Sunrise to Sunset in HAMPI, the Heritage City of India

That’s an interesting Title you must be thinking, so what is all about? It’s an experience of enjoying the beautiful city Hampi, from visiting its Sunrise spots to ending the day with its Sunset point. and those hours doing number of things which would leave you mesmerised and you would take back a postcards of memories.

Why Hampi

Let me tell you about Hampi – Hampi is an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It’s dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara dynasty. The city flourished under the reign of Krishnadevaraya. Hampi during its finest dats was known to be one of the wealthiest cities in India. Its wealth and grandeur was well known across the world and hence attracted the attention of traders from Portugal and Persia. The witty Tenali Rama we read in History books was one of the ministers in the court of Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Travelling to Hampi was on my mind since a very long time. I had read about Hampi in the History textbooks in school. My Business trips to Bengaluru had increased and with my every stay I used to always manifest going to Hampi and keep talking about it with my Business associates based locally in Bengaluru.
On one such Saturday, I was informed by my partners that we have to travel outside the city for a meeting, and that we would come back the next day, hence I should carry my extra clothes and change.
When i enquired about the whereabouts of the location we are heading to, they said it’s some place outside Bengaluru and would take around 6 hours to reach and i should enjoy the Journey and the car would halt at regular intervals to enjoy the local delicacies.

Bengaluru – Hampi, Road Journey – 7 hours with Breaks

This was one of the interesting drives out of Bengaluru, it was smooth as the roads are decent and lovely.
After covering over half a distance, i was thinking are we on Hampi Road? as the mountains besides the road had rocks which are similar to those which are even found in Hampi.
We stopped by at a Local South Indian Restaurant Chain, and while talking my Partners laughingly said, we ain’t going for a business trip, we are taking you to Hampi, as you wanted to go there since long, and we had a free window for two days and those two days we would be spending in Hampi
I was too happy and couldn’t wait to reach Hampi.

Hampi

As this was an unplanned trip, we had not booked any Hotel Property yet, and had decided to reach Hampi and book one.
We reached to the city centre and after inuiring we came to know that only Guest Houses are available in the main city and there is a 3 star hotel 5 kms away, it was almost twelve so we decided to get hang on to any good guest houses, and after searching we found the number of Ravi of Archana Guest House. and we decided staying up there.
We got a nice Air Conditioned Room with a very clean Bathroom with neat good beds, which was good enough for us for our stay.
So this was like an adventure trip which wasn’t in my mind for Hampi at all.

Sunrise

Matanga Hill

Ever since the time I knew I want to visit Hampi, I always wanted to see the Sunrise from the Matanga Hill with the monkeys.
And that’s where we began our trip.
Matanga is the highest point in Hampi and is the best spot to get an aerial view of Hampi and its surroundings. There is a small temple on the top of Matanga Hill. On the way down don’t miss out small cave which is believed to be the hiding place of Sugriva, ruler of Kishkinda.
According to mythology, Matanga Hill is one of the holy places described in the epic Ramayana as the base of Saint Matanga. It is also the place where Sugriva benefited from the magical protection of the sage Matanga who had placed a curse of death on Vali, if he dared enter the area of Matanga Hill.
The hill is a trekker’s delight and offers pleasing views of the entire town below. There are many trekking paths that lead to the top of the hilltop where the Veerabhadra Temple is located. The climbing would take not more than 30 minutes. The Rooftop of the Veerabhadra Temple is the Ideal place for sunrise and sunset view.
From the top of the hill, one can view the Achyutaraya Temple, Tungabhadra River, Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Bazaar and surroundings.

After the lovely sunrise needed few minutes of rest, so it was time to be back into the Guest House for a lovely shower and change and then proceed to the other beautiful sites of Hampi

Virupaksha Temple

This had to be my second immediate in Hampi, Virupaksha temple also known as Pampathi temple is one of the oldest temple dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. As per the sources this temple was built in the 7th Century, and it has been running since then.
The Temple houses old-style structures, a huge courtyard, gateway towers in its campus. All of which will leave you awe-struck with its magnificence. 
This place is a blessing in disguise for history buffs and architecture lovers as you could find massive scriptures and crafts on each wall which tells you loads about ancient history and makes you relive the ancient era.
The Archaeological Survey of India recognises that the temple was built by the queen of Vikramaditya II, named Lokamahadevi, to commemorate the King’s success in a battle over the Pallavas of Kanchi. Hence, many inscriptions also refer to the temple as ‘Lokeshwara Mahasila Prasada’ in praise of the queen’s generosity.
There are few caves and underground Temples where one could go to check the beautiful carvings. And on the outside there are riverside ruins wherein you can feed fishes and little ducks.

Goddess Lakshmi The Elephant at Virupaksha Temple

The other most significant part of Virupaksha Temple, is that it is home to the most beautiful Elephant. As per many Hindus this elephant is Holy and is actually a living reincarnation of Lord Ganesha. I would talk more about her in my another blog.
One can take blessings from her at the temple.


Vijaya Vittala Temple

From Virupaksha Temple we headed to the Vijaya Vittala Temple, the architectural wonder dated back to 16th century.
One needs to park their vehicle almost at 1 km distance and either walk till the temple or take their Golf cart service and be driven, I would suggest you take this service if you have less time and more of Hampi to explore.
The Vijaya Vittala Temple was built in the 15th century and is amongst one of the largest historical structures in Hampi. Built in the Dravidian style, this temple is an example of unmatched craftsmanship.  The temple is dedicated to Lord Vittala – an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

The Stone Chariot

The stone chariot which is the iconic sight of Hampi and even visible in the currency of India is located inside the premises of this temple along with other intricate sculptures.
The elaborately done musical pillars in the temple halls are truly mesmerizing and most appealing. It is said that these pillars once tapped delicately make musical chimes. The great architectural marvel is also known as 56 melodic columns with each column being made of stone. SAREGAMA Pillars is another name given to them for their stand out construction.

Lotus Mahal

Now it was time for the gorgeous Lotus Mahal. The Name Lotus Mahal or Kamal Mahal originated because it resembles the shape of a lotus flower. Central dome of this Mahala resembles the bud of lotus and the balcony and passages as petals. The roof illustrates a multi-layered design reflecting and Indo architectural style. There are around 24 pillars to provide excellent support to the arched windows of this palace. This palace was home to all the Royal Women and queens.

Elephant Stables

Walking past the Lotus Mahal you would enter into the Elephant Stables. The Elephant Stables is amongst the significant tourist places to visit in Hampi to witness a little to absolutely no destruction in these many years. There were Eleven Chambers which served as an enclosure for royal elephants back in the day of the Vijayanagara Empire.

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple

The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple also known as the Ugra Narasimha is the largest monolith statue in Hampi. Built-in 1528 A.D. this 6.7-metre statue was damaged when it was vandalised in 1565 by the Mughals. The statue of Lord Narasimha, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is portrayed as half lion and half man sitting cross-legged with a ferocious expression. You would see Narasimha sitting on SheshNag i.e. the seven headed snake acting as a shelter to him. The idol of Goddess Lakshmi is placed along with that of Narasimha.

Sasivekalu Ganesh

Sasivekalu Ganesh is a gigantic monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha. The statue is over 8 feet tall and was created in the memory of a Vijayanagara King – King Narasimha II. It is often associated with the legend of Ganesha when he tied a snake around his belly when his stomach was about to burst after he had consumed a lot of food. The snake can be clearly seen around Lord Ganesha’s belly.

Big Shivalinga

Carved out of a single boulder, this Shivlinga stands at a height 3m amidst water.

Kadalekalu Ganesh

Kadalekalu Ganesh is an important religious attraction in Hampi. The temple has traditional stone architecture and is located on Hemakuta Hill and has a huge 15 feet monolithic statue of Lord Ganesha which is a believed to be one of the largest in the world. The reason why the attraction is called Kadalekalu is because the belly of the deity is chiselled to look like Kadalekalu (Bengal gram).

Riverside Ruins- Places to visit in Hampi

A collection of 108 Shiva lingas carved on flat rocky surfaces can be seen here. The rock carved sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position is the Riverside ruins a hot favourite among photographers, historians and travellers.

Sunset

Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex

For the Sunset i preferred staying in the same area, and walked up to Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex. It is a hilltop dotted with a large number of temples mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva along with ruins of walls and broken pathways. The Mula Virupakshi temple is the one of the most popular among this cluster of temples.
The Temple Complex is in the centre of the city and is best for its breathtaking Sunrise and Sunset views, and i decided to enjoy my sunset time here.
I had many monkey’s as my co-tourists and visitors.

Ended my beautiful Journey to Hampi but nevertheless came back with happiness and loads of memories in the form of pictures and multiple TravelPostcards.
Below you can find and scroll through few more pictures which i enjoyed clicking during my time in Hampi.

