Shimla Mall Road Food, Things to do & more

Shimla Mall Road
Shimla Mall Road – the feel of this place is just something else!

Here’s a video from my visit to Shimla Mall Road. I covered food, a lot of cute Shimla cafes and also touristy things to do. Watch it here.

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Shimla Mall Road

Here are all the places that you must visit when in Shimla. A lot of exploring of Shimla Mall road and nearby attractions:

Wake & Bake

Shimla Mall Road Wake and Bake

This is a cutesy cafe right in Mall road. It has a view of Mall road and also a section for outdoor seating where one can enjoy the beautiful Shimla mountains. I recommend visiting this place for breakfast – do try their egg varieties. I ordered an Israeli breakfast platte consisting of Hummus, Lafa Bread & Shakshouka.

Baljees

Shimla Mall Road Baljees

The best Gulab Jamun ever! You have to visit Baljees which is right below Wake & Bake in Mall Road, Shimla. The Gulab Jamuns here are perfection.

Local Leather Stores

On Mall Road, you will come across a lot of local leather stores promoting Make in India. A lot of these have Chinese owners but have been residing in Shimla for many years.

Kali Bari Temple

Straight ahead from Mall Road is the Kali Bari temple in Shimla. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is a must visit when in Shimla. Goddess Kala also known as Shyamala Devi is where Shimla derives its name from. Be very careful while going up this temple, because of all the monkeys that surround it.

Lower Bazaar

A popular shopping area, even for locals. This bazaar is where you head if you want to stock up on some fruits, groceries etc. There are also quite a few popular food shops in Lower Bazaar. Don’t miss Nathuram Lachmandas for their Doodh Jalebi and Mehrus for their chaat. Also, if you want buy the famous Shimla shawls then buy them from Lower Bazaar. You will definitely find a better price here than the touristy Shimla Mall Road.

Tibetan Market

Most hill stations in the north have a Tibetan Market. You can expect clothes imported from China – basically fast fashion. But do remember to bargain whenever you are shopping here.

Himachali Rasoi

Shimla Mall Road Himachali Rasoi

Keen to try out a Himachali thali? Head to Himachali Rasoi in Lower Bazaar. You get a thali with authentic Himachali cuisine and is definitely worth a try here.

Jakhu Temple

Shimla Mall Road Jakhu Temple

One of the most famous attractions here in Shimla is the Jakhu temple. You can either hike to get to the temple or take the cable car on Shimla ropeway. The cable car ride is expensive – Rs.250+Tax per person, one way, but the view is absolutely worth it. The Hanuman idol here is 108ft. high and I definitely feel you must visit here. But do be careful of the monkeys!

The Ridge

Shimla Mall Road The Ridge

The Ridge on Mall Road is one of the most famous hangouts in Shimla. In the evening this place is buzzing. You have to visit to feel the vibe of this place. There are a lot of eateries around, but mostly it is just about sitting and enjoying the view.

Indian Coffee House

Shimla Mall Road Indian Coffee House

Indian Coffee house is a popular chain across a lot of places in India. They serve affordable food ranging from South Indian to even a few local specialities of the area they are located in. Definitely visit of you feel like chilling over some coffee.

So these are all the things that you can do on Shimla Mall Road and around. Hope this post is helpful. Want to know all about the Shimla toy train experience? Read here.

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Poovar Resort with access to Backwaters and Beach

Poovar Resort
The best Poovar resort that can take you on a splendid journey through the backwaters of Kerala and also the Golden Sand Beach!

A Poovar resort that feels like heaven – the Estuary Sarovar Portico in Poovar, Kerala is one of the best places to stay while you are visiting this gorgeous island.

Watch this video from my stay in Estuary Sarovar Portico resort in Poovar for a visual tour.

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Poovar Resort

When it comes to resorts in Kerala, a lot of them end up being scenic primarily because of their location. But the Estuary Sarovar Portico takes its nature landscape to a whole different level. This Poovar resort is massive – filled with lots of coconut trees, various types of stay options and a restaurant that helps you experience local Kerala cuisine.

In terms of location, this is one of the best. Access to the backwaters and the beach right from the resort – what else can one ask for when in Kerala. And that estuary view is seriously underrated!

