Unique Golden Triangle Itinerary

A Unique Golden Triangle Itinerary

The Golden Triangle is the most preferred travel destination of travellers. Over the last couple of weeks, SeekSherpa has showed you unique things to do in Agra, Jaipur and Delhi.

This week, we’d like to show how you can differentiate your Golden Triangle itinerary to India!

Day 1:
Arrive at Delhi by flight. After traditional “Swagat” (Welcome) our representative would assist you at airport and transfer to hotel for check in. Spend the night in the hotel to get over the jet lag and fatigue.

Day 2:
Get up at leisure, have a scrumptious breakfast at your hotel.

10 AMThe Spice Market Tour at Asia’s Largest Spice Market

Spice Trail by Sherpa Priya

What? Visit Asia’s largest spice market to learn about the different spices, their origins, uses and benefits, the lovely dishes one makes from them, their trade, & also get a chance to purchase quality spices at reasonable rates for you to take back home should you please. This tour is one of the most unique things to do in Delhi!

Who? This tour is conducted by a spice specialist who is also an at home chef and travel blogger. She has taken more than 100 travellers from 10 different countries on this unique tour.

Head back to the hotel for Lunch.

4 PMTour the boutiques of Hauz Khas with a Personal Stylist

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Shopping Experience
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Shopping Experience

What? On this Delhi shopping tour, you will be visiting the boutiques of Hauz Khas/Khan Market for a personalized shopping experience. You can expect to visit shops with Indian fabrics, Indian traditional wear (salwar kameez, sarees), traditional jewellery, home decor, souvenirs, designer wear, ayurveda, tea and such like. Understand the juxtapositioning of Hauz Khas as an urban village with fort ruins, restaurant, pubs, a deer part and high end boutique.

Who? Conducted by an Ex Consultant who now has her own travel startup. She will ease your decision making, take you to the best places and help find what you really want. Really, a unique and different way to explore the boutiques of Delhi.

Have dinner at one of the most happening Indian restaurants at Hauz Khas Village. Head back to the hotel to freshen up to gear yourself for the Mixology Masterclass.

9 PM - Mixology Masterclass with Indian Cocktails

What? Take this tour to learn the ancient art of mixology and muddling and to make 4 to 6 different cocktails and drink them too! Experiment with a wide range of raw ingredients from various families like Indian spices, herbs, fruits, & vegetables to make lip smacking cocktails.

Who? This will be conducted by a mixologist who is trusted by the founder of India’s top hotel chain.

Overnight hotel – Delhi

If the traveller is in Delhi for Day 3:

9 AM – Leave for half day tour to visit the monuments of New and Old Delhi. This will include the Qutab Minar, Red Fort & India Gate. Take a lunch break at Central Delhi’s most famous restaurant.

4 PMStreet Art and Street Photography Tour at Shahpur Jat

IMG_6538

What? Delhi is not just about its monuments and food. Take this tour to marvel at Delhi’s quirkiest graffiti through its urban village and capture the works through your lens as you stroll through the market. This tour takes place in Delhi’s happening urban village, Shahpur Jat, that is famous for its graffiti, street art, boutiques, restaurants and ruins! Perhaps, one of the most exciting things to do in Delhi this season.

Who? This tour is conducted by a photographer and entrepreneur who knows this village in and out.

7 PM - Discovering Delhi 6, A heritage and food walk at Old Delhi

IMG-20150426-WA0019

What? Have a bucket list of things to do in Delhi? Bet Old Delhi is right on top! Take this tour to understand Old Delhi from a historical, cultural and gastronomical perspective. Visit the temples, bazaars, and monuments of Old Delhi. Not only this, also visit the Paranthe Wale gali, the Shish Ganj Gurudwara, Ghalib ki Haveli and many more!

Who? This tour is conducted by an Ex Journalist, now pursuing Law. Comes with a background in history and current affairs with a penchant of good food.

Have dinner at Old Delhi’s most famous eatery and head to the hotel for spending the night.

Day 4:

Morning - The usual stuff! Leave for Agra in an AC vehicle. Arrive at Agra by 11 AM and check in at the hotel for freshing up. Post lunch head out for a city tour of Taj Mahal and Red Fort

5 PM - Cultural Walk of Agra

What? Who said Agra is only about the Taj Mahal? Take this walk to explore the hidden lanes, the bustling spice market, mosques and temples of Agra. Not only this, understand the Taj Mahal and Red Fort from a different perspective. View the Taj Mahal from a secret spot. Visit the local shops to taste traditional sweets of Agra and enjoy a ride on the Rickshaw. Take this walk and be a local of Agra as you explore new and niche things to do in Agra!

Who? This is conducted by Tripadvisor certificate of excellence award recipient!

