2019 - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Thursday, May 16, 2019

10 Mesmerizing Beaches of India

Emerald waters and silver sands...a mind blowing combination at Kadmat Island, India

When you are traveling to India for a summer holiday, the first beach destination that comes to mind is Goa. Goa is unarguably beautiful but not many of us know that India is full of captivating beaches scattered along its long coastline and offshore islands. They offer different experiences from family-oriented atmosphere to party filled coves. Here are some of the most mesmerizing beach destinations in India to help you plan your summer getaway.

1) Kadmat Beach, Lakshadweep Islands

A colorful setting on the Kadmat Lagoon

If you are looking forward to a relaxing summer holiday in India with your family, Kadmat will take your family bonding to the next level. A spot in the Indian Ocean when you look it up in the map, a beach holiday at Kadmat is on par with Mauritius and Maldives. Its silver sands, pristine emerald waters and rich underwater life are some of the best in India and is something that needs to be experienced by all beach lovers.

Things to do in Kadmat:

a) Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: The waters near Kadmat island are teeming with rich marine life and hence are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.

b) Kayaking: The lagoon on one side of Kadmat island is perfect for those kayaking sessions with friends.

c) Sunbathing with a book in your hand: Kadmat beach is ideal for sunbathing and since there are hardly any people here, the only sounds that disturb you are the sound of the waves.

2) Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

A postcard view of sunset at Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India

Considered as Asia’s No. 1 beach, Radhanagar beach or beach number 7 is famous for its iconic sunsets. Located on Havelock island in the Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, Radhanagar beach is extremely popular with couples and honeymooners.

Things to do in Radhanagar beach:

a) Lazy walks: Radhanagar beach is perfect for those long lazy walks especially during its magical sunsets.

b) Mangrove treks: Just beyond the beach are gorgeous mangroves, tidal flats and tropical forests that make for great hikes.

3) Cola Beach, Goa

A stunning view of the river that joins the sea at Cola beach, Goa

One of the hidden gems of Goa, Cola beach is located right under a tall cliff and is an absolutely beautiful place where a small river joins the sea. The beach is not super big here, but the river joining the sea here ensures that you can get the best of both fresh water and sea water.

Things to do in Cola:

a) Kayaking on the cola river under the shade of swaying coconut palms.

b) Beach volleyball at the place where the river joins the sea.

c) Stay in a riverside hut with a sea view.

4) Varkala Beach, Kerala

The stunning cliff beach of Kerala at Varkala

This cliff beach is undoubtedly one of Kerala’s most popular beaches. And it is also one of those divine beaches where a dip in the sea is supposed to wash away all your sins.

Things to do in Varkala:

a) Temple visit: Offer your prayers at the nearby 2000 year old Janardhan Swamy temple.

b) Cliff walk – dine, shop and enjoy the views while walking along the cliff edge.


5) Tarkarli, Maharashtra

Enjoying the sunset amidst pristine beach setting

Maharashtra’s Tarkarli beach boasts of a long stretch of white sand perfect for morning or afternoon walks. The beach is safe for the kids to play with waves. The community is known for being courteous and respectful. Tarkarli is a perfect place for fresh seafood by the shore and hammocks over the sand.

Things to do in Takarli:

a) Snorkeling – dive deep into the blue waters of Tarkarli and discover the beauty of underwater scenes like one-of-a-kind coral reefs and rare species of fishes.

b) Stay in a House Boat – experience the serenity and calmness of Tarkarli by staying in a Houseboat. Also, this is a good way to bond with family and kids because the cruise is exclusive to one guest or family.

c) Dolphin Watching – Dolphins are truly enjoyable to watch; they are one of the most charismatic sea creatures. Dolphin experience is one of the most captivating and exciting activities in Tarkarli.

6) Kaup, Karnataka


Quiet walk on the beach in the early hours of the morning

If you are looking for a quiet and clean sanctuary, Kaup is the place to be. The beach is very peaceful and calm. You can sit and relax in the shades of one of the large rocks while watching the waves. There are also a lot of restaurants with good food in the area. Kaup is famous for its lighthouse and pristine blue and green waters.

Things to Do in Kaup:

a) Visit Tourist Places – there are a lot of popular attractions and tourist spots in Kaup. Tourists can book day trips, excursions, and tours to maximize Kaup’s beauty.

