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Dear Readers, Why travel the world in search of unexplored destinations, when our own country has many of the gems, hidden in its lap. This month we, at TLF decided to do it unconventional way. This time round, we ditched the “allknown destinations” and moved in to get you acquainted with The Hidden Gems Of India. We traveled, we searched, we lived and we experienced…that’s how we compiled this issue for you.


Read it and Live it. Cheers!

contents Shivani Joon


40 Avani Opens in Gold Coast

68 Ways to Unlock Tampa Bay 70 Stay fit at Westin 74 5 Mobile Apps for a better Tripping Experience 76 Travel for Living



Travel 08 Around the World 12 Cairo 14 Kashmir 16 Rajgir 20 Auli 24 Kakolat 28 Travel to Vizag


Eat & Stay 30 Stay at Ranbanka Palace, the Maharaja Way 34 Elegance Personified at JW Marriott 50 Just Out 54 Eat, Savor, Repeat 56 High on Taste, Low on Pocket 58 What’s Cooking India 60 Traditional, yet Classy-Indus Grill 64 Throwback: Dubai Food Festival 2014

team CEO Shivani Joon EDITOR Natascha Shah FEATURE WRITER Rituparna CONTRIBUTERS Rupali Dean, Bakshish Dean

Sushil Kumar Jha


HEAD OF MARKETING Hiten Mori (Rajput) MARKETING MANAGER WESTERN REGION Pushp Raj e-mail: Mob: +91 9324284758 Vastvikta Tokas Jyotika Karan Singh DESIGN AND LAYOUT Vikas Negi PRODUCTION MANAGER Sumit Gaur HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION Siddharth Joon PUBLISHED BY Blue Butterfly Media House

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I, personally have travelled across the globe and had the chance to experience and discover people, culture, ideas, cuisines that never fail to surprise. It is the diversity of landscapes and social environments that attracts, beckons and mesmerises. Being an Indian, I never really set out to explore my homelandshameful, yet sadly this is always the case. So off late I have been making sure at least fifty percent of my trips are domestic. Following this, I discovered that India has everything that one can find in any corner of the world. From the sands of Rajasthan, to the Himalayas, the beaches of Goa and Pondicherry to the big cities of Delhi and Mumbai, multiple languages to a vast variety of cultures, cuisines that master chefs from all over are smitten by, to a history that sends chills down the spine. But there is much more! There are a few hidden gems, that are usually ignored due to lack of knowledge. In this issue we take you through some of these. Hope you enjoy reading and make Indian destinations a priority in your travel plans!

DISCLAIMER Printed and published by Shivani Joon on behalf of Blue Butterfly Media House. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All prices are correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change. Manuscripts, drawings and other materials must be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. However, TLF cannot be responsible for unsolicited material.

Please note that all images that we use in the magazine are TLF ‘s property and subjected to copyright . They should not and cannot be used anywhere else without our consent . If you see such a thing happen please report to

Cheers! Natascha Shah Editor TLF magazine Write to me at

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World View

Around the


Kamkura Festival

Where: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Yukinoshita, Kamakura City, Kamakura Station is on the JR Yokosuka Line from JR Tokyo Station. When: Second Sunday of April




Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is a historic shrine and a symbol of Kamakura. During the Kamakura Matsuri, which is a festival held at this shrine, the entire town of Kamakura is bustling with parades of mikoshi (portable shrines) and musical bands. Kamakura Matsuri is a festival held at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, a historic shrine and a symbol of Kamakura. During the festival the entire town of Kamakura is bustling with parades of Mikoshi (portable shrines) and musical bands. The main attractions are the Shizuka no Mai dance performed in the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine on the second Sunday and Yabusame on the third Sunday.

Zythos beer festival

Where: Brabantlaan (The Brabanthal is located 10 minutes bus ride from Leuven Station) When: April 26- April 27, 2014

The Zythos Beer Festival (ZBF) is the biggest of them all in Belgium. This festival is quite an intimate and personal beer festival, it is where many of Belgium’s diverse, unique and intensely-flavored beers, and their brewers come together in one place. In 2013, there were more than 250 beers made by about 60 Belgian breweries. In 2014, the Festival will be held near Leuven for the third time in its history. The tour includes ground transportation, hotels, admissions, all breakfasts, three dinners and two lunches, beer at group meals, tours and the Festival. Low spring transatlantic airfares make this tour even more attractive. On this tour you will be staying in three of Belgium’s greatest cities, Bruges, Ghent and Leuven, and visit many breweries, beer cafÊs, and brewery taps, including: Duvel, Westvleteren, Half Maan and Gruut.

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Taste maple syrup fresh from the tree. Where: New Hampshire

When: Entire season of Spring Spring is the season of new beginnings. Farmers and gardeners plant their seeds, and temperatures slowly rise. A sure sign of the coming of spring in New England is the ritual of turning maple sap into syrup. The process, known as 'sugaring off', involves tapping the tree trunks, collecting the sap, boiling most of the water out and (this part is optional) devouring a stack of pancakes doused in the thick amber syrup. Head to The Rocks Estate, a non-profit conservation education centre in Bethlehem, to experience this magic happening. During the Maple Sugar Festival, visitors take a horse-drawn wagon around the estate’s 1,400 acres, learn to drill and tap a maple, observe a working sugarhouse and, finally, make their own syrup (it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup). Perfect conditions for good sap production (cold nights and sunny days) dictate the timing of the sugaring-off season. Since spring weather also guarantees abundant mud, pack boots that can get down and dirty.

Brussels Art fair Where: Brussels

When: April 24, 2014 to April 27, 2014 D you fancy discovering new talents or admiring the works of highcalibre artists? Then, come to this contemporary art fair which, every year, selects more than 150 gallery owners from over 20 countries. Stroll from stand to stand and see the finest creations of today. This contemporary art fair brings together under one roof: • 190 contemporary art galleries from all over the world • More than 2000 artists, international well-known names as well as promising young talents • 30 000 contemporary art lovers. Famous Belgian collectors as well as 30% visitors from abroad. Art Brussels has the reputation of being Europe's leading cuttingedge contemporary art fair. A must-see event for every art lover!

The Venetian Carnevale 2014 Where: Outdoor lagoon, The Venetian Macao When: March 28 to April 13, 2014

The Venetian® Macao will mark the fourth comeback of its annual carnival extravaganza with an exciting programme of performances and seasonal festivities in a fun-filled atmosphere at the integrated resort’s outdoor lagoon area from March 28 to April 13, for The Venetian Carnevale 2014. Supported by the Macau Government Tourist Office, The Venetian Carnevale is one of the most iconic events at The Venetian Macao. This year, the annual celebration is set to once again bring to locals and tourists alike an array of superb Italian-themed entertainment, a spectacular nightly show on the Venetian lagoon, festive decorations, as well as arts and crafts workshops welcoming visitors of all ages to participate.

TLF Magazine April, 2014




Venue- TENNESSEE, USA (May 1st – May 31st, 2014)

Memphis in May is a month-long festival with major events each weekend such as the Beale Street Music Festival, the BBQ Festival and the Sunset Symphony on the banks of the Mississippi River. For over 30 years, Memphis in May has meant great music, great BBQ, great fun! It kicks off with the Beale Street Music Festival featuring over 65 performers in rock and roll, blues, and soul. Every year, an international country and culture is celebrated with cuisine and wines, exhibits and commerce.

music all began. Over the past decade the festival has attracted over 1.1 million music fans to the multistage three-day event, best known for its eclectic mix of contemporary rock, blues, soul and modern talent and its musically inspired setting. The festival is held in a beautiful 25 acre riverfront park at the foot of historic Beale Street overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.

In the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, hundreds of teams compete for prizes and supreme bragging rights with elaborate decoration and clever team names. Don't miss the best booth contest. The Sunset Symphony features the Memphis Symphony Orchestra with a fireworks finale.

Beale Street Music Festival (May 2 - May 4, 2014)

The 2014 Beale Street Music Festival marks the 38th anniversary of the festival which each year attracts music enthusiasts from all 50 US states and a dozen foreign countries to the storied city where rock-n-roll and blues

TLF Magazine April, 2014


The music festival has played host to a broad array of diverse and notable contemporary musical talents

The music festival has played host to a broad array of diverse and notable contemporary musical talents such as; The Black Keys, the Dave Matthews Band, John Mellencamp, Van Morrison, Flaming Lips, Foo Fighters, Phoenix, Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Dylan, Kid Rock, John Mayer, MGMT, Santana, Cee Lo Green, Jack Johnson, Aretha Franklin, Beck, James Taylor, Fergie, Jason Mraz, Lou Reed, Katy Perry, Ben Harper, The Killers, Steely Dan, Fall Out Boy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, B.B. King, Shinedown, Fleetwood Mac, Big Boi, John Lee Hooker, Sarah McLachlan, The Roots, the Allman Brothers Band, Cat Power, Public Enemy, Elvis Costello, James Brown, Widespread Panic, Nelly, Godsmack, Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, My Chemical Romance, ZZ Top, Big Star, Korn, Al Green, 30 Seconds to Mars, Steve Miller Band, Three Doors Down, Jerry Lee Lewis and so many more!

The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 15 – May17, 2014)

Hundreds of teams compete for over $110,000 in prizes and supreme bragging rights. Teams adorn their areas with elaborate decoration, trophies attesting to their boasting rights, and as one can imagine clever and creative team names. While grilling is the main theme, the contest wouldn't be complete without the Ms. Piggie Idol competition where the finest swine tests their vocal skills, and grown men dress in tutus and snouts and women kick their heels (hooves) up. There is also a t-shirt competition and even a best booth contest.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Address 88 Union Ave., Ste. 301 Memphis, TN 38103 For further information, visit:




Nebraska, Cairo

“The Nile does not change. Indeed I don’t know such a place in which everything changes as much as it does here, and nothing is ever change…. You feel quite at home.” -Henry Adams, describing Cairo in 1898 WORDS | TLF DESK

Cairo, the capital of the Mother of the World, Egypt, is one of the safest and friendliest cities in the world. The famous Egyptian hospitality makes all feel quite at home. Cairo’s has unique blend of both relaxing and exciting atmosphere. The city pulses with life while the Nile flows to give life and growth. The Nile offers exotic view of sunrises and sunsets, in the horizon you can also see the minarets and church steeples with beautiful tall buildings and multi-coloured neon signs.

Old cairo

Palace in Cairo

Old Cairo to join between yheMagnificient past and the present, and to produce handicrafts such as textiles, ceramics, glass, pottery traditional crafts and the wooden products.

tompreserve the bodies of their dead kings, especially that they believed in resurrection and the immortality.

The market contains 47 bazaars for local artisans, craftsman and the designers. The local artisans of Souq El-Fustat organize artistic classes to teach the children of the area such crafts.

The most famous structure in the world was built by the king Cheops(IV Dynasty) around 2650 B.C., on an area around 13 feddans. Its height is 137m, while original height was 146m. Almost 2.5 million blocks of stone were put into building this pyramid, the base is 230m long. All this, however, dwindles when compared to the precision and astounding abilityof the ancient Egyptians in building this pyramid.

Giza pyramid area

It is considered a complex for three religions, and a living museumfor for religious and historic monuments including Ben Ezra synagogue, the oldest church and the oldest mosque in Africa.

On the west bank if the Nile facing Cairo and on the top of Giza plateau rise the three pyramids which are one of the ancient seven wonders of the world surrounded by small pyramids and hundreds of mastabas (tombs) for kings and nobels.

Recently Souq El-Fustat (El-Fustat Market) and the Pottery Center has been founded in

The ancient Egyptians, it must be noted, have built the pyramids to be the tombs

TLF Magazine April, 2014

The Great Pyramid

The Second Pyramid Built by Chephren, south-west of his father’s pyramid though lower in height, 136m high, it still retains on some of its upper parts, the remains of the limestone that had once

The Serapeum

Only the lower corridors remain, measuring several hundred of meters, in length and containing the tombs of the sacred bull, Apis. It was first begun in the XVIII Dynasty. Close to the serapeum lies the Greek Philosphers Circle, which contains statues of Plato, Herakites, Pythagoras and Pindar.

The Mastabas

Saqqara is noted for the mastabas type tombs of the nobels, the most prominent of which are the tombs of V and VI Dynasty nobles. The tomb walls bear inscriptions of the religious rituals and offering of sacrifice to the dead. The most important mastaba tombs of the nobles are: Cairo University

covered it all. The base, which measures 215.5m long, still has remains in the upper part of the grain limestone.

The Third Pyramid Built by Mycerinus (Menakaure),south-west of the great and second pyramids, it is much smaller than both (62m) and is distinguished by the fact that the lower part of its sides still remain their granite slab coverings.

The Boats of Cheops (Khofo) Various parts of a large boat is made up of cedar wood were discovered in a very good condition. many of its implements were with it and it measured 43.5 mts long. The boats are now housed in a special museum south of the pyramid of Cheops.

Memphis and Sakkara Area

Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt throughout the old Kingdom. It includes:

Mastaba of Ptah-Hotep

Lies south-west of the Step-pyramid and contains numerous wall pantng and depicting daily religious and funery rituals as well as religious text. The most important scene shows Ptah-Hotep- a renowned Pharaonic philosopher- being entertained by a band of musicians.

Mastaba of Ka-Genny

This tomb is distinguished by special views of which the famous scene is the bird hunting.

Mastaba of Mereruka

Contains 33 chambers, the walls of which are filled with inscriptions depicting scene from daily life, farming handicrafts and hunting.

Cairo & Giza Shopping Centers

Cairo and Giza offer wide selection of shooping, leisure, culture and nightlife centers.


Khan El-KhaliliBazaars andSaghacomprises of an array of shops dating to the 14th century a.D. Haraneya is the main center of hand-made carpets. Kerdasais famous for its embroidered cotton and silk dresses as well as many other handmade products.

Cairo By Night

Nights of Cairo are uniquely romantic. It combines between the charm of the East and the arts of the West to offer tourists evenings full of of all kinds entertainments. Cairo has many interesting places where tourists can spend enjoyable time, in theaters, and cinemas, restaurants, casino nights clubs and malls.


There are numerous hotels in Cairo and Giza ranging from 5 stars to 1 star, including those belonging to international chains.

The most famous structure in the world was built by the king Cheops (IV Dynasty) around 2650 B.C., on an area around 13 feddans

• The embalming temple of the Sacred Apis Bull (Serapeum Temple), which shows the various steps of embalming. • The Alabaster Sphinx that dates back to the Old Kingdom. • The Colossus Of Ramsses II


Is the oldest Ancient Egyptian necropolis which lies on a desert plateau, south-west of Cairo

The Pyramids of Unas

South of Step-pyramid, lies the pyramids of Unas, last of the V Dynasty pharaosh. This pyramid is noted for its tomb chamber, whose walls are inscribed with what is known as the Pyramid Texts.

Gizeh, Sphinx and Pyramid of Khufu, Cairo,

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Desi Traveller


Historical Gem: Hirpora Hirpora's heavely scenic beauty

Once known as the Diamond City, Hirpora is steeped in memories of the Mughal Era WORDS | TLF DESK

Situated in District Shopian at a distance of about 62 km from Srinagar, Hirpora earns an idiosyncratic fame by virtue of its lush green meadows, thick pine forests, numerous valleys, icy cold water springs, thick wildlife forests and canals, besides a dozen thrilling and adventurous trekking routes. In close proximity to the Pir Panchal mountain range, the village has significant historical importance as it is spread on the sidelines of the ancient imperial route commonly known as Mughal Road. This road was once the only link connecting Kashmir valley to the outside world. The village used to be the center of trade and transit till the early years of 19th century. The state as well as the central govt. are keen to revive Hirpora's old glory and have declared it as a "Tourist Village." It is connected to the capital city of Srinagar by a four-lane black topped road now while tourism infrastructure is also coming up in the area. The dense forests of Hirpora promise a good habitat for birds and wild animals.

The Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is habitat of the critically endangered Markhor, the mountain goat Among birds- Crows, Vultures, Falcons, Woodpeckers, Swallows, Bush cat, Fly catchers, Bulbul, Doves, Pigeons, Wild duck, Wild cocks, Sparrow- are found in and around the village. The wild animals includeBlack bear, Red bear, Tigers, Jackals, Fox, Markhore, Musk deer, Wild goats, Monkeys, Wild bulls and Wild cocks.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Camping and Trekking

In its stretch, Hirpora provides ample space for camping in and around the village and on trekking routes. It is a base for launching both long and short trekking expeditions. Trekkers are sure to enjoy the virgin beauty of places like Gurnaran, Patan, Doban, Pir Panchal merg, Sukhsarnar, Gulli, Ropree Glacier among other scintillating spots. Historical ruins of Mughal Sarai and numerous spring and glaciers can be found here. The trekking routes also connect with Dubgin, Kowsernag, Kungwatten, and Aharbal, which are some of the prominent tourist destinations in South Kashmir.

Medicinal Herbs

Tourists interested in exploring vast and ample medical herbs can take a break from the usual schedules and go around Hirpora. Deodar, Kale, Pine, Fir, Blue Fir are abundantly grown in the district. High quality timber and forest products can also be found here. Some of the local herbs are Ratanjog,

15 infrastructure including guard huts, staff quarters, check-posts, inspection paths, publicity and awareness and regular census and survey of Markhor and other species are being taken on war footing.

Monumental Significance

The ancient Mughal Road is an 84 km road link that connects Kashmir valley to the twin district of Rajori and Poonch. There are numerous traditions, folklore and historical facts associated with this road. Along the road are many Mughal Sarais which also provide an insight to the history of this place.Typical Mughal style of buildings and architectural aesthetics, these Sarais were mostly built using rubble boulders and bricks in red lime mortar. Most of such Sarais have braved weathering and other vandalisms, and have been declared as protected monuments by the Archeological Survey of India. Nearest Airport: Srinagar International Airport Best Season to visit: March to November

Heerpora Wildlife Sanctuary Shopian

Kulth, Memakh, Booja, Khaupittres, Bunafuch, Gouchi, and Kalwatt.


The Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is habitat of the critically endangered Markhor, the mountain goat, which is also listed in the red list of the International union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) besides several other endangered species including-Musk Deer, Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear and the Himalayan Palm Civet. The State Department extended the area of Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary by 150 sq km for launching a Species Recovery Programme for Markhor, the wild goat and other wildlife species found here. It was laid down as precondition as precondition for the revival of the historical Mughal Road. As per the 2004 census, Markhor, has a population of around 280 to 330 in Kazinag, Boniyar Hirpora areas of Kashmir Valley and Poonch district of Jammu region. For preservations and keeping a check on poaching activities like fencing, habitat improvement , afforestation, soil and water conservation, development of

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Best for: Day visit


Desi Traveller

Footprints of History Rajgir, a city in the Nalanda district of Bihar is a perfect blend of scenic beauty and deep rooted culture WORDS | SUSHIL KUMAR JHA

How to Reach

The city of Rajgir (also known as Rājagṛha in the ancient times and pronounced as Rājagaha in Pali language) was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha, a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire. It was also one of the favourite places for Gautama Buddha and the well-known "Atanatiya" conference was held at Gridhrakuta, ('Hill of the Vultures'). He spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhrakuta. Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life at Rajgir and Nalanda, spending chaturmas (i.e. 4 months of the rainy season) at a single place in Rajgir and the rest in the places in the vicinity. It was the capital of his favourite shishya (follower) king Shrenik. Thus Rajgir is a very important religious place for Jains also. Rajgir is also famous for its association with Haryanka Kings Bimbisara and Ajatashatru. Ajatashatru kept his father Bimbsara in captivitiy here.

Air: The nearest is Gaya International Airport, Gaya which is 78 km which is connected to International Destinations like Bangkok, Columbo, etc. Another airport is at Patna 101 km. Indian Airlines connects Patna to Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi, Ranchi and Lucknow. Rail: Though Rajgir itself has a railway station yet the nearest convenient railhead is at Gaya 78 km. There is one direct train to Rajgir from New Delhi, Shramjeevi Express. Road: Rajgir is connected by road to Patna - 110 km, Nalanda - 12 km, Gaya - 78 km, Pawapuri - 38 km, Bihar Sharif - 25 km, etc. Regular buses are available from all the above said points to Rajgir. Local Transport: Taxis and Buses and Tongas (horse driven cart) are available.

Viswa Shanti Stupa


The city is in a valley surrounded by seven hills: Vaibhara, Ratna, Saila, Sona, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula. Rajgir has also been developed as a health and winter resort due to its famous hot water springs and warm water ponds, locally known as Brahmakund, a sacred place for Hindus. These baths are said to contain some medicinal properties that help in the cure of many skin diseases. The Saptparni cave is also the source of the Hot Water Springs that have curative properties and are sacred to the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.

Weather Average maximum temperature here is around 40 ° C and the minimum is 20 ° C in summer. During winter the maximum temperature is around 28 ° C and the minimum temperature goes down upto 6° C. Average rainfall is 1,860 mm (mid-June to midSeptember). Dry/warm season are the months of October to March.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Places to Stay

There are a few places to stay near both the railway station and the bus station. The town has some budget hotels but good accommodation options are not available at Rajgir. It is better to stay in Patna and take a day trip to Rajgir. Patna has a number of deluxe and budget hotels that offer accommodation at reasonable rates. Some of the popular hotels of Patna include Hotel Maurya Patna (South Gandhi Maidan), Hotel Chanakya (Beer Chand Patel Marg), Pataliputra Ashok (Beer Chand Patel Marg), Samrat International (Fraser Road) etc. Tourist can also stay at any


of three Tourist Bungalows maintained by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation at Rajgir. Ajatshatru Vihar, Gautam Vihar and Tathagat Vihar has AC, Deluxe and Economy Rooms and Dormitory Beds with facilities of Restaurant, CTV, Conference Hall and Coach/ Car Parking etc.

Getting around

Gridhakuta (Vulture's Peak): The place is atop a small hill and believed to be a meditating place of Lord Buddha. On the top of the hill, there is the Viswa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), build by the Government of Japan, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most (though not all) have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii (1885–1985), a Buddhist monk from Japan. There are 80 such Biswa Santhi Stups around the world. It is reached by using the Rope-Way or the flight of 600+ stone steps leading to the top of the hill. Ropeway in Rajgir is one of the unique ropeways. Unlike ropeways of other places, it is having only single chair and doesn’t stop anywhere. One has ride on and get down while it is on move only. It takes one to Viswa Santhi Stupa and again takes back to the place from where it started. One way ride takes 7.5 minutes and the view is splendid over the hills of Rajgir.

Venu Vana, where one can enjoy eternal peace and meditate

Ajatashatru Fort: As the name implies, it was built by King Ajatashatru of Magadha to strengthen the defenses of his capital Rajgir. Though the fort doesn’t exist anymore, the ruins of this fort, built in the sixth century BC, can be seen now days. Venuvana (Bamboo grove): is said to be a bamboo grove gifted to Lord Buddha by Bimbisara, the then king of Magadh, so that he and his monks could take rest here, and give discourses to people.

Tapodharma/Lakshmi Narayan Mandir: Tapodharma was the site of an ancient Buddhist monastery over which a Hindu temple is built today. The place also has a hot water spring. Saptaparni Caves (also known as Jarasandh's sitting room): These caves hosted the First Buddhist Council and were used by early Buddhist monks as resting places as well as centers of debates. Legend says site of Jarasandha ka Akhara has witnessed one of the most important battles in the Mahabharata war, between Bhim and Jarasandh. In this furious battle Jarasandha was subdued and killed by Bhim. Bimbisara's jail: This archeological site is believed to be the jail in which King Ajatshatru has imprisoned his father Bimbisara. From his prison cell, Bimbisara could see Buddha meditating on the Gridhakuta.

Jarasandha's Akhara

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Desi Traveller

Chariot Tracks: The Chariot Route and shell inscriptions are worth a visit for the strangeness of the phenomenon, two parallel furrows cut deep into rock for about thirty feet giving credence to the local belief that they were "burnt" into the rock by the speed and power of Lord Krishna's chariot when he entered the city of Rajgir during the epic Mahabharata times. Several shell inscriptions, the undeciphered characters of the central and eastern India from the 1st to 5th centuries AD, and engraved in the rock around the chariot marks. Maniar Matth: Dating 1st century CE, the Maniar Matth is said to be a monastery of a cult which worshipped snakes. Several snake and cobra figurins have been found in the vicinity in excavations. Sonabhandar: This ancient structure is said to be the treasury of Magadh. Swarna bhandar is two rather strange cave chambers hollowed out of a single massive rock. These cave chambers have separate doorways, leading to the treasury of king Bimbisara. The treasure, according to folklore, is still intact. Inscriptions in the Sankhlipi or shell script, etched into wall and so far undeciphered, are believed to give the clue to open the doorway. One of the chambers is believed to be the guard room, the rear wall has two straight vertical lines and one horizontal line cut into the rock; the doorway is supposed to lead to king Bimbisara Treasury. The second chambers bears a few traces of seated and standing etched into the outer wall. Hot Springs: At the foot of Vaibhava Hill, a staircase leads up to the various temples. Separate bathing places have been organized for men and women and the water comes through spouts from Saptdhara, the seven streams, believed to find their source behind the "Saptarni Caves", up in the hills. The hottest of the springs is the Brahmakund with a temperature of 45 degree Centigrade.

Brahmakund is a natural hot water spring. King Bimbisara used to take his bath there sometimes. This spring is believed to be very holy among Hindus. But it is not at all clean. Makhdum Kund: This is the shrine of a Muslim Sufi Saint Makhdum Shah and also has warm springs similar to Tapodharma. Cyclopean walls: Believed to be 2500 years old, these Cyclopean walls are a 40 km long and 4 meters wide fortification running around the city. Built of massive undressed stone carefully fitted together, the wall is one of the few important Pre-Maurayan stone structures ever to have been found. Traces of wall still subsist, particularly at the exit of Rajgir to Gaya.

Tapodarama - Brahmakunda

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Rajgir Heritage Museum: It has 49 rare items of archaeological and sculpture finds. It also has a collection of antiques along with several Buddhist and Hindu stone sculptures, bronze images of the Gupta and Pala period and terracotta. Veerayatan: A Jain Temple and Museum. Jain Temples: On hill crests around Rajgir, far in the distances one can see about 26 Jain Temples. They are difficult to approach for the untrained, but make exciting trekking for those in form. Pippala cave: Above the hot springs on the Vaibhava Hill, is a rectangular stone sculpted by the forces of nature which appears to have been used as a watch tower. Since it later became the resort of pious hermits, it is also called Pippala Cave and popularly known as "Jarasandh ki Baithak" after the name of the King Jarasandh, a contemporary of Lord Krishna described in the epic Mahabharata.

Rajgir Rope Way and surrounding beauty

Other Attractions

Rajgir Dance Festival: Bihar State tourism Department organizes every year, this colorful festival of classical and folk dances from October 4th to 26th. Makar Sankranti: Another festival specific to Rajgir is "Makar Sankaranti Mela", held on the last day of lunar calendar month "Paus", around middle January (14th January). Devotees make flower offering to the deities of the temples at the Hot Springs and bathe in the holy water. Malamasa Mela: Malmas Mela is held at Rajgir every three years. The Malmas Mela is important from the mythological point of view and attracts a large number of Hindus to the fair. After every three years, there is one extra month which is called Malmas. According to Hindu belief, all the 33 crore goddess and gods reside at Rajgir during the Malmas period. Taking bath in the hot springs and worshipping of idols of gods and goddess give salvation and peace, it is believed. In ancient days, there were 22 kunds and 52 flows of hot springs but many of them have now dried. One of the main attractions of this mela is the local “theatre�, showcasing a sexy and vulgar form of dance drama. Arts and Crafts: The places around Rajgir are famous for stone Sculptors and bowls.


Swarajpur-Baragaon: 18 km. The lake with its temple of Surya, the Sun God, is a pilgrim destination twice a year in "Vaisakha" (AprilMay) and in "Kartika" (October-November) during the Chhath Puja or Sun Worship. Kundalpur: The Digamber sect of Jains believe that Lord Mahavira was born at

Rajgir Mela

Kundalpur, 18 km from Rajgir. A Jain temple and two lotus lakes - The Dirga Pushkarni and Pandava Pushkarni mark the spot. Pawapuri: 35 km. Pawapuri is also known as Apapuri (A sinless city), it is a great pilgrimage center of the Jains. Mahavira Tirthankar, the greatest profounder of Jainism had delivered his last sermons here, took Mahaprinirvana here and was also cremated here. Jalmandir and Samosharan are two beautiful temples. Bihar Sharif: 25 km away, this town on the top of a craggy rock, attracts thousands of pilgrims of all religions who visit the tomb of Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din, a Muslim saint of 14th century. Bihar Sharif was once the capital of the Muslim Governors of Bihar between 13th and 16th centuries when the city was an active cultural center and an important seat of Muslim thought and learning.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Nalanda: 10 km, where ruins of the great ancient University has been excavated. The University of Nalanda was founded in 5th century AD, this great seat of learning flourished until 12th century. Once 2000 teachers and 10000 students crowded it portals. King after king built monasteries and temples here.

Dating 1st century CE, the Maniar Matth is said to be a monastery of a cult which worshipped snakes


Desi Traveller


Feel the solidarity of Auli, the peace within, adventurer’s way!! WORDS | RITUPARNA

Not being much of an adventure traveler, I mostly choose destinations which are culturally rich or best suited for lazing around. I never thought about exerting myself and take up adventure sports while on vacation. Pushing to an edge or getting a thrill-check is what I have managed to dodge till now. But recently I got caught up in a tight spot, when my friends decided to packup for Auli, and I, in desperation to break the monotony of the daily rush, nodded in. My friends had warned me beforehand that there won’t be any sitting around or “just admiring nature”. I sulked but neither anybody cared, nor did they even bother listening! So, I gave up and started packing up my bags. While I was getting geared up for the trip, my journalistic instincts, forced me to do some recce before landing up there. Not a very popular holiday destination, Auli has a mystic charm to it, a seducing

silence surroundings and a violently peaceful approach trying to unravel its beauty. Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan Mountains of Uttarakhand, India. Auli, means meadowin the local dialect, is located at an elevation of 2500 to 3050 meters above sea level. Auli is lesser known ski destination than Shimla, Gulmarg or Manali. It is only in the recent time, after the creation of new state of Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal) carved out from Uttar Pradesh,Auli is being marketed as a tourist destination. Auli is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, with a panoramic view of the lofty peaks of the greatest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas. The slopes here provide enough thrills to a professional skier and novice as well. Auli also boasts the Asia's longest - 4 km - cable

TLF Magazine April, 2014

car (Gondola). It also has a Chair Lift and a Ski-Lift. Apart from Skiing there are some interesting trek routes also. There is a training facility by Indo-Tibetan Border Police. A small temple having connection to great epic Ramayana is also present.


Situated in Himalayas, Auli is a cold place. Usual weather fluctuates between very cold to cold, and at times pleasant too. January, February and March are extremely cold months, and temperature varies from 0 degrees to somewhere around 10 degrees. Nature is eye-catching in its flawless white cover of snow. Mid-year (April to August)


Auli hill station Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Auli cable car station Pic Courtesy:

Auli Ski Trip in the Garhwal Himlayas Pic Courtesy: image courtesy Google Picasa images and

temperature goes upto 20 degrees, weather remains moderately cold, with nature changing from white to lush green. These months are perfect for outdoor activities. October welcomes winter with all its majesty, and temperature starts to fall. November and December keeps up with the October spirit, with temperature varying from 4to 14 degrees. This time is perfect for those looking out for honeymoon drop-ins.


Although a hill-station and a heaven for ski lovers,Auli provides very few tourist spots.


Auli has been gaining popularity among the ski-lovers. There is a long Ski-Lift, connecting lower slopes to the Top. The gondola is not an aid to skiing as it simply transports visitors from the local village to their accommodation center.There is one ski-lift working genuinely for ski-lovers, but needs four people to fill the seats. It leads to long delays. The ski village suffers from a shortage of electricity and is restricted to one hour of power per day is not unusual in winter.

Artificial lake

The world's highest man-made lake at Auli is located next to the only privately owned hotel, Clifftop Club. The government has developed the lake in view to create artificial snow on the new ski slopes in the event of low snow fall. Water from the lake is used to feed the snow guns stationed along the ski

Approaching Auli Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

slopes and provides a good skiing surface in case of the extended ski season also.