Poovar Resort

Estuary Sarovar Portico has a lot of options when it comes to accommodation. From Garden view rooms to luxurious villas with a pool. And they are even coming up with estuary view rooms and cottages. I stayed at their premium cottage and it was more than comfortable! Massive room, a dressing room and bathroom with a cute bathtub for two – I couldn’t really ask for more!

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

In terms of food, I was spoilt for choice during my visit. Firstly I had the ‘sadya’ meal here which was phenomenal. The Chef and the staff go the extra mile to get as many dishes as possible and give guests a true Kerala sadya experience. They also have a sampler dinner menu of sorts – so 4-5 different dishes, local to Kerala are part of the menu and the portions are small since there are multiple dishes. And this also included a delicious banana payasam. Usually they have a breakfast buffet which has everything – right from appams, to idli-dosas to the more common American buffet dishes. What caught my attention  in their breakfast spread was that they prepared their tea and coffee fresh right in front of you, and to suit your needs.

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

Poovar Resort

The resort has many amenities – 2 pools, a massive badminton court and play area, local tours, sightseeing and lots more.

Poovar Resort

Poovar Island is so beautiful – I don’t find as many people talking about it as they do for other places in Kerala. But this, in my opinion is one of the prettiest places that you can visit when in Kerala.Trivandrum is the closest airport to Poovar and it’s just about an hour’s drive from Thiruvananthapuram airport. And when you visit Poovar, do consider Estuary Sarovar Portico as your stay option. Its perfect for a honeymoon stay, a family vacation or even a corporate offsite. Check out all their details on their website.

Poovar Resort

Before Poovar, I visited Thekkady. You can know all about it here

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Greenwoods Thekkady Resort – So Green & Gorgeous!

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort
You’d expect a Thekkady Resort or hotel to be lush and serene. But Greenwoods in Thekkady is so gorgeously green!

Here’s a video from my visit to Thekkady Resort Greenwoods, Periyar Lake and a Spice Garden. Watch below.

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Greenwoods Resort is one of the best places to stay in Thekkady. Location wise it is very convenient – just in the beginning of the market side and about a 15 minute auto ride away from the bus station for Periyar. For anyone who is in Thekkady and looking for a fun resort with their family, kids or even if you are on your honeymoon, Greenwoods Resort Thekkady is an option to be considered.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

The resort itself has a beautiful feel. Surrounded by trees and lush greenery, this place has that forest-like vibe. They also have a lot of spice plantations inside the resort itself. Spices are very common in Thekkady and you can do a mini spice plantation tour right inside Greenwoods resort! They have a restaurant and a pool area too. And also an area called Gokulam which is where you will find ducks, rabbits and a few Gir cows in their cow sheds. The resort promotes responsible tourism – they have a waste water recycling plant, tree plantation activities for guests and also use minimal plastic. Other activities in the resort include a Kerala cuisine cooking class, a Kerala style saree and lungi draping and a traditional Indian dance performance.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Coming to the accommodation at Greenwoods Thekkady, they have superior and deluxe rooms, premium suites, villas with private pools. I stayed at Amaravathy – a premium suite with a pool and garden view. It is easily one of the most spacious cottages I’ve lived in and it was a super comfortable stay. A separate living room area (2 levels), a cozy bedroom with a balcony sit-out and a more than spacious bathroom.

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

In resorts like these, you could opt for an American Plan, i.e. a package inclusive of meals; so you don’t have to wander around in search of good, hygienic food. At Greenwoods Thekkady Resort they  have a restaurant serving Breakfast Buffet and A-la-carte Lunch and Dinner. And you will be able to fulfil your cravings for trying authentic Kerala cuisine here because they have it all!

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

Greenwoods Thekkady Resort

I definitely recommend Greenwoods Resort in Thekkady. It’s a great place for a good holiday, honeymoon or just some time off to relax and unwind. You can check out their prices, packages and other amenities on their website.

Looking for a resort in Munnar? Read this!

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Munnar

South Indian Thali

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Amber Dale Hotel Munnar | Luxury Hotel & Spa in Munnar

Amber Dale Hotel
I recently stayed at Amber Dale Hotel in Munnar and my experience was amazing!

Watch this video to know about my Munnar experience in Amber Dale Hotel.

