Delhi has been home for more than 20 years. Despite the accusations about its notorious nature, I have a distinct fondness for the city. Delhi angers, agitates, irritates, excites, soothes, all at the same time on any given day. But, it has survived the wrath of time gracefully and has been rebuilt seven times. There’s a stubborn resilience.
There were endless days when I would travel for hours just to savor the best bites. I still jump at the idea of traveling somewhere far to eat. And, the first thing I research about while planning a trip is food! Continue reading
Somewhere in my subconscious mind, I had decided that I have to travel somewhere in India when I visit home. In November last year, I finally took the flight to home and met my family after one whole year.
Since I couldn’t plan a trip before visiting, I kept searching for places after I reached home. And just like that, I chose Udaipur one night, booked the tickets, and informed my parents that they are coming with me. Thankfully, they love traveling and agreed to embark on this journey with me.
I have always loved Goa, even before I visited. One of those places you just belong to in your imagination. Last year, husband and I made a sudden plan to visit Goa in July since we were occupied with multiple things in the preceding months and were moving to the US in August.
There are some travelers who travel to just relax & break the monotony of their daily routine and choose a plush, high-end resort to indulge and be pampered. Then, there are some who come back to their hotel rooms just to sleep and wait for the first ray of daylight to rush out. Occasionally, I too travel to stay indoors only, but most of the times I prefer to be out. So spending a meaty amount of money on expensive hotels doesn’t make sense (to each his own!), not that I can really afford it Θ.
That is grand, but I can do three trips with their price for one night!
With the proliferation of unique stay concepts such as Couchsurfing and Airbnb, travelers are able to substantially reduce their cost of traveling. Personally, I love to research about Homestays or family-run guest houses which offer a combination of warm atmosphere, hot meals, and friendly conversations at a much lower price. Though I rarely use Airbnb or Couchsurfing, I have managed to find lovely homes almost everywhere. Plus, I am somewhat skeptical about staying at someone’s home, so I prefer family-owned, professionally managed Homestays!
Bundi is one place that took me by surprise and an amazing one at that! Tourism has been the focus of Rajasthan since long, but I had no clue that such tiny towns are frequented by British and French travelers in huge numbers. I, personally, had never heard of Bundi, so was curious to know the place after I read many snippets about it over the web.
Little know-how: Bundi is a small city in Rajasthan, situated 210 kilometers from Jaipur. Its famous for mural art, ornate forts, lakes and Baoris (step-wells). The famous writer, Rudyard Kipling, once stayed at Sukh Niwas Palace by the Jait Sagar Lake and his book Kim is inspired from Bundi.
I saw tiny blue-colored houses surrounded by the mountains with Bundi Palace prominently standing on one side. Atop the hill, you can see the walls of Taragarh Fort which runs through the city.
After checking in Hotel Bundi Haveli, I set out to explore the Bundi Palace and Taragarh Fort on foot. Location-wise and otherwise too, the hotel was a good pick and I was quite glad to book the same.
I would recommend everyone to explore (some part, at least) the city on foot as its charming and you might stumble upon something unique! Though, next day I set out on car to wander as I had to leave early.
Why I totally adored Bundi and regretted staying there for just one day?!
First impressions always last, and the way we were welcomed at Hotel Bundi Haveli made us happy about our choice! Nothing grand happened, just the genuine smiles and caring attitude impressed us. The receptionist even handed us a map of Bundi and informed us about all the places we can visit along with directions. It was fun to use a physical map in this day & age.
Apart from the service, we loved how beautifully the hotel was maintained. Its basically an old haveli, converted into a hotel.
While coming back from the Bundi Palace, I noticed a shop where an old man was busy with colors & brush outside and a lot of finished paintings in the tiny room inside. The man patiently showed me around his shop and talked about the painting techniques, colors and stories drawn.
His work was detailed, intricate and elaborate. I just loved how poised and calm this artist was and that he never pestered me to buy his paintings, just silently went back to his work when I left!
The Food! I was surprised to find so many options for continental cuisine in Bundi when I did a Google search. I tried Out of the Blue for dinner and Lake View Restaurant for breakfast.
The pizza and pasta at Out of the Blue was one of the best I have ever had. What really makes this place truly incredible is the panoramic views it offers, of the city and lake. You just have to walk up a never ending flight of stairs to reach here. But, at the end of it you wouldn’t regret it.
Breakfast at the lake-view restaurant was another beautiful experience. We had banana pancake and cheese-tomato sandwich while sitting in front of the Naval Sagar Lake.
This little boy was helping his parents serve as he had an off from school. We enjoyed our breakfast thoroughly which was fabulous.
There’s so much to see in Bundi from Bundi Palace, Chitrashala, Taragarh Fort, to the numerous Baoris & Lakes. I sat by the Jait Sagar Lake to understand how Kipling must have felt, spent hours to see the murals at Chitrashala, and walked down the stairs at Raniji ki baori to admire the architecture, yet wanted to see more!
Bundi was Lethal! I would visit again, and this time for a longer period.
This was one of the rare trips wherein I didn’t plan anything, packed my bags in 15 mins and hopped inside our car to reach a place I had never heard of. As much as I love planning my itinerary, I just couldn’t do it this time. It was a long weekend and I was occupied with work at office so couldn’t get time to plan in advance. I didn’t even get time to pack properly, so threw in whatever was handy and started our journey early in the morning. Continue reading