Monday, 12 November 2012

Women Friendly destinations Part II

Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Anegundi in Karnataka is another very women friendly location. Across
the river Tungabhadra, it houses a very old Durga temple that is worth
exploring. It has plenty nooks and corners which make for brilliant
wanderers’ spots. The monuments, the cave temples and the prehistoric
rock art at Onake Kindi make for brilliant sights and tales to tell.
One must explore to know the place better, making a bit of self
discovery along the way.

But those of you who need a little more thrill on their vacations,
wildlife spotting is a feasible and safe option. The Kaziranga
Wildlife Sanctuary is known to be one of the safer wildlife
sanctuaries. The only rule that we came across here is to be calm and
peaceful during the journey. Be peaceful. If the animals are not
provoked, wildlife tours can be very exciting. The delightful joy that
one gets from being so near to Nature and her children cannot be
described in mere words. Wildlife can be exciting as it is. If you
want another taste of wildlife from close quarters then Masinagudi in
Tamil Nadu, is where you need to be. Set at the foothills of the
Nilgiris, this place is the best to spot wildlife, especially birds
and elephants. You can also easily head off to Ooty or Mudumalai
Wildlife Sanctuary from here. As long as you do not irk or provoke the
elephants, you should be in for a treat, whether you are a wildlife
lover or no.

 Similarly, deserts do not judge by gender. They know of no boundaries
or divisions. A desert knows only vastness and in that lies its soul
and beauty. Our research shows, that the Thar Desert in Rajasthan is
no exception. The people here are accepting of others and are as
welcoming as the desert itself. Men and women are welcomed alike with
open arms and an open heart and standing in front of the sea of sand,
one cannot but feel humbled and awed.

Another must visit on this list has to be The Sikkim Mountains, which
are beautiful as they are welcoming of all. The treks, the long walks,
the amazing weather, everything is worth the journey. However, having
a good guide, moving in large numbers together and keeping some form
of authority informed about your presence, these are must-dos. A
little bit of caution does, after all, go a long way! 

 Spiti, the
beautiful desert mountain valley tucked away high in the Himalayan
mountains adds to the list of safe, woman-friendly places in India.
One must visit Ki Monastery and Tabo Monastery while there.

Finally for those of you who love a good beach to cheer you up, but
have been told a thousand times to stay away from the mostly unsafe
beaches in India, we say, fear not! So what if you can’t go to Goa.
Try Sindhudurg. Located very near Goa, this place has almost virgin
beaches and isolated forts and monuments. The perfect place to get
lost! You may also want to visit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a
perfect choice for women who just want to get lost in their own little
worlds for a few days! Breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the
natural untouched beauty around. Splash about in the water at the
Radhanagar Beach in Havelock. It is pristine and untouched beauty at
its very best.

So, Ladies, here you have it! With a little bit of self-caution,
alertness and responsible travelling, you are now equipped to put to
rest all those doubts about safe travel. We encourage you to step out.
Step out and conquer!



    [Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Monday, 5 November 2012

Women Friendly Destinations - Part I

[Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Dear Ladies,

                We have, all of us, in varying ways and at different
times, thought of conquering the worlds and going away to any place
that we want to and would like to visit - Just to be able to get up
and leave for some distant destination according to our whims! Mostly
though, the practicalities of safety and security have held us back.
Keeping that in mind, we thought of introducing all our lady friends
to those destinations across India which one can visit, without
worrying about the safety measures and other such shenanigans.

First on our list is our all time favourite- Coorg, Karnataka. It is
not only one of the most beautiful places in India but it is one of
the safest, especially for women. We have been made to believe that if
you do not want to go down the usual touristy path, there are always a
lot of fun things to do here! One of our favourites was to wander
around and discover the new places around.

Next, we suggest Hampi, which is a serene and beautiful place that
holds up the quintessence of charm that lies in life in the Indian
villages. You can sit for hours on the Matanga Hill or by the river
Tungabhadra and watch the sun set, wondering about this vast world and
its tiny beautiful details that make life so much more colourful. The
healthy spattering of locals, tourists, hippies and priests makes it a
magnet for vibrancy! We are told that travelling at night is also not
a problem here as it is quite safe mostly.

If you are one of those who happen to be interested in architecture
and heritage, well then, we would like to draw your attention to
Orchha in Madhya Pradesh. This is one of those Indian medieval towns,
lost to the world. It was founded by the Bundela kings in the 16th
century and now stands as a mystery on its own. Palaces and temples
crowd the place and give it a distinct identity of its own. Every
monument, every pillar has a story of its own, to tell. It is
perfectly safe here, to roam around and literally begin to discover an
era that has bygone. It has the power to charm you into becoming a
part of its oblivion!

Enchanting as old world sculpting and monuments are, one cannot miss
Khajuraho. At first sound, it does not sound like the safest of places
to be wandering around, we shall give you that! However, there are
tricks to this trade! If you stay around the locals at all given times
and reach your destination before darkness hits, you should be safe.
Another tip is to behave like the locals around there. This seems to
work almost everywhere we go. Khajuraho is a beautiful place with
immemorial and immortal sandstone monuments which capture our
imagination every single time and push it further beyond! 

