Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

Being one of the oldest cities on this earth, Istanbul is history lovers' delight...

Land of Bishnois

Peaceful co-existence is not that difficult if we learn to be happy within our means. Bishnoi people are happy in whatever they have. What makes them different is the pride in their culture and legacy which promotes harmony between humans, animals and nature.

Varanasi older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.....By Mark Twain.


One of the most haunted place on the planet. Staying after sunset and going before sunrise is STRICTLY prohited by law.

Musical Pillars of Hampi

Musical notes from the Pillars has bought people from around the world to this place.


The Ancient Temple which inspired the design of Indian Parliament House.

November 12, 2015

Ethnic stay at Bishnoi Village...

We have stayed in Jodhpur and visited Bishnoi Area for one day. However on visiting the Bishnoi region we realised that we should have stayed in Bishnoi region and should have visited Jodhpur for a day's trip, as all the attractions in Jodhpur can be done in one day trip. Staying at Bishnoi region will also give a chance to experience Bishnoi culture and life in desert. But where to stay in Bishnoi region, we got our answer in Bishnoi Village (, situated amidst Bishnoi villages, about 22 K.M. from Jodhpur city on the route of Jodhpur to Udaipur.

Bishnoi village is an ethnic resort designed in traditional Bishnoi spirit of living. The Resort consists of comfortable huts with thatched roof and attached bath room providing running hot and cold water. Huts are made of eco friendly local materials and plastered with cow-dung. The cow-dung is traditionally used as an antiseptic and insecticide. The huts are beautifully painted in traditional style by local women artisans. Its elegantly appointed rooms have their own individual character and furnishings.
Camp Site Tent (Activities):- The camp is exclusive, consisting of 10 deluxe tents tastefully decorated with attached bathrooms providing running hot and cold water. The Tents are beautifully decorated in traditional style by local artisans.  
Lots of activity is arranged in the resort itself which can be enjoyed/ indulged by the visitors. Likewise Camel riding, birds' watching, spending time with Bishnoi families... 
One can also enjoy the local fairs in its most original form. Local artists with their traditions and culture will surely enrich your memories. Resort organises safari (to villages Guda Bishnoiyan, kakani, khejarli)wherein one can see local craftsmen on work, shepherds, farmers and most important Black bucks and chinkaras roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Finding black bucks is very common in Bishnoi region, due to fact Black buck is protected and preserved by Bishnoi people. During the village safari, one can see the Bishnoi way of living very closely and spot Black bucks and even Siberian cranes (winter times) in the water bodies. Black buck fighting is very common in this area, but can be seen only for 2 months during their mating season (month of October and November)
Most important the FOOD, be assured to enjoy authentic Rajasthani meal like Ker sangari ki sabji, kadhi bajare ki roti, dal bati.... Will suggest to try Dal Bati, it is very different from what you will get in other cities, you will fall in love with. Enjoy the food...
One can easily plan a 2 night or 3 night stay at this resort. Resort can arrange a pick-up and drop facility to Jodhpur railway station.
Will recommend to try this version of Jodhpur travel itinerary, you will surely feel the difference. Travel Diaries readers are entitled to a 10% discount on their stay at Bishnoi Village. Use the code "Travel-Diaries" while booking directly through the website or by E-Mail for your amazing stay at Bishnoi Village. Contact details are as follows:
Bishnoi Village: 
Phone : +91 94141 29233
Keep travelling Guys...


November 4, 2015

Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex...

Apart from the beaches, ports, steel plant and refinery the place Vizag has been once a flourishing centre for Buddhist culture. It was a surprise for me too till I actually reached this place called “Thotlakonda Caves”.  As I always say Travellers never think of themselves as foreigners, whatever time I could have managed from my schedule I stepped out to relish the soothing ambience at Thotlakonda.
It is believed that Vizag had been once a part of legendary Kalinga Empire and Buddhism flourished here under the patronage of rulers of Kalinga. The place mst have been  flourishing centre around 200 BC  - 200 AD.
Thotlakaonda is around 15 Km. from Vizag enroute to Bheemlipatnam. Way to Thotlakonda will be at your left hand side, please be vigilant or ask the locales. Situated atop a hill, Thotlakonda caves make a picturesque site for the visitors and archaeologists too. Caves were discovered during an aerial survey by Indian Navy in 1970's.

