Happy 67th Republic Day India!


Last year this time, I was in Singapore with a couple of my Indian friends. We sang our National Anthem there, like we always do in India to celebrate Republic Day on every 26th January.

It was the first Republic Day I was away from home. I missed my country dearly & wished I were at home with all my heart. I promised myself, I would never spend another Indian Republic/ Independence Day away from my beloved country. I want to be present to celebrate my country with the rest of my countrymen.

I am so proud to be an Indian. I am lucky to be born here. Proud to be a citizen of one of the largest Democracies in the world.

I want to Salute the Indian Defense Forces who protect our borders, Our seas & our Airspace. It is because of them we rest easy.

I want to pay my Respects to those who have laid down their lives in the service of my country.

I may travel the world, but my heart is at home only in my country India. My motherland.

Happy Republic Day India!

Jai Hind!

Ajmer Sharif

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Located around 135 kms away from Jaipur, Rajasthan is the city of Ajmer. Ajmer is well known amongst the people of India as it houses the shrine of Sufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti . Revered by people of all religions alike, the shrine is a major center of pilgrimage in India especially for the Muslims. People visit the shrine in the hopes of having their wishes fulfilled.

In spite of being a follower of Islam himself, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti never tried to convert his followers who practiced religions.

He said “Let there be no compulsion in religion, Will thou complain men to become believers? No soul can believe but by the persuasion of Allah” He was compassionate towards people of all religions alike & all strata’s of society.

Because of his love for the poor & helpless Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is also popularly called Garib Nawaz ( The one who shows kindness to the poor) Today many years post his death, his shrine is a place of great reverence for believers. Prayers are answered & miracles happen.

I have had the good fortune of visiting the shrine many times. I practice Hinduism, yet believe in the blessings of this great saint. If you are a person of faith, do visit this shrine, whenever you are in Rajasthan, India.

May the light of blessings of Khwaja Garib Nawaz always shine.

For more details, visit http://GaribNawaz.com

Raanwara Cottage Review

For our yearly Monsoon getaway this year, we choose the beach village of Nagaon. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we really wanted a place that was close to nature, relatively unexplored, peaceful & quiet. In short not your usual tourist destination. So instead of going for the popular beach town of Alibaug, we choose its shy cousin , Nagaon. The perfect cozy beach village in the lap of Nature.

For our stay we wanted something private instead of the usual hotel. So after lot of search, we came across this beautiful cottage called Raanwaara.

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The entire process of booking the place was very smooth & the coordination was excellent. Right from our food preferences to offering directions right from the time we left from our place till we reached Raanwaara. A staff member from Raanwaara actually came up someway to lead us to the cottage, since we were unfamiliar with the area. Very impressive service indeed.

The Cottage itself is extremely beautiful. I fell in love with it from the moment I saw it. The area surrounding the cottage is plush green, with beautifully maintained lawns, flower trees, beautiful variety of Plants, coconut trees and more. Its like staying in the Lap of Nature.

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The Rooms at Raanwaara are simple, not too made up like our usual hotel rooms, clean, and has all the required amenities . The ground floor has 2 non/Ac rooms , a dining room, kitchen, front porch & a swing & the first floor has 3 Ac rooms, so its up to what you prefer. The Rooms are pretty spacious and can accommodate a large family easily. Plus they provide extra bedding and pillows upon request.

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Raanwaara offers both Veg & Non-Veg food as per your choice. Tea & Breakfast are provided upon request as well. The staff is extremely helpful and makes sure your stay is comfortable. The food is tasty especially the Non-Veg dishes. The Sea food prepared in typical Konkan style. So if you are a lover of Sea food, you will surely enjoy the preparations.

I found the rates for the accommodation as well as food pretty decent for the services they offer. As compared to the other available options I found this to be rightly priced.

The beach is located around 2-3 kms away. And it takes around 5-10 mins by car. It is advisable to have your own vehicle with you, cause there are a lot of places you can explore that are located in and around Nagaon.

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Honestly this is a great place to stay if you want to relax and unwind. A perfect getaway for a weekend with family/ friends, or to celebrate a special occasion, which in my case was my moms birthday ūüôā

The feel of this place was almost like home away from home. It was extremely comfortable & we enjoyed our stay tremendously.