Auli is surrounded by high peaks like Mana, Kamet and tallest of all Nanda Devi. The 270 degree view is enough to make one forgets the long tiring ride toAuli. Once the Skiing is over, the best thing is to take your chair out and get naturally treated with great views of snow clad mountains changing colors every minute the sun goes down. You can understand easily as to why the Himalayais the only place for meditationfor Sadhus (sage) from centuries. The feeling of solitude

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Auli has a mystic charm to it, a seducing silence surroundings and a violently peaceful approach trying to unravel its beauty


Desi Traveller

and oneness with god does wonders to your mind and a positive effect on your body. You will get the real "peace of mind” which no money can buy.


Apart from skiing, some trek options are also available and some of the trails normally completed in one single day. Auli Gorson(around 7 km),Gorson - Tali(around 6 km),Tali - Kuari Pass (around 11 km),Kuari Pass - Khulara(around 12 km) andKhulara Tapovan(around 9 km) are amongst the most favourite one.


Auli won’t be the only attraction to those coming in. Vishnu Prayag is the holy confluence of river

Alaknanda and Dauli Ganga, accessible from Joshimath.The name, Joshimath derives from the word ‘Jyotirmath’, the place of Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, founded by Shankracharyaand is one of the four such maths, locating in other corners of India. Joshimath has a temple of Narsimha, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is also the mid-way rest place for the pilgrims visiting Badrinath, another sacred place for Hindus and one of the four Dhaams. However, it remains closed during winter.Tapovanis 15 km from Joshimath having an ancient temple and a natural hot water spring.

Events and Festivals

National Championship is also being organized during these months. The month of September is a good time to visitwith religious sensibilities.Mata MrutiKaMela is celebrated nearby Badarinathalong with many other rituals and festivals.

How to reach Auli

By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, about 179 km from Auli. Several airlines operate daily flights from Delhi. Taxi cabs are available from Dehradun airport to Auli. Nearest International airport is Delhi, which is about 500 km away.

Months of January to March are the best time for ski lovers as there are as many as 7-8 festivals and

Badhrinath to auli Pic Courtesy:

By Road

View of Himalayas from Auli Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Airports near Auli

The road leading to Auli is in dreadful condition and subject to frequent landslides (as a direct result of major deforestation). Travelling by the road route in winter carries serious risk. Type

Aerial Distance

Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (DED)


170 km

Shimla Airport (SLV)


285 km

Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL)


509 km

NetajiSubhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)


1322 km

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Desi Traveller

KAKOLAT Green forests, calm and serene atmosphere, cool splashes of cold water – a must haunt for tourists WORDS | SUSHIL KUMAR JHA

The whole of the erstwhile South Bihar (now the State of Jharkhand) is cut up by number of ridges and spurs projecting from the plateau of Chhota Nagpur. The most remarkable of these long low outline ranges is Durvasarhi and Mahabar in the south of Nawada district in the State of Bihar. The appearance of these hills furnishes some striking contrasts. They are completely covered with thin vegetation, but on some of the area, the vegetation has gradually been cut down or lost due to the soil-erosion and the rocks are in many cases left completely bare. The effect is almost equally picturesque, as these hills stand out in rugged bareness. Beyond it, one detached hills succeeding another, a long wall of hills bounds the horizon so far as the eyes can see. Among these hills is the mostpicturesque waterfall at Kakolat in the long ridge running from east to west 10 miles south of Nawada city, where the water plunges abruptly down a high steep face of black rock into a shady pool below, and then dashes down a gloomy gorge of strangely contorted rock. The fall presents a scene of more placid beauty, as here the water, issuing through a picturesque glen, glides down a sloping slide of rocks surrounded by high wooded banks.


Situated on the NH-31 on Patna-Ranchi main road, some 120 km away from Patna, capital of Bihar, Nawada is a place of historical and mythological significance. The legend has it that Nawada was visited by Pandavas during their exile. Historians in their writings have acknowledged and discussed the discovery of several monuments, statues and coins of Mauryan, Sunga, Pala and Mughal periods in different parts of the district. One can have a dekko as these finds, well preserved in the Nardah Museum at Nawada City. This museum is one of the prominent museums of Bihar with a very rich collection of ancient artifacts. Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, aka JP, whose historic revolution led to the formation of the first non-Congress government in Delhi in the year 1977, had his ‘Sarvodaya Ashram’ at Shekhodeora in Kauakol Block of Nawada District. The Ashram is 55 km away from Nawada City

Kakolat Waterfall

TLF Magazine April, 2014


and endowed with very natural scenic beauty.

The Fall

What Niagara is to the United States or Canada, Kakolat is to the people of Bihar. At time to time this is being credits as "little Kashmir of Bihar". This tourist place has got wonderful surroundings to visit and this is one place that no tourist would wish to miss upon. The Kakolat Waterfalls is hidden little wonder of nature, famous for cold water during summer. Although every inch of Kakolat is panoramic view as the gift of goddess nature but sweet spring of Kakolat is the supreme bliss. The scene is panoramic due to all round green forest area which is very pleasant to the eyes. Situated at the border of Bihar and Jharkhand state on one of the lush green hills, tourists throng this place to enjoy the scenic beauty and above all enjoy a splash in the enchanting waterfalls, particularly during summer. At Kakolat a hill torrent tumbles down a long series of cascades, buried in thick woods and extending far up the side of the hill till it makes a final leap over a precipice some 150 feet high near the foot of the crag, and then gently flows down a few feet where from it again takes a leap down to the ground level forming into a perennial stream. Kakolat falls are virtually hidden in the thickest of the jungles and the sylvan surroundings do provide an escape from the humdrum of routine life. Although it is not a very big one, it has got its own charm considering the surroundings. The fall derives its name from Kol, a tribal people who inhabited this area once upon a time. This waterfall offers eye-catching and picturesque views to the visitors and travelers passing by this beautiful waterfall are forced to stop by and enjoy its gushing cold waters. This is a very popular water fall in this region and the Government of India has issued a postal stamp on this too.

Visitors enjoying splash of cold water at Kakolat

The religious Hindus who take a bath in this natural reservoir believe that the most auspicious time for a dip is at the festive time of Bishua (14th April every year) or Chaitra-Sankranti

Gateway to Kakolat Waterfall

TLF Magazine April, 2014

In the central portion, the girth of the water drop is thicker which thins out towards the side ends. The site is well maintained, which looks like a swimming pool. It is well barricaded by steel pipe poles and iron chains. The hill which houses the fall is called Lohdand Parvat. The thick forest which causes its origin is called Kamyakvana. This is one of the most visited and renowned Bihar getaway, where tourists come from all over the state and adjoining areas to witness the sheer beauty of Mother Nature cascading marvelously. In order to witness the breathtaking and splendid beauty of the nature, numerous people from Bihar as well as other states, come here, thus making it one of the most popular location of Bihar. The water that cascades down the ravine falls in to a beautiful and transparent pool which is a natural reservoir. The water is said to be cool even in summer and is rich with

Source of Kakolat Waterfall


Desi Traveller

Greenery around Kakolat Waterfall

minerals. This increases its importance and every summer hordes of tourist throngs here for its medicinal values. There are talks like many tourist come here as having a shower at this fountain helps one get rid of disease like leprosy and other skin disease.


The Kakolat waterfall has great historical and mythological significance. Near Kakolat there is a village called ‘Ektara’ where Maharishi Markendaya had his Ashram. Artifacts made of stone are found here, which indicate existence of flourishing of civilization of the Stone Age at this place, adding along chapter for Anthropological study. The site finds mention in the Van-Parva of Mahabharat and in the Markandey Puran. The place is also attributed to Mahasati Madalsa of Magadha kingdom. Back to history in Mahabharata this place is notified as the place where Pandavas took shelter when they were in exile. As per the beliefs, Lord Krishna used to come with his queens to take bath here. According to a legend, during the ‘Treta Yuga’ epoch, a king named ‘Nigas’ was cursed by a rishi and had to take the shape of a python and lived in Kakolat. The place was visited by the great Pandavas during their exile and the accursed king got salvation from damnation. The king after getting rid of the curse proclaimed that one who would bath in the waterfall will not take the yoni of snake, and that is why a large number of people from far and near bathe in the falls.

How To Get There

The waterfall is located near Govindpur police station, about 33 km away from Nawada city. The falls which is at a distance of about 14

km from Akbarpur Block in Nawada district, situated between Fatehpur road function on NH-31 and Govindpur Block,presents a very fascinating view as one move towards it. The nearest airport is at Gaya which is 68 km away and Patna, which is 120 km away and the nearest railway station is in Nawada, though the main railway station is in Gaya. Kakolat Waterfalls is connected by NH-31 on the Patna-Ranchi road about 17 km from the highway. There are buses that stop at Thali, a place near the waterfalls. It is better to hire a car from Nawada as one will have to trek through rough terrain to reach the waterfalls.


The religious Hindus who take a bath in this natural reservoir believe that the most auspicious time for a dip is at the festive time of Bishua (14th April every year) or ChaitraSankranti. There is a fair at the time which lasts for three days. To encourage more visitors to the place, the authorities have made provisions and facilities for boat riding and a variety of water sport events. The place is prominent for picnics during summer when people come to savour the cool refreshing moist that comes from the waterfalls.

When To Go

The best time to visit the falls is from April to September. This will be after the monsoons when the jungle will be exhibiting its colours in the finest form. Winters are not advisable.


There are no hotels and restaurants in the area around Kakolat waterfalls. There are a few rest shelters in hutment at the site arranged

TLF Magazine April, 2014

by local businessmen and traders who will arrange for food also on payment. Better lodging suitable for middle class is available at Nawada. There are good hotels in Gaya that will suit every visitor’s budget.


Hindi and Magahi


Beauty of Kakolat Waterfall

Precautions • The road leading to the waterfalls have not been properly maintained. Watch out for pot holes especially during the rainy season • Do not be a litterbug. Please keep the place clean.

Being a picnic and tourist spot food stuff like Bihari style preparation of rice pulse and vegetables etc. are available by local traders in limited quantity and limited time near the waterfall but are not recommended. Other soft drinks are available in limited quantity.

• Visitors are not advised to purchase food from the wayside eateries.

Local Transport

• It is refreshing to bath in the cold waters of the fall but visitors are advised to stay away from the deeper end of the pool.

Only a few time bound buses up to block level run from Nawada. Own arrangement of reserve car is advisable.


Small handicraft of stone and Wood,specially toys and small pots by the local people are attraction for purchase.

Nearby Places To Visit

Jagannath Temple: Not to be confused

with the Jagannath Temple at Puri, this temple is only about 1.5 km from the waterfall. This temple is considered to be the second largest temple after the one at Puri. This temple is atop a hillock and is said to be constructed in the 18th century.

The waterfall at Kakolat


Tagore Hill: This place is also about 1.6 km

from Kakolat Waterfalls. The Tagore family had resided in this place and it is on a hillock.

• It is dangerous to climb the gorge, as the rocks will be slippery.

• Care should be taken not to disregard the sentiments of the villagers as the area is sacred to the locals. • This area is restricted by the State Government of Bihar. The opening time is 7 AM and closing time is 6 PM. As this is located in a naxal affected forest area and away from population, for safety, it is advisable to return to the main market before dark. • This place is very crowded on weekends in summer. Try to avoid Saturdays and Sundays, as these days get much crowds here.

Kakolat during Chaitra Sankranti Mela

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Desi Traveller

A Holiday in Vizag would mean loads of fun, experience of a unique culture & heritage at a very affordable price


Vizag ariel view

With its grandeur setting, glamorous beaches and appetite for the best things in life, Vishakhapatnam aka ‘Vizag’, scores tops in my list of India’s best destinations. WORDS | TLF DESK

Vishakhapatnam sometimes goes by its now almost defunct colonial British name, Waltair; owing to the city having its hub at the Waltair railway station (during the colonial era) and that part of the city still goes by the name of Waltair. It is also referred to as the ‘City of Destiny’ and ‘Vizag’. This eastern coastal city began as a small fishing village (was also known as the sleeping hamlet) of just a few hundred people, and has developed into a progressive, cosmopolitan port city, a place where you could be in harmony with nature like in no other place. The best part is the economics. A Holiday in Vizag would mean loads of fun, experience of a unique culture & heritage at a very affordable price. I feel it is an essential stop in any traveller’s itinerary!

Must See Araku Valley (112 Kms from Vizag) and you’ll know how men and nature co-exist in this valley of tranquility.

Delhi Public School, Visakhapatnam

Borra caves (90 Kms from the city) Spread over the Eastern Ghats and are one million year old. They are spectacular and the natural formation is unique and amazing. Submarine museum Stands majestically at the Ramakrishna Beach and is the only one of its kind in Asia. The narrow entrance is wider now and exhibits include a photo gallery that depicts the sub marine’s past glory alongside mannequins that show the working of various units. Dolphin’s nose Dolphin's nose is the most prominent and unforgettable Landmark, a single and massive hillock of over 350 meters height, resembles the Dolphin’s nose, hence the name. It is a great protection for the Visakhapatnam Harbour as well as the headquarters of Eastern Naval command. Vizag Port Trust’s light house is situated on top of the hill and guides approaching ships to Visakhapatnam.

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Kotha Road has everything from top designer brands to exquisite handcrafted gifts at unbelievable prices. Do not leave Vizag without buying the Andhra pickles, spices (they are absolutely inexpensive out here) and awesome jewellery from Sri Kumar, Sree Lakshmi, Sree Satya Laxmi or Sree Venkatalakshmi jewellers. If you want to take home a piece of Vizag, visit ‘Lepakshi’, it has built a reputation for being one of Vizag’s oldest and finest handicraft stores, with a collection of almost ten thousand locally made products that are economically priced. From gifts to souvenirs and household items that are truly Andhra, you'll find it all here. Silver and gold jewelry from kurupam market and the area in Dwarka Nagar on the other side of TSR complex is another must buy.

Tip Bargaining is common and even expected.



Stay at Ranbanka Palace,

the Maharaja way

The beautiful Ranbanka Palace from outside

Perfect amalgam of old world charm and contemporary poise WORDS | TLF DESK

Built at the turn of the last century for Maharajadhiraj Sir Ajit Singh ji, this magnificent sandstone building captures the prevalent colonial influences of its time and immerses them in the echoes of another bygone era. Fire places, mantelpieces, arm chairs and hunting trophies seamlessly blend with divans, jharokas and intricate marble inlays. Ranbanka Palace is a heritage hotel in Jodhpur and is the only property in the blue city to be acknowledged as a ‘Classic Heritage Hotel’ by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. It aces every stringent requirement for this prestigious category. Ranbanka Palace is ideal for those who want to soak-in the flavors, history, luxury, dance, music, arts and culture of Royal Marwar. Taking its name from the war cry of the Rathore clan, Ranbanka Rathore - the invincible in battle, this palace hotel regales and grips with its many old world charms and contemporary offerings.

Pool sideview of the hotel

TLF Magazine April, 2014



At the beginning of the 20th Century, arts and architecture were flourishing in Jodhpur. In 1927, the current Ranbanka Palace hotel was commissioned as a part of the residence for Maharajadhiraj of Jodhpur, Sir Ajit Singh ji (1907–1978). He was the younger brother of Maharaja Umaid Singh and youngest son of Maharaja Sir Sardar Singh ji. As Prime Minister of the state he was allotted space to make his home. Ranbanka Palace is a part of Ajit Bhawan and was designed by an English architect. This magnificent sandstone building effortlessly captures the era’s salient pragmatism and pronounced opulence. It was built proportionately with two floors in mind and has been executed in the red Jodhpur stone from its era. The high ceiling and mezzanine on the ground floor regulates air circulation, allowing the mansion to remain cool even during the scorching summer months. Tracing its lineage to Jodhpur's founding family, Ranbanka Palace derives its name from the war cry of the Rathore clan. Built in 1927 for Maharajadhiraj Sir Ajit Singh ji; this sandstone building captures, preserves and blends Marwar’s reflections and a colonial charm. In the year 2000, Ranbanka Palace was converted into a hotel and is today a certified classic heritage hotel. It is one of the foremost experiences of regal hospitality in India.