Overnight – Hotel

Day 5:

8 AMYoga facing the Taj Mahal
Practice Yoga while viewing the Taj Mahal! Sounds exciting? It surely is! Get on this 2 hour micro-tour to experience the two things that are truly Indian and reflect the Indian Culture – The Taj Mahal and Yoga. This unique experience will cover the basic aspects of Asanas, Dhyanas and Pranayam with a breathtaking view of the Seventh Wonder of the World from only a few hundred meters away! It’s a relaxing thing to do in Agra.

10 AM - Colonial Walk of Agra

Agra Heritage Walk
Agra Heritage Walk

What? That’s right, Agra isn’t only famous for The Taj Mahal, Mughal Monuments and the Panchi Petha! Agra houses a number of colonial structures from the days of the British Rule! This walk will cover bungalows, Cemeteries, Churches, Cathedrals and a number of other buildings and places that have there ever since the British Rule! Take this tour if you know want to more about Agra and if you like exploring beyond the obvious.

After lunch at the hotel, leave for Jaipur.
Overnight – Hotel in Jaipur

Day 6:
After a good and relaxing night, the day at Jaipur will begin early with a cycling tour.

7 AMCycling Tour to explore the markets, streets and food

What? This early morning cycle tour will give you a glimpse of Jaipur, its architecture, havelis and temples. You will also stop to taste the specialities of Jaipur and attend an early morning religious ceremony. This will conclude with a visit to the local vegetable market where you will get the opportunity to bargain with the local vendors.
Who? Conducted by an adventure and experience specialist.

After breakfast, depart for local sightseeing tour.

7 PMCooking Class in the home of an Indian family

Cooking Class Jaipur Seeksherpa
Cooking Class Jaipur Seeksherpa

What? What’s so different about this cooking class in Jaipur? Well, it’s conducted by someone who is an excellent cook and expert on authentic Indian and Ayurvedic cooking. Get an opportunity to source the vegetables before you cook them. It is conducted in a homely environment and one can learn how to cook basic Indian snacks to traditional Rajasthani dishes. Trust us this is one of the fabulous things to do in Jaipur and you shouldn’t miss it.

Overnight – Hotel

Day 7:

7 AMHeritage Walk – Art & Antiquities of Jaipur

What? Visit historic temples, homes of local artisans, lanes and streets of Jaipur on this walk. Get a chance to marvel at the lesser known architectural wonders of Jaipur!

Who? Conducted by someone who has taken Prince Charles, Richard Gere for similar walks!

Return to the Hotel for lunch and refresh yourself for the pottery workshop

4 PM - Pottery Workshop

Pottery Making Jaipur
Pottery Making Jaipur

What? This workshop can either be a wheel pottery workshop or a hand pottery workshop. This will teach you how to build pots from scratch and the various other techniques associated with pottery. This is a unique way to explore Indian art and craft.

Who? Conducted by an Ex employee of a MNC who quit her job to follow her passion of pottery.

Depart for Delhi to take the flight out!

Did not expect a Golden Itinerary to be this unique?! Well, you aren’t the only one.

PS – You are free to add/subtract more unique tours to this itinerary. All you need to do is, contact SeekSherpa – +91-96439-82934 and we’ll customize the itinerary as per your client’s requirements.

 

4 Awesome Heritage and Food Walks in Agra

Food and Heritage walks in Agra apart from the Taj Mahal!

– Bookable Through SeekSherpa – Yahoo!

If you’re looking to explore Agra uniquely, then you’ve come to the right place.

We have some awesome Food and heritage walks in Agra that you would love. And the best part, they are all bookable through SeekSherpa.

1) Food Trail in Agra

Looking for food related things to do in Agra? Take a gastronomical and cultural walk to experience the local food of Agra. Our Sherpa will take you through all the famous eateries of Agra. During this trail, you will not only taste the food but also understand when and why is a particular dish prepared. You will also be told little stories about the history of the eateries. Wow! Isn’t that a great thing to do in Agra?

For details and booking: click here!

Things to do in Agra - Food Walk
Things to do in Agra – Food Walk

2) Colonial Walk in Agra

That’s right, Agra isn’t only famous for The Taj Mahal, Mughal Monuments and the Panchi Petha! Agra houses a number of colonial structures from the days of the British Rule. This walk will cover bungalows, Cemeteries, Churches, Cathedrals and a number of other buildings and places that have there ever since the British Rule. Take this tour if you know want to more about Agra and if you like exploring beyond the obvious. One of the most unique things to do in Agra!

For details and booking: click here!

Things to do in Agra - Colonial Walk
Things to do in Agra – Colonial Walk

3) Cultural Walk of Agra

Who said Agra is only about the Taj Mahal? Take this walk to explore the hidden lanes, the bustling spice market, mosques and temples of Agra. Not only this, understand the Taj Mahal and Red Fort from a different perspective. View the Taj Mahal from a secret spot. Visit the local shops to taste traditional sweets of Agra and enjoy a ride on the Rickshaw. Take this walk and be a local of Agra as you explore new and niche things to do in Agra!

For details and booking: click here!

