Heritage Madurai Resort – An epitome of History, Heritage & Hospitality

Madurai, a temple town nestled in South, is one of the oldest cities of India. The city is known for the Meenakshi Amman Temple, one of the oldest temple complexes in India and perhaps the world. Frozen in time, the city exhibits a rich culture and heritage preserved through its food, art, architecture and people.

Set up in the city whose origins dates back almost 2500 years, Heritage Madurai is a one of a kind resort that showcases the classic blend of vintage decors with modern amenities.

About the Property

Sprawling over a 17 acre property in the heart of Madurai, Heritage Madurai Resort rests under a tropical foliage with plethora of sub continental trees like Sandalwood, Neem, Mango and Banyan. You will experience a stark temperature difference the moment you set foot in the beautiful property as the trees have received accolades for providing cooling shelters.

Formerly known as Madurai Club, a recreational club of Madura Coats Ltd, the property has stored its original glory by creating a carefully curated living space that has a beautiful balance between the vintage architecture and modern luxury.

Housing 73 precariously crafted rooms, 34 of these are the luxury plunge pool villas that are just an ideal spot for you to relax with family or friends. The rest of the rooms are deluxe rooms and are the old staff quarters that are refurbished into quality setting.

Geoffrey Bawa & Tropical Modernism

Geoffrey Bawa is the brains behind the ingenious design of the resort. Renowned as Father of Tropical Modernism, a style of architecture which focuses on wide & open spaces, increased ventilation, an impetus on local resources and building materials that have inherent cooling tendencies.

The erstwhile Madurai Club is regarded to be one of his best buildings which represents his design philosophy in practice. Known today as the Geoffrey Bawa Block, the club building was constructed in 1974 has extensively used the granite stones, available in a radius of 15 km around Madurai.

The restoration of the property was completed under the command of Vinod Jayasinghe, a student of Geoffrey Bawa. Keeping the architectural style of Bawa and adding a slice of his own finesse, Jayasinghe designed the personal courtyards and enclosed plunge pool in each villas in addition to an Olympic size Temple Tank Pool.

Luxury Stay at Heritage Madurai

The designers have restored the old colonial bungalows in to luxurious villas that ooze out grandeur. The star attractions of these villas are the personal plunge pools with enormous courtyard and the fragrant Champa Tree.

The interiors of these villas are rustic and chic. The decors of the rooms will sweep your feet off the floor as you feel transitioned to a different world altogether. The walls are adorned with ancient art works and handicrafts, so beautiful to keep you engrossed in its beauty.

The furniture in the villa is made of teak wood. Besides this, there are a few antique collections like the classic lamp shades, Hand Woven Fabric & the Fargo Table Fan that will draw your attention towards them.

The plunge pool, which in our opinion is the best thing in the villa. A quaint little pool in an open courtyard with bewitching fragrance of the Champa Tree is just the perfect idea to let go off the fatigue and stress. The grandeur of the place showcases the level of intricacy that has been put in the design of these royal villas.

Inside Heritage Madurai

The luxurious resort houses a coffee shop, a restaurant and a bar, all of which are settled under the mammoth spread of a 300 year old Banyan Tree. The restaurant, named as the Banyan, sits right in the shade of the banyan tree, the look and feel of which is soulful for enjoying a delicious meal.

The restaurant menu is curated in a precarious manner so that the guests can have a feel of local cuisine and flavours. Their Madurai Special Thali is a gastronomical delight.

The area of the old banyan tree is an ecosystem in itself, its vast spread provides shelters to many birds. Meditating under the cool shade of the tree definitely provides you an inner calm and you can get a chance to see some rare species of fauna creating their own symphony in nature.

The common swimming pool, fondly known as the Temple Pool, is a unique structure that replicates the Meenakshi Temple’s Tank. An Olympic sized pool is as beautiful as a pool side can be. A definite Instagram worthy place, as a photographer you will love capturing the beauty from different angles and perspectives.

Heritage here & there

Beauty par excellence is what you will experience all around the property as you stumble upon heritage art works and artefacts. One of the prized possessions is the 17th Century Mayur Dwaar that stands ground in the reception area. The intricate designs and carvings on it will make you go gaga over it and won’t allow you to stop clicking the shutter of your camera.

Beneath the Banyan Tree lies a Francis Search Light, manufactured in the year 1937 and used in World War II on a British War Ship.

Working cent percent to its function, the search light today is the ornament that decks up the banyan tree in the evening. These collections showcase the wealth of heritage and is a haven for art aficionados. They are surely to leave you spell bound.

Activities at Heritage Madurai

Connect to your roots at Madurai Village – A unique village setting where the guests can enjoy their evening savouring local snacks while sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee. Try your hand at the art of pottery and create your personalised piece of art or you can indulge in a live cooking session and treat yourself to the South Indian culinary treat.

Soothe sore muscles at Jasmine Spa – Pamper yourself at the in-house spa & therapy centre and treat yourself to the wellness and magic of Ayurveda. The power of the therapy is par excellence, as it cleanses you from within and energizes you to the fullest.

Heritage ride in a Cycle Rickshaw – A cycle rickshaw safari from the Meenakshi Amman Temple will take you on historical ride of the city that is hidden in its narrow alleys and cluttered cityscape. Relive the history hidden in its markets, houses and alleys through the words of the rickshaw puller as the bells of the cycle gets dubbed in the bustle of the surroundings.

If relax & rejuvenation is your plan for the holiday, along with peace of mind & soul, Heritage Madurai is your go-to place. Get enthralled by the rich history of the place, its glorious architecture and peaceful aura which will make your stay a memory that lasts for a long time.

Festivals of India

Festivals, the time which marks breaking out of the monotony of everyday life, they signify the time of celebration, pomp and gaiety. For a country as diverse as India, you get to break free at least 12 times a year, kudos to the vivid cultural diversity of our country. And why shouldn’t we celebrate festivals, remember, All work & No Play, Makes Jack a dull Boy!!

So if you are travelling in India, these are the festivals you should not miss if you happen to be in that region.


1. Uttaryan
WhereAhmedabad, Gujarat
Why – Kite flying is the USP of the festival and it is an absolute treat to get up on the terrace and indulge in kite flying. A sight to behold, as the blue skies fill with colourful kites in various shapes and sizes, families & friends get-together and have fun over food & kite-fights.

Related image
source: uniindia.com

2. Kambala
Where – Udupi, Karnataka
Why – Experience an enchanting atmosphere as the farmers race their buffaloes in ploughed field with slushy waters.

source: .drkrishi.