Jodhana Lounge The Jodhana Lounge – Studded with original polo trophies amassed by the family over generations, The bar at Ranbanka Palace is awash in a colonial character. Raj Kumar Karan Vijay Singh, Grandson of Maharajadhiraj Ajit Singh Ji and owner of Ranbanka Palace is also a polo player of international repute. His illustrious equestrian career has allowed for noteworthy trophies of recent past, to be also added to the collection. The Jodhana Lounge is dynamic, well stocked and serves some of the world’s finest beverages.

The Jodhana Service team

Guests staying in the Jodhana suites are in for a royal rapture as they partake in unparalleled experiences, exponentially heightened by access to the royal family’s personal chefs and craftsmen Elegant dining hall of Ranbanka

Shopping Arcade The boutiques at Ranbanka Palace retail many unique products that showcase the region and its workmanship. The eclectic mix of offerings also feature antiques, carpets and rugs, quilts and blankets, Rajasthani puppets (Kathputli), filigreed miniatures, kashmiri embroidered shawls, marble inlay work and old silver jewellery Tip- The joothi maker in the central courtyard is known to have created some exquisite custom designed patterns. His mojaris are soft, comfortable and durable and can be

Unwind the Royals' way at Ranbanka

TLF Magazine April, 2014



made in your choice of colours.

Multiple Dining Venues BBQ by the Baradari: Located between the bar and the restaurant this is the latest addition at Ranbanka Palace. It flows around a traditional marble fountain and offers live service of a wide variety of kebabs, red meats and exotic delights. BBQ by the Baradari is a hearty and memorable culinary experience. The Verandah lounge: Filled with whiffs of cinnamon, this lounge features specials from the palace bakery. Located in the lobby the Verandah Lounge, is replete with motifs and workmanship of the royal family’s trusted karigars. It provides a relaxed ambiance where rays of the sun take new dimensions. The Rustic Roof: The privacy is priceless as you are surrounded with interesting latticework from the early 20th century and breathtaking views of Mehrangarh fort on one side and Umaid Bhawan on the other. This bespoke dining experience must be planned at least 30 days in advance.


Aesthetic decorations at Ranbanka

With accommodation and experiences across a wide range of budgets, Ranbanka Palace Hotel welcomes every traveller to revel in its carefully preserved heritage and aura. It boasts of 71 fully revitalized heritage rooms ranging from deluxe and club rooms to extravagant suites across the lively- Courtyard Wing, exotic Legacy Wing and luxurious Jodhana Wing. Ranbanka Palace Hotel offers luxury experiences and anticipatory service at unbelievable price points in Jodhpur. Luxury Suites  Welcome Drink on Arrival  Cookies  Fruit Basket  Electronic Safe

Enjoy a wide selection of your favorite beverages at the Polo Bar

 Tea/Coffee Maker  Mini Bar

Jodhana Service Guests staying in the Jodhana suites are in for a royal rapture as they partake in unparalleled experiences, exponentially heightened by access to the royal family’s personal chefs and craftsmen. From special in-room access to artisans like tie and dye artists, joothi makers, bangle craftsmen and earthen-ware potters to sampling culinary delights and family recipes from the royal kitchens, herbal fragrant teas, French press coffee, luxurious amenities and much more; the Jodhana experience will spoil you. The private terraces in the Jodhana wing are excellent for spending quality time with loved ones and are also suited for small celebrations.

Tastefully done rooms at Ranbanka

TLF Magazine April, 2014



Elegance Personified at

JW Marriott, Chandigarh

Front Facade

Conceptualised around the five elements of nature, JW Marriott is a sheer pleasure to be in. WORDS | TLF DESK

JW Marriott Chandigarh is the luxury address in Chandigarh, the City Beautiful. Exuding elegance and craftsmanship, the hotel is centrally located within close proximity to the airport and the railway station, in addition to the Business District - Sector 17 and the Information Technology Park. Chandigarh, being a gateway city, provides easy access to key tourist destinations of North India. Conceptualised around the five elements of nature, the hotel is elegance personified. The grand entrance makes for a spectacular welcome with beautifully crafted water bodies and flaming torches. With the simple use of natural materials like travertine and timeless sycamore wood, the interiors of the hotel exude welcoming warmth, use of natural materials, resonates with the urban planning of renowned Swiss architect Le Corbusier who designed Chandigarh. This creates the perfect setting for you to work, stay and relax. The designers Wilson Associates from Singapore and Karen Kim from Marriott have beautifully and seamlessly married the chic with the contemporary, giving the hotel a distinct architectural style, matched with

state-of-the-art interiors and personalised services, making your every stay as special as the first. The hotel spells understated luxury, offering 164 spacious rooms, including 4 suites and 1 presidential suite elegantly designed in a unique open layout. In keeping with tradition, the culinary experience at the JW Marriott Chandigarh is an extravagance of flavours and finest delicacies. The food is authentic, true to the local culture and crafted to suit the refined palate. Multiple dining options include Saffron (fine dining Indian Cuisine); The CafÊ@JW (Global Cuisine); Oregano Restaurant & Bar (Italian Cuisine); Chandigarh Baking Co (Deli & Patisserie); The Lounge, Whisky 111 – Bar. The Grand Ballroom has a majestic ceiling height of over 6 meters, adorned with crystal chandeliers. The available area of 16500 sq feet includes indoor and outdoor space for meetings and banqueting facilities making it an ideal choice to host elegant weddings, social events, meeting and conferences. Other facilities include Business centre, a full service executive lounge and the award

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Saffron, Private Dining Room


The hotel spells understated luxury, offering 164 spacious rooms, including 4 suites and 1 presidential suite elegantly designed in a unique open layout

chocolates. CBC is just the place you should be at when you are hanging out with friends and sharing conversations over a steaming cup of cappuccino or a chilled iced-tea. Enjoy fresh-out-of-the-oven muffins, cookies and croissants along with handmade coffees and teas.

The Lounge

The Lounge is the heart and the soul of the hotel where guests feel welcome and free to be themselves. The ambience is intimate yet lively, elegantly designed and is conducive to social or business meetings. The Lounge is transitional in nature and changes its mood, setting and menu as the day goes on. Mornings are buzzing with fresh breakfast, hot coffees and teas; come dusk and we have The Lounge settle into a calmer feel; it’s all about relaxing and unwinding as the bartender serves some classic cocktails, choicest wines and spirits, and refreshing beverages.


Welcome Shot

The Indian fine dining restaurant Saffron is an ode to the flavours of the North West frontier region. The restaurant brings out the richness of the food from the pre-partition Punjab; intact with its rustic simplicity and authenticity. Punjab of that era was eight times the size of the present Punjab and was a culinary hub with Amritsari Macchi, Saffron Tandoori Murg, Raunak-e-Seekh and numerous vegetarian delights; and recreating that culinary magic of the past is what Saffron is all about.

winning Quan Spa,an oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation. So whether travelling to Chandigarh on business or leisure JW Marriott Chandigarh is your luxury destination

The Café@JW

The Café@JW is a contemporary all day dining restaurant that serves an assortment of authentic international cuisines which include Asian Salads| Thai | Chinese | Dim Sum and Dumplings | Condiments and dressings | Indian Tandoori and Curries crafted by expert Indian and expat chefs.

Chandigarh Baking Company

Chandigarh Baking Company is a warm and welcoming Deli and Patisserie that is all about cakes, cookies and coffees. Fondly known as CBC, the bakery welcomes you with a wonderful aroma of brewed coffees and freshly baked goodies. Indulge your taste buds and dig into some sinful cakes and pastries, made-to-order sandwiches and burgers, and a variety of hand-made breads and

Chandigarh Baking Co

TLF Magazine April, 2014



Oregano Restaurant & Bar

The Executive Lounge

Oregano Restaurant and Bar

Oregano restaurant and bar, with its trattoria charm exudes warmth and homeliness. This authentic, fine dining Italian restaurant and bar offers an exotic mix of traditional style cooking infused with fresh herbs and spices which are unique to the cuisine. Our expat Italian chef will create unique flavours, catering to distinct tastes as he cooks to the guest’s taste and preference. Our tailor-made menu offers al dente pastas, wood-fired pizzas, risottos and lasagnes made with authentic Italian cheese like mozzarella and gorgonzola to name a few.

Whisky 111

Whisky 111, the connoisseur’s bar, offers premium whisky’s from across the world and houses an impressive display of fine scotch, bourbon, Single Malts, Canadian and the Indian collection. The décor is a reminiscence of the Renaissance era, with wooden flooring, leather sofa and arm chairs, simple, elegant and traditional lighting fixtures – deep mahogany wood finish and artefacts.

The Executive Lounge

This is our private lounge, an indulgent luxury available to guests who want that extra special care. It is offered as a complimentary benefit to our most loyal guests. The Executive Lounge provides complimentary breakfast, high tea and a happy hour service. A Continental breakfast with a variety of fresh juices, choice of breads, pastries, cereals, cold cuts, cheese, tea and coffee is offered with highly prompt and personalised service. During happy hours, a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is served along with canapés and


appetisers. Nothing but the best is what the executive lounge is all about.

Banquets and Meeting Rooms

The state-of-the-art banqueting facilities in the hotel are spread over an area of 16500 sq ft, indoors and outdoors. The Grand Ballroom with a majestic ceiling height of 6 metres and with 6295 sq ft is further divisible into 4 break-away halls; Ballroom I – 1722 sq ft; Ballroom II – 2421 sq ft; Ballroom III 2152 sq ft accommodating a maximum of 900 persons in total. There is a pre function area with a separate entrance which makes your functions a private and exclusive affair. The splendid design and elegance of the Grand Ballroom makes it an ideal choice for elegant weddings. For our MICE audience in particular the JW Marriot Chandigarh has a dedicated team of

TLF Magazine April, 2014


experts whose primary concern would be to ensure that you conduct your business in the most convenient and seamless manner possible. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, high speed wireless internet access and multi- media conferencing facilities along with 24 hours assistance and service will take care of your every business need.

Accommodations With 164 spacious luxury rooms, set in a unique open layout, the JW Marriott Chandigarh offers aristocratic elegance and absolute comfort. The hotel has 122 deluxe rooms, 38 executive rooms, 4 junior suites and 1 Presidential suite. A wide range of amenities and services are available in all rooms which include:  42 inch LCD/ TV with satellite channels  Multimedia Panels  High-speed connectivity



 Private LDD telephone and fax numbers  Other general guest business amenities


 Floating Bathroom with separate shower and bathtub   

Bathroom Amenities Mini-bar

Coffee/ Tea maker

Presidential Suite

The Presidential Suite The Presidential Suite at the JW Marriott Chandigarh raises the bar of luxury and comfort. Occupying an area of 225 square metres and a bird’s eye view of the city, every feature of the suite spells sheer indulgence and understated luxury. The suite includes two spacious bedrooms with king size beds, a private meeting room, a beautifully designed living room with opulent chandeliers, finest furnishings and decor with ample space for entertaining guests.

The suite also has a library, a well-equipped kitchenette, a mini-bar and a separate dining area, a marble bathroom which contains a separate powder room area, rain shower, soaking tub and luxurious bath amenities. Personalised services like evening turndown and 24 hour butler service are also offered to make your stay a truly royal affair.

At Your Service

At Your Service is a one-stop shop taking care of all guest needs including EPABX functions, in- room dining, housekeeping and other requests.

 National and local newspapers daily   

Concierge service Valet service

Doctor on call

The Guest Room

TLF Magazine April, 2014



Deepak Manocha General Manager

Don't trust us, hear it from the head himself ! TLF: Marriott, in a few words Deepak: Approachable Luxury- the place to be. TLF: What makes Marriott stand a class apart from its competitors? Deepak: Guest focus; food beverage focus; innovation looking after our associates . The Quan Spa

Quan Spa

The JW Marriott Chandigarh brings the award winning Quan Spa to the city beautiful. Quan is the Chinese word for ‘the source of pure water’ and here we offer our guests an oasis of healing and rejuvenation. Water is the source of all life. It has the ability to cleanse physically and spiritually. At Quan, we draw on these restorative qualities to provide a haven of calm, tranquillity and relaxation. The spa comprises of 6 spacious private treatment rooms including 5 for Western style treatments and 1 for Ayurveda. At Quan, we use natural ingredients and a range of Thalgo products. Make your appointment with serenity and indulge in Balinese, Swedish, Ayurvedic and Western treatments.

and and

TLF: If asked to choose one place to unwind, where will you head to in Marriott? Deepak: Oregano, restaurant!



TLF: The team at Marriott is very warm and humble, and not to mention fit too, as their leader how do you keep their morale up and them motivated, at all times? Deepak: A Health body leads to healthy mind and healthy heart which in turns is a source of self-motivation; staying engaged with team to help them grow; keeps us all motivated! TLF: How has the Marriott’s journey been in Chandigarh? Deepak: It is and has been a fulfilling and challenging journey of hard work and tremendous learning leading to tremendous opportunity ahead. TLF: Words for all those planning their stay in Marriott. Deepak: Sat Sree Akaal; Look forward to welcoming you!

Swimming Pool

TLF Magazine April, 2014

-As told to Rituparna



Avani opens in

Goldcoast Fifth property by Minor Hotel Group launched in Malaysia WORDS | TLF Desk


AVANI Hotels & Resorts, the vibrant upscale brand launched by Thailand-based Minor Hotel Group in 2011, has added its fifth property - AVANI Sepang GoldCoast Resort in Malaysia. The resort is located on the country's west coast in the state of Selangor, close to Sepang International Circuit - home to the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix and 45 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Formerly operating as Golden Palm Tree Iconic Resort & Spa, the resort has a distinctive design in the shape of a palm tree and has relaunched under the AVANI flag following the completion of the first of two phases of a total MYR 15 million refurbishment programme. Facilities at the resort include five restaurants and two bars, a spa, an extensive selection of activities and an 840 square metre ballroom. Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotel Group, AVANI's parent company, was quoted as, "We are very happy to launch AVANI Sepang GoldCoast Resort in Malaysia,

Guests staying in a Three Bedroom Villa will experience first class butler service including welcome drinks and a special check-in service, before being taken to their villa by private buggy TLF Magazine April, 2014

a great addition to our growing AVANI portfolio. This resort will be joined later on this year by several further rebranded AVANI properties, with the first new-build AVANIs to follow next year."


Surrounded by the sheltered waters of Malaysia's Malacca Straits, AVANI Sepang GoldCoast Resort offers a secluded tropical hideaway that blends easy accessibility with a feeling of getting away from it all. Set along Sepang GoldCoast's 22 kilometre shore, the resort has a mainland beachfront setting with lush gardens and a palm structure built on stilts which extends over warm shallow waters. The overwater palm features 392 contemporary Polynesian-inspired guest rooms and one, two and three bedroom villas, all with sea view. Guests staying in a Three Bedroom Villa will also experience first class butler service including welcome drinks and a special check-in service, before being taken to their villa by private buggy. So that all guests can enhance their resort experience, this exclusive butler service can be booked for all accommodation types. For business

41 guests, the resort has four meeting rooms and a large ballroom which can accommodate 1,000 for a conference, 650 for a dinner and up to 1,200 for a cocktail reception. All the meeting rooms have a 7.6 metre high ceiling.


The resort has an impressive selection of dining options. The five restaurants include Sepoi Sepoi with a cafĂŠ ambience and a Malaysia-Chinese coffee shop menu of freshly brewed coffee, casual lunches, afternoon snacks and laid back dinners. Two restaurants are located in the central area of the palm and have both been fully refurbished. Translating as "anytime", Bila Bila's all day international buffet and a la carte offerings can be enjoyed in air conditioned indoor comfort or on an outdoor deck with a sea breeze, whilst Hai Sang Lou

is the resort's Chinese fine dining specialty restaurant serving both lunch and dinner. The beachfront restaurant Perahu boasts a superb sundowner experience from the deck and imaginative local and global flavours, including Malay barbeque delights, with the mood picking up at night when a live band hits the stage. Another great sunset spot and evening dining, Stimbot impresses with artfully prepared oriental specialties. For poolside refreshments, the refurbished Buloh Bar offers extensive beverages and light bites and after sundown kicks up a notch with live entertainment. Selat Bar on Sunset Beach serves tropical drinks with waves breaking just a few steps away and offers karaoke, billiards and pool. In addition, an ideal meeting place is Bayu Lounge, a contemporary lobby venue which has been completely refreshed with a touch of Malaysian design and serves snacks, pastries, cakes and desserts.


