Varkala – A lesser known gem of Kerala

Tucked in the southern part of Kerala, away from the typical touristy locales of the state, Varkala sits on edge of Trivandrum. Apart from being known as Kerala’s ‘Temple Town’, Varkala is also recognized as ‘one of the top 10 seasonal beaches in the world’. The endless expanse of the Arabian Sea, the golden sands, and the laid-back vibes make this town a perfect place to relax.

Getting there

Being close to Trivandrum, the best way to reach Varkala is by air till Trivandrum airport. From there you can hire a car and reach the beach town, at a distance of about 51 Km. There are also buses and trains from Trivandrum to Varkala.

Things to do in Varkala

To see

  • Janardana Swami temple– Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this is one of the most famous places of worship in Varkala overlooking the Varkala Beach. The 2000-year old temple enshrines an ancient deity of Vishnu and is an important site for Vaishnavas. The temple also houses a historic bell that had once been brought in by the sea from a wrecked Dutch vessel.
  • Sivagiri Mutt– At about 2.5 Km from Varkala town, this mutt or ashram stands as a spiritual place. Commemorating Shree Narayana Guru, a holy saint, this place evolved as a place that promoted equality of humans, irrespective of their religion, caste, and creed.
  • Papanasham Beach– Varkala Beach, also known as the Papanasham Beach is known for its natural beauty as well as spiritual significance. This white sandy beach, lined with towering laterite cliff, imparts a breathtaking vista. For nature lovers, this beach is an ideal spot to watch the sunset against the clear blue sea. The beach, miraculously, also has a natural freshwater spring which is believed to be sacred and bathing here can wash away one’s sins. Hence the name (pap- sins, nasham- to get rid of).
  • Anjengo Fort – Away, but not far from Varkala town, the Anjengo Fort stands as a remnant of Kerala’s rich historical past. From the Portuguese to the Dutch and then the English East India Company, Anjengo remained a place of historical significance in Kerala. It houses an old English fort, dating back to 1700s, which is a now a National Heritage Monument.
  • Varkala Tunnel– Established in 1867, this is a 924 feet long tunnel that runs through the periphery of the town. Built by the Dewan of Travancore, for the East India Company, this 151 canal served as an internal waterway as well as an irrigation source.

To experience

  • The expansive beaches of Varkala offer an array of beach activities like swimming, parasailing, and windsurfing, or simply sunbathing on the golden sands. There are surfing equipment on rent and also the Surf and Soul school which provides surfing training for beginners.
  • Kerala is known for its profound understanding and practice of natural remedies and traditional Ayurveda. And Varkala has are a host of Ayurvedic centers and spas, offering therapeutic treatments.
  • Stay at one of the yoga retreats on the beach which offer yoga therapies and meditation sessions for a relaxing vacation.
  • Get rejuvenated at the natural spring which is rich in sea minerals and clay, and is known for its healing properties.
  • Try snorkeling at the Thiruvambadi Beach or Papanasham beach and explore the underwater.
  • Shop at the beachside shops or from the vendors selling jewelry, locally handcrafted trinkets, and colorful hippie goods.

To eat

Kerala’s cuisine is known for its eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary flavors.

  • Head to Jicky’s Rooms, Oottupura and Hotel Suprabhatham for simple and delectable vegetarian flair.
  • If you are looking for international flavors, then Café Del Mar is the perfect place for Italian and Mexican food.
  • The beachside eateries like Dolphin Bay and Funky Art Café are backpackers’ pit stops and make for great places to hang out on the beach.

Chorao Island – Goa’s Best Kept Secret

Image source: Wikipedia

Adventurous, exciting, memorable, relaxing, rejuvenating- Goa can be anything you want from your ideal vacation. However, besides what you see and what you know about Goa, India’s favorite beach destination has more to it than what meets the eye. And hidden in its greenery and beyond the waves are little secrets of ancient treasure. One such best-kept secret (not so much of a secret anymore) is the Chorao Island. Replete with antiquated churches, colonial homes, and cemeteries, the island is steeped in history and still emanates the old vibes.  