1. Theyyam
Where – Kasargod/Wayanad/Kannur, Kerala
Why – Witness the dance performances of the Theyyam, considered as Dance Gods, decked up with Ornamental decorations, performing gracious moves with music & mime.

source: advaid

2. Mahashivratri
Where – Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Why – A week long festival where in more than 200 Gods & Goddesses are carried in decorated palanquins from nearby villages in a procession which ends at the Bhoothnath Temple in Mandi.

source: ndtv

3. Goa Carnival
Where – Panjim, Goa
Why – Colorful parades with bands and dances and evenings marked with the tagline of eating, drinking and merry-making. The highlight of the festival is the concluding red-and-black dance performed by Clube Nacional in Panjim.

source: viva carnival


1. Lathmar Holi
Where – Barsana & Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh
Why – A 2-day festival where women carry a Lath (traditional staff/stick) and playfully beat the men who try to put colours on them while singing some folk songs and remembering Radha and Krishna!

source: Dna India

2. Chapchar Kut
Where – Mizoram
Why – Have tete-a-tete with the culture of Mizoram, as the natives celebrate to thank the Gods for their blessings and a good harvest. Enjoy local dances where women dance in the sync of the bamboo beats.

source: bananivista


1. Aoling Festival
Where – Nagaland
Why – A celebration of harvest where one can enjoy during this festival are dance and music performances, feasts and ancient rituals.

source: india someday

2. Mopin Festival
Where – Arunanchal Pradesh
Why – The people celebrate Mopin as a harvest festival and a measure to keep the evil spirits away. It involves a folklore dance “popir dance” performed by some very skilful local tribes’ women. The locally made rice wine (apong) during the festival is a pleasure that comes once in a while.

source : global glallivting

3. Shad Suk Mynsiem
Where – Meghalaya
Why – This festival is celebrated to thank Mother Nature for providing a good harvest. You can enjoy tribal dance performances, musical instruments performances, and many others.

Source: Desicomment.com


1. Thrissur Pooram
Where – Thrissur, Kerala
Why – A resplendent festival celebrated with a grand display of caparisoned elephants, dazzling parasols, and percussion music. Involving swift and rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequined parasols, the ceremony is one among the highlights and is a keenly watched event.

Source: Kerala Culture

2. Madurai Meenakshi Kalyanam
Where – Madurai, Kerala
Why –  This festival marks the celestial wedding of Meenakshi Amman and Lord Sundareswarar. Special rituals, car festivals, processions, and other cultural activities take place during this celebration. Many stalls are erected around the temple during this festival for souvenir shopping.

Source: The Hindu


1. Hemis Festival
Where – Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
Why – Throughout the festival the locals get dressed in their bright and colourful traditional attire. And the sacred masked dance is performed along with long horns, musical drums and cymbals. Hemis Festival is a must attend festival and it is joyously enjoyed by everyone

source: Times of India


1. Shikara Festival
Where – Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Why – Witness various events including Shikara Race, Dragon Boat Race and Canoe Polo Match besides cultural programmes depicting traditional heritage and culture of Kashmir.

source: sify


1. Onam
Where – Alleppey, Kerala
Why – A festival that is Kerala’s identity, experience the celebration of harvest with grand feasts which promotes community dining. Snake boat races are the blue eyed events as hundreds of boat men paddle their boats in visually appealing sight.

Image result for onam festival
source: oyo

2. Ganesh Chaturthi
Where – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Why – When God arrives as a guest, it is a grand occasion. Get ready to get amazed as Lord Ganesh resides with you for 10 days amidst the rumble of conchs and beating of the percussion. Get blessings from the renowned Lalbaug Cha Raja and get mesmerised by the aura of the surroundings.

Image result for lalbaugcha raja
Source: DNA India


1. Abhaneri Festival
Where – Dausa, Rajasthan
Why – A unique festival that is celebrated to offer thanks to a 2500 year old Step Well, for conserving water in the arid regions of Rajasthan. The celebrations include folk dances like Kalbeliya, Kachi Ghodi & Bhavai along with puppet shows and vibrant cultural performances.

Image result for chand baori
Source: Holidayfy

2. Ziro Music Festival
Where – Ziro Valley, Arunanchal Pradesh
Why – Hosted by the local Apatani Tribes, this outdoor music festival is one of the most vibrant music festivals in India and showcases independent music talent from all over India and outside of India. 


1. Navratri
Where – Vadodara, Gujarat
Why – Get into the groves of Garba and be ready for 9 nights of revellery, as the music sets the tone in the evening which continues till the wee hours in morning. Be a part of Guinness World Record at United Way of Baroda, along with 50000 fellow players dancing to one beat of Garba. *Goosebumps*

Image result for united way garba
Source: United Way Worldwide

2. Durga Pooja
Where – Kolkata, West Bengal
Why – Prepare to be awestruck as the city of Joy adorns itself to welcome Goddess Durga and celebrate the victory of good over evil in their unique style. Go Pandal Hopping and feast on some great food in the celebration lasting long into the night.

Image result for durga pooja
Source: India.com

3. Dusshera
Where – Mysore, Karnataka
Why – Elaborately decorated Mysore Palace exhibits luminescence in every nook and corner as equally ornate elephants carry out the procession of Lord Chamundeshwari in a Golden Palanquin, a treat to the eyes.

Image result for mysore dusshera
Source: Mysore Dasara


1. Diwali
Where – PAN India
Why – Diwali needs no introduction, the festival of lights is celebrated across India with great joy and festivities, each region having its own folklore on the celebration of the festival.

Image result for diwali
Source: Times of India

2. Dev Deepawali
Where – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Why – The gods are said to descend to Varanasi, the ghats along the Ganges glow in the flames of thousands of tiny oil lamps, thousands more of which are launched on the river each night. It’s an incredible and fitting spectacle for the so-called ‘City of Light’.

Image result for dev deepawali varanasi
Source: Amar Ujala


1. Hornbill Festival
Where – Kohima, Nagaland
Why – Claimed to be the “Festival of Festivals”, the week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display.

Image result for hornbill festival
Source: Abhishek Hajela

2. Christmas
Where – Goa
Why – Christmas in Goa is all about the smell of scented candles, the sound of Christmas carols, and exchange of a lot of gifts! Plan a night out with friends, listening to the ringing sound of church bells, and watch out for fireworks.

Source: Travel Triangle

Top 10 things to do in Seychelles

If someone asks us a definition of Paradise, we will tell them to book a ticket to Seychelles, and experience the paradise up close and personally. Seychelles is Paradise. Period.  And here are top 10 things you can do on your next trip to this tropical paradise.

