Friday, June 8, 2012

Rainy romance with beautiful India..

In India monsoon has just started knocking doors. So it’s time to celebrate rain with a cup of Tea and yummy Pakoras. Our favorite Picks for this season
1. Romance in the Kerala backwaters in the lap of nature.
2. Go to Goa to walk on the beach and watch the clouds rise from Arabian Sea.
3. Play hide and seek with rain in the lush green valley of Himachal.
So what is your favorite monsoon destination - beautiful Himachal, lush green Goa or God’s own country Kerala??

Images from,,,,,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Travel Style

Vacation on your mind ? Check out our summer favorites to make your i|e getaway stylish and fun!

   Jimmy Choo Letitia - Fun, vibrant and very summery!

Printed cotton silk dress from Tambourine - This multi-color print dress is bright and playful and available at

Péro by Aneeth Arora - Perfect summer accessory to add glamour while protecting you from the sun.

                    Tod's large tote with yellow fringe - Spacious and sporty this tote is perfect for travel

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mughal India

Found this interesting website by British Museum - Mughal India. Great fun way to learn about the Mughal history, art and architecture. There is information on Taj Mahal, the Mughal emperors, the artwork, traditions, and what not. Could be a fun way to make history interesting for kids.

Mughal India

If you are in Delhi, other fun way to learn about Delhi and Mughal history is Ishq-e-dilli. A colorful sound and light show showcased at Purana Quila (Old Fort) every evening in two languages. Perfect outing for the breezy March evenings.

Ishq-e-dilli at Purana Quila, Delhi

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sura Vie - New lounge in Delhi with live music & great food!!

Recently attended an Indian Ocean Concert at a new restaurant - bar called Sura Vie in Delhi. While the concert (as always) was an experience to remember, it was the place that forced me to write more about!

The website explains - "Sura Vie ( pronounced "Soo-ra eve") is the new casual eclectic lounge that showcases contemporary Indian music live." It is located in the heart of Delhi at Connaught Place. What makes it an interesting place is the combination of live entertainment with great food! The space has been very well designed and can be used for various purposes. And that is why they have different things going on, on different days of the week. From live concerts to ladies night, to brunch with an option for outside seating! The mezzanine floor acting as the stage for the live events, complemented with amazing acoustics gives a feel of a mini-amphitheater.

With a menu designed by the Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor ( also seen chatting around with the guests), the place has tasty options from all over the world! There is also a mini-terrace with heaters for those Delhi winter night romances :) All in all a promising place… and worth a visit!

Chilly Delhi @ night

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

Humayun's tomb- the front view

The view from the side shows the chamfered edges making the design appear octagonal
The first Mughal building in India to feature Charbagh garden, fountains and the water channels.

Two weeks back I drove to the Taj Mahal from Delhi – a grueling six hour drive fighting through the traffic of Faridabad and the congested city of Agra. And today, I drove 5 kilometres from my place to the Humayun’s Tomb. And to my wildest surprise, the experience was equally wonderful!!

The side view showing the two level structure

The monument through a jaali window

Read outside the tomb " The jaalis in the Humayun's tomb are the triumph of architect in controlling the rays of the sun while drawing in the breeze". Added to that, the jaalis create a beautiful affect when light passes through the different patterns.

I am sure that it’s hard to believe – so it was for me as well! But, I was awe-struck by the work done by the archeological survey of India at the Humayun’s Tomb. The tomb has been brilliantly restored and lush gardens around the structure add to the very delightful experience! The architecture of the Humayun’s Tomb was very “Mughal” and very similar to the Taj Mahal – it has the same shape arches, similar use of jaali work; and very similar use of the open spaces and terraces. To me and my wife, the stark difference between the two world heritage sites was the use of a lot of red stone at the Delhi monument. The tomb is perfectly carved out of red stone and marble, and according to a sign board at the site, this was the first Mughal construction with such work.

The ruins of Arab Sarai

The entrance to the tomb of Isa Khan- being restored currently.

Afsarwala tomb (Officer's tomb) and the Afsarwala Mosque

The beautiful monument and the gardens - create a wonderful experience to spend a Sunday afternoon in Delhi winters

Exterior with the use of Red Sandstone and marble inlay work.

The most wonderful part for us was that there were very few people at the tomb – well, as compared with the Taj Mahal. After all, it’s India and it has a billion people! But, I guess not many people in Delhi are aware of this precious gem in Nizamuddin :) The gardens around the monument were very peaceful and were perfect for a nice long stroll. And then there were several tiny tombs and monuments all around the park, which were exciting to explore and just wander around!