Reaching Chorao Island

Located 5 Km northwards from the capital city of Panjim, the Chorao Island is a historic Portuguese settlement along the Mandovi River. You have to take a ferry from Ribandar to reach the island. The ferries are well equipped to haul a car and other smaller vehicles. The island is also connected to the nearby towns of Mapusa at 10 Km and Vasco at 50 Km. So, if you are traveling from any town or village within Goa, you can hire a car to reach Chorao.

History of the island

The Chorao Island is the largest (in land area) among all the 17 islands of Goa. As much as the island is connected to history, it also has a mythological reference to its existence. It is said that this piece of land emerged from under the water when Yashoda, Krishna’s mother threw away a handful of diamonds into the sea. And hence, the island was named Chudamani (precious stone) in Sanskrit. Later when the Portuguese noblemen landed here, they named it to suit their nobility and lifestyle and called it the Ilha Dos Fidalgos or the Island of Noblemen. Further to suit their linguistic ability, they transformed the name to Chorao.

Exploring Chorao Island

The highlight of Chorao is its widespread bird sanctuary, which is the largest in Goa. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary spreads across 178 hectares of natural land. Surrounded by dense mangroves from the inlets of the sea, this natural reserve is home to numerous species of birds like kingfishers, coots, egrets, pintails and more. You can also spot some random wild animals and Goan crocodiles along the swamps. The best way to tour the sanctuary is on a canoe or a local dingy.  

Take a ride through the countryside. As you walk/drive through the palm-lined roads of the Charao village with its clusters of mud houses and thatched roofs, you could feel as if time has stopped here, centuries ago. The distinctive Portuguese architecture with white-washed churches and the colorful homes with intricate woodwork speak of the island’s rich heritage. And, all this amidst sun-kissed greenery, makes this island look like right out of a picture post-card.

The quaintness of the Chorao Island also extends to its temples and churches. Majority of the churches on this island date back to the 16th century, when Portuguese arrived here and established places of worship for their people. The most prominent one of all Catholic Churches is, St. Bartholomew’s Church. Built in 1569, this church reflects a classic Neo-Roman architectural style with multiple spires and subdued façade, but still emanates an aura of old grandeur.

Another noteworthy place of worship is the ‘Our Lady of Grace church’ with its spotless white façade with a blue bell tower. For those who want to unexplored the unknown, there is also a small village chapel, which is not named but is frequented by the local villagers.

There are also a few ancient Hindu temples on the other side of the island. One of the most famous ones being Saptakoteshwar Temple at Narve.

With a strong influence of the ancient Saraswat Brahmins to Portuguese noblemen, the Chorao Islands still hold onto its heritage and make this tiny settlement a must-visit place in Goa.

This hill station in Kerala will become your new favourite destination

If you thought Kerala’s beauty starts with its golden coasts and ends in the backwaters and plantations, then maybe, there’s one more place you should discover. In a quiet corner of the southeastern part of the state, sandwiched between the mountain ranges of Western Ghats, is a quaint little hill town called Ponmudi. With the rolling hills of dense greenery, waterfalls, streams, and tea-gardens, this Kerala destination is perfect for those who love to spend a few days in the lap of the mountains but stay away from the extreme cold.

Image source: Wikipedia

Ponmudi is situated about 55.2 KM north-east of Trivandrum city. You can fly to Trivandrum and then book a cab to reach Ponmudi. The settlement got its name from a peak of its namesake on the Western Ghats. Also, translated as ‘The Golden Peak’, in the regional language, this mountain remains the highlight for travelers.

Things to do in Ponmudi

Image source: Wikipedia

Mountain climbing

Scale the heights of Agasthayarkoodam- the highest peak of the region at 1868 ft. above the sea. You would, however, need permission from the local Forest Department. You can also trek to the Ponmudi peak from its base at the Golden Valley.

Explore the Golden Valley

The foothills of the Golden Peak is replete with dense tropical forests, plantation, with gurgling streams and rivulets, cutting through the land at every turn. The valley offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The Kallari River is a major water body that runs through the wilderness of Ponmudi and makes for a great adventure. Trek through the nature trails or waddle through the pebbled bed and cool waters of the rivulets. You can also spend a day fishing on the Kallari. The colorful wooden and stone cottages clustered over the grasslands make for exquisite photography subjects.

