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My Bucket list to drench in the love of traveling: 5 Top budget places in India

When nothing seems going forward, and you feel stagnant! The one thing can keep you going; rather pump up the blood in your veins to fill your body with new energy and power! Yes traveling to the right places can do wonders. Away from the chaos, you get all the time to think, think, and rethink the solutions. If not this nature teaches you a lot. Every new person you meet, every new shade you sit under, every path thou traverse will make you learn the simplicity of this life.

I always thought life is so complicated but traveling made me understand; it is effortless. I beg you, when ever in doubt, go out and get lost! You will love your lives more.

Here I suggest five top picks of my budget friendly list, the cheap places I have or I want to travel, with no strings attached (wink)

#1 Alleppey

Where else but Alleppey. The place is as good as heaven in India. The surroundings are mesmerizing, and the scintillations of the light over the water will take your breath away. The place is cheap as the stay would cost INR 250 – 750 and food around INR 200 per meal. You can choose to stay in houseboats at slightly higher price, but the friends can obviously split the bill.

The Venice of East is perfect holiday vacation for a bunch of friends with limited amounts in the pocket.

I would die, to stay here forever!!

Alleppey – Mesmerizing View

#2 Goa

How could I miss this hot favorite of all the times? Get lost on beaches, listen to the waves of the sea and look till where your vision stops to see the water. Beach shacks, water plays, friends and the water sports. Goa is a perfect break from all the chaos. I celebrated the dark skies and the sea songs amid the cool breeze. A decent stay would cost around INR 450 a day, cheapest booze and inexpensive meals at the shack for around INR 300 per meal.

A beach view
A beach view – Under the shack!

#3 Gokarna

The tranquil atmosphere and peaceful environment. The quest to find your inner self will take you to know the freshness within you. You can hire some boats and ask the locals fisher man to traverse around the beaches. Comfy home stays will be available at INR 300 per day and approximately INR 200 per meal.

Beach and Sunset
Beach and Sunset

#4 Pondicherry

Spiritual instincts will lead you to the French flair to put up at the Aurobindo Ashram and experience almost free stay and veg meals. The shores and the evenings with mind-boggling alcohol in numerous cafes on the beach. Budget hotels can be found at INR 500 and tantalizingly French cuisines at INR 300.

Pondicherry
Crafts take my breath away

Pndicherry 2
Sand, Beach and Sea.. An affair under the Sun

#5 Darjeeling

World best tea at least prices. Infuse the tea in the cup and get lost in the high peaks. The pocket-friendly blissful yet lifetime experience is a must have. Rise early to get dropped in the astounding sun rises. Don’t forget to enjoy the toy train experience. Stay for INR 800 a day and food for INR 300 for two. What else do you want? Yes, a cup of aromatic tea!

Tea leaves
Tea is must!

An Eventide at Sula Vineyards Nashik

Nashik is near Pune and famous from grape farms and of course Sula Vineyards. Being in Pune or Nashik, you can’t miss this weekend destination for some fine dine and wine. It can be a day’s trip but hazy evenings and gloomy sky anyone would not want to miss. So was the case with me!

We started in the morning on Saturday and traveled a distance of 210 Km. Sula Vineyard provides one with a luxurious stay, but we got Army Mess booked. Yes, we were students, and we had limited budget for this awesome trip. We freshened up and gulped some tasty food and moved forward towards our destination and we were all thrilled and excited.

Country’s leading manufacturers of wines, Sula vineyards are positioned beautifully amid the mesmerizing hills of Nashik. The Vineyards offers a different and peaceful yet luxurious experience. They have the winery, and we went for a tour followed by wine tasting session. During the session, we could see the big barrels and the processing of grapes to convert them into sparkling water. Monsoon weather is one of the best whether to visit the Vineyards along with on Sula Fest, India’s one of the most popular fest where we could enjoy to the core. The winery tour and wine tasting sessions were informative as the staff shared insightful information.

Post the session, we went up to sit in the open, but the place was crowded. We came back downstairs and sat in the open area outside amid beautiful ambiance. We ordered some snacks and wines. Nachos and chips were delicious. The haze was all around. The dusk suddenly seemed exotic, and the fairy lights in the sitting area over the plants made us drool over the mesmerizing setup.

We all occupied one table and sat there for long. We had conversations heartily and enjoyed every bit of the atmosphere soaked in the evening dusk silently running into the night. All I could think of the place and the situation,
Evening soaked in hazed glares and heart to heart conversations.
Those unstable steps and sparkling and sprinkling wine in hand,
Made the surroundings more happening,
All I could do was fly high and Feel good.

