Saturday, 2 August 2014

Beyond Hampi - A twist to your regular Hampi Vacation

A private patio with swingbeds overlooking the paddy fields, palms and a landscape of boulders.
A peaceful walk thru paddies to the river bank.
An early morning lakeside bicycle ride.
Let the relaxed vibe of Hampi Island hit you !!!
It will be as much Tranquil or as much Hippie as you want.

Try this - Go to any travel agent, travel portal or google (for our slothful readers) and ask them about the places to visit in Karnataka. All of them, unanimously, will suggest you the ruined remains of Hampi. Once the capital of Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi is a village in the northern Karnataka about 13 km from the town of Hospet, the nearest railhead. Located along the banks of the Tungabhadra River, the remaining ruins of Hampi also known as Group of Monuments at Hampi is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Task #2: Again go to any travel agent or travel portal and ask them about the options for sightseeing in and around Hampi. They will bring out the newly printed flashy pamphlets with all the information about the places in Hampi. Even though the pamphlets are new, the information will be same as you would have got it, 10-15 years ago. Most of them will take you to the tried and tested places like Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Tungabhadra River, Shivlinga, and Zanana Enclosure among other touristy places. But Hampi is much beyond these famous places. We at HFL present to you what we are known for, taking you on a tour past Hampi. Definitely a road less travelled.

Virupapur Gadde- A rural location but famous as ‘Hippie Hideout (for obvious reasons)’, Virupapur Gadde is located near Virupaksha Temple but on the other side of the river Tungabhadra. This place is filled with lodges and paddy-facing cottages. The place is a delight for the bouldering enthusiasts. Adventure freaks can satisfy their adrenaline rush over here. Some of the guest houses even offer it as a complimentary service. Do enquire about it. Given the risk involved, if you are trying it for the first time, do it under proper guidance.

Shanthi Guest House
Anjaneya Hill - For all those Ramayan lovers or Ram and Hanuman worshippers, a visit to Anjaneya Hill is a must. Hanuman, the monkey god was born to Anjana thus he got the name as Anjaneya and his birthplace came to be known as Anjaneyadri or Anjaneya Hill. The place can be reached from Hampi by crossing the river on a coracle. There is a whitewashed temple on the hill top, which helps in making the hill easily spottable. A white path of zig -zag steps leads to the temple. The journey to the top of the hill takes about 45 minutes. Everyday Ramayan is recited inside the temple in Hindi and not in the local Kannada language. If it is not a special occasion the temple is thronged by very few people, thus giving you ample opportunities to soak into divine blessings. The panoramic view from the top of the hill is absolutely breathtaking. Who knows, it might even kindle the poet in you and pen down a beautiful prose.

Sanapur Lake - Created as the man-made lake reservoir of the Tungabhadra river, Sanapur Lake is one place which will evaporate all off your worries, tension and sorrows to infinity. Though the place doesn’t hold any historical importance but it is a must visit place for all tourists going on an off-beat Hampi trail. Lake is a delight for the shutter bugs as the place offers scenic sunrise and panoramic sunset and nature's other offerings in between and beyond. The place also houses some of the cheap accommodation options for Hampi travellers.
Sanapur Lake
Anegundi - The older brother of Hampi, Anegundi is located on the northern bank of Tungabhadra River. It is considered to be one of the oldest plateaus of the world dating back 3000 million years ago. Hence many localities refer to this place as the maternal home of mother Earth. This place also holds relevance to all mythology lovers, as this place is believed to be the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha in epic Ramayana. 

The best way to experience Anegundi is to stay at Uramma Heritages Homes or Cottages - A rural hospitality initiative aimed at restoring old properties by keeping their unique architecture and heritage intact. 

For all those people who have already visited Hampi next time try the above off beat destinations and for those who are yet to visit it, do include these destinations into your itinerary as it leave you stupendous.  

