Category Archives: Travel

{X} Xenodocheinology: For the love of hotels

Have you ever experienced Xenodocheinology?

Part of the travel experience, for me, is choosing the hotel. Our travel philosophy is to utilize the maximum resources on sightseeing and shopping, and keeping a very limited budget for our hotel stay.

If you thought limited budget = seedy little hotel/backpacker’s hostels/soulless hotels, think again. A little research is all it takes to find charming places to lay your head down at the end of a day of hard sightseeing.

A few of my absolute favorites are

The courtyard @ Inn Seventh Heaven

The courtyard @ Inn Seventh Heaven

Inn Seventh Heaven, Pushkar – Comfortable rooms, beautiful color schemes, friendly staff, a quiet, green courtyard and a lovely roof terrace make this our go-to place at Pushkar. We’ve driven down here for a holiday on numerous occasions, only to stay at Inn Seventh Heaven again.

Infinity pool, Samode Palace

Samode Palace, Samode – Known as one of the best Palace Hotels in Rajasthan, Samode is a place you must visit at least once. To be sure, it does not fall into the budget category by any stretch of the imagination, but considering that you will be doing nothing much except staying at the palace and driving down to the quaint village at the bottom of the palace, this is one extravagance that is totally worth it!

The library @ Arya Niwas

The library @ Arya Niwas

Arya Niwas, Jaipur – Although it’s been called a soulless hotel for a busy executive, for some reason, I love this place. It’s where we stay every time we visit Jaipur, and we visit Jaipur quite frequently. The green lawns, where you can sit sipping a cold coffee in the evening, the restaurant, which serves some yummy food, and the bonzais in the corridor will make you fall in love with this place.

So, have you ever experienced xenodocheinology?

{U} Travel Postcard #8: Under the Indian Sun

City Palace, Udaipur

The Indian summer makes outdoor eating a rather difficult proposition, except during the winter. And when the setting is such, within the City Palace at Udaipur, how can you pass up the chance to grab a quick bite under the umbrella, enjoying the  people and the ambiance around you?

Tell us about a memorable meal from your travels!

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{T} Travel Postcard #7: Tibetan Prayer Wheels

Tibetan-prayer-wheel

Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. Also sometimes depicted are Dakinis, Protectors and very often the 8 auspicious symbols Ashtamangala. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts regarding prayer wheels, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers. – Wikipedia.com

Every time I visit a monastery, I am struck by a few things: the cleanliness and aura of peacefulness; the gorgeous, brightly colored tangka paintings and murals adorning the walls; the larger-than-life statutes of the various avatars of Buddha, and the prayer wheel outside most monasteries.

Every time I walk around a monastery, running my hand along the prayer wheels, I feel a sense of peace and calm descend over me. Once, I even managed to work through a particular problem that had been plaguing me since a while. Monasteries, along with churches, often have this effect on me.

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{R} Travel Postcard #6: River Koh, Lancedown

River-Koh-Lancedown

The great fun of driving down to a hill station, for me, is those long, winding roads, when you look down and see a river winking back at you from far below. The clear water, rocky outcrops, dancing waves at intervals…it’s a sight to refresh you no matter how tired you are!

What refreshes you on a long drive?

More pictures and travel information for Lancedown

{Q} Travel Postcard #5: Quaint little cottage, Lancedown

Quaint-cottage-LancedownImagine walking down a hilly road, admiring the trees and the plants, watching the road snake ahead of you.

Imagine coming around a bed as the sun is starting its descent.

Imagine seeing this little cottage in the middle of a small clearing abutting a church, surrounded by greenery, the area around it carpeted with flowers, the sun filtering through the trees.

Imagine sitting on the parapet that runs above the area, with the wind whistling through your hair, wondering what purpose the cottage serves.

Does it belong the fairies? Do they come there to play?

Does it belong to the gnomes? Have they hidden their gold in there?

Or does it belong to the church? Have they used it as the store house for broken pews and forgotten ephemera?

Take a look at some more pictures from Lancedown and read about the place