The Group at Sula Vineyards

As the time passed and a pleasurable time spent with friends away from chaos in the tranquility of the circle, and, yes, the ambiance was just perfect for the thoughts in my heart:
Eyes were saying a lot, which I could never
The sparkling fluid did, what I couldn’t ever
I missed you at the very moment, wished you to be there
This feeling would stay with me, now and forever

On the way back we went to Neopolitan Pizza to grab the buffet to gratify our hunger with a tasty feast. A good restaurant in decent spending, we had salad, soups, pasta, garlic bread, different kinds of pizza and dessert was a delicious brownie. We all were full but wanted to go back to the yards.

Mahabaleshwar: Enough is not enough

Another hill station near Pune to cherish the season on the weekends. 124 Km away from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is an ideal weekend gateway for all avid nature lovers and foodies, who want to gratify their taste buds with something tantalizing. Road trip to Mahabaleshwar has been a marvelous experience for me.

Mapro
Strawberries

We embarked our road trip and drove fast towards Kashid early in the morning, at around 5 am. Yes, we started for Kashid beach but ended up reaching Mahabaleshwar. An exciting ride it was. We initially planned for Kashid, but after taking a halt Mulshi Dam for breakfast, we decided to go to Mahabaleshwar. For the food lovers, the delicious dishes entice them to change their routes and destine to the land of strawberries.

Mulshi
Mulshi on the way

Here I reminisce, the attractions of Mahabaleshwar that dragged me towards the green sheet on the hills.

# Mapro Gardens

Mapro gardens are one of the major attractions at the hill station. As we were dying of hunger, we reached the gardens, and the view was beautiful. The dishes were delicious that I could not stop but grabbed the tantalizing strawberry ice cream having real strawberries in a big jar. The lip-smacking sandwiches were way too tasty. There are many fruit dummies to get your pictures clicked with.

In the fruit frame
Mapro Garden

# Arthur’s Seat

Breathtaking view from Arthur’s Seat is a must watch. Spend peaceful moments at the site and enjoy the fresh air. The mesmerizing scenic view is astounding. Inhale the beauty and forget the sorry, it boosted me from within. I found myself smiling and fresh.

The view is enough

# Elephant’s head point

Another landmark point in Mahabaleshwar where the stone is in shape of elephant’s head. It seems that an elephant with its trunk is looking into the eternity and messaging the world to come and stop in nature’s lap.

A date with an elephant

# Lingmala Waterfall

We kept walking and reached the top to witness the cold breeze amid an incredible view of the waterfall. Nature is always there to teach you a lot. The beauty of the place made me think and observe nature carefully. Reach high to fall low, or stay low to reach heights. Isn’t it?

Rise high to fall low, Stay low to rise high

# Echo point

Shout out, and you hear it back. Yes, this is Echo point with the view of beautiful valley and mountains all around. I never knew Pune would bring such experiences that I will cherish forever. There were a lot of monkeys and children shouting each other’s names.

Monkeys and kids are the major attraction

# Sunset point

It was a sun painted in the sky. I have never witnessed more beautiful sunset ever. The scenery was something no one can capture in cameras but eyes and heart.

The scenic sunset

# Venna Lake

Another attraction of the place, how could have I missed the boating experience in the lake. A priceless encounter in the water. The quiet and peaceful boat ride made me so relaxed that I just wanted to stay there for long. I wished time frame to stop working and stuck at the moment. Yeah, it was all lovely to the core.

Mesmerizing view of the lake

10 IRRESISTIBLE STREET FOOD AREAS IN DELHI

Delhi has always been a foodies place. It has an overwhelming variety of street foods that the foodies can enjoy. Delhi being a “Food Paradise” offers you a variety of cuisines – Indian and International. What really captures the essence of taste is our street food in Delhi. A tourist’s trip to Delhi is incomplete without traveling through the narrow by-lanes of Old Delhi for the best of street food ever. Have a look at some of the street food areas that one must try whenever he/she visits Delhi.

1. CHAINA RAM, CHANDNI CHOWK


Pioneering in Karachi Halwa, this sweet shop is running since 1901. On any weekend crowd from all over Delhi can be seen here. The items are prepared in pure desi ghee and no one can match Chaina Ram’s quality. Its Karachi halwa, poori chhole are a must try for each visitor. The place is a must go for all the sweet lovers who are in search for high quality food with a distinct kick. The freshness of the sweets is undoubtedly remarkable.