Monday, 30 June 2014

A Weekend with Wine - Heritage Winery

"Achche din aane wale hai" - This is what we could infer from the onset of the pre-monsoon showers that had briefly rescued Bangalore from the harsh summers. And the best part - Breezy and cloudy days providing a perfect stage for a longdrive. So after considering various equally beautiful options like Lepakshi, Devaryandurga and Madhugiri, we finally zeroed down on Heritage Winery for a day trip on 21st June. The plan was to start by 10.30 in the morning, reach there by 12, experience the wine tour followed by a laidback lunch at the inhouse Epulo Restaurant. Lazy Saturday morning and late breakfast ensured that we started @ 12 after picking up our friends from Electronic City. The route was straightforward and the drive, smooth. We reached the winery in less than 2 hours. There are plenty of sign boards put up on Mysore Road indicating the route, thereby making it impossible to miss the left turn after Channapatna. The last 3-4 Kms were bumpy with no road in sight, but the peaceful country-like surroundings make up for the kachcha road.

With everyone feeling hungry and the restaurant being the first thing we saw as we entered, the plan was altered to accommodate lunch first and everything else later on. Now since I had read some good reviews of the place, I was really looking forward to having a good meal there. The start was good as everything on the menu except quail was available (I have mostly observed that restaurants with limited web presence, generally shrink their menu). We ordered most of the wines on the menu as none of us wanted to miss a chance of having wine in a vineyard. For starters we ordered potato-n-cheese croquettes, chicken-a-la-kiev, BBQ wings and for the mains veg strognoff, herbed rice, chicken-la-king, grilled chicken, chicken bolognese. While everything we ordered was fresh and decent (certainly not great), the quantity left a lot be desired. The service was a bit slow but the staff was courteous. The restaurant manager Mr. Balaji updated  us later that they are planning to come up with a tented accommodation facility and a bigger restaurant :). A stroll through the green vineyard post sumptuous lunch fine-tuned the beautiful experience.

Even though it wasn't the finest of restaurants we have been to, the overall experience turned out to be a memorable one. May be it was the green surroundings, the open air restaurant or the wine - The place had a certain feel-good factor, thereby making an enjoyable experience for all of us.

Report Card:

Ambience - Good 3.5/5
Service - Good 3.5/5
Food - Good 3.5/5

We ordered 10 glasses wine, 3 starters, 5 main course and 2 desserts. The bill came to Rs. 3200/-

Over-all: Good 3.5/5 

Will I Go Back - Daytrip + Family/Friends + Wine + Laidback = I know where to go !!!

P.S. A heads-up for the people planning to take the wine tour- please be ready to bear the mild stench of rotting grapes if you are visiting outside harvesting season.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Nilgiris - The Coldest Summer Getaway for Bangaloreans

Once upon a time, in other cities of India people used to envy our city of Bengaluru for its charismatic and ever soothing weather. Not so hot and humid summers, cool but not chilled winters and wet but romantic monsoon. This is how the seasons used to present themselves to the people of Bangalore. But those are past.To escape these pains we have to remain confined within the artificial environment of our home or office.

Monday to Friday you are forced to sit on your reclining office chair and stare in front of the computer, well-guarded from the sun’s menace and then go home and again sit on your couch in front of your grand LED-TVs within the comforts of your home. But why do you have to do this on the weekends, even when God has gifted the Bangaloreans with some fantastic hillside locations in the Nilgiris. You can go on a trip to tried-and-tested ‘the queen of hills’ Ooty & Coonoor. The innumerable valleys and lakes of Red hills, acres and acres of plantation in Kotagiri and the high peaks of Avalanche hills, the Nilgiris has so much to offer that you will be spoilt for choice.  The best thing about Nilgiris is that it lies between 1500 to 2600 above msl, making it the highest and the coldest hill stations in comparison to the likes of Coorg, Wayanad & Chikamagalur. Bunk the coziness of your home, get out and experience how to it feels when the natural cool breeze strikes against your face and send you in trance.

Udhagamandalam,Ootacamund or Ooty, the queen of the hill stations is the first name that pops out when we think about the Nilgiris. Even though we have to been to this place gazillion times and it has changed from a weekend hideout to a money raking commercial tourist center; the place still has its charm and manages to burst your stress, the moment we step upon this serene world. The Rose and Botanical Gardens, the lake, the famous Nilgiris Mountain Railway aka the toy-train and its steam chugging locomotives, ‘The queen’ has lots to offer that you can ask for.

Coonoor, the second most popular hill station in the Nilgiris, is also conferred with lavishly staged or spectacular display of natural beauty. Coonoor is the most commonly visited place for bird watchers for the place is full of beautiful and rare birds including black woodpecker, parakeets, barbets, mynas, cuckoos, Malabar trogon, Malabar gray hornbill, crested hawk eagle, and crested serpent eagle. Though secondary in importance to Ooty, Coonoor offers a more secluded retreat, away from the crowds that throng Ooty. Blessed with a milder climate, Coonoor also offers some of the finest hiking and trekking in South India, which will enable you to be closest to the rolling mountains and lush green foliage of this hill resort.