Spot some wildlife

The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most notable and popular sightseeing places where most tourist go. This is a part of the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. Spread across 53 sq. km. this nature reserve is home to numerous wild animals and birds like Asian elephants, sambar deer, Indian leopards, lion-tailed macaques and more. For avian lovers, you will find birds and butterflies aplenty in this sanctuary. Information is that about 59% of Kerala’s bird population is found in Ponmudi. The forest grasslands are breeding grounds for Malabar grey hornbills, Wayanad laughing thrush, broad-tailed grass birds, Nilgiri Pipit, among other species.

Image source: Wikipedia

Visit the Meenmutty Falls

The highest and most popular waterfall, the Meenmutty Falls sits amidst the forested mountains, at about 3 km from the Kallar Main Road. The highlight of these falls lies in its access more than the site of the falls. Trek through the lush greenery and natural ponds to reach the Meenmutty Falls. The rocky embankment at the base with a pool of clear water makes for a perfect respite after a long walk. The best time to visit this place is during or after the monsoon when water levels are high and unravel the real beauty of the waterfalls.

Experience a regatta

Regatta or long boat races are one of the key elements of Kerala’s culture. An age-old tradition, the Aaranmula Boat Race in Ponmudi, is a sight you cannot miss. Every year, in the months of August and September, the boat race takes place on the Pampa River. This water sport forms a part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Watch the skilled oarsmen as they cut through the water with finesse and beat the competing teams. This is the time when thousands of rural folks visit from the neighboring villages to take part in the celebrations.

Blessed with a temperate climate all year round, and pure natural surroundings, and a vibrant culture, Ponmudi will surely redefine your concept of a typical holiday in Kerala.

Weekend Getaways from Delhi

Parwanoo

For the city dwellers of Delhi, Chandigarh and neighbouring towns in Haryana and Punjab, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to a quick weekend getaway. Nature’s bounty along the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh make for abundant options of exploring. Parwanoo is one such surprise package of a place. Read more…

Rishikesh

This beautiful pilgrimage town is a place with many cafes, yoga centres, temples, adventure sports, and has something to offer to everyone. The tall mountains, rivers, and fresh air make Rishikesh a promising destination for many travellers. Read more…

Kheer Ganga

Kheer Ganga situated in the Parvati Valley at an altitude of 3,050 meters is a well-known trek with some stunning visuals along the route. It is believed that Karthikeya, Lord Shiva’s elder son meditated for around 1,000 years in Kheer Ganga. This hidden gem is the last village while trekking to Pin Valley via Pin-Parvati pass. This beautiful place remains covered with snow during winters, so the treks are ideally avoided during this period. Read more…

Deeg

Deeg is a small town situated far away from the hustle and bustle of metro cities. It is a little-known tourist destination located at a distance of 36 km from Bharatpur. Deeg is home to a number of beautiful gardens, palaces, fountains, vibrant bazaars, and invincible landscapes. Just at a few hours’ drive from Delhi, this attractive place is considered to be a part of Lord Krishna’s Parikrama path. Read more…

A historical account of the city of Agra

A city with a heritage as rich as its rulers, a city that is synonymous with royalty is a story in itself. That, folks, is Agra for you. But one needs an eye to read between the cracks of walls and stones and dig for its stories.

Road to history

Agra is well connected and easily accessible from Delhi. You can travel from Delhi to Agra by car, which takes about 4 hours.

Agra anecdotes

The capital of Delhi and then the Mughal Empire, the city of Agra found its existence in 1504, when Sultan Sikander Lodhi established his reign on this town, on the banks of Yamuna. Eventually, in the Battle of Panipat, in 1526, Mughal emperor, Babur took over the state and ruled his kingdom from Agra. During his rule and under his patronage, Agra saw its golden years with grand architecture, and skillful artistry, which would become benchmarks for Indian art in the years to come. His first project was a public landscaped garden on the banks of Yamuna- or what we know as Aram Bagh.

Post Babur, such creative initiative skipped a generation, until Akbar took the onus of reinstating the prestige of the Mughal Empire in Agra, with his artistic vision and patronage. During his rule, Akbar laid the foundation of what is Agra Fort today. He also extended the influence beyond the city and built Fatehpur Sikri, with palatial monuments and grand constructions.

The empire capital was bejeweled with exquisite architecture, featuring fine stone carvings, marble works, and delicate ornamentation. The highlight of Agra’s history was when Shah Jahan gifted the city its most apprized and cherished monument – the Taj Mahal. With this marvel in marble, Agra became the most prized city, not only for the empire but for the entire country.  

