Garlands of Rajnigandha. Lezim dancers in gold-bordered sarees.
Worli-themed itinerary with our names printed on it. Rose petals falling on us as we enter the Laxmi Vilas Palace. Lip-smacking Marwar barbecue delicacies spread out in the royal courtyard of the Mehrangarh Fort.
These are but glimpses of the royal treatment that the Deccan Odyssey luxury train offered us.
Our journey was called the Indian Sojourn. It followed this itinerary:
Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Delhi.
The places covered in the weeklong tour are carefully selected so that the tourists can witness the vividness of a particular region while traversing through the diverse landscapes.
Even before we entered the train, we had a short glimpse of the pampering and hospitality that we were to experience in the next few days. There was a red-carpet welcome with Lezim performers dancing as the beautiful train chugged in at a slow pace in platform no. 18 of Mumbai’s historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The dancers put a tilak on my forehead and garlanded me amidst beating of drums.
The impeccably dressed crew gave us our cabin keys and explained everything in the politest way possible. A trip in the Deccan Odyssey is a masterclass in hospitality!
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A gastronomical trip to Kashmir
Kashmiri cuisine has been influenced by the cuisines of the Mughals, the Arabs and the local style of cooking of the Kashmiri pundits. While most of the signature delicacies of the region are non-vegetarian, there are many interesting vegetarian dishes to try as well. In the non-vegetarian dishes, mutton, chicken or fish is the main ingredient. There is abundant use of spices like cardamom, fennel, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and saffron giving the food not only exquisite taste but also rich aroma. In this article we bring to our readers 16 ‘must try’ items from Kashmiri cuisine.
Goan Curries: SEVEN CURRIES TO TRY WHEN YOU'RE IN GOA
Admit it, Goan cuisine is comfort food in itself, hitting all the right notes, while simultaneously bringing all the essential nutrition to the table!
FENI: Goa's Magic Concoction
Come March and every corner of Goa is teeming with the sweet aroma of ripe Cashew apples. Goans get ready to not only roast the cashew nut, but also to brew Goa’s favourite elixirs - Urrack and Feni. While Urrack has a very short shelf life, Feni can be stored and aged for up to 10 years! Just like wine, the more you age the Feni, the pricier it gets. A delicious drink replete with fruity, pungent and earthy aromas, Feni gets at least half of Goa’s population reminiscing nostalgically. It is an emotion stronger than wine or whiskey and it has us and many tourists, swooning over its unbeatable goodness in all its myriad flavours!
10 Must Visit Food Streets Of India
India as a country enjoys huge diversity in every aspect, be it in terms of languages, communities, religions, looks of people, geographical terrains, weather conditions, and so on. In such a diverse country it was but natural to have a great diversity of cuisines too. As a result of the diversity of races, communities and religion, the impact of geographical advantages and restrictions and prolonged exposure to various external influences over many centuries, the various regions of the country has been able to develop a unique culinary portfolio. As such there is nothing like Indian Cuisine in general, it is a group of cuisines coming together, viz., South Indian cuisine, Punjabi cuisine, Rajathani cuisine, Goan cuisine, Kashmiri cuisine, Bengali Cuisine, Maharashtrian cuisine and so on. A great way to explore this diverse food portfolio is to visit the local street food markets while visiting different towns and cities across the country. These street food markets are heaven for foodies. They have a character of their own and you are ready to give up the idea of dining in a upmarket restaurant in order to grab that experience of eating amidst all that chaos and being a part of that character for a while.
Darjelling: The Foodies' Paradise
Darjeeling, also known as the Queen of Hills, has a colonial past. Back in the days when Calcutta used to be the capital of the British Raj, Darjeeling happened to be the most coveted hill station for the Gora Sahibs and the Mems. It was only an overnight train from Calcutta, followed by a 12-hour journey on the toy train from Siliguri. Even to date, the place is covered with buildings of the colonial era, which are now occupied by government offices.
Dream DESTINATION FOR EVERY BIKER
The sky-high mountain passes of Ladakh, accompanied by the barren landscape, the picturesque views composed of lakes and mountains, and the deserted roads beckon bikers for the experience of a lifetime. It indeed is a dream destination for every biker.
Caravan trip-On the road with a pet
Amit Singh aka Desi Tourist is a travel vlogger who recently made a long caravan trip with his pet pug Popu. The trip was not only rejuvenating because it came after months of staying home during the lockdown, it was also one of realisations about the relation between humans and their best friend – dogs. Team Touriosity loved this idea of a caravan trip, as well as travel with a pet. So we interviewed Amit for an insight into his unique experience. Following are excerpts from the interview:
Luxury travel In The Deccan Odyssey
Experiences sometimes crystalize into key memories that we can dig into and extract a handful of happiness from - as many times as we wish. And I can close my eyes anytime and let the Deccan Odyssey slide show play.
PRISON TOURS as part of Dark Tourism
One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate. In this there is also a residue of belief that during the move the master will chance to come along the corridor, look at the prisoner and say: “This man is not to be locked up again, he is to come with me.” – Franz Kafka in Blue Octavo Notebooks.
THE KILLING FIELDS
CHOEUNG EK Site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge (killed between 1975 and 1979) near Phnom Penh, Cambodia