A resort designed for every age and interest, the kids' club offers an action packed daily programme, including beach and garden activities, a trampoline and bouncing castle, pool fun, swimming lessons and arts and crafts. Activities for all the family include

AVANI Sepang Royal Villa King Bedroom

Area View of AVANI Sepang

croquet, petanque and ping pong, beach soccer, volleyball and cart sailing, yoga and zumba classes, as well as bicycle tours around the local area. In addition, at Extreme Park, the on-site activity centre, guests can enjoy some competitive action on the go karting or paint balling courses. Those who simply want to unwind can sunbathe to their heart's content and take refreshing dips in the resort's swimming pool. AVANI SPA pampers guests in a calm environment with a choice of results-driven treatments for total wellbeing and a gourmet spa menu of personalised packages.


Enjoying the resort's facilities and getting out and about is easy. Guests can hop on a buggy to travel around the resort and take the complimentary daily shuttle bus to Kuala Lumpur for a day of shopping and sightseeing. A great range of local tours are available, including a mangrove river cruise and visits to a local village to delve into rural

TLF Magazine April, 2014

life. Guided excursions to the up and coming modern city of Putrajaya, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Historical Malacca and Kuala Lumpur introduce travellers to the region's heritage highlights. Sepang is also home to Formula 1 and the annual Malaysian Grand Prix, bringing adrenalin pumping glamour to the area. As part of Minor Hotel Group's global expansion of diverse quality brands, AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in late 2011 as a refreshing upscale hotel concept, to consolidate the group's presence in city and resort locations across Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and Africa. 'AVANI' stems from the Sanskrit word for 'earth' a meaning which is expressed through a grounded personality and simple sense of style. AVANI properties offer relaxed comfort and contemporary style to guests who value the details that matter. Designed for guests who appreciate genuine hospitality, AVANI offers a fuss free approach that leaves a great impression.



How about a Luxury Lodge?

The Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales has opened the first three of its spectacular new Hunter Lodges to guests. WORDS | TLF DESK

The luxury lodges at South Wales provide the best of both worlds - a private home-awayfrom-home in the peace and tranquility of countryside, with Celtic Manor's five-star amenities and activities at their very doorstep. The Hunter Lodges command a stunning location within the resort's 2,000-acre estate, enjoying glorious views of the Twenty Ten Ryder Cup golf course and the beautiful Usk Valley beyond. Sleeping up to eight people, the large, Scandinavian-style, log lodges all have four double or twin bedrooms, spacious dining and living areas, and fitted kitchens. For that extra touch of luxury, they also boast outdoor hot

tubs and indoor saunas. All lodges are fully furnished including fluffy towels and crisp bed linen, and guests receive a complimentary welcome pack on arrival. They are also fully equipped for self-catering. Guests will be able to use the restaurants at the Celtic Manor Resort or order a gourmet-to-go hamper or takeaway favourite, delivered direct to their Hunter Lodge door. If you want to hunt fun and adventure in peace and tranquillity, prices start from as little as ÂŁ48 per person, per night.

will be open by mid-May. The Hunter Lodges are the first phase in a potential development of 60 luxury lodges here at Celtic Manor.

With the first three lodges already hosting three, four or seven-night stays from paying guests, four more will become available for the Easter holidays and all 10 of the first phase

For more information visit: or call

Sleeping up to eight people, the large, Scandinavianstyle, log lodges all have four double or twin bedrooms, spacious dining and living areas, fitted kitchens, outdoor hot tubs and indoor saunas TLF Magazine April, 2014

Aimed primarily at the family and leisure market which is filling Celtic Manor's 400-bedroom hotel on weekends and during school holidays, the lodges are also designed to appeal to golf groups playing Celtic Manor's three championship courses, friends on spa breaks, and corporate incentive trips.

Reservations on: 01633 410262.


Chandigarh’s first Ginger Hotel The hospitality brand forays into Punjab, opening its first Smart Basic™ Hotel in the state WORDS | TLF DESK

Ginger Hotels, from Roots Corporation - a subsidiary of The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), launched its first hotel in Punjab, in Chandigarh. Located in the Industrial Area Phase I, the hotel is easily accessible from key points in the city. Roots Corporation Ltd. has entered into an agreement for managing the 102-room hotel owned by Hind Inns and Hotels Ltd. The launch of this property will mark Hind Inns and Hotels Ltd’s foray in to the hospitality sector. The hotel which will cater to the industrial and commercial sectors is based on the unique concept of Smart Basics™ that exemplifies smart and chic services, all at an affordable price point. The property is easily accessible from the airport and railway station as well as major business hubs in the city. Ginger Chandigarh is a perfect choice for business travellers at an inaugural offering of INR 2199 for single occupancy and INR 2699 for double occupancy. Equipped with special features like a Smart space™, Safe zone™, self-checkin kiosk, gymnasium, the hotel ensures

Ginger Chandigarh is a perfect choice for business travellers at an inaugural offering of INR 2199 for single occupancy and INR 2699 for double occupancy guests a comfortable and pleasant stay. It also offers parking facility thus making the guests’ stay hassle-free. The meeting room accommodating 35-pax is ideal for business meeting and conferences. Guest can unwind over sumptuous food and drinks at the inhouse multi-cuisine restaurant and bar Red Salt™.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Technology and design-led, the stylish and smart Ginger rooms are equipped with technologically advanced locking system ensuring safety and privacy. All rooms are furnished with well-appointed amenities such as a mini-fridge, LCD TV, self-controlled air-conditioner, tea and coffee maker, and a telephone. Ginger also offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all resident guests helping the modern business traveller to stay connected. With the launch of its new hotel, Ginger now has the largest pan India presence with 30 hotels across India and more in the pipeline.

Ginger Chandigarh Facade



BRAND NEW: Salalah Rotana, Oman Rotana launches its first 5 star resort in Salalah WORDS | TLF DESK

Salalah Rotana Resort, Oman

TLF Magazine April, 2014

45 Rotana, is continuing its ambitious expansion plans with the opening of the group’s first property in Oman, Salalah Rotana Resort. The stunning property is the 50th hotel to be operated by Rotana and represents the halfway mark in the hospitality group’s plans for 100 hotels by 2020. The highly anticipated property has opened its doors on the breathtaking coastline of Salalah, the emerging resort destination in the unspoilt landscape of Oman. Set against a beautiful backdrop of lush vegetation, rolling mountains, golden sands and crystal blue waters, Salalah Rotana Resort offers a relaxed beach atmosphere, intimate ambiance and unrivalled five-star Arabian hospitality. With glorious sunshine found all year round. Salalah, guests can escape the hustle and bustle of day to day life to experience Rotana’s oasis of style, sublime comfort and natural beauty in one of 2014’s must visit destinations.

Whats on offer?

Located on the white sands of Salalah’s beachfront with spectacular views overlooking the azure Arabian Ocean, the Salalah Rotana Resort is a luxurious 5-star property complete with 400 rooms and suites, each furnished with modern amenities and conveniences for guests who want to experience a true luxury getaway. An idyllic retreat for those in search of comfort and convenience, the resort’s state-of-the-art leisure facilities include a stunning swimming pool, four dining outlets, a health and fitness centre and kid’s club to keep the little ones amused; all located in the heart of the resort.

Set against a beautiful backdrop of lush vegetation, rolling mountains, golden sands and crystal blue waters, Salalah Rotana Resort offers a relaxed beach atmosphere, intimate ambiance and unrivalled fivestar Arabian hospitality

Guests can rest, relax and rejuvenate at the resort’s Zen spa; Rotana’s home-grown spa concept derived from ancient holistic Asian philosophies. A calming space where stress melts away, Zen the spa at Rotana promises to provide each guest the opportunity to ‘rebalance the body’ with a wide variety of relaxing ‘ritual’ treatments from full body massages, facials and soothing wraps. Alternatively, for the more sporty types, the resort offers first-class diving opportunities to experience the magical marine life and stunning seascape. Additional watersports activities, including jet skiing, kayaking and sailing, are also available for all to enjoy. Located within the grounds of the resort are two full-sized tennis courts for those who wish to enjoy their favourite sport in the sunny climes of Salalah. The opening of the Salalah Rotana Resort increases Rotana’s inventory to 13,458 rooms and suites which comes as a reflection of the group’s commitment to being a leading hospitality management provider.

TLF Magazine April, 2014



An elevated experience at the Ritz Carlton, Bangalore The property offers ultimate luxury to the Club and Suite guests WORDS | TLF DESK

Club Lounge Reception

TLF Magazine April, 2014


The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore is offering a series of enhanced services for their Club and Suite guests to reinforce the brand’s unwavering commitment to service. The redefined luxury Club and Suite experience combines intimacy, comfort and exclusive attention to detail for today’s guests. Shane Krige, General Manager, The RitzCarlton, Bangalore said, “We are excited about the enhanced service offerings for our Club and Suite guests. The luxury Club and Suite level experience has been created to dissolve the distractions of the day so guests can focus on the delights of their personal journey.” The Club Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore features floor-to-ceiling windows, offering dramatic city views of the city. It comprises a buffet area, a lounge section, a library, and a meeting room. Appealingly furnished interiors provide a perfect backdrop to enjoy martinis at the bar sitting area or experience the unmatched culinary distinction of the hotel's chefs through six food and beverage presentations daily. The existing benefits that the Club and Suite guests enjoy include 24-hour access to The Club Lounge, personalized check-in and check-out service, dedicated Club concierge service and high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access.

An innovative feature of the Bangalore Club and Suite level is the availability of iPads in all guestrooms and suites, enabling guests to access and interact with the complete range of facilities and services on offer TLF Magazine April, 2014

Another innovative feature of the Bangalore Club and Suite level is the availability of iPads in all guestrooms and suites, enabling guests to access and interact with the complete range of facilities and services on offer. The multilingual application enables guests to purchase in-room dining, shop for products both internally and externally, book spa treatments, interact with hotel systems such as the TV or Room Controls, and access local maps, attractions and flight information. Club and Suite guests, once warmly welcomed, are escorted directly to their rooms and privately checked in to their new luxury home. When time is of the essence, Club and Suite guests can enjoy a complimentary limousine service to get around the destination within the vicinity with minimal fuss. That is not all – The Ritz-Carlton has elegantly restored the art of the handwritten note. Each guest will enjoy elegant personalised stationery on high quality letterhead in gold lettering. Perhaps the best-kept secret to guests ‘in the know’ reserving Bangalore Club and Suite accommodations is the traditional afternoon tea presented with compliments in The RitzCarlton Club Lounge. Elegantly layered on a three-tiered stand complete with scones, sandwiches and at least five speciallyselected teas, it is the perfect experience in an exclusive and rarified environment. Now isn’t that uber luxurious?



(Tie the knot) at Sheraton Macao Get married and treat yourself to the trip of a lifetime WORDS | TLF DESK

Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central is running an exciting new campaign from Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the awardwinning loyalty program of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., that will allow wedding couples and honeymooners to treat themselves to the trip of a lifetime. For every wedding booked at Sheraton Macao Hotel, along with over 200 participating Starwood hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific, SPG will reward couples with Starpoints redeemable for their honeymoons at any Starwood property in the world. The offer is valid for weddings booked from now till July 1, 2014. Weddings are required to be hosted by March 1, 2015. SPG members can enjoy a myriad of benefits, including the redemption of Starpoints for Free Night Awards with no blackout dates on standard rooms, and room upgrades at more than 1,100 hotels worldwide. Sign-up for free at For a list of participating hotels and resorts, as well as terms and conditions of the honeymoon offer, please visit www.spg. com/honeymoon.

Sheraton Macao Hotel Wedding

Sheraton Macao Hotel Exterior

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Sheraton Macao Hotel Chinese Banquet


Culinary Mapping


Sushi & Sashimi at EEST, The Westin Chennai

India is on the brink of a culinary revolution. These New Kids on the block that I have listed (in random order) cater to audience with different cuisine preferences designed especially for their increasingly discerning palate AND ARE A MUST VISIT WORDS | RUPALI DEAN

Eest, Chennai

The charm of this space is created by contemporizing elements of the east that add a unique sense of individuality. Coming to the food, the menu explores the shades of tastes through most exciting cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean with a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. On a more traditional vein there is a wonderful mix of silken tofu, mushroom and other vegetables, stir-fried in a lovely hot bean sauce; great dish to accompany steaming white rice. Even a basic fried-rice is raised to imperial standards. The “Thai chilli lemon fish” is gleaming fresh, and a pleasure to eat, just lightly steamed with a tasty sauce. Delightfully delicate artistry seen in the handiwork of the Japanese chef on the Sushi whets your appetite for more. All Sashimi are fresh and of immaculate quality,

artfully presented down to the finest detail. Apart from this there is an extensive range of traditional Hong Kong dim sum (though not off the traditional trolley) with attentive and friendly waiting staff. The restaurant has an excellent wine list. Tantalizing desserts range from the proverbial ice-cream to Far eastern delights. All in all Thumbs Up!

Fast Facts The WestIn Velachery, 154, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai 600042, Tamil Nadu. Timings: Open only for dinner 7 pm onwards Monday to Friday, Open for lunch and dinner on the weekends. For Reservations: + 91 44 2255 3366

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Smoke House Deli, BKC Mumbai

Once inside it’s a blend of interesting furnishings and crisp lines sure is inviting, truly the Al fresco bar, candles are restored at bar make it an unmatched ambience… Indeed BKC gets its casual groove with a pinch of spunk at this new space! My bliss lies in the first lustful bite of a ‘Smoked lamb burger’ and wash it down with freshly brewed cup of coffee, and sometimes in that decadent ‘Balsamic beetroot , feta and goat cheese along with the Fried Garlic Ravioli’, the ‘Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella pizza’, ‘Honey orange glazed pork chops’, ‘succulent Peri Peri grilled chicken’ or the last bite of a mouth melting ‘Molten chocolate cake’ and I found it all in a cosy corner of Smoke House Deli. The menu highlights homely, comfort food blended masterfully with gourmet

51 flourishes - a wholesome, healthy as well as hearty fare designed to cater to every mood.

Fast Facts 003 A. Ground Floor, FIFC Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai – 51 Timings: 7am - midnight, 7 days a week For Reservations: 02226530762

Smoke House Deli BKC, Mumbai

Dining At The Corner Courtyard, Kolkata

The fifty seater Restaurant cum Patisserie at The Corner courtyard Captures the flavour of the products and raw materials, giving them a ‘taste to remember’, this is the goal of chef Rohan who describes his cuisine as ‘permissive tradition’. In most of the dishes, conceived with intelligence and intuition, subtlety and creative spirit, one can find the essential delights of the dinner table. Ornate frames with modern, quirky graphics and photographs adorn the walls of the restaurant. Quirky objects like colourful ladders with old book covers resting on them, add up to provide an unmatched feel of the past and an ambience that can be experienced but not explained.

Fast Facts 92 B, Sarat Bose Road, Calcutta-700026

Dining at The Corner Courtyard, Kolkata

Timings: 7am – 11 pm, 7 days a week For Reservations: +91 9903999567

En, Delhi

The luxurious placement of bay windows throughout the fine dine space allows unparalleled views of the surrounding green belt and the omnipresent Qutab Minar. With an ornamental look, the materials and surfaces are minimalistic in appearance yet flaunt ageless elegance, truly here’s a space transformed and morphed so ingeniously that you will fall in love with the expanse at once. With delectable Japanese cuisine, world class service and cutting-edge yet serene aesthetics, EN is all set to elevate the Japanese dining experience in the city. I always judge a Japanese restaurant by the number of Japanese clientele, who are known to be sticklers for true, close to home Japanese food and needless to add I found many here. Katsuya Honda - En’s leading chef has over a 15 year experience in Japanese Washoku food– an art that has been awarded UNESCO Heritage Status. The menu bears witness of

Dining at The Corner Courtyard, Kolkata

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Culinary Mapping

the rich epicurean roots of Japan, breaking down the diverse styles that highlight the people and their culture. It’s hard to go wrong in this restaurant –fresh sushi and sashimi, tempura delivered to your table still crackling and Pork that melts in your mouth like butter. For dessert try the crème Brulee, its superlative. Good wine list and efficient service despite the crowd.

