All posts filed under: Unique Places to Stay

Jullay from Leh!

I groggily board the flight to Leh at an unearthly hour. Waking up irritably to the flight attendant’s announcement, the view outside my window quickly changes my mood. We are flying precariously close to the snow-covered Himalayas, and would soon land in the cold mountain desert of Ladakh. Three years after my first solo trip to Spiti, I am back in the trans-Himalayas, still dreamy and wide-eyed, a little nervous, and hoping to find solitude in the mountains. It feels like life has come a full circle. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

6 Offbeat Experiences Near Hampi.

After my soulful sojourns in the North-eastern and Garhwal Himalayas, I descended to Mumbai for some personal work. Three weeks of sweltering heat has left me craving the rains, and made me nostalgic of my monsoon adventures last year, when I chased the rains from Rajasthan to Hampi. Over two trips to Hampi, I’ve discovered experiences that go beyond the majestic ruins of the ancient Vijaynagara kingdom. Take my list, stay with the locals, meet the dwindling gypsy community, cycle amid dramatic landscapes, and indulge a little: Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

kerala backwaters, North Kerala, India Untravelled

God’s Own “Island” by the Kasaragod Backwaters!

We slowly row away from the shore, leaving behind the dim lights on our palm-fringed island in Kerala. The current in the backwaters sways our tiny kayak. After a brief show of resistance, we surrender and let it guide us. Small fish occasionally jump out of the water, creating ripples. A thousand stars shimmer in the sky above. These are the virgin Kasaragod backwaters. Silent, untouched and without a houseboat in sight (Also read: What India (and the World) Can Learn From Sustainable Tourism in Kerala). I first visited Oyster Opera – this pristine island in Kerala two years ago, while charting out The Best Kept Secrets of Kerala trail for India Untravelled. When we impulsively decided to fly from Singapore to Kochi a few days back, I found myself craving the tranquillity of this little paradise. It is neither a resort nor a homestay, but just a place that perfectly encapsulates the languid way of life in these Kasaragod backwaters. Also read: Offbeat Kerala: 11 Travel Experiences to Inspire the Artist in You On …

In Photos: The Countryside of Northern Thailand.

There are very few places in the world that feel like home to me, and northern Thailand is one of them. I showed up there with a tired soul, on an impulsive trip that I hoped would rejuvenate me (Read: Going Back to The Places we Love). And what can I say? Thailand gave me the time, space and natural beauty to think, write, and appreciate the little joys of life again. I pen this post from a little gourmet cafe in Singapore, and these photos, taken with my Sony Cybershot camera, are to be my sunshine on dark and dull days in the year ahead. I hope they’ll make you yearn as much for the Thai countryside. *** 1. TEARING INTO THE POSTCARD THAT IS NORTHERN THAILAND  for such surreal views of the hills, river, paddies, and sunsets that are now etched in my mind forever. *** 2. SAMPLING HOME-COOKED VEGETARIAN THAI FOOD  at Ban Lom Jen Homestay – Penang Curry and steamed rice. Delicious! *** 3. MARVELING AT THE WHITE TEMPLE  of Chiang …

auroville, auroville trip

A Slow Travel Guide to Auroville.

There’s more to Auroville than Matrimandir and Auro Beach. Upon visiting Auroville and staying for a month, I discovered some meaningful ways to experience the township and its essence. This is my Auroville guide. Updated 2020. Back in 2011, when I quit my corporate job to follow my dream to travel the world, I didn’t imagine I would one day land up in a place dedicated to the same ideology. Welcome to the Auroville township – and my Auroville guide to experience it meaningfully! A place where people come to live their dreams. I’ve come across countless stories. A market researcher turned organic farmer. A policeman turned village school headmaster. A corporate honcho turned teacher. A teacher turned mechanic. This is a place to ditch the life you’ve lived, and live the life you’ve always wanted, even if for a few days. Here your conviction to follow your passion holds more value than your salary or title. Also read: Try These Cafes and Restaurants in Auroville for Divine Food! Auroville Guide Visiting Auroville on a …

Auroville: Utopia or Something Like It.

