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A DDP PUBLICATION Pages: 64 Vol V Issue 1I March-April 2012 ` 50

Indian Colours

Culture of colour in India



Food Galore

Palate of Kolkata and Delhi

Mesmerising Manali The snow covered slopes

Draping Kashmir Leisure Rickshaw Rides New in Old India

Wrap around in Pashmina


an

INDIAN Publisher

SanJeet

Editor

Deepa Sethi

Associate Editor

Ipshita Sengupta Nag

Assistant Editor

Ruchika Chawla

Sub Editor

Divya Goyal

Design

Alpana Khare Neeraj Aggarwal Neeraj Nath

Advertising

Gunjan Sabikhi Harshal Ashar N. Sanjiba Singh Prem Sagar

Production Manager

Anil Kharbanda

Circulation Manager

Ashok Rana

where one lifetime of discovery falls short

journey A DDP PUBLICATION Pages: 64 Vol V Issue 11 March-April 2012 `50

Cover: Leather puppets from Andhra Pradesh Durga Das Publications Private Limited New Delhi : 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi 110001, India Tel: +91-11-23731971, 23710793, 23716318, Fax: +91-11-23351503 E-mail: ruchika@ddppl.com Mumbai: 504 Marine Chambers, 43 New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400 020 Tel: +91-22-22070129, 22070130 Fax: +91-22-22070131 E-mail: mumbai@ddppl.com UAE: P.O. Box: 9348, Sharjah, UAE Tel: +971-6-5573508, Fax: +971-6-5573509 E-mail: uae@ddppl.com All information in An Indian Journey is derived from sources, which we consider reliable. Information is passed on to our readers without any responsibility on our part. The contents of this publication contain views of authors and are not the views of Durga Das Publications. Similarly, opinions/views expressed by any party in abstract and/or in interviews are not necessarily shared/do not necessarily reflect any opinion of Durga Das Publications. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction strictly prohibited. Material appearing in An Indian Journey cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. The same rule applies when there is a copyright or the article is taken from another publication. Publications reproducing material either in part or in whole, without permission would face legal action. Editorial enquiries and enquiries concerning the reproduction of articles, advertising and circulation should be e-mailed at ruchika@ddppl.com The publisher assumes no responsibility for returning unsolicited material nor is he responsible for material lost or damaged in transit. Any material submitted to An Indian Journey will not be returned. The publisher reserves the rights to refuse, withdraw, amend or otherwise deal with all advertisements without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code as well as the Advertisements Code of South Asia. The publisher will not be liable for any damage or loss caused by the late publication, error or failure or advertisement or editorial to appear. An Indian Journey is printed, published and owned by SanJeet, 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi -110001 and is printed at Cirrus Graphics Private Limited, B-62/14, Phase - II, Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi - 110028

Dear Reader,

India is a canvas of contrasting colours, cultures, languages, festivals, foods, smells, luxury, poverty, knowledge, peace, adventure‌ The Himalayas and the plains rolling into deserts and beaches change because of all the local influences as they pass through the diverse states of the country.

Being the largest democracy gives its people a confidence and a feeling of freedom that brings with it smiles and happiness despite all odds.

Come and experience some of this fascinating country through the pages of An Indian Journey. We show you the colours in a pictorial display, treat you to Indian cuisine from Delhi and Kolkata, talk about the beautiful Kashmir valley for embroidered Pashminas, give you a treat of ayurvedic beauty tips, take you to Manali in the Himalayan State of Himachal Pradesh for skiing, to the tea plantations of Munnar in Kerala for a luxurious holiday and continue with our regular articles‌

Enjoy your Indian Journey!


Contents

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18 New in Old India – Leisure ride on

Rickshaws Explore the best of old India in a novel form – on cycle rickshaws. Go through the historic lanes and landmark monuments and learn about the deep rooted culture dominating the pulse of the capital.

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26 Food Galore

Kolkata and New Delhi brings to the travellers food experiences like never before. Tourists from all parts of the world will find something that will tickle their taste buds like never before‌.

34 Draping Kashmir

Cashmere/Pashmina discussed in a new light by breaking myths about Pashmina and revealing the sensuality of this drape.

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Mesmerising Manali The chill of winter and adventures in summers, Manali is an all time favourite tourist destination. Be captivated by the charms and graces of this beautiful hill top.


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48 Indian Colours

Through the colour palette discover the identity, passion and deep rooted relation of Colours with India and its culture.

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Regular Features

Mystic India

8 Calendar

Discover the magic of Ayurveda with Dr. Blossom Kochhar.

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IN FOCUS Updates, events and launches


Calendar

April–June 2012

(R) Restricted holiday are those which have their own importance/meaning but are not mandatory/legally bounded to be given by a company. (G) Gazzetted Holidays are observed by Government offices, banks and most public companies. So be sure to check the holidays according to the areas you wish to travel, as India is a vast country full of celebrations!

April 2012 01 Sunday

Ram Navmi (R) Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama. The important celebrations on this day take place at Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), Bhadrachalam (Andhra Pradesh) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), thronged by thousands of devotees. 05 Thursday

Mahavir Jayanti (G) In Jainism, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak is the most important religious holiday. It celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara. Ancient Jain temples across India typically see an extremely high volume of practitioners come to pay their respects and join in the celebrations. 06 Friday

Good Friday (G)/Hunuman Jayanti Good Friday is a Central or Federal Government as well as a State Government holiday. The Stock Markets and banks are closed as it is regarded as a Negotiable Instruments Holiday. Some other businesses are also closed in states where Christians are in considerable numbers viz. Assam, Goa, and Kerala. Generally, all schools and colleges are closed in India on Good Friday. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, widely venerated throughout India especially in North India. From early morning, devotees flock Hanuman temples to worship him. 08 Sunday

Easter (R) Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death. Easter traditionally takes place on a Sunday. 12 Thursday

Bikrami Samvat (Hindu New Year) It is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition. The traditional New Year of Bikram Samwat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes and participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year and coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra, Burma, Cambodia, Kerala, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. 13 Friday

Baisakhi / Vishu(R) An ancient harvest festival celebrated across the northern Indian subcontinent, especially in the Punjab region by all Punjabis regardless of religion. In rural areas of Punjab they celebrate with full happiness and joy. It is a day of feasting and merriment before the hard and tiring, but fruitful time ahead.


14 Saturday

Mesadi/Vaisakhadi (Bengal)/Bahag Bihu (Assam) (R) This festivals mark the onset of harvest season and the mood of rejoicing is vividly captured in the colourful festivities. The festival is celebrated in almost all the places in India by the Hindus by the different names like Baisakhi, Mesadi, Bihu.

May 2012 06 Sunday

Buddha Jayanti / Buddha Purnima (G) Buddha Jayanti or Buddha Purnima is the most revered festival of the Buddhists. The word Purnima means a full moon day. It is observed as the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, the originator of Buddhism. 08 Tuesday

Guru Rabindranath’s Birthday (R) Rabindra Jayanti or Pocheeshe Boishakh is celebrated to pay the homage to this great scholar, Rabindranath Tagore. The festival is marked by a number of cultural shows and performances based on the works of Gurudev. Rabindra Jayanti has gained a lot of popularity in the state of West Bengal and beyond. The festival provides a platform for the budding artists and literary person, in various cultural shows that are organised in the state during the mentioned dates. Music, skits, dramas, traditional songs and dances are performed in institutes and theatres. 13 Sunday

Mother’s Day Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is quite famous in urban areas, where gift giving to mothers is observed. The festival of Pâthâre Prabhu is celebrated on the same day only in Mumbai, the Southern part of India (concretely Konkan and the districts below the Western Ghats).

