Uttarakhand riding on motorsport to take tourism into top gear

For the second consecutive year, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board is co-organizing the Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally. With the rally, the mountain state has brought motorsport firmly back on its tourism calendar. The Second Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will run from February 1 to February 4.


Uttarakhand relies on tourism as its economic mainstay, and the focus of the rally is on getting tourists back to its green vales after the
devastating floods in June 2013. Secretary Tourism Mr Uma Kant Panwar said motorsport is a valuable addition to Uttarakhand’s adventure portfolio, targeted at mid and high-end tourists.

“The rally, which is organized on international standards, showcases to the world that the roads in the state are great. The rally will pass by
some of our most loved tourism hotspots like the world-class ski resort at Auli, and Ramnagar, which flanks the Jim Corbett National Wild life Park,” said Mr Panwar.

The Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will have 35 teams driving cars and SUVs, going across about 1,000 kilometers in the state. Each team will comprise a driver and a navigator.

In order to ensure that there are no traffic disruptions, Uttarakhand
Adventure Car Rally will follow the Time- Speed-Distance (TSD) format. This is the sober form of motorsport that allows competitors to go slow in thickly populated areas, and stick to specified speed limits at all times.

The Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally will touch some of the most beautiful tourist hotspots of the state. It will begin from Dehradun on February 2 and move via Dev Prayag, Karna Prayag, Rudra Prayag and Nand Prayag to the ski resort at Auli. With newly-laid out, smooth roads, the picturesque drive leads to the celebrated snow-tops, a delight for skiers and sight-seeing. On the way is Shivpuri, which draws huge domestic and foreign tourism for white water rafting.

On Day Two, the rally will come down from Auli to Ramnagar, which flanks the Jim Corbett National Wildlife Park, again a tourist hotspot. The rally will end at Dehradun on Day Three.

Mr Uma Kant Panwar said that the rally marks the resurgence of tourism in the state. “Uttarakhand has world-class holiday destinations for families and youth alike. The roads are good again, and we invite all tourists to enjoy the unique holiday experience here,” he said. Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally adds to the state’s adventure tourism calendar, along with skiing, mountaineering, white water rafting and mesmerizing encounters in the wildlife parks.

The rally is being organized by Himalayan Motorsport. This is the premier Shimla-based motorsport club which organizes the Raid De Himalaya, one of the top-ten toughest rallies of the world. Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally is being supported by Maruti Suzuki and JK Tyres.

Mr Vijay Parmar, the president of Himalayan Motorsport, said that after the internationally popular Himalayan Rally, motorsport has been re-started in Uttarakhand on a small scale. “Motorsport has great potential to grow in Uttarakhand, and will showcase its excellent tourism destinations nationally and internationally. The state has a super network of roads, and more roads are being constructed in highly picturesque locales,” he said.

The Himalayan Rally, which used to go through Uttarakhand, was last
organized almost 25 years ago.

Cornito Food Bloggers Meet, Health Bhi, Taste Bhi!!!

I was part of Cornito Food Bloggers Meet during Food & Hospitality Expo on January 24, 2015 and I must say my day was well spent. My culinary skills were put to hard test and I must say it was quite a challenge as I can taste food, I can write about food, I can appreciate food, I can criticize food…but cooking food…not really my cup of tea. But I took up the challenge! & Voila, what an experience it turned out to be competing with experienced food consultants, food professionals, food bloggers, home – makers…with out thinking about anything, I got on to cutting, chopping and was totally confused whether to concentrate on decoration, dressing, toppoings, taste, health …what?

Then I decided that it should be dash of everything and came up with some good looking decoction. I must say CORNITOS had provided with all possible toppings right from bell peppers, corns, sprouts, alfa alfa, parsley, red-chilli sauce, myonnees cheese, butter, ketchup, mustard sauce…which we need to use by selecting two Nacho flavours – Olive & Herbs and Thai Sweet Chilli – why this odd combination?

Most important thing on my mind was my recipe should look tempting and nutritious and healthy for all family members. I tried various permutations and combinations and prepared a dish which had all healthy ingredients with tangy taste.