Fast Facts Ambawatta One, 5/1 Kalkadas Marg, New Delhi – 110030 Timings: Open for lunch and dinner. For Reservations: 011-26646471, 26646472, and 8826297103

Fuzion, Pune

Chic French without the snobbery, set in elegant and relaxing surroundings with easy access, it is conceptualized with a fusion of stylish minimalism, chic elegance and sophistication. The food is hearty, and is served with the most artistic flair without compromising on the taste with focus being seasonal produce. My recommendations go all out for the Chicken Shawarma, Thai style chicken with rice, Paneer Makhni served with panache ( and butter naan) and even India exclusive culinary innovations of Desi Tapas like chicken tikka and the Paneer tikka for the vegetarians. To end on a sweet note try not to miss the sizzling Brownie with icecream this is a true bounty of subtle flavours and decadent to the core. The bar menu is enticing and indulgent too and the bartender is ever ready to whip up exciting cocktails or pour you a glass of whatever you fancy.

Fast Facts Novotel Pune, Weikfield IT city Infopark, Survey No, 30/3, Ramwadi, Viman Nagar, Pune-411014 Timings: open from 17:30pm until 1:00 Am For Reservations: +91 20 67056000

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Olive Bistro, Gurgaon

Cosy and relaxing and the rough white walls and flowered alleyways of cobblestones transport you to some Island in Greece. Once inside its all stonework with a blend of interesting furnishings and crisp lines sure is inviting, truly the Al fresco bar, candles are restored bar make it an unmatched ambience. Recommendations go all out for the homemade crusty granary breads. Wholesome sandwiches, juicy burgers, delicate broths, Wood-fired pizzas ‘The Carnivore on a Thin Crust Pizza’ being a must try and delicious desserts like the ‘Vanilla Panacotta served with Pink Peppercorn and Orange sauce’, ‘OB Insanity Cake Slice’…decadent to the core. The experience at the bistro embodies the spirit of Olive in an entirely new space is a great combination of its creative interiors by Sabina Singh the architect Vivek Popley and refreshing themes along with all the unique interactivity built in. Just the place for lunching ladies and those looking for a relaxed evening as one can wash away one’s fatigue with a tall glass of fresh fruit julep or just stroll across in the evening in a pair of shorts for a glass of exquisite French wine.

Fast Facts Olive Bistro, Cyber Hub, Shop No 101, DLF Cyber City, Phase 2, Near Building no 8, Gurgaon 122002 Timings- 12 Noon to 12 midnight For Reservations: 0124 6518803

Olive Bistro, Gurgaon

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Culinary Mapping


Homemade Tagliolini with Sea Food

Traditional and authentic Italian cuisine with a strong creative element is what ALBA @ JW MARRIOTT, BENGALURU offers WORDS | RUPALI DEAN


The decadently opulent Italian marble interior from Carrara has stood the test of time and this stunning Italian restaurant has become a hot spot Bengaluru destination. The buzzy show kitchen designed like an amphitheatre spreads its charm to the restaurant and lounge creating a dramatic effect and elevating the experience to the next level. I was mesmerised by the pearl chandeliers which create a classic ambience for an authentic Italian dining experience. One can choose from alfresco seating, tables around the kitchen or tables that are more private.

What's on offer?

The culinary essence of Alba is authentic Italian cuisine with a strong creative element. Head Chef Bruno Ferrari has created a

The buzzy show kitchen designed like an amphitheatre spreads its charm to the restaurant and lounge creating a dramatic effect and elevating the experience to the next level TLF Magazine April, 2014

menu that also features a simplified range of comforting Italian classics along with his signature dishes using outstanding quality ingredients which changes with the seasons. Antipasti are innovative, such as 'Burrata cheese (rather than the predictable Bononcini) served with tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, and a few other palate teasers. Less punchy but fresh and aromatic is the mushroom cream soup which manages to be thickly textured without over-dosing on cream. I also recommend the 'Braised tenderloin cheek in Barolo wine, with black truffle and sautĂŠed vegetables', if you are entertaining. Guests will be impressed with its just right succulence and flavours. Several ingredients like sauces and the breads are handmade giving the food a home-made, earthy and fresh feel. With certain recipes tracing back from Alba, the cuisine here finds its roots in tradition. The pasta dishes and

55 main course do not disappoint and some such as the 'Ravioletti Di Alba- Filled Tenderloin Pasta, Veal Jus' are truly outstanding. Save a little room for the heavenly 'Tiramisu' made from home-made mascarpone cheese which enhances the flavour of this delicious dish to the tee. The chef sure does a smart job in sending out delicately wrought, full flavoured offerings. It is obvious that nothing is compromised here, from carefully engineered dishes, to impeccable service, the ambience is extremely Italian, and it definitely is a cut above the rest. Needless to add that being here is reason enough; soaking in the colonial grandeur of an elegant era while enjoying a selection of viands below reproach. Good selection of beverages completes a memorable meal. All in all I would say it is an Italian Fare that would surely impress even Mama Bruno! Buon Appetito!

Rigatoni Carbonara

About the chef

Check it out Alba at the JW Marriott, 24/1, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore. For Reservations: +91 80 67188553 Dress Code: Smart Casuals Meal for two: Approx. 3000 plus taxes. Timings: 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (open only for dinner) - Closed on Monday.

Chef Bruno Ferrari

Alba at JW Marriott, Bengaluru

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Chef Bruno has had a penchant for food since an early age. In his teenage years Chef Bruno had enrolled himself at the renowned Institute of Hospitality Villa Santa Maria (Ch), in Italy. His desire to learn led him to work at the 5 Star Grand Hotel Berti in Silvi Marina for three years, where Chef Bruno ran a team of 17 people for the first time. His first stint as an entrepreneur began at the age of 22, with his own restaurant Maiella, which earned him a review on the infamous Red Michelin Guide in just a short span of nine months of operations. His dynamic nature and excellent creativity helps to keep himself constantly updated with the newest trends in the world of food. Chef Bruno's flexible personality with a "Can Do" attitude makes him an excellent trainer and good team player. His outgoing nature helps him communicate well with his guests. Before joining JW Marriott Bengaluru, Chef Bruno served as the Italian Chef at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai and Executive Italian Chef at the Castello di Montaldo Hotel Soul Farm, Italy.

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Pepperoncino


Culinary Mapping

HIGH ON TASTE, LOW ON POCKET Elegantly rustic, dude food lives up to its name! WORDS | RITUPARNA Feel like a Dude at Dude Food

When I was asked to review Dude Food, I was not expecting this joint to be too high on calfood, nor was I expecting it to force me into committing uncountable sins of indulging into platter full of heavenly bites, that too without any guilt! General warning to my readers is that Dude Food is not for the weak hearted, dietfollowing folks. Aptly located in Satyaniketan, one of the most popular hangouts of Delhi University students, this place has a variety in both platter and crowd to offer. Any given day, you can spot foodies of practically every age lined up at the counter for grabbing their share of "Dude- meal." Owned by Sumit Goyal, Dude Food in his words is

In their words, Dude Food promises to eradicate the political correctness from Delhi's food scene TLF Magazine April, 2014

"His experiences on offer." Sumit Goyal, the chief promoter of Dude Food, is a well-known food journalist, with over 12 years of experience to boast about. His work made him travel all over the world, and he decided to bring all of it to us at one single place. Its menu has some incredible dishes from places like Italy, New York or Chicago, all of them highly passionate about their food. In their words, Dude Food promises to eradicate the political correctness from Delhi's food scene. The interiors of the restaurant are quite amazing and cheerful, the splash on the Graffiti wall or the pictures of real or reel life "Dudes" on the Dude Wall, all do ask for


a second look. The restaurant elicits an urban street vibe, which is a delightful break from all the high-end restaurants Delhi flaunts about. The heady aromas whet up an appetite making way for a wholesome gastronomical experience. Understanding the pocket depth of fellow dudes in town, it's a complete value for money hangout place. Everything on the menu is deliciously honest and will surely offend some anorexic and 'balanced' critics, paranoid by the calorie count. The food is straight from the heart, inspired by the dark abyss of gluttony. The menu comprises of some crazy preparations .To kick start the day, Dude Food offers waffles with ice creams and Caramelised Banana and buttermilk Pan Cakes with honey. The Dude Salad bowl with an amalgam of 20 veggies is good enough to satisfy a non-meat eater's cravings. But the preparations, which will let your tongue drool are the ones served post breakfast. Drunken Chicken, Sticky Bacon Wrapped sausages, Dude Burgers having a bacon weaved mutton patty will bring out the true carnivore in you. Another highlight on the menu that is worth mentioning is the Garbage Plate, which after wooing the Americans since 1918 is all set to come alive for the first time for Indians. Dude Food's creamy smoothies and thick shakes are potent enough to hypnotise you into a guilty submission every time you are in the radius. But to present this adventure with food there has to be a team of some cool dudes behind it. The team comprises of professionals, obsessed with creating soul satisfying portions of culinary concoctions and undoubtedly, has no regards for moderation or decency.

Contact Details Dude Pizza

Address: 11 Satya Niketan ,Benito Juarez Marg Opp Shree Venkateshwara College, New Delhi, India-110021 Timings: 11am -11pm Contact: 00290



Writer's recommendations Dude Pizza Classic deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza Bulls Eye Sinful combination of velvety chocolate mud cake with ice-cream dripping chocolate sauce.

Dude Sandwich

TLF Magazine April, 2014

And if you are a true Dude Food lover then do not forget to knock in the Dude door on 1st to 7th April, where in the "Dude vs. Food Festival", you can be the dude, beat the food, and win a month's dinner at Dude Food.


Culinary Mapping

What's Cooking India? A traditional Coorg Wedding Meal is a treat of a lifetime, especially if you fancy non vegetarian cuisine

Oriental Food Indian takeaway at London's market

A gastronomical journey through three States in India WORDS | RUPALI DEAN and BAKSHISH DEAN

GOA What you see in the water, you can have on your plate Goa continues to enjoy the pride of place of an avid traveller with its magnetism and irrestible aura. One of the great pleasures of visiting Goa is its food. Goan food is renowned for its virtually addictive flavours and variety, and for the freshness of ingredients, and Goa is especially acclaimed for its seafood. One would find a range of restaurants all across Goa, however if you were looking for an authentic Goan meal then we would strongly recommend "O' Cozinheiro," located near football ground, Caranzalem, Llhas, in North Goa. This

Must Try is one restaurant that is hard to forget, delicious and authentic food is its driving force and nothing is compromised. Crab chilly fry and King fish Balchao head the list of this compendium but other main course dishes like Pork Vindaloo, Goa fish curry are no less spectacular. Try the ever-popular chicken Cafrial served with Pao, is decadent to the core. Don't miss the Pomfret stuffed which is one of O' Cozinheiro's signature dishes. End on a sweet note with home-style caramel custard. Another must try restaurant is Martins Corner which is known over the years for its good food, hospitality, ambience and good music. It was started in 1989 by Carafina Pereira (the owner) dishing out Goan cuisine and now it is a hot spot for locals and tourists alike.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Feni, local liquor brewed from the juice of cashew apples with 42 percent alcohol, is definitely not for the faint hearted. Popular brands are Cashyo, Reals and Big Boss. For a taste of Goa, head to Martins Corner in Margao for crab chilly fry and king fish Balchao but their pork Vindaloo and Goa fish curry are no less spectacular. (Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette. Tel: 2880765/766). Sample a huge variety of pan Asian cuisine alfresco at Republic of Noodles, set around an old well and a mango tree. (Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort, Candolim. 3202000/2489600).


Colorful spices in wooden spoons

KOLKATA Who moved my Puchka? The people of Kolkata are known for their love for good cuisine and as a result a large number of eating-places in the city have also become a part of its rich heritage. Flurys has also become a part itinerary whenever I am in Kolkata, I feel incomplete without a visit to this legendary eatery. It is an institution in the city and evokes strong emotions within me; I get an old world atmosphere and a glimpse of the Kolkata of another era. Another place that I love going for lunch is "6, Ballygunge place". Banish the misconception that Bengali cuisine is only about mustard oil and Ilish maachh, The USP here is home-cooked food, served in a traditional manner. Go for the "Baingan Bhaja", "Narkel diye Chana dal", "Fish fry" and steamed rice and life is bliss. No trip to any place is complete without the street food. Russell Street has become an icon for its signature "Phuchkas", "Bhelpuri", "churmur", Pappu Puchkawaala has been around for almost a decade. I swear by his "phuchkas" and truly they are decadent to the core. Standing by the road to savour this juicy mound is an exclusive experience. Well there's nothing like that perfect bite, the one where all the flavours on the plate come together in one heavenly mouthful! Not to forget the "Kolkata mutton rolls" and "Pav- Bhaji". Southern Avenue too has Phuchkawaalas lined up at the Vivekananda Park boundary wall. Unlike North, "alur dum" is quite popular in South Kolkata. I never miss the "Kabiraji Cutlet" at Regent on S N Banerjee Road. Interestingly this cutlet is purely British in origin, was taught to a Bengali Chef by them. They were then called

"coverage cutlets" for obvious reason of the egg coating; the chefs could not pronounce it well, hence the new name. For me Tangra is the place to go to appease those Chinese nosh longings as I hustle for space in the tiny eateries where the famed American chopsuey is rumored to have been conceived! For authentic fare recommendations go all out for Beijing that proudly wears the tag of Kolkata's best Chinese restaurant.

Must Try You can't talk of Kolkata and leave Mishthi? Recommendations go all out for K.C. Das and Navindas for "rosogolla", Banchharam for "Aabar khabo" (meaning it's so good that one would eat it again) and Chittranjan for "Rajbhog" and "sandesh".

COORG A Meaty Wedding Misty hills, lush forest, acres of the coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views are what made Madikeri,in Coorg, a welcome relief for me. Since Karnataka accounts for half of our Country's total coffee production, needless to add I was served a glass of filtered coffee, in a small, shining stainless steel glass with a bowl underneath for cooling it, the moment I landed. Trust me the best way to enjoy the coffee country is to track down friends who own coffee estates and shack up with them for an insider's experience. Awakened bright

TLF Magazine April, 2014

and early on Saturday morning to the sound of music outside my friend's Villa's window, I peeped out to see what the entire hubbub was about. A friend's friend was getting married! A traditional Coorg Wedding Meal is a treat of a lifetime, especially if you fancy non vegetarian cuisine. The Coorg wedding is perhaps the only Hindu wedding where alcohol and meat are served. No wedding in Coorg is complete without Kadambutt (rice dumplings), Pandi Kari (traditional Pork curry) and Noolputte, Koli Kari (chicken curry) to name a few. The usage of vinegar made out of a wild black fruit called Kachampuli makes the pork curry distinct in taste. The Coorg fried chicken in traditional spicy masala was also decadent to the core. Some snacks like the guava cheese, banana fudge were absolutely drooling worthy; I quite enjoyed the passion fruit juice too. The cuisine has a certain affinity with the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra, and yet retains its individuality, making more use of coconut, cashewnut and the locallygrown spices such as cardamom, cumin seeds and black pepper and less chilli powder and tamarind. The Baimbale curry (made from tender bamboo shoots), Baale Kaamb curries (of the stem of the banana plant) were also simply amazing. And for those who are not as lucky as me to visit a friend and attend a friend's friend's wedding I would recommend the beautiful home of Dilip Ganapathy and his family at the Chillipilli estate, named after the nearby Chillipilli temple. The Ganapathys are warm and welcoming hosts and will make you feel at home (however clichĂŠd it sounds!), at least you'll get a feel of the local food and culture and who knows you might be able to gate crash a wedding!