7) Kovalam, Kerala


Chilling at Kovalam beach, Kerala

Another beach perfect for families is Kovalam, Kerala. The beach is one of the best for surfing and other water sports. Kovalam consists of two coves-Hawa and Lighthouse. Lighthouse is full of open-air restaurants with a fantastic view.

Things to do in Kovalam, Kerala:

a) Sight-Seeing Tour- there are a lot of tourist attractions in Kovalam. Enjoy the majestic view of these attractions while cruising along the water.

b) Overnight sightseeing in a houseboat – enjoy the tranquillity of backwaters while floating in a houseboat.

c) Water sports – you can try a water sport you’ve been dying to try. You can choose from surfing, paragliding, parasailing, jet skiing, or snorkelling.

8) Galgibaga, Goa

The silversands of Galgibaga Beach, South Goa

One of Goa’s cleanest beaches, Galgibaga beach is an important turtle nesting site. As it is a turtle nesting site, you will not find any tourist infrastructure here, but you can certainly walk on it and enjoy its pristine white sands and warm waters.

Things to do in Galgibaga:

a) Turtle nesting: If you happen to visit during turtle nesting season, you can either see the turtles come to the beach to lay the eggs or you can see the little ones make their way to the Arabian sea after they hatch from the eggs. Both of these are surreal experiences.

b) Long Barefoot walks: Galgibaga is one of those places where you will not find any trash, garbage or pollutant. It is as clean as how mother nature created it.

9) Muzhappilangad, Kerala


The gorgeous beaches of Kerala

Muzhappilangad, Kerala is known as the longest drive-in beach in Asia. It is also one of the best beaches for driving. Muzhappilangad, Kerala offers a one-of-a-kind experience by driving a 4KM stretch of sand while you enjoy the view of the Malabar Coast. Enjoy swimming safely with the kids because the water current is not high. You can also get to taste their delicacies along the way with multiple shacks that offer authentic cuisine.

Things to Do in Muzhappilangad:

a) Walk to the Dharmadam Islands - you walk to Dharmadam Island a few minutes away from Muzhappilangad. Dharmadam Island is a private beach with scenic views.

b) Enjoy Water Activites – your stay at Muzhappilangad Beach will not be complete without trying their water activities like parasailing and paragliding.

10) Patnem, Goa


Yoga, Meditation, Reading, Swimming, Cricket, Frisbee, Walking, Jogging, Ambling, Sleeping, Sunbathing, Drinking...all at Patnem Beach

Patnem beach is located in Goa. It’s the perfect sanctuary for complete relaxation. Yogis visiting Goa love this serene place. If you want some me time, this place is not too crowded and can be your perfect haven in India. You can peacefully hang out in a humble bamboo hut by the beach and relax as you swim in the clear waters.

Things to do in Patnem:

a) Enjoy a yoga retreat- If you’re in for a yoga holiday, this is the place to be. There are yoga classes for beginners and professionals alike.

b) Visit Jaali Boutique and Café- For the fashionista, you can find exquisite designer clothes in this boutique plus modern Rajasthani textiles, jewellery, and other handicrafts.

Takeaway

I hope you have realized by now that India is full of beautiful beaches that offer everything from gorgeous setting, pristine nature, warm waters, adventure, partying and so much more. So, where have you decided to go on your beach holiday in India?

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

7 Best Destinations in Singapore for a Family Holiday

Singapore Skyline as seen from Gardens by the Bay

Summer holidays are here and it is time to plan for that memorable family holiday. But, here comes the usual conundrum… Where should I go? Will my kids have a good time? Will it be too expensive? From the top of my head, I can think of 3 destinations that are not too expensive, are located not too far away from India and they offer a plethora of options for kids of all ages. In fact, they are fabulous family holiday destinations too. These places are Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. Out of these 3, Singapore happens to the eternal favorite for Indian family travelers. It could be due to the proximity. It could be because of its world class facilities and status. It could be because of its small size and hence easy commutes. Or it could be because of the sheer number of things that one can experience in this city country. Whatever the reason may be, Singapore is an amazing family holiday destination.

Lion at Merlion Park and Singapore Downtown

If you agree and are planning a holiday to Singapore, then do make sure that you manage to add these 7 best destinations in your Singapore family holiday itinerary.