Stroll on the Beaches

It is a no brainer. You just cannot visit an island nation and not pay a visit to the numerous beaches on the island.  These beaches have shades ranging from pitch blue to turquoise green. Trust us, nothing gives a soothing sight than the pristine shades of the sea. Soft sands and quite shores are the USPs of all the beaches of Seychelles. The beaches are locally known as Anse, and what we found out was these Anse share a specific characteristics in different clusters in different parts of Seychelles. For e.g. the beaches along the Northern tip of Mahe have inclined terrains and are surrounded by dense vegetation on the far side of the beach, whereas the beaches on the La Digue have beautiful rock formations that make them stand out amidst all the beaches. The beaches in Praslin are just off the road where you can take a stroll right after getting out of your car. You don’t get to see these vivid topography in an island that is hardly 450 sq. km. We classified the beaches into 2 clusters, 1. Famous & Touristy beaches & 2. Lesser known & hidden gems

Cluster 1 – Famous & Touristy – These are the beaches where you get all kinds of activities from scuba to snorkelling and the shallow waters of the ocean make it perfect for swimming. Some of these beaches have quaint cafes that serve yummy food. Café des Arts on Anse Volbert is one must try place. You can hire charter boats from these beaches and go on island excursions. Below are our favourite beaches in this cluster.

Anse Lazio, Praslin
Anse Lazio
Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue
Anse Volbert, Praslin
Anse Beau Valon, Mahe

Cluster 2 – Lesser Known & Hidden gems – If you prefer quiet time on the beach, want to feel the soft sands and love the lying beneath Coconut & Palm trees, these are the beaches for you. These are non-commercialised beaches of Seychelles and you can have an entire anse for yourselves. You can swim at in the ocean, but take care as there are no life guards on these beaches. Best for reading a book, getting a sun-tan, sipping the mocha and clicking some great shots. Our favorites in this cluster are as below.

Anse Glacis, Mahe
Anse Boudin, Praslin
Anse Boileau, Mahe
Anse Takamaka, Mahe

Trek through the nature reserves

One fascinating part about Seychelles, if you get a Vitamin Sea overdose, the lush green forests and nature reserves will serve as a perfect antidote for it. The islands are home to thriving tropical vegetation and beautiful endemic species, something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Coco de Mer palm trees plays the lead role in this multi starrer magnum opus. They are aptly supported by the coconut trees and Takamaka trees. The insect eating Pitcher Plants & the mangroves form the support cast and they complement the varied fauna of the island that includes the Black Parrot, Blue Pigeon, Paradise Fly Catcher and Aldabra giant tortoises. Here are our pick for the must do trails in Seychelles.

  1. Copolia Trail, Mahe
  2. Vallee de Mai Nature Trail, Praslin
  3. Fond Ferdinand Nature Trail, Praslin
  4. Mangroves Trail, Curieuse Island
  5. Anse Major Trail, Mahe

The best part about these trails comes at the end of the trail, when you get to see the marvellous views from the top.

Go Island Hopping

When a country constitutes of 115 islands and atolls, it becomes redundant to explore the surrounding islands. And how do you do it? Hire a charter boat. There are numerous charter boat services present on the main islands of Mahe and Praslin that conduct Island Hopping excursions. We recommend Sagittarius Taxi Boat Services on Cote D’Or Beach in Praslin. The services are run by a lady named Francois and they offer excellent services at great prices. You can choose from the different excursions on offer and choose the one that suits you the best. 

Out of 115 island, only 3 major islands are inhabited. They are Mahe, Praslin & La Digue. Apart from these, there are 8-10 other islands that you can visit and spend the day. Rest all islands are uninhabited. If you are confused which islands to choose and what to expect while on these Islands, here are our words of wisdom for you.

  1. Coco Islands – Not far from La Digue, the rich depths of Coco Island are a real natural aquarium. Around this idyllic isle bathed by crystal-clear waters, you can swim amid turtles and hundreds of fish above a wealth of coral.
  2. Round Island – 15 min boat ride from Mahe, this island is surrounded by lovely underwater seascapes & lovely little beaches tucked in between granite boulders, characteristic Seychelles.
  3. Grande Soeur – A private island, an exceptional place with an amazing pristine beach, tall palm trees, impressive granite boulders, and giant turtles roaming around. The interior of the small island looks like it could be a set from a Jurassic Park movie. It’s like being back in prehistoric times.
  4. Cerf Island – An island that forms the edge of St Anne Marine Park with a long reef perfect for scuba diving. Great to spend some relaxing days with restaurants serving good Creole food. Small boats do frequent trips from Mahe and takes 15 minutes to reach.

One can indulge in a fishing game drive if interested and get a chance to witness fascinating marine life on doing so. If you are lucky you can spot rays, sea turtles, dolphins and even sharks. There are some lovely spots for snorkelling in the proximity of these islands with rich coral reef, which makes a pleasing experience under water. If you have an additional day in hand, our suggestion is to opt for island hopping.

Explore La Digue Island on bicycle

When was the last time you pedalled your way around the town? Perhaps in school, maybe in graduation. Here is your chance to relive those moments in La Digue, a cute little island with a population of just 3000 and vehicular population of only 28 cars. Yes, only 28. So, you hop on a bicycle and ride your way on this lovely island. 

With an area of just 10 sq. km, you can literally cover the entire island in 1 day, stopping at various places, eating, merry making and lazing around on beaches. Small roads and trees on either sides make it a very joyful experience. Bike through coconut mills, vanilla plantations and rock boulders, sip on coconut water on your way and enjoy the moments to fullest.

Indulge in Rum Tasting and Rum Making process at Takamaka Rum Distillery

One part was for sure that islanders have a taste when it comes to liquor. Made and brewed in Seychelles, the local rum is one beverage you should not miss out on.  And the best place to have the experience is at the Takamaka Rum Distillery in La Plaine St. Andre, Mahe. In a lush green estate, whose foundations were laid around 250 years ago, now stands a beautiful rum factory, which precariously brews one of the best rums we have tasted till date.

The distillery was started in 2002 and is run by d’Offay family, they offer guided tours to the distillery and the gardens followed by rum tasting sessions. The tours are organized from Monday to Friday, at 11.30 am and 1.30 pm. The estate also houses a quaint restaurant and bar which is open from Tuesday to Saturday, throughout the day. 

We highly recommend a visit to this gorgeous place, experience the Creole culture, and spend a wonderful time in lush green settings.

Spend a day with Tortoises of Curieuse Island

Located 15 mins away by a boat ride from Praslin, Curieuse Island is home to the Giant Aldabra Tortoises. It is home to 300+ giant tortoises since the Tortoise Conservation Project shifted its base from Aldabra to Curieuse. 

Once on the island, you will be surrounded by these cute reptiles. You would be intimidated by their size, but they are really gentle and always hungry. Feed them green leaves with a pat on their neck, and they will follow you all the way wherever you go. 

You also get a chance to witness the young tortoises in an enclosed pen, since they are vulnerable to poaching. There’s a huge BBQ area that opens at lunch time and offers lovely variety of fish and chicken, grilled over the barbeque. You need to contact the boat operator if you want to enjoy BBQ at Curieuse Island. 

