Launch of Hyundai All New Santro

One of the most loved Family Car, Hyundai Santro is back to rule the roads.

Lanes of Istanbul - Where civilizations merge

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


A place which has been lying forbidden and disconnected from the mainland. Malana still follows their culture and traditions...

Temples at Batesara

Around 350 temples are estimated to have existed here. Excavation work is ongoing to restore temples of a lost era.

Murud Janjira Fort

In 15th century AD, this majestic structure was constructed inside the Arabian Sea to protect the kingdom from the pirates.


Untouched beauty, unbridled love, riot of colours the nature is here and how well the people add to it.

December 5, 2018

Trek to Laxman Temple/ Hemkund Sahib

Laxman Temple/Hemkund Sahib, at a height of 4300 meters above sea level, lies in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Challenging trekking route and spectacular beauty of the mystical valley has always tempted botanists, nature lovers, foreign tourists and adventure lovers. Valley boast off over 500 species of wild flowers of unparalleled appearance and fragrances.

This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of Sikh community, did intense meditation to please Lord Brahma. Please by the austerity Lord Brahma commanded Guru Gobind Singh Ji to take birth in Kal-Yuga in order to kill demons and protect holy people. Undoubtedly, the Hemkund Trek is a steep challenging trek and you will often hear from the locals there that – “Mountains are for FIT not FAT”. You trek from 9,600 ft to 15,000 ft in just 6 Kms and that’s what makes it a tough trek.

Place remains open to the world from June to October and for rest of the year it remains snow clad.

Journey to the Hemkund starts from Haridwar, where you can easily hire a cab for your entire trip. Below is the entire itinerary in brief. 

1. Haridwar to Govindghat - Around 300 Kms
2. Start from Haridwar - Cab is recommended. Very less frequency of buses.
3. Route: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Jayalgarh – Srinagar – Rudaprayag – Karnaprayag – Nandaprayag – Chamoli – Pipalkoti – Joshimath – Vishnuprayag - Govindghat
4. Govindghat – (Motorable-4Km) – Poolna (Trek 10 km) – Ghangaria – Total 14 Kms
5. Split routes from Ghangaria for Hemkund Trek and Valley of Flowers Trek.

Drive to Govindghat around 300 Kms, which would take 10 – 12 hours of time to reach depending on the road conditions, please expect land sliding at various points throughout the drive.

Mountain beauty is spectacular throughout the route.

If you reach Govindghat in the evening, it’s recommended to stay for the night and start the trek next morning.
Plenty of hotels are there at Govindghat, apart from hotels you can also try staying at Gurudwara Sri Gobind Dham.In the morning take a cab from Govindghat and get down at Pulna, which is 4 km. away. From Pulna, the actual trek, of around 9 km., starts for Ghangria.

Trek with minimal luggage and expect to complete it in 4 to 5 hours. You will get refreshed and energised while trekking along with the mountains and river flowing.

Camping/ Hotel or Gurudwara – All three options are available at Ghangria to stay at. Enjoy the hilly food at night and get ready for next morning to trek to Hemkund Sahib.

Trek Begins from here!!!
Try to start trekking before 8 in the morning, so that you have sufficient time at the top and you can get back to the base by dusk.

It’s a long and steep trek, so don’t rush in the beginning. Be calm and take regular breaks.

Steepness is quite visible here in this picture. Please expect this steepness throughout the entire trek route.

Depending on speed, you should reach the top in 4-5 hours. Hemkund Sahib top view is breathtaking. Not possible to describe the beauty in words.

Beside the Gurudwara, there is a small yellow coloured Laxman Mandir, often called as “Laxman Lokpal Mandir”. Whosoever comes to Hemkund Sahib, never goes without taking blessing from Laxman Mandir. In ancient times, even before devotees started coming to Hemkund Sahib, Lokpal Mandir/Laxman Temple was worshiped by Gharwali community and people of nearby Joshimath villages. Popular Legends about the temple:

  1. Sheshnag showed rigorous devotion to be the son, Laxman, of King Dashrath in Dwapar Yuga.
  2. Laxman, brother of Lord Ram, did severe austerity here to gain back the power, which he used to kill the demon Meghnath.
This is the highest Gurudwara in the world.

