Malana – A Mysterious Village in Himachal Pradesh 183

Though you might have explored a lot of mainstream places in India but some of the not-so-popular places have been present silently in all their beauty and splendidness. One such place is Malana, situated near the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, it is a unique treasure that India possesses.

Would you really believe if I  say that Malana is one of the oldest standing democracies of the world, with the small village managing it’s own affairs even today. I am sure you will not but believe me actually this is what makes it is so attractive and unusual. The laws and taboos here will keep you wondering for days, for this is a place which will be in your heart long after you’ve gone back home. Popular as the city of the best hashish in the world, the villagers of this ancient city have been keeping several secrets to themselves.

The most astonishing fact is that the villagers consider themselves as the descendants of Alexander the Great and hence think of other Indians as inferior to them. They are a bunch of touch-me-not villagers who would immediately run for a bath if they come in contact with outsiders. Strange!! Isn’t it?

You will be amazed to know the interesting practice of how these villagers resolve conflicts; they make a cut in the leg of a lamb each of the two parties, poison it, and then sew it back with a needle. The person whose lamb dies first is said to lose the case.They are men of faith and refuse to follow the Indian Constitution.When in Malana, be sure not to touch the walls or belongings of the natives unless you want a fine imposed. Crazy as that may sound, they don’t even eat food cooked by a non-native.

What attracts the people world over to this untouched bewitching land is obviously its high-quality hashish and the peace which envelops this place. No matter the popularity, the village remains rooted in it’s own faith and customs. Perhaps, that’s why everyone keeps coming back. Here, it’s not about 5 star-meals and shopping in fancy malls, because the Parvati urges you to explore it’s mysteries!

So if you planning to go there to relax and unwind yourself from your busy schedules, my advice – Don’t just travel, explore this beautiful & mysterious land of mountains!

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Lucknow Memoirs 126

Some cities are close to our hearts. Mostly because we have spent a lot of time there especially our childhood. For me the city holding,  that special place is Nawabon ka Shehar Lucknow!!

Situated on the banks of River Gomti, it has an old world charm and enthusiasm of new age too. A beautiful city emerging as a cosmopolitan, saving essence of its culture, Tehzeeb.

Whether you choose to travel by train or by air, the moment you land, you can feel the aroma of Lucknow. The language though mainly hHindiis spoken with a touch of Urdu and typical accent, and few words are the patent of this city!

The roads and lanes are good, comparable to any other city. The best time to visit is between Oct-Feb when it is the onset of cold till peak cold arrives. Summers are hot and humid too. The temperature may go up to 45 degrees.

The city has rich cultural heritage. Make sure to visit places like Bada ImamBara, Chota ImamBara and Residency. You will brush up with the slice of history and its grandeur.

The amazing thing about the city is that many big malls have come up with awesome architecture and  Brands to envy of but the city manages a balance between the two.

My personal favourite time to visit them is the early morning where you can see the beauty of pebbled streets and can relish the amazing breakfast of khasta kachori and jalebi at a small shop near 8 number crossing called Aath number chauraha!

The city has one of the most amazing food with distinct flavours and taste. It has many delicacies both vegetarian and non-vegetarian which are recorded in Indian cookbooks.

Different areas of Lucknow are associated with different tastes. So when you visit old Lucknow, Chauk, Ameenabad do stop for the ultimate kebab junction. Whenever you visit don’t forget to taste the most famous of kebabs ” Galawati kebab” famously known as Tundey ke kebab , served with saffron flavoured roti called sheermaal .You will  give your taste buds a treat.

Radhe Lal ki lassi is something which is subtle sweet with the saffron aroma.

Prakash ki kulfi in Ameenabad is a place running since 1960s.More than 50 years and the place has kulfi which is distinct in taste and preparation!

And yes do taste Lucknow ki chaat , if possible visit Royale café in Hazratganj which is like  Connaught place of Lucknow and serves the best basket chaat called tokri chaat .