If you think interaction with the tortoises is the best thing to do on Curieuse, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Your boat man will drop you at the tortoise sanctuary, but will pick you up from the diametrically opposite end. For that you need to hike through mangroves trail, and that is the hidden part of the iceberg. A properly demarcated trail has an elevated wooden platform that leads from tortoise pen through the mangroves and opens up at Doctor’s House, a residential mansion of Dr. William MacGregor, a British Doctor who dedicated his life for the treatment of leprosy patients. The mansion is now a national memorial and museum. On your way to the Doctor’s House, you will encounter vivid species and some great views of the ocean, and watching the sun go down, is one of the most beautiful sights to behold.

Enjoy Coffee by the Marina & Dinner by the Bay at Eden Island

Eden Islands are one of the most happening places in Seychelles. An artificial island developed in early 2000s is a chic and upbeat place with lavish hotels and luxurious villas lined up around the island. 

A walk through the ramps in marina during the evening hours is pretty energizing and refreshing as you get to see fishing boats making their way back with fresh catch of the day for the restaurants. Sip onto coffee with this gorgeous views, it is worth every single penny spent.

The place comes to life in the evening, as the restaurants and bars organize live music and liven up the entire area.

You have a variety of options to choose from in terms of food and drink, as the restaurants serve cuisines from across the world viz. Indian, Continental and Oriental. If you are visiting Seychelles, we recommend at least 1 night stay at Eden Islands for its atmosphere and vibes.

Dent your teeth in delicious Creole Cuisine at Heritage Marie Antoinette Restaurant 

If you ask any person walking on the streets in Mahe for a place which serves authentic Creole cuisine, you will get a unanimous answer, “Marie Antoinette”. (We asked our cab driver, hotel staff, car rental owner and local shop owner). Located in the middle of Victoria Market, Marie Antoinette gives very lovely vibes from the moment you enter the property.

And the food, Mamma Mia! A fixed menu that offers vivid range of portions and dishes, seasoned and flavoured, Creole Style. You dish will include 3 varieties of fish (grilled, fried and smoked), chicken curry, vegetables in fish stew, steamed rice, egg-plant fritters and 2 flavourful salads. Each portion will give you a unique taste and burst of flavour in your mouth. The staff is extremely humble and courteous and their service is super quick. 

All we can say, this place is not to be missed.

Rent a Car & Drive through the islands

Before you get any questions regarding the road rules and safety concerns of driving on foreign roads, let us assure you, it is like a cake walk to drive on these roads. Good roads and traffic awareness of the citizens is very high and so there should not be an iota of skepticism before stepping in the car and taking out for a ride.

Now that the doubt is cleared, why should you rent a self-driven car and not a taxi?

  1. Because it is cheaper option
  2. You can stop wherever you wish
  3. You enjoy your privacy

We just loved driving in Seychelles, parallel to the ocean at an instance and the next moment you in a dense forest with lush green trees around you. The roads are narrow but there is not excessive traffic, so you can easily manoeuvre and then of course, Google Maps are there to guide you. 

Go Gaga over Shopping 

How can any trip ever be completed if there is not a bit of shopping involved. At Seychelles, you have some great things to shop, something you won’t find anywhere else in the world. 

What can you shop and where?

Coco de Mer Nuts – Vallee de Mai Reserve

Beer mugs made from Takamaka Trees – Victoria Market

Takamaka Rum – Takamaka Rum Distillery/Airport duty free shops

Black Pearl Jewellery – Black Pearl Farm/Kreoler

Corals – Street shops in Victoria Market

These are the things you won’t get anywhere else, so our take is you can buy some or all from the ones mentioned above, as it serves a memory of the place you visited.

So there you go, if Seychelles tickets are booked, the above 10 things are what you must do in the east African Island nation. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get going.

Why Seychelles should be your next vacation destination?

Imagine you are planning to take a vacation to a place serene and beautiful so that you can relax but you also want to go to a place where you can do something adventurous. Carry on reading, you have landed on a gold mine here. Seychelles (pronounced Sea-Shells), a group of 100-odd islands lying in the Indian Ocean, is the perfect place which offers an amalgamation of adventure and peace.

Reaching Seychelles

If you search on world map, you will find Seychelles to be a tiny dot, just below the equator in the Indian Ocean. And this tiny little dot is 4 and half hours away from India. Yes, you read it correctly, it is that close to India. Air Seychelles operates direct flights from Mumbai to Mahe and it takes only 4.5 hours to reach the island nation.

Mahe, the capital city, is the largest island of Seychelles and has one of the smallest runways in the world. Also, the views from the top are worth stealing that window seat in the aircraft. I mean, seriously, how pretty can an airport get! It is the first point of contact of falling in love with pristine islands.

Mahe International Airport.jpg
Source: Wikipedia

And if you fall in love with Mahe Airport, you will just drool over what Praslin airport has to offer. The domestic airport is just as amazing as the international one, and is accessible by the tiny Twin Otter aircraft, which is an experience in itself.

Ever Seen a Better Runway??

Another reason to love Seychelles is the hassle free Visa process. Seychelles is a visa free country, which means, you don’t require to apply for visa to enter Seychelles. All you need to do is provide confirmed return ticket and proof of accommodation, and you will be granted permit for up to 30 days. Isn’t that just amazing?

Why visit Seychelles?

For a country that offers you a wide variety of breathtaking places, you will be spoilt for choices and “What to See & What not to See” will be a question. So to ease out things for you, here is the answer to the above question.

Bewitching Beaches

It is a no-brainer. An island nation which doesn’t boast its coastal beauty would not classify to be an island nation. Jokes aside, the beaches of Seychelles were a different world altogether. Both of us are beach bums and we love being at the beaches, and Seychelles didn’t disappoint us. Locally known as “Anse” (French for a small bay), one can find an Anse all over the periphery of the islands. We visited quite a few of them and just fell in love with them. Here’s a brief about the ones we really loved to be at.

Anse Source D’Argent

As per the internet, this is the World’s Most Photographed Beach. Well, we’ll let the pictures do the talking for you.

Located inside the L’Union Estate on La Digue Island, the dazzling white sands of the beach are lapped by turquoise blue waters and backed by granite boulders and coconut palms.

Each and every inch of this part of the island is Instagram worthy, and we leave it to your imagination to capture the mesmerising beauty of this beach.

Location: L’Union Estate, La Digue
Entry Fee: SCR 115/- per person, valid for entire day.

Anse Lazio

Located on the Northern tip of Praslin, it is the most famous beach in Seychelles and apparently among the world’s most beautiful beaches. Bordered with giant Takamaka and Coconut trees and huge granite boulders frame its emerald waters. The pink sands add to the beauty of the beach.