Culinary Mapping

Traditional, yet classy-

Indus Grill

Interiors of Indus Grill

Head to Indus Grill which fulfills nearly all your dining desires ranging from fine dining to casual outing with family and friends WORDS | RITUPARNA

For some days now, I wanted to go to some fun dining place. My search ended when my Editor suggested me to pay a visit to the recently opened Indus Grill at Gk-II market. The newly opened Indus Grill, is a restaurant that forms the perfect backdrop for all occasions from fine dining to casual outing with family and friends. Indus Grill serves the exotic flavors of India particularly from the undivided Punjab and the North West Frontier Provinces, with an ambience that takes you through a journey of India’s rich traditional heritage, yet being classy. The extensive menu offers a variety of authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs, which include Kalmi Kebab, Galouti Kebab and Stuffed Mushrooms. The main course has traditional curries cooked in Indus’s unique way giving it the desired freshness. Indus Grill also has a full service bar to offer, which has a range of new and traditional cocktails and mock tails to experiment with. There are over 15 exotic breads to choose from. The contemporary décor indulges you in the exquisiteness of traditional India, which creates an interesting

TLF Magazine April, 2014


The extensive menu offers a variety of authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs, which include Kalmi Kebab, Galouti Kebab and Stuffed Mushrooms balance while providing an ambience that suits every guest. The bar is located on the terrace, which has been highlighted with hanging glass lighting, making it the focal point of the venue. The huge feature wall in gold shows the Indus province whilst adding a glamorous quotient. Indus Grill gives a perfect ambience at their terrace where the guest can savour exclusive vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs, with a combination of innovative cocktails and mocktails. Indus Grill has been designed to meet a longstanding vacuum in the high quality Indian dining segment. The restaurant fulfills the quests to high quality full service Indian restaurant, serving exotic Indian flavors prepared in an authentic way.

Ample space at Indus grill, whether you are with family or group of friends

About RTC Restaurants India Limited

Dimly lit ambience gives it a classy touch

RTC is one of the India’s leading restaurant companies headquartered in New Delhi it develops and operates more than 30 restaurants in various parts of the country. These consist of some leading international restaurant brands and many homegrown restaurant concepts. RTC is possibly the country’s most diversified restaurant company with formats catering to different segments of the population. The brands that RTC operates in India are: Ruby’s Bar and Grill, serving multi cuisine delights and exotic beverages; Prego, freshly cooked Italian delicacies; HaagenDazs; unarguably the finest ice cream in the world; Mandarin Trail serving authentic Chinese cuisine; Cosmo Live, a classy cozy bar; Mandarin Express, serving fast, casual Chinese; Indian Express, quick service Indian and Indus Grill serving the exotic flavors of India.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Writer’s Recommendations Peri Peri Paneer Tikka with Tabasco Rs. 350

(Cottage cheese marinated with periperi spice and Tabasco) Phirni: Rs.125

(Rice pudding flavored with saffron)

Contact Details Indus Grill, Website: Address: M 44, First Floor& Terrace, Greater Kailash (GK) 2, New Delhi.


Leisure + Living



1st-30th April 2014 Easter creates nostalgia of enchanting childhood memories filled with Easter bunnies, egg painting and egg hunting sessions!! As they indulge your children with fabulous Easter treat at La Baguette, you can gather with your dear ones at 1911 and relax in the sun-soaked verandah or terrace while they lay out an elaborate Easter brunch making sure you and your family have a fun Sunday!

Punjabi Tadka @Daniell’s Tavern 14th April-28th April 2014

Butter Chicken, Makke ki Roti, Tandoori preparations and the lipsmacking lassi. Taking you to the land of foodie’s paradise, Daniell’s Tavern this April creates a classic menu filled with the goodness of butter in delicious gravies infused with authentic spices, for a quintessential Punjabi dining experience

100 Dimsum Promotion

Nom Nom, The Hotel Ashok, Chanakyapuri 20th March onwards

Timings: Lunch and Dinner For Reservations, Call-

Soups ‘n’ spices @ The Spice Route 11th April – 20th April 2014

As the great Indian summer begins to shine, Chef Veena introduces her soup creations at The Spice Route to keep you light this April. Cool yourself with this special menu filled with the goodness of herbs and spices such as Mint, Cilantro, Fennel, Turmeric, Basil, Cardamom, Dill and Cumin in lots of refreshing flavours, inspired from the kitchens of South East Asia

With spring season still dawning the Delhi's weather, Nom Nom brings to you small pockets of delight that have been popular since centuries now, and are one of the most popular street foods in Asia. Nom Nom's SPECIAL Dimsums are small parcels of love and affection to touch the hearts. Like Chinese wives made handmade dumplings for their farmer husband who went to the fields likewise our Chefs would be more than happy to serve you with the finest collection of dumplings and make you feel like you have dined in China.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Say "Happy Easter"


With Grand Mercure Bangalore, 12th Main, 3rd Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 20th April 2014, Sunday

Timings-12:00PM to 03:00PM Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity's most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Grand Mercure is hosting a list of activities on the festivities of Easter :

 Egg hunt for kids from 1.00pm to 1.30pm (hiding of eggs & gifts in different places in By The Blue).  Lucky draw - Win 2 night 3days stay at any Accor hotels in India.  Take away gift (Easter chocolates) for all.

Celebrate your honeymoon at the most romantic suite THE TAJ MAHAL PALACE March 2014 onwards

For reservation- Contact The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai on 666 53366 With the wedding season coming to a close; riding into the sunset with that special someone may seem like the perfect way to start your very own fairy tale. Honeymoons being a thing of the past, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai offers all those doe-eyed newlyweds – “Mini-moons,” for a picture perfect ‘Happily Evert After.’ Guests can take their pick from a range of beautifully designed themed suites guaranteed to lull those post wedding traumas into a state of absolute bliss.

Serene Summers

Jaypee Residency Manor, Mussoorie Valid till 15th April, 2014

Duration- 2 nights/3 days Indulge in a variety of exciting & adventurous activities at one of the most cool summer destinations of India. A summer holiday at Jaypee Residency Manor is a pleasing experience offering tourists a wonderful opportunity to get away from the monotony of life. Built on an individual hilltop and spread over nine acres of lush green paradise, Spectacular views, unbridled luxury, extensive leisure and an un-interrupted encounter with hills combined with exceptional service promise to make every moment of your vacation a perfect moment.

Spend quality time with an endless array of fun activities Shangri-La's - Eros Hotel,New Delhi 19th March, 2014

Guests can pack their bags and take advantage of this package for spring, summer and fall vacations or for a simple weekend getaway. They can swap school and work for some sunshine and fun and create unforgettable family memories and lots of fun under the warm weather and sunshine. Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi's landscaped outdoor gardens is the ideal venue for kids to enjoy leisure facilities such as an inflated playground, cookie making station and mini train during the Sunday brunch. A tattoo artist is also available. The hotel’s special kid’s menu and giveaways will keep kids entertained.

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Leisure + Living


Dubai Food Festival 2014 WORDS | TLF DESK

Big Grill

The inaugural 23-day Dubai Food Festival solidified Emirate’s position as a burgeoning culinary capital Residents and visitors enjoyed over 11 major events, countless activities, and promotions from over 700 participating restaurants Dubai foodies urged to keep the celebration going year-round with the Dubai Food Festival Gourmet Trail

What was it about?

The Dubai Food Festival 2014, a 23-day Festival organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), was a citywide celebration that saw over 11 key events, 26 international chefs, and over 700 restaurants host, and participate, in a range of food-related events, tastings, activations and promotions. The festival celebrated the diversity of the Emirate’s culinary offerings, with cuisines inspired by the 5400 restaurants operating in the city, and the over 200 nationalities who call it home. Needless to say it was a

Secret Supper at Dubai Food Festival

TLF Magazine April, 2014


grand success and further enhanced Dubai’s dynamic destination offer – adding a new annual event for residents and visitors to enjoy.

What was on offer ? Series of Activities

Along with the opening and closing events, key Dubai Food Festival events included Gulfood, the Grand Kerala Festival, The Big Grill, The Taste of Peru, and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF). Events also adding specific culinary themes in celebration of Dubai Food Festival were the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014, Gulf Photo Plus 2014, Global Village with their Global Barbeque Fiesta, and the Dubai International Boat Show. Also new, and a first for Dubai, was the highly popular Dubai Food Festival Beach Canteen, which took place on city beaches between 27 February and 8 March. Beach Canteen saw 16 restaurants “pop-up” to create three tempting yet temporary dining districts on Jumeirah 1 Open Beach, Sunset Beach and Kite Beach. Secret Supper at Dubai Food Festival

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Leisure + Living

The 23-day Festival saw over 11 key events, 26 international chefs, and over 700 restaurants host, and participate, in a range of food-related events, tastings, activations and promotions

Beach Canteen

Star Power Adding star power to the Festival’s full calendar of events including Dubai Food Carnival, GRIF and Taste of Dubai, were over 26 international and celebrity chefs. Representing cuisines from around the world, these award-winning culinary superstars included such well-known names as British Chef, Silvena Rowe; French Chef, Jean Christophe Novelli; Food Network Channel personality, Reza Mahammad; Australian power pair, Greg and Lucy Malouf; Queen of the Arabic Kitchen, Egyptian Chef, Manal Al Alem; Lebanon’s Chef of the Year 2013, Maroun Chedid; and Indian TV star, Sanjeev Kapoor. Big Participants Restaurants, malls and hypermarkets across Dubai also got in on the appetising action with a series of activities and specials. Over 700 restaurants, ranging from the five-star Blue Jade, to chic yet casual cafés such as Bateel Café, created special set menus and special dining promotions to celebrate the inaugural Festival. Malls, including Dubai Mall and Deira City Centre organized 10 inmall shows as they also gave shoppers the opportunity to experience diverse cuisines at food court outlets as well as the opportunity to win grand gourmet experiences. 60 branches of the UAE’s leading hypermarket chains also ran unique promotions designed to reward shoppers at all their Dubai-based outlets. Shoppers spending AED 250 at Spinneys, Carrefour, Union Co-op or Lulu, during Dubai Food Festival, had the chance weekly

Delicious Food on serve at Dubai Food Festival 2014

to win a slice of the 1.2 Million AED worth of prizes up for grabs. The Gourmet Trail Establishing a lasting legacy beyond its 23-day run, the Dubai Food Festival also launched the Dubai Food Festival Gourmet Trail, during the Festival’s second week. Demonstrating the diversity and vibrancy of Dubai’s gastronomic credentials, and designed to share insight with residents and visitors alike, the Gourmet Trail maps a small yet outstanding sampling of the over 5400 restaurants, bistros, canteens and cafés

TLF Magazine April, 2014

that operate in the Emirate. With over 100 restaurants, representing some of the most unique and best Arabic, world, 5-star, lowcost and secret dining experiences available in Dubai, the Trail was a collaboration between Dubai Food Festival and the who’s who of the Emirate’s vibrant food blogging community including well-known food bloggers Shaikha Al Ali of When Shaikha Cooks, Samantha Wood of FooDiva, Sarah Walton of The Hedonista, Tala Soubra of Fork it Over Dubai, Saba Wahid of Culinary Delights, and Karen McLean of Secret Squirrel Food.


Leisure + Living

10 Tampa Bay

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo


Ways to Unlock

Experience the blend of rich cultural heritage with big city style this summer at Tampa Bay WORDS | TLF DESK

Discover Tampa Bay this vacation and beat the heat by celebrating until the sun goes down. A dynamic and diverse region, Tampa Bay enjoys an excellent quality of life. From the waterfront location to the Southern hospitality of its residents, the area takes prides in its vibrancy and welcoming spirit. The only city to be invaded by a band of pirates during the annual Gasparilla celebration, special events and festivals are part of the area’s cultural fabric. From balloon rides, strawberry farms and lush nature to walkable neighborhoods, the region’s character is hard to match. It easily blends its rich, cultural heritage with big-city style. With much to experience, one quickly discovers an exciting, authentic metropolis.

Take the TECO Line Streetcar System to Historic Ybor City “Home of the Original Cuban Sandwich,” Ybor City has several places to try the best around, including the Columbia Restaurant and Gaspar’s Grotto. In 2012 the Cuban Sandwich was named the official sandwich of the City of Tampa! While you’re in Ybor, don’t forget to stroll down Seventh Ave. and enjoy a café con leche!

Dive with the sharks or swim with the fishes at The Florida Aquarium A unique opportunity for certified SCUBA divers, age 15 and older, to come face-to-face

TLF Magazine April, 2014

with live sharks! Dive into the Aquarium's largest tank, the Coral Reef Exhibit, featuring warm clear water teeming with massive sharks, moray eels, barracuda, a green sea turtle and more! Not SCUBA certified? Age six and older can swim with the fishes through a replica of one of the Florida Keys' most beautiful coral reef dive sites.

Shop ‘til you drop Tampa Bay’s transition into high-end retail began in 1998 and has since flourished with the opening of International Plaza (in 2001) further putting the Bay area on the map as a world-class retail market. With over 350 stores between International Plaza and Westshore Plaza, those in search of quality, luxury and high fashion can find the perfect fit


Take a thrill ride on Cheetah Hunt, the park’s newestmega-attraction

The Florida Aquarium Divers in Coral Reef

Tampa Convention Center Exterior Event

in Tampa Bay! Hyde Park Village also offers high-end retailers and boutique shopping in a quaint and historical neighborhood.

Ride a roller coaster at Busch Gardens

Take a thrill ride on Cheetah Hunt, the park’s newest mega-attraction and Florida’s first triple-launch coaster that launches riders from 0 to 60 in seconds.

Find creativity at the Waterfront Arts District, along the Tampa Riverwalk

Stop at a venue in the waterfront arts district, including Tampa Museum of Art; David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts – the largest arts center in the southeastern U.S.; or the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts to see creativity at its best! While you’re there, don’t forget to experience the Riverwalk, a waterfront walkway along the Hillsborough River where kids can jump in the fountains at Curtis Hixon Park and play in the interactive playground. The 1.5-mile walkway is a great place to ride bikes, rollerblade, take a Segway tour or even just a relaxing stroll.

Sit down to a delicious dish or indulge in a sugar high (varies)

Tampa Bay is a culinary experience – delight in creative cuisine at Edison or one-of-akind fine dining at Bern’s, the world-famous steakhouse and dessert room, complete with private booths made from old wine casks and a 65-page menu of tantalizing sweets. Also enjoy fresh farm-to-table dishes at Boca and

Aerial view of Davis Islands

the Refinery, or Great Gatsby-inspired good times at Ciro’s Speakeasy.

than 100 courses to play, from Saddlebrook Resort to TPC Tampa Bay.

Visit a farmer’s market for local goods

See Tampa’s Historical Roots

The Ybor City Saturday Market, Tampa Downtown Market (Sundays), and the Seminole Heights market (Sundays) are great events to purchase locally grown produce, gifts, and enjoy delicious homemade desserts, breads, pastas, and even popsicles!

Play golf in Tampa Bay’s 361 days of sunshine Tampa Bay is the perfect place to tee off! With year-round golf the area offers more

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Visit the Tampa Bay Hotel, built in 1891 and a stop along the Plant Railroad System, which brought a lot of visitors and businesses to Tampa Bay over 120 years ago. Home to the University of Tampa since 1933, the hotel is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, named after its founder.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo See more than 2,000 animals including manatees, alligators, cheetah, okapi, hippo, hogs, storks and more housed on 56 acres of lush natural habitats!


Leisure + Living

LAUNCH OF WELL-BEING CAMPAIGN BY WESTIN HOTELS Bringing in the Westin WellBeing Movement – A Year-Long, Global Initiative featuring New Partnerships, Programs and a Dedicated Council of Wellness Experts. WORDS | TLF DESK

Renowned as an industry innovator with a history of firsts in the wellness space, Westin Hotels & Resorts announced the global launch of the Westin Well-being Movement, an ambitious $15 million brandwide campaign designed to enhance the wellbeing of guests and associates around the world. The year-long initiative introduced, will have a string of innovative partnerships and programs across Westin’s six brand pillars: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. This launch coincided with the International Day of Happiness and Well-being and the Spring Equinox – traditionally recognized as the season of renewal. Westin hotels opened their doors for a wellbeing open house, where guests, associates and consumers can experience the brand’s signature programs. Nearly 200 hotels and resorts held wellness events and programs opened to the public including a week long Wellbeing run with eminent personalities across Chennai to clock over 2000 kms organized by the Westin Chennai Velachery, with it launch of a detox program at Westin Hyderabad Mindspace along with a Superfoods breakfast and group yoga and meditation sessions and special itineraries for guests to experience Wellbeing at The Westin Mumbai Garden City and Westin Pune Koregaon Park also took place.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Mindfulness and Meditation Pioneer Checked-In to Westin Hotels


The Westin Well-being Movement launched globally with Headspace, a leading force in the field of health and wellbeing. Headspace was founded in 2010 by Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe. Bringing together authentic content, modern technology and a fresh approach to creative design, Headspace produce practical mindfulness tools for modern day living. Their mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world by helping people to stress less, focus more and sleep better through the practical application of the Headspace meditation techniques. With no chanting, no sitting cross-legged, no incense and definitely no gurus – this is meditation for modern day living. This first new partnership of 2014 is aimed at helping guests “feel well.”

