Most of us would want to hire a travel agent instead of taking the effort of planning a trip from the scratch. I would rather do the latter. It’s so much more fun. On my recent trip to Bali, Sandy and I planned the entire trip from the scratch. This might seem like a lot…
Most of you know that I’m visiting Bali on 17th of July. How? Because I’m pretty vocal about it on my Instagram stories. Hm. That being said, visiting Bali, Indonesia will be my 1st international trip ever!
I’ve travelled exceptionally well within India, but going international is a virgin territory and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve always taken life head on and have barely researched before jumping in a situation. Not a great trait, I agree. But that’s me. Bali, for an extremely strange reason was an exception and I went ahead and read a lot about the place. I also happened to ask some of my friends who have already visited this beautiful destination and were kind enough to guide me.
With such ground breaking thorough research, I’ve become an expert and have managed to type down few things one needs to know before visiting Bali.
N˚1 Busy is the 2nd word for Bali
As the number of people visiting Bali has gone up, Bali is bursting at the seams. Bali is the busiest during the peak season, i.e, July, August and September. Thus, if you’re visiting Bali during this time, well get ready to find yourself amid a crowd. The best way to visiting Bali during the peak season is to book your stay and restaurants in advance, or be prepared to shell out more than required.
N˚2 Bali’s real beauty is their local life
Kuta attracts a lot of tourists but the real Balinese experience comes from the rural parts of this island. Want more than burgers and booze, then living the local life in Bali is the way to go.
N˚3 Traffic is crazy
So they say. Traffic in Bali can make you pull your hair out. The motorists and crazy / confusing rules can ridiculously increase the travel time in Bali. Thus, when in Bali, travel smart and be safe.
N˚4 Get ’em Massages!
You don’t wanna miss out on Balinese massages. It will be a waste of a trip if you do. You can get a 90 minute high class massage with kick ass view for as low as $30! And hey, when in Bali, you deserve the rejuvenation. 😉
N˚5 No matter what’s your Budget, Bali is apt!
Bali can be a well within the budget holiday, but don’t be shocked if you spend more than you anticipated. Bali boasts luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants and exclusive bars, which you seldom can say no to. So, get ready to spend more than you planned!
N˚6 Say yes to private drivers
Exploring the streets of Bali is best done on a scooty as you can zip through the traffic. But if scooty is not an option for you, then let the private drivers of Bali pamper you. Hiring a private driver will ensure you get to see the lesser-visited tourist spots in Bali.
Now that you have your things that you need to know before visiting Bali, go book your tickets! 😛
*Continues packing bags*
We wanted to make it easier for you to choose places to travel in 2017 and thus here are 39 alluring destinations for you to choose from.
(Wait. Did we just make the choice even more difficult? Oops!)
35. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
33. Portugal and the Azores
32. Croatia’s Coast
30. New Zealand
27. Buenos Aires
26. Chilean Patagonia
24. Belgrade, Serbia
23. Cambodian Coast
22. Guayaquil, Ecuador
21. Cincinnati, Ohio
20. Helsinki, Finland
19. Belfast, Northern Ireland
18. Honolulu, Hawaii
17. Hamburg, Germany
16. Noosa Heads, Australia
15. Nashville, Tennessee
13. Hampi, India
12. Norfolk, Virginia
11. Panama City
10. Paros, Greece
9. Perth, Australia
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7. Salta, Argentina
6. Leh Ladakh, India
5. Himalayas, India
3. Rome, Italy
1. New York, New York
So, which of these destinations will make your 2017 memorable?
“I think I deserve something beautiful.”
What an excellent quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love. One thought that inspired the author to travel 3 different countries in search of…everything. Eat, Pray, Love is a true story based on the novelist and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert. Her story will take you through some closely relatable situations. That is exactly what makes Eat, Pray, Love connect with so many souls world wide.
American writer Elizabeth Gilbert begins her memoir, Eat Pray Love with a vivid description of her crying alone on the bathroom floor. She is married to the wrong man, has found herself on the repressive suburban baby track and is living a seemingly perfect life that she sadly doesn’t want. This is not something I relate to, but the story moves on.
Those bathroom-floor moments are a rite of passage for the thirtysomething brigade (mine, thankfully, never came).