The five generations of the Mughal Badshahs, marked the golden era of Agra’s history with contribution and benefaction from each of its ruler, adding to the rich heritage of the capital. Over the years, people from all over the world have come to experience the grandeur and magnificence of Agra’s remarkable past. Thus, making it one of the most visited historical city in the world.

Monumental monuments

Today, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

Here’s a quick roundup of the most significant constructions of the Mughal Era, the traces of which still linger in the 21st century.

Taj Mahal

There are no words that can describe this monumental mausoleum of love. 22 years and 20000 workers contributed to this portrayal of pride and unparalleled artistry with Persian, Turkish and Indian influence. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal leaves its visitors spellbound every time.

Fatehpur Sikri

About 37Km from the city of Agra sits the historic, religious and legendary city of Fatehpur Sikri. It’s foundation dates back to 16th century when Akbar built this city in honor of the revered Saint Salim Chisthi. Legends are that Akbar sought the saint’s blessings in pursuit of heirs and in turn, was gifted with three sons. The city was built as a sign of gratitude of the benevolent emperor.

Agra Fort

Another edifice of grandeur, built under Emperor Akbar’s patronage, the Agra Fort stands tall since 1565 as a witness to 500 years of India’s modern history. Made with red sandstone and white marble, this big crimson structure overlooking the Yamuna River, is a sight you cannot miss, especially, in the golden hues of the twilight sky.

As far as history is concerned, Agra still holds its fort of pride, legacy, and heritage. Though its golden era is a matter of past, it has left traces in its air, which you can sense in every corner of this city. For a comfort, convenience, and safety, you can rent a chauffeur-driven car with Savaari Car Rentals and make your journey of 233 Km rather enjoyable.

Explore Offbeat Destinations in India: Vagamon

Vagamon or Wagamon is a sleepy little hill town in the south-east corner of Kerala. Yet another idyllic locale in God’s own country, Vagamon partly occupies the Kottayam district and partly the Idukki district of the state. Not more than 1100 meters above sea-level, you would find this cozy hamlet to be your perfect place of serenity, far from the maddening crowd of cities. Perched on the hills of the border of two major districts and blessed with natural wonders, Vagamon offers great opportunities for eco-tourism. Head to Vagamon this summer – book a Cochin taxi service to travel there with ease.

You would be thankful to find that this hill town is still untainted by the ill-effects of commercialization, making this place retain its originality.

Reaching Vagamon

Vagamon is situated about 100km from Cochin, which is also the nearest airport. So you can take a flight if traveling from any major city. From there you can hire a cab or rent a car till Vagamon and travel down the hill highway. It is a fulfilling experience with endless views of the hills and vales and the winding roads cutting through the mountains and dense forests. Alternatively, you can also take the train till Kuttikanam at 22km or Palai at 33km.

Exploring Vagamon

The rolling hills enveloped under blankets of greenery, the steep slopes, the velvet countryside makes for a much-needed relaxing holiday with your friends, family or special someone.

Wake up to the view of the morning mist veiling the valleys – a picture perfect setting that can bring you instant joy. The lush valleys, expansive meadows dotted with wildflowers, dense pine forests and waterfalls are indeed bliss for all your senses. Such a scenic landscape comes with abundant options to explore and experience this homestead in its own way.

You can choose from any of the adventure activities like trekking, paragliding, mountaineering and rock climbing. Did you know that Vagamon is a paragliding hub for flyers? Paragliders from different parts of India and abroad join the International Paragliding Festival which is held in the months of January and February every year.

Other recommendations in Vagamon

Vagamon and its three hills- Thangal, Murugan, and Kurisumala reflect complete religious harmony, with Hindu, Muslim, and Christians- all cohabiting in the same place.

The Kurisumala Ashram is a spiritual center but also holds ample natural beauty. If you are so inclined, you can visit this abode of peace. Otherwise, the area is surrounded by vast tea-estates and natural lakes.

Head to the Murugan Hill near the Thangal Para. A temple dedicated to Lord Murugan sits atop the hills and enshrines an old stone carving.

