In photos: Vinsura Winery, Nashik

Nashik is India’s own Napa Valley, dotted as it is with wineries and vineyards of all shapes and sizes. And while I’ve passed through several times, I’ve never really been to the famous vineyards thus far. Little Vinsura Winery tucked away in the onion village of Lasalgaon was my first proper visit to a winery in India’s Wine Capital. I didn’t have time to go … Continue reading In photos: Vinsura Winery, Nashik

A standing horse rider at Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2016

Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2016

We arrive at the 20 acre ground after a sumptuous breakfast of poha, jalebi and kachori. The sheer number of horses is mind-boggling, as are some of the price tags. Padma, being the tallest horse at the festival, is pegged at a whopping one crore rupees. The 2300-2500 horses at the festival will participate in a number of contests based on both beauty and skills. Continue reading Sarangkheda Chetak Festival 2016

Drive to Malshej Ghat

Road trip to Malshej Ghat

It has always been my dream to drive down to Malshej Ghat in the thick of monsoons and lose myself in its blankets of misty greenery and waterfall-streaked mountains. I got my chance during one July weekend when the rains had subsided to a gentle, occasional shower. We embarked in a little grey Wagon R LXI, powered by a neat set of CEAT Tyres post breakfast. Continue reading Road trip to Malshej Ghat

Statue of Liberty

Review: One Awesome Roadtrip by Johnny English

Johnny English’s story does not have a historical context but it does have his personal history with the places and the titbits about his wife and travel companion thrown in. If you have never been to the United States of America, this book will serve as an interesting introduction to some of its cities. And if you have been on a road trip from New York City to Houston like English, you can compare notes. Continue reading Review: One Awesome Roadtrip by Johnny English

Asia Bar & Kitchen, Mumbai

A whiff of the orient at Asia Kitchen & Bar

The newly opened Asia Bar & Kitchen stands in a league of its own as a swanky, spacious and understated restaurant with a fine listing of oriental drinks and food. Purists generally turn their nose up in disdain whenever I mention vegetarian sushi. But Asia Bar & Kitchen once again reinforced my faith in its deliciousness. The asparagus and avocado tempura rolls had a crispy interior and softer exterior. The combination of ingredients and textures, combined with the creamy sauces made this dish a real winner. Continue reading A whiff of the orient at Asia Kitchen & Bar

Mohan Shakti Heritage Park, Solan, Himachal Pradesh

Offbeat Himachal Pradesh: Chail & Solan

I’m not particularly religious but even I cannot deny the spiritual lure of some shrines that reverberate with the presence of something otherworldly. It was all thanks to Club Mahindra Kandaghat that I ended up at one such refuge – Mohan Shakti Heritage Park. Giving the popular Shimla a miss, we devoted ourselves to unravelling the secrets of lesser known Chail and Solan over a nippy November weekend. Continue reading Offbeat Himachal Pradesh: Chail & Solan

Club Mahindra Kandaghat

Club Mahindra Kandaghat: White-washed beauty

It was late evening by the time we reached Club Mahindra Kandaghat, a grand-looking garden resort complex protected by filigree gates. The temperature was around 11 degrees and the cold breeze made itself known to me despite my warm jacket. Club Mahindra Kandaghat is spread over what seems like a mountain in itself and there are many uphill climbs along storybook lanes to be had. We undertook one such mini journey in the dense darkness of the wintry night. Down in the lawns, the weather seemed even chillier. But our hearts warmed at the sight of the pretty private table nestled in a corner, covered with myriad delicacies like cookies, tarts, cakes and fruits. Continue reading Club Mahindra Kandaghat: White-washed beauty

Mangeshi Temple, Goa

Unseen Goa: Sahakari Spice Farm & Mangeshi Temple

India is a land of diversity; yet each region is associated with a particular community, terrain and flavour. It is easy to forget that even the states and union territories are microcosms of the country’s cultural potpourri. That is why, it came as a surprise that 66% of Goans are Hindu and as per legend, Lord Shiva was the first real ‘tourist’ to visit India’s … Continue reading Unseen Goa: Sahakari Spice Farm & Mangeshi Temple

Sunrise at Sea of Galilee, Israel

Ten reasons to visit Israel

I’ve never had the chance to visit Israel. And until recently, I wouldn’t have wanted to either. What did I know of Israel after all, other than Biblical references and the fact that India enjoys good foreign relations with the little Middle-Eastern nation? But lately, my thirst for revisiting the relics of bygone eras has compelled me to confront the ancient charms of Israel. And … Continue reading Ten reasons to visit Israel

Bruschetta at Vero Cibo, Novotel Goa Resort & Spa

Vero Cibo: Novotel Goa Resort & Spa’s new bistro & bar

It’s not just mountains and temples that are awash with ‘good vibes’. It’s also places like the idyllic, gorgeous and uber luxurious Novotel Goa Resort & Spa at Candolim. An infinity pool against the backdrop of lush coconut trees and grassy green lawns, a state-of-art play area at the reception and the newly opened bistro & bar called Vero Cibo define this five-star property in … Continue reading Vero Cibo: Novotel Goa Resort & Spa’s new bistro & bar