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Amber Dale Hotel is a luxury hotel and spa in Munnar. It is a beautiful property and boasts of the best view that one can get in Munnar. And that is absolutely correct. Once can admire endless stretch of mountains from various points in this property.

Amber Dale Hotel

In terms of rooms, you will find ones that fit every budget. I stayed at their premium Valley View cottages and it was one of the coziest rooms ever! Also the view was absolutely worth it.

Amber Dale Hotel

Amber Dale Hotel

This beautiful sit out is where I recommend spending a lot of hours, sipping on tea or coffee and enjoying the breathtaking view.

They do provide an in-room dining service as well and that includes a lot of Kerala specialities. 

And not just in-room, their breakfast buffet is one of the best ones I’ve tried – fresh local food, of course with a gorgeous view. Amber Dale Hotel

Amber Dale Hotel

I didn’t get a chance to try out their luxurious spa section, but I can imagine it to be very relaxing!

Amber Dale Hotel

With Munnar, as is the case with many hill stations, often the best of views come a little further from the main market area. This is just about 15 minutes from Munnar town and I recommend staying here because of the unparalleled scenic landscapes. The property also offers tours and other amenities like cycling, tea maiden costume (which you can see in my video thumbnail above), Kerala cuisine cooking demo, Barbeque and lots more. This is a beautiful getaway and one that I will surely cherish for life.

Amber Dale Hotel

You can know more about Amber Dale Hotel Munnar on their website.

Know about another gorgeous hill station in India here.

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Shimla Train Journey | Toy Train, Mall Road & more

Shimla Train
The Shimla Train Journey is one of my best parts of my Shimla trip!

Here’s a video capturing my entire Shimla train experience. Watch here.

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The Shimla train route is one of the most picturesque ones in India. This is the old route that was established during the British era, when they regarded Shimla as the summer capital of India. The Shimla train route is absolutely scenic – overlooking mountains, amidst the lush greenery (if you are going in the proper season). Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, Shimla gets its name from Goddess Shyamala Devi. The town is beautiful and definitely not overrated. And Shimla has so much to offer in terms of sight-seeing, things to do and even food.

I travelled from  Mumbai to Chandigarh and stayed over in Chandigarh for 2 nights and then head on to Kalka to enjoy my Shimla train ride.

Want to know what I did in Chandigarh? Watch these videos:

I actually spent 3 days in Shimla, exploring the place, the food and the shopping. Watch all of those videos here:

Shimla is a beautiful hill station. Bet it summer, winter or even monsoon, the place has its own charm and at least once in your lifetime, you must visit this beautiful hill station. It is mega touristy and honestly quite commercial, but its a place that I would love to visit again.

Another hill station that I recently visited is Munnar in Kerala. The place is famous for its tea plantations and is so beautiful in the monsoons.  You can watch my experience in this video:

Looking for a quick weekend trip from Mumbai? Check this!

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Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and more

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is absolutely gorgeous!

I spent a beautiful day at the Dubai Marina and also visited the Palm Jumeirah. Watch my video of this entire experience here.

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If you are heading to Dubai and want to go and spend some time at the Palm Jumeirah or the Dubai Marina then make sure you watch the video linked above as I am guiding you to the exact route I used and also the public transport details of my trip.

The famous marina district of Dubai has a lot to offer in terms of things to do. You can take a speed boat ride or a luxury dinner cruise, chill at the promenade and indulge in good food or just soak in the view. It’s quite a lively area and shouldn’t be missed.

The Palm Jumeira is a man-made island that resembles the shape of a palm tree. It’s one of a kind and true to Dubai luxury, is definitely an experience. You can visit the Atlantis here, which is a renowned hotel. And you can head to the palm by using the special monorail. All details in the video above.

Dubai Marina beach, a gorgeous open beach to view the sunset. This place has a soothing vibe. Also don’t miss the massive food plaza here.

The Dubai Marina mall is also beautifully lit! It’s a smaller mall compared to the other massive malls here but definitely don’t miss all the lights – it’s a sheer sight!

More things to do in Dubai here.

Want to explore more in Dubai? Watch these videos!

Dubai Souks –  a different side to Dubai

Dubai Vlog – shopping in malls, global village, Arabic food and more

Vegetarian’s guide to food in Dubai

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Old Dubai – must visit souks, markets, places

Old Dubai spices souk
Old Dubai has its own charm.