1) Universal Studios Singapore

Faraway Land - Universal Studios Singapore

A one-of-its kind theme park in Asia, Universal Studios Singapore is definitely a top attraction for a Singapore family holiday. Located on the happening Sentosa Island, Universal Studios Singapore is home to 24 rides, shows and attractions across seven different themes. It doesn’t matter whether you are thrill seekers, selfie lovers, super hero lovers or cartoon lovers, you are bound to love your time here. If you are a true thrill seeker, you will absolutely adore the world’s tallest duelling roller coasters Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYLON.

There are a whole bunch of options when it comes to tickets, so you can either choose based on the type of ride, show or theme that you are interested in or you could opt for an all-in ticket. For the best deal on Universal Studio Singapore tickets, do ensure that you book well in advance.

2) Gardens by the Bay

Tower Gardens of Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

This nature park with its vertical tower gardens are a sight to behold and are one of the most photogenic places of Singapore. Such is its charm that it is listed as the top attraction in Singapore on Tripadvisor and it features in the world’s top 20 most checked-in places on Facebook. It’s top attractions include the Supertree Grove and OCBC Skyway, Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, Children’s garden. The Gardens by the Bay is also one of the best places to see a bird’s eye view of Singapore.

3) Sentosa Island

Royal Albatross Cruise - Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa Island is that place in Singapore where theme parks, beaches, nature, dining, shopping, golf, hotels and spas all come together, thus making it the top destination in all Singapore tours. It is home to everything from waterparks to butterfly kingdoms, skywalks and cable cars to Segway adventure, Madame Tussads to S.E.A Aquarium and from Universal Studios Singapore to Wave House. My favorite things to do here are chill at Palawan beach, go on a sunset themed cruise on Super Yacht Royal Albatross, Asia’s only luxury tall ship, get a bird’s eye view of Singapore from inside Singapore cable car, enter the marine realm at S.E.A Aquarium, indulge in some jet packing at Ola beach club and lose myself amidst the myriad of colors at the butterfly park and insect kingdom.

4) Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park

Orangutan at Singapore Zoo

Considered as one of the top 3 zoos in the world, Singapore Zoo is the best place to see animals in a heavily forested habitat. The popular animals here are orangutans, baboons, mandrins, elephants, white tigers and giraffe. It is a great place to see animals in its natural habitat, learn about them, feed them and even touch some of them. Apart from the zoo buggy ride, one can also indulge in a night safari and river safari.

Cockatoo at Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

If you are interested in birds, then you should head to Jurong Bird Park, which is also managed by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which manages Singapore Zoo. Penguins, raptors, hornbills, lories, lorikeets, parakeets and many other vibrant and colorful bird species can be seen here. You can feed them, hold them, talk to them and even take selfies with them.

5) Chinatown

Aerial view of Sentosa Island, Singapore

Chinatown is a tapestry of cultural diversity, food stalls and shopping. This colorful region of Singapore is where I would head to in the evening for an authentic Singapore food experience, followed by some souvenir hunting and inexpensive shopping. The top highlights of Chinatown are Chong Wong We – Singapore’s oldest Chinese School, Tong Ah Eating house, the rich heritage of Hotel 1929, an authentic tea experience at Pek Sin Choon, Tong Heng for the egg tarts and Chinatown complex for some of Singapore’s best food stall experience.

6) Haji Lane, Kampong Glam

Arab quarter of Singapore

Famous for being one of the narrowest streets in Singapore, Haji Lane in Kampong Glam is known for its hipster vibes. It is known for clothing boutiques, vintage cameras, cafes, bars and restaurants. It is one of those neighbourhoods where you go for lunch or for an evening walk. And while you are enjoying your drink, sipping on your coffee or relishing your meal, do not miss out on its amazing murals and street arts.

7) Little India

Singapore Skyline and Sunset from Gardens by the Bay

Head to Little India if you are missing your home food, aroma, culture and bustle. One of Singapore’s vibrant districts, Little India’s Serangoon road and neighbouring streets are full of Hindu temples, flower markets, spice shops and Indian restaurants. This whole district smells, looks and feels like India. If you feel like Indian food (North or South Indian), this is the place you want to be. And while you are in this area, do remember to visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the more beautiful Hindu temples located here.

