Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A weekend in Goa for the modern Budget Traveller

Disclaimer - This post contains some affiliate links.So, if you were to book through these links, I would get a small commission at no extra cost to you.After all, I need to sustain my travels somehow.

Goa is a very popular coastal state very close to Maharashtra. It’s barely 600 KM from Mumbai (10 hours), 450 KM from Pune (8 hours) and around 560 KM from Bengaluru (9 hours).Close proximity to these cities result in Goa being the favorite hangout all year long.
The roads are in excellent conditions for all three routes and State transport and Private buses operate daily on these routes and in plenty.

There are a lot of reasons for Goa being a favorite among everyone like
  • Goa has it all, from beaches to nightclubs to waterfall to forest sanctuary’s.
  • The taxes levied are very less compared to other states and this results in cheap petrol and cheap booze. One can get a pint of beer for as less as INR 25 from a shop and a liter of petrol costs almost INR 5-10 less than other states.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The 2017 ETLR Travel Gift Store

Winters are here and so is the gifting season !

Ever since I have been bitten by the travel bug, I am always on the lookout for ideal gifts to feed the wanderlust within me and to inspire others to travel more often.But my search always results in nothing but disappointment.
So I took it upon myself to design some products which serve as the perfect gift to yourself and also for others.
And guess what, they also inspire everyone to Travel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ETLR gets the Liebster

As some of you know, Eat, Travel, Live and REPEAT had been nominated for the Liebster Award by Marinel from Brown Gal Trekker .

Marinel is a trekking aficionado who is an inspiration for other travelers of both the sexes. Thanks a ton Marinel for the thoughtful nomination!

What’s Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is a perpetual chain of nominations, where established bloggers encourage and support the new ones by promoting them through this award.  You can look at it as “pay it forward.”
The rules are as follows:
  • Post the award on your blog so everybody knows how awesome you are.
  • Publicly thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer their questions about yourself, feel free to add photos!
  • Nominate 5 – 10 people with less than 1000 followers, inform them via social media.
  • Write your own set of questions for your nominees.
I was asked to answer some questions by Marinel like :

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A volunteering experience in Nepal which changed my life

On April 25th, Nepal, a peaceful nation on the north western border of India, was hit by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake killing over 8700 people and injuring 22000 others.

Well I quit my job (worked for 55 days at a god awful company) in that week and joined my friend Somesh to volunteer in Nepal with an organization called All Hands Volunteers. Little did I know that in a short period of 3 weeks, my entire life would be changed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tips for travelers to cope up with the banning of INR 500 and 1000 notes in India

As everyone might already be aware that wef today ie 9th Nov 2016,  INR 500 and INR 1000 notes are not a legal tender anymore and render zero value.This is a masterstroke by PM Modi to curb the menace of black money in India.

So the big question is what to with the INR 500 and INR 1000 notes currently in possession.

Friday, November 4, 2016

4 places to have 4 different kind of Momos in Amar Colony, Delhi

Amar Colony is a refuge colony in Lajpat Nagar 4 and has become very popular among the youngsters primarily because of the vast numbers of PG’s in the area for both boys and girls. This popularity of the area has led to the development of Amar Colony market as a foodie’s hub. One can find a variety of yummy food items in the Amar Colony Market.

Momos, a tibetan delicacy has become a hot favourite among a wide range of foodies– young, old middle aged, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, have become a popular snack for all Delhiites. They are loved as much as the Samosas and Bread Pakora stalls scattered across the city and what’s even better is that you can find momo sellers in every nook and corner.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

4 places to enjoy Diwali in a Unique & Memorable way !

Diwali or Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year usually in the months of October or November.
It is one of the major festivals of Hinduism and it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. The celebrations include millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The ETLR (Eat, Travel, Live & REPEAT) Bangkok Food Trail - Part 1

Sunday, October 16, 2016

8 things to do in Rishikesh, India - The Yoga Capital of the World

Rishikesh is a city, municipal council and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. Rishikesh is surrounded by three districts: Tehri GarhwalPauri Garhwal and Haridwar. It is approximately 25 km north of the city Haridwar and 43 km southeast of the state capital Dehradun. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge.
Rishikesh also known as the ‘Yoga capital of the World’ and the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’ has it all, from Temples to Adventure sports.