Anse Volbert

One of Seychelles’ longest beaches stretching 3 km long, Anse Volbert is the main tourist beach of Praslin. It is a hive of water sports and activities with restaurants, boutiques and hotels lined up on the shores.

The sea is usually calm and is ideal for relaxing swim or take up watersports like canoeing, scuba and snorkelling. You can also find lot of tour operators with lot of options to visit the satellite islands through a boat excursion. We highly recommend Sagittarius Taxi Boat Services if you are looking for a one-day excursion.

Anse Beau Vallon

The most popular beach is Mahe, it is known for an upbeat vibes and night markets on Wednesday nights. We enjoyed it even more since our stay at Mahe was on Beau Vallon and we had direct access to the beach through our hotel. It is very well known for snorkelling and spotting some rare sea creatures like the Hawkbill Turtle.

Anse Boileau

One of the lesser known beaches in Mahe, the beach boasts of lush green trees, huge granite boulders and stunning landscapes that makes you want to just park your car and absorb the tranquillity of the place.

Fantastic Forests

Yes, you have read it right. Seychelles is home to beautiful forests and nature reserves spread across all of its islands. These nature reserves form an important part of the ecology of the islands, as they provide home to the endemic species and maintain the monsoon cycles on the islands. Here are some of our favourite forests of Seychelles

Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve

One of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Seychelles, Vallee de Mai is a nature reserve that constitutes of a unique ecosystem where native species, both animals and vegetation, co-exist.

Awed by Coco de Mer Palms

The 20 hectares reserve is the home to Coco de Mer Palm trees, an endemic variety of palm that grows only in Praslin Islands. The palms are known for its seed, the heaviest seed in the world, and are perhaps the most photographed seeds in the world owing to its resemblance to human buttocks. These seeds can be purchased as a souvenir, however the sale is restricted and it requires fair amount of paperwork to carry them over the shores. Also, these seeds can cost you from EUR 200-600, so we leave it at your wisdom.

Location: Vallee de Mai, Praslin
Visiting Hours: Everyday from 8:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Entry Fee: SCR 350/- , guided tours starting from EUR 10 per person
Estimated time to visit: 45 mins to 1.5 hours

Fond Ferninand

Just a few meters away from the Vallee de Mai reserve, stands a lesser known but equally impressive Fond Ferdinand Reserve. The reserve also boasts great flora and fauna, but more importantly offers lovely views of the surrounding areas from the top.

When making the visit to the reserve, it is mandatory to have a guided tour through the reserve. Tours start 3 times a day, at 9.30, 11.30 & 13.30, each lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. There are many trails in the reserve, easy to medium grade, which takes anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.

Curieuse Island

An island where you get to experience slow motion in real time. Yes, Curieuse Island is the home to the Giant Aldabra Tortoises. Since its relocation in 1978 from Aldabra, Curieuse Island has been the at the forefront of conservation of Giant Tortoises. You can interact with about 300 Giant Tortoises roaming on the island.

On the southern part of the island is a mangrove swamp that is traversed by a walkway for park visitors. The island is also known for coco de mer palms, giant takamaka trees and several bird species, such as the rare Seychelles black Parrot. The trail was the best part of the island, and then we got greeted by a lovely host at the end.

Location: Curieuse Island
How to reach: Rent a boat from Praslin
Entry Fee: SCR 100/- Per Person

Myriad Marine Life

There’s no doubt that marine life thriving in the turquoise-emerald waters of Seychelles is one of the best we have seen thus far. A wide variety of colorful fishes, turtles, rays and sharks are found in these calm waters.

Scuba Dive, snorkel or go on a fishing trip, you will be enthralled to see the life beneath the ocean, so lovely you just can’t take your eyes off the beauty present at your behest.

Flavorful Food

For all you food lovers out there, if you love trying out something new, Creole Cuisine is the one which will not disappoint you at all. We got the chance to enjoy typical Creole lunch at one of the oldest restaurants in Mahe, Marie Antoinette , and we are so happy we didn’t miss out on this blast of flavors.

Apart from the local flavors, you get a wide variety of continental flavors and a lot of Indian options, if you are the one who does not like to experiment with the taste buds. The Copper Pot & Maharajas, are two of the finest restaurants serving Indian food. Restaurant Bravo, on Eden Island in Mahe serves lovely continental delicacies with a twist of their own (Do try their Square Pizza).

And to top it all, we found two best alcohol brews in Seychelles. One is Seybrew, the local beer which is ultra smooth and refreshingly soothing. It is one of the best beers we had till date. The other is the Takamaka Rum, the rum whose tagline says, “Rum made from the Seychelles.” A rum that is extremely delicious, and is one that definitely make Old Monk fans to switch Brand Loyalties. Best part of it, you can witness the entire distillation process at the Takamaka Rum Distillery in Mahe, and indulge in tasting sessions there.

Playful & Personable People

The people of Seychelles, are by far the best set of locals we have encountered in all our travels and trips. Always greeting you with a ear to ear smile, they are playful, cheerful and always ready to help you out. They welcome you with open arms and are the warmest of the hosts, the kind you would love to spend time with.

So, Seychelles has beautiful beaches, mind-boggling nature reserves, a diversified marine life, excellent flavors in food and friendliest people. Just the perfect ingredients you require for the recipe of your ideal vacation. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your tickets and fly off to Seychelles, a paradise hidden somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Pratapgadh Fort

‘Gadh’, literally meaning stronghold, have been an integral part of the erstwhile kings and princes in India. Strategically located across various parts of the country, these forts were the arsenal of rulers to deploy the forces when under attack. Maharashtra has over 300 such forts that played an important role during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s reign. However, one fort holds a special place in the history of Maratha Empire owing to its architectural genius and the folklore attached to it. Here’s the account to genius and valour of Pratapgadh Fort.

Unlike other forts of Maharashtra that were majorly captured, Pratapgadh Fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj under the architectural guidance of Moropant Trimbak Pingle. The fort consists of 4 watchtowers in four directions, armoury, king’s quarters, army quarter, around 450 steps connecting all of these, and all this was constructed within a span of 2 years. Just imagine, around 500 years ago, without the use of heavy machinery and equipments, in a hostile environment, clandestinely stands a strong hold of Maratha bastion.

The intriguing part of the construction was that the main door of the gate is not visible from outside. As seen in the photos, an outside glance makes it look like an impregnable wall. But actually the main gate is hidden behind the rocks, with a series of curved staircase leading to the door. The curved staircase was an example of an ingenious construction which protected the fort gate from being taken down by the enemy forces.

On the way up to the top, one can witness the weapons and armory used at the time. A heavy arsenal, literally and figuratively, each of the weapons weigh about 20-30 kgs and it is said that an average person than would practice with them for 6-8 hours a day. Clearly shows the strength in the limbs of our ancestors.