Live the Alibag Life, Samira Style

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It was said that I was born with a silver spoon, and I thought I was living that life as I had travelled to more than 33 countries by now and have stayed at the bestest of hotels and resorts, until i got invited by Anoopama and Brijesh to Alibag to get a glimpse of what they called Alibag Lifestyle.
I wondered what they were talking, and I decided to try it. As all of you know by now i am bit of a movie buff and compare places and instances or i travel to places having Bollywood Connect.
Alibag had one of my favorite movies connection too – “AGNEEPATH” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty and Danny. The movie was about possession of a lucrative land in Mandwa, Alibag.
This blog ain’t about the movie though throughout this blog there would be some inspiration from the movie too.
Alibag Lifestyle and Agneepath were about to make my thoughts change forever.

CONCEPT OF THE EVENT

The whole event was to bring it to our information that how close we are to a Lifestyle we all dreamt of and wished for.
It was about experiencing the adventure thrill with a Sail Boat Race, then continuing it to a brunch party at The Mansion House, Mandwa, Alibag.
Samir A Nerulkar founder of Samira Habitats, its directors Anoopama and Brijesh along with Parineeta Sethi of Millionaire Asia India organised Regatta 2020 from Gateway of India, Mumbai on 25th Feb 2020 which is a Sail Boat Race wherein many teams participate and the winner takes the trophy (you would be able to read my experience for the same in another blog)
The event continued to go on at Alibag the next day and this was where all the fun was.

DRESS CODE OF THE EVENING – SIMPLY LOOK GOOD AND THE BEST

This was a Pool side event hence, I had decided since the beginning that my look would be inspired by the Great Amitabh Bachchan aka Vijay Dinanath Chauhan.
I chose to be in total white from top to bottom, yes i am gonna be talking like those Biggies – I was in my white Nautica Shirt, with white Armani Jeans along with white Nike Shoes, a Tag Heuer watch and Mont Blanc Shades. Yes I was filled in brands but that’s what the event was all about isn’t it “LIFESTYLE”.
And now the actual journey was to commence, the Speed Boat Ride.

Shri Amitabh Bachchan of Agneepath

REACHING ALIBAG

The best ways to reach Alibag is via Sea, Road and Air.
For us Mumbaikars the best route is via Sea. Hop on to a Speedboat and reach Mandwa in just 20 minutes or a Catamaran which would take approximately an hour.
If you are one of those who prefer the road then take the Mumbai-Goa-Ernakulum National Highway that is the NH17. At Wadkhal crossing, which is a little 8 kilometres ahead of Pen town, continue straight and you are now on the road to Alibag. Alibag is about 22 kilometres ahead from this place.
One can even hire a private charter helicopter and land into Alibag.
We took the Speed Boat to Alibag.

SAMIRA EXPERIENCE

We all assembled at Gateway of India Jetty Terminal awaiting for our Speed Boats, I must tell you I simply love speedboats and it is one awesome hell of a joyride. I never did this route, so was looking forward to it.
This was totally those Upscale Hooh Shaah kind of event wherein Bollywood Celebrities, HNI’s, Millionaires, Billionaires and Socialites of India were present.
The actual trip commenced once we were on the Speed Boat.
When the ride started and the route was seen then understood that one needs to just sailing straight 90 degrees for 9 Nautical Miles and they would reach Alibag.
So this was a fun ride taking pictures movie style and even have a little introduction and chatting with the Director of Samira Group.
We reached Mandwa Jetty Terminal exactly in 20 minutes in this thrilling, jumping, bumping, water and sea bird gazing ride.

ALIBAG – a little brief.

Vijay Dinanath Chauhan walks into Mandwa… lol oops.. i got into my Agneepath self… Romeer Krishnendu Sen walks into Mandwa.

Welcome to the glittering coastline of the Arabian Sea, Alibag is a beautiful coastal town located in the Raigad District in Maharashtra that contains a variety of lovely beaches. Since it is located almost 95 km or 9 Nautical Miles away from Mumbai, it is well-known for catamaran rides and the speedboat rides to the Gateway of India, Mumbai and other holiday activities. Alibag is a familiar place known to the people residing in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Goa and is easily accessible.
Alibag is famous for its beautiful and serene beaches which would amaze you with every visit. The beaches are surreal and has almost everything to offer from gorgeous sunsets, to having a romantic walk with your partner, to enjoying watersports you would get whatever your heart desires.
Being neighbours to the Sahyadri Ghats, Alibag not only has some amazing beaches, but also ancient caves, temples and forts that is equally interesting and worth visiting.

THE MANSION HOUSE

We were escorted to one of the many cars awaited for the guests and were taken straight to the Venue – The Mansion House which was a 0 minute ride. It was a heartiest Maharashtrian style welcome at the property and here we entered into a contemporary mansion tucked away in a quaint village of Alibaug in the lap of the Sahyadris, overlooking the serene Sasawane Lake. The Mansion House is a private spot for such bespoke events and moments of celebrations. It even houses 25 rooms for its guests with the most amazing Pool side and Lawn for lovely brunches.
So what was next – Partying, dancing, experiencing the gourmet culinary which was being offered to drinks and time to enjoy the music amongst the ones who Define Style Statements.
The Guests included Bollywood actors Suniel Shetty, Priyanka Roy, Abhinav Kashyap, Designer Narendra Verma and others.
Everything was on the house so from local vada pav’s to thai curry to shawarma to pizza’s to cocktail and mocktails we were having the best sunday of our lives learning to lead a different side of Alibag Lifestyle.

INVESTMENT IN ALIBAG

From the Hustle and Bustle of Mumbai city, which was still known as the city of dreams, i just find it now a city of population and pollution.
What Samira Group made us realise is that Lifestyle is just not expensive clothing and accessories or just not driving your sports car or suv around its living the healthy lifestyle.
They said come to Alibag not to make it as your second home option, but make it your home. Live here in Alibag and travel to work. And those who care about themselves would love this.
So what is this Lifestyle?
Breathe Oxygen, Go for runs on the beach, Go for treks to the Sahyadri Mountains, Do yoga in your backyard.
Don’t stay in Flats even after paying millions, instead stay in a Villa.
Don’t get stuck in Traffic just take the speed boat or the launching RO RO if you want your car to be your partner. When you don’t worry about traffic you spend more time with your family, that doesn’t just make you happy but your whole family happy.
Bored of your own beaches then don’t forget you are few hours drive to Goa.
Don’t just buy pesticides based vegetables and fruits. Grow your own with organic farming.
Live a life you always wished. Don’t wait until retirement, that serene life you can have now while not missing out any of your work commitments.
So many benefits with so little money to spend that i would call A Deal of A Lifetime. What are you waiting for contact Samira Group to help you find yourself a home.

FEW NAMES OF YOUR FUTURE NEIGHBOURS

If you still thinking then I thought why not share the limelight of staying in Alibag, You really would have Neighbours whom you have always been looking upto – Lakshmi Mittal, Praful Patel, Gautam Singhania, Vicky Oberoi, Niranjan Hiranandani, Rasesh Kanakia,Mukesh Ambani, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and the name keeps going on.
So isn’t this what you always wanted? Pick up your phones and Dial to Samira now.

THE RO RO

Cutting down your Mumbai to Alibaug duration from 3 hours to 90 minutes, the Ro Ro Ferry is here.
The Ro Ro Ferry is not just a transport option for passengers, because it will also carry cars and buses. The terminal at Mazgaon is ready and built, and each ferry can hold up to 18 buses, 180 cars and 200 passengers. The Maharashtra Maritime Board believes that the Ro Ro Ferry will not only become an easier, pocket-friendly and convenient option to travel to Alibaug, but it will also emerge as an eco-friendly option. And the best part? It will continue to operate even during the monsoon season!
The actual prices aren’t out yet, but the rates for each passenger will start at ₹200, per car will be ₹300 and per bus will be ₹700! That may be small price to pay for the fuel and time saved. The views you would enjoy is a bonus!

THINGS TO DO AND BEACHES TO VISIT IN ALIBAG


Murud Janjira Fort
Alibaug Beach
Kihim Beach
Murud Beach
Mandwa Beach
Kolaba Fort
Kashid Beach
Nagaon Beach
Kanakeshwar Forest
Khanderi Fort
Revdanda Fort
Akshi Beach
Varsoli Beach
Rewas Jetty
Awas Beach
Undheri Fort
Brahma Kund
Saswane Beach
Hanuman Temple
Vrindavan Farm
Korlai Beach
Kasim Beach
Kanakeshwar Devasthan Temple

CONTACT SAMIRA GROUP FOR ALL YOUR PROPERTY RELATED NEEDS IN ALIBAG
GB Shirkant Chambers, Next to R.K. Studio, Chembur-400071
enquiries@samirahabitats.com
+91 8169878889

The Nizami Getaway with The Park, Hyderabad

Standing Tall with The Park Hyderabad

Choosing the Hotel

We had to attend an Charitable Fashion Event for Para Athletes Fashion Fiesta, which was to be held at Taj Deccan, Hyderabad and we did not wish to stay in the same hotel property. A friend from Hyderabad recommended me The Park, and i was sold with the idea with the statement that the Pool looks up to the Hussain Sagar Lake.
That’s how we booked The Park Hyderabad, waiting to have an incredible Hyderabadi experience.