Things to do in Agra - Cultural Walk
Things to do in Agra – Cultural Walk

4) Discover the Oriental Side of Agra

Running out of things to do in Agra? Take this walk to discover and explore the oriental side of Agra. You will be visiting Dara Shikohs library, Mirza Ghalibs birthplace, and the Akbar church. You will also get an opportunity to see the grand old havelis and the oriental markets of Kinari Bazaar. On the way, you will see the early morning bustle at the shoe mandi in Johri Bazar, the only street of Ayurvedic doctors, the paan and the petha mandi and the food street of Seth Gali.

For details and booking: click here!

Things to do in Agra - Oriental Agra
Things to do in Agra – Oriental Agra

If you want these amazing things to do in Agra, simply reach out to us at makemesherpa@seeksherpa.com or call us at +91-96439-82934 and we’ll get them arranged. Our prices are very nominal and start at INR 700 to 900 per person. You can also check out more things to do on SeekSherpa.com. See you!

7 Unique Things to do in Delhi

Delhi has a lot of unique things to do, you’re just not looking hard enough!

If you’re looking for things to do in Delhi, you’ve landed at the right place! We have unique experiences that travellers would love to take.

1) Spice Market Tour at Asia’s Largest Spice Market

Visit Asia’s largest spice market to learn about the different spices, their origins, uses and benefits, the lovely dishes one makes from them, their trade, & also get a chance to purchase quality spices at reasonable rates for you to take back home should you please. This tour is one of the most unique things to do in Delhi!
This tour is conducted by a spice specialist who is also an at home chef and travel blogger. She has taken more than 100 travellers from 10 different countries on this unique tour.

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Spice Market
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Spice Market

2) Discovering Delhi 6

Have a bucket list of things to do in Delhi? Bet Old Delhi is right on top! Take this tour to understand Old Delhi from a historical, cultural and gastronomical perspective. Visit the temples, bazaars, and monuments of Old Delhi. Not only this, also visit the Paranthe Wale gali, the Shish Ganj Gurudwara, Ghalib ki Haveli and many more! 
This tour is conducted by an Ex Journalist, now pursuing Law. Comes with a background in history and current affairs with a penchant of good food.

 

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Old Delhi
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Old Delhi

3) Street Art and Street Photography Tour

Delhi is not just about its monuments and food. Take this tour to marvel at Delhi’s quirkiest graffiti through its urban village and capture the works through your lens as you stroll through the market. This tour takes place in Delhi’s happening urban village, Shahpur Jat, that is famous for its graffiti, street art, boutiques, restaurants and ruins! Perhaps, one of the most exciting things to do in Delhi this season.
This tour is conducted by a photographer and entrepreneur who knows this village in and out.

 

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Street Art
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Street Art

4)  Tour the boutiques of Hauz Khas with a personal stylist

Shopping for traditional Indian wear are things that all of you want to do in Delhi. On this tour, you will be visiting the boutiques of Hauz Khas/Khan Market for a pesonalized shopping experience. You can expect to visit shops with Indian fabrics, Indian traditional wear (salwar kameez, sarees), traditional jewellery, home decor, souvenirs, designer wear, ayurveda, tea and such like. 
Conducted by an Ex Consultant who now has her own travel startup. She will ease your decision making, take you to the best places and help find what you really want. Really, a unique and different way to explore the boutiques of Delhi. 

 

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Shopping Experience
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Shopping Experience

5) Mixology Masterclass with Indian Cocktails

Take this tour to learn the ancient art of mixology and muddling and to make 4 to 6 different cocktails and drink them too! Experiment with a wide range of raw ingredients from various families like Indian spices, herbs, fruits, & vegetables to make lip smacking cocktails.
This will be conducted by a mixologist who is trusted by the legendary PRS Oberoi.

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Mixology
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Mixology

6) Yoga Experience – At home/hotel

Take this experience pleasure the senses and tone the body with this pro Yoga session. It includes learning the asanas, breathing exercises, and stretching. It can also be followed by a one on one Karmic Healing Session. 
It is conducted by a state level running champion and Sivananda yoga teacher.

 

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Yoga
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Yoga

7) Private Pub Crawl in Hauz Khas Village/Khan Market/CP

On this tour you will be visiting the most happening pubs with a bunch of eager crawlers! Get a chance to show off your dance moves and try out new drinks. Sample the sights and sounds of Delhi’s electric nightlife over 3 hours and 5 bars!
This tour is conducted by a corporate lawyer by day, theatrician by weekend, and party animal by night.

Unique Things to do in Delhi - Pub Crawl
Unique Things to do in Delhi – Pub Crawl

 

If you want these amazing things to do in Delhi, simply reach out to us at makemesherpa@seeksherpa.com or call us at +91-96439-82934 and we’ll get them arranged. Our prices are very nominal and start at INR 800 to INR 1000 per person. You can also check out more things to do on SeekSherpa.com. See you!

