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.

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.

October 18, 2018

On Nainital and Mukteshwar: A Lake, Deodars and Maple Leaves - part 2 of 2

We left for Mukteshwar at around 11 AM. Somehow it got cloudy again and the roads got under thick white mist. It took a while to drive out of the town since there were many people on the road. Soon it started to drizzle and it felt good. Mukteshwar is at a height of about 7200 ft and is right in the middle of Banj Oak and Deodar forests. The forest is evergreen and mostly covered in mist. You can see that green moss and lichens have taken over the whole forest since it rains here almost every day, even in summer. 

The road goes through Bhowali, which is another settlement on the way but I found that it has been hijacked by too many people and a lot of apartments were being built. The place was almost sold entirely for new construction. I hope they leave a few trees so that the place is recognizable. Crossing Bhowali, you get to Bhatelia which is about 6 kms from Mukteshwar. It is a quaint marketplace similar to almost every mountain market in Uttarakhand. There are fruit shops selling fresh apples, plums and kiwis which are grown in the orchards nearby. The road was lined by apple trees growing in fenced orchards. A few apples find their way outside the fences and they are eaten by children who can jump really high. The apples were big and red, all drenched with rain. You could see the water droplets shine on them, it was sweet. 

In the dense mist, the drive was slow and enjoyable. We could see clouds floating in the valley below, we were gaining altitude and the clouds were getting beneath us. The road was smooth and the trees looked were crooked and beautiful with vines slithering around them like thin green snakes with feathers on their bodies. It was like the whole forest was under a magic spell and made more beautiful under the mist and the clear water droplets on the trees.

We reached Mukteshwar around 2 PM and started to look for a place to stay, I wanted a room with a big window or many windows. I wanted a room on a cliff. We looked at many places, including the government KMVN rest house. It was quite isolated and at the very top but it had an ordinary view. So we went to at least five places before finding the perfect room which had huge windows right on the cliff.

When you walk out on the single road which takes you from one end of the place to the other, you realize that it is a very small settlement in an unreal setting. It is right in the middle of a dense forest where it rains and snows. There is a bank and post office here, at such a beautiful place and for a moment I curse all the people who are lucky to work and live here. However, there were a lot of “Land for sale” boards on vacant lands and orchards. While one can look at them with hope, the other can look at them with sorrow. There are some restaurants which can cook all the fancy food for you. There was no cultural essence in the place, at least from the outside. It is all in for the nature that people come here. If you have time, you can go for a hike to a waterfall called the “Bhaalu Gaad”. I spent a lot of time sitting in an open space staring out the steep cliffs. The clouds kept coming and leaving. They would form right in front of me and then rush upwards to the room and come rushing through the windows and fill the room completely. If you have never felt it or seen it with your own eyes, you would never believe it. The road goes from the beginning where there are few restaurants on the left and a forest on the right.  There are old guesthouses and some abandoned old colonial structures on the right with tall chimneys, now overgrown with grass and shrubs. Kumaon has had more colonial exposure than the other parts of Uttarakhand, while it also shares borders with China and Nepal. Since these places have been used for trace since ancient times, there are a lot of old structures spread throughout the region. I would like to go and see those abandoned structures someday. They might have been rest houses or offices for the British. I have never stayed in a place with chimneys but watching these long stone chimneys makes me happy and nostalgic for a feeling I have never felt before. The white walls of these old buildings are now greenish with moss and looks like painted with old mosaic patterns. A walk can be a long journey if you are watching. You can observe yourself walking in the middle of a forest and for once, you can be one with the brown trees and the grass growing on the road side.

You can walk on stones and on wet fallen leaves and look up to see the forest canopy, with all the trees almost coming close at the top but never touching. Whenever the weather clears, the sunlight comes filtered through the tree leaves and makes crazy patterns like tiger stripes on the road. It is difficult to recognize the essence of a forest or any natural place without respecting and accepting its power over you. We are small and we have existed only for a fraction of time compared to the trees and the forest and the land which has given us these friends. These birds, these flowers, these leaves and these butterflies, unless you are ready to be a humble guest, they will never open up their doors.

Mukteshwar is a magnificent place which fills one with humility and gratitude for the existence of true beauty. The night was beautiful and I slept peacefully. When I woke up it was drizzling, everything had disappeared. The clouds were on a riot but we had to leave. We left while it was raining, again, through the apple orchards and the red apples staring right at us. If you think you are somebody, just walk among the Deodar trees. 

(Post contributed by our friend traveller Nikhil Godiyal)

Vow, what a trail it had been from Nainital to Mukteshwar. Enjoy these delicacies, but remember:
A cleaner environment is an article of faith for us. We owe our future generations a greener and better planet
So do your best to leave these natural wonders in the cleaner state than you leave received on your arrival.