Little information about Hyderabad

Hyderabad is the capital of southern India’s Telangana state. A major center for the technology industry, it’s home to many upscale restaurants and shops. Its historic sites include Golconda Fort, a former diamond-trading center that was once the Qutb Shahi dynasty capital. The Charminar, a 16th-century mosque whose 4 arches support towering minarets, is an old city landmark near the long-standing Laad Bazaar.
Hyderabad is the Legacy of the City of Pearls—One of the largest and wealthiest of India’s former princely states, the city built its fortune on the trade of pearls, gold, steel, fabric and, above all, Diamonds. There is only one kind of Biryani in this world– Hyderabadi Biryani!
There is a story goes that the Pir Hazrat Nizamuddin invited Mir Qamar-ud-Din for a meal and offered him kulchas tied in a yellow cloth. The hungry Mir Qamar-ud-Din ate seven kulchas and after his meal, Hazrat Nizamuddin blessed him and prophesied that one day he would be king and that his descendants would rule for seven generations

Airport to Hotel Journey

We landed at 2 pm and headed straight to the Hotel. Our car was already waiting for us, and it took us around an hour to reach to the hotel from the airport.

Hotel

While approaching The Park Hyderabad, i could see one huge new aged steel structure and i was revisiting the movie Transformers in my head, was I in a Transformers movie and this building would turn into a Robot, lol.. too much of me and my movies. Nevertheless the structure was totally cool.
Welcome to Park Hyderabad, the beautiful 5 star luxury property and highly recommended one in Hyderabad.
The Park Hyderabad was an amalgamation of Fashion and Art, the contemporary design was an influence of modern art and culture of the Nizami Era.
Inspired by the city’s traditions of precious stone and textile production, this luxury five-star hotel and spa seduces the senses with exquisite design.
The Park Hyderabad accommodates its guests in 263 contemporary rooms. The well decorated rooms are designed by prominent and reputed Indian as well as International Designers.
The Park Hyderabad has good eat and drink options spreaded out in their various restaurants.
The Park Hyderabad is home to a Gymnasium, Board Meeting Room and Spa.

The Nawabi Welcome

The hotel car podium is your first impression towards the hotel and it’s where you first actually sight the steel heritage design with modern alterations.
The Park Hyderabad Lobby and Reception starts from the 3rd Floor which is your first lift to the actual hotel premises.
Coming out to the Lift you sight a huge open space and then Glass Wall behind which houses the swimming pool looking it’s way to the Hussain Sagar Lake.
Turning left we head to the reception, and we are awaited by Priya who welcomes us with the artificial pearl garland. This is where we felt like the Nizam’s who used to be welcomed back home with garland of pearls and diamonds. (Just wished that The Park giving us the real pearl garland instead of artificial ones.. LOL)
Moving on we were given Lemon juice as the little welcome drink, and by this time our check in formalities had completed and we were given the keys to room no 6044 which we got it changed to 5049 later i.e a Double Room with Lake View and room no 5053 which is a Panoramic Suite of Park Hyderabad.

Rooms

Every Floor and Every Room has a different theme and colour. When we were first given room no 6044 which was on the 6th Floor, the theme of this floor was Green. These colour theme is seen in the whole floor, through the walls, the carpet, the corridor, inside the room these colour is adapted with the sofa being in the same theme colour and on the bathroom wall, where they have a round frosted glass in between the room and bathroom.
Every room has this bathtub which makes the interior classier to next level.
The Toiletries provided in each room is that of the Indian Brand Kama
Room 6044 – Entering the room there is a curved shaped bathroom wall, and these was too hi – tech and awesome, they had a walking wardrobe inside the bathroom itself thus making the room look bigger. There was Brown wooden wall with tables and LCD placed on the screen with Tea and Coffee maker below it. There was a small work space as the extension with a comfortable chair.
To the right was the king size bed with all the room switches with easy access to the guests.
There was a green coloured sofa besides the behind and before the window. Once the window shades open it had a view to the Hussain Sagar Lake, the iconic spots of Hyderabad.

We then shifted out to the 5th floor where both our rooms were situated. These floor theme was Orange, and ofcourse the whole feel was Orange. The corridor and the lobby felt nice and elegant and gave me a feel of being in some international destination then a domestic one.

Room 5049 – Entering the room the bathroom door is on the right, after which there is a closet for luggage and clothes.
Crossing this we reach to the main part of the room, with king sized bed on the right and LCD on the left wooden wall, with seating space with workstation for one.
In this space the bathroom and room was divided with a wall which had a round orange coloured frosted glass to continue with the theme of the floor, and the Sofa was that of orange colour.

Room 5053 – Welcome to the Panoramic suite of Park Hyderabad and their best room type in the Hotel.
so this room is undoubtedly a larger room with room size of 65 m².
When you enter the Room there is a little walk way, which opens up to a bathroom door on the left, and to the right there is a circular shaped leather sofa with beige interiors, and a cupboard for Coffee/Tea making facilities.
This rooms theme with the floor is just the bathroom and room dividing wall having the orange yellowish frosted glass.
This room has two entries to the bathroom one from the entrance side and one from the Bed side for extra comfort to the guest.
The bed in this room is even extra large.
As the name suggests it does have a Panoramic view of the Hussain Sagar from one end to another, and the room is positioned right in the middle of the best view of Hyderabad.
In this room they provide almonds, fruit basket and skin treatment products of Kama.

In Room Dining

The In Room Dining experience at this property was awesome. As we reached late when the restaurants were shut, we had the only option that’s in room dining. To be honest i am not an in room dining fan, but this kitchen made me their fan. We ordered for
1. Hyderabadi Biryani – The rice and vegetable cooked in local spices i.e is yummiest and is the speciality of Hyderabad. The biryani is always served with Mirchi ka Salan (a tasty gravy) and Raita (Yogurt based preparation).
2. Kaju Korma (Cashew Nut Korma) – Kaju Korma is made in white reddish gravy non spicy with the best hers and loads of cashew and vegetables.
3. Dal Bukhara – Dal Bukhara is the Black Lentils preparation which is cooked over a period of a day at least and very few restaurants can make this awesome but these guys definitely activated my taste buds to next level.
Overall i was too happy and filled my stomach and did not have a left overs. We ate it all.

Breakfast at the Verandah

This 24/7 hour restaurant serves Global Cuisine with the emphasis on Indian and Italian fare. The decor has been inspired from Anglo – Indian surroundings.
The Breakfast timings are 6.30am – 10.30 am After a tiring night we reached the restaurant at 9.30am and we awestonished to such a variety of food. they had more than 50 items to select from the Buffet, ranging from fruits, breads, north indian food, south indian food, traditional hyderabadi delicacies to non veg section. the variety of juices and milkshakes were a lot too, with that came croissants and to other sweet tooth breads. In short you couldn’t be left hungry. We tasted everything on the platter.

AishThe Fine Dining

A play of chrome with Nizams’ pictures and mirrors create a contemporary ambience at Aish. The menu showcases the subtle spice nuances of Hyderabadi cuisine and brings the true flavors of Hyderabad. At Aish you experience the forgotten flavors of the Nizami era and relish the rich cuisine of the royal Nizams. The interiors designed by the leading fashion designer of the country Tarun Tahiliani. The uniquely designed floor depicts the traditional style of welcoming the guest with flowers embracing the ambiance with subtle shades of gold. Complimenting to it is the Belgian crystal chandeliers and hand crafted crystal lights on the ceiling and the ambiance decorated with the first copy images of the royal family.

This is undoubtedly the best Hyderabadi Restaurant I ever had food at.

We were assisted all the time by Najima, the head staff of the Aish Restaurant, and she shared her knowledge about the decor of the restaurant which looked like i walked into a Palace. Along with that she even shared all the informations about the photo frames which were hanging on the walls. From the different Nizam’s to Tees Maar Khan (who got this name because he killed 30 tigers in one day and clicked a picture with them) to 7th Nizam’s Daughter in law. The restaurant decor did make me feel like Nizam waiting for the food, and why shouldn’t I feel like a Nizam, Aish has a 7 course meal menu, starting from non alcoholic drinks to end with a desert.
We took our table and awaited. I am a vegetarian so we had a menu which was purely vegetarian.
1. First came this Gud Lemon Soda Drink – this drink is basically made from Lemon Juice, Jaggery and mixed with Soda.
2. Second came the Spinach Soup along with one single Pani Puri
3. Third came the Aloo tikkis served with Mint Chutney and Sweet Chutney.
4. Fourth came my favourite Subz Haleem with Sheermal, this was cooked with jackfruit and vegetables and is the yummiest of the lot served with hot Saffron Breads.
5. Fifth came the Main thali which had 4 types of vegetables which included Paneer, Eggplant, Chillies, Potatoes in Gravy, Dal Bukhara served with the traditional Plain Kulcha and Stuffed Kulcha and Paranthas.
6. Sixth was the welcoming of the Hyderabadi Biryani specially cooked by the chef for us. it had additional flavours cooked very carefully so that we could breathe the perfectly crafted herbs and its fragrance with the rice cooked to its perfection.
7. Seventh last but not least the Rose Petals Kheer (Milk Pudding), which was the Chef’s speciality which was cooked with pure milk, and rose petals.
The only thing happened after this heavy meal was that we went of to sleep for few hours.