I’m not oblivious to the contradictions in the “Auroville utopia”. But where else in India can you live with values of sustainability and no judgement? I lie across a ledge on the open terrace of Auroville’s Solar Kitchen. Inspiring my words are the soothing melodies of an aged man’s flute. His music attracts chirping birds to the lotus pond below, from their hiding spaces in the surrounding forest. I feel a sense of déjà vu, like I’ve seen this place before, maybe in a story I once read. I come here on some evenings to read Thoreau in the fading light of dusk. And he to play his flute. We haven’t felt the need to exchange words yet. This is Auroville: a bit like entering a dream, a bit like waking up from one. Also read: A Guide to Auroville: Slow Life, Volunteering and Organic Food As the sun sets, the night slowly engulfs the shimmering solar bowl. On sunny days, this is literally the food bowl of Auroville. Solar Kitchen below serves organic food …

aurus juhu, aurus bombay

How to Pamper Yourself for Just One Day in Mumbai.

Got just one day in Mumbai? All the fancy indulgences – food, cocktails, bars and seaside spots – that await you over 24 hours in Mumbai. Back when I was a Delhi-dweller, I always felt a tad bit jealous of the way people in Bombay talked about the city. The je ne sais quoi, the laid back attitude, the cosmopolitan food. Every time an opportunity took me to Bombay, I indulged in the city. I talked to street vendors peddling their wares, baristas in coffee shops, the cabbies I rode with, and every time, the chalta hai way of life in the “city of dreams” shone through. One day in Mumbai might be too short to experience that spirit of Bombay, but it can certainly give you a flavor of the city, literally and figuratively. These luxury travel recommendations are compiled from my various trips, and focus on the western suburbs of the city: WHERE TO STAY JW Marriott, Juhu Facing the waters of the Arabian Sea, JW Marriott is pure indulgence. Unlike most luxury hotels …

6 Ways to Pamper Yourself at JW Marriott, Mumbai.

All the indulgences and a JW Marriott Mumbai review. Over a month ago, I gave up my apartment in Delhi, sold most of my belongings, and hit the road (Read: I’m Hitting The Road, Indefinitely). It’s been a roller coaster ride, one that has left me craving a weekend of pampering. The last two days at JW Marriott in Bombay have given me exactly that. Presenting to you, 6 ways to indulge yourself and your taste buds at JW Marriott, Mumbai: Breakfast at BBC  A charming bakery with books, teas, home-baked breads, and pastries, the Bombay Baking Company has the perfect recipe for a lazy day of indulgence. Their artisan sandwiches are a must try, and if you believe that it’s never too early for wine, they have an extensive list to choose from. The Royal Lotus Suite The first thing that struck me about the Royal Lotus Suite was the view from its glass panels, of the swimming pool below and a stretch of Juhu Beach beyond. The living area and the bedroom are …

Lakshman Sagar: Add it to Your Rajasthan Bucket List!

Why you should be dreaming about Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan. Over the years, I’ve travelled to and stayed in many amazing places, in many countries across the globe. Even with such high expectations, sometimes a place comes along that completely takes me by surprise. A place that makes me appreciate my life as a travel blogger. A place that I know I won’t forget for a long time. Lakshman Sagar, in the Pali district of Rajasthan, was one such place. Once a 19th century hunting lodge on the banks of a lake (sagar), it has been transformed by a visionary man into the most gorgeous expression of eco-friendly luxury. I’m going to let these pictures speak their thousand words about Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan: The “0 KM” Concept at Lakshman Sagar Rajasthan It implies that everything used to design the rooms has been sourced naturally or locally (from nearby villages). This is the living area of my room, with a chimney in the left corner, and so many colorful and innovative little touches to marvel at. Lounging …