (dance drama of Kerala) & Kalaripayattu (martial arts of Kerala ) performances?  We reached the theatre about half an hour before the show to watch the Kathakali artists putting on the make up for their performance. 

We then watched the Kathakali performance which lasted for about an hour or so. The dance is preceded by a song with drummers accompanying them. It was really a treat to see the well-defined body movements & detailed gestures of this incredible and unique dance form.

We also got to watch the most renowned martial arts form in India – Kalaripayattu. I have seen this on television many times, however to see it in real was an experience in itself. We all had goose bumps after seeing the incredible skills of the fighters and the weapons that were used.

The next morning, at sunrise, we decided to see the Chinese fishing nets, which are used even today. It is marvellous to see one country borrowing centuries old technique of another and succeeding in it.

We also visited the Jewish Synagogue which was built in 1568. It is known by the locals as Paradesi Synagogue, and is reportedly the oldest Synagogue in the Commonwealth Nations. Synagogue actually means ‘House of Gatherings’.  

 

Note - The Synagogue is not opened to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays. 

It was nice to take a stroll down the Jew town, doing some actual shopping as well as window shopping. Some of the buildings have Hebrew sign boards even to this day.

The Mattanchery Palace is adjacent to the Jew town. It is also known as the Dutch Palace, though it is neither built by the Dutch nor is it a palace! It was built by the Portuguese and gifted to Vira Kerala Varma, the then Maharaja of Cochin in 1555 AD. The ‘Palace’ features Kerala murals depicting Hindu temple art, portraits, & exhibits.  

NOTE: The palace is closed on Fridays and National holidays. Photography is not allowed inside the palace. 

Our next stop was at St. Francis Church, which is the oldest church constructed by the Portuguese in 1503 and later restored in 1779. 

We then hired a taxi to visit Ernakulam ( Cochin) city. We first visited Bolgatty Palace - a mansion that was built by the Dutch traders in 1744.  It is currently a heritage hotel and we had a sumptuous lunch here which was served on a plantain leaf.

After lunch, we did some shopping and picked up things to take back with us. In the evening we decided to visit Marine Drive, a beautiful promenade in Cochin which faces the backwater. We found it to be a little crowded, as many people (both natives and tourists) use the walkway during the evenings to take advantage of the sunset viewing points.

We returned to Fort Cochin to experience the “You Buy We Cook”. The concept is that you buy your sea food directly from the fishermen at Chinese fishing nets and have it cooked in the shacks close by according to your tastes.  It was the most delicious, well marinated grilled fish we ever had!

We then retired for the day and left Cochin the next morning to proceed to Munnar. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip at Cochin and all the things that Hammock suggested and arranged for us made our trip fun & colourful. 


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Ooty & Coonoor
Royal Break
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Every time the summer heat gets to us, we like to get away to a hill station. My family and I decided to go to Ooty this time as we had last visited there about 8 years back. We wanted to enjoy an exclusive holiday and were clear that we did not want to see the regular “sightseeing” places but instead wanted to experience something distinctive.

The travel consultant of Hammock Holidays told us that Ooty has become commercialized and hence advised us to stay away from the city centre and perhaps add a day or two in Coonoor.  We decided to go by their suggestion.

Ooty is approx. 260km from Bangalore and approx. 125 km from Mysore. We decided to drive down to Ooty first which took us roughly 6 hours with one stop in between.  Ooty, the capital of Nilgiris district, also known as Udhagamandalam is situated at an altitude of 7400 ft approx. above sea level. 

The resort we stayed at had something unique to offer with a hint of a farm. Now, that is something that we city dwellers loved about it, especially as we had kids traveling with us. The resort was located away from the city and was amongst the best location we could ever imagine. Though it was a little hard to reach this place, it was totally worth the effort.

For the tots, there were the farm animals to keep them busy. Our kids enjoyed petting the animals and spent a long time watching them.

We also rode horses in the farm. The resort actually owns these horses and it was a lot of fun to trot along and enjoy the view. You even have option to go on a horse safari from one town to another, at extra cost.