With that image of a terribly private moment, the author captured the attention of a huge female book-buying audience in the United States and beyond. Gilbert, a journalist and author based in New York, is 34 at the time the book was set.
As her crisis plays out, she appeals to God, divorces her husband, has a doomed affair, and leaves for a year of self-discovery and healing. “I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two,” she writes. Her year of traveling, right from Italy to the mystique farms of Bali is what I related to the most. This is exactly what I desire, exploring new cities, meeting new people, eating good food, learning about new cultures, and living life one experience after the other.
Eat, Pray, Love… these three words correspond to the book’s three sections. These in turn refer to a highly schematised year of Gilbert’s life, in which she lived consecutively in three different countries – Italy, India and Indonesia – to fulfil that title more or less on demand. In Italy she eats, in India she lives in an ashram, in Indonesia she finds physical passion.
Overall, this book can be read once for the joy of eating, praying, and loving! 😉
There has to be a way out of this lack of jobs and I am sure there is one. We need out of the box solutions, great thinkers and creative minds to come together and develop credible solutions for creating new jobs in India. Not one, not ten but millions of jobs. This is the right time to predict the future by creating it and Axis Bank, with its Axis Moves initiative wants to support you!
Yes, you heard it right. Axis bank is ready to back your idea with INR 25 lacs. This can give a great start to your idea. What we are trying to emphasising is the need of the hour – quick adaptation.
Sadly, India is all set to become the most populated country by 2022. According to labour ministry data, around one million people enter the workforce in India every month. So, where are so many jobs? If there are no jobs to compliment this rapid growing population, it will increase the poverty in the country. Thus, raise your ideas at #FutureofJobs competition, not with an objective of winning. But, with an objective of creating better lifestyle and richer country! And of course, winning does matter..after all its about that great start!
Great ideas float around in all corners of our country, but often go unheard due to the lack of a platform. They not only need financing, but also the support of the biggest stakeholders, such as the Government of India.
Here’s how everything you need to know about #FutureofJobs –
Pick any sector where you have identified a challenge or where you see an opportunity, and present your idea to create 1 million jobs in the future in India. The key question to ask yourselves is: can your idea create 1 million jobs in the future? Once that is crossed of, here’s what will help you –
Requirement: You should be between 18 and 30 years & a citizen of India to take part in the competition.
Need more info? Head over to http://fojindia.com/ and watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZcuza7yQ4w
Do follow and search this hashtag for more information on social media platforms – #FutureOfJobs
The first long weekend of the year is here (not technically a long weekend), and you have to set it on fire to get 2017 rolling!
The 3 trips below will help you spark your Republic Day weekend with ease. Note: No matter where you go, don’t forget to celebrate our Republic Day, and be proud of our beautiful nation!
So, buckle up, some quick decisions are to be taken.
A hill station in Dehradun District of Uttarakhand, known for its beautiful cloudy weather. Ideally, 2 to 3 days are enough to get the most out of Mussoorie. Here’s everything you need to know about Mussoorie –
Mumbai to Dehradun flight duration: Approx 3hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 10K – Return
Where to stay: JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa | Room Charges: INR 14K starting (Available on 26th Jan)
What to do once in Mussoorie: Visit Kempti falls, Bhatta falls, and Camel’s Back Rock. Treat your adrenaline rush at Mussoorie Adventure Park. Take in the panoramic view from Gun hill, and The Mall.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Leave for Mussoorie. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Take in the best Mussoorie has to offer. 29th Jan – Return back to reality!
Enthralling, historical Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, is the gateway to India’s most flamboyant state. The city’s colourful, chaotic streets ebb and flow with a heady brew of old and new. Want to give a royal start to 2017? Jaipur is your answer!
Mumbai to Jaipur flight duration: Approx 2hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 9K – Return
Where to stay: The Lalit Room Charges: INR 10K starting (Prices are subject to change)
What to do once in Jaipur: Visit City Palace, Amber fort, and Hawa Mahal to experience a sea of palace windows. Get an eyeful of Jaipur from Iswari Minar Swarga Sal, and Nahargarh.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Catch a flight for Jaipur. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Take in the beauty of the beautiful forts of Jaipur. 29th Jan – Back to the bay!
A hill station in Srinagar known as an alluring ski destination. Visit Gulmarg to find heaven on earth, and to experience magic f2f!