Decor of the Hotel

The Hotel was fairly decorated with minimalist designs but had flowers all around the lobby, corridor and even the swimming pool open area.
They even had a little selfie photo booth made out of the important monument Charminar made.
One wouldn’t feel stuck but felt refreshing.

Other Activities in the Hotel

We couldn’t enjoy the below mentioned facilities but Park Hyderabad can be visited for them too.
1. Spa
2. Gymnasium
3. Swimming Pool
4. Kismet – The Disc Lounge
5. Aqua – The deck and space around the swimming pool to enjoy being lazy
6. Carbon Bar
7. The Sicca Bar
8. Trillion Ballroom

Special Mentions for Najima and Inayat, these two were one of the most pleasant, humble and helpful staff of the hotel property. Our stay became a memorable one thanks to these two.

Closest Landmarks to The Park Hyderabad

Hussain Sagar Lake – 2 km
Snow World – 2.2 km
Banjara Hills – 2.6 km
Charminar – 7 km
Golkonda Fort – 7.4 km
Airport – 32 km
Ramoji Film City – 38 km

Anything But Ordinary

If you planning a trip to Hyderabad, India then the place to stay is
The Park Hyderabad
22, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad – 500082 , India
Telephone: +91 – 40 – 44990000
Email: resv.hyd@theparkhotels.com
website: https://www.theparkhotels.com/hyderabad/

Destination Wedding Party at Eriyadu Island Resort, Maldives

Seal with a kiss with BoduBeru Dance group
Photography Courtesy: Stories by Joseph Radhik

Lucky or Blessed?

Haven’t you dreamt about being invited to a destination wedding party, and if I say the destination wedding party is an International Destination then you call yourself lucky, and if that International Destination is Maldives, then O’Boy you are blessed. So this blog is about witnessing the wedding party of my friend Rashmi, a sweet Indian Marathi Mulgi (Girl) and her beau James, a smart handsome Australian Boy which took place at Eriyadu Island Resort in Maldives.

HONG KONG – MUMBAI – MALDIVES.

With the last minute decision of attending the wedding party and not cancelling it, made my trip a bit hectic. It was time to pack my bags in Hong Kong and start a long journey from Hong Kong – Mumbai – Sri Lanka – Maldives, calling for last minute shopping at HK airport to look beach friendly (Ray Ban, Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Nautica, US Polo to the rescue).
Step 2 – Needed a Haircut to look good, so I rushed to my Hairstylist ZEEBA and JAIPAL from WHY NOT BY ZEEBA salon making them miss their movie, after which at home I had just 1 hour to unpack, repack take a shower eat some food and rush back to the airport for my next flight. And there I was ready to board my flight to see the beautiful couple made in heaven get married on earth. I must tell you I was already dead tired and needed sleep badly so that I can enjoy my time at Rashmi’s wedding the next day, and the time to interact with other friends of rashmi in the flight failed because I was sleeping the whole time on the flight. Nevertheless met them all at the arrival hall and immediately knew I am gonna have one hell of an awesome trip.

Sri Lankan Airlines – Mumbai – Maldives,
This shot is at Colombo Airport just before I was boarding the flight to Male

Maldives

The Maldives, officially The Republic of Maldives, is a small island nation in South Asia, located in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 1,000 kilometres from the Asian continent and is a spread over of 200 Islands with over 132 resorts to enjoy.
We were booked at one such Island Resort called Eriyadu.

Bird’s eye view of Eriyadu Island
Photo Courtesy – Stories By Joseph Radhik

Day 1

Airport to Hotel Journey

Male Airport to ERIYADU Island Resort one has to take the speed boat which takes around 45 mins to reach.

Bird’s eye view of Eriyadu Island Resort
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim
Bird’s eye view of Eriyadu Island Resort
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim
One with Eriyadu Island Resort Name Tag
The Picture says it all

Hotel and It’s Location

Eriyadu Island Resort is a simple, beautiful and secluded hotel resort on an island of tropical beauty situated in North Malé Atoll. The hotel is the only one on the island, reflecting its surroundings of bamboo and tropical palm trees.
Eriyadu is one of the few remaining islands that remains true to the Maldivian entity.
Eriyadu has 76 Rooms divided in two categories – Beach Rooms and Deluxe Beach Rooms(Villas). Eriyadu has two bars, one restaurant, swimming pool, spa, own coral reef diving areas, small shop, water sports activities and gaming area.
Eriyadu is close to white sandy beaches, while the lagoon is home to a natural coral reef that can be explored by snorkeling or diving with the hotel’s professional dive center. Its central location is very close to 35 of the best dive sites of the North as well as the South Male Atoll, providing a prime location for divers.
My stay at Eriyadu was one of the most simple yet beautiful coral reef beach facing villas I have ever stayed at.

In and Around the Island
The Boat, Cruise waiting Deck
View of the Hotel from the Deck
Seating/waiting area for the Cruise
In and around the Island
Panaromic View of the Beach and Maldivian Sea of Eriyadu Resort Island
Seating Area of the Restaurant
Seating Area
Swimming Pool
A little Resting, Reading Area
Photo Courtesy: Eriyadu Instagram Page
The Bed Couch in the Resting Area

Maldivian Hospitality adds up to Indian Tradition

At the Deck, we were warmly welcomed by the hotel staff along with the bride and groom. This is the Indian Tradition wherein we ourselves welcome the Guests even though they are the centre of attraction. The staff was giving the information about their beautiful property and island while we were walking towards the reception which is a little walk from the boat deck.
While waiting at the reception for our room keys we were greeted with the much needed nice cold welcome drinks, which was specially made by their chef to hydrate us, as the weather was little hot.
The reception area was huge and it had simplicity with open wide spaces with many seating areas for the guest to relax and enjoy till they finished their check in formalities.
And soon my room was dedicated to me and a humble local bell boy was sent along for my assistance to reach my room.

Reception
Reception Area
Games Area next to the Reception
Pathway to Rooms

Rooms

As mentioned this not a small island, so one can get confused the first day if you are not guided, from next day you will feel at home. We were all booked in the Deluxe Beach Rooms and My Room was quiet a walk from the Lobby Area and i had to cross through the beautiful trees and surroundings and i could really feel myself in the beauty of nature.
While walking I took all the information i could about the property and its facilities from the staff.
All of Rashmi’s guests had their own beach front villas so that they can have the direct access to the beach from their rooms.
The Deluxe Beach Rooms is a Villa wherein two rooms adjoining to each other are created. The Villa has a small Balcony space for you to chill relax have your drink and read the book looking at the view of god’s perfection.
Once in the Room it’s a huge nice set up with two chairs on the left, a king size bed, television, wardrobe and mini bar on the right.
The room decor matches the tropical paradise keeping it light white colour with matching brown furniture.
After this comes the beauty of the room actually the bathroom – The bathroom is half the size of the room and had its own entry exit door. It had a Bathtub, a open shower area, toilet and lovely washbasin. All of this made me have a wish to stay here forever and never go back.

Room Interior
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Facebook Page
Room Interior
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Facebook Page
Room Balcony view
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Facebook Page
My Room View looking to the sea

The Wedding Party

Now time to even talk about the reason I was in Maldives, Wedding Party of the beautiful couple Rashmi and James.
Rashmi is a sweet cute little happy go lucky girl from Mumbai who is a fellow libran like me, she is full of energy having the most cute and adorable smile, is a fitness freak and a motivator.
James on the other hand is a most humble human being I have met, his simplicity is charming , and with his Australian accent you would just wanna keep listening to him. This two had met in the year 2009 and it was love at first sight for James, and they both knew since then that one day they would tie a knot to start a beautiful family.
The Wedding Party was on the same day and had very minimal ritual as the entire focus was to actually enjoy the party with beach, dancing, drinking and adventure sports.

The Bride and The Groom – Wedding Dress and Makeup

As per Rashmi clothes weren’t the main attraction the wedding, though I think this statement was restricted to James and she chose to wear a golden gown created by herself and the ocean blue gown was created by Aneesh Agarwaal and James was fairly casual and perfectly dressed for the beach orange shirt with white trousers. With her the only people who were colour coordinated were the Bridesmaids wearing lovely blue dresses in different styles. Rashmi’s makeup and hair was done by Maheleqa Mohseni who is also her close friend so it was all the more special for her.