Our family enjoys being outdoors and in the midst of nature, so we decided to explore the place a little more. We went on a trek into the hills and got to see many plants and birds.

We also learnt a bit about farming and planted few vegetables. It was fun to get our hands dirty for a good cause and was an invaluable experience for our children.

We did so much on the first day of our trip that we chose not to do anything the next day. We lazed around and took things at slow pace and just enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. We are so used to hearing the blaring sounds of vehicles and breathing polluted air that we felt the change in the environment rejuvenated our mind and soul.

On the third day, we took off to Coonoor , which is approx. 6100 ft. above sea level. It takes approximately an hour’s drive from Ooty. After reaching our resort and having lunch there, we headed to Coonoor Railway Station to board the world famous “toy train” or “heritage train”. The Nilgiris Mountain Railway was completed by the British in 1908. With over a century gone by now, the system still remains unchanged and a memorable one.

The resort we stayed helped us in booking the tickets from Coonoor to Mettupalyam. The train left Coonoor at around 1500 Hrs and reached Mettupalyam at about 1730 Hrs.

We loved the steam locomotive with the hissing piston and the amazing rack and pinion system used to climb the steep gradients. The train also passes through many tunnels and bridges. However, we were surprised to note that there is no toilet facility in any compartment in the train.

 

After all the fun we had and with scenic views to stay in our memories, we returned to the resort to rest for the night.

The next day on Hammock's recommendation we went for a “Tea Tasting” session in a bungalow set amidst a tea plantation. We soon realised, we knew very little about tea, in spite of being staple drinkers of the beverage. The Tea Tasting session was as serious as wine tasting. The duration lasts for an hour and the charges are nominal.

As we wanted to know more about the local life there we also made a visit to view the dwellings of the Toda Tribe who reside in the Nilgiris. This is a must see while you are at Coonoor. We were surprised to see that the door is very small! We got to learn about their culture and beliefs and it was a wonderful experience.

All our offbeat experiences made our vacation a delightful one. We returned to Bangalore rejuvenated and happy. We cherish the experience even today. Thank you Hammock for organising my holiday.


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Munnar
God's Own Tea Garden
7481 people have seen this

Munnar (which means confluence of three rivers in the local dialect) is a hill station located in Central Kerala and is approximately 5300 ft above sea level. It used to be the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India.  Munnar is easily accessible by road from Cochin/ Ernakulam (approx. 4 hours from the nearest airport/ railway station) and from Coimbatore/ Madurai (which takes approx. 5 hrs). 

The best time to visit Munnar is between August and May. However, even the monsoons compliment the region.

 

We decided to stay at Chinnakanal (about 18 kms away from Munnar town). Enroute to our resort we stopped by at Lock Heart Gap which offers a nice view of the Bison valley and other little villages thousands of feet below, which was enveloped in a misty veil. From another side we could see the steep rocky slopes with lots of wild flowers. Truly an unforgettable experience.

We checked in at our resort, refreshed ourselves and immediately set out for sightseeing on the “Marayoor route” in our chauffeur driven car organized by Hammock Holidays.  We enjoyed the extensive stretch of tea plantations en route and stopped by a spice garden as well. 

Our first stop was at the Tea Museum, which houses curios, photographs and machinery, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region. A section of the museum also houses classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, and EPABX of the 1909 telephone system.

Do not forget to do tea tasting session in the demonstration room and watch the 30 minutes documentary film. 

We then proceeded to Rajamala, where the Eravikulam National Park is situated. This park is the sanctuary for the Nilgiri Tahr, a very rare mountain goat, on the verge of extinction. This animal is very friendly and we came face to face with it.

Another major attraction in Rajamala is the Neelakurinji flowers that blossoms once in 12 years (the last time it bloomed was in the year 2006). 

Anamudi rising to a height of 9000 ft approx. above sea level is the highest mountain peak - South of the Himalayas.  We had to hire a jeep to go to the closest motorable point and then proceeded on foot to the top most point.  Enough facilities for trekking are available here.

We then returned back to our resort after an enjoyable day.