June 2012 4 Monday

Hazarat Ali’s Birthday (R) Hazarat Ali’s B’day is a great celebration in the Muslim community. 16 Saturday

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Nanakshahi Calendar) Guru Arjun Dev Ji’s birthday is known to Sikhs as prakash or the dawning of spiritual illumination. The celebration is a gurpurab commemorative event and is observed with a Sikh worship service which includes kirtan, the singing of divine hymns all across India. 17 Sunday

Father’s Day Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. 21 Thursday

Rath Yatra (R) It is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa during the months of June or July. Most of the city’s society is based around the worship of Jagannath with the ancient temple being the fulcrum of the area. 9


Indian Happenings

In Focus MOT gears up for Clean India Connecting cleanliness with increasing tourist arrivals, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has opened a new revolutionary front which could cause a ripple effect on the travel industry in India. In an attemt to improve hygiene and cleanliness standards across country, MOT organised a workshop called ‘Campaign Clean India’, which brought together individuals and institutions representing varied interests. The workshop hoped to see the emergence of action groups, each with a clear functional mandate. An independent study, conducted at five tourist destinations, has categorised hygiene and sanitation conditions, solid waste management and provision of hygienically maintained public amenities high in importance but low in satisfaction. The campaign will be expected to correct these weaknesses. Speaking on the occasion, Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Tourism said, “The success of the campaign may well decide if the targeted growth specific to tourism would be achieved.” Sahai informed the gathering that his ministry will finalise and plan the campaign strategy, incorporating the workshop recommendations, by March 31, 2012. The implementation will start from April 1, 2012. “Clean environment empowers societies. Involvement of students in large numbers and identifying better location of garbage collection points is imperative”, remarked former President APJ Abdul Kalam while inaugurating the workshop. Former Union Minister and former Member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha and noted cine actor from South, Chiranjivi in their address offered their whole-hearted support to the campaign. ‘Campaign Clean India’ is aimed to undertake both sensitisation and action at field level on bringing our tourism destinations and their surroundings to an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene. The objective is also to ensure that these levels are sustained through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. The campaign will be a part of Government’s strategy of the 12th Five Year Plan for improving the quality of services and environs in and around tourist destinations across India.

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Indian Happenings

India Alive – The Musical India is not just defined by geography and history, it is a country of the mind, whose great sages and philosophers have created the Vedas, Yoga, Ayurveda and the Kama Sutra. Home to Gautam Buddha and the mighty Himalayas, with dense jungles where the magnificent tiger still roams and where the warm-blooded erotic sculpture of Khajuraho co-exists with the pristine whitemarbled purity of the Taj Mahal. Experience this great nation vis-a-vis Akshara Theatre’s India Alive the Musical, a theatrical presentation that will take you on a journey across the mind and spirit of India, the country beyond geography, history and religion. India Alive celebrates India through melodious music, vibrant, colourful dance and stimulating theatre, interspersed with India’s multifaceted philosophical and spiritual ethos. India Alive the Musical is created and run by poet-playwright Gopal Sharman and actress Jalabala Vaidya – a couple renowned internationally for their theatrical masterpiece The Ramayana, written and directed by Gopal Sharman and performed by Jalabala Vaidya. Akshara’s Ramayana has played on Broadway in New York, on London’s West End, at the United Nations Headquarters, the Smithsonian Institution, in Europe, America and of course all over India. The Akshara theatre was hailed as ‘India’s Gift to Broadway’ by the New York Times. New Delhi’s Akshara Theatre is celebrated as an architectural gem, an exquisite centre for the performing arts in the heart of New Delhi. With a carved stone façade and centrally air-conditioned interiors paneled in rosewood and teakwood, the Akshara has three performance spaces: the 100-seat indoor Akshara Theatre, the intimate Poetry Theatre seating 50 and the beautiful open air Pipal Tree theatre, seating 300. A large green area and a charming outdoor café, as well as workshops, rehearsal spaces, and video and graphics studio complete the Akshara centre. The Akshara’s theatre productions are at par with the best in the world -- whether they are classics like The Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita, hard-hitting political satire like Let’s Laugh Again, or thought-provoking contemporary plays like Karma and The Strange Case of Billy Biswas. India Alive The Musical, starring Nisa Shetty, Kritika Pande, Dhruv Shetty and Mahant Shah is another such theatrical gem. Well-known Japanese dancer Masako Ono joins the cast for a cameo performance. The production is directed by Gopal Sharman and Jalabala Vaidya, assisted by Anasuya Vaidya. Original music is composed by Gopal Sharman. Some of India’s bestknown dancers are involved with the choreography of the production. India Alive The Musical will run daily at the Akshara Theatre at 6pm onwards. The duration is 40-minute. Language is English and soon printed translations will be made available in several major languages.

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Indian Happenings

Daniell’s Tavern presents the culinary tradition of ancient India Marrying legendary Indian heritage, meticulous local craftsmanship, cutting edge design and tracing the unrivalled scenery and architecture of Hindustan, Daniell’s Tavern at The Imperial comes alive with a brand new look showcasing a Live Kitchen and a menu that revisits India from the eyes of Thomas and William Daniells. This uncle and nephew team came to experience and paint the rich culture and culinary tradition of India’s picturesque locations in 1786, in the midst of the colonial era to assist the expanding British Empire. The new menu seeks to define their gastronomic expedition with unique old world specialties from all the cities they visited. In the words of Vijay Wanchoo, Sr. Vice President & General Manager, The Imperial New Delhi, “Imperial restoration experts have worked tirelessly to return the ‘culinary tradition of our ancient land ‘ and to revive its legendary opulence. A strategically designed Live Kitchen promises to stir the imagination. The specially crafted menu from the bygone era, takes one to the footsteps of Daniells and brings alive the taste of delicacies prominent in the yesteryears, that too from various regions of India. These recipes are interestingly taken out of the diaries of Daniells duo and offer delicacies like ‘Governer Howell’s order’ Which is silvers of sole fillet, marinated with Bengali mustard and lightly cooked on a griddle, ‘William Delight’, a light tomato broth flavoured with coriander and ‘Moghul’s Pride’ which is mace scented skewers of lamb mince delicately charred in a clay oven. All this is unique to The Imperial cuisine.”

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Indian Happenings

Budget or Luxury, take your pick with ibis or Novotel in Bengaluru The fourth ibis property in India is the first combo property of Accor in the country. The hotel will share the property with Novotel Bengaluru Techpark. The new addition in the ibis portfolio of the hospitality chain Accor is the ibis Bengaluru Techpark. Not only it is the fourth ibis in India but it also forms a part of the first combo property of Accor in the country. Talking about this combo property, Philip Logan, General Manager Delegate, Bangalore Hotels, Accor-India, elucidates, “The hotel will share the property with Novotel Bengaluru Techpark. The combination product provides a complete business solution with both, the best value international hotel (ibis Bengaluru Techpark) in the mid-scale hotel space, and an up-market business hotel (Novotel Bengaluru Techpark), designed for the discerning business travellers.” The hotel is cashing in on the prime location in the IT hub. Regarding the clientele target in the hotel, Logan says, “In India, ibis is popular with global multinational companies and locals alike. Considering the location of the 332-room ibis Bengaluru, our clientele would obviously comprise largely of the corporates.” According to Logan, leisure travel does exist in the Beng­aluru market but it is often merged with business-related events. He feels, “More than 90 per cent of the city’s inbound travel is from the corporate market. Ibis operates in 900 locations worldwide and is extremely popular with both domestic and international travellers alike. In ibis Bengaluru Techpark, more than 65 per cent of travel is from the domestic audience.” Capitalising on the growing demand in the Bengaluru hospitality market, the brand will open two more ibis properties in the city in the near future. Logan reveals, “ibis Bengaluru Hosur Road is our second property that will open next year. It is an owned and managed property featuring 185 guest rooms. This property has three floors for commercial space and all rooms have a superior city view. Also, we expect our third property, ibis Bengaluru City Centre to open by mid-2013. It will feature 165 guest rooms and will showcase a mix of commercial office and retail space.” The brand will open two more ibis properties in the city.

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Indian Happenings

‘Shiv-Vivaha’ by The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho in its Third Year A manifestation of Shiva as the Ardha-Narishwar (half male and half female) was brought alive by The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group at Shiv Vivaha which was held at The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho from February 19–21, on Maha Shivratri. Khajuraho bedecked itself in bridal glory to rejoice this celestial night. The festivities had all the offerings of a traditional Indian wedding. The ceremonies commenced by inviting guests who were dressed up in traditional wedding finery. In the evening, the Shiva Baraat (procession) proceeded from the hotel to the Western Temple Festival Grounds. The welcome of the baraat paved the way for an interactive dance drama Shiv-Vivaha by famous danseuse Sharon Lowen, created under the aegis of The Lalit Arts Festival, based on the Parvati Mangal of Tulsidas. The presentation showcased the coming together of the mundane and celestial, erotic and divine - all the elements that Shivratri represents. The Shiva Vivaha was open to all the local people of Khajuraho and the nearby towns and over 10,000 people including the local inmates, tourists and important dignitaries participated in this celestial evening. The festivities continued till the midnight as the guests enjoyed a Flute Recital by G.S. Rajan at the famous Matangeshwar Temple. With Shiv Vivaha in its third year, Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson & Managing Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group aims to revive the essence of art & culture in the city of Khajuraho. Designed as an annual feature, The Lalit Arts Festival is hosted in synergy with the Group’s vision of a holistic development of the destination it operates in. This divine union of Shiv Shakti formed the main theme of The Lalit Arts Festival 2012.