Bride and Groom
Photo Courtesy: Abhijit Kohle
Rashmi enjoying her cake
Photo Courtesy: Stories by Joseph Radhik
Rashmi and James
Stories by Joseph Radhik

Wedding Party Photography Team

Rashmi had a parade of good photographers as guests to cover her wedding party and make it memorable for lifetime in pictures – Abhijit Kolhe and Pushkaraj Shirke.
But no bride would be happy with friends clicking you alone so she hired a top team of professional photographers from India – Stories by Joseph Radhik with his team Raj Mohapatra and Shivali Chopra (stories team are famously known to shoot Anushka Sharma – Virat Kohli, Priyanka Chopra – Nick Jonas, Samantha – Chaitanya and many other celebrity weddings) and videography was done by Asad Ibrahim from Maldives.

The Rituals
Photo Courtesy: Abhijit Kohle
This shot is again a bird eye view, but with the bride and the groom
Photo Courtesy – Stories By Joseph Radhik
Time with the Bride and Groom
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim

The Wedding Party Venue and Decor

The Wedding Venue was on the beach front of the Island and they had set up a small beautiful tent for the vows. The theme was orange, navy blue and gold. The marquee structure was mix of red and orange with flowers, the seating chairs were all in white and bouquet of orange flowers on the pathway with yellow petals on the sand to give it a fell of the yellow carpet for the bride and groom’s walk towards the marquee for exchanging the vows . It looked so surreal and beautiful, as by the time this two would get married the sun would change its colours giving the most beautiful moment of life.

Beautiful Decor
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim
It was so beautiful
When two Photographers are clicking the entry of the Bride and Groom one photobombs always, this guy in mine and I must be in his

The Vows

Both the bride and groom had personalised vows which they exchanged in few minutes and locked it with a kiss.

Bride and Groom
Photography Courtesy : Abhijit Kohle
Bride and Groom
Photography Courtesy : Abhijit Kohle
Rituals and Fun
Photo Courtesy : Stories by Joseph Radhik
One with the bride
Photo Courtesy : Stories by Joseph Radhik
Bride with the Bridesmaids
Photo Courtesy : Stories by Joseph Radhik

Post Vow Celebrations

Soon after the vows were exchanged we all danced to the local maldivian music and instrument BoduBeru Dance.
(BoduBeru Dance dates back to the 11th Century and is the traditional dance of Maldives, Performed by a group, it consists of one lead singer and lots of drums apart from variety of thumping instruments. The pace of the music and dance gradually picks up, and usually at the end of it the spectators would be dancing along with the group. The songs and dance styles are similar to the ones found in East and South West Africa giving rise to speculation that these might have been introduced to this tiny island nation by sailors from the African continent.) 
They were singing songs in local language but with the music we understood those were Indian Songs dubbed in their language.
The night was getting younger, then came in an uncle on his little guitar singing songs and invited us to sing along, and in few minutes I took over the mic to sing, though not a great singer I guess I did keep the entertainment alive.
Heading from here we went for a lovely dinner, got ourselves changed to Party all night with the DJ of Eriyadu. Continuing we all were inside the pool taking this party to another level.
As we said destination wedding parties are never ending, but I had to call it a night at 1am, a little early then others as i had a dream photoshoot planned with Asad starting at 3 am. You can read “A Night with the Shooting Star” and “The Maldivian Sunrise.” to know about the shoot.

Time for BoduBeru Dance with the Bride
Photo Courtesy: Abhijit Kohle
With the Band
Photo Courtesy: Stories by Joseph Radhik
All smiles
Photo Courtesy: Stories by Joseph Radhik
Me singing with Pushkraj
Captured beautifully by : Stories by Joseph Radhik
When Shooting Star decides to appear in your picture
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim
Beautiful Sunrise sitting on the Deck
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim
When the sun shines brighter
Photo Courtesy: Asad Ibrahim

Day 2

Back to the Rooms

So after finishing the shoot at 6.30 am in the morning, it was time to go to sleep as the agenda for the whole day was to explore the island nothing else.
So I slept like a baby for few hours in the most comfortable bed.
The rooms are well-appointed with modern conveniences and a trendy islander decorative theme that promotes a peaceful atmosphere.
And as it was exploration time it was even time to enjoy the bathtub and read a book. I guess i have never been so relaxed the way i was in Eriyadu and in this bathtub, as it was just me and myself.
The bathroom space is so huge it’s almost the size of a hotel room in many hotels in India. So this time it was time to relax in the bathtub and read a book.

Bathroom Pic
Bathroom Pic 2
Complete View of the Bathroom

Food and Drinks

Being on an Island means you are restricted to the food made in the restaurant in the island only, but if it is Eriyadu Island then it’s like having a blast. You have a huge variety of food. So our stay had all meals included, so we were enjoying Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea and Dinner menu at the hotel restaurant itself. I am always worried being a vegetarian but to my relief they even had a huge variety of vegetarian food in the menu. There was a huge fruit section with a collection of exotic tropical fruits like Dragon Fruit, Passion Fruit, etc.
Other than this, Eriyadu had two Resto – Bars and all of the guests enjoyed unlimited alcohol and other drinks.
So overall we were having a blast living on an island.
You don’t need anything else than a lifestyle of that of a Maldivian Holiday.

My MontBlanc Aviators enjoying the company of Budwiser
at the Resto Bar Deck
It’s Dinner Time
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Resort Facebook Page
It’s Dinner Time
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Resort Facebook Page
Live Counters
Picture Courtesy: Eriyadu Resort Facebook Page
Resto Bar Deck
Getting Clicked at the Resto Bar
Resto Bar
Enjoy a round of Billiards while sipping beer connected to the Resto Bar
Turtle Point, The Beach Front Bar

Scuba Diving with Euro Divers

Eriyadu is the perfect island for your scuba diving.
Euro-Divers at Eriyadu offers a full range of PADI diving courses, there are activates for all levels, from snorkeling to new divers and up to experienced level.
This was my first time scuba diving and i was very very excited. Euro Divers suggested to enjoy the house reef around Eriyadu which is simply breathtaking and offers a nice variety of marine life with over 350 different species of fish. So I decided to explore the house reef with a dive buddy. The house reef exploration took nearly three hours with some training session in the beginning. 
I can’t express in words how I felt because it is not to be told but to be experienced yourself.
And to make this dive a memorable one Pushkraj clicked my images with his GoPro.
We did go deep inside the water till we could visibly see the water and i was swimming with the fishes, for the first time made me realise there is such a beautiful life underwater and its their home, and we are making it dirty, but throwing our trash inside.
The coral reef, the fishes, the plants, I could feel being away from this body and suddenly being a fish with them.
I request that once in life one should surely swim underwater and experience their life.
We also had the opportunity to swim with nurse sharks. It was a surreal experience.

  • Other than this Euro Divers even offer other water sports activities:
  • Stand up paddleboarding – sup
  • Kayak
  • Catamaran sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Jet ski rides
  • Banana & fun tube rides
  • Waterski, monoski, wakeboard & kneeboard
Euro Divers office
Photo Courtesy: Eriyadu Facebook Page
Euro Divers
Next to Euro Divers office
It’s Scuba Time
Photo Courtesy: Pushkaraj Shirke
Lets go deeper
Photo Courtesy: Pushkaraj Shirke

Sunset Cruise

On certain days of the week, Eriyadu organises cruise rides to see the beautiful sunset from a sunset point. So was lucky to be on the island on this day. Our tour was a 60 minute ride, where we enjoyed the sunset dancing on lovely music along with snacks and drinks.

Sunset Cruise Boat, just when the sun is setting
Walking through the Sunset
Sunset Shot

Day 3

Coral Reef Snorkeling

It was again time to enter the Maldivian Sea. We took the snorkeling gear from Euro Divers office as they were complimentary to us.
It was me, Rashmi and James on this one. They were clicking some pictures with Asad and its team, and yes they did get some lovely shots.

Nurse sharks
StingRay Fish

The Bougain Spa

After the hectic schedule from my travel, to attending the wedding, to missing my sleep to shoot, and then going for scuba did ask for some nice spa and massage time.
The Bougain Spa at Eriyadu Island Resort & Spa brings together the rich heritage of international wellness philosophies to offer guest some of the chosen signature therapies and unique therapeutic experience that relax and rejuvenate.
So one hour of spa made me feel amazing and totally refreshed and a totally new me.