The next day, we proceeded on the Mattupetty route.  Our first point was Top Station (32 kms from Munnar town), the furthest sightseeing location in this route.  Hammock Holidays had suggested taking this route so that the journey back is smooth and safe, due to the terrain.

Top Station got its name by being the uppermost located railway station on the Kundala Valley built by the British in 1902.  This hilltop location offers panoramic views of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

Next we visited Echo Point. It is a small lake set amidst rolling hills, en route from Top Station to Munnar.  Every loud call made from a spot on the lake embankment is returned several folds by the echo from the surrounding hills.

We ended our trip with a visit to Mattupetty Dam and lake (13 kms from Munnar). The dam was constructed in 1953 and the lake offers boating facilities.

We could choose between a motor boat and a speed boat ride in the lake. Since we were looking for adrenaline rush, we opted for speed boat, and our choice was a wise one.

Mattupetty is also famous for the Indo- Swiss Livestock project where high milk yielding cows are bred.  There is also a beautiful garden with more than 250 varieties of roses, many varieties dahlias, dianthus etc.

We had to rush a bit to cover the sightseeing places. As advised by Hammock Holidays, we realised we should spend ideally 3 Nights to cover other interesting places like Marayoor ( famous for sandalwood), Pallivasal ( the first Hydro Electric project of Kerala), Anayirankal Lake & Dam etc.

A word of caution! There are too many options for stay at Munnar and hence be wise to choose the best one for your stay.


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Matheran
Matheran Magic
6796 people have seen this

Matheran, 2600ft above sea level, is a hill station in the Sahyadris. It is about 100 kms from Mumbai and 120 kms from Pune, making it a popular weekend getaway. Matheran is also the smallest hill station in India and is just 8 sq. kms!!

 

What I like best about Matheran is that it is an eco-sensitive region and is Asia’s only automobile free hill station. Since, vehicles are not allowed in Matheran, if one is travelling by car, you will have to drive up to Dasturi Point (4 Kms from Matheran centre) and proceed by foot, hand pulled rickshaw, or on a pony.

We decided to opt for a train journey on this visit of ours. We left Mumbai early morning to reach Neral Junction Station. From Neral, we hopped on to a Heritage (toy) train that took us to Matheran traversing a narrow gauge and a zig zag route of about 21 kms, which was very scenic.

(Note - The train services are suspended during monsoon season and resumes operation post Diwali to June every year. The tickets from Mumbai/ Pune to Neral and vice versa can be purchased online, and a month’s advance reservation is recommended. However, the challenge is that no advance reservations can be done at Neral or Matheran for the toy train and tickets go on sale 45 minutes in the counter before departure.)

We reached the Matheran station, slowly yet steadily. As soon as we got off the train, we saw a lot of ponies around and we were approached by many for a ‘ride’.

There was even some hand pulled single seated rickshaws waiting to welcome us to Matheran and we decided to travel by them. Bargain is the word!!! The rickshaw can accommodate one person only. Now what about the luggage?

There were both women and men porters who were waiting alongside the rickshaws and horses to negotiate with us. We had to opt for this as there was no other alternative. Wonder why nobody thought of attaching a cart to a horse!!!

There are many view points at Matheran. However, they are spread all over the place. You can choose to walk around, but may need to cover at least 1 or 2 kilometres between points. We decided to hire some ponies to cover some of them. The first one we visited was Charlotte Lake and it was such a calm and nice location that we spent quite some time here.

We then proceeded to One Tree Hill point and after spending some time here we headed back to our resort as it was getting dark. The resort that we stayed in was actually the second house to be built on the Ghats and was a delight to stay in.

The next day after our breakfast, we head to the North most point of Matheran – Panoramic Point. The 360 degree view of surrounding areas was just fantastic.  

If you are staying at Matheran for some more time, the other points that you could visit are Heart point, Monkey Point, Echo point and Sunset point (though you may not get to see the sunset). However, it takes an entire day to cover these destinations.