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So, Will I go back for another stay – Definitely. Do I recommend it – Absolutely. I was not paid to write this review, so I genuinely liked the place enough to say good things about it. I do recommend Raanwaara if you are ever visiting this area.

If you wish to visit this place, You can the details down below.

Website Р       www.konkancottage.com

Contact No – +919987033326

Address – Raanwaara, Near Gaondevi mandir, Nagaon, Maharashtra, India.

Exploring the Unexplored 2 – Korlai

Korlai is a small fishing village located around 15 kms away from Nagaon & around 130 kms away from Mumbai. Korlai village is located on the slopes of the Konkan range, with the Arabian Sea to its west & Revdanda back waters to its east.

The residents of Korlai are Indians born out of Indo-Portugese ancestors. they speak a unique language which is a Luso-Indian Portugese Creole called Kristi. Korlai is also home to an abandoned Fort built by the The Portuguese in 1521 to establish their dominance over the Indian Coastline.

There are no Hotels or B &B’s around, one has to either stay at Nagaon or Revdanda which are the closest to Korlai.

The Beach at Korlai is extremely beautiful & clean. Being  unexplored has its advantages. there was not a soul in sight when I visited. It was like being on your own private beach.

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The Fishing Village
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Korlai Fort built by the Portugese
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The village area around the coast line
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Tiny Boats used for Fishing

Korlai is a beautiful place for a one day getaway. The beach is pristine and beautiful. A beautiful beach hidden away from the eye of your everyday tourist. There is a certain charm of the unexplored for sure .

Exploring the Unexplored – Nagaon

For my Monsoon getaway this year, I decided to go to a place that remains untouched by flocks of tourists and the chaos that comes with it. So I decided to visit the beach villages of Nagaon & Korlai , often called the Shy cousins of the Tourist filled town of Alibaug.

Nagaon is located at a distance of 110 kms from Mumbai. It takes around 3 hours to reach Nagaon. The most noteworthy thing about the trip is the sheer beauty of the Journey itself. The plush greenery everywhere is simply breathtaking & the rains just make everything all the more beautiful.

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IMG_7349The Nagaon village has retained much of its old world charm. The village is beautiful, serene & pollution free.

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DSC00499We rented a Cottage for the duration of our trip . The Cottage in itself was beautiful. I will have an entire blog post dedicated to it in the coming week.

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The Beach of Nagaon are so Pristine. They are lined with Suru trees, which give them a beautiful, ethereal look. The beach is usually not very crowded except for the locals during Monsoon making it an ideal place for solitude lovers. This is nature at is purest best. However you may find it a little more crowded during normal months. But again not as crowded as Alibaug.

In terms of accomodation, Nagaon has plenty of options. However the most popular one is staying with the locals. There is an abundance of B & b options. Also many number of cottages are available on rent for reasonable rates. You can check out http://www.tripadvisor.in for more options.

Nagaon is heaven for Sea food lovers. Most B & B’s serve really delicious sea food of your choice. You have to only inform them of what you wish to eat a day in advance.

Monsoon is an ideal time to visit  Nagaon if you wish to enjoy the weather, have amazing food and spend time relaxing. However if you are into exploring the nearby Forts and are into Beach activities November to April might be a better time for you to visit.. Activities like Water sports are shut down during the Monsoon & Trekking becomes risky during Monsoon and is not encouraged during this time of the year.

If you are looking for a relatively Unexplored Destination for your Monsoon trip or a lazy trip with friends and family over the weekend, Nagaon is a wonderful option.

An Evening by the Sea..

This is one of those Throwback Posts. Last month was extremely hectic work wise for me. So one weekend my friends and I decided to take a break and unwind from our crazy schedules.

One of the best thing about living in Mumbai is the easy access it offers to the Arabian Sea. And I am a complete lover of all water bodies – Rivers, Lakes, Oceans, take me anywhere near them, and I am one happy girl. They always have a very soothing effect on me. So when it came to picking a spot to hang out we decided on Worli Sea Face.

I always enjoy the Sea Face experience. Hanging out, watching the waves, having Nariyal Pani (Coconut water) and just spending time chatting with friends is like a zen time for me.

Needless to say this time was no different. It was a lot of fun. Then again time with your closest friends is always the best time spent.

An evening by the sea

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