A lot of people feel that Dubai is all about tall buildings and malls, but I bet you haven’t seen Old Dubai.

Watch this video to get the real feel of Old Dubai – all the markets, the souks and all the must visit places.

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Here are all the places you need to visit while exploring Old Dubai. This also includes a few shopping tips and tricks. Read on!

Meena Bazar

Famous street in Dubai which is also a known area for all jewellery stores. Apart from jewellery, you will also find a lot of fabric stores, perfume shops and Indian and Pakistani restaurants.

The name Meena Bazar has a very intersting history. The road is actually called Al-Ghubaiba road; but because of a very famous fabric store, back in the day, called Meena Bazar the name sticks! When in Meena Bazar, you can shop all you like; but one experience that is bound to come your way is of people selling fakes – especially replica bags and sunglasses. So be wary of them.

The street actually has a lot of Gold shops, but the one I recommend is Meena Jewellers. Their designs are impeccable. I also recommend a perfume shop called Ratans. Tester perfumes sold much below MRP and also a lot of cheap local perfumes. Another thing I recommend buying in Meena Bazar are lace sarees – they have the pretties chantilly lace fabrics and you can get them for an amazing deal sometimes. I also recommend buying chiffon sarees here – you can buy them plain or with a slight gold border and the shades are just awesome.

Old Dubai bur dubai

If you’re looking for Indian Food then there are a lot of options in Meena Bazar. You can savor a thali from Puranmal to chaat from Kailash Parbat and even south Indian food in Woodlands.

Dubai Museum

This is located inside the Al Fahidi fort and is a great place to witness a bit more of history. They do have an entry fee of AED3 per person and you can also view the Grand mosque from across the museum.

Bur Dubai Souk

Right before you hit the pier for the abra ride, you will come across a little souk called the Bur Dubai Souk. This is a good prelude to the bigger souks on the other side of Dubai creek.

Abra Ride

Old Dubai abra

This is a must do attraction in Dubai. It’s like a water taxi to go from one side of the Dubai creek to the other. And it’s an old way of travelling and still exists, so in my opinion you must experience it.

Spice Souk

Old Dubai spice souk

At any souk, you must remember to bargain. In the Spices souk in Old Dubai, you will find all common and rare spices from the middle east region and this is part of the main trade.

Gold Souk

Old Dubai gold souk

The mecca of all the gold in Dubai, well at least all thats on display! When at the gold souk, don’t miss all the jewellery on display – a lot of them are heavier, bigger and more shocking than you can imagine! Of course, the shops here sell gold jewellery that is more wearable too, so don’t forget to check that out.

Al Seef

Old Dubai al seef

This is located next to the creek and a great way to experience Emirati culture. You can take a walking tour and see all the architecture that is demonstrative of how the old Dubai was. Al Seef also has a large number of restaurants, so you can definitely enjoy a meal here. And it’s actually quite a nice place to chill and watch the colourful boats in the water.

So those are my must visits from Old Dubai. Do leave me a comment about your favorite place in Dubai, would love to know.

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Alibaug Weekend Trip | U Tropicana Resort

An Alibaug weekend trip can be such a quick getaway from Mumbai.

Earlier in the year, I stayed at a luxurious villa on an Alibaug Weekend Trip. Check out this video from my trip.

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Alibaug weekend Trip

U Tropicana is  good property in Alibaug. In fact I have stayed at their regular resort rooms and also their villa and I can vouch for both. A villa is great when you are in a big group  and want to live under one roof. If booked well in advance, you can even find a steal deal online. And their individual rooms are great for privacy. Most of them are pool facing, with a cozy sit out.

Alibaug Weekend Trip

Personally, I enjoy taking a ferry ride or a speed boat to Alibaug. The drive is quite long – a 45 minute ferry ride versus a a 3-4 hour drive! So I would definitely recommend the water route. However, double check this mode of transport if you are travelling during monsoon.

Alibaug Weekend Trip

In terms of food, Alibaug is all about coastal Maharashtrian cuisine. So expect a lot of non veg! However, if like me you are vegetarian too, then U Tropicana has you covered. They do have a pretty decent veg fare.