Unique And Exciting Things To Do In Jaipur!

Things to do in Jaipur – Beyond the obvious!

Update – Find a list of bookable things to do in Jaipur on SeekSherpa.com/Jaipur.

1. Explore Jaipur on a cycle!

Things to do in Jaipur - Cycling Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Cycling Tour

 

Take this tour to experience Jaipur to the fullest on a bicycle! You will witness the monuments, the colorful bazaars and the narrow alleys. Who said walking tours or driving tours are the only way to exploring a city? This cycling tour of Jaipur is a wonderful thing to do in Jaipur and will make you feel like a true local.

2. Pottery Making in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Pottery
Things to do in Jaipur – Pottery

Pottery is often compared to meditation, as one gets extremely involved in it. This pottery making workshop is conducted with two methods – Wheel Pottery and Hand Pottery. One can make different pots with this workshop and can also take them home! This is a thing to do in Jaipur that will leave you humbled and relaxed.

3. Cooking Classes in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Cooking Classes
Things to do in Jaipur – Cooking Classes

What’s so different about this cooking class in Jaipur? Well, it’s conducted by someone who is an excellent cook and expert on authentic Indian and Ayurvedic cooking. It is conducted in a homely environment and one can learn how to cook basic Indian snacks to traditional Rajasthani dishes. Trust us this is one of the fabulous things to do in Jaipur and you shouldn’t miss it.

4. A visit to the Elephant Farms in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Elephant Visit
Things to do in Jaipur – Elephant Visit

Visit an elephant farm to interact and play with the elephants! You will be introduced to the elephants and taught their language. You can then feed the elephants, paint them, take a shower with them and enjoy a bare-back elephant ride. This experience will end with an Indian Meal cooked specially for you! This comes from the list of things to do in Jaipur that are often kept in the secret corners of the review book or library.

5. Walking Tour – Beyond the forts and monuments

Things to do in Jaipur - Haveli and Temple Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Haveli and Temple Tour

 

Jaipur is not just about towering forts! Take this tour to experience the religious side of the locals by visiting temples and witnessing Hindu religious ceremonies. Not only this, explore the Havelis of Jaipur that have been there since the times of the Rajputs. Things to do in Jaipur like the walking tour have been inviting hordes of travellers for years. It is truly exciting and refreshing.

6. Art and Crafts workshop in Jaipur

Things to do in Jaipur - Art and Craft
Things to do in Jaipur – Art and Craft

You can take local art and craft workshops in Jaipur! These workshops will give you hands on experiences of the local art and craft and the raw materials used! You will also learn the development of these arts and crafts over time and saleable value that they fetch. This is a perfect way to satiate your hunger for local arts and crafts and indulge in things to do in Jaipur which are beyond the obvious

7. Hand Bloc Printing Workshop

Things to do in Jaipur - Bloc Prinitng
Things to do in Jaipur – Bloc Prinitng

You will be taken around the factory and explained the different types of vegetable dyes. You will be taught how to make wooden blocks, how to do bagru printing and how to make colour naturally! You will also be allowed to take the finished fabric sample along with you!

8. Jaipur – Beyond the architectural glory

Things to do in Jaipur - Food Tour
Things to do in Jaipur – Food Tour

Jaipur – Forts, temples, Havelis, workshops. What’s left? Food! Take this tour to experience the sagacious food of Jaipur. Try out some of Jaipur’s best culinary delights – Ranging from sweet to sour, from veg to non-veg and from food to drinks. You will be sampling items like Samosa Kachori, Kulfi, Lassi and other lip smacking dishes. Indulging in fine food is definetely one of the more popular things to do in Jaipur.

If you want these amazing things to do in Jaipur, simply reach out to us at makemesherpa@seeksherpa.com or call us at +91-96439-82934 and we’ll get them arranged. Our prices are very nominal and start at INR 500 to 700 per person. You can also check out more things to do on SeekSherpa.com. See you!  

10 Amazing Things to Do in Agra Apart From The Taj Mahal!

Things to do in Agra APART from the Taj!

If you’re looking to explore Agra uniquely, then you’ve come to the right place! We have some awesome things to do in Agra that you would love.

1) Cultural Walk of Agra

Who said Agra is only about the Taj Mahal? Take this walk to explore the hidden lanes, the bustling spice market, mosques and temples of Agra. Not only this, understand the Taj Mahal and Red Fort from a different perspective. View the Taj Mahal from a secret spot! Visit the local shops to taste traditional sweets of Agra and enjoy a ride on the Rickshaw. Take this walk and be a local of Agra as you explore new and niche things to do in Agra!

Things to do in Agra!
Explore the culture of Agra

 

2) Fooding in the city of Taj Mahal, Agra!

Looking for food related things to do in Agra? Take a gastronomical and cultural walk to experience the local food of Agra! Our Sherpa will take you through all the famous eateries of Agra. During this trail, you will not only taste the food but also understand when and why is a particular dish prepared! You will also be told little stories about the history of the eateries. Wow! Isn’t that a great thing to do in Agra?