Kotagiri - A jungle trail that takes you to a small stream or passing the lush green tea estates and a magnificent Mayo River, a viewpoint providing some of the most spectacular and ‘instagram’ moments that you don't even think exists, a 4 km trek up to the sacred Rangasamy Pillar or splashing waters and having the moment of the life under Catherine and Elk Falls, Kotagiri will make you go weak at the knees and leave you yearning for more. Doddabetta, the zenith of Nilgiris is just 22 km away from Kotagiri.

Avalanche and Red Hills - Situated very close to each other, Avalanche and Red Hills serves up as an alternate destination for ever crowded Ooty and are only 28 kms away from it.The place serves out a ranges of valleys and lakes on the platter to entice your adventure hunger. Be it trout fishing in the Avalanche Lake, BBQ near the Emerald Lake or a trek in the green and serene Red Hills, the place has no dearth of options for the people bitten by the travel bug.

So if a romantic holiday tucked away in the hills amidst cool-n-fresh air and verdant Nature is what you are looking for this summer, Nilgiris is your best bet. 

You can also checkout our handpicked choicest accommodations in Nilgiris: Experience Nilgiris

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Breaking The Myth Called Sharavathi Nature Trails

Donald Porter, V.P. of British Airways once said ‘Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.’  This post is not to introduce you to a new destination or an offbeat experience, but to acquaint you of how mismanagement of certain service providers can completely sour the mood of the customers and give them a bitter experience, while they were yearning for tranquility.

Recently, a team of HFL along with our valuable clients, went on an excursion to Sharavathi Valley. The valley located in the central Western Ghats of Shimoga district, Karnataka is a serene deciduous forests of the Western ghats and has many waterfalls, islands and jungle trails to offer. We at HFL have been endorsing the place for last 3 years and it is one of the most sought after location among our clientele. The service provider in this case is Sharavathi Nature Camp, an Outdoor Adventure and Environmental Education Organization that provides a camping and water activities program.

The Sharavathi Backwaters

The trip began on a bad note when there was nobody to brief/receive us upon arrival. Lack of any kind of manager/guide surprised us, as we had been very well received in the past by program coordinators. Pushing this out of our minds as a result of lack of resources, we had a sumptuous breakfast of idli-sambhar, and got ready for the trek. There was no room to put our luggage, and we depended on the kind-heartedness of the cooks who agreed to let us keep our luggage in kitchen storeroom. The cooks of the camp donned the hats of the trekking guide and the team had to follow them as no trekking guide was available this time.In our previous visit, a forest ranger was hired as a guide who gave a detailed information about the place, trails  and various flora and fauna. Thankfully the driver we had hired from Sagar decided to accompany us. A late start to the trek, courtesy complete mismanagement and miscommunication, ensured that we trekked in hot sun. Nevertheless, the scenic surroundings of the jungle calmed our annoyance and we trekked to the beautiful waterfalls. Enjoying our trek and the pure luxury of waterfall in the hot weather, we returned to the camp, boneless with exhaustion. Looking forward to a tent and shower wasn’t asking for too much, would ya say ?

Water for bathing

Murphy’s Law ensured we were deprived of both for the next 3-4 hours after our return. There was no tent in place, and no water in the common bathrooms/washrooms due to a malfunctioning motor. Our less-than-desired fluency in Kannada resulted in us trying to explain to the cooks for the next 2 hours that we wanted a tent and water to bathe. Going back and forth between the arguments about whether we should return to Sagar and rent a hotel, we finally decided to stay as the lure of a bonfire on the banks of backwaters in moonlight was too strong.  There is a God, and He decided to intervene then, when the cooks/helpers finally understood our plight and put up an available old tent for us. We shall not talk about the condition of the tent, because, you know, we’d like to forget it ASAP. Sufficient to say that it gave us somewhere to be, so that we could spend the night.