Mounds, Stupas, Chaitya grihas and pillared halls indicate that this place must have been a Buddhist monastery/ university for primary students. Check out the largest of the existing Stupa:

Going by the layout of this place, around 150 monks used to stay and study here. Proximity to sea and harbours must have allowed scholars from across the world to travel to this place and vice versa. Monks from countries like Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka were regular visitors here.
The well defined lay out of the rooms is like a hostel and size of the rooms which is pretty small can accommodate no more than 2 students of age group 10-12 years. 

A well equipped kitchen to cater to needs of students and visiting scholars was also operating in this campus.

The set-up here must have been a self sustained one as there are also some rock-cut cisterns meant for rain water preserving.

A Giant Stupa...

Layout of the premises with self explanatory mark up boards...

Some excavated structures.....

There are a few guides also at this place who can explain the various structures and significance of each of these. Good part they do not bargain for fees and accept whatever you will give, but please be reasonable enough as it is their only means of livelihood.
Thotlakonda in Telugu means "Eagle had shaped Hill". One can also enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the nearby beaches an landscapes. To reach Thotlakonda, Bheemunipatnam from Vizag railway station.

Drive on the beautiful Beach Road is really enriching, you will enjoy every moment of it. Take whatever time you get from your busy schedules to savour such delicacies, Keep travelling Guys...

November 1, 2015

Where to book premium budget hotels in India...

Whether it is a quick weekend trip to local destinations or going to some of the unexplored destinations, traveling in India is one such activity that every single person craves for. But you should also remember that there is certain expense you need to spend in order to have a memorable trip. But you can definitely save some penny for yourself by choosing some of the premium budget hotels in India. These are the places where you can book them:

Oyo Rooms:
They have the largest network of all budget hotels in India. You can find excellent cheap price hotels at convenient locations like Delhi, Goa, Bangalore and 100 more places. Though these are budget hotels, you can still find some of the facilities like AC rooms with TV, complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi and best hygienic washrooms. Choosing your favorite hotels is just simple with oyo. You just have to choose the destination, check-in and check-out dates, number of people going to stay and the number of rooms required and the list of the budget hotels will be right in front of you.

Zo Rooms:
Zo Rooms are the best premium budget hotel chain that most visitors have chosen. They have a good connect of more than 500 hotels and 5600 more hotel rooms. Also, they offer friendly, secure and affordable rooms to their customers. They promise to offer similar experience with all the rooms, no matter which city it is.

The Goibibo is a famous name amongst most of the travel freaks. In fact they rank top amongst the notch online travel services. You can get up to 67% discount on the hotels. Also they have a lot of budget hotels in busy places like Goa, Munnar, Manali and many more. The best part about the website is they have 50% off during the end of month, and one should not miss this at all.

It is a great travel search engine and an Indian online travel agency with best budget hotels. You can opt to choose from a wide array of budget hotels across any destination in India. By staying in these budget hotels you can really figure out the real value of money as long as you stay. It is an ideal retreat for budget travelers as well as contemporary business travelers.
As the name suggests, is meant for booking the best hotels online. They deal with all kind of hotels which range from the international chains, resorts to domestic budget hotels. You can actually refer to them as new age budget stay brand. You have all the information needed about the hotels to book a perfect stay.
You can enjoy the holiday tours with your friends and family by opting out for the best and suitable budget hotels at your selective destinations from any of these online travel portals. Along with hotels you can also look for airline ticket booking, restaurants, rental cars and much more at affordable prices. It is better to keep yourself updated about the latest offers so you can make your trip cheap and memorable too.
Contributed by Shahid Ali...