Things to do in Agra
Try the traditional Paan in Agra!

 

3) Yoga with the Taj Mahal

Practice Yoga while viewing the Taj Mahal! Sounds exciting? It surely is! Get on this 2 hour micro-tour to experience the two things that are truly Indian and reflect the Indian Culture – The Taj Mahal and Yoga. This unique experience will cover the basic aspects of Asanas, Dhyanas and Pranayam with a breathtaking view of the Seventh Wonder of the World from only a few hundred meters away! It’s a relaxing thing to do in Agra.

Things to do in Agra
Yoga facing the Taj Mahal

 

4) Tour of the sabzi mandi

Sabzi Mandi stands for Vegetable Market in hindi. You can visit this market to witness and understand the buying and selling of fruits and vegetables. Interact with the local vendors and public who will tell you about the local names and uses of specific fruits and vegetables. This experience will be conducted on foot and rickshaw! Take this tour only if you want to be right in the middle of the bustling vegetable market of Agra and find really cool things to do!

Things to do in Agra - Sabzi Mandi Visit
Sabzi Mandi In Agra

 

5) Colonial Structures of Agra

That’s right, Agra isn’t only famous for The Taj Mahal, Mughal Monuments and the Panchi Petha! Agra houses a number of colonial structures from the days of the British Rule! This walk will cover bungalows, Cemeteries, Churches, Cathedrals and a number of other buildings and places that have there ever since the British Rule! Take this tour if you know want to more about Agra and if you like exploring beyond the obvious.

Things to do in Agra - Colonial Era Buildings
Colonial Walk in Agra

 

6) Explore Agra on a bike (Where else would you find such things to do in Agra?)

What a great thing to do in Agra! Bike Tours are not limited only to Europe! This bike tour is a unique way to explore Agra. If you’re a biker or a traveller or an explorer, this tour is for you! You will be exploring the heritage, culture, monuments, markets and food of Agra through this Bike Tour. No worries, you are provided with all equipment to have a safe and exciting ride. This tours covers the following places – Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Streets and markets of Agra and Agra food! 

7) Korai Village – A village in the city of the Taj

Take this tour to witness rural life in India! During this tour, you will get a chance to interact with the villagers & see their way of life. It is actually quite different to experience this village in the city of the Seventh Wonder of the World. These are some really unique things to do in Agra. 

Things to do in Agra - Visit Korai Village Near Agra
Korai Village Tour

 

8) Cook and Dine in with a local

Looking for food things to do in Agra? Learn how to cook Indian Dishes at a local’s house! The family will teach you how to a few lip smacking dishes with indian spices and herbs. Once you’ve prepared the dishes, you will also eat with the indian family.

Things to do in Agra - Food
At Home Dining Experience With A Local in Agra

 

If you want these amazing things to do in Agra, simply reach out to us at makemesherpa@seeksherpa.com or call us at +91-96439-82934 and we’ll get them arranged. Our prices are very nominal and start at INR 500 to 700 per person. You can also check out more things to do on SeekSherpa.com. See you!

 

5 Things To Do In Mahabaleshwar As A Traveller And #NotATourist

5 things to do in Mahabaleshwar as a traveller and #NotATourist

Mahabaleshwar is a bustling hill station in the Western Ghats of India. Situated a five-hour and a three-hour drive from Mumbai and Pune respectively, it is one of the more popular getaways from the concrete unpleasantness of urban life. Mahabaleshwar has hills, sunset points, waterfalls, forest trails, fresh produce, and strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries. Needless to say, it also has a lot of tourists. But don’t let that deter you from making a trip to this lush stretch of hills and valleys, and enjoy all the goodness it can offer.

Remember, the trick in visiting a place as touristy as Mahabaleshwar is to go with the spirit of a traveller, not a tourist – willing to see different things, and things differently. Here are 5 unique things you can do in Mahabaleshwar there to make your experience richer, and more memorable.

Take a walk around Old Mahabaleshwar

Old Mahabaleshwar, locally known as Kshetra, lies to the north of the city and has fewer tourists and more locals. Taking a walk around the old part of the city often has the charm of a bygone era and also lets you experience the raw authenticity of the place instead of just its commercial vibe. Stop by one or two temples if you please, observe the juxtaposition of local people’s life and tourists’ life, and try to speak to a few locals to get to know Mahabaleshwar through their stories and memories.

Krishnabai temple in Old Mahabaleshwar
Krishnabai temple in Old Mahabaleshwar

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Rent a place to stay in the woods in Mahabaleshwar

Well, not exactly in the thick of woods, but if you spend a little time and effort you would easily find a place to stay on the outskirts of Mahabaleshwar, away from the chaos of the main town. If you’re extremely lucky, you may even find one inside a strawberry farm. Go the extra mile (pun intended) to book a place on the peripheries of the city. The peace, quiet, and waking up to lush hillsides will do you good.