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Indian Happenings

An Artistic Conversation ‘Articulate-A Conversation with Art’ exhibition organised by Habiart Foundation took place at The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi from February 24- March 4 2012. The Habiart Foundation has been involved in the promotion of contemporary Indian art since 1989. The Foundation prides itself on a comprehensive exhibitions programme, drawing upon local and international sources to secure the finest collections available for public viewing Curated by Aditi Mody and Isha Patodia of the Habiart Foundation, the exhibition included a diversity of contemporary Indian artists. Aptly named ‘Articulate’, each artwork displayed spoke a thousand words compelling one to pause and listen. A walk through the exhibition transported one through different environments and time zones, captivating and enthralling as one peeped into the soul of each painting. The exhibition allowed one to move from the rural Tellangana images of Thota Vaikuntham to Bengal via the mastery of tempera artist Bratin Khan, veteran artist Subroto Gangopadhyay and brush against the artistic intellect of Kolkata maestro Shuvaprasanna. It also highlighted the bold and bright running cows by HR Das and savour the rural flavour of Laxman Aelay’s work. Amongst other artists who were appreciated included Maya Burman’s style that is reminiscent of the French Art nouveau tradition and Prokash Karmakar, Nagesh Goud, Arvind Kolapkar, Sunil Padwal and Nishant Dange. Michael Pelletier, Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs, US Embassy in New Delhi inaugurated the exhibition and remarked, “India is blessed with a wealth of amazing contemporary artists, who make us all question underlying assumptions and imagine new possibilities. Works such as these have helped me and many diplomatic colleagues recognise the amazing creativity and potential in India today”. Kiran Shetty, Managing Director and India Western Union, said, “Over the years, Indian art landscape has gained significance around the globe. Articulate is one such platform which showcased the best Indian talent from across arenas and help further enhance the diversity and potential of the contemporary Indian Artiste. It was a pleasure to partner with a profound initiative such as Articulate, as it mirrors what we do well at Western Union - that is connecting Indians across the globe through our world-wide network.” The exhibition was supported by The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi, The Western Union Group and Four Seasons, in association with the University of Chicago Alumni & Development Office.

`500 crore to be spent by the Centre and Kerala government to boost tourism The Central Government and Kerala government together will spend `500 crore to boost tourism in the state. The plan is to further promote the state as a popular tourism hub by creating better infrastructure like roads, hotels, shopping centres and houseboats. In the first phase, the Central Government has provided `50 crore and an equal amount have been given by the state. Besides, special emphasis would be given on backwaters of Alappuzha in Kerala which is one of the major attractions for tourists. As part of the plan, a number of houseboat terminals, resting points, night halt centres, curio and souvenir shops would be built along the banks of the backwaters.

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Leisure

Rickshaw Ride of a Lifetime Text : Ruchika Chawla

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New in old india

With When in India tours (Wii) transport yourself 400 years back to the ‘Moonlit Square of India’. Glide through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk and be a part of an historical journey launched by two successful women who began this ingenious rickshaw ride in September 2011 and have continued to grow within the paths taken!

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A

ttracting foreigners, NRIs and even localities X generation, Wii provides ample of time and comfort to seek in Old Delhi’s heritage and beauty which has managed to co-exist with the ever-growing city. The predesignated routes will present before you the architectural marvels, the multicoloured façades, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed men and women, followed by getting bombarded by the cries of hawkers and fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line these historical alleys. To create a memorable experience the rickshaws have been created to provide a comfort ride for passengers to relish in Old Delhi’s experience. Rickshaws are pollution free vehicles and easily navigate through the narrow ‘galis’ and ‘kuchhas’ of Chandini Chowk thereby providing an uninterrupted sightseeing experience. Wii rickshaws have been specially designed with spacious, cushioned seats and seat belts for

Previous page spread:Travellers settled in to begin their Rickshaw ride of a lifetime to discover Old Delhi Top and facing page top: Excited tourists and Rickshaw pullers posing for the camera Bottom: A traveller exploring Old Delhi in depth at the Spice Market Facing page bottom:Tourists engaged in a tour of the Haveli

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New in old india

Top: Happy tourists exploring the streents and markets of Old Delhi Bottom: Interiors of Gallib’s Haveli, commemorating one of the gem poets of India

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New in old india passenger safety! In addition these rickshaws have first-aid kits, convenient bottle and camera holders and a collapsible and transparent roof. Wii rickshaws are also mechanically sound and entail better suspension and balance to provide a safe ride. Visitors can enjoy this marvellous ride of Old Delhi throughout the year. The best time of the day to take the tour is in the morning as at that time, Old Delhi is more peaceful, more charming and one can even see the many age old practices which the locals perform during these hours. Wii offers their premium tour – the Shah Jahan Tour in the morning hours. All routes conclude at a heritage ‘Haveli’ in Chawri Bazaar, providing tourists a place to relax and enjoy tea and snacks. “We want to give our guests appropriate attention and have kept our group sizes small. Because of that we have limited capacity so the sooner you contact us for reserving the tour, the better it would be,” shares Taruna Nagpal, the coowner and creator of Wii. Enjoy the Ride Among the several rides provided, the prime ride begins at the Red Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site, which is the largest fort built under the Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan built this amazingly beautiful royal palace known as Red Fort or ‘Lal Qila’. Amongst its inner beauty is the presence of every religion in the streets of Chandni Chowk including the Gauri Shankar Temple, Jain Temple, Baptist Church, Jama Masjid, Sunheri Masjid and Gurdwara Sis Ganj, which provide an ambience of peace. An array of packages are available to make the most of Old Delhi, each one is catered for clients according to what they desire. Whether it is to educate or entertain kids or even provide a thrilling shopping experience for ladies! Wii can also provide a well informed historical tour entailed with facts and figures of Old Delhi providing an experience full of memories to cherish. Visitors are provided in-depth knowledge and intriguing facts by Nagpal and her team as tourists enjoy the ride, including the history of each site and its significancelike the fact that Chandni Chowk got its name because a stream used to flow from Yamuna to a pond situated in between the market (chowk) which reflected the moonlight (Chandni). Another experience to indulge in is the view from atop Khari Baoli (the biggest spice market of Asia). Aside from strong auras of magnificent spices ruling Indian taste, you will notice (and informed by Nagpal) that the market is actually built by encroachment on one of the most affluent Gadodia Palace of yesteryears. The climb up to the terrace makes it worth the climb by providing a peaceful and panoramic view of the whole area of Chandni Chowk including the Red Fort. With full trained and native rickshaw pullers, the ride becomes one to cherish as you are navigated through the compacted, colourful and cultural street of Old Delhi. So plan a visit to India soon and make sure you explore the historical aspect of the Capital via this multi-faceted tour. To make a reservation visit www.wheninindia.com

The Shah Jahan Tour Duration: 3 hours Time: Fixed timings in the morning. (Normally begins at 9:00 am and concludes around 12:30 pm) Brief: This tour is the grand tour of Chandni Chowk that covers the most important marvels in the old city. This is a detailed tour with several stops and includes the famous snacks which are served in an old Haveli. If you have time to explore Old Delhi, this would be an ideal tour for you. Drop-off Point: New Delhi Metro Station Parking (Near Ajmeri Gate) Departure Days: Daily Cost: US$ 50/INR 2,500

The Mumtaz Mahal Tour Duration: 2 Hours Brief: This tour can be customised as your requirements and interest. If you want to explore Old Delhi on your own time and just see the things you are interested in, then this is the ideal tour for you. Usual Meeting Point: Digambar Jain Temple (opp. Red Fort Main Gate) Assemble time: Flexible (last tour would start no later 4 pm) Drop-off Point: Digambar Jain Temple (opp. Red Fort Main Gate) Cost: US$ 45*/INR 2,200 * Note: a minimum booking of 2 guests would be required for customised tours.

General Information Cancellation Policy: In case of bookings cancelled less than 24 hours before the scheduled time of the tour, no refund shall be made. For other cancellations 50% refund shall be done. For cancellations done by Wii Tours for bad weather, etc., complete amount shall be refunded after deducting the transaction costs, if any. To make a booking for any of the Rickshaw Rides, send an email on info@wheninindia.com or call at +919818176637 or +91-9958077066, to check the availability on your preferred date Please note: The tour reservation should be made in advance. Once your booking is confirmed, you will get a confirmation email, which includes the confirmed detailed itinerary with travel tips.