October 19, 2015

5 Surreal Places To Get Engaged...!

“All the world’s a stage” said William Shakespeare!
If you are wondering why I am saying this quote on this topic, let me tell you that there is a close connection to it. If you decided as to with which person you are going to spend your whole life and are now ready to pop that question, do not just do it any place! Take your world really as a stage and propose to your partner at a location coupled with your surprise plans so that the memory becomes unforgettable. If budget isn’t your problem and you are all set, here is a list of places which will make all this a magical experience:
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris:
-      The most visited attraction in Paris, Eiffel tower is without a doubt the best place to propose to your partner. Paris is known as the most romantic city and its Eiffel tower is just the ideal place where you will find your nervousness calming down.Choose the sunset time where Eiffel tower is glittering like stars and the dreamy surroundings become all the more surreal. Just look at the scenic place! Doesn’t it make you skip a heartbeat? Make your plans, pack your bags, book your ticket at a discounted price using Makemytrip coupons via and fly to this romantic place with your partner. Wait no more!
  • Oberoi Amarvillas, Agra:
-        A hotel room with a view of the one of the seven wonders of the world i.e. the magnificent Taj Mahal! And all along you thought that you might have to overspend and travel outside India to make way for an extraordinary proposal memory! TajMahal is considered as the epitome of love and the truly romantic story behind it makes it an iconic building. You can plan your proposal in the hotel balcony which has a view of this beautiful monument! Since it’s a luxury hotel, it will cause a hole in your pocket. But by using these goibibo coupons present on, you can cut down on your travelling expense to a good extent. 

  • Santorini, Greece
-        They say if you want to visit heaven on earth, travel to Greece! Travel to this heavenly place blessed with the most surreal surroundings to pop out that question. Be it the splendid hotels or scrumptious cuisines, breath-taking views or marvelous sunsets, this magical island is sure to woo you. Santorini is mostly known for its calming and colorful sunset. You can take a sunset cruise and when the time comes for the sun to sink in, you can propose under the beautiful sunset. You can even take long walks with your partner from Fira to Oia where you will come across housesladen with beautiful houses, flower laden roads and cafes with a splendid rooftop view where you can drop the question!It will be sudden and simply unexpected!

  • Las Vegas
-        If your style is not cheesy and overly romantic, Las Vegas should be your ideal choice! Las Vegas is not just known for its energetic vibes but also for its romantic nature. You can opt for a flash mob marriage proposal where you can select the location. The mob will perform in such a way so that you get the perfect timing to propose to your partner. Or you can also go for a photo tour proposal. A photographer will be following you and your partner and would be taking your photographs. When your selected location comes, bent down at your knees and propose! There would be someone to capture that perfectly timed moment and those surprised expressions!
  • Neuschwanstein -Schwangau, Germany:
-        Planning a wedding proposal in this fairy-tale like place will be no less than magic! Just have a look at it! Doesn’t it spellparadise? The Neuschwanstein Castle is situated in Southwest Bavaria in Germany. The castle has been inspired from Disney’s Sleeping beauty which lends it that dreamlike touch. Treat the princess of your life to this place where she will say ‘yes’ instantly! 

Contributed by Neha Chaudhary

October 1, 2015

Golden City of Jaisalmer

This is a place whose skyline is crafted in Gold, has been a travellers’ delight since long. Located in the heart of scorching and arid Thar Desert the Golden Yellow colour becomes a delight to eyes even much before the majestic “Jaisalmer” actually begins.
Boarding an early morning train (Delhi-Jaisalmer Express) from Blue City of Jodhpur, we comfortably arrived in “Golden City” at 11:15 AM with second half still with us to explore. The mighty and impregnable fortification of “SONAR Qila” rising like a mirage from the ground, which is also the largest living fort on this earth is the landmark and defines the skyline of this city.

Jaisalmer has so many spots that rest should be the last thing on your mind. It is very important to stick to the timelines strictly here; else you might end up missing some of the attractions. As soon as you arrive here, just start moving. Probable itinerary can be...

Day1, 2nd Half: Have your lunch and head towards Sam Sand Dunes. All good things should start with prayers to GODs, the road to adventures start with praying at Amar Sagar Jain Temple, which is just at exit of Jaisalmer.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Though simple in appearance, every stone has been carved with utmost perfection. After praying we started for Sand Dunes. 
It took us around 30 minutes to reach SAM SAND DUNES.
Time Required: Till Night... Night stay can also be done in the tents.
The uber dazzling sands of the desert will surely appeal to your vibrant self. It is the time to be a child again, you can run on the sand, jump, slide, glide and whatever you feel like leaving all the worries behind.
Enjoying the sunset on a camel ride will be a memory to cherish forever:

Many local artists are also here to entertain the visitors with traditional Rajasthan folk songs. Please fix the charges beforehand.
Best way to enjoy this phenomenal place is hiring an open top Geep, which are easily available here and enjoy the adrenaline rushing drive.
Once you have had enough of dunes bashing, you can shift the action to a night carnival amidst the desert sands. Sit comfortably and relax for the spell binding session of folk songs and musical instruments duets. But the occasion is not complete without the universally acclaimed “Kalbeliya Dance”, energy filled fire dances and group dances performed with exquisite craft. You can take pleasure in enjoying the carnival along with a cup of tea and snacks. 
Have a look at the program:
 By the time the cultural extravaganza is coming to end, a compelling aroma of the freshly prepared food will start pulling you for the dinner. Dinner is all about local delicacies like Kair Sangree, Besan ki Curry, Gatte ki Subzee and Dal-Bati-Churma. The heavenly taste and the over worked adventure filled day will ensure “EAT till you DROP”. The best thing about the food is that it is not too spicy, even small kids can enjoy the dinner.

Day 2, Morning 09:00 AM: Day 1 was amazing; Day 2 was going to be much better. Start early and head straight to grand Jaisalmer Fort.
Time required: 1.5 - 2 hours
Around 5,000 people reside inside the walls of this fort and also numerous tourists who prefer to feel the royalty from within the fort. Fort is a self contained unit with markets, temples and eateries well inside its walls.
Fort also houses a huge collection of antiques. All the collection of antiques, paintings and artefacts have been preserved remarkably well.

Some weapons too. Weapons have been intricate part of the Rajasthani folklore...

Other then the fort there are beautifully carved out Jain temples with numerous sculptures of Lord Buddha. Check out the beautiful sculptures...

Take my words, this is only one of the intricate sculptures, Jain temples are full of much more statues which will keep you spellbind.

10 minutes walk from the fort will take you to “Salim Singh ki Haveli”, a noted prime mister of Jaisalmer.

By 11:00 AM you can start for other attractions, Patwaon Ki Haveli (big residential house), 15 minute distance from the Fort.
Time Required: 30 minutes
Patwas used to be the traders, and their residence is in no way less ornamental than the Fort itself. It will
By 11:45 AM, one can start for Tazia Tower, a 5 storey minaret.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Also adjacent to it is "Badal Mahal", which has been now converted in to a hotel.
There are lot of good eateries nearby and shopping options, as Tazia Tower is amidst to the local markets. 
Last spot of the itinerary of the 1st half was Lake Gadisar.
Time required: 15-20 minutes. Though we came there in the afternoon, this is an excellent spot for a leisurely and romantic evening walk.
By 1:00 PM it was the time to provide some respite to the hungry stomachs.
Be ready by 2:30 PM, it is time to get set to Bada Bagh. It takes about 30 minutes to reach Bada Bagh, the cenotaphs of erstwhile rulers of Jaisalmer.
Time Required: 15 minutes.
Sunlight sparkles the structures into an array of Golden spectacular panorama.
By 3:00 PM start to Kuldhara, one of the most cursed and haunted place in India. The community which vanished one night. cursed the place that it will be never inhabited.
Though it will be difficult to stick to the timeline in Kuldhara, try to reach Khaba fort by 5:30 PM to witness the amazing sunset.
By 7:00 PM we were back at our hotel and day was still not over yet. At a walking distance from our hotel, Desert Cultural Centre and Museum; Museum hosts Puppet shows for the visitors from 7:30 PM. Rs. 30 is the entry fees, and that is all it takes to enjoy a number of puppet shows and one can also buy local handicrafts/ puppets, which are sold by the artists and are reasonably priced too.

Click to Check out the Puppet Show...
Last but not the least an amazing dinner and a good night sleep for the next day.
Day 3 Morning, 09:00 AM: We had our train in the evening, so first half was still with us. On the list was “Akal Wood Fossil Park”. Akal Wood Fossil Park takes you to pre Jurassic era. 180 million years back, here once stood a forest. Then the area got submerged in to a sea and tree trunks got preserved as fossils.
Read more about Akal Wood Fossil Park.