Collapsed Tent

The next day, which was supposed to be dedicated to water activities, saw us sharing 2 kayaks amongst 15 people. Eventually everyone chucked the kayaks, and enjoyed a cool swim in the backwaters. We came back to our tent by noon, and after devouring tasty lunch of Pulao and Raita, spent the afternoon getting annoyed and pissed with the loud music being played by a few forest officials who were staying as fellow-guests. Below are some other observations that we made during this ‘misadventure’.

  • Essential amenities like bathrooms and toilets were not properly maintained. They were dirty and no water was available.
  • The organisers have some strict rules regarding camping named ‘Nature Etiquette’. We tried to follow this to the T, but were disappointed that few forest officials, who were also guest with families, made it a point to break as many rules as possible. Liquor bottles were littered everywhere. The fellow campers were drinking and playing loud music, which is a strict no-no. It not only nullifies the  values of Camp, but also pose a threat to nearby habitat.
  • Before water activities, the group were not briefed about it. There was no raft building activity as promised in the itinerary that is provided on their website.

Nature Etiquettes

The surprising part was that when we tried to register our problem, it fell on deaf ears. Mr Sampath, the camp manager (who has been courteous in all our previous interactions) behaved in an unprofessional manner and hung up the phone when we tried to bring the issues to his notice.It was disheartening the way this trip turned out to be a disappointing affair for our esteemed customers and certainly not at all worth the price (Rs. 2000/person). We cannot overlook the fact that the local staff tried helping us to the best of their capacity. But the sad truth remains that a pristine location, bestowed so kindly by Mother Nature, was ruined by human mismanagement.

Team HFL suggests that the Sharavathi Nature Camp should appoint a full-time camp manager/guide to run the program effectively and with professional expertise. The need for basic amenities like clean washrooms is a must, atleast at the Muppane Camp. The quality of tents and kayaks is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, the current situation simply doesn’t meet the standards that we have set up for our offerings.

UPDATE (8th Oct 2014):"A few days back, we received an email from Mr. Sampath of Sharavathi Nature Trails (SNT). As per him the campsite is not maintained by them but the forest department and SNT cannot do anything incase the forest officials show up and make merry. Thus SNT doesn't take  the responsibility of the upkeep of the location of the campsite and their job is only to conduct the program."

Sunday, 6 April 2014

3rd-4th May: Beat The Heat With Red Hills Retreat

Mangoes, Lychees, Nimbu Pani and HEAAAT !!! 
Summer comes with its bag full of wonderful experiences and “Oh I hate this” tortures. Moreover the era of Industrialization has increased the torture and made these summer days really unbearable. Would you believe us if we say that we can take away this seasonal pain, not for the whole season but for a couple of days; that you can spend those days in the most spectacular location; that you can take a stroll in a valley between green mountains and a blue lake under open sky (where actually you can see a sky). Would you believe us that we can take you on an experiential trip along with other anguished souls, who want to escape from the city’s madness and the sun’s agony. Don't believe us, come and join us to the trip of Red Hills to experience “Garmi Me Thandi Ka Maaza”.   

Your abode for the weekend  

Never heard of Red Hills? Red Hills is on the out skirts of Ooty nearly 25 km from it, 320 km from Bangalore and 110 km from Coimbatore. The place gifts you with eight lakes and lots of valleys set in the backdrop of picturesque Nilgiris and acres of tea plantations.

Can you get a better seat ?

Why not Ooty? To be frank, Ooty is too much commercialized. We don't want you take away from the hustle bustle of a city and and drop you in between the hordes of other tourists and always irritating hawkers gaping at you. You want to have a mental peace and satisfaction and we will make sure you get one.

Are the Red Hills really Red? LOL. No, they aren’t red but surely you can get to see each and every color present in your 42 inch LED TV (Rainbow is too old school).

The View from Red Hills Peak

Which dates should you reserve in your calendar for this trip? We will be leaving from Bangalore on 3rd May (12:00 AM) and will return back on 4th May (10.30 PM)

Can I bring my whole colony? Since we want to make this trip an experience for you and other fellow travelers, we want to keep it a low scale affair. We can accommodate only 10 holidayers.

I want to go, but won't it be too expensive? This jaunt will cost you only 4990/-bucks. Did we say that it includes your travel both sides, accommodation in Red Hills, food during entire stay and all the activities that you are going to enjoy after reaching there.

I want to go now. This is so awesome !!!
Oh wait !!!
Hold on before you pack you bags and set out for the journey. You have to book a seat by calling us at +91-8095-262626. Network Problem? No problem. Drop us a mail at .