Forest Valley Resort in Panchgani
Forest Valley Resort in Panchgani

 

Source and Credits

Buy fresh produce at a green grocer and request a local to cook for you

It’s a delicious truth that food tastes better when made with fresh vegetables. Staying in cities we’ve quite forgotten the taste of a meal cooked using vegetables which have come straight from the farm. Light orange baby carrots washed clean, red turnips along with their leaves and roots, juicy red tomatoes the size of cherries, small green cucumbers often already peeled, and other greens, are what you must buy from a local green grocer in Mahabaleshwar. You could eat some of those raw, but we urge you to request the kitchen staff of the place you’ve rented, to cook you an authentic Maharashtrian meal from the fresh produce you just bought. Chances are, they’ll happily oblige.

Fresh produce
Fresh produce

 

Source and Credits

Pick strawberries at a strawberry farm:

Mahabaleshwar has a number of strawberry farms – Garden Green House, Hirkani Garden, Shilpa Farm, Deepak Baug etc – where you can and must go to indulge in a few hours of strawberry picking. Squat-walk your way through rows of varied strawberries, pluck them fresh, and taste the fruit of your hard work (yes, pun intended again). At the end of two or so unhurried hours of leisure, pack a ridiculous number of boxes of strawberries for everyone back home. Spending time like this is the kind of unadulterated recreation that’s hard to come by in a city. Treat yourself to it. You can thank us later.

Strawberry picking Mahabaleshwar
Strawberry picking Mahabaleshwar

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Picnic at Venna Lake:

Pack a picnic basket, go boating, take in the serene surroundings, and try the eateries at the bank of Venna lake, one of the most famous tourist spots in Mahabaleshwar. A large number of people flock to it every day and make up the cheerful energy of the place. Do a family picnic there, or spend time having fun with friends because either ways it’s bound to be memorable. Be sure to include Venna lake in your itinerary.

Venna Lake Mahabaleshwar
Venna Lake Mahabaleshwar

Source and Credits

Exploring Lonavala, Maharashtra’s Favourite Hill Station – #NotATourist

Things to do in Lonavala

Guest Post by Aditi Dharmadhikari 

The call of the hills (Lonavala) is that much stronger when the destination is just a few hours’ worth of a drive away, and with the monsoons finally catching up with us – we’ve realised this is one road trip not to put off any longer. While Lonavala may be the staple stopover town for the seasoned highway traveller, for those looking to unwind, it is chockfull of offbeat offerings to help unwind from the hectic city life. Find some brilliant things to do in Lonavala.

  1.    Visit Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary

Nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats, this is definitely one for the nature lovers. You get to be one with nature and experience endangered species of flora and fauna that roam free– such an the Indian mammoth squirrel – thriving in their natural habitats here. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear, this trip’s all about the trekking, nature walks and bird-watching, and there’s also a safari jeep tour that’ll give a chance to be closer to the animals.

Visit Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary
Visit Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary

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  1.     A Day Trip to The Hidden Village

If you really want to leave behind city life, even if it is just for a weekend, we suggest you check out this ‘rustic rural retreat’. Equipped with fresh water springs, a large pond, and a play zone for kids, Hidden Village is a four-acre space that’s brimming with tranquillity. To trek to the lake in back hills, get a natural fish pedicure or just hang out in the woods? You’re truly spoilt for choice.

The Hidden Village, Lonavala
The Hidden Village, Lonavala

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  1.       Go on a Long Drive around Lonavala

The monsoons breathe a new life into the tiny hillstation town of Lonavala every year, transforming it into a verdant place with several naturally-formed waterfalls. On the coldest days, the town is cloaked in a charming veil of mist and the panoramic views are gorgeous. Drive safe, enjoy the waterfalls and don’t be shy to make a pitstop and interact with the locals and enjoy a steaming glass of chai in these surroundings.

Long Drive around Lonavala
Long Drive around Lonavala

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  1.       Visit the Ancient Karla Caves

Located 8 km from Lonavala, this is a heritage spot worth going the distance for, and there’s a bus that’ll get you there in a snappy 10 minutes. You have to climb 400 steps that lead you to these massive Buddhist rock-cut caves with intricate carvings, believed to date back to 160 BC. The stupa and the jaw-dropping pillars of the majestic structure is quite the experience to behold and retains an old-world charm.

Ancient Karla Caves
Ancient Karla Caves

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  1.       Camp Out at Tungarli Lake

Just 3 km from Lonavala, Tungarli lake is a great place to just pitch a tent with a few friends and camp out next to. There are no permissions of any kind required to do this, and you’ll be regaled with an aerial view of Rajmachi, Lonavala and Lohagad. For the adventure enthusiasts, there’s plenty of treks to embark upon in the area as well.

