A Guide to Shopping In Cochin

Kochi, which many people call by its previous name Cochin, is a beautiful port city on the coast of Arabian Sea in the South Indian state of Kerala, Kerala is paradise for the travelers in the lower end of India for its indescribable natural beauty and Cochin or Kochi is a big jewel on its crown. The beauty of Cochin lies on the sea coast where fishing trawlers create wonderful silhouettes during the afternoon when the golden sun sets on the sea. Despite of being a port city, Cochin is a serene spot where can talk with Mother Nature.

Antique shop jew town kochi

Image Credit: WikiPedia

However panoramic view of the sea and scenic surroundings are not the only things that make Cochin one of the prime places to visit in Kerala. A big attraction of Cochin is huge scope for shopping. One can take home diverse types of items as souvenirs from Cochin. The best places for shopping in the port city of Cochin are the picturesque Marine Drive, Penta Menaka Complex, MG Road, Broadway and Mattancherry. At Marine Drive, one can pick from varieties of perfumes, bags, suitcases, music CDs, DVDs and watches. Penta Menaka complex is famous for its duty free shops where electronic items and mobile phones are sold at cheaper rates, while MG Road is a great place to but textile products, readymade clothes, handicraft items, home decoratives, home furnishing items, jewelries and toys.

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Spices are things to buy in Cochin, since their quality is excellent. Broadway is a great place to buy these spices. The surrounding area of the synagogue in Mattancherry is also big trading spot for spices from where one buy items at reasonable rates.  Cochin is an exciting place for shopaholics and hence one who is addicted to shopping should check out Kerala packages that include a trip to Cochin.

Bali: Of temples, beaches and so much more

Bali, the picturesque province of Indonesia is commonly referred to as the Island of Gods. Surrounded by turquoise sea water on all sides, Bali is a picturesque island and a major vacation venue in South East Asia.  Situated in between Lombok and Java islands, Bali is largely influenced by Hindu culture and hence it is ornamented with large numbers of Hindu temples.

Image Credit:Wikipedia

Image Credit:Wikipedia

However spending time in front of Hindu deities is not the only thing to do in Bali. There are lots of other things to see and places to visit in different regions of the Island province. Bali tour packages offered by various travel agencies include a number of spots that are unique in their own ways. If you are planning a trip to Bali, choose from Bali packages that cover spots like Kuta, Ubud, Kintamani, Denpasar, Amlapura, Mt Agung, Negara, Singaraja, Bali Barat National Park and the offshore islands.

Kuta is an ideal place for the adventurists, since it offers enormous scopes for surfing on its magnificent beach. Located to the north of Bali’s capital Denpasar, Ubud is a breathtaking mountainous region. Ubud is an ancient site and is famous for Sumatran elephants and its village life. If you are interested in exploring cultures of places, Ubud would surely excite you.

Image Credit:Wikipedia

Image Credit:Wikipedia

If you are a shopaholic, Denpasar is a place that you simply can’t afford to give a miss. You can buy varieties of items for yourself and souvenirs for friends and relatives. The biggest merchandise of Denpasar is Balinese craftwork items. However, to make a good deal, you have to bargain a bit on pricing. Kintamani is a small town by a natural lake, which was created by a crater. Kintamani offers nice view of the mountainous range that surrounds it, dense jungles and hot springs.  Amlapura is famous for its stunning Water Palace where you can see lots of Hindu images and nice gardens.

Mount Agung, the largest mountain in Bali is a holy site but what is more exciting about Agung is the trekking tour that it offers. When one looks down from the top of Mt Agung, it seems like floating above the clouds.

Image Credit:Wikipedia

Image Credit:Wikipedia

Singaraja is a very picturesque spot and it delights visitors with its beautiful beaches, hot springs and waterfalls. Negaraja, on the other hand, offers an exciting package of volcano, wilderness areas and beautiful beaches. Bali Barat National Park is a place that you will fall in love with if you are fond of safari. If fortune favors, you can see lots of leopards and barking deer at this wilderness area.

