All posts filed under: India & Around

For the love of Mustard

You either love it or hate it… The smell could make you go into raptures. The taste will leave you longing for more. It’s the rather strong sensory experience called mustard. Or as they say in France, ‘moutarde’. While the western palette might be used to the slightly blander version of the French mustard, the Bengali version is definitely stronger and more potent. One can liken it to the ‘wasabi’ taste as a comparison. Good mustard should get into your nose and leave with you a feeling of sheer (culinary) pleasure. Widely used in Bengali (and Assamese) cuisine, mustard gives a fresh and unmistakable intense flavor to dishes. Teamed with fish—it’s what we Bengalis and Assamese folk crave as our comfort food. The cheery blue and white interiors of the restaurant, as we walk in, are a bit Mediterranean, but we’re assured we’re in the right place as the sign says ‘Mustard‘. The fare is Bengali and French. Might sound a bit surprising at first. But then, they are both cuisines which are centered around …


Adventures in India: A 12 day trip to the South

Join me on an adventure of a lifetime! A vibrant and diverse country, India can be fascinating and yet also be pretty challenging for a traveler. Especially, if you haven’t been to the country before. But don’t worry – you’ll be in good hands! I’ve traveled to many parts of the country, on many occasions on my own, and have a fair idea of the dos and don’ts to ensure that we have a great time, and ensure we keep out of trouble. If you did have India on your mind—this could be the perfect opportunity to join in on an active adventure—indulge in fun activities like running, swimming, hiking and cycling (and if we have time, we can even squeeze in a few other local activities). Besides of course, tasting some of the local delicacies—every state in India has a different cuisine, language/s and customs. On this trip, we’ll cover 3 states. Trip Description: An adventure trip and we’ll make sure you keep fit and active with hearty doses of cycling, running, hiking and …


Winter destination: Manali for romance and adventure

It’s been years but I have some nice memories of the town of Manali. I first landed there maybe 10 years ago for a trek and spent a few days hungrily drinking in the fresh crisp air (after the city, you can imagine the feeling). And then, in 2011, Manali was our base as we prepared for a trip to cycle up to Leh and I got to experience the town again. If I lived in Delhi, I would probably step out much more often to escape the blazing summer heat and spend time enjoying the much needed respite – amidst lofty hills, lush greenery and cool breeze. Or even in winter, for a dose of snow and sub-zero temperatures, perhaps. As a destination, it’s the perfect place. Set amidst a picturesque backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayan range, the only things that should be on your mind are: romance… or adventure! So whether it’s a luxury vacation, a romantic getaway or an adventure filled trip (like it was for me), I would head back to …


Heading to Delhi on business? Six tips to choose your hotel wisely

I’ve had the good fortune of traveling and staying in quite a few well-appointed business hotels through the country during my working life with some great companies. One of my favorite destinations to travel on work has been Delhi. Since I’ve never lived there, it gives me an opportunity to see the city, more as a tourist. And there are so many wonderful sights around that you can pack in, between your work trip. There are many business hotels that have sprung up in New Delhi over the last few years; after all, it is the capital city. Travelers from all over the world, global organizations and companies have a base in Delhi and need to travel to the city at some point of time. Or have clients, vendors, work partners they want to catch up with. So how does one narrow down on a hotel? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re making a selection: The location is everything! According to Startup Overseas, one of the main considerations you’ve got …


Interesting sights and experiences in Mussorie: Queen of the hills

In this second part, Mukta Chakravorty comes back with her top 5 experiences of her trip to Mussorie with the JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove and Spa. Here are a few of her recommended things to do if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful and serene hill station. Indulge in breakfast by a stream. Imagine sitting in the middle of the water, dipping your feet in cool, crystal clear water, sipping on a cup of tea while you’re served piping hot breakfast. Pure bliss is one way to describe it. We got treated to a one-of-a-kind experience put together by Chef Sunil Kumar and team of the JW Marriott, Mussorie. The stream was just a short trek down from the famous Himalayan Adventure Institute. Tables were set amidst the gushing waters while a sumptuous treat was laid out in front of us. Now, I wouldn’t mind waking up to this kind of a breakfast everyday! Experience mountain roads… on a bike. The long winding roads make it ideal for biking and since I had …


The Terraces, Kanatal: Enjoy Himalayan views from 8500 feet

Kanatal is a city in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Located 78 km from Dehradun, capital of the state, it is 38 km from Mussoorie and 12 km from Chamba. It is on the Chamba-Mussoorie highway and nearly 300 km from Delhi. Friend, adventure and nature lover, Rukhsana Parveen Haque spent a weekend at the invitation of The Terraces, Kanatal discovering the beauty of this gorgeous resort, enjoying the crisp mountain air, trekking, bird-watching and had an action-packed weekend. If you’re looking to enjoy some of the best Himalayan views, relax and even get a dose of adventure, this is a place you can keep in mind. Here’s her report transporting you to 8500 feet! It turned out to be a long journey. First from Delhi to Dehradun by train overnight and then onward to Kanatal by road: a 3-hour drive. But it was all worth it. When we arrived at The Terraces, the rhododendron juice pepped us up and then making our way through flower laden pathways, we were shown our well-appointed and luxurious …