Okay all set to go. Can I have an itinerary to lure in my friends also? Sure, your wish is our command!

Day 1:
We will leave Bangalore by 12 am. After hitting the highway and passing Ooty, we will reach Red Hills around 11 am. After settling in the environment all of us will have lunch by 1.30 . After lunch, either be at leisure to complete the last day sleep or you can explore the area around the resort and appreciate the beauty of the God. At 4 in the evening we will set out for the trek to the Red Hills peak. After an hour of trekking, it will be time for a sip of Nilgiris tea right in the middle of The Nilgiris. After enjoying the sunset, we will head back and reach the base camp. At 7.30 we will have a bonfire to counter the chill of the hills along with lavish BBQ dinner. If you happen to be a Michelin star rated Chef or just want to show off your culinary skills you can definitely make your own BBQ. Time to go to bed, relax and prepare for the next day adventure.

The Evening Hangout Place

Day 2:
Feel the morning mist,t ouch the first rays of the sun and get freshen up by 9am and reach out for the breakfast. After the breakfast let your imagination run,a nd enjoy the next hour just the way you want to  experience. Explore the nearby areas, go for a hike or cycle around the property, chat on with fellow travelers. We won't disturb you till 11.30 am. Feeling hungry? How about a lunch beside a lake? Head towards the lake to for a picnic lunch .And since we are near a lake why not try fishing. After this we retreat back, pack our bags and leave for Bangalore by 3 pm. If you dont want to go back to the concrete jungle we will be more than happy to leave you in this pristine hills :)

Get your catch-of -the-day

To Sum Up
WHAT: Beat The Heat With Red Hills Retreat
WHEN: 3rd-4th May
WHERE: Red Hills (25 Km from Ooty)
How Much: Rs 4,990/person (We request for a 100% advance to confirm your booking)
How To Book: Call/Mail Abhishek @ +91-8095-262626/
Bookings open till 25th April.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Art of Rejuvenation - 10 Best Spa/Yoga Resorts in South India

The Spring is here, we are in the middle of March and you guessed it right, it’s Holi time. It’s time to pack off your woolens into the dark corner of your cabinets, bring out the whites and transform into a canvas for the fusion of different colours. But after having a great time with your family and friends with colors, water-balloons and glasses of bhaang, all you need is to indulge yourself into some private relaxing time, so that the Holi fever doesn't take a toll on you.

Relax, Rejuvenate and Reflect - It is with this aim that we set ourselves upon the task of identifying the spas and retreats that will offer you the simple pleasures (of sitting back and getting recharged) in the best possible way. The inclusion s in the list are all truly world-class options, some of them being the winners of numerous prestigious awards. 
So go ahead & take your pick.

1. Amanvana, Coorg - This ‘rabbit hole for the soul’ is situated along the banks of river Kaveri in the picturesquely beautiful land of Coorg. Apart from regular services like therapeutic, full body and anti-stress massages Amanvana scores some cherry points in being unique with its offerings.One of their speciality, Vinotherapy is full body massage using fines wines, essential herbal oils and rare herbs.They also have Wine facial, pretty good reason to get sober. The Chocoholics can go for a relaxing and divine rendition chocolate massage.  

2. Maya Spa, (The Zuri) Kumarakom - Recipient of 2007 ‘Best Spa Award’ at Asia Spa Awards, is the signature brand of Spa offered by The Zuri chain of hotels.The biggest spa in South India, the spa offers a whole range of treatments like Ayurveda, hydrotherapy, solar therapies, Sabai stone therapy. The place also has a unique ‘body’ temple and meditation island.The ‘Shirodhara’ and Cloud 9 massage should definitely be tried.

3. Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, Trivandrum - Founded in 1985 Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort is the world’s first Ayurvedic beach resort.About 9 km south of Kovalam Beach, this place offers a perfect combination of Ayurveda treatment and  Yoga. The place has fully functional Ayurvedic hospital and research centre with about 20 well- experienced Ayurvedic doctors and 90 therapists with special training in administering Ayurvedic treatment, medicine manufacturing plant, herbal garden and Ayurveda academy. A huge range of ayurvedic treatments like Pizhichil (speciality of Kerala), Snehapanam (treatment for digestive disorders)  and Nasyam (treatment for illness in head region).