 

Walk through the Vagamon Meadows. These undulating hills and sloping landscapes engulf a lake, which renders a painting like a scene. For photographers, writers, and other creative souls, this location is indeed inspiring.

Explore the pine forests. This is where lofty pine trees stand in rows and make this dense forest eerily beautiful.

You can also visit the Mooppanpara canyon, a V-shaped canyon that serves as a viewing point for the surrounding. A short trek through the hills and forests will take you to the summit.  It is here that you can get a stunning panoramic view of the town below.

There’s also the Ulipponi Wildlife Sanctuary. Though known as a natural habitat for flora and fauna, this location of Vagamon works as a great picnic spot or a day trip to just absorb nature. You can also take a boat ride on the lake located in the sanctuary. There are a lot of exotic flowers and orchids that grow in the wild and add vibrancy to the place.

Laid back and sleepy, yet uplifting with nature’s bounty, the scenic town of Vagamon needs to be explored more. After all, nature gives us these wonders only to cherish, isn’t it? Book a taxi service in Trivandrum and head out to Vagamon for a perfect idyllic holiday.

A food Trail in Shimla

Beyond the scenic landscape, cool alpine weather and line of pine forests, there’s a side to Shimla which is explored but not talked about. Being the largest city in Himachal, Shimla has attracted people from all cultures and regions of India and abroad.

A melting pot of various Indian and international cuisines, Shimla brings you a wide array of delectable delicacies to the table, literally! From simple roadside shacks, legendary cafes to fine dining the ‘queen of hills’ has something for every food lover. But as they say, if you really want to know a place, you must eat with and like the locals. Book a Chandigarh to Shimla taxi and embark on this culinary trail to sample the best of Shimla’s local food.

Let’s start with the morning chowdown at Krishna Bakers. The oldest bakery of town, Krishna bakers lays down freshly baked bread and pastries of all kinds. As is the case with most old bakeries of hill stations, Krishna’s menu has never changed over the years. And so has their recipes. The highlight of this place is the fresh-off-the-oven, tender chicken bun.

Goofa & Ashiana: For a cozy dinner with the view of the hills, head to the Goofa & Ashiana. Quite a quirky name, this place offers two dining areas- the basement seating (Goofa) and the garden seating (Ashiana). Maintained by the tourism department, this restaurant is a family favorite and is quite on the fancy side.

Indian Coffee House: Wash down your carbs with a cup of hot Indian filter coffee. One of the oldest coffee houses in India, the Indian Coffee House is also a popular stop for strawberry jelly and fresh cream.

Embassy Ice Cream: All meals must end on a sweet note. And as they say, there’s always room for dessert. And for desserts, there’s nothing better than Embassy Ice Cream. The rainbow-colored façade of this shop quite matches with its colorful recipes. Treat yourself with a hearty serving of sundae loaded with fresh fruits, jellies, and candies. Or a simple scoop of house-made ice cream, topped with fancy goodies can make your day!

Alfa: For the fancy foodies, Alfa does not look inviting. But once you leave your hang-ups and focus only on their specialties, you would forget where you are and why you are there. Don’t forget to try their kheema samosas, sinfully greasy but heavenly, house burgers and melting sundaes.

Sita Ram and Sons: Ever had a Chhole Bhature with a twist? Sita Ram and Sons does just that to your favorite Punjabi dish. Tender and cottony soft bhature, which are more like thick puris, served with a handsome portion of slightly sweetened chhole- every reason for you to gorge on.

Bihari Lal Sharma Chathouse: Yes, the mention of cool and crunchy chat in a cold hill station might not sound very inviting. But Shimla sees quite a harsh summer for its location. And that’s the time, you would love to visit Bihari Lal Sharma. Their creatively made fruit chat and tangy panipuris are sure to beat the heat and leave a zing to your taste buds.

Aunty’s Kitchen: Though small in number, the town has quite a Chinese-Tibetan influence. The heritage Chinese restaurants are living examples of their coexistence. One such place is Aunty’s Kitchen. Running as a family-owned eatery since 1975, this place will leave you spoilt for choice of your favorite Chinese delicacy. Their 25 varieties of soups to choose from, we can bet you will have a long dinner here.

Beekay: Yet another bakery cum café that smells of old world charm. Sample their salami burgers and you are sure to come back for more.