Westin hotels opened their doors for a well-being open house, where guests, associates and consumers can experience the brand’s signature programs

Headspace co-founder and meditation expert, Andy Puddicombe, lead the charge as the authority for the brand’s “Feel Well” pillar and was the first appointee to the Westin Well-being Council - a diverse advisory board composed of renowned thought leaders, each of whom aligns with a specific wellness brand pillar. This Council is the cornerstone to the Movement and guides and inspires new initiatives, leveraging proprietary research to inform and introduce new programs throughout the year. The Council is featured on the brand’s new well-being digital hub – an online portal that serves as a catalyst for a global exchange of new ideas and interpretations of well-being and brings the Movement’s initiatives to life. Additional Council members will be announced throughout the year, featuring a mix of industry innovators, high-profile executives and renowned professionals dedicated to the global pursuit of wellness. The new partnership with Headspace will encourage guests and associates to look after the health of their minds, with simple guided meditation exercises that help them smile more, listen more, worry less and sleep better. Westin was the first hotel brand to launch a brand-wide mindfulness and meditation program. The partnership with Headspace provides guests with customized content through a dedicated space on, including videos and audio files. Specifically curated for Westin guests, the program is designed to address the needs of both leisure and business travelers, pre and post-stay and including programs to help guests get ready

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Leisure + Living

for their onward journey. Westin will also introduce Headspace modules to help promote wellness in the workplace.

Discover Wellness at Westin Gurgaon- New Delhi

The Westin Gurgaon New Delhi, launched the Westin Well-being Movement with a group meditation by the poolside amidst an ambience that showcaseed Westin’s 6 Pillars of Wellness through dedicated experience zones. The Hotel hosted an Open House through the day that gave guests and the media an opportunity to understand the Westin Essence effectively. Brand programs such as Heavenly Spa by Westin, Westin WORKOUT Fitness Studio, Heavenly Bed and SuperFoodsRX came alive with elaborate set- ups and teaser experiences. The Westin Well-being Movement is a natural extension of brand’s historic commitment to health and wellness. The inspiration for the brand’s wellness strategy, the iconic Heavenly Bed (Sleep Well) was beloved by guests and lauded as one of hospitality’s great innovations. Westin’s global partnership with SuperfoodsRx (Eat Well) offers guests food that fuels the body with rich antioxidants and tastes great. WestinWORKOUT, RunWESTIN and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance (Move Well) together pack a formidable punch and offer guests a holistic fitness solution. Tangent (Work Well), the innovative workspace concept modeled to support today’s mobile traveler, receivied rave reviews and high usage from guests. Westin Weekend (Play Well) signature experiences are designed to let guests escape, discover and relax without all the hassles and restrictions other brands impose. The brand’s new digital destination guide, Westin Finds from Afar, provides guests with uniquely curated travel experience.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

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Mobile Apps

Leisure + Living

for a Better Tripping Experience

Let’s admit it, we can’t stay away from the Facebook news feed for long. Even when we are flying to a new destination, we do make it a point to check-in at the airport & let our buddies know where we are headed to. We use Instagram for sharing our pictures, Foursquare for check-ins and there are many more. In fact, there are a whole bunch of apps which we can use to enhance the experience of our trips. Here are 5 of them:

1. Mobile Apps for Flight and Hotel Booking

Booking an air-ticket ticket online? Try doing it on your mobile. Now most of the top OTAs (Online Travel Agents) have native iOS/Android mobile applications that providethe convenience of booking to the travellers. At the tip of your fingers, you can get the best deals on hotel stays, flight tickets etc. To encourage usage of mobile apps among customers, most of the online travel booking sites also reward customers with an extra discount for booking their tickets on Mobile.

Tip Do read user reviews and check security of such apps before making any transactions on your smartphone.

2. Discover Destinations with Pocket Travel Guides

Trip planners usually plan their trip in two ways – First they research about a destination and find out what all they can do. Then once they arrive at a destination, they find out all the add-on information about the best things to see, eat, shop and discover. If you don’t want

to carry a physical guide in your hand, all you need is to download the mobile app of the city you’re headed to. While there a bunch of mobile travel guides, Lonely Planet Travel Guides are by far the most comprehensive and detailed destination travel guides. While you are on the road, you can discover the best restaurants in town, their opening hours, check-out their ratings on locate them on map. Likewise the mobile guides about the information about city’s top experiences, best places to shop and even the best things to do for FREE If guides are not your cup of tea then you can try free user-generated content apps such as Tripadvisorto find out top recommendations by visitors to a destination. If you’re lucky, you might even find friend recommendations or by someone in your network. Everything that you would find here is an experienced shared by users of the site.

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Tip Do read user reviews and check security of such apps before making any transaction on your smartphone.

5. Documenting your Travelogues, for the Writer in you

3. Camera+ for Beautifying your Trip Images


Do you like creating an experiential travelogue? Do you like taking notes of places you visit? Capturing your travel experience, writing about it and probably sharing it with your friends on social networking sites and blogs.

From monuments to sunsets to #selfies, we love clicking pictures, don’t we More often than not, we use our smartphone camera as the default camera for its ease of mobility. However, we always feel the need to do more with our images. A color touch-up or increase in brightness or adding that dash of sharpness. While Instagram does have some beautiful filters, it is best for editing pictures which need to be uploaded online and shared with friends/followers. Camera+ is a wonderful photo editing app for iphone/iPad users that helps you do more with your more photos. You can add borders, captions, change tones and make your images more lively.

An easy way to do it is through Day Oneapp, which as the name suggests maintains a synchronized dairy of your trip right from the first day. While you can use also it as a normal diary app, it is particularly helpful during trips as you can add photo to travelogues, map it to the trip location, add tags. Once you have finished your travelogue you can export it to a PDF and directly publish it to chosen social networks.

It’s available for 1.99$ on the app-store. Android users can try alternates such as Aviary, BeFunky, Snapseed etc.

4. Map your Destination using Navigations apps

With mapping apps such as Google maps, finding routes to places while traveling has become a real cakewalk. Best-of-all, you can never get lost and you can use them to find directions to a destination, duration of your trip and information on traffic congestion. The only catch is you might end up paying heavy bills for data usage of maps during your travel specially when you’re in an international destination. To avoid this, download offline maps of a destination and you could enjoy daylong navigation without a data connection.

Which mobile apps do you use? Drop us a note at. About the Author Daksh Sharma, is an entrepreneur running a Delhi based Digital Agency, Iffort that provides digital advisory toTravel and Adventure brands. In his free time, he loves travelling & exploring new places. For more visit

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Leisure + Living

Travel for Living

Few words by VJ Archana Vijya, a self -confessed travel junkie and host of the upcoming season of IPL I am a free-spirit, and my roller coaster "glamour" ride began in 2004, when I won a "reality" supermodel hunt, the first if its kind on Indian television at the time. Get Gorgeous season 1 changed my life forever. I was a girl next door, shy, studying in college, and suddenly there I was blazing the ramp at Rome Fashion Week. Exquisite designer wear, glamour, fame, make-up, heels, fantastic photo-shoots- all too surreal to be true!! My modelling career kicked off, and since then there has been no looking back. The self -confessed travel junkie in me had no idea what superb surprises were in store. Work makes me travel to places I had only seen on television, and that for me is the greatest perk of this job. Whether its reliving history on the magical streets of Rome or being a teenybopper on the rides at Movie World, snorkeling with baby sharks, Para-gliding in Goa or eating the best Singaporean clay pot rice, I have enjoyed every minute of all these unforgettable moments! Those were rather glamorous examples, let's head from "lux" to "not-so-lux" adventuresWhile with Channel [V], I got the opportunity to host travel shows like Freedom Express 1 and 2, where I was traveling through India by train, and discovering it at the very grass root level, interacting with so many beautiful people, be it the "jawans" on the L.O.C. (Line Of Control) or the Siddhis (people of African Tribal origin who live in Gujarat). They have enriched my life, and made me the person I am. Discovering the length and breath of this country taught me how truly diverse, and gorgeous India is, and how there's a way to negotiate or work around everything. The undying spirit of the people who have so little, but would still accommodate you to make sure you 're comfortable, is what makes this country so special! Since traveling has been a constant companion on my "ride", it was no surprise when Neo Cricket, asked me to host "Tour Diary", a travel show where I'd be traveling with the Indian Cricket Team and the visiting team to their various playing destinations, taking the audiences through my own journey as a cricket fan! It is here that I had my first encounter with Live -television- it's a different ball game all together- no room for re-takes- a new challenge, bring it on! Seven tours down the line, believe me when I say that I have almost seen every

The self -confessed travel junkie in me had no idea what superb surprises were in store

TLF Magazine April, 2014

77 nook and corner of the streets in India, tried many kinds of local cuisine, shopped, seen beautiful historical monuments, donned many avatars, met and worked alongside sporting legends, made new friends as I go along, and had the time of my life while doing so! Looking forward to many more!! This is one of the things I love to do, it takes care of my thirst for travel, and pays the bills!! That apart, I have been simultaneously catering to the other side of me-the glamorous sidewhich is why I'm still a model, have hosted many general entertainment shows like Bolly [V], Agent Love, Pop Dairies, while being a Veejay on Channel [V], Ebuzz on AXN Asia (an entertainment show giving the viewers a low down on what's happening and what's not in Hollywood and Bollywood) and currently am hosting a reality TV show. Since my career was born of it, I'm going back to my roots, so to speak, to host Sunsilk Blue Carpet on UTV Bindaas- along with me, two renowned guests will give 13 girls a dream makeover. Talk about déjà vu, I had my Cinderella story, and now its my turn to help make someone else's dream come true!! In 2010, I was approached to get back to Get Gorgeous 6 as Mentor now, that was the perfect opportunity for me to go back to where it all began and share everything I had learnt with hopefuls who want to carve out a niche the same way I did many years ago. The year of chance - 2011- when I decided to become a free-lancer for the very first time, and host IPL season 4, it was a whole new experience which opened up so many new doors. Made me realize everything happens for a reason, and mostly it’s for the better! The entire experience was so enriching that I hosted IPL the following year too and now am back with IPL 7. So don't be afraid to live your dream and take that step, because you really never know what lies ahead, and that is the most exciting feeling in the world! As a television presenter, I'm grateful for the opportunity to host shows of varied genres. It keeps me on my toes, and everyday I learn a new thing- that in itself keeps me going, and yearning for lots more!

About the Writer Archana is a multifaceted celebrity who started her career as a winner on the famous channel V show ' Get Gorgeous'. Along with anchoring and VJing, she was also seen in various travel shows and is a health and fitness aficionado. She was also one of the contestants on the famous dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja. She is quite the foodie and has sampled cuisines from all over the world and also enjoys cooking in her spare time.

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Leisure + Living

The Dos and the Dids Book Release Function What- The Goodness Charm-Book Release Function Where- Indian Women Press Corps premises The launch event of ‘The Goodness Charm’ was well received, on 22 March 2014. Held at Indian Women Press Corps premises, at Ashoka Road, the event marked the release of Bhavna Mathur’s debut book “The Goodness Charm’. The ‘Goodness Charm’ is a story about 12-year old Shankar who was born and brought up in New York. His yearning to visit India gets fulfilled when his parents (father Ponom- a Chef who runs his own restaurant) plan a vacation to their native village in Orissa. The Chief Guest gracing the event was Dr. Anjali Capila.Dr. Anjali Capila is an Associate Professor in the Department of Development Communication and Extension at the Lady Irwin College, New Delhi and has a Ph.D from the Department of Home Science, University of Delhi.

Ultimate party destination at i-Kandy What- Pullman Gurgaon Central Park Unveils i-Kandy (New Pool Club and Lounge) Where- Pullman Gurgaon Pullman Gurgaon Central Park announced the opening of the new lounge by the poolside, i-Kandy. Located on the ground level, this ultimate party destination is set to spice up the nightlife in Delhi NCR. i-Kandy boasts of a sparkling 85 foot temperature controlled outdoor swimming pool, offering comfortable and relaxed seating, celebrity DJ and temptatious menu with globally-inspired flavours. Guests can enjoy a truly memorable experience with a variety of seating options including stylized cabanas and patio umbrellas. i-Kandy oozes sophistication, days spent dancing, swimming or basking in the sun can be complemented with an extensive selection of contemporary cocktails by i-Kandy's expert mixologists. This chic modern space can also be sectioned off for private functions or parties.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Premier Challenge What- Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Premier Challenge Where- Ludhiana The royal sport, Polo was brought back by Royal Punjab Polo with region's first ever

TLF Magazine April, 2014


Polo championship "Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Premier Challenge" in Ludhiana. Three teams- English Stallion, Punjab Saddlers and Royal Rangers, led by seasoned polo players Sameer Suhag, DhruvpalGodara and Rajkumar Karan Vijay Singh battled for the title over the three days from 7th-9th march at the exquisite location of Ireo Waterfront. The other eminent players included Manupal Godara, Ashwini Sharma, Vishal Singh, Anmol Ratan Singh, Sachin Sarbalia and Baljinder Dhillon. Punjab Saddlers won the coveted trophy by defeating Royal Rangers at 6/4.5.

to Canada. The event has been helping buyers and sellers exchange market intelligence and in turn boost awareness about Canada as a destination which caters to varied tourist interests. Canada is generally seen as a destination offering good value to Indian travelers. Since 2008, Canada has been the sixth most visited destination for long-haul Indian travelers.

“Kaleidoscope 2014” What- IPW organised “Kaleidoscope 2014”

The prestigious event, the brain child of Mr. Maninder Singh Sethi, President Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Federation, was dedicated to the revival of this Royal equestrian sport in the state. MRSPPC brought back the royal legacy, unmatched power, class and tradition and over the bar aggression to the land of kings. The first ever Polo championship of the state satiated the hunger for thrills and gush and the thirst for luxury and indulgence of the elite audience of the land.

Where- Talkatora Garden International Polytechnic for Women (IPW) organised a Fashion Show, “Kaleidoscope 2014”, as part of its annual curriculum, at Talkatora Garden. The event was dedicated to the love for nature and students have creatively designed the collection showcasing their talent with the support of super models from fashion industry as per the theme ‘Love Thy Nature’.

Apart from the polo players of international repute, the show witnessed the presence of eminent personalities of Punjab like Neeraj Saluja of SEL group , Daman Oswal, ADGP S.K. Sharma (IPS), Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana; Rahul Sidhu, Sushil Verma, Ashish Chowdhary, Dr. Vivek Saggar, and Ajay Nayyar amongst others.

The show is a platform for the students to showcase their creative talent, while creating a bridge between the students and commercial markets. The chief guest and Hon’Jury for the show were Naresh Kapuria, Painter Artist, Sharon Lowen, Danseuse, Sandeep Marwah, President, Marwah studios , Varija Bajaj, Fashion Designer, Shalini Vig Wadhwa, Entrepreneur, Rajdeep Ranavat, Fashion Designer, Sonia Jetleey, Fashion Designer, Pawan Sachdeva, Fashion Designer, Kumar Ashish, SGM, Head – North India, ICICI Bank.

Focus Canada – India 2014 What- Canadian Tourism Commission held Focus Canada – India 2014 Where- Kochi The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), India hosted its 5th annual B2B exchange event, Focus Canada-India 2014 at Kochi, Kerala from February 26 – March 1, 2014. The event witnessed participation from over sixty buyers from across the country. It gave the participants an opportunity to interact with the Canadian sellers while facilitating exchange of product knowledge and market information about CTC’s tourism products. Held annually, the event aimed at offering exciting concepts of selling the destination thus encouraging not only existing but new potential operators to include Canada in their programming. A delegation from Canada comprising of over thirty leading Canadian sellers and led by Ms. Siobhan Chretien, Regional Managing Director-Emerging Markets, CTC, updated the travel agents and the media on various new experiences that Canada has introduced to the Indian market Focus Canada-India plays a significant role, year after year in driving tourism business

TLF Magazine April, 2014

Tlf magazine April 2014