Mumbai to Srinagar flight duration: Approx 4hrs | Flight cost: Around INR 16K – Return
Where to stay: The Khyber Room Charges: INR 20K starting (Limited rooms available)
What to do once in Gulmarg: Take in the beautiful view Gulmarg has to offer in cable car at Gulmarg Gondola, ski on the snow capped mountains , relax by the majestic Alpather lake, and trek on Khilanmarg.
Plan of action: 26th Jan – Catch a flight for Srinagar. 26th Jan to 28th Jan – Let the beauty of Gulmarg astonish you at every moment. 29th Jan – Come back with a bunch of stories to tell.
Did any of these places ignite the travel junkie bulb in you? Don’t think much, just go for it.
The final experience will be worth every penny spent, and the stories will last the entire year.
So, where are you going this Republic Day weekend?
I love India! I’ve fallen in love with every Indian destination I’ve visited so far. Not many, but enough to make me fall in love with my country.
Like any other traveller, I also have an extremely vast to-explore list. It’s so vast, that I fear I won’t tick off every destination. Anyhow, along with the frenzy international destinations, my list also has amazing Indian places the traveller in my craves to visit. Because, I still remember the vast tea gardens in Darjeeling, the sunflower fields in Punjab, and the gorgeous snow in Kashmir. This assure me there’s more to what’s been shared about India, there’s more than what meets their eyes!
And thus, I’ve this exclusive list of destinations I want to visit in India. Read on to know why their significance on making to the list-
The simple, and serene beauty of this place is why I crave to visit Lachen the most. I have this intuition that I will either fall in love with Lachen, or fall in love with life on my visit to this heavenly place. You know what I mean?
I have to go here! I envy people who have been to Leh Ladakh. I listen to their Leh stories like a 2 year old excited about her first story! I’m damn sure the snow laden mountains, crystal clear water, and the fresh cold wind at Leh Ladakh will put all my life’s puzzle back together.
Because what is prettier than tall coconut trees, boats and backwaters? (Snow, but never mind :P) There is a reason why Kerala’s called ‘God’s own country’, and nothing speaks better than experience. Get it?
Safari. No other reason. I want to go on Kanha Safari so bad!
A girl loves mountains. A girl loves snow laden mountains more!
Dalhousie is pretty well known for its pleasant climate, and natural beauty. I don’t see any reason to not visit this beautiful indian destination. I could settle down here…for like a month.
For all the alluring forts, and to discover why is it called the pink city. Do you know why?
I wanna visit everywhere it snows, and I cannot imagine skipping Shimla. Plus, I really really want to travel in that train reading my favourite series – Harry Potter. Because, what is life if not a little bit filmy?
Oh my! I have been to Darjeeling before, and such pleasant memories this place has to offer. I could visit this indian destination every other year just to bring some love and freshness right back in my life. I absolutely, irrevocably love Darjeeling.
This indian destination is on my list for I can imagine me and my sisters fooling around the beaches, gossiping, and enjoying our love-hate relationship to its best. So, yeah for a quick getaway with my sisters!
I really want to take a solo trip in life, and I want to go nowhere but Munnar. I want to sit on top of a hill and just ponder over life, and being alive in general. No extraordinary dreams.
Because look at it. Doesn’t it look like the perfect place for a picnic. Told you, no extraordinary dreams. Just the regular human-y dreams.
See the 3 kids in the pic? Well, I would love for them to be me, my brother, and my sister! Just being our silly selfs in Shillong will be one hell of a memory to share with our respective kids later in our life. Okay, too much na?
I’ve high expectations from Rishikesh. I want it to show me who I am. Too much to ask? I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.
So, this is my to-explore list in India, hoping to cross off 1-2 destinations this year. There’s more to this list, but for now these Indian destinations are on priority.
What’s your travel plan for 2017, and the absolute silly reason behind it? Do keep us posted!
Love & happiness…always!
Is there anything as important as weekends? Not in my world!
For professionals like me, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, weekend turns out to be the closest I could get to heaven! With so much of importance given to the weekends how do you often enjoy them? Lazing on the couch, I assume?
We all have limited weekends granted to us in our lives, the challenge is how do we make these to be extraordinary weekends? Just like you, even I faced the challenge of how to turn my lame weekends in to extraordinary weekends?