Here is my list of 8 things to do in Rishikesh.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A weekend budget trip to the Queen of Hillstations (Mahabaleshwar)

Mahabaleshwar is a hill station in India's forested Western Ghats range, south of Mumbai, India. It features several elevated viewing points, such as Arthur’s Seat. West of here is centuries-old Pratapgad Fort, perched atop a mountain spur. East, Lingmala Waterfall tumbles off a sheer cliff. Colorful boats dot Venna Lake, while 5 rivers meet at Panch Ganga Temple to the north.

It is a very popular hill station as it is very close to both Mumbai and Pune and is hardly a 2-2.5 hours ride from Pune and around 3-4 from Mumbai. Panchgani is the sister town of Mahabaleshwar and on a lower altitude. The best time for a quick visit will no doubt be during the monsoons as the views will be spectacular and the cool breeze hitting your face is way too refreshing.

The thing about Mahabaleshwar is that it can be done in a day as well or by staying for a night or two and then heading back. Apart from the various viewpoints, the main attraction is the MaproGarden, it has it all, from a good restaurant selling good big pizzas, sandwiches, and milkshakes; to selling counters and tasting booths, it even has a chocolate factory.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Eco Tourism - The need of the hour in India

In the past few years, the travel and tourism industry has been on an exponential rise in India and abroad, primarily because of the vast knowledge sharing happening via social media like Facebook, Twitter. A lot of other factors like better transport connectivity, a rise in luxury budget hotels have also supported the growth of the travel and tourism industry.

A lot of Startups have come up and are offering various perks and discounts to the customer in the form of promotional e cash, flight miles, voucher coupons if the customer books through their website. This all provides a win-win situation for both the company and the customer, and the customer slowly gets bitten by the travel bug.

Once the customer comes out of his shell and starts travelling, he starts exploring the unexplored beauty of different places, becomes an extrovert and starts socializing with the localities and fellow travelers. This unleashes a wide range of possibilities to travel and explore without creating a hole in the pocket.

Friday, September 16, 2016

4 books by Indian Authors inspiring Adventure and Wanderlust

Being a bibliophile and a travel aficionado, I started searching frantically on Amazon for some quick reads by Indian Authors and I was more than delighted to go across the options. After going through all the options available on Amazon, I shortlisted these four titles. All these four titles are based on different themes and carry a unique message.

The best part, all these titles are under INR 200, so go ahead and experience these well written journeys as they are sure going to inspire the traveler hidden within you.

These books are perfect for fellow Wravelers – Wanderers and Travelers inspired by Wanderlust.
  1.  When The Road Beckons – Ravi Manoram (INR 145)
  2.  Born Again on the Mountain : A Story of Losing Everything and Finding It Back – Arunima Sinha (INR 176)
  3.  Bucket List of a Traveloholic – Sarika Pandit (INR 163)
  4.   Worth Every Gasp : A Lone Woman’s Journey in the Himalayas – Anamika Mukherjee (INR 81)

Friday, September 9, 2016

McLoedganj for the budget traveler

McLoedganj is a very popular travel destination in Dharamshala. Being just 250 km (5 hours) journey from Chandigarh and around 475 km (9-10 hours) journey from Delhi, McLoedganj has become a hotspot for weekend trips and is usually jam-packed with tourists on long weekends.

McLoedganj has a lot to offer to all kinds of travellers alike. There’s Bir Biling – The paragliding capital of India ; roughly 70 km away , Triund trek – a 9 km trek from Bhagsu ; and it is a foodies haven with all kinds of foods and cuisines available in the many cafes spread all over the town.
McLoedganj is best explored on foot and to enjoy the city it is recommended to park your vehicle in the parking lot near the bus stop for the duration of the stay .This does two things – Less traffic on the narrow roads and making your effort to keep the town pollution free.

Being a traveller’s paradise the town has a lot of budget hotels ranging from INR 500 – 2000 per room if booked in advance and dharamshalas. Dharamkot is a better location as it is a bit away (1-1.5km) from the Mall Square and the view of the mountains can be enjoyed from nearly all the rooms in Dharamkot. The plus point of the town being a traveller’s paradise is that there is WiFi in almost all the cafes and none of the café owners force you or pester you to leave the café or vacate your table because you have paid the bill. For all the bibliophile's, order a cup of hot chocolate or some peach Tea and read a book all day long without being bothered by anyone. That my friend is true relaxation and rejuvenation.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A week in the Andamans - India's best kept secret

With the rapid growth of the travel and tourism industry and the airlines offering competitive and affordable fares for foreign locations like Thailand, Dubai, Maldives etc., Indian citizens often ignore destinations in India and rather go and holiday abroad.