We decided to skip these and proceeded to our resort to have our lunch and leave by the evening train to Mumbai. I personally feel that Matheran is a one or maximum two night’s destination and will be enjoyed mainly by those who are looking for a quiet and peaceful place with a lot of scenic beauty.


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Nainital
The Kumaon Himalayas
8328 people have seen this

It was a bright and clear day in June that our train rolled into Kathgodam the closest rail station to Nainital.  Our holiday to the Kumaon Himalayas starts from here. The taxi to Nainital took all of 45 mins…. Climbing up the winding mountain roads and then into the valley of Nainital.

One can also do a 6 – 7 hrs drive from Delhi to Nainital, but we opted for the train as I was travelling with my aged in-laws and the overnight train gave them a chance to catch some good sleep.

Our hotel was at an elevation and had great views of the Naini Lake.  Well tendered gardens and crisscrossing, cobbled walkways.. The rooms were quite large and comfortable but there were a lot many stairs within the resort, connecting common areas and the restaurant that my in-laws found cumbersome. Stairways are the curse of any hill station, I suppose?

Legends say that Goddess Naini Devi shed a tear drop which became the Naini lake. I wonder if she was so sad to have shed that tear or was it triggered by extreme joy? That portion of the story never got written? 

The Mal road is quite a lively place.  It can get crowded in the evenings, though.  There are many mid-range hotels along the Mall area.  We had particularly opted for a hotel away from the Mall area as vehicular traffic is restricted for most part of the day.

Midday is a good time to enjoy a leisurely paddleboat ride on the lake..  I would recommend the option of a sailboat.. It is faster and very nimble.  Remember to carry peak caps and your sunglasses as it can get quite hot during the day.

A post office on a bridge?  Yes, probably the only one in the world. Wonder why anyone would build a post office right smack in the middle of a bridge? A poke from P & T to PWD?

Naukuchiyatal is a location that I would not mind visiting again.. It was the second day of our vacation and we moved into this lovely resort by the Naukuchiyatal lake front.  I shot this photo right outside the restaurant.. a very private, serene and quiet location.

Karpuyatal, another lovely lake is a short drive from Nainital.  Un-crowded and pristine.. 

Our drive up from Naini to Ramgarh was lovely, a picture postcard countryside.. Hammock had already booked our accommodation at a lovely standalone heritage cottage called ‘The Writers Bungalow’.  

A Neemrana group heritage property, completely refurbished and restored to its original.  

Three bedrooms with wonderful views of the Himalayas..  Breakfast served on the lawns… surrounded by fruit orchards with lovely walking trails, this was the best recommendation from Hammock.  Thanks again.

Tomorrow we continue our holiday higher up into the hills of Almora & then on to Binsar :)

 


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Golden Triangle Package (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mandawa desert)
Golden Triangle Package
5094 people have seen this

Day 01 :: Arrival Delhi Airport

On arrival at Delhi airport, Placard Pick up & transferred to your hotel. Later, enjoy a city tour of Delhi. Afternoon visit Qutub Minar, & the President's House, Parliament House and the Government Secretariat Buildings. If time permits, shop in the local market & Overnight stay.

 

Day 02 :: In Delhi

Today you will do the full day sightseeing including Lotus temple, Aksharadhama, Raj Ghat, drive past Jama Masjid, Red Fort, India Gate, Evening at leisure & overnight stay.

 

Day 03 :: 21st Oct 2015 :: Delhi to Agra (204 kms / approx. 5 hour drive), Enroute visit Mathura / Sikandra

Today, your journey continues to another historical and romantic city of Agra. Enroute visit Mathura / Sikandra - the mausoleum of Emperor Akbar. Thereafter, visit the famous Taj Mahal built by Mughal Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Continue the tour visiting the Agra Fort containing the Royal residential palaces, the Halls of Public and Private Audience and the beautiful Mughal gardens.

 

Day 04 :: Agra –  Jaipur (250 kms / approx. 5 hour drive)

This morning, drive to Jaipur & enrout visit Fathepur sikri, proceed to the Pink City of Jaipur, check in to hotel & Overnight stay at Jaipur.  

