A Holiday for the Soul – Baiguney, Paradise on Earth

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India is an incredible place – the sheer diversity with respect to food, language, landscape and so many other things, all melted into a homogenous culture that’s like no other. For most of us, getting up close and personal with nature, letting go of all the stress we face in our professional lives is probably the most important part of a holiday. At the same time, sampling multi-cultural cuisine and experience exotic cultures floats by our alley too. For all of this, Baiguney is an incredible destination.

Located in Sikkim, at the cusp of Northern India’s lush green fertile plains and the North-East with its unique and sadly, far unexplored culture and tradition, it’s a place like no other. Baiguney perfectly captures this sentiment; full of lush greenery, intimidating mountains and gushing river waters, it’s a vacation spot that entices you like no other. For nature lovers, it’s really a haven as the fresh air is truly refreshing and the breathtaking views of rivers and snow-capped mountains are inspiring to say the least. And for the adventure junkies, water rafting on the river Ranjeet, trekking and camping around the Baiguney area is an exhilarating experience to say the least.

Apart from enjoying Baiguney’s scenic beauty, you can visit monasteries, tea gardens and also try different types of cuisine.

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Sights and Sounds

Two of the major tourist attractions here are Chakung and Phur Tsa Chu. Chakung offers a stunning view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain, and perhaps the most perilous mountain to summit in the world. If you are someone who enjoys this, you should definitely visit Pelling where you can see Kanchenjunga in her full glory.

On the other hand, Phur Tsa Chu is a hot spring that is a popular pilgrimage site, especially during the January to March period. The Temi Tea Gardens produce one of India’s finest brews and the iconic Tibetan monasteries and Kali temple of Kalimpong are also reasons enough for you to visit Baiguney. Namchi, home to the old Ngadak Monastery, boasts of the spectacular Rock Garden.

The Khecheopalri lake, locals believe makes wishes come true. This lake is of religious significance to Buddhists and Hindus alike. A 135 feet-high statue of Guru Padamasambhava, the highest in the world, is located in Samdrupste.

Foodie’s paradise

Like most Indian places with a lot of history, Baiguney has a unique cuisine. An interesting aspect to note is that it’s a blend of Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian preparations. Gyakho, a traditional soup made with meat and vegetables, and boiled over a charcoal stove, is something you must try and so is Pakku, which is nothing but mutton curry served with rice.

If you wish to give your palate a true taste of local flavour, you must have Chaangisa, a mild alcohol made from cereals like finger millet, rice, barley or wheat. Momos, popularized all over India by roadside stalls and even mainstream restaurants originated here.

Reaching Baiguney:

Baiguney is 97 kilometres from Siliguri in West Bengal. Siliguri is an important town because it serves as the most popular place that links West Bengal and in turn, the rest of India to Sikkim and Darjeeling. The nearest airport is located at Bagdogra, at 120 kilometres. The nearest railway station, West Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri, is also 120 kilometres away.

Baiguney

 Club Mahindra Baiguney:

Club Mahindra’s resort in Baiguney offers a unique view of the surrounding greenery and mountains. The weather, that is pleasantly cool all year round, only makes your stay in this little paradise more comfortable. With a blend of classical design and modern amenities, it’s definitely one of the best places to stay at here.

Click here to read more about similar destinations.

Magical Moments on your Travels

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“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  ― Terry Pratchett

The world has so many amazing places to visit, so many sights and sounds for you to cherish, that it would be impossible to see all of it in one lifetime. Travelling is one of the best parts about life – going to a distant place, soaking in the culture and vibe is an experience like no other. With your hectic schedule and busy weekdays, you haven’t had the chance to go out and explore some truly amazing places. Well, this is something you owe to yourself and your family.

New Experiences:

Nothing stimulates the human mind like doing something new. The concrete jungles that we live in leave little room for many magical things that we see in the countryside. Head out into the wild in search of new experience, or do something that you’ve never done, or perhaps, reclaim a lost passion –

Magical Moments on Your Travel

Rock climbing/Rappelling

There’s something thrilling about strapping yourself in and climbing a rock face or rappelling between gorges. The exhilarating euphoria and the adrenaline rush are sure to satisfy the most ardent of adventure freaks.