I would recommend Alibaug for a quick weekend getaway. It gives that feel of being away from the city, without much travel. And there is quite a bit to do there – the beaches, the forts and more. So definitely explore Alibaug!

Watch more travel videos

Weekend trip from Bengaluru

A summer trip to Shimla – the summer capital of India

Quick trip to Tokyo, Japan

Want a guide to Dubai? Check this.

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Dubai Things To Do – Dubai Mall, Global Village & more

Dubai
Dubai – it’s a city that has something for everyone.

With every visit to Dubai, I have only grown more fond of the place. Dubai definitely gave me a new experience with every visit.

I visited Dubai in 2018 December and I captured most of my trip in the form of a video. You can check out my Dubai vlog here.

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Dubai Malls

You’ll find the best malls in the whole world, in Dubai. Talk about luxury brands or high street ones, they have it all. Here are some of my favorite malls in Dubai:

Dubai Mall

This is the largest mall in the world and has an indoor aquarium with an underwater tunnel, a dancing fountain show inspired by the Bellagio in Las Vegas and so many shops and restaurants.

Mall of Emirates

In terms of a luxurious feel, this mall aces it for me. Every nook and corner in the mall will make you feel like you are in a place with the most high end stuff!

Ibn Batuta Mall

This mall is more horizontally expansive than being just tall. It’s made beautifully well – different zones dedicated to travels of Ibn Batuta.

Dragon Mart

This is a mall dedicated to Chinese items. You will find everything here – from electronics to home decor, from clothes shoes and bags to cosmetics. Lots of stuff and super affordable.

Another major attraction in Dubai is Global Village. This takes place for 6 months in a year – October to April and is the biggest cultural event I have ever seen. Different countries come forth and set up their zones, selling things that are unique and local to them.

You will also find a lot of international chains and department stores. One of my favorite is Carrefour. It’s a UK based supermarket chain and one of my favorite places for affordable shopping, especially for chocolates in Dubai.

When in Dubai, I do like to indulge in Middle Eastern food. You can watch this video to know more about the places I recommend.

When in Dubai, I highly recommend visiting souks. And you can read this article for the best tips on navigating a souk.

Read about my last trip here.

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Dubai Souks

Dubai Marina

A Luxury Jungle Resort in India

Tokyo

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Hotel Jade Garden Mysore – Clean & Comfortable stay in Mysuru

Centrally located, clean and comfortable is how I’d describe my stay at Hotel Jade Garden Mysore.

I came across Hotel Jade Garden Mysore and the one thing that made me choose it was the location. While travelling, I always look for properties that can quickly lead me to all the tourist spots and yet, not be in the middle of commotion.

Hotel Jade Garden Mysore is a budget hotel here and one thing I can vouch for is their hygiene. This is something I’m very particular about while choosing a hotel.

I stayed in their executive room and it was extremely comfortable. Clean sheets, ample towels, basic selection of tea and coffee were all there.

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

Even their bathroom was basic, yet very clean. And generously refilled with toiletries everyday!

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

They have 2 restaurants inside the hotel. One if them is Saffron. This is the place were I enjoyed their breakfast buffet and it was quite a spread. A good mix of South Indian and western dishes. I stuck to trying out local cuisine – idlis, dosas and filter coffee was my daily staple! The idlis at Saffron deserve a special mention. They were fresh, soft and melt in your mouth. And the coconut chutney was perfection.

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

The other restaurant here is one of the most happening rooftop bars in Mysore. This is Iconic rooftop restaurant and bar and it had such a fun, chilled out vibe. Good music, good food and good cocktails!

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

This rooftop bar actually has an open section which has a bar and a few high tables. But they also have a more cozy dining area that serves delicious food.

Jade Garden Mysore

Jade Garden Mysore

From the outside, the hotel looks great. In the day time especially it makes for very insta-worthy pictures. And in the evening, when it’s all lit up it looks gorgeous as well.

 

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Jade Garden Mysore

Hotel Jade Garden Mysore is a place that I would stay when I come back here. The staff, hospitality and of course the idlis totally made my stay here very memorable. When you visit Mysore, definitely keep this hotel in mind. You can check out their website for bookings.

Before Mysore, I was Bangalore and you can read about my luxurious stay here.

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