4. Jiva Spa, (Vivanta by Taj) Cochin - Another Conde Nast Traveller Award recipient of 2008 ‘Best Spa in Asia and Indian Subcontinent’, this spa is located in Vivanta by Taj Malabar.Away from the hustle this property on Kochi’s Willingdon Island affords serene views of Kerala’s famed backwaters and Kochi harbour. ‘Jivanya’ a complete treatment to relieve your muscle tension includes of exfoliating herbal scrub, a heat-stimulating wrap of exotic spices and herbs from the hills and a massage with energising oils, is a must try.

5. Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Bangalore - A yoga resort in Bangalore city, is one of the most luxurious and upscale yoga retreat center in the world. It boasts of meditation huts, open air amphitheatre, infinity pool along with an option of ‘Nature Farming, for the people who wish to get their hand dirty and connect to Mother Earth. One can choose from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga sessions and Hatha Yoga sessions. Many ayurvedic and spa treatments are also available here.

6. Divya Spa, (The Leela) Kovalam - The Divya Spa at The Leela Kempinski is situated on a cliff top, thus ensuring a spectacular scene every time you come here. Set up in a contemporary Indian style decor, this wellness centre provides ayurvedic spa treatments ranging from 1 day to 28 days. All of the treatments provided are strictly personalized and tailor made by the resident doctor, who prepares it after an in-deep consultation with the guests. The Kalari Signature Massage performed by two kalaripayattu experts should be on the top of your list.

7. Paradise Spa, (The Dune) Pondicherry - Located at Dune Eco Village, Paradise Spa provides nearly 50 different types of external and internal therapies from a simple relaxing massage to a complete cure for serious ailments.The spa also has a spa shop, where they stock only organic products like oil, soaps, ayurvedic medicines etc.The main attraction of this spa is magic water treatments popularly known as Watsu.Watsu is inspired by Zen Shiatsu in which the patient floats feeling the rhythmic movement of the water, the combination of a light acupressure of energy points, stretching, rocking as if they were back in their mother’s womb.

8. Kalari Kovilakom, (CGH Earth) Palakkad - ’The palace of Ayurveda’ as they call themselves is a unique ayurveda hospital which combines the healing power of ayurveda with opulence of palace lifestyle.The place provide numerous ayurvedic treatments that are custom made according to one’s requirements.The most unique thing about this location is that you can perform Chankramana or Walking Meditation.The grounds of Kalari are criss crossed with little secluded pathways where one can practise this beautiful meditative technique.Sounds Interesting !. But before you visit this place make sure you don't carry a leather footwear as they are strictly banned in Kalari Kovilakom.

Last but not the least, we couldn't stop ourselves from including the below 2 resorts, which, though are not strictly in 'South India', but surely give a sense of completeness to the list.

9. Ashiyana Yoga Retreat, Goa - Located in the small North Goan village of Mandrem, this place is  surrounded by coconut palm grove, Mandrem river and a beautiful beach offering a serene environment. A perfect place to loose yourself. The retreat offers three Detox and Rejuvenation Retreats throughout the season  in 7 / 14 / 21 day options. ‘Urban Antidote’ is a popular option to start with while staying in beach huts.

10. Sereno Spa, (Park Hyatt) Goa - Located in Park Hyatt, Goa, this whopping 36000 sq ft spa is styled on an Indo-Portuguese village with lush green courtyards and gardens interconnected with bridges canals and cobbled streets. It was voted as the ‘World’s Number One Spa’ and ‘Best Spa in Asian and Indian Subcontinent’ by Conde Nast Traveller in 2006.The famous treatments are the Pitta Shamak and Samudra. You can have an ayurvedic consultation to find out which treatment will help you relieve yourself.

All of these places have something unique to offer, making you spoilt for choice. Try out these places and revitalize your mind and body, so that you can sustain the pressure of your job, and the heat of Summers that is round the corner. In the words of Joseph Addison,

“A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.”   

If you have already figured the one where you want to go, then contact us and we will ensure that you have the best of time. But if you are still confused about which one to pick, well then, still call us and we'll help you zero-down on one :)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Namaste India !!!