The highest point of the fort stands on the edge of the 3000 feet high cliff. The place known as Punishment Point, was used execute the criminals by throwing them down the cliff. A spine chilling place even now as the cool breeze equivalent to that of an air conditioner with temperature dropped to the lowest. And the view is worth dying for!


Among all the tales, the fort is well known for one due to which its name is derived. ‘Pratap’ means victory, and the name of the fort is dedicated to the victory of Chhatrapati over the Mughal General Afzal Khan.

Chhatrapati Shivaji’s contemporary ruler was the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who had placed a handsome bounty on Shivaji Maharaj’s head. Afzal Khan was the Mughal General in the Deccan region and he accepted the challenge to defeat Shivaji Maharaj. Setting out a message of peace proposition to Chhatrapati at Pratapgadh, Afzal Khan had planned to kill Shivaji during the meet. Afzal Khan, as it is said, was a monster among men, standing at 7 feet tall and was strong enough to flip a raging bull without breaking sweat.


Shivaji Maharaj, on receiving the invitation of the peace proposition, went ahead to meet Afzal Khan with 2 of his trusted generals. As they met, Afzal Khan tried to kill Shivaji Maharaj by squeezing his neck. However, Shivaji Maharaj, having anticipated such move, tore open Afzal Khan’s belly using the tiger claws he was wearing on his hands. Withering in pain, Afzal Khan retreated through the tent where he was decapitated by one of Shivaji’s bodyguards. The trumpet of victory of blown from the fort and hence the fort came to be known as Pratapgadh Fort.

Reaching there

Pratapgadh, just 15 kms from the famous hill station of Mahabaleshwar, stands tall reminiscing the valiant tales of the glorified Maratha history. Plan your next trip there and be amazed by living the part of the history.

About the fort

Pratapgadh Fort is privately maintained by the descendants of Shivaji Maharaj, and the entry to fort is free of cost.

You can hire a guide there, they charge Rs. 300 plus some tip, but they explain each and every small details related with the place. Our recommendation is to hire one if you are going there for the first time.

There are many snacks, refreshment and eating outlets within the fort, so you do not have to carry anything with you. You will get good authentic Maharashtrian food out there.

Peb-Vikatgadh – A lesser known Gem

Some places have a charm of their own and this charm does enough to leave you spell bound. That’s exactly what happened as we explored a relatively lesser known fort right under the nose of one of India’s famous hill stations. Here’s all you need to know regarding one day trek to Peb-Vikatgadh fort in Raigadh District of Maharashtra.

The onset of monsoon turns the places near Mumbai and Pune to a lush green paradise. The western ghats and the Konkan belt ooze beauty its every nook and corner. So on a fine Sunday, with a little bit of rain and lots of clouds, we set for exploring Peb Fort, a place we had never heard of before we visited it.

Reaching There

The base or the start point of the trek is around 12-15 km from Neral Station. Neral is well connected by local trains bound to Karjat & CST. We took an early train, around 6:00 AM and reached Neral by 8:30 AM. From Neral, post hogging on Vada Pav & Poha, a shared Kali-Peeli dropped us off at a point known as “Three-Fourth”, from where the trek was to begin.

The Trek Experience

The first view of the base and we fell in love with the place. The starting few kilometers are on the railway tracks of the Neral-Matheran Toy Train. A narrow gauge track that emerges out of a canopy of lush green foliage makes a pretty spot for clicking photographs.

As you make a move forward, you are greeted with even better surprises and better views. You walk on the beautiful path, with light showers adding excitement to the trek. There’s a high mountain on one side and deep valley on the other, and you just wonder how minuscule and diminutive you are in front of the nature.

As you absorb the beauty of the place within your memories, you stumble across refreshing cisterns and small waterfalls, and believe you us, you will be tempted to take a dip in that refreshing cool waters. Carrying on the path you get the first view of the summit and your adrenaline will start pumping as the real thing is about to start.

The simple part of the trek ends at the place shown above. That’s the entry to the Ganpati Mandir and the trekkers and locals believe you must toll the bell before you make the start. It is good omen and the best part is when you toll the bell and the valley responds to the sound by echoing back. Such lovely feeling.

We would classify this trek grade to be of easy to moderate, and is best suited for first time trekkers and amateurs. The trek would require basic hiking, walking/ascending in a single file and ridge walking. It is very safe however everyone must exercise extreme caution while on the trek.

As you near the summit, you inch closer towards the clouds and at some point in the trek you are supposed to be surrounded by them. The panoramic views from these points are breathtaking and the images speak for themselves.

For final ascend to summit you need to climb through an iron ladder, again, a place of caution as it gets slippery when it rains. Just as we were standing at the base of the summit, there was a mad rush of clouds and the cross winds were so strong, it felt we might be hovering over the mountains in some time.

As the winds subsided, we made it to the summit, 2.5 hours post starting from the base village. There’s a small shrine dedicated to Pebi Devi at the top, but the atmosphere up there is absolutely electrifying. It feels like you are sitting in a room that is air cooled to 16℃ for the past 1 hour and the fans are running at full speed. Amazingly chilly it was, our poncho was the saving grace!

When the clouds clear, you get to see lovely views of Matheran, a sweet little hill station just 10 km from the spot. On other side of the valley, there’s picturesque Dhom Lake which looks equally enchanting and dramatic with the clouds hovering over it.

No amount of time is good enough to absorb the beauty of this wonderful place, but as all good things come to end, so does this. You make the descend from the same route and follow the toy train tracks all the way to Amar Lodge, which is the base point of Matheran enjoying the scenic views on either sides of the track. Once at Matheran, you hop on to a taxi and head back to Neral, reminiscing the eventful day you had and longing to return to the same place in future.

Words of Wisdom

Nearest Station to Peb is Neral, which is well connected to CST and Karjat on central railway local line. From Neral, you get shared cabs running for Matheran to reach at “Three-Fourths”

Total time of the trek is around 5-5.5 hours. However if weather conditions are bad, it may take more than that.

Best time to visit is during August-September, when the rains have receded and green bloom is at its very best.

The trek is not difficult, however in rains, you must exercise utmost caution while walking, you must use shoes with good grip.

You are visiting a natural heritage, hence it is of utmost importance to maintain the sanctity of the place. Do not litter around, carry your waste with you.

Lastly, enjoy the beauty of the place that is lost in the rich history of our beautiful country.

A Complete Guide to Waterfall Rappelling

The onset of monsoon makes the earth fresh and recharged. The trees shine with green covers, the bushes blossom new shoots, the fields become rejuvenated, flowers emerge out of buds and the water level in streams, falls and rivers brim to the fullest. And this marks the time to don the trekking gear and charge up the adrenaline.

