A popular event to look forward to :: Sao Joao Feast, Goa.
A common sight during this festival is excited men jumping into overflowing village wells to retrieve bottles of local feni alcohol. Sounds like fun! There are also boat races, singing and dancing.
Also called the fertility feast of Saint John the Baptist, this day is an auspicious day for aspiring mothers. They offer their wishful prayers into the ponds or wells.
A good time to try out Goan delicacies like Sanas with Sorpotel and Patodio.
The festival starts Thursday, 24th June in Siolim, Goa.
+91 9920. 807280
More than hundred years old, this heritage house has all the makings of a relaxed home stay.
The arecanut-drying pillars typical to old houses of the region, mark the exterior. The outdoor dining area is a delight, just as much as the host’s award winning bonsai garden.You can choose to stay back and enjoy homemade delicacies or swing in a hammock and gaze at the arecanut plantation beyond, play table tennis or just sit in the courtyard with a book.
The keen hosts take the guest for hiking and swimming in the river close-by. If you are fond of literature and history, you can also visit the noted poet Kusempu’s house cum museum and Kanyashila.
The quiet ambiance, the blend of old furniture and modern bathroom fittings, the scenic hills around and the wonderful hosts, all make it an experience to cherish.
Call :: +919920. 807280
Built with four-foot wide walls and a high ceiling, one can experience the grand old city of Cochin here. The windows open up to the street where you can see one of the oldest churches of India; the St. Francis Church which is about 500 years old. Vasco da Gama is buried in this church.
At this homestay they serve both South Indian and Continental cuisine.
Experience living in a historical monument, enjoy the old street, the breeze from the Arabian Sea at homestay run by a pleasant family for the last 13 years.
This is a 150 year old traditional Kerala home. The house has been significantly built in wood. There is a small courtyard and very nice verandah and sit out.
The rooms are well furnished. The antique furniture has been well preserved in this homestay.
There is also a canal on the property where one can go boating or fishing.
Both Indian and western cuisine is served.
Farm tour can be conducted at no extra cost
Canno rowing on the backwaters can also be conducted at no extra cost
You can visit 3 pilgrimage centers located at a distance of 15 kms from the accommodation. These pilgrimage centers include Kotayam Shiva Temple, St Thomas Church and St. Alias Church. A vehicle can be arranged at an extra cost of approx Rs. 800.00.
A massage can be organised @ Rs.800.00 per person for 1 hr.
You can watch a Katakali Performance that is held at a distance of 1 km from the accommodation @ Rs. 800.00 per person.
You can spend time on a House Boat @ Rs.1000.00 for 1 hr. and even have lunch @ Rs.250.00 per person.
Food Traditional Syrian Christian food is cooked and served by the host. Meals are charged at Rs.250 per person per meal including tea/coffee in the evening and a light snack.
This homestay is more than a 100 yr old elegantly restored Heritage House built on a sprawling, terraced 1.5 acre property.
This homestay is located in a quiet village in South Goa about 7 kms from Margaon and is popular for bird watching and historical sites.
This stay overlooks a seasonal lake and is styled along Portuguese lines with a high plinth, imposing columns, high ceiling and excellent ventilation.
The House encloses a living room, dining room, five bedrooms, a lounge and a library. The rooms are furnished with antique furniture sourced from across India. The dining table that seats 8 people is made out of one of the doors of the house!
Complimentary breakfast served is a combination of both Indian and Continental cuisine. Lunch/Dinner served is a mix of Indian and Goan cuisine which includes a dal, 2 vegetarian dishes or 1 vegetarian and 1 non vegetarian dish (either fish or chicken), salad and dessert.
The Host will be glad to offer assistance in terms of leisure activities, sight seeing options, transfer arrangements or just about anything to make your stay more memorable in Goa.
This accommodation is a stately colonial mansion that is over 130 years old.
This heritage mansion is located in the Latin Quater of Fontainhas.
The rooms are furnished with antique furniture: four poster double/single beds in rosewood, almirahs, divans, dressing tables, gilded pelmets, original art, Planters chairs & Lace Curtains. The bathrooms are modern styled and have mosaic bathtubs. The ground floor houses the gallery Gitanjali, showcasing paintings by contemporary Indian and overseas artists.
Each room at this Heritage House is refreshingly different and eclectic, combining a rustic style with functional luxury. Rooms are with attached bathrooms that have bathtubs and other essential luxuries.