Photo Courtesy: Some photographs in this article have been borrowed from wikipedia.org under the creative commons license. Each image has been linked to their host page on wikipedia.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Explore these Offbeat Destinations in India

Nirona, Kutch - an offbeat cultural gem to explore in India

India is a fascinating country. With a vast land area, it’s no wonder that India is teeming with various tourist destinations. There are popular tourist attractions in India such as Taj Mahal in Agra, Varanasi and Goa in Southwest India, and more. However, there are also places in India that are waiting to be discovered.

Here are some of these off the beaten track places that one could explore in India:

Chopta, Uttarakhand


Beautiful Himalayan Landscape of Uttarakhand

Chopta is a very scenic hill station located in Uttarakhand State. The area is often dubbed as the “mini-Switzerland of India” because it is covered with evergreen meadows and abundant forests. Chopta serves as a base or starting point for treks to the popular Tungnath temple, one of the world’s highest Shiva temples. This temple offers a remarkable 360-degree view of beautiful Himalayan vistas.

Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat


Rani Ki Vav - Magnificent heritage of Gujarat

West India is known for its stepwells - these were extensive wells or ponds constructed ages ago to provide easy access to water, especially during droughts. One of the grandest stepwells is Rani Ki Vav or Ran-ki Vav (Queen’s stepwell) located in the state of Gujarat. This crown jewel situated outside of Patan Town is, without a doubt, a magnificent work of art and architecture in India.

Majuli Island, Assam


Tea gardens and working women - Mishing Tribal village, Panbari, Kaziranga, Assam

Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island, is surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra River. However, this river island has been shrinking over the past few years due to climate change and other factors. Nonetheless, this island is rich in its natural beauty and cultural attractions. One can take a bicycle to explore this island, do bird watching, and visit countless satras (Hindu monasteries) scattered everywhere on the island. Each of these satras are famous for a specific art form or celebration.

Kodagu, Karnataka


What a view! Even the mutt stares on! - Kodagu, Karnataka

Kodagu (also known as Coorg) is a tranquil district located in the southern state of Karnataka. The area has a fascinating rainforest landscape, misty hills, and vast areas of tea and coffee plantations. One can also enjoy visiting Abbi Falls or partake in the annual Puthari Festival in November.

Kannur, Kerala


Offbeat beaches of Kerala

This offbeat town in Kerala is known for its number of beaches, hills, temples and monuments. Among its beaches are Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach, the only drive-in beach in Kerala and Payyambalam Beach which has a continuing coastline of a few kilometres. Situated also in Kannur is St. Angelo’s Fort, a significant historical monument and a tourist attraction in India. Kannur is also known for an ancient ritual form of worship called Theyyam.

Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh


Beach line view from atop Kailashgiri, Vizag

Araku Valley is a small and peaceful hill station in Andhra Pradesh. The beauty of this hill station is captivating and is considered a hidden gem because only a small number of travellers are aware of its immaculate beauty. Because of the valley’s impressive weather, it has become a perfect place for coffee plantation. Apart from this, Araku Valley has several attractive places like Borra Cave, which is home to different shapes of stalagmites, and a tribal museum, which gives a perception into the tribal life.

Rann of Kutch, Gujarat


A winter morning sunrise from the White Rann Salt Desert

Unlike the rest of the places featured above, the Rann of Kutch is a salty marshland located in Gujarat in India and some parts on the southern tip of Pakistan. This area has been described as a white desert, isolated and barren. Nevertheless, Rann of Kutch is home to a lot of wildlife. Migratory and terrestrial birds like cranes, pelicans, flamingos, francolins, great indian bustards and hourbara bustards can be seen living in this area. Rann of Kutch is also home to India’s last population of Indian wild ass or commonly called Khur, or Gundkhur. A wildlife sanctuary has been established in the area - the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary.

If you are planning to explore India soon, why not try out these off the beaten track places and get ready for a real adventure!

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10 Packing Essentials for Summer Holidays

A California beach holiday

This is that time of the year when the schools are closed and when you plan those long family vacations. Planning and packing for these summer holidays can certainly be interesting, but can cause pain in the wrong places if you do it wrong. This definitely applies to one element of this season, which is the heat and the humidity. While you can certainly mitigate it by carrying everything with you, we all know that it is bound to be the worst possible option. And which is why I have come up with these 10 packing essentials for your summer holidays. These bare essentials do not take much space in your travel luggage and will ensure that you have nothing to worry about the elements during your summer vacation. If you have elderly travelers or people with mobility issues, you can also look up this article about planning an accessible holiday for additional inputs and tips.