 

Day 05 :: In Jaipur

Today you will visit to the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha Rajputs, Amer. You can take an elephant ride or the jeep ride upto the fort (on direct payment basis). enjoy a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds. Later, visit the City Palace and the apartment housing museums with an array of textiles, costumes, arms, weapons and paintings and finally visit Jantar Mantar, the observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh-II. Overnight stay.

 

Day 06 :: Jaipur – Mandawa, (220 kms / approx. 4 - 5 hour drive)

Today After breakfast drive to Mandawa.  On arrival at Mandawa, check-in at the hotel. Afternoon visit Mandawa Fort, Thakurji Temple and Havelis of Mandawa. In the evening enjoy the beautiful camel ride (additional cost) across the town and surrounding fields. Overnight stay in resort

 

Day 06 :: Delhi Airport drop (approx. 04 hrs drive)

 

Today check out after breakfast  & transfer to Delhi Airport 

Package costing  ::

Option  01 :: By Using  03 star category

·         Offer per couple at                             = Rs.51,000

 

Hotels Suggested / 03 star Similar

·         Delhi               = 02 nights stay at Hotel Almond / similar including breakfast

·         Agra                = 01 night stay at Royal Residency / similar including breakfast

·         Jaipur              = 02 nights stay at Hotel Leisure Inn / similar including breakfast

·         Mandawa       = 01 nights stay at Heritage Mandawa / similar including breakfast

 

Package costing  ::

Option  02 :: By Using  04 star category.

·         Offer per couple at                             = Rs.61,000

 

Hotels Suggested / 03 star Similar

·         Delhi               = 02 nights stay at Hotel Piccadilly Grand / similar including breakfast

·         Agra                = 01 night stay at Four Points by Sheraton / similar including breakfast

·         Jaipur              = 02 nights stay at Fortune Bela Case / similar including breakfast

·         Mandawa       = 01 nights stay at Desert & Dunes  / similar including breakfast

 

Other Inclusions of the package are ::

·         Accommodation basis at the hotel mentioned above or similar category of alternate hotels.

·         Buffet / fixed menu  :: Breakfast basis at all the hotels.

·         Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.

·         All currently applicable taxes including service tax.

·         All transfers, city tours and transport services by AC Indigo Car tourist permit

·         Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes,

 

Package cost does not includes ::

·         Monuments Entrance Fee.

·         English Speaking Guide

·         Elephant Ride at Amber Fort Jaipur

·         Jeep Ride at Amber Fort Jaipur

·         Expense of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone / fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, airport departure tax etc.Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions

·         International or Domestic airfare.

·         Any expenses caused by reasons beyond our control such as road blocks, accidents & any medical evacuations. Any train delays, or re-scheduling etc. Any Visa fees, insurance fees, etc. Any tips to hotel staff, local guides, drivers etc., Any meals apart from the ones mentioned above. Any expenses apart from the ones above. 


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Enchanting Himachal
Enchanting Himachal
4019 people have seen this

Day 01 :: Delhi to Shimla – (280 Kms / 06hrs drive)

On arrival at the Delhi airport, you will proceed by surface on a picturesque drive, to Shimla. On arrival into Shimla, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city.  Overnight at Shimla.

 

Day 02 ::  In Shimla,

After breakfast, do a day excursion to Kufri and Chail. In Kufri enjoy peak & amazing view of  the Himalayas & visit Chail and see the world's highest cricket and polo ground. Enjoy shopping & walking of The Mall in the evening. Overnight at Shimla.

 

Day 03 :: Shimla to Manali – (300 Kms / 07hrs drive)

After breakfast, transfer to Manali. Drive through the breathtaking drive to Kullu Valley on the banks of the River Beas, to Manali. On arrival into Manali, check into your hotel  Day at leisure by the resort. Overnight at Manali.

 

Day 04 :: In Manali,

After breakfast, day at leisure for local sightseeing in Manali, Evening free for shop at the Mall Road. Overnight at Manali.

 

Day 05 :: In Manali,

After breakfast, do a day excursion to the Rohtang Pass, 51 kms from Manali,  Transfer back to your hotel. The evening is at leisure. Overnight at Manali.