Estimate cost for 2: 200INR (approx.)
Location: 6499, Ground Floor, Fateh Puri Chowk, Chandni Chowk, Near Axis Bank, Delhi, 110006

2. ATUL CHAAT, RAJOURI GARDEN

There are times when you crave to head to places that offer real spicy, sweet tangy, zesty, and authentic chaats around town, and this place quiet fits the bill. Its aloo chaat and tikki are the most popular, and gol gappas make every chaat lover rave about Atul Chaat. It is Delhi’s popular street food stop which offers a quick and delectable yet a affordable bite. Hygiene is a very important thing and person serving food wears gloves and use filtered water to make their dishes in hygienic conditions. The chaat corner is located in the middle of the market and is crowded mostly in the shopping hours.

Estimate cost for 2: 150INR (approx.)
Location: Shop No. 44, Major Sudesh Kumar Marg, Main Market, Block H, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi.

 

3. ROSHAN DI KULFI, KAROL BAGH

It is a street food and dessert paradise located in the heart of Karol Bagh. It serves one of the best and mouth-watering kulfis in Delhi. Its kulfi-faluda is the best authentic dessert in Delhi. What else attracts the customers is the chhole bhature with a long tumbler of lassi. Shopping in Karol Bagh is incomplete without having a lunch at Roshan Di Kulfi.

Estimate for 2: 500INR (approx.)
Location: 2816, Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi

 

4. ODEON/SHUKLA PAN SHOP, CONNAUGHT PLACE

The Paan Shop is located besides the Odeon Cinema and that’s the reason it is also known as Odeon Paan Shop. Chuski Paan is their specialty, making it one of the most popular. You don’t even have to worry about staining hands as the paan with oodles of syrupy ice is directly stuffed into your mouth to provide you with the most awesome taste. The shop also serves diet paan for the calorie conscious people.

Estimate for 2: 200INR
Location: 1, D Block, Connaught Place, New Delhi

 

5. SPICE AANGAN, SDA MARKET

It is the best place for shawarma lovers. Spice Aangan offers you the best of meat which will make you asking for more of it. Shawarma rolls are famous here and are served with mayonnaise and green chutney. This place makes meat lovers come again and again as the quality and taste is undoubtedly remarkable.

Estimate for 2: 450INR
Location: C-21/2, Opposite IIT Main Gate, SDA market, SDA, New Delhi

 

6. SITARAM DIWAN CHAND, PAHARGANJ

In the infamous and small streets of Paharganj lies the Sitaram Diwan Chand. It serves only chhole bhature and is one of the best place for chhole bhature lovers. Taste of its chhole bhature is unforgettable. They are pre-cooked and heated as per service which makes all the oil to drain out and makes it healthier.

Estimate cost for 2: 100INR
Location: 2246, Chuna Mandi, Paharganj, New Delhi

 

7. NATRAJ DAHI BHALLE WALA, CHANDNI CHOWK

The best of flavors and textures along with a spiced chaat is what Natraj provides you with. The place is known for its Dahi Bhallas and it will never disappoint you in matter of its taste. What adds more to its essence is the Aloo tikki stuffed with brown spice and dry fruits. Use of desi ghee is the norm here.
Estimate cost for 2: 100INR
Location: 1396, Main Road near Central Bank, Opposite Paranthe Wali Gali, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

 

8. ASHOK AND ASHOK, SADAR BAZAAR

The place serves food for exactly 2.5 hours a day, at a fixed rate, with an unbeatable chicken korma being their specialty making it best place for Korma lovers. It offers a delectably heavy and filling meal with a full flavored korma. It is best known for its meat that is prepared in desi ghee.
Estimate for 2: 650INR
Location: 5820/42, Subhash Chowk, Sadar Thana Road, near Sadar Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

9. KARIM’S, CHANDNI CHOWK

Karim’s is known for its Mughlai, non-vegetarian delicacies. The popular dishes are kebabs, mutton korma, mutton burra, and the brain curry. The best of non-vegetarian dishes with the mughlai flavors can be found here.
Estimate cost for 2: 800INR
Location: 16, Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, New Delhi

10. MOOLCHAND PARANTHE WALA, UNDER MOOLCHAND FLYOVER

The Moolchand Paranthe Wala is very famous for its parathas. These are the best parathas to have in the morning or late at night. The parathas are decent in taste and butter spread all over it. It is the best place for people who love to have home-cooked parathas.
Estimate cost for 2: 300INR
Location: Moolchand Metro Station, Lajpat Nagar 4, New Delhi