Trekking

Of all the things you can do at amazing resorts like the ones Club Mahindra has all around the country, exploring the amazing scenery around the resorts is one of the best things you can do as nothing beats nature in sheer awesomeness.

Trekking through the jungles of the lower Himalayas is a very unique experience. These jungles are nothing like the ones in the rest of the country. The woods, the rhododendrons and the sunshine filtering through the trees, walking on fallen leaves on pathways that have preserved nature’s most intimate secrets; this is one of those experiences you’re never likely to forget.

Jungle Safari

Jungle Safari

Seeing wildlife in their backyard, unshackled and in their element is a sight to behold. For those who haven’t been on a safari, it’s nothing like you’ve done. For once, you’re entering a domain is controlled by the

A Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach

The beach is one of those places you can’t get enough of. It’s simple, elegant and timeless. No matter how many times you visit a beach, its allure and appeal never diminishes. In spite of a deceptively simple recipe, beaches have a personality of their own. From the sand to the ocean providing million-dollar views, this is one place where memories, magical moments are enshrined forever in your minds.

Throwback to a Glorious Past

The rich heritage and history of India is inspiring. Generations of rulers and empires have established their presence across our great nation. Even though they’re long gone, some of the things they left behind are still pristine and a glorious reminder of their heyday. Why not visit such places and soak in the atmosphere there? What’s more is that you can even stay at a heritage building like the one pictured above! Many resorts such as Club Mahindra’s resorts in Ooty and the grand palaces in Rajasthan have now been converted into resorts that you can stay in!

Exotic Vacations in Diwali

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Diwali is the most amazing festival in India. This incredible festival has transcended the boundaries of religion and faith and turned into a National Festival of sorts. People from all backgrounds celebrate this joyous occasion and this is truly a time when the country unites and celebrates. With a festive spirit all around the country during Diwali, celebrating it with your family is truly magical.

Going on a holiday during this time is a great idea – especially if you want to get away from the concrete jungle you call home. With so many amazing destinations in India, it can be hard to figure out where to vacation in. With differing geographies, climates and even scenery, you’re to a great extent, spoilt for choice. Here are our top five picks for an unforgettable Diwali Holiday at some amazing destinations.

Puducherry:

Puducherry is a unique destination. The small coastal city still holds on to French roots while crafting its own unique vibe. The beach here is spectacular and apart from its tranquil ambiance, Auroville and the Ashram, there is much more to relish. Check out how truly amazing Puducherry is -

The best thing about a destination like this is that it’s an amazing place for a relaxing holiday. Because of its location, it provides an incredible amount of intimacy for your family. In Pondicherry Diwali or Deepavali is one of the biggest festivals which is celebrated. The celebrations start almost a week before Diwali and end a week after Diwali. Everyone, from all ages celebrate the Festival of Light. School colleges and offices remain closed for three to four days, and celebration can be smelled in the air. All the shops are decorated with colourful lights and the streets have a different charm altogether during this magical festival.

PondicherryGir:

Being up close and personal with the King of the Jungle is an experience you’re never likely to forget. Head to Gir, the home of the Lion and bask in the magnificent grassland in Gujarat.

Diwali falls on the cusp of winter and this is an ideal time to visit Gir. What’s more, you can take a tour of the areas surrounding this nature reserve and soak in the festive spirit during Diwali.

Gir 2

Kumbhalgarh:

It’s not too often that you can visit a place where its history is enshrined in all that’s around you. Kumbhalgarh is one such place. The Rajputs ruled this small town in Rajasthan and their influence still exists in the many structures they left behind. As with all places with a rich culture, festivals are celebrated in their own unique ways. Kumbhalgarh is no different.

Tradition is big when it comes to the Rajputs. Naturally, Diwali being one of the biggest festivals is celebrated with great pomp across the erstwhile Rajput Kingdom, including Kumbhalgarh. The colours, sights & sounds and the vibe during this festival are simply amazing. The amazing lighting at Kumbalgarh fort and the Ranakpur Temple simply mesmerizing!

Jim Corbett Park:

The Jim Corbett Park is one of the most iconic nature reserves not only in India, but in the entire world. The amazing place is home to one of a kind flora and fauna and is the perfect place for a long Diwali Weekend that’s sure to relax you.