Tibetan Food Corner: Known for kurkeys, the traditional Tibetan dish, this eatery is your go-to place for authentic Tibetan fare. Believe it or not, this food joint is the only Tibetan restaurant serving kurkeys in the country!

If you’re planning on visiting Shimla this summer, be sure to book convenient Delhi to Shimla cabs so you can head to each of these amazing eateries that picturesque hill station has to offer.

Parwanoo – A paradise undiscovered

For the city dwellers of Delhi, Chandigarh and neighbouring towns in Haryana and Punjab, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to a quick weekend getaway. Nature’s bounty along the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh make for abundant options of exploring. Parwanoo is one such surprise package of a place.

Image source: Wikipedia

How to reach Parwanoo

Bordering the Panchkula district of Haryana, Parwanoo is located at 35km from Chandigarh and is easily accessible from Amritsar, Kalka, Pinjore, and Shimla. For a more exciting journey, you can take the Kalka-Shimla heritage railroad. This is one of the most scenic routes in this region, cutting through the mountains via tunnels, crossing cliffs and around the winding slopes. The nearest station, at Taksal, is about 4km away from the town center. If there’s a road trip on your mind, the best way to get to Parwanoo is to book a taxi service in Chandigarh.

Things to do in Parwanoo

Apart from its economic recognition, being on the Shivalik Range, Parwanoo holds the quintessential Himalayan beauty. The landscape remains snow-clad most of the year, which allows you a cooler escape from the sultry city summers.

Ever since travelers started exploring the mountains, lakes and the natural wonders of Parwanoo, this quiet hamlet opened up to discovery and exploration.

A quick trip to Parwanoo calls for these touristy activities:

Ride over the Timber Trail

Image source: Wikipedia

When in the mountains, a view from the top gives you a refreshing perspective. A cable car ride across the Timber Tail gives you a 360-degree view of the entire Shivalik range. But just to be cautious, this activity is not for the faint-hearted. For a nominal price, this 1.8km ride lasts for about 10 minutes and takes you to the top of the Timber Trail at the resort of its namesake.

Enjoy the magnificence of the Kaushalya Valley, from a height of 5,000 ft above the sea level. A trip to Parwanoo would be incomplete without this scenic cable car ride and photographing the birds’- eye view of the landscape.

Discover Dagshai

About 28 KM from Parwanoo, lies the old settlement of Dagshai. Established by the East India Company in 1847, this timeworn cantonment town, still displays traces of its colonial past. The highlight of this town is the Dagshai Church, an ancient church built under the British rule. The colonial architecture reflecting sheer brilliance adorns the church’s façade and interiors.

The old-world charm of its construction never fails to enthrall the tourists and admirers of ancient art. Though there are no accommodation options here, Dagshai makes for a good day trip and picnic destination.

Visit the fruit orchards

If you are anywhere in Himachal, you will not be spared from the intoxicating aromas of apples, plums, and peaches. And probably because the economy of Parwanoo was based on fruit-based industries, the orchards became a fun-filled destination for tourists. The orchard tours will be a treat to your eyes as well as to your taste-buds. The array of reds, orange, crimson and green are indeed like a page out of a picture book. Indulge yourself in samples of fruit jellies, jams, pickles and other goodies to mark a memorable end to your orchard exploration.

Explore the Gorkha Fort

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Gorkha Fort would be of great interest. About 16 KM away from Parwanoo, the Gorkha Fort sits on a hill in the village of Subathu. It was established by the Gurkha army chief Amar Singh Thapa to fight the British troops, this fort is a testament of strength and power. There is a museum associated with the fort, preserving exhibits dating back to 1815.

Once a somnolent little settlement, this hamlet has grown to become a trending destination for Himachal Tourists and still needs to be explored. If you’re exploring hill stations around Delhi or Chandigarh, we highly recommend adding Parwanoo to your list. Book a Shimla taxi service to get to Parwanoo and explore some of the other quaint towns and hill stations on offer in Himachal Pradesh.

