Things I discovered in 2013!

Yes, it is a fancy way of saying ‘favorites of 2013’. Did you just say what the heck? 😛 Well, yes, I did intend this post in January but I have absolutely no reason as to why it took me 6 months to post it. And no, I did not forget it. It was there in my posts-to-be-made lists forever. 🙂

But then its good to know about awesome things during any part of the year, right? So, here are a few things I remember liking in the year 2013. Hope you get to explore some of these (if you haven’t already 🙂 ):

 

  1. Bangalore: Few days into my first job, I got plotted on a project in Bangalore and that too with a colleague (now friend) I was quite comfortable with. I LOVED Bangalore. It is a beautiful city and I loved every tiny part of my trip except the work that we were supposed to do. It got messed up pretty bad and therefore we were super keen to come back. Now I regret it though. I wish we had stayed there longer, mostly because we were in office till late everyday and hardly explored. Well, as for my friend, Bangalore is like her second home, but I was there for the first time. We could only checkout places in the locality we were staying in – Indiranagar. It is one of the poshest areas in Bangalore and hence, everything was costly. Of the few places I ate at, most were brands that you already know of and hence, I am only going to mention the special ones: 1). Zaica, this restaurant in Indiranagar is quite decent on the pocket and the food is great, an almost fine dining experience without making you poor. Highly recommended! 2). Thulp, this is somewhere inKoramangla and is quite famous. Again, very good food and not as pricey as good places these days are. One person can very well be full in 300INR. Highly recommended again!

    Bangalore (Clockwise from left): Zaica, Posing on office terrace, A Fab India like store, Posing in hotel room :)

    Bangalore (Clockwise from left): Zaica, Posing on office terrace, A Fab India like store, Posing in hotel room 🙂

  2. Kashmir: It is a wonderful place, enough said. I have done a post about it here. I especially loved the famous lake ‘Dal Jheel’ here. Boating in the small ‘Shikaras’ (Kashmiri boats) in the Dal Jheel was a surreal experience. But I want to say something else too. While I know I may be one of the odd people who say this, I love Shimla over any other hill station, any day. I know it’s highly commercialized and over-crowded but I still love it. Maybe because, as I mentioned in the Kashmir post itself, I enjoy people and culturally rich places more than natural beauty, be it mountains or sea. So, yes, Shimla. It might change someday. 🙂
  3. Dunkin Burgers: I love everything at Dunkin Donuts except their Donuts. 😛 These burgers were first of the few things I fell for. They are heavenly and filling. So, yes, you have got to try these out. Now I have fallen for their newly-launched wraps as well.
  4. Sukhdev Dhaba, Murthal: Murthal is a small town on the highway if you go to Karnal, Haryana from Delhi and it is very famous for its Dhabas. One that stands out and is developing daily by leaps and bounds is the Sukhdev Dhaba. I have done a post about it here. If you have a bucket list for places to visit in India/Delhi, this should feature there. Love its yummy North Indian food. Don’t know if I discovered this place before 2013, but it was definitely loved in 2013.
  5. Fresh ‘n’ Tasty: This is a regular family restaurant in the area where I live. It is not life-changing but if you happen to be in Vaishali/Indirapuram (Ghaziabad) or Noida or anywhere near, this is a very good place to eat and quite reasonable, actually more than reasonable price-wise. The quality has deteriorated over time though, but still quite good.
  6. The Terrace:Again, a restaurant that falls in the same category as point 5. If you happen to be in the area, it is a very good place to eat. Recommended. The terrace sitting is very tourist-y and makes for an awesome experience. Slightly pricier than point 5.
  7. Promod: When it comes to shopping, I am equally comfortable with brands and non-branded stuff. Also, I hate the fact that some brands are just making money like crazy out of publicity and word of mouth while the quality provided is just not worth it. Of course, we have limited choices and time so we still buy them but worshiping those ones is just not done, right? Anyway, Promod is a clothing brand that I discovered in 2013 and this is a highly, highly recommended place to shop at. I bought a pair of formal trousers and a jeans from here and I love both of them for their fit and quality. I guess this is the only pair of jeans I have ever owned that fits me perfectly. In terms of variety of design, this place is not the best but well-fitted, good quality stuff is what I would rather pay for than fancy designs. This sale season definitely check this out! 😀
  8. The Body Shop: I made my first purchase from The Body Shop. It was a face cream for my mom – the vitamin E moisture cream. I so loved the cream when I used it myself but I have something to say about why I think TBS is so popular. Now, honestly, the cream was very good but I have used other creams that work just as good in the moisturizing department. True, they might not feel as light as this one and may lack certain other qualities as well, but then they are sometimes even less than half the price of this one. Also, the fragrance of this cream was divinely. ❤ The point I am trying to make is that TBS won’t necessarily do anything life-changing for your skin (it might, but not necessarily), but the overall experience in terms of texture, fragrance and how it feels on your skin would be luxurious and heavenly, indeed. Yes, I have used only one product from them but I have also felt this while reading reviews of their other products. Also, I am not sure if I would be buying them further because they are owned by L’oreal who is not cruelty-free. Although TBS is completely cruelty-free.
  9. Bapu Bazaar, Jaipur: This would me one of my favorite markets for years to come. Someday, I’ll do a big, big post on this place. Head here for all things Indian, all things traditional and beautiful, all things Rajasthani. I mentioned it in my street diaries post here.
  10. Rajouri Garden, Delhi: Delhi is famous for its street markets but usually when it comes to street markets, the limelight is hogged by Janpaths and Sarojini Nagars only. I visit them pretty less because, honestly, it is difficult for me to distinguish between an export surplus piece and a thrift piece. I don’t wish to buy second-hand clothing. I only want export surplus clothes. Due to this inability of mine, do you think I have no street markets to go to? NO. It’s just that they are not as famous. Visit the Rajouri Garden Market once and you would know what I am talking about. Inexpensive shoes, clothes and big showrooms & boutiques for Indian clothes, all come under one place. You would want to go here again soon!
  11. Paharganj, Delhi: If you have to tell anybody what does ‘understated’ mean, use the example of the Paharganj  market. This is one of the most gorgeous, vintage, old world charm markets ever. It is a picture of old Delhi with all things unimaginable. When you are here, you would literally be shocked at seeing things you never imagined to exist. I am not exaggerating! That is not even the best part. 🙂 The best part is that when it comes to regular stuff like clothes and jewellery, everything is available in huge quantities at every shop where they are manufactured to be sent for export. So no problem of distinguishing between surplus and thrift. Everything just got made here to be sold off! 😀 Yes, I’ll do many, many posts on this place. Here‘s one that I did for another blog.