Humayun's tomb in the main chamber

The entrance gateway

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rajasthani Food: daal, baati and more!

It's time to write about Rajasthani food :) and being a foodie that I am, I am surprised, that it has taken me so many weeks to come around and write about it!

As a few of you might know, daal-baati-choorma comes from Rajasthan. It is probably THE most popular dish at any multi-cuisine restaurant or eat out joint in the metropolitan cities. I believe every person I know in Delhi looks forward to go to Delhi Haat to have this Rajasthani favorite! On our trip to Rajasthan, we had it several times - in its most original setting and flavor. And mind you, baati (the bread) is "soaked" in oil or ghee. This makes it soooper unhealthy, but also equally tasty :) I guess it's ok to have it once in a while, or a couple of times on your trip to the desert state. The daal is plain and simple, no frills attached: but obviously goes wonderfully with the baati and makes it soft and soggy and easily edible. Choorma is sweet; it's the poor man's dessert after daal-baati.

 Freshly baked Baatis - yet to be soaked!
Baati with Daal and Gatte

Daal-baati takes most of the limelight when it comes to food in Rajasthan. However, there is much more, and in this trip we made sure that we tried these other delicacies. Other vegetarian curries that are very tasty, and very Rajasthani are gatte, and kair sangri. Gatte is small balls of besan (gram flour) in a thin tomato less and onion less curry. I point this out as most every curry curries in India has tomatoes and onions. And then kair sangri; it is apparently made of three local farm vegetables mixed up into a very green and very healthy curry.

Rajasthani Thali @ Jaipur 
Pure Veggie Meal @ Jodhpur

Last of all, we also pounced on the meat dishes in Rajasthan. Meat dishes in Rajasthan are mostly associated with the king and thakurs, and represent the food of the high society. The most popular is the laal-maas. It's a lamb curry lavishly created with lots of tomatoes and spices. It was the first time that Bhavya and I had it, and we loved it so much, that we had it four or five times during our short trip of ten days! Lastly, there was also the chicken, which was cooked with red peppers and lots of local spices, and was also a favorite with the chicken lovers.

Laal Maas

Chicken with Red Peppers

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rajasthan: the only place like it!

The desert state of India is one of the most beautiful places in the sub-continent and offers a very special and unique experience. My wife and I were very fortunate to spend two weeks in Rajasthan last month. To experience it's true flavour and the local culture, we took a taxi and drove a whooping twenty five hundred kilometres within the state!

If you are traveling through Rajasthan, then there are two experiences that you must not miss: staying at a resort in a palace setting, ie an old palace or a thakur's haveli converted into a boutique hotel; and second, spending a night under luxurious tents from the king's era of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, beautifully carved out into resorts. 
We obviously did a lot of research, went through all of the material available on the internet and read every available book with respect to accommodation. And thankfully, we were able to find and experience some of these very exclusive properties :)
Rajasthan was a state of the kings. If you travel on the national highway today, you will see a fort almost after every fifty kilometres. After the British rule ended, a lot of the descendents of the kings and thakurs decided to convert the forts and palaces of their fore-fathers into luxurious resorts. Staying at such properties is an amazing experience, as you can re-live the olden times, walk through the same corridors as the kings, and understand the way of their lives. Sleeping in the same rooms as the kings, give you a majestic feeling of the whole place. Most generally, these palaces have a location of top of a hill or otherwise; and offer breath-taking views of everything around them!

 infinity pool, on top of a palace resort, surrounded by hills on 3 sides (jaipur)

suite patio with endless quaint views of surrounding farms (jodhpur)

And then the tents! Its a "wow" experience. These tents were used by the kings on their safaris, or hunting expeditions. This tradition has been very delicately preserved by some of their descendents. Some of the resorts in Rajasthan provide you with the exclusive opportunity to experience living in such tents! Plain canvas tents, with a quiet environment around them. I guess Rajasthan is the only place in India (and prolly the whole world) which offers such an exclusive experience! Its wonderful to walk on the floors made of mud, and to look through the doors and windows of canvas. And don't worry, most of these tents offer a nice fully equipped bathroom and full amenities; so you kinda have the best of both worlds :)
hunting tents on top of a reservoir (jodhpur)

tented spa! in the middle of a forest (ranthambore)