MADE IN PUNJAB: Amazing Dinning Experience

Restaurant and cafés are growing so fast that if you go to a place after about a month you are bound to see a new restaurant/café there! Especially in NCR , Café and restaurant are SPRINGING UP LIKE MUSHROOMS AFTER THE RAIN. After every kilometer you will find malls and every mall has number of café and restaurant. So it’s a tough task to choose one when the option is equally good.
So being a north Indian and have a love for spicy and masala food, we recently visited MADE IN PUNJAB for our office team party.

made in punjab dlf mall of india

It is located on the third floor of the DLF mall of INDIA , Noida. It has the option for both buffet and ala la carte. we went for buffet and with buffet they offered one complimentary drink and a plate of bhalla papadi chaat.

So I am gonna rate it on the basis below standards:

1) Ambience:

Ambience was quite good, classy with dim light and different kind of seating. The place was very spacious so the people don’t feel crowded .They have open bar, kitchen and a private dinning place, whole ambience was making us to so cheerful and relax. The service as also good, the wait staff was quite good and polite.

I like to give 4 stars out of 5.

2) Food:

They have three course meal for the buffet system, so we went first for the starter , variety of starter were there both vegetarian and non-vegetarian,Ahh! It’s too hard for me to pick my favorite ones as the lineup of starters was simply delectable. My favorite was Chili chicken, it was a regular chili chicken but quiet good and chicken was tender n juicy.

Salad - Made in Punjab
Veg/ Chicken / Prawn Salad

Chilly Chicken - Made in Punjab
Yummy Chilly Chicken

Pani Puri - Made in Punjab
Pani Puri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next was main course, In main course I like Murgh Makhani , here the chef surprise us with his culinary skills ,the gravy was so yumm and spicy . I didn’t taste vegetarian food but it was also very good and satisfying as per my vegetarian friends.

In dessert, they have variety of dishes to satisfy your sweet tooth, My personal favorite was Kheer ,It was simple authentic north Indian kheer.

Deserts - Made in Punjab
Kheer and Mango Ice Cream

I like to give 3.5 stars of out 5.

3) Value for your pocket:

As we go for the buffet the lunch cost us 650 each . Comparing the quality and the quantity, their prices are very reasonable. Also they have cooperate discount so don’t forget to avail it 😉

We had a great time and awesome dining experience in MADE IN PUNJAB. Do give it a shot.

7 Irresistible Places for Street Food in Bangalore

Hunger for street food is never ending. The spice, the salt and the sweet found around the street is the one thing that we people can never get bored off. The ultimate mouth watering taste of the perfect blend of spices gives it a spark. The ever-growing fondness for the street food among us all makes it a perfect hit. In Bangalore people are not different, in fact the love for street food there is impeccable. If someone is traveling to Bangalore or one searching for the best street food there then here are the best options to go for

Let’s talk about few Irresistible places for street food in Bangalore:

#1: Hari Super Sandwich, Jayanagar

This is one place in Bangalore where they tend to serve sandwiches of all type but, what makes it special is its chocolate sandwich. This chocolate sandwich is what puts this sandwich corner in our list of famous places for street food in Bangalore. Being affordable is one more quality that you will love it for.

Hari Super Sandwich, Jayanagar-min
Hari Super Sandwich, Jayanagar

Estimate cost for 2: 200INR (approx)
Location: 177/A-44, 22nd Cross, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore

#2: Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Basavanagudi

The next must to visit place being a foodie is this nice little south Indian corner where one can go for the divine taste of South Indian food including the crispy vadas, kesaribhath and rice idlis as well. What we found most amazing is that one can never be disappointed with the taste of the food here.

Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Basavanagudi
Brahmin’s Coffee Bar, Basavanagudi

Estimate cost for 2: 100INR (approx)
Location: Ranga Rao Road, Near Shankar Math, Shankarpuram, Basavanagudi Area, Bangalore

#3: Dadar Vada Pav, Indiranagar

One will surely in love with the place, with so many different varieties of the Vada Pavs as no one will leave disappointed by this Dadar Vada Pav corner in Bangalore. The exotic taste of Mumbai street food in Bangalore is unbeatable. Don’t just go with the name they also have amazing and yummy French fries and burgers that you must try.