That’s it! If you read till here, thank you so much, it does mean a lot to me. If you have tried any of these things, do let me know for sure 🙂 and if you try these based on my recommendation, then let me know too. It would really make my day!

Kashmir Diaries 2013

Hi guys! 🙂

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I know I am doing too much posts about things that happened in 2013 like this post but I guess that’s fine if the things are as beautiful as Kashmir, right? Well, truth be told, I might do more posts about 2013! 😛

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Those white things are mountains 🙂

Talking about Kashmir, who doesn’t know that it is heaven on Earth? Indeed, it was very beautiful. No wait. Very, very beautiful. However, might I add, I am sure there are other places in the world (and in India) which are extremely beautiful, somehow they are not treated in the same league as Kashmir. Maybe, when I visit them, I will be in a better position to decide. I loved Kashmir but I think there are other places just as beautiful?

I would like to talk about a few things about Kashmir:

1. The highlight of the trip for me was Dal Jheel. It is a long stretching lake in Kashmir dotted with house boats and Shikaras.

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 Shikaras are cutely adorned beautiful boats for tourists to roam around and enjoy the beauty of the lake. The most unexpected part was that these Shikaras were also used by shopkeepers to sell things on the go in the lake itself! Like, we had hired one Shikara and while we were roaming in it, out of nowhere used to appear another Shikara every once in a while selling Jewellery, herbs, nuts and other knick-knacks for which the area is known for.

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Also, there is a huge market selling Kashmiri clothes and wooden stuff located on the lake itself. Its very beautiful and a different experience altogether. 🙂 I loved the Dal Jheel experience the most during my whole trip. Did I mention that the houseboats were E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y. beautiful with carved wooden walls and all?

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2. We visited Pehalgam, a small village on the outskirts of Srinagar, which is famous for certain tourist points and apple fields that lead to it.

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This place in Pehalgam was called Chandanwadi.

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  This cozy little cafe in Chandanwadi served us maggi and desi style hot chocolate. Heavenly it was!


This cozy little cafe in Chandanwadi served us maggi and desi style hot chocolate. Heavenly it was!

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This is a valley where the shooting of a Bollywood movie ‘Betaab’ was done.

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3. We also visited Gulmarg, which is like the heart of Kashmir, it is very beautiful and the snow there glitters making it such a perfect sight.

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Sledges were available here to have fun on the snow, sledges did not look very exciting though!

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4. As most already know and must have observed, Kashmiri people are very beautiful, be it a girl or a boy. They have very sharp features, perfectly carved. 🙂

5. When in Kashmir, drink the original Kashmiri Kahwa. It is a type of tea that is big on dry fruits and is supposed to provide warmth. There’s absolutely no way that you won’t like it, doesn’t matter whether you are a tea person or not.

6. Kashmir is famous for dry fruits like Walnuts and almonds and for Kesar (Saffron) too. However, it is very easy for tourists to get fooled into buying fake stuff. So, either be sure or don’t buy in huge quantities at one go. Definitely buy Kashmiri clothes like shawls, warm suits and sarees, jackets, kaftans etc. There are some big markets in Srinagar called Lakkad Bazaar and Lal Chowk.

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7. There are two things which were very striking about the life there. People are always wearing this thing called phiran over whatever they are wearing to provide comfort. The picture in the link is a very fashionable type, the ones that people wear there in routine are very rugged and even men wear them, the ones for men are usually of plain or tartan print. Secondly, they always carry this fire-pot called Kangdi with them to keep themselves warm.

8. We couldn’t visit the famous Mughal gardens and this place called Sonmarg due to lack of time. Hoping that I would visit these places some time! 🙂

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Oh, and, just because we are discussing travel, I would mention that I love clicking people, emotions, streets and culture more than I like clicking nature. So, I love Shimla a lot because there are people, there are markets and there are the British buildings. You get me? For the same reason, I love Rajasthan, I loved Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. Well, Jaipur is one of my favorite cities. 🙂   For the same reason, I want to visit Pushkar, Lucknow and Kolkata. I think street photographers will get me? 😀

Take care & stay happy,

Srishty 🙂