What can I do?
While looking for answers, I came across an extremely effective program by my bank. It included privileges like none other. It included luxury travel, food, experiences, and much more.
The minute I came across this Axis Bank initiative – #AxisReserve, I had to apply!
You can now make your weekends memorable with exclusive benefits & handpicked experiences curated for a privileged few – with your Axis Bank Credit & Debit Card*.
Now that we have backing of such a great initiative, here are 4 extraordinary weekend ideas to spruce it up for you:
1. A Family Getaway
There’s nothing as refreshing as a family getaway, and Axis Bank understands just that! Axis bank along with #AxisReserve pledges to bring exquisite vacations for family getaways. Know more here.
2. An exquisite meal with a special someone
Be it a dinner date with someone special, or a celebration meal. Axis bank is deemed on making every experience luxurious. Experience the best there is to luxurious dining with Axis Bank here.
3. An unforgettable experience with your friends
From surfing, to sailing, playing Golf, or table tennis, #AxisReserve ensures you live unforgettable experiences with your friends. What more could we ask off a weekend, innit?
If you too want to be part of such exclusive events, you have to possess Axis Bank’s ultra-premium card – The Reserve. The Reserve is a by invite only card that has a sign-up fee of INR 30K and annual maintenance of INR 30K. You can check out the benefits here.
Join our journey…Subscribe here!
The Night of Sula Selections - Globe In A Glass
A night to remember!
Last Friday night couldn't have been any better. #GlobeInAGlass, a brilliant marketing move by Rajeev Samant, Founder Sula Wines, and his outstanding team. They together brought a fun element to wine drinking by turning it into an energetic celebration. The event was packed with music, dance, delectable food, and believe us - wine tourism! Yes, we had over 40 different wines, and 20 spirits from around the world. Thus, the event being aptly named #GlobeInAGlass!
It was one crowded day, as the wine lovers gathered at Sofitel from noon to midnight! As I entered the grounds of the event, we were greeted by such cheerful souls, already drunk on happiness. Sula vineyards made sure that everyone had a great time, and found out a little more about wine. The live music was cherry on top, or should I say 'coldest wine one could find'! The evening was filled with interesting conversations about wines, how did a particular brand landed in India, how lovely every wine at the fest tasted, and more. I assure you, I never thought a wine evening would be this fun.
As you can imagine, it was one massive exhibition with a huge number of brands showcasing their wines, and liquors. Experts from all over the world – Brazil, Argentina, France, all were there keen to explain to us what's the speciality of their wine, how did it land in India, and why we must try it.
Let's talk about the liquor!
Brands at #GlobeInAGlass
Three things I can't get over from #GlobeInAGlass
Words can't justify how sensational each of the drinks I had on Friday night were! Still, if I have to pick favourites, it would be - Pitu Cachaca | Beachcomber by Cointreau| Cono Sur | Remy Martin - Grand Tonic | Sambuca |
Variety of cheese, delectable finger food, is the best way to go about sipping your wine! Sula Vineyard played it's cards right, by putting nothing but the best in front of us.
Live Music & lively conversations
Well, who doesn't enjoy a live band playing? The music at Sula Selections Roadshow 2016 was soul satisfying. The conversations with everyone who attended the event was second to none. I would definitely visit any event by Sula, a thousand times over.
FROM OUR GALLERY
What do you think of Sula Selections - #GlobeInAGlass?
Indian beaches have always been a tempting tourist destination all over the world, owing to the 7517 km long coastline, and will continue to remain one.
Countless beaches of the Indian peninsula provide many opportunities for adventure lovers, travellers who just want to relax, or for tourists who want to explore. The peninsular India, surrounded by waters in three directions, stands to enrapture the imagination of nature enthusiasts. With many beaches extremely popular amongst tourists, and Indians alike, there are few that are snubbed.
Not every one loves to spend time at overcrowded beaches. So, if you, like me, love to spend some unperturbed time at the beach, then the below list is tailor-made for you.
Without further ramblings, lets take a look at these 11 arcane beaches in India:
1. Cherai Beach, Kerala
Instead of visiting Varkala, and Kovalam in Kerala, you must head straight to Cherai. Cherai is located just off the main Ernakulam town. Most tourists are unaware of this 15-km beach, making it a serene destination for a quite evening at the beach.