Natural Lake - where devotees, on daily basis, take bath in the freezing holy water. Lake has its own medicinal values, so do not miss taking a dip in the holy water.

Remember you have to get back to the Ghangharia before dusk, so capture the beauty, feel the air and be ready to descend. 

While descending, the top view of the valley is remarkable.

Last but not the least – you will never get bored of the food in mountains. 

Keep Exploring Guys.

November 4, 2018

Modern Stylish Tallboy - Hyundai All New Santro

Way back in the 1990's a relatively unknown name from South Korea entered the Indian car market and dared to compete with well established Maurti, Ambassador and Tata. It was the time, when compact/ small car buyers were accustomed to small engines and a features deficit product. It was then, Hyundai introduced the Santro, which claimed to offer superior technology, features, space and interior quality, that were often neglected or better unheard till then. Most important Santro offered "Power Steering" as standard fitment and made driving a comfortable affair.

Very soon Santro was the perfect choice for Indian Car buyers and changed the dynamics of Indian Automobile Sector. Sales figures are sufficient enough to indicate the magic Santro left on its proud owners. 
  • From 58,646 in 1999, sales figure reached to 65,515 in 2000. 
  • Trust and excitement continued with average sales nearing 1 Lac per year over the next decade. 
  • November 2006 - Santro crosses 10 Lac sales in eight years.
Despite high demand, Santro was discontinued in 2015 after 16 years of love affair with Indian Roads. It was a heart break moment for numerous Car Lovers across the country, however the memories never left the Indian Car Buyers. 

23rd October 2018 was the day when Santro made a comeback to rule the Indian roads. At a Grand launch ceremony attended by Shahrukh Khan, Media and leading Bloggers from India, curtains were pulled off from "All New Santro". 

Loaded with Comfort, Premium features, Strong Body Structure coupled with New Age Technology, All New Santro is all set to take the owner experience beyond imagination, the same way SANTRO revolutionized the customer aspirations and the Indian Automotive industry in 1998. The All New SANTRO is Hyundai’s R&D Innovation in Modern Mobility.  Safe and Efficient Factory Fitted CNG Option has generated a huge excitement among the buyers. More than 22,000 prelaunch bookings is just a small indication of love for Santro.

The All New SANTRO is a perfect combination of Six Pillars - Modern Stylish Tall Boy Design, Comfortable & Premium Cabin, New Age Technology, Safety, All Round Performance and Complete Peace of Mind.  It is aimed at family buyers who seek utmost comfort with spacious cabin feel without compromising on styling. The strong customer centric safety with Strong Body Structure coupled with New Age Technology and cabin comfort gives vibrant ALL NEW SANTRO a competitive edge.

1. Modern Stylish Tallboy Design
The All New SANTRO is Bigger, Wider and More Spacious. Inside the cabin, The All New SANTRO provides higher seating position for easy ingress and egress, and Superior All Round Visibility. While the rear passengers get superior headroom and shoulder room which is delight especially for long distance travels.

Check out the Exterior Dimensions:

Length x Width x Height
3,610 x 1,645 x 1,560 mm
2,400 mm
Max Tyre
165/70 R 14 Steel

2. Comfortable & Premium Cabin
The All New SANTRO’s Dual Tone Beige and Black interiors with Champagne Gold inserts projects a premium cabin experience. The Spacious cabin with multiple storage spaces and practical trunk of 235 litres (Rear Seat Bench Folding) make the All New SANTRO suitable for daily and long trips.