One such destination which shouldn't be ignored by any traveller or tourist is the Andamans and as Carlo Goldoni has rightly said “A wise traveller never despises his own country."
Andamans has got a variety of attractions suitable for all; be it a solo traveller or a family
Port Blair being the capital city is connected to major cities like Chennai, Kolkata via flights and even by sea. It is also the starting point of other major attractions like Havelock Islands and Baratang Islands.

Port Blair

Port Blair itself has a lot of places to visit like Cellular Jail, Chattam Saw Mill, Anthropogical Museum, Naval Museum, Mt Harriet, and Ross Island and not to forget the snorkelling destination Jolly Buoy and Red Skin Islands.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A scenic High Altitude Trek to the Moon Rock (Chandrashila)

"Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before." - Dalai Lama

But as luck would have it, Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek is my 5th such outing (somewhere I've never been before) since Jan 2016 starting from Nainital in Jan, Corbett in March, Mussorie and Rishikesh in April.

Initially it was my brothers wish that we both to go on a trek in the vacations, but ultimately the whole family ended up going for the trek.It was indeed a pleasant change and a different sort of vacation together considering that last time we had gone on a long family vacation was to Andamans long back in 2010.

As this was going to be our first trek we did a lot of research on different websites regarding the different treks in Himanchal and Uttarakhand and ultimately decided on Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek considering that its a easy - moderate trek, considered ideal and best suited for first timers and also a bird watchers paradise.

Now that we had decided the location, we researched further as to which hiking company to choose from.We narrowed it down to Trek the Himalayas and India Hikes and ultimately chose India Hikes, and I must say, it was indeed a good decision.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

4 places that should be there on every Foodie's list for the McLoedganj Foodtrail

Someone has rightly said “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” and this was proved true when we went to McLoedganj in October 2015 to do nothing but to Eat and Relax.

Mcloedganj is a foodie’s paradise as it has so many good eateries to offer with a variety of cuisines, such that one can’t have it all. The place has everything Indian food, pizzas, Tibetan food, Italian food and what nots.

Had read about a lot of places and dishes to eat before going, was disappointed with some and was more than delighted with some. Everyone should go on a food trail in Mcloedganj at least once and satisfy their taste buds.

1. Clay Oven
Clay oven is a quiet café located just 100 m from Mall Square on the Dharamkot Road. This place is a hidden treasure with down to earth staff and very relaxed seating. They have their own WiFi like other restaurants and one can just sit and relax endlessly in this café. In a span of 2 days ended up here more than 3 times at different times. The rates are super economical and the quantity is more than justified.
a.       Thukpa
Undoubtedly the best thukpa in town.The serving was more than generous. Taste was spot on and dint need to add anything else to make it better. The best part about thukpa is that it fills up your stomach fast and at the same time gives nutrition as well as it has a lot of veges in it.

b.      Cheese Omlet with Tibetan Bread

Cheese Omlet with Tibetan Bread
We had a hearty breakfast here with Cheese Omlet, Peach Tea, Oreo Shake, and Tibetan Bread with peanut butter on our table. Indeed it was a King style breakfast. A breakfast in Clay Oven should definitely be on every foodies to do list.

2. Carpediem

Had the best Pizza of my life in this place. The seating is very relaxed and people from different countries and background were sitting, enjoying and having a hell of a time. The French fries is also a big hit in this place.Turned up here and had pizza and thukpa as well. The thukpa was not that good as compared to Clay Oven, but the Pizza was simply the best. The yummy taste still linger in my mouth.
The best PIZZA

3.Tibet Kitchen
This is more of a restaurant than a café. It is always full and there is a waiting. That itself bears testimony that how good the taste of the food is. Unlike other cafes, you can’t sit here and relax, it’s more of a hush hush affair. This place has a lot to offer.

a.       Thentuk
Flat noodles served in a soup like dish like thukpa. Thukpa has long noodles, and thentuk has flat noodles. That’s the only difference between the dishes. It was something new for me which I enjoyed thoroughly.


b.      Momos
Tibetan cuisine is incomplete without momos. The filling was very good but it was a bit spicy. If you wasn’t to enjoy momos, it’s better to have it on the road as they are homemade and the taste is very different. Spending INR 100+ on momos in a restaurant is definitely a waste of money.

c.       Noodles and Fruit Beer
The hakka noodles were good and tasty and with just the right amount of spices. Fruit Beer and Peach Beer was something which went very well along with the food.

