My book “India Travel Survival Guide For Women” (previously in Kindle edition) is now available in paperback. The reason for the slight delay was because I was waiting for the proof (printed copy for myself) to arrive from the publisher & distributor (Createspace) in the United States. This allowed me to see exactly what the paperback would look like in my hands. Once it was in my hands, I had to preview the final version. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with the printed version which I then approved. It took them about 4 days for them to make it available for sale on Amazon. I am also planning it go for “Expanded Distribution” which means it will be available to larger audiences through more online retailers, libraries, academic institutions, book stores and distributors such as Barnes & Noble within the United States and Europe. You can find the US version here and the UK version here.
My friend Manuela shares her experience of her visit to the Golden Temple Amritsar (also known as Swarn Mandir) in the Punjab.
Golden Temple: More than guys with turbans and a temple covered with shiny gold By Manuela Osorio Pineda
I’ve always considered myself as an ‘off-the-beat-traveler’ who craves visiting the remote little spots of a country to find its essence in the unknown and not so popular places; one that always preferred to stay in hostels or with locals through CouchSurfing instead of booking hotel rooms, and definitely the type who ‘hates’ scheduled tours and ‘you-have-20-minutes-to-go-get-a-profile-picture-and-come-back-to-the-bus’ orders … Although I have to say I’ve been there and done that. After all, you’ve gotta try things to know you don’t like them, right? 😉
Have you noticed that ruined Temples have a charm associated with them – Especially, if a Temple is very old? Today, let us look at one such charming, old and ruined Temple in India – Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu. Does the photo below look like the entrance of a Temple? It sure looks like an entrance alright, but Temples here generally have a Gopuram (Tower) on top of the main entrance doors. Looking at the size of the Temple doors of this Temple, the Gopuram should have been quite huge. But no one knows whether the Gopuram was destroyed in a war, or whether the Temple was constructed with a Gopuram at all! If there was no Gopuram from the beginning, this Temple should be quite unique.
This is a story of my friend Rishabh Oberoi who went to the Kumb Mela this year. This is the part 1 of his visit to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad.
Part 1: The World Largest Religious Gathering of People on the Bed of Sangam
I believe Indian culture is the most colorful and diverse culture on the planet. From the world-famous food to the way people look and dresses; our languages, music, art, dance, architecture and even way to serve food is different every 100 kilometres throughout the country. One place where you can really see the diversity and complexity of this culture is the Kumbha Mela.
I want to announce that I have now released an ebook about travel safety for women travelling to India. The book is called “India travel survival guide for women”. It is available on kindle format on Amazon and I hope to get it out in paperback too.
This is the first book of its kind. I had a good look on Amazon and I am convinced that is no other book like it. There are some other books that are based on solo travel in India but this will perhaps be the first one by an Indian woman giving it a unique perspective.
Don’t be surprised to see two men holding hands in India. In most European nations and in the USA, this public display of affection can be mistaken for being gay or lesbian but not in India. Here we don’t see it that way. Just because two men (or women) are holding hands or they have hands on other’s shoulders does not mean anything. They just happen to be friends and there is nothing sexual about the whole thing.
My friend Natalia from Brazil was recently in India where she happened to visit the Taj Mahal along with other places in India. She sent me her account of her visit along with some of her photos that she took on her visit. This is the personal account of her visit to the glorious Taj Mahal. I hope you will like it and I hope her story will convince you to visit this amazing Indian monument of love.
You will remember that my friend Manuela arrived in Delhi from Colombia. Now she leaves Delhi to live in Chandigarh the capital of Punjab! She describes her leaving of Delhi and experience of Chandigarh in her own words. An interesting account.
Proving why Chandigarh IS the City Beautiful
Even thought India is becoming a really popular destination for people from all over the world, not a lot of travelers know about Chandigarh. Of course you’ve all heard about chaotic Delhi; Mumbai and Bollywood; the Holy city of Varanasi; Jaipur, the pink city; and all those ‘European’ paradises spread over the huge country like Shimla -also known as ‘the little Switzerland’- Pondicherry -‘the little France’- Kasol -the unnamed Israeli territory- and Goa, the party destination, where you can see the entire world hanging out together, especially on its famous Christmas and New Year’s parties… Would I make it to Goa on this December 31st? …
Most westerners prefer to come to India from September to March when the weather is cool in most parts of India. But a few brave ones arrive during Monsoons also, when the whole country is experiencing the magic of Monsoons.
There are a lot of things you can do during the monsoons to enjoy and have a pleasant stay in India like chasing the monsoon, enjoying the delicious hot Pakoras or bhajiyas with tea while it rains outside. But Monsoons also bring with them their own set of problems also like water logging, floods, a lot of mosquitoes and flies. All these factors combined can make anybody run away from India except for the very brave.
My friend Manuela writes about her experiences in India. She talks about coming to India and settling in Chandigarh. Read to find out more about her Indian fairytale.
My own Indian Fairytale by Manuela Osorio Pineda
From the very first moment I placed my feet in Indian lands, I had that strange but fascinating feeling of being walking in two different countries at the same time; not between a ‘rich’ and a ‘poor’ one – although the economic gap is so huge you can almost touch it- not between a ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’ country – although gender equality is still a utopia as in most regions of the world- and not either between a religious divided country, although the conflicts involving the beliefs differences can still be felt in some parts of the vast subcontinent.
I am delighted to inform everyone that I am now part of the ixigo expert panel. Ixigo happens to be one of India’s largest and award winning travel search engines that was founded in 2006.
The panel of experts consist of travel enthusiasts who work towards simplifying the life of travellers and to make travelling in India a happy experience. Therefore the Ixigo experts advice and answer questions on a topic they feel most comfortable with.
My interests include my own state of Bihar, women’s issues and travel safety. This means that I answer questions relating to travelling to Bihar and questions related to women’s safety. Here’s my ixigo expert panel page.
Tarkarli beach is one of the numerous and amazingly beautiful beaches spread across the Konkan sea coast overlooking the Arabian Sea in the state of Maharashtra. The beach is situated almost 550 km from Mumbai near the village of Tarkali in district of Sindhudurg, coastal Maharashtra. The Mumbaikars (people of Mumbai) love visiting this place on the weekends.
The long coastline stretching across the beach with silky sand, its clean and clear waters, and the calmness of the place attracts tourists who are looking to get refreshed and rejuvenated both mentally and physically in natures lap. The place is also known for dolphins and turtles which can be sighted if you are lucky. The soft stretch of sand on the beach is ideal for romantic walks, on the long stretch of beach which seems to be never ending. The pristine and clear waters of the sea are untouched by pollution, so much so that on a clear day you can clearly see the seabed with snails, shells and other sea life up to the depth of 20 feet.
I would like to suggest that you try Uttapam for lunch when in India. Uttapam is a bit like a pancake or an omelette with toppings. It’s definitely not a pizza but it does look like one.
I am really surprised this elegant dish is not as popular in the north as the other South Indian dishes. Although it may not be as popular as the Masala Dosa but you’ll find this in all South Indian restaurants all over India. Good thing about the Uttapam is that it does not require a lot of oil so those travellers to India watching their weight can have this.