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Sossegado

Goa Style

Laguna Anjuna is one of the very few hotels built in Goa’s traditional country house Portuguese style.With its high tiled roofs which dips, curves, laterite stone walls with carved lintels, some vaulted dome roofs, stone or red oxide floors,Venetian plastered baths, stained glass, etc. and most of all its somewhat wild tropical garden, one gets a taste of what it was to come and live in the Goa countryside. Guests who are so inclined, get a sense of peace and homecoming. One particular USP- we have two bed roomed cottages with two bedrooms, each with its own bath plus a common living room, ideal for families, friends. 24

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Indian Resort

T

he Portuguese word Sossegado, along with many others, is still often used in Konkani, ‘Goa’s’ official language. Often misunderstood to mean lazy, the dictionary defines sossegado as ‘quiet, restful, assured, at peace’. It means taking time to enjoy the good things in life and a very sane refusal to be rushed. A refreshing holiday is an investment in your greatest assets-your family and well-being. Perhaps Laguna Anjuna’s most easily recognised feature is its large lush tropical garden as one enters, with its large free form swimming pool. A wild kind of beauty imbues a natural sense of peace and homecoming. Laguna Anjuna is tucked away from the hurly burly in a haven of tranquility all its own. It is stylish but completely unpretentious. Service is friendly and efficient and the food excellent. Savour Life The logo of Laguna Anjuna is an extension of the same theme- a way of life where one is not under pressure to simply consume, receive , demand - rather a way to live life sensibly; to take time out to savour the real joys of nature, food, companionship which is the true meaning of the Portuguese/Konkani word ‘Sussegado’ rather than just ‘laid-back’. While staying at Laguna Anjuna, one can savour the inner beauty of Anjuna in its truest form.

Dip into Anjuna’s ‘alternative’ scene, known for its Wednesday flea market and full moon parties. It’s Goa’s original ‘hippy’ hangout. Discovered by the flower children in the late sixties, Anjuna is a picturesque little seaside village with a colourful past. Today Anjuna continues to attract free spirited travellers from all over the world. Anjuna has a welcoming, friendly and tolerant profile and is an enchanting mix of good sense rural tradition and world savvy. The village has had years of exposure to international travellers and the people have, like many Goans, travelled and worked all over India as well as the world. On Wednesdays the fields off South Anjuna Beach are home to a flea market. Once a flea market for returning ‘hippies’ to sell their belongings to jeans starved youngsters, today its vendors are Tibetans, gypsy Lamanis, Rajasthanis, Europeans, Goans and representatives of just about every race living in or visiting the sub continent. Find everything from handicrafts, spices, incense sticks, pizzas, leather moccasins, stitched clothes, beach wear, silverware, hammocks, books on philosophy, Goa trance party recordings, fortune telling bulls with their colourful owners, tarot card readers to Enfield motorcycles! Haggle, walk away, haggle again and have a great time. And come away with a couple of completely useless drums. If you are a free spirit, you will love Anjuna! R

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Cover Story

Food Galore Text and photos: Anupam chanda

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The people of Kolkata, known for their love for good cuisine has resulted in a number of eateries in the city which have also become a part of the city’s heritage.While Kolkata’s cuisine is an amalgamation of flavours, because of which it deserves to be called a ‘Foodie’s Paradise’, Delhi’s culinary experience is said to be one that which even the crème de la crème cannot match. Rows and rows of irresistible street food and chic high-end restaurants with multifarious cuisines have added another reason to visit Delhi. Explore the sumptuous delicacies of both these Indian cities. Bon appétit!

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boulevards of Kolkata Whether it’s the beautiful Victoria Memorial, the majestic Howrah Bridge or the sun kissed Maidan grounds, all of them are an integral part of the rich heritage that symbolise Kolkata - a city where every street and every corner has some anecdote to relate. For breakfast you can try Hotel Hindusthan International which is located right in the heart of the historic, artistic and commercial centre (Kolkata’s main boulevard). The ambience is enhanced by the large windows offering a panoramic view of the beautiful hotel. It sure is a balmystrip of foodie fun and the breakfast with its many counters add a measure of gustatory refinement. Flury’s is also a part of this wonderful food journey and it’s not complete without a visit to this legendary eatery house in the building which was grazed by fire in the recent past. It’s an institution in the city and evokes strong emotions as it offers an old world atmosphere and a glimpse of Kolkata of another era. Many people come back for the taste of Flurys whenever they are passing through. Such is the nostalgia and attachment that this old world tea room - the only of it’s kind in the city. You can gorge on beans on toast or the faint club sandwitches, the best bet however is the Flury’s all day breakfast, which consists of two rashers of crispy bacon, two grilled sausages, one fried egg, one grilled tomato and one hash brown with either two slices of bread & butter or toast & butter, with choice of juice, tea or coffee. If you happen to go to Flury’s at tea time then rum balls is a must. For lunch there is no place like Aheli at the Peerless Inn hotel, where the food ambience and dress code is a total concept. In simple words, the richness of Bengali culture art and literature. On offer is also the old and rare ‘Zamindari cuisine’ - the cuisine of Thakurbari is closer to the heart of those who are nostalgic about the past. There is à la carte too, but the ‘Thali’ route is a better choice as it is a complete journey for a person to enjoy Bengali cuisine. Another great place is 6 Ballygunge Place. Banish the misconception that Bengali cuisine is only about mustard oil and ‘Eelish mach’ (Hilsa Fish), the USP here is home cooked food, served in a traditional manner. Go for the ‘Begun Bhaja’ (Brinjal Fry), Narkel Diye Channa Dal

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(Channa Dal with coconut), Fish Fry & steamed rice which are all a ticket to bliss. Kolkata food tour will be incomplete without its street food. Russle Street has become an icon for it’s signature ‘Puchkas’, ‘Belpuri’, ‘Churmur’ and is often recommended by locals who patronise this place. Pappu Phuchkawalla has been around for almost a decade and the menu features a fine blend of chat cuisine in the West Indian style. Standing by the road to savour this juicy mound is an exclusive experience. Well, there is nothing like a perfect bite, the one where all the flavours of the plate come together in one heavenly mouthful! Not to forget the Kolkata Mutton Rolls and Pao Bhaji...mama mia! Southern


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Avenue too has phuchkawallas lined up at the Vivekananda Park boundary wall. Unlike in the North, the bread with ‘Alur Dum’ is quite popular in south Kolkata and you must not miss the unique Bengali delectable ‘Kabiraaji’ at Regent or SN Bannerjee Road. Interestingly this cutlet is purely British in origin and was

Previous page spread:Tickle your taste buds with mouth watering ‘Channa Chaat’ Top: Irresistable ‘Seekh Kababs’ and ‘Tandoori Chicken’ being prepared fresh Right: A lavish street full of restaurants in New Delhi Facing page top: Delhi’s famous ‘Tandoori Chicken’ served with onion rings

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taught to a Bengali chef by the ‘shahibs’. They were then called coverage cutlets for obvious reasons of the egg coating. Since the local could not pronounce it well, there came the new name. Kolkata is a blend of traditional and international cuisines. If you are a die hard Thai food fan you must hit Zen at the Park Hotel. While Mocambo is known as the best place in town for its continental food, Chickena la Kiev is mind blowing and it’s the only restaurant that serves ‘Baked Alaska’ on its menu. Jong’s is another favourite, the ambience is chic modern Chinese and the fare is excellent. Kung Bao is special along with braised prawns, juicy and tender with distinctly oriental flavour. On a more traditional vein there is a wonderful mix of silk & tofu, mushroom & other vegetables, stir fried in lovely hot bean sauce which is a great dish to accompany steaming white rice. The Hong Kong fish is fresh and a pleasure to eat just lightly steamed with a tasty sauce. Even something as basic as fried rice is raised to imperial standards. For desserts, it’s the Street Café at the Park Hotel, which creates a pulsating atmosphere at the beginning. It’s usually a struggle to choose between the American waffle, the French crepe, the Swiss desserts and the Italian gelato here. Another one of those old timers which never fails is Moulin Rouge down the park street and dating back to the 60s-70s when this street was the centre of small but thriving pop, jazz and cabaret scene. However, today mostly late night parties are the norm here. But SomePlace Else and Tantra are the ultimate night spots in the city. You would love sipping