Tungarli Lake
Tungarli Lake

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Check out the other stops in the #NotATourist series for -

1. Things to do in Agra

2. Things to do in Manali

3. Things to do in Goa

#NotATourist in Goa – Life Beyond The Shacks

Things to do in Goa beyond visiting the Shacks!

A perfect holiday in Goa is incomplete without things to do beyond just going to the shacks and enjoying your chilled beer. If you think you’re a real traveller who’s come to see the sights and sounds and the best places to visit in Goa then these 4 things to do in Goa will be your guide to serendipity to truly immerse yourself in the life and culture of Goa!

Go Goa Gone!

Experience fish drying at Colva!

Colva is as famous as any beach in Goa, so if you want to experience a little tranquil wind, you’ll have to leave your bed early (no apologies!). Before the sun rises, head to witness fishermen’s first produce in a local wholesale market along Colva. Some of it is put to drying right there, which is used to make delicacies like parra, mohle, fish fry, curry, chutney, kismur and roasted fish. The fish is dried under huge nets to prevent the birds from getting to any. Run along, and help some of the fisherwomen rub some salt on to the scales!

Follow the Goan bread trail

Induced mainly by the Portuguese culture, Goa is big on its breads for about a century. Don’t believe us? Then follow a Goan bread trail at the house of a poder(goan bread maker.) Search for one at St Inez near Panjim or in Saligao, break the crust early morning, of paao (traditional cubed bread), poee(whole wheat pockets), crisp undos(round),  kakon (bangle bread), katro (butterfly bread)with tea, xacuti. (Note: Don’t be surprised to see the poders working with scissors, that’s for a speciality bread.)

Kayak in the rains

Monsoons make the rivers and backwaters of Goa swell like a local bread. Not very popular among overseas travellers, this season is just right for people who don’t mind hush hush. Do you think you have it in you to take up a heady adventure? Go kayaking in the backwaters of Northern Goa (!), tussling with (or against) the current of water, with more than enough lush greenery and peacock cries to keep you going around.

Visit a traditional agrarian museum- Goa Chitra Museum

Fascinated as to how the traditional agrarian Goa worked before technology? Explore this offbeat ‘small wonder’, housing more than 4000 artefacts, founded only recently in 2010. Nestled within an organic farm (vegans raise eyebrows!), the museum itself is part of the house that is still used by the family that owns the organization. Don’t forget to drop some pedigree pellets to the humongous carps inside the museum’s well.
Agrarian museum In Goa

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Agrarian museum In Goa

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5 things your inner traveller must do in Manali – #NotATourist

Manali – Things to do (Beyond the obvious!)

Manali is the perfect place for a summer getaway. Lift your head and you can see mighty mountains that seem to be enveloping the city.  Clear white clouds kiss the snow covered peaks making you feel like the sky is romancing the earth. Listen closely for the music of the water flowing down the Himalayas. It is like the nature created this haven only for you to go and drink in its beauty. The best time to visit Manali is in the summers, between April and July, when the heat in your city is eating you alive and you’re in the mood to go get a cool breezy wintry weekend.

Cable Car Manali Holiday SeekSherpa
Holidaying In Manali – Cable Car
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But wait, the moment your gaze hits the ground are you put off by the swarm of tourists and tour guides? Do you think that this tiny abode of natural beauty was not meant to be as commercialised? Is that the reason you eliminated Manali as a location that could feed the fire of wanderlust within you?

Hang in right there, because we have handpicked 5 things you must do in Manali to feed your inner traveller.

1. Trek to the Nyingmapa Monastery, Manali

It is the journey that matters more than the destination. The trek to the Nyingmapa Monastery is beautiful and serene.  It is the kind of trek that books are written about. Nestled in the hills,Nyingmapa monastery is run by Buddhist nuns.

Nyingmapa Monastery
Nyingmapa Monastery
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The roads are narrow, and the altitude it rests on is high but this journey will change your notion of trekking. Ask a local for directions to Nyingmapa, it might not show up on Google. We highly recommend you to go and spend an afternoon there.

2. Visit the Naggar Castle

If you proudly call yourself a history buff, a visit to the Naggar Castle in a must-do. This castle built in 1460AD is made only in wood and stone. It was the home to Raja Sidh Sing of Kullu. This historical edifice brings together elements from European and Indian architecture. For all those who are ardent Bollywood fans, we would like to add that a certain song from ‘Jab we met’ was shot here. You will instantly know which one once you visit.

Naggar-Castle Manali

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3. Visit the shawl factories around Manali

If you have been close to the Himachal you certainly know about the Tibetan markets selling beautifully handmade shawls and other similar items. Have you ever wondered how they are made? Go for a walk around the tiny shawl factories located near the Kullu-Manali highway and see how these shawls are woven. It is a delight watching these artisans creating the masterpieces from wool. If you are pleasant enough to strike a conversation with them, they might even let you weave a little.

shawl factories around Manali

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4. Sip some coffee by the riverside cafes

What better than a friend (or a book) and cup of piping hot coffee in your hand amidst the hills? The riverside cafes in Manali are on the river. No, that is not a typo. They are actually on the river with chairs and tables screwed into the ground while the river Beas flows by. Dip your feet in the river and feel the gushing water while you enjoy that conversation and coffee. A perfect way to reconnect with the nature, we say!