· Superior AC Performance (Best-in-Segment)
· Rear AC Vents (First-in-Segment)
· Superior Thigh Support
· Elephant inspired centre fascia
· Champagne Gold Inserts
· Unique Propeller Design AC Vents

3. New Age Technology
The First-in-Segment Eco Coating Technology prevents unpleasant smell to develop in the AC Evaporator by degrading the micro-organisms developed in the AC Evaporator Core and ensures odour free and fresh air for a comfortable and pleasant journey.

  • 17.64 cm Touch screen Audio Video System (First-in-Segment)
  • Smartphone connectivity with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay & Mirror Link and Voice Recognition function along with iblue Smartphone App Support (First-in-Segment)
  • Rear parking Camera (First-in-Segment)
  • 6.35 cm Advanced Cluster with Multi Information Display (Instantaneous FE, Supervision Display, Dual Trip meter)
  • Day & Night Inside Rear View Mirror (IRVM)
  • Rear Wiper with washer
4. Safety: Strong Body Structure
Safety is one aspect which can not seen from outside, however should be treated as most important aspect. In quest to be economical safety should not be compromised. This is my personal favorite with Hyundai the way safety is being valued, as safety of your loved ones is most important to ensure long drives go on and on. In line to this concept of safety, All New Santro comes with The Superior K1 Platform along with application of 63% Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) + High Strength Steel (HSS). This helps New SANTRO to achieve prominent Static & Dynamic stiffness with improved structural connectivity making it a Strong Body Structure.

The All New SANTRO also meets the Pedestrian Safety norm, lower stiffener is applied to front crash beam to improve on the pedestrian safety. Additionally, standard ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) and Driver’s Airbag provides uncompromising safety.

5. All Round Performance
The All New SANTRO is equipped with the most reliable and durable 4-Cylinder 1.1 Litre Petrol engine offering 69ps of power with low vibrations, superior performance and high fuel efficiency.

The All New SANTRO will be the first Hyundai model to offer in-house developed Smart Auto AMT technology in Hyundai range of products offering unmatched comfort without compromising on fuel efficiency. The All New SANTRO will also have option for Factory fitted CNG (60 L water equivalent) for enhanced reliability and greater peace of mind.

Engine & Transmission:

Maximum Power
Maximum Torque
1.1 L (Petrol Engine)
10.1 kgm@4,500
1.1 L (With CNG)
8.6 kgm@4,500

ARAI (Certified figures)
5 Speed MT
1.1 L (Petrol Engine)
20.3 Kmpl
20.3 Kmpl
30.48 km/kg

Superior Ride Comfort
Adopting the bigger, stronger and rigid Superior K1 platform, The All New SANTRO provides a stable and comfortable ride. The front suspension is mounted with McPherson Strut and Urethane Bump Stopper that gives stability at rough road drives and reduces body roll giving improved cornering performance.

6. Complete Peace of Mind - Very few Santros used to come to second hand market as selling a Santro was a rarity. Now "Legend is Back" with host of offerings, likewise:
  • 3 Years/100,000 kms Warranty & 3 Years Road Side Assistance (Best-in-Segment)
  • Lowest Cost of Maintenance (Best-in-Segment)
  • Know your SANTRO Program
  • Assured Same Day Service Delivery
  • Service at your Doorstep

Colours & Variants:
The All New SANTRO will be available in array of 7 exterior colours including 2 new colours -Imperial Beige and Diana Green. The All New SANTRO comes with two interior colour options Premium Beige with Champagne Gold inserts and Sporty All Black Interiors with Diana Green colour inserts based on exterior colours.

Just for reference - Ex-Showroom One India One Price (Introductory Price):
(Please check the latest prices with Hyundai Showroom)

1.1 L 
(Petrol Engine, 5 MT)
(Petrol Engine, AMT)
(With CNG- 5 MT)

About HMIL: Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company (HMC). HMIL is the second largest car manufacturer and the number one car exporter since inception in India. 
It currently has ten car models across segments – EON, All New SANTRO, GRAND i10, ELITE i20, ACTIVE i20, XCENT, NexGenVERNA, ELANTRA, CRETA & TUCSON. HMIL’s fully integrated state-of-the-art manufacturing plant near Chennai boasts advanced production, quality and testing capabilities. 