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your ‘Midori Martini’ here with Saturday Night Blues band on weekends. Kolkata is a haven for sweet lovers. One sweet shop after the other lines the streets and its fragrance calls out to you. However each sweet shop has it’s speciality for example KC Das is known for ‘Rosogollas’, Bancharam for ‘Aabar Khabo’ (which literally means ‘it’s so good that one would eat it again’) and Chittaranjan for ‘Rajbhog’ and ‘Sandesh’. These delicacies have carved a niche among the sweet lovers across the globe. Delhi Delight Moving up the map towards the capital of the country Delhi’s taste gets richer with influences of the Mughal era and the numerous invasions the capital has gone through. With each dynasty, food taste was redefined and today it’s a wonderful mix of the best of the middle, north and west flavours. Elaborate buffets are offered throughout the city in upmarket hotels to showcase the variety in flavours. This at the heart of the food chain in a city dotted with ‘Bhojanalayas’ that serve unlimited vegetarian meals for less than `50. One such neat place is Adarsh Bhojanalaya in Haveli Haider Quli Top and Below: Mouth watering delectable from Flurry’s in Kolkata Facing page Top: Delhi’s renowned street ‘Chaat’ Middle: Sumptuous ‘Kebabs’ Bottom: ‘Chatpatti Channa Chaat’

near Fatehpuri in Chandni Chowk, an area that has all the answers in one shot. Take a chair and order a ‘Thali’ which consists of a Dal, a few vegetable dishes, ‘Raita’ (Curd), Chutney, Salad, Kheer and Papad. Team it up with different kinds of rotis – plain, missi or even paranthas. All this is served with a ‘Katori of Desi Ghee’which is tempered with ‘Jeera’; and you pour this over your ‘Dal’ and ‘Sabzi’. The rotis are made on the tawa and are soft which will tempt you to eat even more than you wish to. Constant refilling goes on all your ‘Katoris’ till you surrender and cross your hands over the ‘Thali’ to indicate a stomach that’s about to burst! Delhi is also the ‘Chaat capital’ of the country and remains at the highest rung of ‘Chaatdom’ amongst the ‘Chaat’ lineage from Benaras to Haridwar. Though the real ‘Chaats’ of Delhi are found in the walled city, not the Bengali market joints, here you get ‘Chaats’ made out of spicy whole potatoes in a light peppery gravy and ‘Chaats’ made of mashed ‘Samosas’ in a green and

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white tart chutney and of course the usual ‘Chaat’ consisting of ‘Paapris’, ‘Dahi Vade’ and ‘Pakori’ with boiled ‘Chholey’. Amongst the best ‘Chaat’ counters in Delhi is the 70 year old Ashok Chaat Bhandar in Hauz Qazi Chowk at the mouth of the Chowri Bazaar. Here half the ‘Paapris’ are put in a whipped yoghurt mix with the other half in the sweet ‘Saunth’. These are then arranged on a plate and garnished with home made ‘Masalas’. Red chillies are never used in the ‘Chaat’ instead they use black pepper to add to the pungency. At Ashok’s the main ingredients are pepper, black salt and roasted ‘Zeera’. Some of the ‘Masalas’ used are closely guarded secrets which the owners of Ashok Chaat Bhandar refuse to divulge despite all their teary eyed entreaties. To this they add a dollop of curd a smattering of ‘Saunth’ and a spoonful of green chutney and finally they top it with thin spicy slivers of roasted ‘Kachaloo’. There’s also the usual ‘Chaat’ with soft ‘Dahi Vadas’ or ‘Dahi Pakoris’ and then there is the ‘Kalmi Vada Chaat’, crisp, flat and thick ‘Paapris’ made out of ground lentils. Another all time favourite is the ‘Aloo chaat’ where roasted potato is spiced up and then cut it into little chunks and add all the seasonings that go into the ‘Paapri Chaat’ are added to give a flavour you will never

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forget. Incidentally they get their roasted ‘Aloos’ and ‘Kachaloos’ from certain families in the area whose sole job is to provide these only. So plan an exclusive ‘Chaat day’ on your next trip to Delhi; rest assured you won’t be disappointed! Once the tongue is nicely set ablaze, you can saunter down to Mianji’s Kheer Shop, which is 200-metre down the Lal Kuan road from the Hauz Qazi Chowk. Tart and sweet - that’s what a gastronomical journey is all about. Another major attraction is ‘Doodh Jalebi’. Not a very tough job to locate the joint, go to Kashmiri Gate, locate the Bata shoe shop or Carlton Cafe and keep going down the same side of the road till you reach the Election Commission Office. Once you have crossed that, you will find the ‘Doodh Jalebi’ stall just a few shops downs the same side of the road. The ‘Doodh Jalebi’ factory here prepares each plate with a lot of care. Milk is boiled in huge ‘Karais’. As the milk thickens in one ‘Karai’ it gets poured into the next ‘Karai’ and so on till it had reached just the right consistency and is ready to be doled out. Once the milk is thick enough, the maestro at the shop would deftly place two thick ‘Jalebis’ into one tall glass and then pour thickened milk into it till the glass is full and then he


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adds a wedge of ‘Malai’ on top of it. A spoon gets dropped into it to titillate the ‘Jalebis’ as it becomes pure nectar. Delhi is different at night from it’s day face. During the day, the lanes are engulfed by the hectic pace of its bustling markets. In the evening, little stalls come sprouting up, some with heavy ‘Deghchis’ selling ‘Korma’ some others with coal angithis, grilling “Tikkas’ and ‘Kababs’ and a few with shiny pots of the heavenly rice pudding ‘Phirni’. Everywhere, people start coming out of the shadows in search of good food.This is also the place where you get the best kakabs in the city. Moinuddin lives & operates from gali Quasimjan very near to where the famous poet Ghalib lived. He clearly belongs to the select group of ‘Kababchis’ with a golden touch. For long years oldtimers of Delhi have been waxing eloquent about the late Maseeta Kababchi, whose ‘Kababs’ were the stuff legends are made of. One can now tell them about Ustad Moinuddin. He showed the way to the members of the ‘Kabab’ fan club. You need to have the first bite of his ‘Kabab’ to realise what this exotic world is all about. A plate consists of four ‘Kabab’, a

sprinkling of masalas and a few drops of lemon juice, served with onion rings and a green chutney. Spicy but rubbery ones, soft and bland ‘Kabab’ but this is out of the world. The ‘Kababs’ are so soft that the teeth don’t have much work to do. And it is so delicious that the taste buds burst into a joyous jig. If you are a newcomer, you’d be surprised to see mobs of salivating men emerging from various lanes and by lanes at around 7:30 in the evening and heading for one particular corner.The men life members of the great ‘Kabab’ fan club silently queue up and wait for their turn to reach the head of the line. And once they are there, they get to bite into the most succulent seekh kababs this side of Lucknow. To sum up the growth of culinary arts is dynamic and cannot be pigeon holed as we like. Most important is the exciting new taste discoveries and marriage of flavours that would satiate creativity. Enjoy a good meal.! R Facing page top:Traditional Bengali Thali will make you eat more than your can Top: Commit the sin of gluttony and indulge in the famous ‘Jalebis’ and ‘Sandesh’

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Indian Drapes

Kashmir Pashmina will not pull the wool over your eyes by its claims to royalty and everything luxurious, but will instead fashion your style statement...


Indian Drapes

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ueen Victoria and Josephine Bonaparte had flung it on their shoulders and so did a number of aristocratic women and men of royalty, as a status symbol. Still coveted by connoisseurs, it commands a market worth billions of dollars. In the latter half of the 90s, the Western world was ‘plagued’ by Pashmina/Cashmere. Cashmere/Pashmina, the majestic apparel that originated in India, took the world by storm centuries go. Pashma, an international luxury brand, launched its first ever showroom in India in Connaught Place, New Delhi and in Bengaluru. Pashma debuted at Milano Vende Moda, Paris in 1998. Today, it is successfully retailed at the finest retail establishments like

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Henri Bendall, New York; Takashimaya, Japan; Le Bon Marche, Paris; Liberty & Harrods, London and Galleries Le Fayatte, France. This fiber has seen the Classical to the Victorian era and through the centuries earned a reputation as the finest and the most exquisite yarn. Pashma first established itself in the fashion capitals of the world — Tokyo, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and then launched itself in India, after a gap of eight years. Shilu Kumar, owner of Pashma, has studied these yarns all her life and it’s her passion to bring the authentic Pashmina and Cashmere to the people. She also states that one has to have an eye to judge as to what is authentic and what is not as other coarser materials are


Indian Drapes

often mixed with Pashmina and presented as authentic. Are Pashmina and Cashmere the same? Not exactly… Cashmere yarn is spun with the help of European industrial methods, whereas Pashmina yarn is spun to retain the character of traditional handspun yarn from Kashmir. Further, the weaving and processing of the fabrics have major differences. Cashmere is woven like fine woolen fabrics from Europe on high-speed automatic looms, whereas Pashmina is woven on primitive looms with human skill and low tension on the yarn, processed manually using traditional methods to enhance the tangible properties of the fiber. With the colonisation of South Asia, it was the British who sourced this fiber through the East India Company, brought it to Europe and sold it at exorbitant prices. In reverence to its place of origin, Kashmir, the fiber was named Cashmere.‘Paradise on Earth’ with serene high altitude lakes, lush vegetation and rich flora and fauna, Kashmir was an ethnic and cultural melting pot, creating in Kashmiris a unique instinctive sense of aesthetics – a result of the