I named it Nacho Delights – with base line – Health bhi, taste bhi!!!
Our culinary skills were judged by none other than Celebrity Chef Shipra Khanna and I was delighted to have her around. I forgot all about contest, I was just admiring her all through. I must say she was very friendly and modest to the core. She gave very wonderful tips. I walked away with tropy and hamper from Cornitos. My day was made!

I must thank staff of CORNITO staff who had organised the Meet and were very organised and cordial.

Look forward to more such participation. It gave me a new high…

My husband and daughter commented…cook something like this for us too!


New “Guardian Angel” of Teens!

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Only two things are certain – Death & Taxes”, here I would like to add that – acne is third certainty in every young girl’s life. You live in any corner of the world, any continent, any country, any city of the world, as a young girl you cannot escape this certainty of life. This is the package deal of your growing up years. In every girl’s life, growing up is full of challenges, she goes through immense physical, emotional and hormonal changes which are at times difficult to cope, then there is topping of acne which adds to the turmoil. But every girl has a different take on this, some take it in their stride as a part of growing up, some feel embarrassed about it, some are hurt, some are patient, some are impatient – trying this, that, what not to get rid of them. It could best be described in the verse below:

One redder than the other,
One larger than the other,
One rounder than the other
Oh no! and the one on my forehead just got a sister!

I’ve tried it all, the gels, the creams,
With all this smudge that’s been on face,
All there’s left to do is scream!

So when I was a teenager, I belonged to the impatient lot, acne?& I will erupt. Start looking for remedies, applying this cream, that cream, that lotion…but of no avail. Life was a lot more struggle then (Nearly 30 years ago) as there wasn’t any cream, lotion etc. available in the country which could get us rid of pimples menace. So I would like share with you the home remedies, doctor’s prescription, advice from daadi, naani we had to succumb to like apply besan paste, raw milk, cud, honey, raw eggs, neem, multani mitti, jaiphal (nutmeg), badam, haldi-paste…half the kitchen stuff use to land on dressing table. But of very limited avail and the best part was pimple may spare us any day except when there was a party or any function to attend, it will certainly show up adding to the irritation. But we had to put up with it. I would like to share with you here, at that time we did not realize that acne is because of hormonal changes and only if treated hygienically, they can be cured. First and foremost thing required for this is to keep your skin clean, free of infections and treat our skin with respect. Hence arrival of face washes proved to be a great boon particularly the ones with Neem etc.

Pimples Pimples on my face
pop and vanish without a trace

moving from one place to another
hopefully leaving me and going to my sister

here and there and everywhere
they pop up and shrink down and leave me with a frown

Garnier Pure Active Neem face wash – Guardian Angel of Teens!

Today I have a teenage daughter and history is repeating itself. She too started facing acne eruptions at the age of 16, and like me she too used to get quite disturbed. But times have changed; girls in today’s India have access to best of cosmetics and medication. But acne is one thing, where no amount of medication and application of creams, lotions, moisturizers, foundations, BB Creams and Sun screens help. You need to treat it like an infection, keeping your skin infection free and for that you need a face wash which can take care of your skin’s hygiene and moisture levels. After lot of research, applying many faces washes, face wash gels, medicated soaps and lotions…I caught hold of Garnier Pure Active Neem face wash.

What made me buy this face wash for the first time was – its Neem component, as I recollected Neem was the only thing which provided me respite from pimples and courtesy Neem applied those days, I have nice, glowing skin till today. So I wanted to go for tried & tested Neem formulation for my daughter, besides the brand name Garnier which specialize in the field. Girls all over the world use Garnier for skin and hair care.

Pure Active Neem Face Wash packaging and POPs arrested my attention and I decided to go for it for my daughter Tanya, somehow I was very sure about the product that it help Tanya overcome acne problem. Pure Active Neem Face wash’s biggest merit is that it helps fight germs, pollution and removes excess oil from the face. Not only this, it contains Neem and tree tea oil extracts which heels acne and tree tea oil extracts nourish and moisturize her skin. She has been using it for many months and she couldn’t have been happier.