There are no fire-crackers or blinding lights here, this is the place for true nature lovers. In the serenity of nature, vacationing here can be the catalyst to revitalize you.

Poovar:

Poovar is a sleepy town in Kerala that surrounds you with everything that fulfills your desires. Need a holiday to de-stress? Head to Poovar! With luxuriously assembled cottages, private pool villas and Ayurveda rooms spread over elegant landscapes, you can be rest assured of a relaxing vacation in the exotic location of Poovar.

Poovar

Magical Moments at Club Mahindra’s Gir Resort

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India is a place where many festivals are celebrated. The seamless amalgamation of the various cultures across the vast land and the myriad of influences the people have had have resulted in this country duly accepting festivals of various religions, cultures, etc. For all the festivals in this great country of ours, the biggest one has to be Diwali.

Diwali is a festival of lights, which is implied by the name itself. With lights, colours of rangoli and the signature oil lamps that have come to embody something auspicious in the context of Indian festivals all around us, there truly is no festival that matches its aura, intensity and the fervor with which its celebrated across religious and ethnic divides.

Gir

Celebrating Diwali in Style:

The atmosphere here during this time is simply electric.  The entire country gets together to celebrate this amazing festival of lights. Celebrating this amazing festival with your family is a very special thing. For ages, there have been a plethora of tradition and rituals that people have been observing in their homes. However, with such popularity, it isn’t the most intimate of festivals. So, for many people who want to get away to a close, intimate location; holidaying during Diwali is a hugely attractive option.

The question is where to? There’s clearly no shortage of amazing locations in India – from the Himalayas in the North to the serenity of Kerala’s backwaters to the incredibly beauty of North-Eastern India, you really want to vacation in a small intimate setting that lets you bond with your family and is the perfect backdrop for some magical moments.  One such place is Gir.

Gir Resort

Gir is known as one of the last remaining abodes of the magnificent Asiatic Lion, a forest reserve that’s virtually unharmed by all that’s gone on around it in the world. Being here feels truly amazing as the serenity of the place transports you to a different era. What better setting for a memorable holiday?

The vast open lands, beautiful cottages and the sprawling spread of flora and fauna lay the foundation for this amazing retreat. This is a very unique destination and that’s why exploring it with your family is always a treat. Take a guided tour of the jungle where you can see the King of the Jungle himself or relax in your beautiful resort. Feast in the gorgeous views and the many things you can do while you’re here.

Even though you’ll have your own space here, the rich heritage & culture of Gujarat isn’t too far away. In Gujarat, Diwali is associated mostly with the worship of Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth The markets of Gujarat liven up almost a whole month in advance for Diwali shoppers; from jewelry; clothes; sweets; gift articles; shoes; etc., to fire crackers. As a result, if you want to soak in the vibe of the local culture, you always can.

Diwali this year is going to be magical. Pack your bags folks; this is one thrilling vacation you’re going to remember forever.

A Hidden Gem called Naukuchiatal

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North India is a popular vacation destination not only for those of us residing in India, but for many people the world over. The reasons, Plenty! Snow-capped peaks guard India’s lush green plains from the treacherous winds of the North, Rivers which have bred civilizations flow through the meandering the land and a culture and heritage that continues to influence millions the world over and attract many more each passing year, there’s no place like it.

Naukuchiatal

Naukuchiatal lies in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Its name literally means lake with nine corners. The most amazing thing about this destination is that it’s very secluded; not many people know about it. Hence, you can get utmost privacy here and enjoy a relaxing holiday.

Return to Serenity:

Naukuchiatal is one of the most amazing places you can visit. Club Mahindra has wooden European style cottages overlooking the lake. The vintage architecture transports the residents to a different era. That’s not all, you can ever head off to many spots that offer a panoramic view of the quaint town and soak in the amazing atmosphere here. You can even rent a boat and enjoy a boat-ride in the lake. The water’s quite calm even in times of rain. Because the lake has nine corners, there are many places where you can disembark and explore that particular place. If you want a truly exhilarating experience, we highly recommend this.