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amalgamation of the cultural influences of Greece, Persia, Turkey and of course, the Indian sub-continent. The authentic Pashmina is exorbitantly priced as it involves a lot of labour to produce it. It is extracted out of the underbelly and neck of the Pashm Goat (Capra Hircus), found only in subzero temperatures in the Himalayan and Siberian sub-continent. This hair is six times finer and softer than the human hair and the hair that is shed and left on the branches and twigs after spring is the best possible quality that exists. But the art to turn the hair into yarn is only known to the Kashmiris, no one else. They are so skillful that they can do 120 counts per minute as opposed to 40-45 counts, which is normal. Everywhere else in the world, sophisticated machines do this, but the handspun yarn of Kashmir has no match.“I’ve also got a very hi-tech and sophisticated machine from Italy in my factory here, but I have Kashmiri hand-spinning craftsmen doing a major part of my work, including Kashmiri embroidery. Our quality is quite unbeatable,” said Kumar. Breaking a myth about Cashmere/Pashmina, she said, “It’s a mental block that people associate these yarns with winter. It can also be worn in summers, especially in air conditioned offices.” The warmth/cool factor depends on the weave. For cooling, the weave is very loose and thin yarn is used; but for winters, the weave is very tight and yarn very thickly spun. And not only does the store have T-shirts, scarves, shawls and cardigans, but also quilts, cushions, sofa-spreads, bags and other home accessories. So you can be high on fashion, quality and luxury through the year with Cashmere and Pashmina and decorate your home as well! Go ahead and indulge in some luxury... R

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Form IV Statement about ownership and other particulars about newspaper An Indian Journey to be published in the first issue every year after the last day of February

1. Place of publication : 72 Todarmal Road, New Delhi - 110001 2. Periodicity of its publication : Monthly 3. Printer’s Name : SanJeet Nationality : Indian Address : 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi - 110001 4. Publisher’s Name : SanJeet Nationality : Indian Address : 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi - 110001 5. Editor’s Name : Rupali Narasimhan Nationality : Indian Address : 72, Todarmal Road, New Delhi - 110001 6. Name and address of individuals : SanJeet, who own the newspaper and 72, Todarmal Road partners or shareholders holding New Delhi - 110 001 more than one percent of the total capital I, SanJeet, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Date : 01/03/2012

Sd/SanJeet Signature of the Publisher


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Picturesque India

It’s quite ironic that you’re reading this article about Manali in 2012, a year that some believe will bring about an end to the world as we know it. It is said that this picturesque town, nestled in the Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh in North India, was created when Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, survived the flooding of the world in an Ark ordered by Lord Vishnu and landed there, thus resurrecting mankind and saving us from extinction.

Mesmerising

Manali Text anD photos: Mohit midha

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Picturesque India

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he modern day Manali stands true testament to the fact that the human race survived. It is one of the most popular destinations in the mountains of northern India and tourists in large numbers throng to it all through the year to experience the vast variety of experiences it offers. It is a destination in itself but has also become the perfect base for a host of activities in the surrounding areas and a starting cum preparation point for explorers and adventurers heading into the higher Himalayas of Lahaul, Spiti and Ladakh. Manali is located at an altitude close to 7,000 ft, giving it an excellent combination of cool environs to be enjoyed in the summers and excellent powder snow in the winters for people to exploit with activities like skiing, snowboarding, etc. These activities are currently in a nascent stage in India but are becoming exceedingly popular with better facilities being provided and planned. Adventure Himalayas and Ski Himalayas have taken it on themselves, along with a lot of support from the State Government, to make Manali and more specifically Solang valley, an international adventure sports destination. To kick start this initiative, the first Alpine Premier League was recently organised with an excellent response by competitors and viewers. Adventures in Manali During summers, the activities offered include the most popular paragliding along with many others such as horse riding, trekking, hiking, rappelling, zorbing, cycling and motor biking, on motorcycles as well as quad bikes. Towards the end

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Previous page spread: Be spoilt for choices at the Mall Road in Manali Top: Splendid view of the Manali valleys from the Banon Resorts Bottom: River Beas between Salong and Manali Facing Page Top: Rescue chopper for skiing purposes Middle: Snowmobile in Salong Bottom:Tourist having an adventurous time snowboarding in Salong


Picturesque India

of the peak summer months and the opening of high snowed up passes, June to September witnesses an influx of visitors spending some time enjoying Manali before heading on to the higher Himalayan regions beyond. On stretches below, between Manali and Kullu, whitewater enthusiasts head for some exciting rafting on the river Beas. Many nature buffs also head to the region to view the mammals and birdlife amongst the awe-inspiring landscapes. There are various wildlife reserves in the surrounding areas such as the Great Himalayan National Park. In the summers, many bird species migrate to these cooler environs to escape the scathing heat of the plains. Once winter sets in, the area takes on a completely different appearance. White powder snow beautifully covers every part of the landscape. It also brings with it the exciting period catering to winter sports enthusiasts. The infrastructure at Solang has already been upgraded by Ski Himalayas with an excellent Gondola ropeway made by Poma of France and is at par with any on the famous European ski slopes. Its 19 cabins, each seating upto 8 persons, cover a distance of 1.3 km and elevate you by 500m in a matter of minutes. Adventure Himalayas and Ski Himalayas plan to further develop this destination in the near future with an ice skating rink open all through the year, 2500 sq ft of retailing space catering to the requirements of visitors providing skiing, snowboarding and adventure equipment, a separate food court, four lounges,

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Picturesque India a sports bar and even one of the highest golf driving ranges at Mt. Phatru (3,200m), the disembarking point of the ropeway ride. They also plan to make heli-skiing more accessible to people, which holds a huge potential with the more hardcore skiers world over, who are always looking for new areas to explore with their amazing skills and adventurous spirit. The plans also include utilising the helicopters to make the area more easily accessible with chopper services from Chandigarh. Presently the nearest airport at Bhuntar, near Kullu, offers the only quick but often expensive connection by air. Besides all the nature and adventure offerings in and around Manali, there are a host of other attractions that draw tourists to it. The area has many holy monuments, which are a must visits for the religious minded. Some of these like the Hidimba temple located in the heart of Manali are also fascinating for people inclined towards history and architecture. There are a couple of areas famous for their hot water springs with medicinal sulphuric properties, like those at the Vashist village. This area also houses two ancient stone temples, which besides being on the wish list of the religious, are a must see for avid travel photographers. Another aspect developing rapidly in the recent past are spa treatments being offered by many resorts all over town. These are becoming increasingly popular with many of the visitors frequenting the area. The old Manali area lies in the northwestern part of town. This quaint area is famous for its orchards, private guest houses, international cuisine restaurants, clubs, etc. It is very popular with backpackers, trekkers and motorcyclists. The ruins of the Manaligarh fort and a temple dedicated to the sage after whom the town is named can also be found here. This temple, known as the Manu Maharishi temple, is also a small test of fitness levels for those determined to visit it.This area however

Facing Page: Buddhist Monastery in Manali Top and Botton: Scenic views of snow covered Manali

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Picturesque India

is more popular with people wanting to relax and soak in the beautiful sights and peaceful atmosphere.That is during the day. With the setting of the sun, the area takes on a completely different avatar. Trance parties, bars and cafes with rock music playing, can be seen at many places along the steep main road winding its way through. Beauty Surrounding Manali’s surrounding areas have many must-see attractions as well. At Naggar, The Castle, Roerich House and Art Gallery are definitely worth a visit. The Castle, is a medieval stone and wood mansion which was once home to the royal family of Kullu and is now a heritage hotel that offers quite a unique experience with some spectacular views of the valley. It is located around 20 km from Manali. In the opposite direction heading further north is the climb to the Rohtang Pass. This, along with Marhi en route with its numerous ‘Dhabas’ or local restaurants, is very popular with picnickers and visitors on honeymoon. Another neighbouring place worth visiting is Manikaran. It’s located on the banks of the river Parvati. This is another area famous for its hot suplhur springs. The Gurdwara at Manikaran sees numerous visitors throughout the year. The area besides being revered by Hindus and Sikhs for religious purposes is also very popular with campers and trekkers as many excellent trails into the mountains start there. Manali or to put it more realistically the Manali area, is already a very popular destination but holds an even larger potential of growing further because it caters to a huge gamut of tourists with totally varied interests and financial capacities. It offers a vast and diverse menu of attractions but they all have one thing in common – a stunning setting as a location. R

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Top: Between Kullu and Manali during a heavy snowfall Middle:Vertical Limit Café at the top of Ski slope Salong Bottom:Yak on the Mall road in Manali


Indian Pelette

Indian Colours Indian colour palette takes the soul to a flight of fancy. Having recently celebrated the festival of colours, this issue of An Indian Journey engages in a sensuous visual play to explore the ‘Indianess’ of some popular colours and the reasons why they have become a part of Indian culture, ethnicity and life. 48

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Indian Pelette

INDIGO Often associated with truth and integrity, blue is commonly the second favorite colour due to its overwhelming presence in our day to day lives. In Indian mythology, the colour blue is often associated with Lord Krishna, one of the avatars of Vishnu – the Preserver. Another Indian God associated with Blue is Shiva – the Destroyer, he is also known as ‘Neelkanth’ – the one with the blue throat. As the story goes, once he swallowed a poison so venomous that it could have destroyed life of earth entirely. Due to the poison his throat turned Blue! In addition India is also famous for its pottery found in Rajasthan and Khurja. Therefore this ethereal Indian colour imbibes the cultural effervescence of India.