Time to Say Goodbye

The saddest part of the journey arrived when I had to say Goodbye to this Island and the time I spent here, but taking back some beautiful memories which would last forever with some amazing TravelPostCards.
On Day 3rd most of the guests had to say goodbye, but the bride and groom further enjoyed another 3 nights at this same island with their close family

Beautiful Travel Postcards from Maldives
Time to say Goodbye but Until Next Time Maldives

If you looking at a trip to Maldives then without any hesitation and doubts book:
Eriyadu Island Resort
North Male’ Atoll Kaafu Atoll, 08210, Maldives
Tel: +960 664-4487
website: http://www.eriyadumaldives.com

To contact all the above photographers, designers and make up artist who made this whole event and this blog become reality:
Abhijit Kolhe (Photographer)
Instagram handle: the.wanderingfox
http://www.abhijitkolhe.com/the-wandering-fox
Asad (Photographer)
Instagram handle: asad.photo
http://www.asad.photo
Joseph Radhik (Photographer)
Instagram handle: storiesbyjosephradhik
http://www.stories.josephradhik.com
Pushkaraj Shirke (Photographer)
Instagram handle: credosian
http://www.psfofficial.com
Aneesh Agarwaal (Designer)
Instagram handle: aneeshagarwaalofficial
Maheleqa Mohseni (Makeup Artist of Rashmi)
Instagram handle: makeupbymaheleqa
Zeeba Mortezai (My Hairstylist)
Instagram handle: whynot_byzeeba

Magical Winterline at Sterling Resorts, Mussoorie.

Holiday Differently – Sterling Resorts, Mussoorie

Choosing the Hotel

It all Started with My Best Friend Nirav deciding Mussoorie as Boy’s Trip Destination. As we were all from different cities, we had planned to make our meeting base as Delhi and then doing a Road Trip to Mussoorie.
Mussoorie is known as the Queen of the Hills, a Hill Station situated in the Dehradun District of the Indian State of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 2005 metres (6578 ft). Mussoorie is about 35 kms uphill from State Capital Dehradun and about 290 kms from the National Capital New Delhi
After doing some nice research, we ended up locking Sterling Resorts, Mussoorie as our Stay Location. We booked the hotel from Booking.com as we got nice offer for the Premier Room including Breakfast and Taxes.

Sterling Resorts, Mussoorie
Pic Courtesy: Sterling Resorts, Booking.com page

Delhi to the Sterling Journey

Me, Nirav and Karan landed in Delhi headed to Mayank’s house for a night sleep. We started our Journey from Delhi to Mussoorie at 7.30 am in the morning which was a 290 km drive. It took us 7 hours to reach Mussoorie via road journey with 4 pit stops, thanks to the newly opened 6 lane highway.

You would always meet the monkey’s while heading to a hill station

Location

The Hotel is at the top of cliff towards the extreme corner of Mussoorie Mountain Range. To reach the Hotel we turned left from Mussoorie Library into the bylane for about a km and again turned left towards the Military Camp site, from the camp gate turn right and further straight we could slowly see the hotel, and after few mountain terrain turns we reached our destination – Sterling Resorts, Mussoorie.

Mussoorie Library, one of the the main attractions of the city

Hotel

When we first sighted the Hotel we were so delighted and happy that we selected this property. We reached the hotel premises at around 3.30 pm.
Sterling Resorts is a unique destination in itself. It is perched on the edge of a cliff that overlooks the picturesque Doon Valley with deodar trees lining the ranges, snow-capped mountains at a distance and clouds rising from below.
The resort has 111 well-appointed rooms with a huge window in each room, and balconies in Premier Room and Privilege Suite from where one can enjoy the beauty of the alluring Doon valley. One can just grab a cup of coffee and watch the clouds dancing around. If one is feeling adventurous, the rocky forest terrain has many trekking routes. And the resort’s Holiday Activity Centre has a list of experiences like rope adventures, zip line, paintball, etc.

The first sight of the resort while reaching
Picture clicked from the below side of the rooms.
Exterior is well maintained
Exterior structure of the property

The Garhwali Welcome

At the Entrance, we were welcomed by a group of local musicians and singers singing their local folk songs.
While the staff completed the check in formalities, we are asked to wait near the balcony area with the View of the Mountains and we were just mesmerised by the awesome construction of the hotel property on the Hills. Being a cold weather they served us the much needed drink called Kahwa, using local herbs.
The staff of the hotel was very sweet, kind and humble, updated us about the hotel property and guided us to nearby restaurants, attractions and places to visit in Mussoorie.
The decor of the lobby was a mixture modern and antique furnitures.

It’s not an usual welcome, but there was a business group arriving too, hence we got such a local welcome
With the logo of sterling resorts
Entrance
Reception Area
Lobby Area
Concierge
Lobby View – Up to the Balcony, Down to the Restaurant
View from the Balcony
The Clay Pot in which the Local Drink was served
View from the balcony
It’s beginning to sunset

Room Types

Types of Rooms:-
1. Classic Room
This contemporary room is of size 299 sq.ft . The classic rooms come with an option of queen / twin beds and can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 1 child. 
2. Premier Room
Premier Rooms come with a choice of queen / twin beds and a single sofa cum bed. They are 341 sq.ft in size and come with a mountain view. Premier rooms accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 children / 3 adults. 
3. Privilege Suite
The meticulously designed Privilege Suite comes with a king sized bed and a separate living area replete with a double sofa cum bed. Covering an area of 642 sq.ft, this spacious suite can accommodate a maximum of 3 adults and 1 child. The suites have a spectacular mountain view.
Interior of the Rooms:-
The new styled decor compliments with the good old charm of Mussoorie history . At night experience Magical Scenic views of Doon valley which comes alive with glimmering lights from all over the city, scented by the aroma of thick Deodar trees.

To reach to the rooms we had one to take the lift down from lobby to ground floor, and then take another lift further down leading to our rooms.

Pathway to rooms
Pathway to rooms
A little more down to the room
Last decent to the room

Room No 220

We were allocated 2 Premier Rooms adjacent to each other. Nirav and I took the keys of Room No 220.
Entering the room there was a little kitchen on the right, the bathroom on the left, after which we entered the living area having the queen sized bed placed on the left side with two side tables with night lamps, and the LED Tv placed on the wall opposite the bed. For extra seating they have kept a sofa and a chair. Premier Rooms have Balcony along with the huge Window to sight the magical view of the mountains which awaited our arrival.

  • The Amenities in the room were:-
  • Central Heating System
  • Tea Coffee Maker
  • Hair Dryer
  • Wide range of Channels
  • Mini Fridge
  • LED Television
  • Air Conditioning
  • Toiletries in the Bathroom of Biotique
  • Mineral Water Bottles

In Room Dining had one of the nicest menu, and we were told not to forget to try the local garhwali food, and it did activate all our taste bud senses and made our soul happy.

Room Door
Little Kitchen Area
Bathroom
Bathroom
Shower Area
Toiletries from Biotique
Room with the cozy nice bed
Bed with seating area
Bed, seating area and a little view of the Window and Balcony
Television, Mirror and Door to the Balcony

The Winterline

Winterline is an atmospheric phenomenon.  It is a second horizon that develops under special conditions during an inversion when warm air is trapped beneath cold air.
There are only two places in the world from where the winterline is visible:-
1. Switzerland
2. Mussoorie

The Winterline is visible almost everyday in Mussoorie during the cold months from the middle of October till January. 
Now the best part is that to see this I did not have to walk out of the Hotel or Room, Just walk to the Balcony, and I got mesmerised seeing the Magical Evening Sky painted with a mixture of colours all call Winterline.

The magic is about to start
It’s almost there
Couldn’t believe but my eyes did – The Winterline

The First Snowfall of the Season

I was not even out of the happiness to experience the winterline, that God had more in store for me. We got a call from the reception and they informed that the season’s first snow fall has started so we can just come out of the rooms to experience that too, so ended up going to the balcony to feel the first snowflakes dropping and settling on our palms. It was raw snow so it within seconds start converting into water.

Couldn’t capture the snow, but enjoy the city view
That’s Dehradun City seen from the Hills of Mussoorie

The Sunrise

Staying for three nights, gave us three beautiful and different sunrises thanks to the constant change of weather conditions.

Sunrises are Beautiful
I Couldn’t match my eyes to it, but my camera lenses did
Second Day Sunrise
Just look at the rays of the Sun
Welcoming a New Day

Breakfast with a view

The Doon Diner, the multi cuisine restaurant of the hotel was where the Breakfast was served, and i must say that they did not fall back even here.The view from the restaurant is phenomenal. The quality of the food was really good, and with a wide spread choices of delicacies. The food menu had everything from multiple choice of fresh and canned juices, local herb juices, milkshakes to tea and coffee. Corn flakes to Salads to Freshly cut Fruits were a delight. A nice variety of Garhwali Styled and South Indian Menu with Live counters did good justice to the quantity of food. Breads, Buns, Toasts to Pastries nothing was missing to call this breakfast incomplete or dissatisfactory. One of the tastiest food i have ever eaten.

Truly Breakfast with a view, my table for the day
Restaurant waiting area
Restaurant
Views of the mountains
Yummy breakfast and gorgeous view
Can’t get enough of it
Freshly made Cucumber, Mint Juice for health freaks like me

Other Activities and Facilities

I always believe that when one goes to a place for Holiday, one should have the information about what are the other activities and facilities one would be enjoy and experience and Sterling does have a long list.