The Western Ghats are a haven for the adventure lovers, especially in the monsoons. As the rain washes off the dust from the leaves and refuels the water bodies, a hike along the rejuvenated pastures is a treat for adventure enthusiasts.

And among all the adventure sports being organized across the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, it’s Waterfall Rappelling that steals the show. Waterfall Rappelling, the name itself gives you thrills. The task is very simple. You rappel down the rock with the help of a rope, but as you descend you are accompanied by a thunderous waterfall, roaring with all its might.

We had the privilege of ticking this activity off our bucket list last year as we reached Bekre Waterfall in Bhivpuri, Karjat on a partial cloudy, partial rainy Sunday morning, awaiting an adventure of lifetime. The only way to access the falls is through a small hike from the base. After 30 minutes hike, crossing a few paddy fields and some streams, wading through water at times, and admiring the charm of the nature, I reached the falls, only to be left awestruck by it.

Bekre Waterfalls is a huge, mighty, roaring waterfall, with a drop of about 60-70 feet and is well known for the rappelling alongside the falls. Conducted under expert supervision, as you see the fellow participants rappel down the rock, you get excited by the very thought of having a heck of an adventure.

As we geared up for the task, the heart inside was beating up and down. A look down from the edge of the cliff and we felt excited and terrified at the same time. Since the activity coordinators were highly skilful personnel and used safety equipments, we conquered the inner fear and started the slither down the rock. The slippery surface of the rock and the pressure of the falls makes it difficult to maintain the grip, but it also adds to the excitement of the activity.

And as I (Krutarth) reached the middle of the the falls, surrounded by the gushing flow of the water, it felt like I cleansed the fear instilled inside my heart. The adventure ended after a few more steps, but the experience found a place in the memory for time immemorial, as I waded through the catchment reservoir, as if I was Baptised by adventure.

Where to find?

Many big and small waterfalls mushroom out during monsoons in Maharashtra. However not all the places favour adventure activities, so do basic homework before signing up with any adventure travel company. We did this at Bekre Waterfall near Karjat.

How to reach?

By Rail: Bhivpuri Road is the nearest station and all Karjat bound slow local trains halt here.

By Road: Approx. 80 km from Mumbai, the falls are just off the state highway no. 80 towards Karjat.

What to Carry?

1. Trekking/hiking shoes are compulsory, else you won’t be allowed to do the activity

2. Water, at least 2 litres per person

3. Light snacks, preferably dry fruits, chocolates and protein bars

4. Raincoats, as it can rain any time

5. Shoulder bag/Rucksack, to pack all the above things

Things to Remember

1. You are entering a natural habitat, respect it’s eco-system.

2. Enquire whether your travel coordinator has the required permissions of forest department to conduct the activities

3. Ensure your travel coordinator is certified to conduct these activities

4. The terrain is vulnerable in monsoon, watch your steps, follow the group leader’s instructions.

5. Listen and abide by the safety instructions given by the activity expert, they are qualified professionals, it is no harm in lending a ear to their words.

6. Lastly, leave the place with memories and ZERO TRASH.

Hope this helps, monsoons are here, make the most of it in the coming months. Enjoy!!

Kathakali: An Enactment of Expressions

Kathakali, derived from the combination of two Sanskrit words “Katha” which means Story and “Kala” meaning Art. In an essence, it describes a recitation of a story through arts and performance.

Considered as the folk dance of Kerala, the roots of Kathakali, though unknown, can be traced back to the early 17th century. A Kathakali performance, like all the classical Indian arts, collaborates music with vocal performances, costumes and facial gestures to express ideas and recite the tales. However, what makes Kathakali stand out among other classical art forms is the elaborate usage of the facial expressions and incorporation of martial art moves in the act.

Kathakali performances take place across Kerala at various places through different organizations and troupes that have kept the beautiful tradition alive. We, at Mastane Musafir, attended one such performance at Punarjani Traditional Village, Munnar. They conduct daily shows in the evening that describe the tales from ancient epics, Upanishads and Puranas.

The Beginning

The show begins at 5 PM in the evening. However, it is always a good option to reach one hour before the show at the venue to grab the best seats in the house in the front row. Another advantage is you can witness the artists put on the make up and get ready for the show.

It is so pleasing to see the efforts these artists put in for a single performance day-in & day-out. The elaborate costumes and facial make-up takes around 45-60 minutes for a seasoned veteran to get into the role.

We were lucky enough to get up close with these performers as they were getting ready for the show. And after watching their efforts, we could just say Hats Off to their dedication and efforts.

The Act

The act or the performance begins with a prayer and offering to the musical instruments, fire God present in the form of lamp and the stage where the performance takes place. We find it very blessed to be born in the country that respects the minute of the minute details when it comes to performing arts.

Next, they explain what the expressions and gestures used by the artists convey and the meaning behind the same. And believe you us, you can easily figure out what they want to convey without the requirement of a translator or interpreter, such is the mastery of the artists, coupled with great background score which compliments the act.

Below are the a few basic gestures used in the performance. Can you guess what they convey without reading the caption below? Give it a try.

Magnum Opus

The final performance is nothing short of Magnum Opus. Each day, the performance depicts a part of the tale from the epics like Ramayan, Mahabharat and Bhagwat Puranas.

The act is a musical melody and a worthy spectacle and it does not need knowledge of a language to understand what the act wants to convey.

The performance we witnessed was a tale from Bhagwat Purana, where in a demoness tries to woo the God using her magical powers and enchantment. The entire performance flows on conversations between the God and the Demoness, and you can feel the exchange of love, charm and anger between the characters, not through words, only expressions and music.

It was our first experience with Kathakali and it went down as a life time memory right from the time the artists were getting ready for the performance to the time they bowed down to the applause from the audience. A must have experience when you visit Kerala, you get to know beautiful things about our beautiful country.

Taj Lake Palace: An Experience of a Lifetime

Ever wondered how it feels to live a Regal Life in a beautiful palace that floats in the middle of calm lake. For those who have visited Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, the answer to the above question is a YES, ABSOLUTELY in bold and capital.

Built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1746 as his pleasure palace, Jag Niwas. Today, Jag Niwas is restored to its pristine glory and this mighty and magnificent palace is now known as Taj Lake Palace of Udaipur.