Indian Pelette

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Indian Pelette

CRIMSON Sitting on the highest arc of a rainbow, Red is amongst the most dynamic colours. It is an emotionally intense colour, which stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. In Indian culture Red is used as a mark of love and devotion in the forms of ‘Sindoor’ (Vermilion) and ‘Tilak’ respectively, as a Red mark on the forehead is said to bring good luck. To the Hindu faith, Red symbolises joy, life, energy and creativity. Red is one of the popular food colours and is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant.

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Indian Pelette

EMERALD Think of green and you think of life and fertility. Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colours. The foremost effect of the colour Green is soothing and serves as an ideal backdrop in interior design since we are so used to seeing it everywhere. It was believed green was healing for the eyes and is still used in eyeshades. The green colour in the lower band of the Indian flag is emblematic of the Indian culture, agriculture, Indian people and complete geographical history of our country. The color also tells about the relationship of Indians to the soil and to the environment. Green jade is a sacred stone of Asia.

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Indian Pelette

SAFFRON Saffron symbolises courage and sacrifice. In India this colour is often associated with delicacies, Ayurveda and healing effects. The crown of India – Kashmir is known for the variety and for the quality of Saffron it provides which is often used in delicious sweets to add colour and taste. In the form of ‘Haldi’, it has been attributed to healing since time immemorial. In Ayurveda Saffron is often used as an ingredient for face packs and beauty products. In traditional Indian weddings, Saffron in various forms is used on both the bride and groom for beautification and also because Saffron is also considered auspicious. This colour on the topmost band of the Indian flag defines the Indian identity.

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Indian Pelette

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Indian Hospitality

Exploring Wilderness In an attempt to promote responsible wildlife tourism in India, Infinity Resorts, an initiative of Conservation Corporation of India are situated at some of the finest wildlife habitats in the country including Corbett Tiger Reserve along the foothills of Uttarakhand Himalayas.

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he thick forests teeming with wildlife and the foothills of the mighty Himalayas surrounding Infinity Corbett Resort will make your holiday experience one of its kind. This is where the king of the Jungle - the Royal Bengal Tiger roams and nights are enchanting with sounds of animal calls across the Kosi River, all happening below the canopy of a star-studded sky. Other places with the resort are Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve & Kanha Tiger Reserve in the Central Indian Highlands of Madhya Pradesh and semi-arid area near Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Tasteful Stay Guests can enjoy nature’s beauty through the attached private balconies in every room with a million-dollar view spanning the length of the Kosi River, the sheer cliffs of the Siwalik mountain ranges and the reserve forest across. The pure and refreshing water of this river also offers a breeding habitat for the Golden Mahaseer, a famous game fish found in this region.

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Jeep Safari: Experience the thrill and anticipation of tracking a tiger in an open top jeep. Naturalists will show you the varied flora and fauna of the park. Bird watchers will have a treat in Corbett Tiger Reserve as there are more than 600 species of birds found here. Modified Tata Spacio and tiger-striped Gypsy vehicles will ensure that your drive is comfortable and secure. Elephant Safari: Get up close and personal with the other wild denizens as the mahout takes you on our elephant. This is the most eco-friendly way of getting around the Park without worrying about meeting a predator while on foot. Relax to the gentle rhythm of the elephant swaying from side to side and get lulled into a peaceful state of mind.


Indian Hospitality Infinite Experiences of the resort The Sun Deck: Jutting into the river front, this splendid deck is a joy to be at anytime. With the reserve forest across the Kosi River, one can easily spot a herd of deer coming to drink during the early morning hours or at twilight. The Multi-Cuisine Restaurant: With its air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned seating arrangements, the multicuisine restaurant offers mouth watering Indian, Chinese, Continental and Mughalai cuisines. Swimming Pool: Cool yourself in the sparkling blue water or get sun tan on the spacious deck at the Infinity Resorts. The pool is situated amidst mango trees and provides a beautiful contrast of green leaves and blue skies as you relax on our pool side deck chairs. The Conference Room: Boardroom decisions are best taken in the Conference Room of the Infinity Corbett Wilderness. The lush greenery and state-of-the-art facilities will leave a lasting impression and cater to all your business needs.

HOW TO REACH By Air: Nearest Airport is Delhi (300 km) By Road: Delhi (300 km) By Rail: Ramnagar (7 km), Kathgodam (66 km)

Rooms at the resort are luxuriously appointed and will immediately give one a wonderful sense of serenity and allowing one to naturally relax, breathe deeper and draw in the positive energy around. The terraced lawns, beautiful ponds and rich interiors will add to your enjoyment during your stay. Each air-conditioned suite has en suite bathroom, private balcony overlooking the Kosi River, a minibar refrigerator fully stocked with liquor, snacks and soft drinks, hair dryer, tea/coffee making facility all add to your in-room comfort. The guest rooms at Infinity have en suite bathrooms and room service for dining and health massage can be arranged at additional costs. Highlighting the resort is a three-tiered octagonal building the Golghar, which is a magnificent structure consisting of a multi-cuisine air conditioned restaurant, a well-stocked bar, a large fire place and a library. The building also houses the Wild Spa, a gym and a juice bar. On winter nights, a huge bonfire is lit for guests to enjoy the warmth while they mingle while trading wildlife stories over our secret recipe of hot ‘Jungle Tea’. With its bamboo ceilings reminiscent of a huge spider web, it will mesmerise you when you enter and will surely be captivated by its beauty. Its 8 pillars are made of 50 ft tall individual teak tree trunks while its multi-colored stone walls are individually cut and dressed river stones - all painstakingly put together by experienced masons. So enjoy nature and its true beauty amongst India’s wildside by enjoying an Infinity memorable stay! R

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Mystic India

Ayurveda

Weaving Magic

Ayurveda was first mentioned in the verses of the ‘Rigveda’ –the first of the Vedas or the Hindu sacred texts. It simply means ‘The Science of Life’ if translated from Sanskrit. Legend has it that Ayurveda was first revealed to the seven ‘Rishis’ or saints who congregated in the Himalayas to receive the secrets of the ‘Science of Life’ for the benefit of mankind.Today, Kerala is considered the centre of Ayurveda in India, because it is believed that eighteen families of Keralan Brahmin scholars were entrusted with the secrets of Ayurveda to preserve its wisdoms for posterity.