1) Sunglasses

2 Bhutanese boys and their colourful sunglasses

Wherever in the world you end up going to, in all probability, you are bound to be greeted with bright sunshine during your summer holidays. And that is why you need to carry with you a good pair of polarized sunglasses to protect you from all the UV radiation and to ensure that you see the beauty of the places you are visiting without worrying about the glare and the haze. This becomes very important when you are on mountains, next to ski slopes or next to water bodies.

My choice: Oakley, Ray Ban or Maui Jim Polarized Sunglasses

2) Hydration pack or Reusable Water Bottle

Hydration pack and summer holidays

All of us know that we need to stay well hydrated during summer, else we are bound to fall sick. That is why I recommend carrying a small hydration backpack (like how the cyclists carry) or a reusable water bottle with you at all times. You can fill in the water at your hotel before leaving for your exploration and then top it as needed. This also helps in reducing the plastic burden on the environment.

My choice: CamelBak Hydration pack

3) Probiotics and Prebiotics

My Summer Holiday to the USA

I have noticed during my travels that people usually suffer from stomach bugs during the summer months. This could be either due to the quality of water they drink or due to the fact that our digestion becomes weaker in hotter weather. And that is why I recommend that you carry probiotics and prebiotics with you. These are healthy gut bacteria that the body loses in extremely hot weather. These are available in pill form and can be carried easily. You can eat them one hour before or one hour after your meals on the first signs of uneasiness.

Look up this article of mine if you are looking for first aid kit packing ideas.

My choice: VSL3 (worldwide presence) and Actigut (Available in India)

4) Comfortable Cotton Wear

A Rajasthan Holiday

These days, everyone including me seem to be carrying and wearing DryFit and ClimaCool gym wear during our travels. While these are super easy to use and carry, nothing beats the comfort and cooling effect of cotton clothes during a warm summer day. This natural fabric is a must have in your summer packing list. You can carry full sleeve clothes for very hot weather or simple loose clothing for regular summers.

My choice: Cotton T-Shirts, Cotton Pants and Cotton Shorts

5) Head Gear (Hats or Caps or Bandanas)

Colourful Traditional Headgear of a Omani man

Our heads are affected first during a hot day and that is why most of us carry hats, caps, bandanas, turbans or scarves to protect us from the heat. While wide brimmed hats made from natural fibre offer the best respite from the sun, they can be quite tricky to carry around. Foldable cotton hats are ideal as they are usually easy to carry and can be washed.

My choice: Buff, Middle Eastern style Scarves or Bandanas

6 Neck Gear (Scarves or Buff)

Middle Eastern head gear protects both head and neck

A lot of us remember to protect our head during a hot day, but forget our necks and hence end up with a red or burnt neck. This is why you should carry a headgear that also protects your neck or you wear a buff or scarf to protect your neck.

My choice: I prefer a Middle Eastern style scarf that not only protects my head, but my neck too.

7) Sunscreen

Summer Hiking at Lycian Way, Turkey

Sunscreen is something that all of you might be using during your summer holidays, but the key thing to remember here is to select your sunscreen SPF based on the location that you are visiting. SPF 15 and SPF 30 are good for regular city walks, while SPF 60 and SPF 90 might be good for mountains and coastal environments. SPF 120 might be best for real high altitude destinations, such as the Himalayas. Do remember to wear waterproof sunscreen in humid weather and chemical free ones in case you are entering a natural water body with fishes and living creatures.

My choice: I don’t burn easily and hence don’t use sunscreen lotions.

8) Flip Flops/ Breathable Sneakers

Flip flops are the norm if you are on a beach holiday. They allow you to stay cool and get wet, but if you are planning summer holidays inland, then you would need good quality sneakers that breathe well. Some brands have shoes that cater to this specific need.

My choice: Adidas breathable sneakers and simple rubber flip flops.