About the Property

The heritage hotel stands in the middle of the stunning Lake Pichola, and offers breathtaking views of the City Palace, Aravalli Ranges, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir. The Palace hosts 65 luxurious rooms and 18 grand suites, 3 exquisite dining places, an exotic bar, a peaceful library, a soulful spa and a zillion places where you can take mind blowing photographs.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 2/16 by Krutarth Vashi

A Dining Area that opens into this beautiful Tulip Garden

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 3/16 by Krutarth Vashi

Gyan Sagar – The Library of the Palace

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Beautiful Pool Side

Every nook and corner of the property oozes grandeur and leaves you in a state of awe on every step you take. The beautiful library goes by the name of Gyan Sagar – an ocean of Knowledge. The architecture and the decor of the same leave a calming effect on your mind and by indulging in strategy games like Chess, it charges up your mind. So your mind always stays in a state between serenity and rage.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 5/16 by Krutarth Vashi

One of the best chess sets we have ever seen

And just opposite the library, crossing the sprawling King’s Courtyard, there’s the Palace’s in-house bar, Amrit Sagar, which serves the finest of wines, spirits and cigars. Add to that the glorious mosaic art work on the walls that adds to the charm of the place.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 6/16 by Krutarth Vashi
Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 7/16 by Krutarth Vashi

Dining Delight

Taj Lake Palace spoils you for choice by providing you an ultimate gourmet experience while you are enjoying your holiday. It hosts 3 grand restaurants that cater only to the in-house guests, each special in its own term.

1. Neel Kamal

Palace’s fine dine restaurant that serves the best and authentic Rajasthani cuisine and is also known to serve some of the most lip-smacking dishes from across India.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 8/16 by Krutarth Vashi

Classy interiors, giving a Rajasthani touch and feel, are best enjoyed with a live Classical Indian musical performance by renowned artists. Believe us, it is totally magical to enjoy your morsel with melodious Jal-Tarang playing in the backdrop.

P.S. They serve the best Lal Maas.

2. Bhairo

What better way to go on a dinner date than an open roof terrace restaurant that offers gorgeous lake front view and lovely skyline of the city that is foreshadowed by the magnificent City Palace.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 10/16 by Krutarth Vashi

Bhairo offers a 3 or 4 course European Cuisine Dinner that is as worthy as the view it offers.

3. Jharokha

The third restaurant, Jharokha, which means Balcony, is the only part of the palace that is not restored and is kept the way it was since the time it was constructed.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 11/16 by Krutarth Vashi

The all day dining place offers you with the best of the views of the dazzling Lake Pichola as you indulge yourself in the best breakfast spread you’ve ever had.

Rooms & Tariffs

Taj Lake Palace has an elaborate list of rooms and suites to choose from.

The Luxury Room is elegant in its vibe and offers a stunning view of the Tulip Garden.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 12/16 by Krutarth Vashi
Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 13/16 by Krutarth Vashi

The Royal Suites drive you back to the traditional times and offers some beautiful view of the lake and the Aravalli mountain ranges.

The tariff starts from Rs. 20000/- per night during off season and around Rs. 35000/- per night during peak season. However, every single dollar you spend for your stay at the Palace is totally worth it. No one matches the hospitality and the services as that provided by Taj Hotels.

Best Time to Visit

Udaipur has a moderate climate all throughout the year, but it is best enjoyed from October to December when the weather is cool and lakes are brimming post monsoon.
However, if you want to enjoy the royal treatment of the Taj with comparatively less damage to your pocket, a summer holiday is what you should be looking at.
Udaipur is relatively cooler during summer days, kudos to the artificial lakes around which the city is developed.
Taj Lake Palace is the best option to spend your summer holidays as the tariffs are lower and less number of tourists visit Udaipur during these times.

Activities at Taj Lake Palace

1. Yoga Mornings

The best way to start the day is by practicing Yoga on the ope terrace as the first rays of the sun brighten up the space and fill a positive aura in the atmosphere.

2. Heritage Walk

Enjoy a heritage walk with the historians on board and listen to tales of the glorious era gone by while enjoying the complimentary glass of wine and snacks.

3. Sunset Boat Ride

Witness beauty of the City Palace as the skies change their shades from blue to orange making it a surreal spectacle.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 15/16 by Krutarth Vashi

4. Enjoy the Cultural Performance

Get your feet thumping and your bodies swaying on the beats of Mridang and Manjeera as the artists perform before you breathtaking steps in Ghoomar and Bhavai.

5. Dine on a 150 year old Boat

Indulge in scrumptious delicacies as you dine like the royals on a 150 year old boat used by Maharanas and enjoy the serenity of Lake Pichola.

Photo of Experience a Royal Summer at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur   #summerescape #notinhills 16/16 by Krutarth Vashi

Things to do in Udaipur

City Palace: Explore the architectural marvel made of marble and granite offering splendid views of Lake Pichola

Vintage and Classic Car Collection: Go through the vintage car collection of the Maharanas which includes the 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom

Bagore Ki Haveli: Housing the world’s largest turban and various other artefacts, the haveli has a staggering 135 rooms and is a treat to the senses.

Click here to know more about the Venice of the East.

Udaipur has many tourist attractions as mentioned above. But, Taj Lake Palace itself presents you with so many offerings that you don’t feel like steeping your foot outside this floating marvel.

Taj Lake Palace is one experience you should definitely have in your lifetime. Yes, you will need to save up for 3-4 months, but the treatment, the hospitality and the service you will be offered is worthy to the single last penny.

Bhandardara Fireflies Festival

Imagine yourself passing through a dense forest in the middle of a quiet, dark new moon night. Apart from the rev of the vehicle engine, only thing you can hear is the chirping and the buzzing of the insects in the night. And from the woods, around the trees, you observe a glitter, which leaves you spell bound and make you think about the magical world we live in.

Lampyridae is the scientific name for family of winged beetles, which are commonly known as fireflies, are the lovely creatures which use bioluminescence to attract their mates. When 1000s and 1000s of fireflies, or ‘jugnus’ as referred to in Hindi, hover around your head in search of their mates, emitting glittering light, it creates a mystical and beautiful phenomenon, one which remains in your mind for the rest of your lives.

The fireflies are found in large quantities in and around the forests surrounding the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Year on year, it draws large number of tourists and adventure enthusiasts from all around the country to witness this limited edition spectacle. Rajmachi, Purushwadi, Prabalmachi, Malshej and Bhandardara are the famous locations where firefly sighting is the highest in the months prior to the onset of the monsoon.

As the night sky took charge and the mercury dipped, all the eyes were now fixed on the windows as the bus took the serpentine turns up the hill towards the firefly sighting point. A thrilling experience in itself, roaming out in the pitch dark night, using only the sense of your judgment for the next step you take, out on trees, you see 100s and 1000s of fireflies, glowing and glittering at specific intervals as if they are practicing a routine in excellent synchronization.

After 3 dozen clicks and mud slain shoes, as we looked around the woods where we had set up the camera, we were left mesmerized and spell bound by the harmless little glowing insects, merry-making all around us. All that glitters is not gold, but this glitter definitely brings a smile to your face, sanity to mind and peace to heart.