There is a common room where there is plenty of reading material available from wildlife to biographies. The dining hall is quaint with antique chairs and dining table. The food here has always got great reviews from our guests.
There is a raised platform that offers you almost a perfect 360 degree view of the plantation and the forest beyond.
Catch untamed wildlife at its best
Experience a thrilling rough ride through the jungle in an open 1942 ford jeep
Trek the land with a naturalist @ Rs. 250/- per head per hour
Sit yourself down by the river
Visit an elephant camp
or Picnic at beautiful spots. A Jeep can be arranged for this purpose, snacks or meals can be packed at an extra charge as per the requirements of the guest.
A Jeep Safari can be arranged at Rs.1850.00
Lunch/ Dinner : Rs. 450.00 per head per meal
Complimentary Continental breakfast is served.
Meals are Indian and served in a buffet style. Non-veg is included.
Room Service and food for pets is charged for. A bonfire, walk around the plantation and a welcome drind are complimentary services.
BSNL and Vodafone networks are available on the property.
This homestay is a 100 year old Colonial bungalow on one acre of land, only a km away from Ooty town.
All the rooms have wooden flooring and panelling, Victorian furniture and bay windows overlooking the lawn. The bathrooms are large with modern fittings. All the rooms have have a TV with cable connection.
The garden surrounding the bungalow is large enough for families to enjoy some outdoor games or to also relax under the garden umbrellas. The garden has walnut, tomato, peach and passion fruit trees and two quaint waterfalls crafted from springs.
Local sightseeing, trekking, pick-up from nearest railway/ bus station or airport can be arranged on prior request. The bungalow is located barely a 10 min walk from the Ooty town centre.
The owners live on the premises on the upstairs portion of the bungalow. This homestay is ideal for families with children or for groups of friends.
There is a fixed menu for breakfast and meals. Guests can order individual dishes from our South Indian menu which comprises of idli, dosa and ootappams and can also avail of continental breakfast like toast with eggs, butter and jam. Tariff for breakfast would range from Rs.25 to Rs. 40/- Lunch/dinner can be ordered from a set menu which would include rice, chappati, salad, dal, a vegetable and a chicken preparation. Tariff for individual meal items would range from Rs.10 to Rs.40/-
Call :: +919920. 807280
Also referred to as the green paradise of Kerala, Wayanad is truly all of it and more. The name literally translates to the Land of Paddy Fields, and yet it also has the lofty Western Ghats in its diverse landscape.
Things to do ::
This is paradise for trekkers for the spectacular views the trek provides. The Soochipara, Kanthanpara and Meenmutty waterfallsare the biggest crowd pullers when it comes to falls of the region. Pookot lake is a freshwater Lake where you can enjoy paddle boating while Banasura dam, the largest earth dam in India is a beautiful place that can be explored on a speed boat.
A simple nature walk too gives you ample chances to spot birds, deer and other small wildlife. There are several indigenous tribes in Wayanad that you can visit to see their way of life. Wayanad is also dotted with several spice plantationsthat are a pleasure to walk through. It is also a place where you can do nothing but appreciate the natural beauty around.
Of great historical importance are the Eddakal Caves that contain prehistoric rock carvings that are very interesting. Due to a large forest cover, Wayanad has a lot of wildlife that you can see at the famous Tholpetty or Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Masinagudi is a small town, part of the Mudumalai Forest Reserve in Tamil Nadu. It offers an interesting contrast of vast forest land on the foothills of the Nilgiri mountains.
Things to do ::
The most interesting things to do in Masinagudi are going on a wildlife safari and taking a nature trek. You can either travel by our own vehicle or take a safari in the local jeeps. It’s the easiest to spot Bison and Elephants, a little more luck may be needed to spot Sambar or Spotted Deer.
Situated in the Nilgiris, Bandipur National Park is amongst the most beautiful and oldest national parks in the country. Located 80 km from Mysore in Karnataka, Bandipur National Park is one of India’s well known protected areas and an important Project Tiger reserve.
Declared a National Park in 1974, Bandipur once served as the hunting ground of the Mysore Maharajas.
Bandipur National Park covers an area of 890 sq km housing some of the most exotic species of flora and fauna. Bandipur, along with Nagarhole National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Madumalai National Park, has forest cover spread over an area of 2183 sq km. It is the largest protected area in south India and a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Apart from Moyar, Kabini and Nugu Rivers, various other streams also pass through the river providing it with abundant water supply.
