March 18, 2020

Taj Samudra - Sri Lanka's Stunning Waterfront Hotel

Image credit: Taj Samudra

Sri Lanka, the island nation, is a mesmerizing mix of beaches, valleys, mountains, and forests. This compact destination has a wide array of cultures and unexplored hamlets ready to be explored. Quite hard to resist, Sri Lanka has been a favourite destination for couples for a while now. Romantic walks on the beach, adrenaline-pumping hikes in the mountains, discover ancient temples; there is something for every kind of couple. Here we share a list of things to do in Sri Lanka along with accommodation options that can come handy for your next vacation.

Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Walk on the beach

It is never too late to go on a romantic walk on the Turtle or the Hikkaduwa beach. Let the waves touch your bare feet with their mellow sounds.

Candlelight dinners at the beach

Sri Lanka is popular for its sunset views on the beach. Candlelight dinners on a beach is the most romantic evening you can gift to your better half.

Go on a Wildlife Safari

Wildlife Safari Sri Lanka is a haven for wildlife lovers. As the country has a diverse landscape, one can go on a wildlife safari and spot animals and birds such as Elephants, Leopards, Sri Lankan Jungle fowl, Grey Hornbill, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer and many more.

Go on a Scenic train Ride

A scenic train ride with the views of the fantastic vistas of tea plantations, mountaintops and valley, will undoubtedly be the highlight of your trip.

Where to Stay in Sri Lanka?

Taj Samudra: The Jewel of Sri Lanka

Since you will spend quite a few days soaking in all that Sri Lanka has to offer, your stay at Taj Samudra will add on to the experience. Taj Samudra is hands down the best waterfront hotel in Sri Lanka. This luxury hotel inColombo is located at Sri Lanka’s historic Galle Face Green. It gives one of the most mesmerising views of the Indian Ocean and the enchanting city of Colombo. This Colombo beach resort is located in the business hub and is only a short walk away from the city centre. It is located at 21 miles from the airport.

Your stay at this 5 star hotel in Colombo is filled with exemplary comforts and luxury.

Rooms & Suites

Taj Samudra, the exotic hotel houses 300 rooms and suites. These are nestled in 11 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. All the rooms have enhanced comforts and stylish design elements. The rooms also give a panoramic view of the sea line. The rooms are divided as Deluxe, Luxury and Taj Club rooms. Taj Club rooms come with a host of extra benefits such as separate check-in, free access to Taj Club Lounge, complimentary hot breakfast, etc. The suites are divided into Executive, Deluxe, Luxury, Grand Luxury, and Tata Suite. The suites come equipped with wooden flooring, pantry area, balcony, living area, and heightened comforts. The rooms and suites in Taj are apt for a romantic rendezvous on the days you just want to laze out under the sun, with the views of the sea.

Image credit: Taj Samudra

Dining Experience

Taj Samudra offers a variety of dining experiences from traditional to contemporary. Latitude is an all-day diner serving global cuisines. Steak and Grill House serves the finest gourmet food that one can complement with an exquisite wine. Golden Dragon serves a wide selection of Sichuan cuisines. Navratna serves authentic Indian delights. For Japanese exquisites such as Sushi, Sashimi, Teppanyaki and flared cocktails, YUMI is the place to be. For those who have a sweet tooth can head to Pebbles for relishing a dessert. The multi-cuisine restaurants are the ideal options for honeymooners to enjoy a delicious meal in a relaxing ambience.

Image credit: Taj Samudra

Taj Samudra, the best hotel in Colombo, is the best bet for couples who want to have a rich taste of Sri Lankan hospitality. Make your honeymoon memorable with your stay at Taj Samudra.

P.S.: This is a collaborative post.

March 11, 2020

Lone Fisherman

A lone fisherman going about his daily routine early in the morning at Byrasagara lake, near Gudibande fort in Karnataka. March 2020.

February 27, 2020

Mandaragiri- Tucked Away from Tourist Map

A nondescript detour off the Bengaluru- Tumkur highway led to a narrow road with intermittent tarmac that meandered its way past open lands and a few scattered houses.  In a few minutes I was at the base of Basadi Betta, a popular hillock which is also known as Manadargiri.

A few meters before Mandaragiri hill, stands the tall statue of Thirthankara, welcoming people to his land.  A popular Jain shrine, Manadaragiri has caught the attention of travellers with the beautiful Guru Mandir which is in the shape of an inverted Pinchi (a peacock feather fan) next to the statue of Thirthankara. This 81 feet tall structure with its hues and the art works which made a pretty frame took my attention away from the statue of Thirthankara. Guru mandir was built in memory of a Jain saint, and the inner walls have stories and paintings from Jainism.

Manadagriri which is also known as Basadi Betta is a hillock with a few Jain shrines atop it built between 12th and 14th century. More than 400 steps lead to the top of Mandaragiri. It was a quick climb and I scaled it in less than half an hour. Though not spectacular, the aerial views of the surrounding areas were a delight as I walked up. To the left of the temple is a pond with boulder strewn hills all around. However, the view behind was a stunner with the blue Mydala kere lake slowly revealing itself and gleaming against the brown backdrop. There is a narrow trail that leads down from the hillock to the waterbody. Strolled around for a while and headed back as the sun got harsher.

Mandaragiri is a nice short getaway from Bengaluru and remains not so popular on the tourist map.

Travel Tips:

1. Mandaragiri is 65 Kms from Bengaluru. It is ideal to travel in your own vehicle.
2. There are no restaurants nearby, so do carry water and energizers.
3. It is highly recommended to visit early in the morning to avoid the harsh sun.

January 31, 2020

Panchapalli Dam: Soaked in Serenity

It was a pleasant drive on the first day of 2020 to Panchapalli Dam, tucked away in the forest stretches, south of Bengaluru. A detour from Anekal led to the town of Denkanikota, which falls under Krishnagiri district. The traffic thinned as we drove past the road side shops, and the road turned narrower as well. Dark clouds hovered throughout the drive with intermittent sprays, a dash of petrichor and fresh air.  Farm lands popped up on either side, and it was a delight to see them interspersed with boulder strewn hillocks as we travelled deeper into the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu. Large colourful sculptures of godly figures stood out amidst the beautiful landscape.

Denkanikottai is known for its popular Betraya Swamy temple which has a colourful stepped pond adjacent to it. The winding road from Denkanikottai to Panchapalli dam is a gradual incline with the farm lands and tiny settlements giving way to hills, empty lake beds and forest stretches. The picturesque Panchapalli reservoir slowly opened up as we drove further. Engulfed by hills and greenery, Panchapalli reservoir and the dam have gorgeous surroundings and it was a delight to soak in the tranquility of the place. Despite the water levels not being high, the placid reservoir held its charm with the encapsulating vistas.

Though there isn’t much to do around the dam, one can soak in the serene views. More than the destination, it is the drive to Panchapalli dam that keeps one engrossed. There is a small tea shop further ahead on the road, which leads to Bettamugilalam and Seimeri lake.

Travel Tips:

  • There are no restaurants or rest rooms on this stretch beyond Denkanikottai except for a few tea stalls.
  • Denkanikottai has fuel stations and a couple of restaurants.

How to Reach Panchapalli Dam:

Denkanikottai is 65 kms from Bengaluru, and Panchapalli dam is a further 20 Kms away. Take the right at Anekal on to Denkanikottai road.

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