Application of Pure Active Neem face has enabled her in fighting germs as it washes away problem causing germs, deep cleanses pores to remove impurities caused by pollution and washes away excess oil which attracts dirt and germs. With its constant use, her face is glowing, her skin is infection free and she is brimming with confidence. Even I am very happy to have Garnier’s Pure Active Neem Face Wash in our bathroom, so much so that even I am using it to keep my skin happy.

Though I am living my teenage years with my daughter, but I don’t want to share her acne as I have had my share already.

My post is part of the Indiblogger activity. Click link to know more: bit.ly/GPABlogLinkIndiBloggerActivity

Know all about the product here: bit.ly/GarnierPureActiveNeemWebsite


I was born a daughter, became a sister, went to school to be a student, joined workforce to be a working professional, got married to be wife and blessed to a mother oh! yea…blogger too…life came to a full circle. I don’t think any other role is left for me except for being a mother-in-law to a dashing son-in-law and in career, to be a part of change and last but not the least to author a book. The Ands in my life changed with its stage, as I was growing up, I knew I have to play many roles in one life. As goes the saying, life is lived in various stages and in different life stages we play different roles.


As a woman, playing so many roles with élan has been a challenge, given the fact that I am a Sagittarian who looks for panache in whatever I do, AND I want to achieve it with sincerity. So many ANDs and so little time, as I was barely settling in the role of a daughter, I had to take up the additional role of elder sister, just getting accustomed to that, stepped into the role of a student, as soon as I passed out, the role of MEDIA professional was bestowed on me. In this phase of life, barring the role of a student, all roles were to be played simultaneously. An obedient daughter, loving sister, dedicated professional…it looked quite a task…till marriage happened AND voila! What a trapeze act it became where I was balancing aspirations and expectations of two families, besides handling difficult husband and demanding in-laws.

This way I developed multi-dimensional perspective to my roles, which has actually made me quite multi-faceted. I slipped into every role with ease…like fish takes to water. When I am in office, I am a thorough media professional, juggling my day amidst meetings, conferences, media-tie-ups, writing, editing…what not. When I reach home, my home becomes my world, shrunk to being a wife, home – maker, mother which has its own huge demands. Husband wants time, children want attention, parents want care, and this is our day to day life. Amidst all this and much more, I stepped into one more role – BLOGGER, balancing my follower’s expectations, always yearning for something unique for my readers, followers.


I would not refrain from mentioning that I have had no Sunday outing in last 2 – years as these evenings are reserved for blogging. Do I view this as a sacrifice? Not really! But achieving all this was not easy at all. There were incessant struggles, oppositions, challenges, opportunities and threats too! Today when blogadda gave us this opportunity, my life is moving before my eyes like a show-reel that how I transformed from a dreamy teenager, to a thorough professional to a perfect wife, to a doting mother, loved blogger. Wasn’t it all daunting? Yes it was. Many a times I thought – Give Up! Getting too much on me. But I survived all this and I am glad that I not only survived, I conquered. I have always taken pride in the fact that may be I am the chosen one for all these roles…
…as a woman.


I believe no role should be taken lightly as we have to play all our roles responsibly. Besides, we have a duty towards ourselves also which includes keeping ourselves alive and kicking, pay attention to our looks, keep ourselves fighting fit for our family and other people around us.

I would like to share my life altering incident with the readers; my father died all of sudden by a massive heart-attack at the young age of 48, just few days after Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. World came crashing down for us, I a college going teenager, brother still in school and heart-broken mother. Life changed in a jiffy, from a carefree teenager, with aims of studying Journalism in London, we were left with no means of survival even. Suddenly, world started looking a strange place. Being eldest in the family, I took the reins, joined a job of a school teacher, continued my studies and educated my brother. Today both of us are well-placed professionals. That time life gave me two options, take up the challenge, fight it out OR get married and move on. Today I am glad I exercised first one, faced incessant struggle which lasted for many years, but today I am a happy woman. I have left my past behind. I firmly believe Life is a combination of WINSOME, LOOSESOME…it is not mathematics. You have to take it in your stride.