2. Jallandhar Beach, Diu
Jallandhar Beach – an unlikely name for a beach in Diu, isn’t it? This shoreline is named after a nearby shrine, which bears a carved face of Jallandhar, a mythical demon killed by Lord Krishna. Be rest assured to get your ‘me time’, as this beach is free from modern-day demons, a.k.a. loud tourists, and pesky kids.
3. Ezhimala beach, Kerala
Situated 55-km from Kannur, Ezhimala is an important historical site, featuring prominently in the Ramayana, and the Tamil Sangam period’s literature. With clear blue water as far as the eye can see, you’re likely to spot a few dolphins even from by the beach.
4. Devka Beach, Daman
Devka beach is a perfect destination if you just wanna hang, and watch the sun go down off the rocky coastline. With beer and freshly fried fish freely available, it makes for a quintessential time at the beach. However, when the tide rises, navigating the waters could get a little tricky.
5. Rishikonda Beach, Andhra Pradesh
Arguably one of the best beaches in the Vizag. Rishikonda beach is ideal for swimmers, and water skiers alike, thanks to its calm waters, and golden sands.
6. Mandvi Beach, Gujarat
Powdery sands, and azure blue water makes Mandvi beach a winner in Gujarat. With the proximity to the palace of the erstwhile rulers of Kutch adds to the charm of Mandvi.
7. Mandarmani Beach, West Bengal
Mandarmani beach is one of West Bengal’s newly developed tourist destinations, with 13-km of motorable beach, and a surprisingly squeaky clean shore. We suggest you to visit this beach before it turns out to be yet another tourist attraction!
8. Agatti Beach, Lakshwadeep
The crystal clear water, and long stretches of lagoons, make Agatti beach a diving, and snorkelling paradise. This is an ideal destination for those looking to explore what lies beneath the water.
9. Devbagh beach, Karnataka
Sitting pretty at the confluence of the Kali River, and Arabian Sea is Devbagh beach. The beauty, and serenity of this beach once served as inspiration to Rabindranath Tagore, when he penned Prakritir Pratishodh.
10. Beach No. 7, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Locals refer this beach as the Radha Nagar Beach. Beach No 7 boasts of some of the best diving schools in India, and is a great place to go snorkeling, or scuba diving.
11. Bangaram beach, Lakshadweep Islands
Bangaram beach is the only beach in Lakshadweep islands where you can drink. This beach is not as famous as Agatti beach, as it’s difficult to reach, but is absolutely worth the efforts. This island also happens to have a lot of flora and fauna, along with a wide range of birds. An ideal destination for nature lovers.
Aren’t these worth a visit? Let us know which interested you the most in the comments below!
Here are 37 more ways to fall in love with India, just in case you need any!
Not that you need 37 ways to fall in love with India. But, here they are!
Fall in love, make merry, with the most misunderstood country…India. Do let us know if you change your mind about India after reading the below post. Dive in already!
1. Catch South Asia’s only active volcano on a liveaboard
Witness the plumes erupting from Barren Island, part of Andaman Islands, on a cruise aboard The Infiniti. And then dive in the waters around to spot unique stone and lava formations.
2. Pamper yourself on a private spa boat in Udaipur
AHA! Heaven alert! A Jacuzzi on a boat in the middle of lake is the perfect way to spoil yourself, isn’t it?. Charter the Taj Lake Palace’s Jiva Spa Boat to relax and rejuvenate, accompanied by a glass of wine in hand.
3. Take in the Taj Mahal on a full-moon night
The Taj Mahal is gorgeous, on any day. But, under a full moon, it turns ethereal. Sign up with the Archaeological Survey of India for a tour, or book the Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas (from INR 7,50,000 a night!) for an uninterrupted view.
4. Explore Kerala’s gold-filled temple vaults
While most take the regular temple tours of southern India, few know of the gold trails that take one through the temple vaults. It’s a little-known secret, but hey, now you know.
5. Walk over a frozen river
Test your nerves (and luck) on the Chadar trek, which takes you over the frozen River Zanskar for seven cold days. With just a few inches of ice between you and a raging icy river, this one’s not for the weak and the meek.