Dadar Vada Pav, Indiranagar
Dadar Vada Pav, Indiranagar

Estimate cost for 2: 150INR (approx)
Location: 3037, 8th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Off 80 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore

#4: Rakesh Kumar Pani Puri Stall, Jayanagar

Where we talk about the street food there Pani Puri can’t be left out. This small stall offers the best Pani Puri in Bangalore city. One can also go for the Aloo chat, Dahi Puri as well as Papdhi chat besides the Pani puri.
Location: 8th F Main Road, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore

#5: Central Tiffin Room, Malleswaram

Central Tiffin room is the perfect place to have Dosa. With the mouth-watering variety of dosas, idlis and vadas , the ultimate Poori Sagu is also served here.

Central Tiffin Room, Malleswaram
Central Tiffin Room, Malleswaram

Estimate cost for 2: 100INR (approx)
Location: 7th Cross, Margosa Road, Malleshwaram, Bangalore

#6: V V Puram Food Street

To tease your tongue with the exotic taste of the street food without feeling like choked with a huge bill, VV Puram is the best place. Along with serving the South India they also serve a variety of food like Dal Holige in ghee. There are multiple numbers of stalls serving different types of street food and with this one can also experience the feel of being at chaupati.

V V Puram Food Street
V V Puram Food Street

 

#7: Khan Saheb Grills and Rolls, Indiranagar

Looking for the rolls in the city like Bangalore? And getting disappointed by not finding the one place? This is your place then with the awesome taste they also serve multiple varieties of rolls that will not only fill you up but, will also give you the feeling of tasting heaven.

Khan Saheb Grills and Rolls, Indiranagar
Khan Saheb Grills and Rolls, Indiranagar

Estimate cost for 2: 300INR (approx)
Location: Ground Floor, Sri Shiva Sai Complex, 13th Cross, 7th Main, 2nd Stage, HAL, Off Double Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore

These are few Irresistible places for street food in Bangalore where you can go and make your taste buds happy.

Pawana Lake Camping Escapade

It was a friend’s birthday and college’s last few days before we all set out to the corporate world that we decided to go and relish Pawana Camping. Pawana Lake is on the outskirts of Pune near Lonavala. Splurging the rewarding and exuberant experience, I still can’t help but reminisce that amazing electric weekend in the embrace of fresh air and turned aesthete.

Relaxing beside the lake

We embarked our trip on Saturday noon (11th March 2017) from Khadki Pune via local, it seemed as herds flocked in no time and the compartment was full.

We deboarded the train at Lonavala station after one and a half hour. As soon as we stepped out of the station, a stint of vigorousness bounced my soul when I realized we are about to reach the Camping site in short time now. Off we were in the Innova to enrich ourselves with the brimful perplexed escapade. Through the fields, rocky paths, trees, rocks, and Lohgad Fort on the hilltop, we greeted the hills and sparkling water of the lake. We reached in time, before the sunset. Yes, the mesmerizing sunset witnessed through the waters of the lake was mind boggling.

Sunset View

After keeping the entire luggage in the tents provided we rushed down to the lake to see the tranquil dusk. A serene landscape is something I could never forget. We relaxed beside the lake and beheld this spellbinding display. It started getting dark and elegant, the moon was already seen and wohaa it was a full moon.

Full moon

We came to the tents and had snacks and tea followed by campfire beside the lake. BBQ feast, euphonious underground music, dew on the grass beneath the feet, stars and full moon in the dark sky above our heads – what more could have I asked for. The gaze was held on the star-full sky, and the world came to a halt, I wanted the time to stop and feel the cold breeze coming through the moon and preserve the intense heat of fire within me. Through all this, the lake view, the calm water, and the wind played together. I did not feel like going inside the tent to grab some sleep as all this was breathtaking. At 4 am, few boats started commuting through the lake probably for collecting material for daily chores. Ships belonged to the locals.

Early in the morning, around 5 am the first ray of light made the calm water glee with the brightest glow. At 7 am we went down the other part of the lake and speculated partly lost in the lake view. We had a pleasant natural fish pedicure perching on the rocks and loosening ourselves.
Back at the tent, we were served tea and poha, and after the nostalgic and beautiful event, we had to head back. We wished a goodbye to the Pawana Lake and thanked the host for the pleasant stay. We all kept gaping at the lake until it left our sight.

Here today, I sit and reminisce the effervescent time spent. If given a chance I would go back and pick up the emotions, yet again, to hold close to my heart.