Bandipur National Park is popular for being home to over 75 Royal Bengal Tigers. Asian Elephants and chittals are other prime attractions of the park. One can also spot other wildlife like sambar, wild boar, jackal, gaur, barking deer, langur, etc. as well. Sightings of King cobra, viper, rat snake, python, common cobra, etc. are also common in the park.
A sleepy hill village, Pangot lies at the Himalayan foothills and has all the charm and beauty of a small settlement.
Things to do ::
A birding hotspot, Pangot is a huge favourite with avid birders. If you are a birding enthusiast, Pangot gives you the opportunity to spot rare Himalayan species you won’t find elsewhere. Pangot is a nature lover’s dream, and apt for those who wish to enjoy some solitude. You can even go for small hikes around the place, but it is largely a place to unwind in the lap of green mountains.
Pangot is an ideal place to get away from the heat of the plains from March to May. July to September can be rainy, but not very heavy though it could be foggy. October onwards is a cold time, and the region receives heavy snowfall through the winter. It’s cold but very beautiful at the same time and hence a good time to visit.
Call :: +919920. 807280
Top 10 Islands in the United States | Nantucket, Massachusetts
For those of you planning to head to this part of India this summer, here is a list of our best picks for an authentic stay in Uttaranchal.
For those of you looking for suggestions for a summer getaway, here is why you should consider Uttaranchal ::
The lesser explored of the famous Northern hill states of India, Uttarakhand is fast emerging out of the shadow of its more famous neighbour Himachal Pradesh.
Replete with mountains, rivers and forests, it is every inch the typical Himalayan paradise. What you won’t find though is as much commercialization, especially if you wander in the remoteness of its idyllic villages. Ensconced high in the Himalayas, Uttarakhand is the new hideaway of the offbeat traveller. Broadly divided into Garhwal and Kumaon regions, it has everything from adventure to relaxation, wildlife to natural beauty.
Pick #1 :: Acc no. 54535 :: This resort is in the midst of a jungle and yet you can experience being in a different world.
Reaching this stay requires a short hike through the jungles of Binsar, its only a teaser for the true wilderness tryst you are about to experience. Slowly towards the end, the place will reveal itself between a cluster of trees and you will see the various tents and concrete blocks spread out with snow capped mountains in the backdrop.
All the luxury tents and rooms have viewing balconies, some attached and some a walk away, apart from a common view point from where you can gaze at the Himalayas.
Pick #2 :: Acc no. 54538 :: Located in the midst of the Sat Tal Jungles, apt for spotting rare species
This camp is located in “Sat Tal”, a cluster of seven lakes. This accommodation is a camp that consists of a group of tents that are comfortable and border on luxury as well. This site was chosen after careful consideration and the jungle patch was selected after scouting by experienced birders who spotted rare species in the area that was not found elsewhere.
These tents have been built keeping in mind birding enthusiasts. The tents are spacious and with views of the jungle outside. The main dining tent has been designed to resemble a typical Kumaoni hut with village art everywhere. The calm place only echoes with sounds of the forest and you may even be surprised by a deer outside your tent.
Pick #3 :: Acc no. 54635 :: A heritage house in Nainital with a rich past, it has as many stories as its large number of rooms
This heritage stay dates back to the 19th century when it was a tea parlour for English ladies with a tennis court at the back for recreation.Slowly it developed into a place that hosted Europeans in pre-independence days during which a new wing was added specifically as the summer residence for Indian Nawabs.Much of the quaint building speaks of the rich history of this heritage property,in which no two rooms are the same.Well-maintained gardens and deodar covered paths surround the place which has been in the Sah family for four generations.The large place can accommodate over a hundred guests and hence is ideal for large groups.This stay is conveniently located and is a short walk from the town area.
Pick #4 :: Acc no. 54630 :: An adventurous stay with supreme luxury at Ramnagar, Nainital
This resort was established with the thought of providing luxury with an edge to nature lovers. Here you can unwind in the prime of luxury after a tiring wildlife expedition in the Corbett park near by.
The various cottages and dining area are connected by paths flanked by trees and there is also a beautiful stretch canopied by bamboo trees. This resort is also inter-connected to another resort, guests can walk in to this place and make use of its ayurvedic centre and spa facilities.
Pick #5 :: Acc no. 54537 :: A quiet Lodge to enjoy wildlife especially birds
This jungle lodge in Pangot is truly what its name means- Tales of the forest. This lodge is situated at a prime location in the mountainous village of Pangot. This place has cottages scattered across its beauteous property.