A day tour by cab in Lucknow

Immerse yourself in luxury as you travel like a Nawab in Luxury Cab

If you wish to witness the rich Indian culture, art, music, and poetry in its true sense, or you are just a foodie who can’t resist trying spicy as well as delicious local delicacies, Lucknow is just the right place for you to visit. Known for its authentic Ittars (perfumes) and richly crafted handicrafts, you’ll  be able to find something of your choice in Lucknow. The state capital of Uttar Pradesh is an underrated tourist location, but once you get to visit this royal place, you’ll find that the city has a lot more to offer than the usual that travel guides will tell you. And the best way to experience the royal vibe of Lucknow is to travel in a luxury cab. A wise man once said that the right way to know about the place is neither listening to the experiences of the people, nor the stories that you hear, but to visit that place by yourself. So all you need to do is book one of the full day/ half day cabs in Lucknow and begin your own quest of discovering something new.

Lucknow was made famous by the Nawabs of Avadh, who fostered the dance and the music culture amongst the people. The best time to see the largest city of India is from January to March and then from October to December. The weather is just fine in Lucknow during these months. Lucknow has many small and big places to see, and the best way to visit each of them is to book a radio taxi in Lucknow.

 

Top tourist spots

Image source: Wikipedia

Some of the top tourist spots include Bara Imambara, Rumi Darwaza, Husainabad Clock Tower and Sravasti. Whether you are looking for a budget trip or you are planning a luxurious one, the place has so much to offer in both the cases. A lot of mid-range to budget accommodation options are available for people to stay and most of them are located in the vicinity of the Charbagh Railway Station.

A dream destination for foodies

Image source: Wikipedia

The individuality and distinctiveness of the cuisine are well known throughout India. You just can’t miss the chance of having the lip-smacking range of local dishes of Lucknow which include Kormas, Sheermal, Warqi paranthas. There is a whole range of kebabs which includes Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, Patili-ke-Kababs, Ghutwa Kebabs and Seekh Kebabs from which you can pick your own favorite.

The specialty of the dishes lies in the ingredients as well as the way they are crafted and presented by the experienced chefs. The list doesn’t end here, Royal Café which is located in Hazratganj is known for its special Aloo Tokri Chaat. If you love Dahi Bhallas, you must head to Chapan Bhog at Sadar Bazar. The other eminent food joints are Bajpayee Ki Kachori, Ratt Lal, Raj & Raj.  For the love of baked food and authentic desserts, you must plan a visit to the JJ Bakers at Hazratganj and have a bite of the delightful coconut cookies there.

For Biryani lovers, here is a place with the name Dastarkhwaan situated in Gomti Nagar which serves authentic Biryani. Other options where you can head to for Biryani are Wahid at Aminabad Chowk and Idris. Those who enjoy desserts, Prakash Kulfi and Dayal prepare the most delicious Kulfi in Lucknow and both of the shops are present in Aminabad. Local cabs in Lucknow run during the whole day and you can hire a cab to reach these places which are located in the core of Lucknow. Online cab booking in Lucknow is very easy and you can get the best suitable cab for you at a reasonable price. For the lovers of non-vegetarian food, Wahid at Aminabad serves the best Mutton Chaap and Naushijaan at Hazratganj serves the juicy Masala Chicken. Your stomach will get full but your taste buds will never get over the tasty and tempting food. Also, if you are visiting Lucknow you have to try the Special Malai Pan and Chandrakala from Chappan Bhog and Ramasrey and Malai Gilori at Hazratganj and Ramashrey Chowk respectively.

 

Things you must do in Lucknow

There is a lot to do and see while you make your visit to Lucknow. Radio taxi in Lucknow can take you to all the renowned places as the drivers usually know about the top tourist attractions of the place. To prepare you a bit before you make your visit to the land of Nawabs, here are some things that you must do and places that you must visit while you are in Lucknow.

A visit to Oudhyana

On the top of the list lies the Oudhyana, where Chef Nagendra Singh awaits you, to tempt you with the Lucknow’s famous Awadh cuisine crafted in his own signature manner. Bara Imambara is acclaimed for its highly exceptional corridor structure on the first floor of the building.

Image source: Wikipedia

The exceptional Rumi Darwaza

You can catch the sight of the exceptionally curated copy of an entrance gate in Istanbul in Lucknow and it is eminent by the name Rumi Darwaza. Established just beyond the Bara Imambara, the colossal Rumi Darwaza is known to be built in the 1780s by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula. It easily catches the sight of the people due to its highly unusual structure.