4.Street food

Any food trail is incomplete without exploring the street food options, and Mcloed has a lot to offer. Be it Bread omelet, maggi or momos, this place has it all. One should also try the cakes and pastries from the bakeries which are in abundance.

The yummy bread omlet
McLoedganj has a lot to offer to everyone with different experiences every time one visits.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A weekend in the jungles of Corbett National Park

Jim Corbett National Park is a forested wildlife sanctuary in northern India’s Uttarakhand State. Rich in flora and fauna, it’s known for its Bengal tigers. Animals, including tigers, leopards and wild elephants, roam the Dhikala zone. On the banks of the Ramganga Reservoir, the Sonanadi zone is home to elephants and leopards, along with hundreds of species of birds.

The planning
We planned an office trip to Corbett with barely 2 weeks in hand. Two of my colleagues were in constant talks with the tour operators for 2 weeks to get us the best possible deal. Finally we did get the best possible deal at INR 6000 per head which included:

·        -Travel to and from Noida to Corbett in a 26 seater AC bus
·         -Stay for 2 nights in Saalvan Resort and Spa , a 4 star resort
·         -2*Breakfast, 1*Lunch, 2*Dinner – Buffet system
·         -Tiger Safari
·         -Trip to Garjiya Devi mandir

The Journey
We departed from our office in Noida on 11th March at around 1 PM in the 26 seater AC bus which was way above my expectations. The driver was a very jolly fellow and didn’t create any issues. We played music and were enjoying till we stopped at Gajrula Bikenarwala for a late lunch. A big disappointment as the charm of having dhabha food while travelling was lost. However as we were a large group, we enjoyed the Cholle Bature together and clicked lot of pictures before heading back to the bus.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A weekend in Mussorie - The Queen of Hills

We decided to head out to Mussorie for the weekend as we had already visited McLoedganj, Nainital. Choosing the hotel was not a tough job as we booked HotelMall Palace from GoIbibo. It costed INR 2000 but after applying the discount code and paying partly by GoCash, we ultimately only spent INR 952 for a Deluxe Room with Terrace.

We booked our onward journey through DTS (Daily Transport Service) via GoIbibo. BIG MISTAKE. The boarding was scheduled at 9PM from RK Ashram Metro Station, but the bus arrived at around 10:30 PM.As there was no mention of pick up bus between RK and Anand Vihar, when we were told to board a common bus which would be changed at Anand Vihar was a big shocker.

After reaching Anand Vihar they put us in a 25 seater TATA AC Seater bus where the conductor allotted seats as per his convenience irrespective to the seat numbers we had booked. What actually happens is that irrespective of the Tour Operator you book with, they ultimately place you in one bus heading to the destination, leading to frustration of the passengers as that was not what they had booked.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Lunch to cherish at Momo's - Mussorie

The entry to Heaven
Happened to visit Mussorie on the 2nd Saturday weekend in April, 2016 and as usual ended up exploring all the good places to eat in Mussorie. Unlike Nainital there are a lot of good restaurants and coffee bars in Mussorie, with the Tibetan and Thai cuisine most common and popular in the area.
Ended up in this place by pure coincidence as had planned to go to some place else.But am glad that we turned up here.

The place is very dimly lit and as soon as we enter, we get the whole tibetan look with Dalai Lama Quotes hung up on the wall along with the Prayer flags and all.

With a seating capacity of around 20-30, this place is definitely one of the best places to have Tibetan food in Mussorie.

Tried the Chicken Hot and Sour Soup, Veg Manchow Soup and the Pad Thai Noodles.

While the soups were delicious, the noodles were a bit under-cooked and dry.It could have been much better as I have had much better Pad Thai in Delhi.

Rates were pretty decent considering the location of the restaurant on Mall Road which is flocked by Tourists all day long.

Chicken Hot and Sour Soup
Pad Thai Noodles