By 11:00 AM we were out of this Park and it was the time for shopping. Adjoining fort is the area for shopping and cherishing local eateries.
To try here: Makhaniya Lassi, Sweet called Ghotua, Dal Baati Churma, Pyaz Kachori, Tea prepared out of camel milk and whatever preferred in this region. Do not forget to take Jaisalmer caps/ Pagdi for a royal look.

If you have one day more in Jaisalmer, one can also visit to Border Tanot Mata Temple, 125 kms. from Jaisalmer. This temple is located close to Pakistan border and has remained untouched despite heavy shelling during 1971 India-Pakistan war. Outcome of Longewala battle is also credited heavily to this temple. Keep at least 6 hours for to and fro journey.

Area wise Jaisalmer is the largest district in state of Rajasthan and is a World Heritage Site. However share of population is the least.
Jaisalmer is 300 Km. from Jodhpur, journey by road takes around 4.5 hours. To summarize, enchanting Jaisalmer has taken a bit sheen off Jodhpur, but that is the beauty and charm of exploring the land called India. 

Keep travelling Guys...

September 29, 2015

Amazing Travel Tips You Should Know For Every Type Of Trip

The life of a frequent traveler seems to be quite simple, but it’s not. It requires a great deal of patience to check hundreds of flight deals, dozens of countries, a large number of travel advices and more. Sometimes, figuring out where to book travel tickets could be a tedious task, whether to book from Air India, Paytm or Redbus and more. To put in more simple words, traveling well is an art and not everyone who travels can master this art. Well, at the same time it’s not rocket science either. With some little secrets and right list making, you can enjoy this art of traveling to its core.

Always Pack Like a Pro
Know what to pack and what to leave at home before you travel to some place. Here I tried to put down some packing dilemmas experienced by most travelers. Based on the type of trip, what clothes, shoes, accessories you need to pack. Although, this is something most people underrate. This is an essential skill you shouldn’t be ignoring. Try to carry just enough, without going over - this could save you time, money and not to mention helps in enjoying a hassle-free journey. The following are different types of trips and their essentials.

Beach Trip:
Essentials: Swimsuit, sunscreen lotions, lip balm, sunglasses, hat, flipflops, protective covers for your smart gadgets, towels, plastic bags, disposable wipes.
What not to pack: If you’re staying in a hotel, see their online website, if towels, beach essentials and other amenities are included in their package or not. Avoid bringing clothes that are too baggy or stuffy. Also avoid bringing camp chairs, beds or grills; because most of the vacation-rental provides them. For a wide rang of choices and styles in duffle bags, do visit Paytm, Snapdeal or Jabong offers available at GrabOn.

Adventure Trip

Essentials: Hat, a pair of polarizing sunglasses, shorts, long pants, windbreaker, hiking boots, flashlight, a pair of binoculars, a small kit of bandages, medications, sanitizers.
What not to pack: Avoid bright color clothes like a plain white shirt. Forget formal clothes. Always go with loose layers preferably in light hues. No wheeled suitcases please instead carry a side bag or soft-sided duffle.

City Site-Seeing Trip:

Essentials: Think of sophisticated yet simple look. A pair of good dress shoes that are comfortable to walk will do. The black color will never go wrong. A pair of skinny denims, stretchable black bottoms, thick-shoulder strap bag or preferably a messenger bag for women. A pair of loafers, easy-to-carry travel blazer for men.
What not to carry: Avoid expensive jewelry, showiest watches, pricey accessories, unless if think you’re still okay if you lose them.

Active Trip: 

Essentials: While blue denim seems to be perfect outdoor outfit, but they can get heavy and water easily during your active trip. Get a paid of water-proof or wind-proof pants. Go for a pair of tights, long T-shirts, breathable hoodies and long-sleeved shirts. For rafting or kayaking trips, always take durable water shoes, rain gear along with you.

What not to pack: Remember, this type of trips doesn’t need kitten heels or any fashionable footwear. Don’t carry unnecessary smart gadgets; just a smartphone and camera should be fine.

Author Bio
Sravanthi works at She is good at list making, writing and surfing the web. She believes that there’s really no such thing that is IMPOSSIBLE! You can find her writings on GrabOn blog and various other blogs and website.