The USP of the place is the amount of wild life you can enjoy, especially birds. Many guests come year after year even in the cold winters to see rare Himalayan Peasants and other birds. This place hires birding guides from renowned places such as Bharatpur and Gir for their guests. This serene place is great for a quiet getaway and for an enriching experience.
We have compiled a list of 5 destinations to beat the heat at, this summer. This list not only brings together some of the best hilly destinations of our country but also the most beautiful and scenic. We hope that you spend some of your most memorable times this summer.
Nestled in the beautiful Chamba valley, Dalhousie is its crowning glory. A colonial retreat popular in pre-independence days, it retains its popularity till date.
For wildlife enthusiasts, there is the Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuarynearby. Dainkund Peak is the highest point to which you can hike to get a stunning view of the valley. You can also shop for artefacts at the Tibetan Handicrafts Centre.
The Chamba Valley itself is bewitchingly beautiful, and most people come here just to experience the lush beauty around. The Lakshmi Narayan temple is of great architectural value and stands tall in the valley. Satdhara, or seven waterfalls, are an added attraction.
You can also visit the Bhuri Singh museum here.
Also called ‘Little Lhasa’, Dharamshala is what it literally means - a spiritual dwelling. Divided into Upper and Lower Dharamshala, Mc Leod Ganj or Upper Dharamshala is the famous home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in exile.
The Dalai Lama Temple complex is something that every visitor invariably goes to. There is an interesting museum here and a gift shop where you can buy beautiful artefacts. A beautiful fifteen minute walk from either McLeod Ganj or Naddi leads to the Church of St. John in the Wilderness that dates back to 1853. Quite literally, it is in the midst of a deodar and pine forest near Forsyth Ganj. The Dal Lake is 11 kms from Sharamshal and makes for a scenic small trek. Dharamkot is another wooded spot getting to which makes for a lovely day hike. You can also volunteer for teaching programs in Dharamshala schools if you wish to stay longer and interact more intensely with the locals.
Ooty, also known as Udhagamandalam is the capital of the Nilgiris; the “Blue Mountains” of Tamil Nadu. At an altitude of 2240 m above sea level, Ooty is a botanical paradise and tea planations in particular dominate the landscape.
The Todas are one of the more prominent tribes of the Nilgiris. Have a look at their wonderful red and black embroideries at the Green Shop near Ooty Club or at the govt. shop near Charring Cross. Do pick up your share of homemade Ooty chocolatesfrom the main market street. You can try King Star which has made Ooty chocolates famous.
The best way to enjoy Ooty is by driving around in the hills, taking tea stops in the little villages and hamlets that you drive through…the views once you step out of the main town centre of Ooty are breathtaking!
Coonoor is a lovely hill station near Ooty, in the Nilgiri Hills. The Nilgiris are famous for their hill plantations of tea, their fantastic climate and hues of blue the mountains take on at dusk. Coonoor is one of the nicer destinations in the Nilgiris at an altitude of 1800 meters.
There is loads to do in Coonoor. Besides the endless walks one can take, there are some lovely tea/ coffee lounges too. A visit to a Tea Plantation and a Tea Factory are a nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon. For the more touristically inclined, there’s the Dolphin’s Nose View Point and Catherine Falls.
Munnar is best described as the Darjeeling of the south, only much quieter. Sprawling tea gardens, soothing weather and quaint churches characterise the beautiful hill station.
Not surprisingly, it is a highly popular honeymoon destination!
Munnar is an idyllic place that has several scenic spots from where you can either go for small treks or just gaze at the misty valleys around. Walking through lush plantations of tea, coffee or cardamom is another activity that you must indulge in while here. Don’t forget to sample the different teas produced here. Devikullam is a great place to spend a day. You can also go fishing at the Sita Devi Lake here. The Eravikulam National Park is a must visit, especially if you have never seen the Nilgiri Tahr. The Mattupetty Dam is an ideal picnic spot, and you can also visit its famous, highly specialised dairy farm close by.
A Carpet of flowers at the foot of Mount Fuji…
The Fuji “Shiba-sakura” festival is a form of Japanese “flower viewing” festival held sometime during April and May when the flowers are blossoming. Incredible carpets of small red, white, pink and purple flowers bloom as far as the eye can see with the awesome Mount Fuji acting as a backdrop.
More on Shibasakura by Somewhere in the world today…
Picture: Fuji Shibazakura (Moss Pink) by YYZDez, on Flickr