5 local dishes to try in Pune: A food lover’s guide

Pune is coming across as one of the most reliable tourist destinations in India. It is not just cheap in comparison but offers a good variety and plenty of attractions. It is also a special place for a foodaholic since the city has got an impressive number of restaurants and cuisines up its sleeves.

Here is a quick guide to some must-try dishes in Pune:

Misal: Misal is a food you must try just to give your belly that much-needed delight! Shagun Chawk, one of the most recommended places to visit in Pune, has an eatery called Bedekar where this dish is extremely famous.

Image Credit: monsoonspice.com

Image Credit: monsoonspice.com

Pitla and Bhakri: If you happen to visit Sinhagad, then do make sure to dig into the local dish of Pitla and Bhakri! Tourists have a strong fascination for this dish which is easily available outside the forts of the city.

Image Credit: sutrayerecipes.com

Image Credit: sutrayerecipes.com

Vada Pav: Vada Pav is a favorite local food of the Maharashtrians. So, there is little wonder that Pune too flaunts it in its menu. Though, you can come across this snack in all the nooks and corners of the city, one heavily trodden place is the eatery of Joshi Vadewala!

Image Credit: itslife.in

Image Credit: itslife.in

Biryani: Pune is also renowned amongst the Biryani lovers. The ‘dum biryani’ is the USP of the city and the restaurant named Aba Cha Dhaba serves it the best!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Malwani seafood: Malwani seafood offers you some unforgettable culinary options. If you love the crabs, lobsters, fishes and prawns, then do give a try to the local seafoods! ‘Nisarg’ and ‘Rahul’ are the places to visit in Pune for taking a bite of these underwater delights!

Off The Beaten Track Places in Goa

Goa is known for its coastal beauty, which is offered by multiple pristine beaches in its Northern and Western parts. Panoramic view of the emerald green sea, white sandy surfaces to walk, rest and relax under the shades of coconut and palm trees, the breathtaking view of the rising and setting, sun, traditional music, dances and mouthwatering sea foods together make Goa a perfect vacation spot. The beaches are certainly the biggest attractions of Goa tourism, but the scope to explore nature in this beautiful coastal state is certainly not limited within white sandy beaches. There are several other places to visit in Goa.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

To make an off-beat Goa trip you can visit some ‘not so famous’ but beautiful spots like Dudhsagar, Alorna Fort, Budbudyanchi Tali, Netravali and Arvelam Caves.  Budbudyanchi Tali is a tank of bubbles (budbud is hindi word for bubble) and is considered as a very sacred place. The sacred bubble tank is attached to Gopinath temple in the Netravali village at Sanguam Taluka, South Goa. The tali (pond) or lake is actually a laterite masonry where a laterite pedestal stands in the centre. Bubbles keep popping up on the water in a particular rhythm as a result of a natural phenomenon and attract visitors. Situated at a distance of 60 kilometers from Panaji, the state capital, Dudhsagar is a stunning waterfalls. Broad streams of water come down in high force from a mountain peak and appear like streams of milk from a distance. The white streams of water turn into a cascading waterfall towards the bottom and the falls offers a great charm.

Places off the Tourist Trail in Jaipur

Jaipur, one of the three angles of the famous Golden triangle tour India, is known as the City of Palaces and the City of Royals. Certainly, the gorgeous palaces built centuries back, still stand as the pride of India and the Rajputs. The architecture patterns, the majestic interior décor, royal furniture and belongings of the royals make Jaipiur a must visit spot in India. But Jaipur tourism is not all limited to gorgeous palaces and monuments.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

One can make a trip to the glamorous capital of Rajasthan in an off-beat way. There are some places to visit in Jaipur that are seldom included in normal Jaipur packages. These places might not be as glamorous as the palaces but these are spots where you can get to know the real Jaipur. Chokhi Dhani is one such spot where Jaipur introduces visitors to its rural traditions, culture and music.