India has always been a land of diversity. Different cultures, languages, food, landscapes make each part distinctive of each other. This diversity compelled the foreign travellers around the world to embark on a journey to the land of Spirituality. Fa-Hein, Hiuen Tsang, Ibn Batuta, Marco Polo (you can look up in your history book if you dont know them !) were some of the ‘famous’ ancient travellers who had the taste of Indian sightseeing. Fortunately they did not buy a 7 N / 8 D  ready-made package to India. It definitely would have given them some photographic moments to share on Facebook and Instagram, but then we would have lost some of the most precious and literally rich travelogues about India.

Traveling is not only about visiting new places and clicking photos, it is more about experiencing those places, feeling the air, tasting the food, understanding the culture and snapping up memories that can be cherished, shared and used to tease your colleagues who spent their leisure time going the new mall that cropped up in the nearby concrete jungle. If your weekend plans revolve around going to the multiplex , eating out in a fancy restaurant then the caption of a cold drink ad ‘Aaj kuch toofani karte hai ’ doesn’t hold any significance for you. But if this line captures your true essence then we have a new venture for you (Drum Rolls!), HolidaysForLife.

HolidaysForLife  (HFL) is all about taking you tp these  ‘Hatke’ places that you always crave of going to and meeting like-minded fellow travellers. HFL is an outcome of my passion for exploring the road less traveled. I,on a regular basis pack my bags and go in search of unique,outlandish places  around Bangalore along with few other parts of the country and have a rich and resourceful first hand experience about these places. It is not a conventional holiday company that will provide you with holiday packages in whole sale  and ‘end of season’ deals. HFL was started to accomplish what ‘YOU’ as traveller want to visit, taste,experience and not what is profitable for us. At HFL, I always want to take vacationers to the pristine and offbeat locations. The idea is to get lost in the lap of Mother Earth, snap up all ties with the outer world, and let out the inner self. Sounds like Nirvana.

How do we achieve this? To break the ice, we start with getting a feel of what you want to experience in this vacation. On the basis of general questions like location, budget, duration (and the rest you will find in the form) we come up with different itineraries, finalize the plan with you and get the booking done for you.Your only headache is to pack your bags, flush your inhibitions, and set out as a vagabond.

Have we been able to achieve it? Yes, since its inception HFL has succeeded in taking the travellers to their dream destinations . They were sweet enough to pen down their experiences and share with us.

"HFL did it again! Ensured that I had the most memorable trip ever! :-) My Uttrakhand trek tour had every ingredient I could ask for - Adventure, solitude, mesmerizing landscapes, a beautiful route, campfires, cosy tents, peaceful temples, wonderful locals who supported et all.. Planned to the nth detail and unplanned to keep an element of surprise, the HFL team has perfected the art of creating each trip to fulfill my choice of a perfect holiday. Make your demands and they'll do all they can to customize your trip!."
-Mansi Navlakha, 6N-7D Trek & Rafting Trip, Deoriatal-Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 26th May - 1st June 2013

"For my honeymoon i wanted to go to an unexplored destination. and so Andamans was always on top of my list. the only catch being that the options on internet are not adequate and did not fit my budget. that is where HFL helped us. They gave us just the right options for staying without overwhelming us with all that the place had to offer. And in half an hour I had made up my mind about the place. Quick, thorough, professional and no-frills, HFL guys. You Rock!! In fact, the experience of andamans has been so good that i have recommended it to all the newly married couples i know of. Thank so much." 
-Priyank Loonker & Pratibha Sharma, 5N-6D Honeymoon Trip to Havelock Island, Andamans 13th Dec - 18th Dec 2012

What’s next in the line? For the starters we are in the process of a complete overhaul of our website, making it aesthetically more appealing and providing a whole range of options to choose from. For the travellers with defined budget and selected location, it will be a one stop destination that will cater to all their needs. But for our ‘hatke’ travellers we are always there to prepare tailor-made holiday experiences. Also as a one-of-its-kind offering, we are planning to organise fixed-departure experential group tours where you along with other travellers can relish various hand-picked experiences like 'a trek clubbed with a waterfall side lunch', 'a camping-cum-stargazing trip' or 'a Vineyard picnic' to name a few.

So if you dream of having a BBQ while building your sand castle or playing hide and seek in a plantation estate, the Genie is coming soon to fulfill your wishes. Next time you come up with any eccentric ideas for the vacation, you will be just a click away from making it an experience of your lifetime. 

Michael Palin has summed up our motto beautifully. In his words:
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”