Manali Riverside Cafes

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5. Walk amidst the cedar trees

If you love walking and hate commercialization, this is the perfect blend of both for you. Take a walk into the forest through the cedar trees near the Hadimba Temple. This walk is near therapeutic if you have ever fancied a walk in the forest. The Hadimba temple is thronged with tourists, and this forest located just behind the temple is a stark contrast. Walk down the road less taken, who knows what you might discover.

Natural Scenes of Manali cedar trees

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These untouched traveller’s delights are hidden behind those hoards of tourist-y locations Manali entertains, do something different this time and go be a traveller in Manali.

Stay tuned for we have the most amazing handpicked locations coming up for you from all over the country, and the world. Read about how you can travel as #NotATourist in Agra!

#NotAtourist – Agra is not just about the Taj Mahal

Life beyond the Taj Mahal in Agra!

It might sound like splitting hair, but there is a huge difference between a tourist and a traveller. If you are one of those who avoid the popular tourist tracks and go down the roads less taken the moment you step into a city, our #NotATourist series is for you and the first place we’re starting off is Agra!

We decided to go to Agra, one of the most popular tourist-y locations in the country and scout for things the traveller within you would love to explore.

Yes. Agra is not all about that big beautiful building Shah-Jahan built for his wife, the Taj Mahal. It houses years of Mughal culture, architecture, markets and some mouth watering street food.

Here is a list of 5 things every traveller must do in Agra.

1. Take a walk around the Mehtabh Bagh

When Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal, he built it for the love of his life. After spending 11 years and a very huge amount of money on this building, Shah Jahan thought of doing a little something for himself and building the Black Taj, exactly opposite to the White Taj and connecting them with a bridge. The project was never completed, partly because of the lack of funds and partly because of Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan’s son) deposing him. That story is a complete myth and something a typical travel guide is likely to feed you.

You can’t find out the real story behind this myth and that beautiful structure you see from a distance unless you visit the Mehtabh Bagh. Take a walk around this garden and ask a local about the real story behind it, we are sure you’d be surprised.

Mehtab Bagh Moonlit Garden Agra SeekSherpa

Via Mehtabh Bagh or the Moonlit Garden

PS: It offers the most picturesque view of the Taj, while keeping you away from the swarm of tourists.

2. Gorge on Bedai and Petha

So, you know how a kachori tastes like, right? Once you taste the Bedai, it will change all the popular notions you have about kachoris. This crispy thin fried bread filled with spicy daal and served with piping hot sabzi and a dollop of ice cold raita in a leaf bowl is very authentic to Agra. This delicacy is only for the early risers though; it is so delicious that all the vendors are sold out by 10am.

Bedai Agra SeekSherpa

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Once your taste buds are on fire with the spicy bedai, go get yourself a piece of sweet syrupy pedha from Panchi. They come in all varieties and shapes, but the angoori pedha and the coconut pedha is on the list of our personal favourites.

Petha SeekSherpa Agra

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3. Shop through the maze like lanes of Kinari Bazaar

Located near the Jama Masjid is the densest market of Agra, the Kinari bazaar. The streets are lined up with clothes, jewellery , shoes, authentic Agra-esque leather bags and all the life of bazaar. While you are at it, you could also visit the Loha Mandi, they sell all things iron and Raja-ki-Mandi. Pick up souvenirs from this market, then take a break and gorge on some amazing gol-gappas at the chaatwallahs round every corner. A vendor here sells the tiniest of paani-pooris you have ever seen, ask some locals and we’re sure you’ll find your way to him!

Kinari Bazaar Agra

4. Visit Akbar’s Church

This Church was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar for his Christian wife Maria (Mariam). The church is over 400 years old and prayers still take place in it. Get into a candid discussion with the priest about the story of this church. There is an underground passage that goes straight to the Agra fort. Sadly, no one is allowed to go through the passage now. But hey! if you are feeling a little adventurous. (You did not hear this from us)

Akbar's Church
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5. Watch the Taj Mahal at Night

Alright we promised we will keep you away from tourist traps, but the Taj Mahal at night is a sight to watch. You will have to pull some strings and be innovative to actually catch a sight of this mesmerizing building under the moonlight but once you do, you will be awestruck with how starkly different it looks at night. The marble used in the Taj glows up the entire structure making it shine in the dark night.

Taj Mahal Agra By Night
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We are on a mission to make every corner in this country a traveller’s delight with our #NotATourist series! Stay tuned for more awesomeness coming your way. Travelling along the golden triangle and looking for cheap places to stay? Check out the best backpackers hostels that are #RedefiningTravel.