  • Amphitheatre
  • Baggage Storage
  • Banqueting
  • Concierge
  • Fitness Centre
  • Holiday Activity Centre
  • In-Room Dining
  • Laundry
  • Multi Cuisine Restaurant
  • On-Call Doctor
  • Parking (Based on availability)
  • Power Backup
  • Spa
  • Selfie Point
  • Travel Desk
  • Air Hockey
  • Air Tattoo
  • Amphitheatre
  • Arts n Craft
  • Badminton
  • Board Games
  • Bonfire/Party Games
  • Carrom Board
  • Cycling
  • DJ Corner
  • Foosball
  • High Rope Adventures
  • Internet Center
  • Karaoke
  • Library
  • Low Rope Adventures
  • Paint Ball
  • Picnic
  • Playing Cards
  • Pool Table
  • Self Balancing Scooter
  • Table Tennis
  • Toddler Corner
  • Treks n Trails
  • Video Games
  • Zipline
Ample car parking space
Car Park
Even my American Tourister Bag got itself a memory from the Hotel – Luggage Services
Spa Services
Pic Courtesy: Sterling Resorts, Booking.com page
Gym
Pic Courtesy: Sterling Resorts, Booking.com page
If you need personal photographer, an additional service
That’s what you get when you hire their photographer
Additional Activities Offered
Housekeeping and Laundry
Laundry Charges
Holiday Activity
Adventure Zone
Selfie Point

Sign Boards

The Resort has stuck sign boards all around so that the Guests can be easily guided towards their destination within the property itself, as the property is made in a large space and few things and routes can definitely be confusing without these sign boards.

Negative points of Sterling, Mussoorie

  • No Mobile Network – As we are close to a military base, the network towers are jammed, so the only place you can use your mobile phone is in the lobby and the parking lot area, not anywhere close to the rooms.
  • The Paid Wifi Service – Even for Wifi, the hotel provides free wifi only once for one instrument during your entire stay, other than that you would be charged as per different schemes and the rates are expensive.
    So if you wish to stay disconnected from the world during your hotel stay then you wouldn’t mind it.
  • In Room Dining is also expensive as compared to the normal charges or any restaurant in Mussoorie.

Closet Landmarks from Sterling Resorts:-
2.5 kms from Mussoorie Library or the Mall Road of Mussoorie.
8 kms from Landour
10 kms from Lal Tibba
25 kms from Dhanaulti
62 kms from Dehradun Airport
37 kms from Dehradun Railway Station
2.5 kms from Mussoorie Bus Stand.

Mussoorie Library in the night
Mussoorie Square

Lose your Heart at Sterling Mussoorie

If you are planning to travel to Mussoorie then you do not need to have second thoughts to visit this Hotel. I guess my trip to Mussoorie wouldn’t be this awesome if i wouldn’t have stayed at Sterling Resorts.
The Staff assisted us in going to places nearby and helped us in whatever we needed to make our stay more comfortable.
To get your heart stolen in Mussoorie go and stay at:
Sterling Mussoorie – Resorts and Hotels
Radha Bhawan Estate, Circular Road, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand 248179
Telephone: +91 – 9003302727
website: https://www.sterlingholidays.com/resorts-hotels/mussoorie

My Travelpostcards picture from Sterling, Mussoorie

Hear Yourself at Inner Temple, Goa.

Inner Temple.
picture courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook

Choosing the Hotel – A Surprise actually

Goa needs no introduction, though i have already given a little history about Goa in my other blog – Bollywood Style, Photobombing Goa.
This Villa was selected by my best friend Amanda and her husband Sean as a part of their Post Wedding or Buddymoon celebrations for three nights.
Hence wasn’t aware about where i was staying or how is it gonna be? It was like a blind date with the villa property.

The Heartiest Welcome at Inner Temple

Airport to Hotel Journey

I landed at 7pm in the evening and had 3 of my friends waiting for me at the airport and headed straight to the address given in Moira. It took us about an hour and a half to reach our destination. so by the time we reached the inner temple it was already 9.30pm.

The Villa

Wow was the expression i had when we reached, Walking through the gate i see this hidden gem which was a massive extraordinary luxurious homestay in a restored Portuguese Villa, what more could I have asked for in Goa?
I walked through the lush gardens with brown tiling straight towards the villa, and boy could feel the fragrance of the flowers and edible herbs been locally grown inside the villa premises. I could even sight an indoor pool which was lit and was calling me inside, though it was time to first greet my Hosts, the newly wedded couple.
Sean took me around to show the place, and with each passing minute this property was making me fall in love with it.

The first site of the Inner Temple Villa
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
Pool was also attracting my eye sight
The Beautiful Villa
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
Seating Area
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
Morning Sight of the Villa
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
Morning Sight of the Villa
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
Inner Temple
Clicked at 6am in the morning just when i was about to leave this beautiful villa

Living Room

This was one of those Old Portuguese Villa which had a ceiling height of more than 20 feet. The Villa was designed so beautifully with the whole area wisely utilised for the comfort. The Villa starts with a Veranda, a seating place for the guests, with the dining space and kitchen adjoining it. Inside the villa you walk into one massive living room which is not less than 3000 sqft. In the centre a huge seating sofa is seated for all the guests to enjoy their time. On both sides of the living room there are two fully stacked bookshelves. This living room is the perfect place to meditate and have your spiritual being awaken. They have a Shelf where the Nataraja – Lord Shiva in cosmic ecstatic dancing form, there were three frames Goddess Durga on the wall behind, a beautiful thought because Lord Shiva is incomplete without Goddess Durga and vice versa . And the owners decorate it with beautiful flowers and fragrant candles and scented sticks. They have different music instruments like Tabla and Tribal Dholki kept for the guests to go into a Musical mode of leading a happy life.
This is one of the bestest place to do yoga sessions and or ayurvedic retreats.
There is one more huge common bathroom attached to it.
Suddenly i felt peaceful seeing such a lovely environment.

seating area
book shelves on both sides
massive living room
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
whether the Shiva or Nataraja or Durga this house really has some awesome paintings of them and makes me feel alive
The perfect sight of Nataraja with Goddess Durga and the musical instruments kept below
The Nataraja
making my memorable travelpostcard at the best place of the villa
the bathroom door was also painted in green to match the decor
love the mosaic tiles used in the bathroom with huge mirrors
beautiful artifacts

Rooms

The villa houses three thematic bedrooms –
1. The gorgeous blue Kamini – named after the Orange jessamine flower which grows abundantly in the villa garden.
2. The earthy yellow, white and brown Champa – is inspired by the beautiful frangipani flowers. With direct access to the verandah, this room is perfect for early morning birds to enjoy the sunrise.
both on the ground floor and
3. Sachchidananda on the upper floor; done-up in warm hues of red, orange and coral, complete with a walk-in closet and a lovely balcony, where one can sip a morning cuppa while watching its white drapes billow in the breeze.
Common to all three are mesmerising mosaic flooring and window-seat enclosures. 

The Gorgeous Blue Kamini

The boys were allocated the room – Kamini, which is on the left side of the living room area. And its interior and decor is perfect for boys as its Blue in Colour. The Doors are wooden and restored and kept it to its old feel. When you enter the rooms, you feel like you entering your own home, it never felt like someone else’s.
To the right was a nicely lit and a massive bathroom which had a seating facility, a fan for comfort during summers, A shower and a toilet area along with the luxurious green blue washbasin with artistic mirror on the wall. The walls were painted in white with the addition of blue, green and white mosaic tiles. The toiletries provided were of a Indian herbal brand Neev.
Once you cross the bathroom door thats where the closet for clothes are made.
Passing through it you arrive to the first bedroom space with a huge king size bed with two side tables, one another table with night lamp.
There is a little dressing table with mirror in white which is truly antique.
The room even had an French Window Seat Enclosures outfitted with comfortable cushions to enjoy daydreaming with the beauty of the nature while enjoying your read and drinks.
The ceilings had Turkish Lights which looked so beautiful.
The bedding and linens used were for the highest comfort and it was perfect for the back.