 

Day 06 :: Manali to Chandigarh (330 Kms / 7hrs drive)

After breakfast transfer to Chandigarh, On arrival check in to hotel. afternoon visit, rock Garden  & Museum & Overnight at Chandigarh.

 

Day 07 :: Chandigarh to Delhi (250 Kms / 6hrs)

After breakfast transfer to Delhi. Drop to airport.

 

 Package Costing  :: By using 03 star standard Resorts

·         Best offer per couple at          = Rs.56,800

·         Child  05 – 12 yrs charge       = Rs.  9,800

 

Package inclusions & Hotel used ::

·         Shimla                  :: 02 night at Marigold Holiday Cottages / similar = with breakfast & dinner. 01 room + extra mattress

·         Manali                  :: 03 nights stay at Quality Inn River country / similar = with breakfast & dinner. 01 room  + 01 extra mattress  

·         Chandigarh        :: 01 night stay at Hotel Regent Ashok / similar = with breakfast. 01 room  + 01 extra mattress  

·         Transfers & sightseeing as per the above itinerary by using Tata Indigo  OR similar car

·         All currently applicable taxes.

 


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Kerala Delights – 04 nights & 05 days package
Kerala Delights
4230 people have seen this

Best offer per couple = Rs.44,444

Valid till = 18th Dec

 

Day 01 :: Arrival Cochin - Munnar (Hill station) (about 04 hrs drive).

·         Pick up from Cochin Airport / Bus station  & transfer to Munnar by car

·         Check in to Hotel.  Afternoon sightseeing of Munnar covering Rajamalai, house of the highly endangered mountain goats ? the Nilgiri Thars. &

·         Blossom Park. Back to resort & overnight stay at Tea Valley Resort.

·         Overnight stay in Munnar.

 

Day 02 :: In  Munnar (Hill station)

·         Today after breakfast visit Echo point and Mattupetty Dam. Speed boating facilities are available here at additional cost.

·         After that visit Eco Pint. Afternoon visit Kundale dam & lake. Tea Museum. Return to the hotel & overnight stay at Tea Valley Resort.

 

Day 03 :: Munnar – Alleppey House boat (approx. transit time 04hrs)

·         Breakfast at resort.  Check in to Alleppey House boat for Lunch .

·         Cruse the famous backwater of Alleppey to Alleppey sector. 

·         Overnight stay at House boat.

 

Note  :  The houseboat has one / two bedrooms with an en suite wc, shower & wash basin, a living cum dining area & a kitchen. In the AC houseboat the AC will be operational only in the bedroom from 2100 hrs. till 0600 hrs. The houseboats in Kerala ( unlike the houseboats in Kashmir ) cruise the backwaters. However, they anchor in the evening at around 1800 hrs. to permit the local fishermen to cast their nets. The cruise continues only the next day morning at about 0800 hrs.

 

Day 04 :: In Alleppey

·         Breakfast at the House boat & Check out by about 0930hrs. 

·         House boat will drop you at backwater resort.

·         Check in to Hotel, afternoon free for sunset cruise, peddle boat activities (extra cost)

·         Overnight stay at backwater resort.

 

Day 05 :: Alleppey – Cochin Airport (approx. 02 hrs drive)

·         Check out after breakfast,  

·         Transfer to Cochin.  Sightseeing of The old Jew town, Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace etc..

·         Short shopping stop at Ernakulum, 

·         Evening drop to Cochin airport Drop to Cochin railway station.

 

 

Package cost includes ::

·         Above package for couple traveling together.

·         Breakfast included at all the resort except, House boat with all meals

·         Munnar          = 02 nights stay at Tea Valley Resort / similar,

·         House Boat     = 01 night stay at 01 bed room deluxe house boat,

·         Alleppey         = 01 night stay at Kayaloram Lake resort

·         All transfers & sightseeing as per itinerary by A/C Tata Indigo  / similar car

·         Includes driver batta for night stay, road tolls & currently applicable taxes.

 

 


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