And of course, one cannot forget to mention Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Tucked away in a far corner of Arunachal Pradesh, the town’s name
literally means ‘the chosen one’. It houses one of the largest and
oldest monasteries in the country and is indeed a special place. Added
to the historical value, the place can also wow with its stretches of
greenery and if you are lucky, you may also find a bit of snowfall.
The most unforgettable experience is that of the Galden Namgey Lhatse
monastery or the celestial paradise. The land of mighty mountains, a
hundred lakes and some of the most vibrant festivals and the
birthplace of the 6th Llama, this incredible place welcomes every
traveller with open arms. It is mostly untouched by any sort of unrest
that might plague other parts of AP, thus making it one of the safest
places for all and mostly women.

[Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Friday, 26 October 2012

A traveller finds his destination

[Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

This story is a joint effort by our fellow oddroaders: 
Jaffer Sadique, Deepa Chaudhuri, Preeti Patnaik, Arunima Dey, Suman Maji, Geetanjali Joshi Tambar, Ameet Bhuvan, Swathi Komandur, Sandip Chakrabarty , Mangala Chavan and the Oddroad team. 

Once upon a time there lived a man who loved to travel, more than anything on Earth. And, he promised to not rest till he has seen as much of the world as he could. One day a circus came to his town. And he thought what carefree life the inmates of the circus lived..singing, dancing, entertaining people....he had an idea......why not join the circus and see the world while entertaining everyone? Then he met the jokers in that circus and found out that their travelling in far and wide countries had lot of strings attached... The jokers didn't look so happy after all. They puffed and huffed and told the traveller, "You have to pay for in whatever way you can...." "I can tell stories of the wonderful lands I have visited, some funny, some dangerous and some with magic in it, stories that will capture anyone's interest!" But the jokers did not seem impressed. They said, " We have seen it all.." The traveler thought and thought and decided to travel on and he came to a land... A land so strange, unlike any he had seen before.. a land that got him overwhelmed with excitement and sent a rush of anticipation cruising through his veins. a calling that comes from within every nerve of his heart...'take me into your stride!' With tears of joy in his eyes he entered this land...and as he did he met with a young girl who said, 'I was waiting for you since long...oh! you look famished. I was told you would be nervous, but famished? that I was not prepared for." The traveller said, "I have been wandering around aimlessly until now but seeing you here makes me forget it all...this beautiful landscape and then finding you here, leaves me breathless on one hand and completely energised on the other..." They sit quietly & gaze out at the magic around. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, an old man with a weathered but a calm face walks up to them... "Welcome to my land! I've been waiting for you, since my last birth!" This land seems beautiful and mystical but there is still... so many surprises". "First the beautiful maiden and now the old man",the traveller couldn't help but wonder,"is this a sign for something that is to happen in the future? "Or is it a trap, a lure of beauty, a scheme hatched by the old man?", the traveller was rattled. But as the traveller looked up at the old man he felt a sense of familiarity... The traveller slowly got up and so did the young girl who was sitting with him. The old man put out his hand as if to embrace them. The traveller could not help himself and took the embrace. He closed his eyes and a warm feeling took over him. He could remember tales that his father used to tell him when he was a child. This embrace felt like that of his father, but he has been gone for so long. And, as the traveller opened his eyes he saw a land so beautiful, so mesmerising that he forgot all about his life and he entered the land holding hands with the young girl and the old man, all the time wondering, 'Is this Heaven?'

[Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Sunday, 30 September 2012


[Discover the India of your dreams @ - The Way I Like.]

Biriyani can safely be called the ultimate salvation food.This lip-smacking dish typically made of rice, meat, vegetables and spices is stuff that everybody's food dreams are made of.  

Invented in Persia, meaning "to roast before cooking", legend holds that the dish was introduced to India by Taimor Lang from Kazakhstan. But India is probably one of the gastronomical super powers of the world! 

The subcontinent took the dish introduced by Mughals to feed the army and made it into a delicacy that no one can resist. 
Of the many types present, the most popular perhaps are the Hyderabadi and Awadhi types. The former is cooked typically with marinated meat and rice spiked with spices, placed together in a handi to completely blend in all the various flavours. 

The Awadhi type, the original form of the dish, is cooked differently, with the meat and rice cooked separately and then added together. These two types left significant mark on India's palate and ever since, variations have sprung up. 
 Sindhi Biriyani, influenced by the Pakistani version and found commonly in Punjab, includes a hint of yoghurt with the other ingredients as does the Memoni Biriyani which adds no artificial colours or flavours to the preparation. Kashmir and Kolkata have their own inspired versions. 

Kashmiris influenced by the Persians, Afghans and Central Asians, came up with the delicious Kashmiri Bhuna Gosht Biriyani, while the Kolkata version influenced by Nawabs, serves rice with meat, potatoes and sometimes, eggs. Bhatkali Biriyani is interesting. 
Originating in coastal Karnataka, this type is cooked in onion sauce and is quite distinct.  Other variations are the Malabari Biriyani, a wedding of Arab and Kerala cuisines and the Tahari Biriyani which is a Vegetarian variant.  

Be it of vegetarian or non-vegetarian variety, it is impossible to fight the charms of a Biriyani!
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