The trip cannot be complete without shopping. The city of Lucknow boast of some awesome street markets.So shop till you drop for chikankari suits in Hazratganj , Ameenabaad  according to accessibility and budget.

A hidden treasure is Nakkhas market which is famous for its sunday market and the attraction is pets and birds. Just for the fun and some old world chaos you can visit this too.

Overall a  must visit city at least once to take away beautiful memories!!

10 places in India you can go if you have a shoe-string budget 200

I don’t know if it happen with everyone, but it definitely happens with me. All throughout the month I crib about the amount of work that I have to complete and how I don’t get enough holidays, or how I am unable to travel often because I am so loaded.  Whenever a long break comes, up until the last day before the tiny vacation starts I have no idea what ill do for the next 3/4 days, usually I end up just lazing around which is very ironic to the amount of cribbing I do.

I have done enough research to find a few possible destinations to go for short trips and here is the list of all of them.

  1. GOKARNA
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Bangalore to Gokarna and back by bus: INR 800
    Stay: Comfy homestays start at INR 200 in Gokarna
    Food: Lots of eating options near the beach at INR 200 for two per meal
    Banana boat ride: INR 300 per person
  2. RISHIKESH
    Ideal duration: 1 Night/2 Days
    What it will cost you: Travel to and from Delhi: INR 300
    Stay: INR 150 per night
    Food: INR 200/meal
    River rafting: INR 400 to INR 1300 per person
    Beach camping: INR 1600 per person (includes 1 Night stay, 3 meals and river rafting)
  3. DARJEELING
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Travel from Kolkata to Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri by bus and back: INR 490,
    Toy train up to Darjeeling from NJP: INR 250
    Jeep ride from NJP to Darjeeling:INR 150/person
    Stay: INR 400/night
    Food:INR130 for two
  4. DHARAMSALA AND Mc.LEODGANJ
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Delhi to McLeodganj and back: INR 1000
    Stay: INR 130/night – INR 500/night
    Food: Tibetan and Chinese cuisine at little cafes @INR 100 – 200 for two
  5. SIKKIM
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you:Kolkata to Siliguri (Train): INR 183 one side
    Siliguri to Gangtok (Bus): INR 165 one side
    Stay: Budget hotels are available at INR 600 up, but there are dorms too for INR 120 or single rooms for INR 250
    Food: Plenty of cheap places around, momos being the specialty here: INR 100 up per meal
  6. HAMPI
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Train travel from Bangalore to Hospet and back: INR 300
    Hospet to Hampi: INR 10 (bus), INR 100 (auto)
    Stay: Homestays or Guesthouses starting from INR 50-200/night, Budget accommodation: INR 300 to INR 800/night
    Food: All three meals put together: INR 200
    Tonga rides to ruin sites: INR 50-100
  7. NAINITAL
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you:State transport buses, Delhi to Nainital (roundtrip): INR 368,
    Private Volvo bus (roundtrip): INR 800
    Stay: Spoilt for choices here, budget stay starts at as low as INR 150/night.
    Food: Lot of Punjabi food around, meals can start from INR 200 for two
    Boating: INR 150/hr for paddle boat
    Ropeway: INR 150 (roundtrip)/person
  8. MUNNAR
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Buses from Ernakulam or Cochin and back: INR 180 – INR300
    Stay: Cottages start at INR 600
    Food: INR 100 per meal
  9. UDAIPUR
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What it will cost you: Delhi to Udaipur (State transport bus) : INR 650
    Stay: Starts at INR 400/night for shared dormitories
    Food: Street food is a must try: INR 50 /person
  10. VARANASI
    Ideal duration: 2 Nights/3 Days
    What will it cost you: Delhi to Varanasi and back (train): INR 652
    Stay: INR 200/night
    Food: Street food starts at INR 30 for two, Local food at INR 150 for two
    Boat ride on the Ganges: INR 250/hour

Let’s get, set and go!!!!

If you have any place close to Delhi that you have been to on a short trip, please comment in the box below or message us on our Facebook page and we will sure share it with the world.