Naukuchiatal 2

There are times perhaps when you want to go away on a relaxing, peace-laden holiday to a destination that’s not bustling with tourist activity. This is exactly that. It’s said that people when they view the magnificent lake as they sip tea from the veranda of the vintage-style cottages, truly begin to appreciate the finer things in life. What’s more is that Nainital, a popular tourist town is only a short distance away.

There are many things you shouldn’t compromise on. A relaxing holiday where you let go of all your worries is one of them. If you need to be close to nature and away from all the hustle of city life, there’s no better place than Naukuchiatal.

Three Destinations for an Amazing Getaway this Independence Day

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India celebrates her sixty-seventh Independence Day on 15th August 2014. This year, Independence Day falls on a Friday which means it’s the perfect time for you to go out on a weekend getaway to recharge your batteries! We pick the top three destinations for you to celebrate the birthday of our great nation.

Ooty:

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Ooty is called the ‘Queen of Hill Stations.’ Indeed, the small town which was used as a summer retreat by the British to escape the hot weather during the summers. Because of its location, it doesn’t receive torrential rains during the months of July and August like most places along India’s West Coast.

It’s a land of picturesque picnic sports and as it’s at a height of 2,240 metres above the sea, the climate here is simply amazing. A must-do while visiting Ooty is to travel on the ‘Nilgiri Mountain Railway.’

Naukuchiatal:

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Naukuchiatal means ‘Lake of nine corners.’ This hidden gem is located in the heart of India’s fertile plains and has a meandering countryside surrounding it. It’s about an hour’s drive from another tourist hotbed, Nainital. The highlight of Naukuchiatal is of course the grand lake which provides the perfect setting for an amazing holiday. A boat ride in the lake or even spending time along the lake’s shore is sure to sooth you.

Nawalgarh:

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Rajasthan has always been a hugely popular destination with tourists. Some places are hugely popular that attract tourists from around the world. However, there are some truly amazing places that not a lot of people know of; Nawalgarh is one of them.

Rajasthan’s heritage comes alive in this small town and the seamless amalgamation of European and Rajput styles creates a unique style that is unique to this location. You can’t afford to not visit the Havelis here which are meticulously maintained. Another popular destination is the Taal Chapar Sanctuary where you can spot Chinkaras, the Black Buck, Jungle cats and a variety of birds including India’s National Bird – Peacock.

A Drive to Mahabaleshwar during Monsoon

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The grey clouds hovering in the sky and the dampness in the air, the chirping of the birds in the evening and the orange sky at dusk tells you that the rains are finally here! The rains bring with them some much-needed relief from the hot searing sun and unleash a new life for nature. As the monsoon brings the summer to a close, one of the best things you can do is go on a long drive to Mahabaleshwar and leave all your troubles behind in the urban jungle.

Mahabaleshwar is the origin of the River Krishna, a lifeline of South-Central India. A popular hill station amongst generations, it’s one of the last remaining abodes of evergreen beauty in Western India. A drive to Mahabaleshwar will take you through some of the most scenic parts of Maharashtra. It’s here that you truly get to experience the beauty of nature.

New Mahabaleshwar

A Drive to Remember:

As you leave your home in an urban jungle and begin the drive towards Mahabaleshwar, the steel and concrete structures that engulf you slowly disappear to be replaced by the vivid green of trees and fields that soothe and calm the urbane mind. The Ghats twist and turn and take you deeper into lush evergreen forests where you’re one with nature. It’s here that you truly connect with your loved ones and have some of the most magical of all experiences. Roll down the car windows and feel the cool breeze rush through – it’s an amazing feeling.

Journeys like these don’t come out too often, cherish the ones that do. It’s said that people bond and connect on travels and this is no different. As you leave the familiarity of your everyday surroundings behind, you’ll experience something new, something magical; this is what will stay with you forever.

Rain, Rain Come Again:

There’s something magical about rains in Maharashtra. They bring with them a bundle of joy and optimism reserved for a messiah. Indeed, it’s an experience like no other to feel the magic and splendor of the south-west monsoon that lashes India’s western and northern parts for three or four months every year from June to September. These rains acquire a special character in Mahabaleshwar. With the rains, the forest comes back to life and greenery surrounds you. People travel from different corners of the country just to experience this. Strap on your backpack and venture out into the open, this promises to be an exhilarating experience like no other!

New Mahabaleshwar

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