Image Credit: chokhidhani.com

Image Credit: chokhidhani.com

One can get a glimpse of village life in Jaipur here and experience traditional singing and dancing by the local people. Puppet show, acrobatic performances and short fortune telling sessions with astrologers are attractions of Chokhi Dhani. Situated right in the center of Jaipur, Zohari Bazar is another very exciting off-beat spot in Jaipiur, especially for the gastronomists.  Small eateries on both sides of the road offer varieties of mouthwatering snacks like chaat, pakories, and fried, salted and spiced items.

There are also few shops from where one can buy traditional clothes and jewelries.  Just 20 kilomters away from Jaipur is the Galta Monkey Temple, where friendly monkeys take the onus of amusing and entertaining visitors. For people having a curiosity towards art and craft, the Anokhi Musuem of hand printing is really a unique place to visit in Jaipur.

Image Credit; rajasthali.gov.in

Image Credit; rajasthali.gov.in

The museum is based on a 400-year old haveli where exquisite specimens of traditional Rajasthani block printing and hand printing works are on display. Sanganer in Lakshmi Colony is another exciting spot since it houses the blue pottery factory. The blue pottery is an icon of Rajasthani handicraft and the factory offers a grand scope to witness the manufacturing of items.

Adventure parks in and around Bangalore

Bangalore, the cosmopolitan capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka may have earned a global recognition as the city of technocrats, but it has got a lot to provide people, especially visitors, some scopes for relief. Apart from being a city where the skyline is dominated by gorgeous offices of IT companies, Bangalore is an ideal spot for short trips, especially for those who seek scopes for adventure and amusement. Tourist attractions in Bangalore include varieties of things, with beautifully decorated and smartly maintained gardens being the biggest highlights. But what make a trip to the city exciting are some great adventure parks located in and around Bangalore.

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Image Credit: WikiPedia

Located on Mysore Road, 40 kilometers from the city center of Bangalore, Wonder La is one of the biggest highlights in terms of adventure tourism in Bangalore. To ensure a big adrenaline rush, Wonder La offers a number of dry rides and wet rides. For kids there is the funny Jumping Frog ride. Wonder La also features a non-vegetarian and a vegetarian restaurant where visitors can choose from varieties of snacks and light food.  Another great adventure park that comes in the list of tourist places near Bangalore is the Funfort Amusement Park. Built over a huge area, the Funfort Amusement Park is a haven for adventurers. There are exciting water slides, facilities for kartling and juggling acts. For kids, the amusement park offers a magnificent toy train ride to the specially built Toon Village, the home of popular cartoon characters. Kartling through the African Plateau and passing by the great African Pharaohs is an experience that every adventure seeker would cherish.  Situated at a distance of 28 kilometers
from Bangalore, Neeladri Amusement Park is a nice combination of a theme park and water park.

Shopping in Cochin – Where to Shop in Kochi?

A tour of Kerala is incomplete without shopping at Cochin. The commercial capital of the state, Cochin Shopping offers an experience like never before with a variety of spices, clothes and handicraft items making it an exotic Indian shopping experience

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Beyond Shopping Malls

While Cochin has its own share of malls and branded items, one must not lose sight of the fact that malls are there everywhere. A city like Cochin offers something special of its own. The small curios shops at Cochin sell beautiful souvenir items such as jewelry, bangles, figurines that are made from the natural substances that include the following:

•    Ivory
•    Sandalwood
•    Brass
•    Shells
•    Bamboo

Items made from wood are also available in plenty. The same is promoted by Kerala tourism through their flagship feature called Kerala Tour Packages.

PentaMenaka and Other Destinations

An important shopping destination in Cochin is the Penta Menaka meant specifically for electronic items. However, here too, you get spices galore. Apart from this, Cochin’s own Marine Drive is the place to be for some the world’s best perfumes. Suitcases, music cassettes and CDs also find a place in this beautiful Cochin shore line.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

India, famous for its textile, has a couple of such places located in Cochin. In MG Road and Broadway, you are likely to find a wide range of textile collections spread across the various shops of that area. A visit to these markets will leave you with options galore to fill in your suitcases with textile of all kinds. The placesnear the Synagogue in Mattancherry are a known hub for spices. Some of India’s more exotic spices can be found in this area.