I was lucky that I did not have to choose between OR and AND, as I had very good support systems and a cooperative family who shaped multi-dimensional aspect of my personality. I never had to turn down any opportunity in want of either this or that. I have used #UseYourAnd to the hilt. Though it was real trapeze act where the fear of falling down from the height was constant companion, but I never gave up. I have never said to myself, I will either do this, OR do that, it has always been like…Yeh Dil Maange More! No ANDs in life can limit me, my spirit. I want to wrap up so much in one life, because we live only once, make most of it. As a mother I always tell my daughter, take up as much as you can, God has chosen you for so many roles, play your part well. Then only your life is worth living and worth sharing. Indeed proud to be a woman, proud to be an achiever.

“This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus”.

Kailash Mansarovar – A Divine Spiritual Journey to the Abode of God…

A trip to Kailash Manasarovar is an intense spiritual experience, complete with the inclusion of meditation sessions, sathsangs (spiritual discourses) and much more. The 13-day trip commences at Kathmandu, where you will explore the ancient city along with its holy spots and includes the journey to Tibet, drive to Saga, overnight camping and meditation sessions at the breathtaking Manasarovar Lake. This will be followed by the challenging yet fulfilling trek to the North face of Kailash, where you will get a chance to meditate in the presence of the mighty peak before you journey back.

For the benefit of my esteemed readers and revered followers, I have short-listed tour operator, Kailash Journeys based out of Kathmandu who specializes in Kailash Mansarovar tours, here you can really customize your tour with them, by discussing your requirements and concerns etc. Their contact details are given below my post. You can write to them or talk to them regarding your travel plans to Kailash Mansarovar. I wish you a very safe and spiritually enlightening journey. However as a first measure I am presenting below the details of your tour to make is easier and simpler for you. Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) does undertake these tours but their booking has not opened as yet. You can discuss your tour plans with Kailash Jourrneys so that you get more time for planning it better. You can work around your funds, your mental and most importantly physical fitness, health check-ups, address some of your medical issues if any. The trip would cost you approx. 1 Lac INR for a 13-day trip and your journey will begin from Kathmandu, Nepal. So be fighting fit for your Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in 2015. I am also giving your Calendar of dates when your Yatra will commence.

Mount Kailash (22,000 ft) is known as a holy site among Hindu, Buddhist and Jain holding significance as the home of Lord Shiva. Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is undertaken by thousands of Yatris every year and known for its
religious value, cultural significance, and physical beauty with thrilling nature.

● 13 Days Tour starting from Kathmandu, Nepal
● Group tour with fixed Itinerary with transportation by Luxury AC Coach 1
● Outer Parikrama of Mount Kailash

The dates to commence Mt Kailash Yatra are:

April 29, 2015 (Full Moon)
May 06, 13, 20, 25, 28,

June 03, 10, 17, 24 (full moon), 27 (full moon)

July 08, 15, 23 (full moon), July 26

August 04, 11, 17, 21 (full moon) 24 (full moon)

Outline Itinerary:

Day 01: Kathmandu Arrival. Airport Pickup.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing. Drive to Kodari (120 km – 4 hrs).
Day 03: Drive from Kodari to Nyalam (54 km – 1 hr).
Day 04: Stay at Nyalam for Acclimatization.
Day 05: Drive from Nyalam to New Dongba (335 km – 7 hrs).
Day 06: Drive from New Dongba to Manasarovar Lake (387 km – 7.5 hrs).
Day 07: Drive from Mansarovar Lake to Darchen (110 km – 2.3 hrs).
Day 08: Short drive from Darchen to Tarboche (8 km) & trek to Dirapuk (6 hrs).
Day 09: Trek from Dirapuk to Zhulthulphuk (22km).
Day 10: Zhulthulphuk to Dongba. Trek for 8 km and drive to Dongba.
Day 11: Drive from Dongba to Nyalam.
Day 12: Drive from Nyalam to Kathmandu.
Day 13: Fly back home. Transfer to Kathmandu Airport.

Indian vegetarian food is offered to yatris.

Please find the attached overland package details and booking form. You can choose to fill in the booking form to book your yatra.

You are also requested to go through our detail guidelines for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

You can get in touch with:

Kalyan Parajuli
Kailash Tour Specialist
Kailash Journeys (P) Ltd.
Lainchaur-29, Kathmandu, Nepal
Office: +977-1-4427781 | 4439533

Disclaimer: This tour operator has been randomly selected and due permissions have been taken from them. I bear no responsibility about their terms and conditions and if any thing doesn’t work out favourably for your yatra. You can decide after talking to them or you can go by any other tour operator or MEA.