What Is Ayurveda ? Ayurveda advocates that each person is born with a basic constitution or a genetic make-up called ‘Prakruti’ in Sanskrit. Changing nature or situation in the body during one’s life creates an imbalance. Health is achieved by balancing what are known as bodily humours or ‘Doshas’ at all levels, according to an individual’s constitution, lifestyle and nature. There are five basic elements in nature - Ether or Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. Every matter or substance has all five elements and usually one element is predominant. The substance then reflects that one element. Ayurveda understands this law of nature. Thus, it divides human body composition into one of three body types or ‘Doshas’ based on the more predominant elements. • Air and Space combine to form the ‘Vata’. Similar to its elements, ‘Vata’ is involved in the dynamic bodily functions such as transmission of impulses and food • Fire and Water combine to form the ‘Pitta’ which is involved in metabolism such as digestion of food • Water and Earth combine to form the ‘Kapha’. Similar to its elements, ‘Kapha’ lends your body cohesion, stability and perfection

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Ayurveda says your health is directly dependant on the balance of these three ‘Doshas’.This forms the backbone of the Ayurveda. Recognising these three ‘Doshas’ in your body and lifestyle will help you to stay healthy. The three ‘Doshas’ occur in everyone. Why Ayurveda? The modern society, education, culture and the televisioneverything speaks about materialism. If this was everything why is it so that most of us are unhappy? There is unrest, anxiety, mental tension, fighting and terror everywhere despite best efforts being made to stop them. This is because some part of our body is not being nourished properly. Besides skin texture, hair condition and body quality, Ayurveda beauty treatments focus on the way we move and carry ourselves, the lifestyle we follow, and the freshness we emanate. Ayurveda does not see beauty as a cosmetic affair but rather calls for self care and also development of positive routines and rituals that will help bring out the best in you. The following products work to make you function and feel better as well as improve your appearance –


Mystic India Useful Home Remedies A few of the most prominent Ayurvedic homemade beauty remedies are: Lime and glycerin paste Ingredients: lime juice, glycerin and rose water Method: Mix them in equal quantities. This solution is best for night use and is also applicable to other parts of the body like, hands and feet and is very effective for pimples and blackhead removal. It also removes skin scars and stains and gives you a soft and glowing skin. Tomato and lemon pack Ingredients: tomato juice-50ml, lemon juice-1 tsp. Method: Apply this mixture for smooth and glowing skin as it makes your skin look healthy and pimple free with a long lasting glow. Turmeric, wheat flour and sesame oil pack Ingredients: Turmeric powder and wheat flour Method: Mix the ingredients in equal quantities and make a paste with sesame oil. Use this mixture for hair removal purpose. Cucumber mix Ingredients:- cucumber juice, rose water and lime juice Method: Blend these in equal quantities and wash your face with this solution. Apply it overnight and rinse it off in the morning for a clear complexion and a healthy skin as well. Ayurveda Becomes ‘Modernveda’ The rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda teaches ways to become naturally beautiful, which is not just limited to the physical body but extends to subtle qualities and vitality of a person. Hence, rejuvenation therapy is regarded as an integral part of ongoing self care that helps beauty to be with you throughout your life and a fresh start in the process of making health-supporting lifestyle changes. Ayurveda emphasises that a healthy diet is linked to a healthy body and a healthy mind. The beauty industries too are gearing up for more knowledgeable and aware consumers in India and have started plying organic products. Red rose petals, honey, glycerine and beetroot are some of the natural products offered by the organic line. Products like cane sugar and tamarind are used for intensive moisturising and exfoliating – the tamarind scrub makes the skin gleam. Sugar scrubs, meanwhile, have anti-ageing properties. They give a younger glow to the appearance naturally as they produce glycolic acid –which in turn is an alpha-hydroxy acid used for centuries to rejuvenate skin. It exfoliates the dead skin away gently and therefore, leaves it glossy and shiny. Tamarind, meanwhile, lessens wrinkles; nourishes the skin and tones it up; strengthens hair and prevents it from greying. Tamarind is also a rich source of vitamins, fibre, potassium,

magnesium and other nutrients. It is applied to the skin to reduce inflammation. Tamarind is also a good source of antioxidants. It contains carotenes, Vitamin C, flavanoids and the Vitamin B. Other ingredients used for organic treatments are sunflower oil, apricot oil, almond oil, castor seed oil, fractioned coconut oil, avocado oil, sweet orange essential oil and bergamot essential oil. A tea made from Aniseed (saunf) is valuable in sleeplessness. The tea maybe sweetened with honey and hot milk may be added. It must be taken before going to bed. The mixture of bottle gourd or ‘Lauki’ juice and sesame oil acts as a medicine for insomnia. Consume plenty of curd everyday. One of the most important factors is maintaining stability in the nervous system is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb natural bodily rhythms. When we eat, sleep and exercise in constantly fluctuating and disturbing patterns, the body loses its natural balancing cycles. Therefore regularity in our daily routine can be extremely effective. Ayurvedic Herbs • Daily use of the Ayurvedic compound ‘Triphala Choorna’ is recommended to cleanse the colon • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water (twice a day) helps to reduce pain and inflammation • Garlic is useful for detoxification and to enhance immune system function • ‘Guggul’ is a very helpful herb for relief of pain • Licorice root supports the glandular system and acts in the body like cortisone, but without the harmful side-effects. (Caution: If overused, licorice can elevate blood pressure. Do not use this herb on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. Avoid it if you have high blood pressure) • Ginger is a good alternative to aspirin to relieve minor aches and pains. Steep 1 teaspoon of the grated root in 8 ounces of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain. Add honey for taste, if you like. Alternatively, take 1 to 2 grams of powdered ginger a day with food THE SPA @ HOME Did you think you had left the feel of the Spa in your vacation? You can feel the same tranquility at your own home. Create the Spa ambience with aroma candles, dim lighting and scattering rose petals. One can also use potpourri and diffusers to create a spa environment. Bring out your grandmother’s ‘Urli’ or buy a shallow earthernware bowl. Fill it up with water and float scented flowers like jasmine or ‘Bela’. It will immediately freshen up the area with its sweet smell. (The writer is a celebrated aromatherapist and beauty expert, Dr. Blossom Kochhar of Aroma Magic. Views expressed by the author are personal.) R

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Indian Travel

For a Perfect Indian Holiday If you are planing a vacation to India and want to make it a memorable one for your family then opt for Travel With Us, one of the leading tours and travel company based in India.

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ravel With Us covers the most sought after Indian tourist destinations and make them available to you in customised packages. Their Indian tour and travel packages cover all the interesting locations from Kashmir in the north India to the Andaman in the south, from Darjeeling in far east to Goa in the west. You will experience the varied culture of this beautiful and vibrant country. Experience the serene beauty of the Himalayas or the purity of the temples of the south, the tranquil silence of the plantations of the east or the hip and the happening life of the west. Travel With Us will look after all your travelling needs in India. Enjoy the experience of a fully organised travel tour to India. The exotic locals will take your breath away and the facilities provided by Travel with us will make your travel and touring experience a truly heavenly experience. Their tour packages have a personal touch which covers the exotic locals of India and other South East Asian countries

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like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Tibet. In accordance with their philosophy ‘travelling can never been confined to a mere visit’, these tour packages are customised to make your holidays a special celebration. Shiv Saigal, Managing Director, Travel With Us says, “It can never be a visit. It has to be an experience, a feeling, a memory, a connection and it has to slowly become a way of life. We plan the tours in a way that each destination gets its due share of your valuable time.” Travel With Us will make your travelling in Asia a hassle free experience. When asked about the USP of Travel With Us, Saigal said, “We make exciting, intelligent, comfortable and inclusive programmes. We listen to the clients and try our best to go beyond their expectations.” Their USP is highlighted in the packages they offer as they make the guests meet real people and get the local flavour, local cuisine and culture along with the regular tourist itineraries. Along with regular guides, Travel With Us have historians who tell interesting bits of history of monuments and places.


Indian Travel

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Indian Luxury

In The Lap of Luxury Munnar - breathtakingly beautiful - a haven of peace and tranquility with its warm climate and natural environs- is the idyllic tourist destination with the T&U Leisure Hotel in Kerala.

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et at an altitude of 6,000 ft at Neelgiri hills, Munnar was the favoured summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. For them, its climate was quite similar to that of London, that’s why they have given this paradise a pet name- Little London. Unending expanse of tea plantations - pristine valleys and mountains- exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests - aroma of spice scented cool air - yes! Munnar has all these and more. It’s the place you would love to visit - it’s the place you would wish never to leave. Surrounded by the lush green valleys and plantations, picturesque sights and scenery at Munnar, T&U Leisure Hotel, a classified 3-Star Deluxe hotel, is located just one km from the Munnar town. T&U in its essence represents the Munnar at its best. At T&U you may find modern amenities of hotel services being immaculately blended with ancient charm. All efforts have

been made to preserve the look and feel of the bygone times. Thirty large well appointed rooms with a view of the valley and hills in its entire splendor are aesthetically designed and luxuriously furnished. The landscaped garden, the restaurant- ‘Top Station’ with huge glass windows take the restaurant into the hills around, as mouth-watering delicacies treat your taste buds, daily buffet lunch, breakfast and dinner, the lobby, the indoor games area, spacious conference hall, short sight-seeing trips, will ideally complement your holiday. An undertaking of J.J. Holidays and Resorts, the tourism and travel division of M.M.J Group-a reputed business conglomerate, T&U is focused to provide a complete and ever memorable Munnar experience. For more details and reservations please log on to www.tanduleisurehotel.com or call us on 04865 233081 or 09446553081.


RNI No.:DELENG/2008/26217

AnIndian Journey  

AnIndian Journey Magazine