9) Electrolyte Drinks or Oral Rehydration Salts

Summer Holiday to New Orleans, USA

In spite of protecting ourselves well and in spite of drinking enough water, we might still get dehydrated. This could be due to your consistent walking in the sun or simply because of the heat and the humidity. While drinks like Gatorade are good during such times, I prefer electrolyte salts as they rehydrate you the proper way in record time. And since they come in tiny sachets, they are very easy to carry. All you have to do is open a sachet, add it to a glass of cold water and simply drink it.

My choice: Electral Oral Rehydration Salts

10) Swim Wear

We humans love the water and when the temperature rises, we seem to go in search of it. It could be a hotel swimming pool, a lake, a river or the ocean. We simply want to jump in and cool off. But, for that you need the right wear or else it can create a different set of problems. Swim wear from brands such as Billabong, Rip Curl, QuikSilver and others are light, dry very fast and come in fabulous colors and designs.

My choice: Rip Curl board shorts

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Windermere Estate: Luxurious Plantation Home in Munnar

The warm interiors of the library at Windermere Estate, Munnar

You are only about 5 kms away from the hustle and bustle of Munnar’s main market, but it feels like you are located in remote mountains. You have left the highway, crossed a bridge on the Munnar headworks dam and have kept ascending the narrow winding roads till you have been surrounded by tall mountains, grasslands, lush forests and plantations. This area is called Pothamedu and the road that you took to reach here is called the Bison valley road.

Open to the Sky Lunch at Winderemere Estate, Munnar

It is here that you can spend a luxurious plantation holiday amidst pristine and beautiful nature and the place that can offer you such a luxurious experience is the Windermere Estate in Munnar. The Windermere Estate is made up of some 100 acres of cardamom, pepper and tea plantations and in between these plantations are located traditionally styled luxurious bungalows where you can chill during your Kerala mountain holiday.



Gorgeous Nature

At Windermere Estate, the smell of fresh pepper and cardamom wafts in the air. Consistent chirping of birds greet you almost always here and early mornings and late evenings can specially be a riot of bird sounds. Lush greenery is omnipresent. Only the plant type varies. While colorful flowers adorn the walking paths close to your bungalow, fruit orchards can be found a little further away and beyond that you are surrounded by lush green and tall mountains of the Western Ghats. And if you feel like a much longer walk or hike, you can walk deeper into their plantations or climb the mountain peak just opposite the property.

Cardamom Pods and Cardamom Plantations - Windermere Estate, Munnar

And if you climb the peak (the in-house tall rock) during early mornings and late evenings, you can catch some surreal views of the special Pothamedu sunrise and sunset along with the view of the mountain ranges that rise above the mist. And during the rains and the cold winter months, you almost always walk in dense mist especially during the early mornings, late evenings and nights.



Lip Smacking Food

Stunning nature is one of the highlights of a holiday at Windermere Estate in Munnar. The other key highlight of a holiday here is their food. Their in-house chef Jobi and his team serve you a diverse range of foods ranging from traditional Kerala cuisine to north Indian, continental and international. I absolutely loved their freshly squeezed juices, the different teas and coffee from their plantation, their omelettes and their traditional Kerala lunches. Their desserts are legendary and certainly a must-experience. You definitely need to keep some space in your stomach just for them. Their food is so good that one can certainly stay here just to eat, relax and sleep.

The world of tea for the tea connossieur in you

Large Luxurious Rooms with Traditional Decor

One of the other highlights of Windermere Munnar are its massive sized rooms that come with lots of open spaces, traditional design elements and modern day luxuries. It offers the perfect environment for sleeping, relaxation, yoga, reading, quality family time and what not. Their bathrooms are much bigger than normal sized hotel rooms, so you can imagine how big the actual room would be.

Traditional Kerala breakfast of Puttu, Kadala curry, Poovam Bananas and Papadum at Windermere Estate, Munnar

Cosy Library

If you love reading and/or music, Windermere Estate has the perfect place for you. Completely designed and styled in wood like a tropical wooden cabin, the Windermere library overlooks the swimming pool, the mountains and the tea gardens. This is the kind of place where you roll into a ball and read your bag while sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee. You could also catch on a post lunch siesta while listening to some of your favorite music in this cosy environment.