Top Ten Trending Destinations For 2015

1. London, England
2. Santiago, Chile
3. Paris, France
4. Mumbai, India
5. Buenos, Aires, Argentina
6. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
7. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
8. Sydney, Australia
9. New York, the US
10. San Francisco, California

While perennial favourite London (England) tops a new list of trending destinations in 2015, Mumbai made it to the fourth position following Santiago (Chile) and Paris (France). In fact, India is the only country from all of Asia to have made it to the list.

The list is based on the findings of 800 consultants at American Express Travel, who chimed in for a report on the travel habits of North American consumers. While the top 10 list is filled with many of the usual suspects – London, Paris and New York – less predictable cities such as Santiago, Buenos Aires and Mumbai also got featured.
Resort destinations like Providenciales in Turks and Caicos Islands, and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico are among surprise entries. The ranking is based on destinations that saw the greatest year over year growth in bookings at American Express travel.

Also, more and more travelers are looking for customized experiences that may include more hands on experience such as wine tours and cooking classes.

The interest in river cruises as compared to ocean cruises is also experiencing a significant spike for travel in 2015.
News courtesy: RELAXNEWS / HT

Authentic Chinese Food in Malaysia

My biggest worry in Malaysia was how I will manage with food for my 10-days long stay there, given the picky eater that I am! But my worries eased when I reached there under expert guidance of Malaysia Tourism’s guide Mr Jeevan who treated us to many authentic fares and best of cuisines available there. One restaurant which would have mention on my blog is Spring Garden in Putrajaya. Putrajaya houses the official residences/ offices of Prime Minister, Ministers and Bureaucracy of Malaysia. It’s beauty just cannot be described in words, no words are enough.  It looked to me like being in Switzerland. Here we were taken to this restaurant situated on the brink of a water body, its interiors were oriental and exteriors were like back waters of Kerala. Indeed perfect setting for savouring most authentic Chinese meal, we could ever think of. Cordial staff served us unique dishes made of Prawns, Chicken, Sushi, Momos, Hakka Noodles, smoke dressed vegetables, mushroom & chicken soup…what not!

I could not resist clicking few pictures for my readers, I present here choicest one:

 Don’t miss going to Spring Garden in Putrajaya, while in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Bloggers, Cornitos calling you?

Are you coming?
I am going!

0056 Cornitos Emailer- Bloggers Meet

24th edition of the B2b exhibition on the Food, Beverages and Hospitality industry – Food Hospitality World, Mumbai  will be held between 22-24 January 2015.

At the show, Cornitos is hosting a FOOD BLOGGERS MEET – contest where Bloggers may come, experiment with Nachos, get creative and win exciting prizes.

It is at 11:30 AM on January 24th, Bandra Kurla Complex ( BKC) Mumbai.  What are you thinking, you can register even NOW!

I mean till January 19, Monday.

Are you game?


Morning well spent at Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai, India


It was an unusual Sunday Morning January11 when we (me & daughter Tanya) had stepped out of house at 7 AM in the morning to board a local train for Church Gate for making it to J J School of Art on D.N.Road, Mumbai. It was my daughter Tanya’s Aptitude Test for National School of Design, Ahmedabad which was to start at 10 AM. In my 20 years of stay in Mumbai I had not seen Mumbai Local on a Sunday Morning. It was chili morning by Mumbai standards, with very few people outside, I am sure most of them would have been sleeping through the morning after the week-long hard work and even harder travel for making it to office in time. Tanya, slightly nervous about exam but thrilled about train ride, occupied a cozy comfortable window seat and started working on her tab.

I wondering, is this is the same railway station and western railway which I board every morning from Kandivali and in the evening from Church Gate. The silence was deafening…and on week days the commotion is deafening. This is life; this is Mumbai life, encapsulating real ironies of life.