6. Feast on a Kashmiri wazwan
An elaborate affair that involves a total of 36 courses, a wazwan is a feast fit for the royals. Meatballs, seekh kababs, spare ribs, Kashmiri pulao, phirni, kahwa… it’s a meal you won’t finish or forget in a hurry.
7. Go horse-riding in Rajasthan
Sign up for a journey on horseback from Dundlod to Alsisar. It’s strenuous, no doubt, but the charm of Shekhawati will take you over with its historic forts and palaces, quiet villages and painted havelis.
8. Rent a palace for two in Kochi
Once the rest house for Rama Verma, the maharaja of Cochin, the Chittoor Kottaram is now a single-key hotel, which means there will be no other guest apart from you! With room for up to six, the property is reachable by boat and lets you spend your days in royal style and even eat what the royalty did.
9. Play the archery lottery in Shillong
At the grounds near Ward’s Lake, archers from across Meghalaya bet on the number of arrows they will hit on a bamboo drum. After they send thin arrows at the drum, the organisers count the ones that hit the mark. Meanwhile, people across the state have placed bets on the final score. Those who get it right go home richer.
10. Learn cheese-making from a Bollywood film-maker
See how to make Gouda, Parmesan, mozzarella and more at Acres Wild, Coonoor, a gorgeous 22-acre farm owned by film-maker Mansoor Khan and his wife, Tina.
11. Stay with the king of Ladakh in his palace
The fact that all areas of Stok Palace are open to guests makes this an experience by itself. Watch the royal family go about its routine, chat with the king, and check out the thangkas and the queen mother’s crown at the palace museum.
12. Ride like royalty on rail
Take one of India’s several luxury trains to experience the classic train journey. Board the Maharajas Express for a tour that includes Rajasthan and Agra (INR 4,44,440 per head) or on the Deccan Odyssey, which takes you on a heritage trail across Maharashtra and southern India (doubles from INR 5,36,710).
13. Celebrate Holi in Mathura
In Mathura, the land of Krishna, the festival of colours takes on an unbelievable hue. There is bhaang, of course, but there is also food, music, and of course, colour. For the best experience, get yourself to Vrindavan.
14. Stay in a treehouse in Kerala
Ditch the luxury of a hotel for a stay amid nature. There’s Vythiri Resort in Wayanad, set in a biodiversity hot zone, and Rainforest, Athirapally (pictured) where the jaw-dropping views of the gushing Athirapally Falls will take your getaway to another level.
15. Float over a fort, forest and fair
Hop into a hot-air balloon for the best sights of Rajasthan. A flight from Jaipur will take you over the sprawling Amer Fort, from Pushkar over the colourful camel fair, and from Ranthambore over the home of the tiger.
16. Read Ghalib at Ghalib’s home
This restored haveli where Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib lived is charming enough to turn anyone into a romantic. Take a copy of ‘Ghalib: Life & Letters’ and find yourself a spot under one of its many archways.
17. Surf the waves off Puducherry
Serenity Beach, 10km north of Puducherry, draws surf addicts from across India. After the devastating 2004 tsunami, the Tamil Nadu government built two long piers to protect the beach, which created a surf break that provides great conditions for learners and professional alike.
18. Walk Meghalaya’s living root bridges
Built out of the roots of ficus trees—some even dating back 500 years—these bridges can withstand the heavy rainfall the region is famous for. Check out the Umshiang Double Decker root bridge in Nongriat village, south of Cherrapunji, and the one in Riwai near Mawlynnong.
19. Watch a boat race in Kerala
Dubbed as the largest team sport in the world, snakeboat racing is a heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping affair. The splash of dozens of oars in perfect rhythm is a treat for the eyes. Catch Alleppey’s Nehru Trophy Valam Kali on the second Saturday of August every year.
20. Cycle around the ruins of Hampi
There are many ways to explore the ruins that date back to the 3rd century BC, but renting a cycle is perhaps the most enjoyable. Pedal your way around the various sites, and as dusk falls, load your bike into a coracle to arrive at the hippie side of town.
21. Pamper yourself at a Himalayan spa
Frequently ranked among the world’s top spas, Ananda in the Himalayas offers myriad treatments, from Ayurveda to stress management. Whether you’re tackling weight issues or you just want to relax, its customised programmes are ideal.