Original house of Windermere Estate, Munnar

Swimming Pool overlooking the Tea Gardens

While Munnar mornings and evenings are usually chilly and nippy, their mid mornings and afternoons get get unusually warm due to the tropical mountain sun. The swimming pool next to the library and overlooking the tea gardens offers the perfect place for such a hot day. You could either relax here soaking in the morning sun or you could indulge in some fun time with your family and friends. And once you have worked up an appetite with your swimming and water games, you can happily indulge in the delicious food, before planning for a long afternoon siesta. Sounds like a dream, right?

Garden Room - Windermere Estate, Munnar

Lovely Hospitality

In addition to all of the above highlights, I loved the people running and managing this place. Not only did they listen and cater to my every whim and fancy, they did so with a big smile and they were always eager to serve more, be it food, hospitality, local knowledge or simply love for mother nature. In my mind, people make a good place and Windermere Estate is that kind of place.

Gorgeous nature seen from Windermere Estate, Munnar

And when you wish to take a break from the luxury of this plantation getaway, you can choose from a wide variety of itineraries that include day trips, half-day trips, treks, birdwatching, insect watching, shopping and much more. Windermere Munnar have in-house naturalists and travel guides who make sure that you get the most unique experience.

Traditional Kerala Lunch at Windermere Estate, Munnar

For example, they helped me discover local strawberry wine in a village near Munnar. They helped me sight the largest mass bloom of the rare Neelakurinji flower. They helped me discover some of the highest motorable roads in peninsular India. They helped me trek on the ancient highway from Munnar to Kodaikanal via a pristine tropical rainforest.

The swimming pool that is surrounded by mighty green mountains - Windermere Estate, Munnar

Like this, they helped me discover many offbeat experiences near Munnar. If offbeat luxury and plantation holidays are your thing, I would definitely recommend that you give Windermere Estate a look. I am pretty sure you will be smiling from ear to ear post your trip!

Sunset colors seen from the peak at Windermere Estate, Munnar

Windermere River House – Luxury Riverside Retreat at Kothamangalam

Windermere Retreats has another property under its wings and it is a luxury riverside retreat close to Thattekad bird sanctuary. While Windermere Munnar is great for family holidays, Windermere River House is perfect for couples. As it is run by the same management, it enjoys all the above mentioned highlights. In addition, it enjoys a remote riverside location and is just a couple of hours away from Windermere Munnar, which means that you can plan a lovely vacation that includes both these places. To know more about this property, read my detailed article on them.

The scenic Pothamedu road of Munnar

Types of rooms offered at Windermere Estate, Munnar:

1) Garden Room – these are the entry level rooms that are great for a couple or for a couple with toddlers.

2) Estate Room – these are mid level rooms perfect for a larger family and also for teenage kids.

3) Planters Room – these are the largest level of rooms offered here and can easily accommodate multiple families. These rooms also enjoy a view of the vast mountain landscape.



How to reach here:

The nearest domestic and international airport would be Kochi in Kerala. From here, it should be a 3 hour winding mountain drive to the property. The distance is not much, but due to the narrow mountain roads, it usually takes a bit longer. This drive is also a good excuse to soak in the beauty of this part of Kerala.

Sunrise moment from Pothamedu, Munnar

How to book this place:

You can either book online at Windermere Munnar website or Rare India website. Alternatively, you can also call them on their phone numbers or go through physical and online travel agents who book here.

Tea Tasting Ceremony at Windermere Estate, Munnar

Best time to visit:

Munnar is open all year around, though if you ask me, I will say go during the rains as that is when the nature dons its best colors and this also happens to be the lean season. People usually flock to this hill station during the summer and winter holidays and also during long weekends and festivals.

Plantation Bungalows of Windermere Estate, Munnar

Nearby Tourist Attractions:
There are a whole bunch of places worth seeing and experiences worth having near Munnar, but if you wish some of the most offbeat ones, do read my recent blog article on 11 offbeat experiences to be had near Munnar, Kerala. For the other main ones, read my list below:

1) The Nilgiri Tahr at Eravikulam National Park

2) Vattavada, a quiet vegetable and fruit farming hamlet

3) Pampadum Shola National Park

4) Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

5) Mattupetty and Kundala Dam

6) Top Station view point

7) The various tea estates all around Munnar

8) Marayoor Sandalwood forest

9) Umpteen waterfalls located all around, including the big Attukad waterfall

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