We reached Church Gate Station which too worn a deserted look. We parked ourselves in eating joint Wimpys to savour hot Mumbai style breakfast where for the first time I got the choice of place to sit. We hailed first cab, and he happily agreed to take us to our destination – J J School of Art. & There we are…oops were!


Tanya moved to her exam hall and I had all 3-hours with me to while out and believe me I had no concrete program except finding some piping hot tea and a place to sit, which I could find in front of the canteen. After sitting for some time, and flipping through some pages of Private India, I could not resist myself from taking round of the sprawling J J Campus which reminded me of my student days of 80s at Hindu College in Delhi University.

The building is heritage structure as Sir J. J. School of Art was founded in March 1857 with the generous donation offered by Sir Jamshetji Jeejeebhoy, the first Baronet. J J, as it is fondly called is one of the pioneering institutes of fine art education in India, since its establishment in 1878 in the current Campus, with generous donation of Jamshetji Jijibhoy, under the British administration. The School today stands in the heritage building with departments of drawing and painting, sculpture and modelling, mural, portraiture, print making, arts and crafts including ceramics, interior decoration, metal work and textiles; and teachers training with art teachers’ diploma, Art Masters and Diploma in Painting Education.

But I am sorry to note that such an illustrious institution is crying for maintenance and upkeep which has produced alumni to the stature of Vasudev Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, Jeram Patel, Prabhakar Barve and Prabhakar Kolte. The building is in near tattered condition, with heaps of garbage in the campus itself, old benches, non-functional fans, no drinking water for waiting parents and far from decent loos. But it should be visited for its ancient structure, greenery, coloured painting, murals, old school feel, nostalgia at play, old houses, servant quarters…all this and much more. The institution deserves much more on the part of Government, Students, Administration and Bloggers like us who need to write about such ancient structures which add to the charm of old Mumbai. I took complete round of campus and moved outside catch the glimpse of CST Station, Times of India Building and BMC building (Other heritage structures) …good I had missed my morning walk in the park in western suburbs, only to catch it amidst heritage structures of Mumbai; a rare feat for a person like me who has spent all her Sunday mornings ensconced in bed, sipping hot tea and watching Rangoli on DD National (Yes this is my Sunday routine from last 20 years). For the first time I realised what I have missed during my 20-years stay in Mumbai.

Let me add here, J.J. has given India some of its revolutionary artists making a global impact on art. Even in contemporary Indian art scenario, J.J. continues to contribute with artists like Suhas Bahulkar, Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, and many more. In the changing face of representation in contemporary art around the world, J.J. holds a strong ground giving training in all the technical aspects of fine arts, with exposure to all the mediums.
I wish and hope that, unique and one –of-its-kind institution – Sir J J School of Arts is able to draw attention from concerned authorities who could take its glory to the next level.
All in all…my morning was well spent, against my notion that how I will kill three hours, till the time Tanya writes her exam.
Irony of life, three hours were looked very short to Tanya to write her exam, and very long for me, with nothing concrete to do.

But as goes the saying – Time flies and it flew!

Vital (Travel) Statistics – 2014, Brighter 2015


Europe proved to be the most popular region last year with highest number of visitors

International Tourism reached record levels in 2014. In the first 10 months of this year, the number of tourists spending at least one night in a foreign country reached 978 million. This was up 45 million more than in the same period of 2013 and the UN (UNWTO) is predicting the 2014 year end total reached an all-time high of 1.1 billion.

Tourism numbers have shown almost continued growth over the past six decades – from 25 million in 1950 to 278 million in 1980, 528 million in 1995 and 1.87 billion in 2013. The strongest growth this year has been in the Americas includes the Caribbean, with tourist numbers in the region up eight percent.

Asia and the Pacific welcomed the next highest increase in tourist, with travelers to region up by 5 percent with Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North East Asia and Northern Europe all up by seven per cent.

Africa Numbers for the first ten months of 2014 were up by three per cent, despite the out bread of Ebola, while Middle East numbers have risen by four percent.

International tourist arrivals worldwide are expected to increase by 3.3 per cent each year from 2010 to 2030 to reach 1.8 billion by 2030, according to UNWTO’s long-term forecast Tourism towards 2013. Total export earnings generated by international tourism in 2013 reached Euro 900 billion.

Source: DNA