Travel Diaries wish everyone an enjoyable and Safe Driving Experience with Hyundai All New Santro. And to keep your car clean at all times during long drives, a convenient Swachh Can comes as a standard accessory in all models. 

Drive Safe, Drive Clean and keep exploring this beautiful World. 

November 2, 2018

Day out in Beijing

Beijing, capital city of China is one of the ancient cities on Earth with more than 3,000 years of recorded history. Evidence of human ancestry dating back to 700,000 years ago has been found in the southwest part of Beijing, where the remains known as 'Peking Man' were found.
Amidst one of the tightly packed trip to Beijing got some time to check out the City of Beijing. Landing in Beijing at 1:00 PM, had no option but to run wherever I could have in the available one half of the day.
As I always say, best plans should be kept in the earlier part of the program. So to explore Beijing attractions, I dumped the luggage in hotel room, took the Metro/ Subway map in my hand and started to “Tiananmen Square”. Tiananmen Square is one of the most popular and renowned spot around the world. There is no tourist who comes to China, leaves without a visit to this place. 

Adjacent to Tiananmen Square is the National Museum of China. The museum has been constructed with an objective to spread awareness about arts and history of China.

Over eight million visitors had visited this museum in 2017, which makes it the second-most visited art museum in the world. Museum has some interesting artefacts from historical periods of China, I found the Gold threaded Burial suit from Han dynasty unique. Check out:

Opposite to Tiananmen Square is the “Forbidden City”. It served as Imperial Palace for over 500 years from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty till 1912. Thereafter, it was turned into a museum since the 1920s. It was one of the biggest construction to have taken place in China in that time. It took 14 years from the construction started in the year 1406 and employed up to 100,000 skilled artisans and up to a million labourers at its peak construction.
Entering from a Majestic Gate to explore the Grand “Forbidden City”.

By the time I came out of Forbidden City, evening was setting in and my stomach had started sending hunger signals for food. So I again went inside the subway to Lotus Marina Market. It is a small market with a few restaurants alongside a lake covered with Lotus Flowers. That’s why the name Lotus Marina.
I took a table next to the lake and started searching for some familiar menu item. As I didn’t get any success so approached the restaurant staff for help. Again no success as no-one understood English, but one of the staff rescued me with an English translating app on his mobile. Finally, I got the delicious food I was looking to enjoy.
Ambience is good here that I got enticed to share a few pictures on Instagram. Only to realise that Instagram does not work in China. Not only Instagram, even Facebook and Google are not supported in China. May be a blessing in disguise, as no time wastage on social media. May be, good for productivity!
There was a temple adjacent to Forbidden City, which I missed out last evening. So next morning, I had some time before reporting to my office, so started early for “Temple of Ancestors”.
Huge hall with large number of bells is main attraction in this temple.

Dragon mouth styled carvings along the walkways in another noteworthy feature of this temple. 

Keep some time with you to enjoy a leisurely walk along the lake in this temple. 

While walking along with the streets, noticed well-arranged bicycles at almost all of the subway stations. It is a nice concept to reduce the traffic density on the roads, daily commuters can avail the bicycles to reach the subway station from their homes.

Peking Duck is one of the most popular delicacy, do try once you are in Beijing.
Beijing is much more than above spots, a city which has preserved its traditions while embracing modernity. As Mr. Rocky says there is always a next round. So one more trip to Beijing is due to cover all of the renowned spots and yes of course the legendary “Great Wall of China”.
Subway is a convenient option to explore Beijing. Even foreigners can buy the ticket easily by selecting the English Option on the ticket vending machines installed at every station.
Keep Exploring Guys.