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Visiting Kerala for the summer holiday — why you should

It’s summer season here in India. The school holidays have kicked off for kids. Goa feeling too commercialized and crowded for your liking? Then consider the greener pastures and the far less crowded beaches of Kerala for your family holiday. Being a Keralite, I may come off as a bit biased but the facts are out there — Kerala is one of India’s most popular states for tourism for a reason. From its famous backwaters, unspoiled beaches, great seafood to the hill stations of Munnar, national parks such as Periyar… you have a lot to do in Kerala if you are willing to get around a bit.

Kumarakom houseboat small boat
The famous houseboats of Kumarakom

Flights to Kerala are aplenty and both Cochin and the state capital Trivandrum are well connected to India’s major cities. Flight booking should be a breeze but you may wish to consider which city to begin your journey from. If you fly into Cochin, then you have several attractions like Fort Kochi, Alappuzha (a.k.a Alleppy) and Kumarakom all within easy reach from Ernakulum city. Cochin is also a great hub to visit the hill station hubs of Munnar and Thekkady. Continue reading “Visiting Kerala for the summer holiday — why you should” »

Aguada Fort lighthouse Goa India

A Goa holiday can be more than just beaches

I’ve been to Goa twice in the past. For my first visit, I was mostly based in the southern part of Goa. Colva was lovely, with its pristine beaches and less commercial buzz (well, compared to Calangute). Our hotel booking was made over the phone based on prior recommendations and it was a nice budget hotel right by the beachside.

Colva beach sunny Goa India
Colva’s main beach, on a nice sunny day. Amazing isn’t it?

For my second visit, I stayed in Panjim but spent most of our time relaxing in Goa’s popular beaches up north. You know, the usual Baga, Anjuna and a visit to Fort Aguada. Both trips were lovely, no doubt, but at the same time, I felt I hadn’t seen what else Goa tourism had to offer besides the seaside views and the beach shacks. Continue reading “A Goa holiday can be more than just beaches” »

Copper pot stills Amrut factory

Amrut Distilleries factory tour (with Vir Sanghvi)

Date: February 12, 2014

I was invited to visit the Amrut Distilleries factory on Mysore Road, just outside of Bangalore city. I was going to get to see the manufacturing process for making the famed Amrut whisky — with a special guest in tow. Noted journalist, writer and TV personality Vir Sanghvi was going to drop by the factory for a tour.

Amrut whisky display Bangalore
The award-winning Amrut whisky range
Barley peat for whisky
Barley to the left, peat to the right
Amrut distillery office awards display
We were waiting for Vir Sanghvi to arrive
Amrut awards Jagdale old photo
Gave me enough time to check out the awards and the history of the company Shri Radhakrishna Jagdale founded
Amrut distillery test lab Bangalore
This is the lab where they sample and test whiskies — Amrut’s own production batches and the competition
Jagdale gifting flowers to Vir Sanghvi
Vir Sanghvi had arrived, and so had the present chairman of Amrut Distilleries, Mr. Neelakanta Rao Jagdale. After a formal greeting, the Amrut team led us all to the factory.
Amrut factory tour with Vir Sanghvi
Senior VP Surrinder Kumar led the factory tour

Continue reading “Amrut Distilleries factory tour (with Vir Sanghvi)” »

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