  • The Amenities in the Room were:-
  • Fan
  • Air Conditioning
  • Iron
  • Non-feather pillow
  • Charging Socket near the bed
  • Trash cans
  • Ironing Facilities
  • Bottle of Water
  • Attached Bathroom
that’s what i call bedroom
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
the best place to daydream while reading a book
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
paintings are filled in the walls of the villa
old antique mirror
simply perfect
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
lovely bathroom
there is a seating area in the bathroom. thinking what is it used for?
isn’t this amazing
the antique looks is quiet good
Toiletries from Neev
views of the room from outside

Champa

comfy beds
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
lovely bathroom
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook

Sachchidananda

the steps towards the room
the room
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook

The Kitchen, Dining Area and Food

They had open kitchen area concept and made the whole place look quite huge and large, We were told the villa owners are known for their hospitality and trust me nothing was trouble for them. We were provided with free breakfast which included a vast range of Seasonal fruits, cereals and eggs. For the vegetarians there was Poha and Dosas.
The Dining Table set up was lovely and the plates and food serving bowls made out of clay reminded of being raw and living with the nature.
On one of the days they treated us to a Goan spread for lunch with local favourites like Sol Kadhi, Fried Fish, Goan Rice, Prawn Curry, Chicken Xacuti, Egg Curry, Mixed Vegetables, Yellow Lentils, Potato Bhajias and Juices.
Throughout the day the support staff were there to help us with Tea, Coffee or any other requirements which we had.

the kitchen
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
the dining table
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
after a long night in goa, good breakfast is a must
that’s lots of eggs, no just perfect for 12 people
the yummiest goan food with the chef’s who cooked it
that’s the vast dinner spread

The Swimming Pool

The Blue huge swimming pool was the highlight of the Villa as it is known for its Pool and is also named as the Best Private Pool Villa in Goa.
The Pool even has the machine to activate wave pool.
The good part is they maintain it and all 12 of us fitted well in the pool together and we had a lot of pool games to make our trip memorable.

views from the pool
photo courtesy: Inner Temple Page, Facebook
enjoying my time in the best private pool villa in goa
the beautiful sun and the awesome pool what a combination
Posing with my travel buddy Carriall

Other Activities and Facilities

On Demand Spa:-
A  massage is a perfect addition to a Goa holiday and offers and opportunity to relax and unwind. One can enjoy 5 star spa service in the villa to enhance a more exclusive and intimate spa experience.
Ayurveda Services:-
Heal yourself through traditional ayurvedic massage and ancient south Indian herbal therapies.
Yoga Retreats & Workshops:-
The living room is converted into a Yoga and Meditation studio for private classes and workshops. Yoga is the best way to re energise yourself and can be experienced during a long stay. The living room is the centre of energy of this villa and the best place to know your inner temple too.
Games:-
Engage yourself and with your friends in different board game, puzzles and pool table which are made accessible to the guests.
Tv Area with projectors & Ipod Dock Speakers:-
Enjoy a cosy movie with the loved ones or a Friends Season with your friends for memorable time. Or during the night what better then being a DJ yourself and playing some music with Ipod Dock and Speakers.
Wifi Services:-
To Stay connected wifi services are free.
Hidden Areas of the Villa:-
There are many more seating areas which are in and around the villa within the campus so open the doors roam around a little bit, check out the lovely ingrown flowers and herbs, see the various statues kept as decor, feel the oxygen in the morning and make memorable Travelpostcards.

the lush green surroundings of the villa
Good Vibes at Inner Temple Goa
Tshirt from Heavy Metal Fashion,
get yours at http://www.heavymetalfashion.in
There are so many places to sit relax and spend time with yourself
lovely artifacts
antique mirrors and drawers are all around the place
“i am old but i can still handle your weight” is what this old rustic bench telling me
the pathway is so amazing
locally grown herbs and flowers
this place is filled with oxygen
greenery to the eyesight
he reminded us to meditate and her ourselves

Few Other Popular Goan Landmarks which you can visit during your stay are:-
Anjuna Flea Market
Chapora Fort
River Cruise
Bridge Panji
Parra The Coconut Tree Road
Fort Aguada
The Broken Church
Fontainhas
Basilica of Born Jesus
Andron Restaurant
Mapusa Market
Whispering Cafe
Gunpowder Restaurant
Ciao Bella Restaurant
Antares Restaurant
You can ask the owners to organise transport for you to go to any of your preferred destinations.

Find your Inner Self and Inner Temple

If you are travelling to Goa this place is undoubtedly the best place to stay and experience ourselves.
The Villa is owned and managed by Mandira.
Chantal the caretaker and she is always on her toes to make your visit memorable.
The staff consisting of Babu, Shiva and Renuka are awesome and at all times are at your assistance.
If you wish to find your inner self contact:
The Inner Temple
House no. 851, Near Moira Club Moira, Goa 403507, India
Website: https://www.theinnertemple.in/

Goodbyes are never easy for me n my travel buddy Carriall
Me and my travel buddy Carriall leaving with beautiful memories from the Inner Temple
Get one for yourself from http://www.carriall.com

Bollywood Style Photobombing Goa.

Through the lens of Vaibhav Ghate.

A 3 Hour Tour of Goa.

Welcome to Goa, The Smallest State of India which is known for its Highly Influential Rich History with Portuguese Culture and Habitat as they ruled Goa for 450 years. The local language spoken here is Konkani.
But what we love about Goa is its Beaches, Shacks, Street Shopping, Local Feni, Cheap Drinks and the Sea Food which would surely challenge the taste buds.
It’s the Social Media Paradise to get many photographs at the beach.
With that comes the Best Nightlife in the Country.
Now you going to read is what you can do after doing all the above and in those 3 to 5 hours between your Hotel check out and your Flight check in. 
Let’s take you around Some Historical Places of Goa, Bollywood Style. Why Bollywood Style, because these were the locations used by our Beloved Star’s Shahrukh Khan, Ajay Devgan, Ranveer Singh, Rohit Shetty, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Sara Ali Khan and others for their movie shoot.

My Stay was at The Inner Temple, Moira in North Goa during this trip, a complete other blog is coming soon about this property.
So we planned our list for the 3 Hour photoshoot tourist locations in North Goa and they were:
1. Parra, The Coconut Tree Road.
2. Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount.
3. Church of St. Augustine, the famous broken church.
4. Fontainhas, Panjim.
The whole shoot area was within the radius of 20 kms and 2 to 3 kms from each other so that we don’t waste our time on travel and we focus more on our shoot.

Me and my travel buddy Carriall

Carriall my perfect travel partner, which is the First Smart Luggage in India and It is Super Stylish, Super Sleek and Super Smart, It has an inbuilt Weighing Machine, inbuilt Power Bank and Clever Compartments make it super cool.

  1. PARRA (THE COCONUT TREE ROAD)

Pack your carriall bags, place it in the car and ask the driver to take you directly to Parra, famously known as the Coconut Tree Road with lovely plantation on both sides of the narrow roads with a view of St. Anne’s Church. Step down of your car, walk through the beautiful stretch and Feel Yourself Come Alive.

Spending some time in Tranquility at Parra
Evergreen Pose of Shahrukh Khan,
at the Shoot Location of his film
Dear Zindagi

This is the same spot where the famous cycling scene of Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh Khan was filmed for the Movie Dear Zindagi.
The Song Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon staring Esha Gupta and Emraan Hashmi was also shot here.

2. THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF THE MOUNT

Next Stop is drive to The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Velha or Old Goa. The Church was built in 1510 by Alfonso De Albuquerque and has Plain Whitewashed Walls. One can even spot 7 other Churches in the vicinity with the Surrounding mountains making it the most beautiful picturesque location.

The Beautiful Church in the Backdrop
View of the other 7 Churches

This place is known for its Famous Comedy Scene between Mithun Chakraborty, Ratna Pathak and Kareena Kapoor Khan from the movie Golmaal 3.

3. CHURCH OF ST. AUGUSTINE (THE BROKEN CHURCH)

Drive your way now to Church of St. Augustine which was completed in 1602 but was abandoned in 1835 and due to it being neglected the church started collapsing in 1842 and by 1938 major parts of the Church Collapsed. Today it is a World Heritage Site.

My time with the Broken Church

The Famous 1965 Suspense Movie Thriller “GUMNAAM” Movie Song Gumnaam Hain Koi was shot here.

Even Felt Myself in the 1960’s Black and White Era
The Broken Church

Even Rohit Shetty and Ajay Devgan came together to shoot the song Saathiya from their famous Singham Franchise at this very place.

4. FONTAINHASTHE GATEWAY TO PORTUGUESE LEGACY

Last Stop of our journey is to Fontainhas and my favourite place in the city.
Fontainhas is where you see the Portuguese culture alive even today. It’s situated in Panjim, the capital of Goa. Fontainhas is even known as the Latin Quarter of the city.
The best way to explore is to be on foot, walking through the narrow cobbled streets while checking out the colonial architecture painted in pastels and fluorescent colours.
Be amazed seeing the 100-year-old little cute dotting Cafe’s and Bakeries and Enjoy the Taste of the Fresh Plum Cakes and other delicacies. Founded by Antonio Joao De Sequeira this UNESCO heritage site still has its beauty intact, that’s because all the houses and cottages in Fontainhas are painted every year after the rains, A Rule Laid by the Portuguese and followed till date. 

Lanes of Fontainhas
Check out the Marvellous Colours
When in Goa be like a Goan
We found the Blue House
Perfect TravelPostcard Picture for Social Media
at the Blue House
Can’t get over this house.
Just wanted to say – Hello
Some crazy memories
Head to this street for the Blue House
Don’t Miss out this house for lovely pictures

Now the exciting part, that this area is where multiple movies like Singham and Simmba were shot, so you would get a bunch of Bollywood Referenced pictures for yourself which you can post on Social Media.

5. HATWATI

Fontainhas even met my friend Hatwati inspired from Bagwati from Bollywood movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Here she’s a Hat wearing Rayban and prefers clicking pictures besides me.