22. Get married in a Rajasthani palace
Can there be a more spectacular setting for your wedding than a historic palace with all its attendant royal trappings? Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan Palace; Udaipur’s Jagmandir Island Palace, The Leela Udaipur, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Taj Lake Palace and The Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace; and Jaipur’s Samode Palace(pictured), all offer the perfect setting for you to exchange your vows.
23. Bike the Manali-Leh highway
Open from mid-June to October, the 476km highway guarantees a daring journey with jaw-dropping views. At its highest, it reaches an altitude of 16,000ft. Bragging rights guaranteed.
24. Ski in Gulmarg
India’s most popular ski destination pulls everyone, from amateurs and professionals, to its slopes each season. Its gondola is one of the highest in the world, and the ski-town now offers world-class lodging facilities. Sign up for heli-skiing to take things a notch higher, quite literally.
25. Dine at India’s best restaurant
The only restaurant from the country to rank in the world’s top 100, Indian Accent is an experience not to be missed. Chef Manish Mehrotra’s gutsy and modern take on Indian food is worth a trip to Delhi, from anywhere in the country or even the world.
26. Dance away on the sands of Goa
All-day parties, international DJs and the best of dance music—Goa’s music scene rocks comes alive in December with a clutch of events. Pictured: Sunburn Festival
27. Take the palace trail through Madhya Pradesh
From the Jahangir Mahal of Orchha to Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior to Ahilya Fort in Maheshwar, the state is rich with royal homes, most of which are in excellent condition. Pictured: Gwalior Fort
28. Soar over Bir and Billing
In May and October, these towns in Himachal Pradesh, about five hours from Shimla, pull paragliding enthusiasts from all over the world. Great weather and the sight of green terraced fields all around make this a spectacular experience. Follow up your flight with a visit to the Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan settlements nearby.
29. Hope for a glimpse of the Kanchenjunga
At 8,586m tall, it is the third highest mountain in the world and Sikkim’s most sacred landmark. The snow-capped Kanchenjunga plays peek-a-boo with you from behind the mist, and you could spend an entire week without as much as glimpse. But when it does reveal itself, it’s a sight to remember for life.
30. Spend the night in a houseboat in Srinagar
Pick one of the many ‘floating palaces’ anchored on the Dal or Nagin Lake for a classic Kashmir experience. Each houseboat comes with lavishly furnished rooms, verandahs and a terrace that serves as a sun-deck for evening cocktails. That’s one way to float in paradise.
Pictured: WelcomHeritage Gurkha Houseboats
31. Drive to the mountain desert of Spiti
Rugged and remote, the Lahaul & Spiti district is a part of Himachal that’s yet to be discovered by tourists. The roads are terrible, the passes high and tricky, but the journey is its own reward. Head here to discover the simple life in a Himalayan desert.
32. Sign up for a tea trail through Darjeeling and Assam
Earn your badge as a tea connoisseur with a trip through India’s tea country. It helps that there are several tea estates that provide fine luxury accommodation and extensive courses in tea appreciation.
33. Brave the rapids at Rishikesh
River Alaknanda joins the Ganga near Rishikesh and offers grade III and IV rapids. Need more thrills? Follow up with adventures such as cliff-jumping, body-surfing and kayaking.
34. Trek to Roopkund Lake
The trek to Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand is at once beautiful and haunting. Lush Himalayan forests, gurgling brooks and undulating meadows all take you to this lake at 16,500ft above sea. It’s all pretty till you see the dozens of skulls and bones lying at the bottom of the shallow lake since the 6th century. You’ll have chills running down your spine for more reasons than one.
35. Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Fondly known as the Toy Train, this narrow-gauge railway runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. The most popular route, however, remains from Ghum to Darjeeling, where it cuts through streets and markets. In service for over 130 years, it has earned UNESCO World Heritage status.
36. Watch polo in Ladakh
Believe it or not, polo has been a tradition in Ladakh for centuries! Watch professional teams from the villages of Ladakh square off at one of the world’s highest and prettiest polo grounds.
37. Spot the tiger, if you can
The No. 1 item on every safari-lover’s list is worth all the fuss. The majestic but shy Royal Bengal Tiger is quite a sight. For best odds of spotting the cat, head to one of the national parks in Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan.