Travel

Hello guys!

Very recently, I did one of the most fascinating things that one can try in the northern India – paragliding!

This weekend trip was absolutely surreal. We began our bus journey from Chandigarh at 11PM on Friday. Generally I travel by making my own bookings but this trip was curated by one of my friends who has started a new venture in travel. It is always good to travel when your friends have a start up because they share all the insights of their research, so I too have a better knowledge about the place.

Before I begin to talk about it, now is NOT the time to visit this place because paragliding shuts down from 15th June to 15th Sep every year at Bir-Billing owing to the rains. In case you are planning to go, plan sometime in September or check with the local agents and weather forecasts before you make your reservations.

Our bus was supposed to leave at 10PM, but it left at 11PM, and we reached Bir at about 8AM. Took longer than a cab ride, but I guess traveling cannot happen without adequate amount of patience. Our camp site was at Gharnala, which is 7kms from Bir, and the tents there were like shacks, which were very very cozy.

So our itinerary got a little hit because our bus reached late, and when we reached the camp site, the sky gods started to bless us with hailstorms. The result was very catastrophic for my fellow travelers since paragliding got canceled on Day 1 of our two day trip. Also, since we were quite far off from the Bir market and the weather was unpredictable, we couldn’t visit any monastery or other sites. So we talked to some local farmers and clicked endless pictures.

Despite all of the last minute cancellations somehow, it wasn’t catastrophic for me because all I wanted to do was gaze at the endless range of mountains for hours and hours.

And when the night would draw closer, the stars and the darkness would consume me.  I feel mountains are the recycled version of us and many others. They have the void that comes in us when there is nobody to talk. They share the silence, the beauty, and the vastness of being.

For me, the silence and the vastness of mountains is what makes me more similar to them, more quiet and giving.. This is super philosophical my take on the entire Himachal, not just Bir, and some of my friends thus call me bookish!

Nevertheless, I was with people who are used to schedules and alarm clocks, and I respect them too, so I decided to do something in the evening. At about 5PM, we decided that we’d walk till the market and take a stroll. Just as we took the plunge of going, some heavenly ways opened for us to save us from a couple of hours of walk. 6 of us got in a cab and the poor driver after listening to our meaningless conversations dropped us at the market of Bir. Now, the Bir market has a very few shops, typically for groceries, and is not very exciting for food, so we decided to take another cab to the Tibetan market. We found a number of small eateries there, and had super inexpensive chicken momos and soup. We saw a lot of foreigners and monks on the streets that made us reinforce that our choice was right, and this place actually possessed a culture of Bir.

We met a native from Spain who had quit her job 8 months, and decided to travel the world. She was alone, happy and full of warmth. I was absolutely inspired by her since she broke the convention of a 9 to 5 job to do what she really wanted to do, i.e. travel!

We took another cab and reached the camp site by 9. By now the place had become more chilly and we wore jackets to keep ourselves warm. At the camp site was a brilliant DJ set up along with a  bonfire. We sang, danced with so many new people warming our hearts and the bonfire warming our extremities while having some meaningful conversations about how infinite the world is, and how trivial we are.

The next morning my friend told that we would have to leave at 5.15AM so that we can do paragliding by 7AM. We got up at 4.30AM and got ready by 5AM. This was our last day here, and we didn’t want to leave without giving ourselves that shot of adrenaline.

The pilots came to pick us at 5.45AM, and we reached Billing, the take off site, in an hour. Okay, one more thing out here. Do NOT get threatened by how these people drive cars because they are rash. At times you’d feel as if you could take a flight in their cars instead of parachutes. It literally feels life threatening at first, but later when you realize that all these pilots are in the age bracket of 18-22 years, you sort of get the drift of where they are coming from, and the rush they get in driving fast on such a risky terrain. But nevertheless, the pilots are extremely sweet and very talented.

Now came the moment that we were waiting for, the paragliding! Although I was pretty scared to do it, it was a cakewalk! Yes, you read it right. It is simpler than you can ever imagine. Basically the pilot opens the chute on the hill side, makes you wear a harness, combines his belt with yours, and asks you to run down the mountain. Now running down the mountain seems very daunting in theory but in practice, the parachute is already flying before you take off and all you have to do is to give a direction and catch the pace of the chute.

Also, if you still think it’s difficult, my story will tell you that it is simpler than you think. When my pilot, Kush, asked me to run I actually fell down and couldn’t run. So that poor thing himself ran and I lifted my knees to prevent an injury. In about 5 seconds we were flying! I just couldn’t believe it. Mountains and houses all beneath your feet and you are in the air. If he weren’t scolding me for not running, I think I would have cried by gazing at the vastness. The beginning of sunrise at our back, snow clad mountains on my right, a majestic valley of mountains at the left and a vast green land with terraced farming in front, I was literally in awe of the existence.

 

I was peacefully enjoying this until Kush started taking out my camera and asked me to take pictures. To be scared for your life is one thing, and to be scared for your camera is another! And just after that he decided to pull of a stunt! I won’t say it was bad at all, because I think when one is scared he is the maximum alive. And I was alive. I could feel how fragile life was. But alas, the more stunts you have in your plate, the sooner your chute comes down. And we landed in another minute onto those vast plains. I thanked the guy for being so kind and took the video of the glide.

I got myself a cup of tea and 2 omelettes and then walked around.

The landing site is  like Pahalgam of Kashmir or probably something like Switzerland, and is perfect for getting pictures cclicked.

We stayed there for a good 3 hours, and then took a cab again and got dropped off at the camp site. I was in love with the camp site because the view was amazing. So we took a bath, got dressed and did more mountain gazing.

Now going in a group of 50+ people is also fun because sometimes you get to have fun that you couldn’t have gauged while planning the trip. A few of my friends chose to take a nap, and some of us got invited to play House (Tambola) with others. We sat under a big tree and spent a couple of hours playing. It is a lot of fun to do things that you don’t want to at first because that makes you break your mindset, and that is always enriching. We had lunch and tea later, and then started to trek from Gharnala to Bir to catch our bus. the seats were of course at FCFS basis so we literally ran in slippers and our bags to reach the bus.

I am not taking immense pride in saying this but I did manage to reach in the 6th position and got great seats, and after keeping my bags went ahead to play with puppies!

We started at about 5PM from Bir, took a halt at Baijnath Temple in Baijnath.

This temple is magnificent! It is built from rock carvings and the place definitely exudes a great energy. The scenery too would pretty magnificent here. I also took the chickpea chat from outside and it was yummy as always.

Commuting in Bir Billing:  Since we were hard pressed for time, we’d stop any empty taxi and ask him to drop us somewhere. It wasn’t too expensive because we were always in groups.

Money Matters:

Trip Cost: INR 4000 (including paragliding with video) from Solo Wanderer Journey. Contact Founder – Anuj Gupta ? +91 76966 25288

Paragliding Standalone Cost: INR 2500 with video, INR 2000 without video (Negotiable!)

Tent Stay with 2-3 meals: INR800-INR1000

Inter city Cab Cost: Approximately INR40 per kilometer.

Pre Prep:

A day before my trip, I was a little anxious about the entire trip. Although I was super excited about paragliding, I was way more concerned with a non AC bus ride., so I decided to board the bus with some hair oil and sunscreen. Even though the bus journey was in the night, I applied sunscreen because some research states that it provides general environment protection as well. Since I didn’t want to get acne or any weird skin issue the next day, I decided to take a little bit of precautions.

In my bag:

  • 3 pairs of lingerie
  • A rain cover for my bag.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toiletries: Soap, Moisturizer, Shampoo & Conditioner, Sunscreen, Mosquito repellent, toilet paper.
  • Couple of green tea bags
  • Torch
  • Mobile Charger
  • Camera (fully charged)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (It is magic for a bloated stomach!)
  • A jacket
  • A sweater
  • Cargo pants
  • A couple of tee shirts
  • A stole
  • Shades
  • Kindle Book reader
  • Ear phones
  • My wallet with a government id proof

Things I didn’t do:

A lot of you have given me so any suggestions after I am back, so added them here. In case you have more suggestions, let me know. I’ll add them in here for others. 🙂

  1. Tibetan Food @ Norgay Kitchen Food.
  2. Cream Perfumes in local shops at Tibetan Market.
  3. Stay at Zostel: Yes it’s available and it’s perfect for solo travelers.

P. S. If you have any other recommendations for other travelers, do let me know so that I can put that here for everyone’s benefit!

Travel

Hello guys,

So lately I have been traveling and trying a few things here and there. But the last weekend I did something that I had planned since a very long time.

I stay at Chandigarh so I have an easy access to the mountains, the advantage that seems very important to me.

Since I traveled in the month of May, it was very pleasant in Mc Leo as well as Triund. We were three girls who were traveling alone so we had a few apprehensions, but decided to take the plunge!

We started at about 5PM from Chandigarh since we were working on the day we left, and reached at 11PM. The journey of 6 hours has only about 2hours of a hilly drive, the rest is on plains. We stopped for Tea at Zimmidara Dhaba.

When we reached, we insisted on having dinner at Shiva Cafe, but then our driver managed to scare us of all the perils on the way, and quite frankly we were convinced. Two kilometers of walking at 11 in the night didn’t seem doable at a land where we could see only men all around. So we decided to devour our dinner at a cafe on the square.

So there is street food in Mc Leo that you must try. Oh yes – Momos. So as soon as we reached the square, we ordered two plates of momos and you have no idea how our tired souls rejoiced! And I don’t remember the name of the Cafe we went to because literally all the cafes that I have been to in Kasol/Himachal have a similar pricing and great taste, and I do distinguish between all flavours and textures! One doesn’t need to think twice before entering any pretty cafe because chances of it ruining your meal are very very grim. However, if any of you will insist, I’ll try looking for the name. 🙂

With a tummy full of tandoori chicken and chow chow, we were all set to find out Hotel – Greenwoods Inn (see I remember the name!), but after half an hour of a drive to and fromDharamkot we realised we didn’t have a clue. Finally someone nice told us to not follow google maps, and take a different route. I am glad we did because then we found the hotel.

I’d like to make a point here about people from Himachal. I have literally never come across anyone who wanted to cheat or deceive me. This is not to be generalized because I have also taken a lot of measures to stay out of trouble, but if you are prepared well, there is no chance himachal will betray you. Especially for all the girl travelers and solo travelers – have a swiss knife, don’t go out very late, try to figure out as many things over the internet, and you’ll be okay.

Three girls one room. What do you think? Though we were super tired, we managed to stay awake until 3AM, and were very ambitious in making a plan of starting at 7AM. But we woke up at 8, checked out by 10AM with parathas in our tummy, and in about 5mins reached our starting point. We started from Mc Leo, that was an extra 1km trek but what the heck, we had gone for trekking anyway.

About two kms from that point, there was police taking the count of people going for the trek along with taking their govt ID proofs and phone numbers to call back the family in case we die. As much as I have heard from the grapevine, these guys started this initiative after someone stoned jumped from the cliff.

Do stop at places and click pictures because the journey is always mightier than the destination. I know we all like to reach the camping site in a record time, but there’s no point if you can’t enjoy what you are here for – Trekking! Stop at Magic view cafe for sure because as it’s name suggests, it has a magic view, it is the oldest cafe of the place, and because old is gold.

We stopped at Triund only, and didn’t go any further because we were just happy with the place. The view is amazing. On the hill top where you stand, you see a tiny little temple, snow clad mountains on one side, the colorful city on the other, and interspersed colorful tents all around.

The three of us went berserk, we roamed without any sense of direction, we sang, got drenched in the rain a bit, lied down on the grass to see the sky from a bit closer, ate, and ate and ate.

So this is not a primitive sort of a trek where one doesn’t have food and people. It is the “yo” kind of trek that has a LOT of people, nutella pancakes, gatorade, rajma chawal and chai. You can call it the trek of the rich and the inexperienced, although a little not so rich people like me could also easily afford it. I say rich because they have demands, and they can place orders here for what they want (Although if you are rich, don’t push it too much, you might be denied food!)

In the night it was chilly, even in the month of May and do carry sweaters and jackets. You can also rent extra blankets from the guys who have given you the tent. Also our tent was on slope, so we were slipping down constantly. So if you guys think you have a trouble in getting a good night’s sleep, have your tent on a plain.

For girls, the biggest challenge is where to pee, because we HAVE to pee in the open. And with the place full of people, it becomes a challenge. Also, please carry toilet paper.

The next morning we had a nice glass of lemon honey, strategically found a place to pee and started our descent at about 7AM. We had our breakfast in the magic view cafe – omelette and tea. One of my very enthusiastic friends wanted to take a detour to Bhagsu, and so we did. The path was definitely more worse than the regular trek, and I’d recommend it to you only if you are an absolute trek enthusiast, and felt that Triund was a simple trek.

We found our way to Bhagsu by 12.30PM, and since Shiva Cafe is very close to Bhagsu, we went to Shiva Cafe first. Now this was “the cafe” of Mc Leo but it had nothing to eat. They fed us with knorr soups, bad pancake, but definitely a good ambiance. We then left for bhagsu. After all the trek, Bhagsu was blissful. We took a bath with our clothes on, and enjoyed the icy cold water. I paid a visit to the tiny old Bhagsu Nath temple on the way, and then shopped a bit.

We finally sat in the cab, and trust me I had never felt more comfortable in a Swift Dzire.

The cab driver took us to the main square, where he parked and we walked a bit to see the local market and the monastery. The local market is very vibrant with street kids, foreigners settled in this part of the land, monks walking everywhere, some of them asking for bheeksha, and of course the lovely weather to make other things more alluring.

A sweet guy Steve, settled in this part of the world from the US, was selling this hat, and while I was trying offered to click this picture. We really find the sweetest of people in Himachal.

We had thugpa and apple cinnamon at khana Nirvana, where we had to rush because it had started to rain. It was a comfortable cafe, but the food was a little on the expensive side.

On our way to the temple it started to rain again, and two wonderful monks shared their umbrellas with us till the monastery. On my way, I asked him about his monk journey, and he opened up! He said that he had a girlfriend for whom he worried, so at the age of 20 he decided to be a monk. Does care and worry teach nothing to us that we need to shun it completely? I still wonder.

We finally got some momos packed for our journey and left. It was one of the most paisa wasool trip of my life. 🙂

MONEY MATTERS

Conveyance: Cab – Swift Dzire. Chandigarh – Mc Leodganj – Chandigarh (2N/3D). It took INR 7000 (Including toll and driver’s night charges)

Hotel: Just a one night stay on Friday @Greenwoods Inn for INR1200.

Trekking: Trekked on Saturday. Started at 11AM, and reached the base at about 3PM. Got tents, including sleeping bags, for INR300 per person.

Shopped: Harrem pants for INR200. Cotton Kurta INR175. (I don’t think it could get any cheaper than this!)

Travel

Well if you are in that lucky state where you can choose the company for your next trip, I have a few pros and cons listed here. Do let me know if you think I have missed out on something.

The good things about a girls trip are
1. You are more comfortable with them, if you know what kind of people they are. In my case, the other two girls were crazier than me so I was super comfortable. They didn’t really question me when I wanted my lone time, they sort of understood. Also since the three of us were heartbroken so we had a good theme to discuss.
2. You click more pictures than you think. Now most guys always question when you click a selfie or make you feel embarassed if you click too many. Here, one of us always wanted a picture here and there so everyone was super comfortable.
3. All girls understand diet food. Even though most guys do, they think that it is uncool to talk about healthy food, so we generally end up eating some trash.

A few drawbacks of a girls trip are
1. Security. Now no matter how nice the place is, a girl cannot really hang out alone outside. Infact when we reached Mc Leo, I could only see men. I was so confused but later figured that it was only because we reached at 11PM.

2. Guys EAT. Yes, I have this problem because I eat a lot, and I am used to seeing people around who eat even more. But girls don’t eat that much, and the only person who could match my appetite was our taxi driver.

3. We can relax more. So it is a habit of men to take the charge, navigate, guide, know, talk to the receptionist, check the facilities etc. We could do all that but somehow you can behave like a queen when they are around. Nevertheless, we had fun doing all of this. 🙂

4. Mediate fights: A few of my girl friends went on a girl trip, and came back home with so many disturbances. But we can’t be

At the end of this post, my verdict would be “Yay!”

But of course you know your friends, you know your outlook, and also you know your options (I know a lot of girls don’t go for all girls trips). So decide what you want, all girls, mixed or solo, but at the end of the day – do travel.

Travel

I was always fascinated by this city since I had a couple of friends from this place. So, the moment I got a chance to be here, I went!!

The weather in April is terrible. The city is more like an oven, so I tried traveling early mornings to parks and other sightseeing places, had enough water and used #uber throughout.

The first day, I had a lot of office work, so I didn’t travel during the day. For dinner, me and my parents went to Clarks Awadh to attend a wedding. The hotel, I’d say is pretty average. Until now, Clarks Shimla is the most beautiful Clarks property I have seen. So don’t cover this if you are here for a short duration.

Lucknow is not a huge city. You could go from Point A to Point B in max 30mins. And it is a paradise for non veg lovers. I am a vegetarian usually and consume fish sometimes, but whenever I travel, I eat whatever is suggested to understand better the city’s culture and it’s relation with food.

So, in Lucknow, your To-do List should look something like this:

1) Tunday Kebab @ Aminabad. If you happen to be here, and don’t eat Tunday Kebab, I won’t consider your trip to this exotic city complete. They are spicy like most of other things in Lucknow, but are very very tender and have a meaty flavor.

2) Basket Chat @ Royal Cafe. This is the combination of all the chat you’ve ever had. This one chat is a cocktail of chat papdi, gol gappa, the edible sabudana basket, the tikki, the dahi bhalla, and so on. You could have it for brunch in case you are eating alone, or could share it with a couple of more people as I did.

3) Idris ki Biryani @ Chowk. This is one of the most proclaimed biryani of Lucknow. Although I couldn’t eat it, but I have heard that the place is very humble but the biryani is simply amazing.

4) Sharma Tea @ Lalbagh. I went here twice for the tea and bun maska/samosa. I am the last person in my house to give in to any of these maida/deep friend snacks but my FOMO always makes me indulge in everything while I am traveling. The buns are pretty soft and come with unsweetened cream in the center. The samosa too is very crisp and the filling is somewhat juicy unlike other samosa that you encounter.

5) Majlisi Kebab @ Naushijaan, Hazratganj: This is a very spicy gravy like consistency of kebab that can be tried with rumali roti, onions and some soft drink. Although I don’t take cold drinks, but if you do, I have sense that it’ll make a good combination. This place too gets a lot of celebrity visitors.

6) Turkish Ice-cream @ Naushijaan, Hazratganj. This is a tawa ice cream, that are made on iced tawa, then folded like paper into rolls, and are quite nice.

7) Chicken Masala & Chicken Kaali Mirch @ Dastarkhwan, Lalbagh. These are the most celebrated dishes of this joint. Some movies like Daawat-e-Ishq have been shot in this restaurant. I didn’t like the Chicken Kaali Mirch much because it was oily, but it was tender and could be appreciated by someone who doesn’t appreciate spicy food. There is a good seating area in Lalbagh, which isn’t there in Hazratganj, so the Hazratganj outlet is more like a take away/evening street food type of a joint, so plan accordingly.

8) Prakash Kulfi @ Aminabad. I didn’t try this, but if you are a vegetarian, have time and are fond of kulfi/lassi, this should be on your list.

9) Shopping @ Janpath. a) Chikankari suits: The designs of the suits are amazing at Janpath. In case you take any rickshaw/ auto, the driver will take you to Sewa Chikan/Aman Chikan, that give commission to the rickshaw drivers. But unlike those, the quality and styles of the ones at janpath are much better.
b) Ittar @ Sugandco. Lucknow is famous for these natural oil based highly concentrated perfumes. So, if you want to buy some, this is the best shop.

10) Oudhyana, Taj Vivanta: There is street food on one hand, and five stars at the other. But to get the essence of everything, one must dine at least once in these hotels, to get a sip of the aristocratic living in this part of the country. The hotel was minimalistic but pretty. I had the lamb biryani and khush rang paneer along with the crispy onion kulcha, and everything was good but I wouldn’t say great. The ambience was a lottt better than Clarks. If you ask me for one recommendation to eat here, it would be biryani because it had a very pleasant aroma of saffron and the meat was pretty tender.

11) Bara Imambara & Chhota Imambara. Imambara is the place of worship for muslims, and since this city has a lot of culture flowing in from the muslim nawabs, you should visit this part of the city. You’d see old buildings, that are not even maintained properly but that give you goosebumps when you actually start feeling the kind of things that happened there, and that still happen there. Whenever the riots happen among the shias and the sunnis, they happen, on that very road. My advise would be to travel really early in the morning so that you get to see these places and understand the culture at leisure. Timings are 6AM to 5PM, and the fee is Rs. 50. If you don’t have much time, you can skip the bhool bhulaiya in Bara Imambara but cover the rest.

12)Rumi Gate. So, I am a huge fan of Rumi, and thought that this place must have some connect with Rumi – the poet, but to my dismay, this didn’t have any. The nawab had 365 wives, out of whom one of the wife’s name was Rumi, and thus this is on the name of one of his wives. But it is still very encchanting, and you could see this well before you enter Bara Imambara.

13) British Residency. This is pretty close to the imambara, so plan on doing this as well early in the morning. You need to walk a lot here so go in comfortable shoes. I didn’t cover this because I had a paucity of time.

These are my suggestions and my take over the City of Nawabs, Lucknow. If you are expecting a very modern city, it isn’t. If you are expecting, a great crowd on the roads, there isn’t. But if you are looking for a secular country, people good at heart, culture at it’s best, and great food then Lucknow could be the city that you can plan next to visit!

Travel

I had half a day to myself and I was to cover these two places. Thankfully I had a cab and a wonderful driver Rajan. Why I call him wonderful is that he was more excited than myself to cover these places even though he was a native and a 58 year old! The speed at which he was driving was consistent and comfortable. He had a heart surgery but never shirked work, and his eldest daughter lived with him along with her children as her husband died 7 years ago. But he told me none of these things until I asked him who he was. That’s the characteristic of special people I think, they don’t reveal who they are until you really want to know them. He was born and brought up in Burma but could never get the visa while he was working in the army. He was eagerly waiting for his retirement so that one fine day he could actually go and stay with his relatives.

So, before I tell you what I did, let me tell you what the plan was.

Leave Chennai, see the Snake Park, then the crocodile park, then the Golden beach, explore Mahabalipurm, reach Pondicherry, try French food at Pondicherry, visit Paradise beach and Promenade, and then finally explore auroville and come back.

But after we left the park, we realized that we were very very off this perfect schedule. So I’ll tell you what we did.

Left Chennai, explored Mahabalipurm a bit- only the temple and the seven rathas, reached Pondicherry, tried French food at Baker’s Street (it was good!), visited Paradise beach (Decent!) and Promenade(Decent again), and then finally came back.

Although this was way less than what we wanted to try, but nevertheless we learnt our lesson.

If I had to do it again, I would

Go to the snake park, the crocodile park (those are intriguing creatures), the golden beach (I have heard it is really beautiful, but this again is a guess!), skip Mahabalipuram completely ( just because I am not a history person and it is way to hot to roam about outdoors!), skip promenade, visit Auroville beach and never miss the French food or the beach.

This was the litmus test result of what I really liked.

Try the last schedule if you have a day, I think you would like it! 🙂

Travel


So my mom and dad wanted to have this religious trip and I chose to tag along because I love to travel! But then since we had a day in Chennai, I told myself to make the most of it!

I have always dreaded Chennai, because I never heard anything great about it. The climate was bad, the people uncooperative, and the food too not palatable for any North Indian.

So let me tell you how I made my one day in Chennai beautiful! What I ate, where I went, and why. I am not sure whether I have missed visiting some place but what I can definitely say is that I enjoyed myself. Now going to all these places may not really be your choice considering where you are coming from, but if you have a little bit of travel streak, come from north India, and want to buffet of a day served to you, this blog will help you!

  1. At about 10AM, we left the Naval Officers Mess ???? and went to Parthasarathy Temple. This is a Vishnu temple and has a lot of stone carvings. This is the most famous temple of Chennai, so we decided to pay it a visit. It took about an hour there, and then we headed the a church.
  2. Saint Thomas Basilica is one of the only three churches in the world that has been built on the tomb of one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, the other two in Rome and Spain. You have to see the church and the tomb Area. The father was really sweet even though I was taking a lot of pictures. Because of the rarity of this type of church, and the fact that it is over a hundred years old, we went there. The church was quiet and nice. Being a convent student, I liked the church atmosphere and enjoyed reading a few poems in old English.
  3. At this point, we were a little hungry, so we headed to Besant Nagar, and made a quick errand to Elliot’s Beach. This is a quieter beach, but really not worth visiting in the afternoon. Since we were hard pressed for time, we made a quick errand.
  4.  Now came the best part of the day. Trying the fooooood! There apparently is a special Biryani of Tamil Nadu, Thalappakatti Biryani, and we bought a plate of Paneer Biryani try from Dindigul Thalappakatti Biryani. I must say, it was rich in aroma and very well prepared. It did not look as delectable when we first saw it, but when we tried it, I thought to myself that we should have bought more of it!
  5. Then the much awaited and the very acclaimed- Murugan Idli Shop, for the South Indian food. We first ordered the idlis, vadas, then Paneer butter dosa, and finally the best- a good cup of filter coffee. It wasn’t very strong on the spices. Subtle, fresh and nice- just as I hoped!
  6. After this bit of experimenting with the flavours of the city of Chennai, we checked in to our hotel- Crown Plaza which was right opposite Starbucks. I must say, this is one of the finest five star hotels I have ever seen. Ethnic plus modern at the same time, this place was beautiful.
  7. In the evening, we decided to take a stroll at the Marina Beach and try the street food. I had the roasted sweet corn ????, which was good, bhel puri- soggy and bad, apparently because it is being sold at sea side, and the rice puff absorb moisture, and finally some Cauliflower, Potato, Green chilli and raw banana pakodas, which tasted well with a yellow mint chutney (sounded very strange, but the lady insisted that it was indeed mint!)
  8. And dinner time. So after having so much food already from the street, we were absolutely confused as to what should we eat for dinner. ????‍♀️ But we couldn’t really waste the chance to try one last meal at Chennai, and ended up going to Bombay Brasserie. I read the reviews and they said that it’s North Indian food with a twist. We ordered less because of having only a little appetite, but nevertheless our choices turned out to be good. A regular Dal Tadka, Parda Paneer, ulte tawe ki roti, and khameeri roti. The only thing that I did not like was Khameeri Roti, which was sour as it was made with leavened wheat dough. Unless, you have a taste of that, I am very certain you will not like it. They also serve a nice tomato chutney on the side, which was worth giving a shot.

After visiting this place, I have realised that no place is bad, it’s just what we want to see. What most people try to do when they travel is that they want to get the same experience as they receive at home even at strange far away lands. Be open. Try. Travel. Live!