All about calligraphy and precious stones

Acknowledged by its intricate calligraphy adorning the walls of the tomb, Chota Imambara was built by Mohammad Ali Shah, who was later buried in the tomb, alongside his mother in 1832. The silver throne of Mohammad Ali Shah and his red crown are still put on a display in the tomb for the visitors to see. Tazia, which is a replica of the tomb of Mohammad Ali Shah’s son Husain, is also present in the tomb.

Experience royalty at the Royal Café

Royal Café is an excellent café where you can easily reach by hiring a local taxi and it’s well-known for its royal demeanor and the extremely popular Chaat stand in front of the café.

The famous Lucknow Mahotsav

If you are one of those who makes elaborate plans before leaving for vacation, you must schedule your travel during the days of Lucknow Mahotsav which is a 10-day long festival and it brings out the true Nawab spirit during late November. A lot of plays, Ghazal, and Kathak events are carried out by the experts in this festival.

 

Reaching Lucknow to Kanpur by cab and the comparison of fare

Lucknow is readily connected to all the major locations and you can easily board a cab to reach anywhere from Lucknow. Boarding a one-way taxi from Lucknow to Kanpur is really easy and you can book your cab either online or by visiting any taxi stand in Lucknow. The cab will reach your pick up point and easily pick you up and drop you to your desired drop location anywhere in Kanpur. It is the definitely the best option for the travelers who need to travel one way only from any point in Lucknow to Kanpur. The cab fare is quite feasible and perhaps it is the best way to see the place in its true sense.

Short Road Trips from Mumbai

Despite February being the shortest month in the year, you can make every weekend count when it comes to your travel goals. This month, we’re recommending gorgeous getaways a few hours’ drive from your city. This means you can have a mini vacation and head back to the city within a day! Think time constraints are throwing in the spanner for your travel plans? Think again! If you’re in Mumbai, rent a car and explore the beaches of Alibag, head to the gorgeous Murud Janjira, go on a trek in Tungareshwar or go camping at the base of Karnala Fort.


Alibag

Located less than 100 kms south of Mumbai, Alibag makes a perfect weekend destination for explorers. The biggest attraction here is the long beach of the town. The coastal Kolaba fort dates back to the time of Maratha kings and its medieval ramparts are a fascinating place to explore. The islands of Khanderi and Underi are also interesting locales, with a history going back to Shivaji’s time. One of the activities you can engage in Alibag is a trek to the picturesque temple of Shiva situated in the hills near the town. The black sands of Nagaon are another unique attraction in this neck of the woods. Kashid and Korlai are two of the other popular beaches in the area. Alibag offers quintessential coastal scenery and stunning sunset views, and visitors can dig into some of the local seafood delicacies. Choose a reliable provider of Mumbai to Alibag cabs and have a rejuvenating trip.

 

Murud Janjira

Murud Janjira fortress belongs to the 17th century and is located off Rajapuri near Murud. This fort is also known as Janjira fort and belonged to the then rulers from the Siddi clan with roots in Abyssinia. The height of the bastioned ramparts of the fort is 15 meters in the midst of the sea. History says that the fort had as many as 572 cannons always kept ready to fire at any approaching enemy. Some of these cannons can be seen even today. Though most of the structures inside are in ruins, visitors can still identify the meeting hall, school, and the mosque.

 

Tungareshwar

The Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Vasai is home to waterfalls, forests and a magnificent Shiva Temple. The sanctuary is lush green during the monsoons and is ideal for a refreshing trek to the Tungareshwar Hill. If you’re a novice at trekking, we recommend you cover some easier treks before attempting the 18km trek through this rough terrain. If you’re planning to visit the temple, you’ll have to pay an entry fee of about Rs 20 to the authorities. The Shiva temple in Tungareshwar is about 5kms from the highway. You could either walk or take a cab to the entrance of the temple. The temple is fairly crowded around the time Maha Shivratri is celebrated.

 

Karnala Fort

If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the bustle of Mumbai, head to Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Karnala Fort for a break in nature. With a couple of campsites in the sanctuary, you can spend time watching birds. If you’re not an outdoors person or if camping is not your thing, the sanctuary also has a few resorts and a forest guest house you can stay at with stunning views. With the elevation that the fort is at, you’ll also be able to see Prabalgad, Manikgad, Matheran, Chanderi Fort and Rajmachi.