Posted in backpackers, Beautiful India, beautifulindia, blogger, Fashion, fashionblogger, fashioninspiration, girlslovetravel, incredibleindia, indianblogger, kerala, ootd, phoi, tourism, Travel, travelblogger, travelcommunity, travelmemoirs, traveltribe, tripoto, wanderlust

Backpacking trip – Kerala – God’s Own Country – Alleppey – Day 2

After the first night in Kochi ended ( you can read up about that here, if you haven’t already), we got up the next day, with barely 3-4 hours of sleep in our systems, but zeal and vigor only heightened somehow, to munch on some breakfast prepared by Zostel people, only to quickly get on to the bus to Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha by the locals, and Venice of the East by foreigners.

It takes not more than 2 hours by road to reach Alleppey from Kochi, and we all had plans of sleeping through the journey; the way we had danced and partied the night before, it was much needed!

But did we sleep through it? Hah! No! We danced some. And then some more. By the time we got there, we had reached the comfort levels where we were dancing to ‘I am a hunter, you wantaaa see my gunnn’ and ‘Saat Samunder Paar’ songs. And we weren’t exactly what you’d call dignified! 😛

After we got over all our cheap thrills for the morning, we rocketed into our next hostel for the trip – Artpackers!

The place is essentially converted into a hostel from a school, and has super laidback vibes. The rooms are big and airy, and the best part about this hostel was the garden right outside it. There was a beautiful seating arrangement done in the garden, and the windows and trees on the wall attached made for the most gorgeous backdrop ever!

Photo Credits: Gaurav
Remember the gorgeous garden and the backdrop in the hostel I was talking about? I wasn’t exaggerating! Photo Credits: Picture Pausto
Photo Credits: Gaurav
I love this one! Thankyou Virat 🙂

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Did I not mention I was traveling with a bunch of photographers? Guess who got really lucky? 😀 😉

The beach was just a short walk away, and you can only keep the beach away from me for so long, so we freshened up and sprinted our way to the beach, where we were to have our lunch at the famous Catamaran Café.

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How the Alleppey beach looks when the sun is soaring high. Photo Credits: Gaurav yet again!
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Mesmerizing views – Farooq

The beach is always a bad idea on a sunny afternoon, so we decided to just lounge and chill at the café, hog on some seafood, and enjoy the view of the sea!

The café was all Goa vibes. The people, the food, the atmosphere, everything! We had heard so much about the café, that we landed there with super high hopes and drool all over, but honestly, I was a tad disappointed. Our food took longer than an hour to be served!! And it wasn’t even worth the wait.

For all those who plan to go to Alleppey, if you do go to this particular café, go for the view, for the chill vibes, and perhaps the continental food. Prawns and Fish, you can find better elsewhere, I’m sure!

Any which ways, food apart, we had a ball of a time there.

We indulged in some Teen Patti (The Diwali fever just won’t leave me alone *Dramatic EYEROLL*), some Antakshari, and lots of people trying their hand at guitar and producing awful music! 😀

We headed back to our hostel to be greeted by the sweetest host ever who offered to arrange a party of sorts in that beautiful garden of theirs! To top that, he even offered to get us some toddy (the local drink of God’s own country!) along with a buffet dinner. Hungry mongrels that we are, our ears cocked up at the mere mention of Prawns and Toddy!

We wasted no time in small talk, as what was planned ahead was something none of us wanted to miss out on. The Houseboat experience in the backwaters!

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Photo Credits – Rahool

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Captured skillfully by Dhanashri

We had a double decker houseboat booked all to ourselves for some 4 hours, and the timing was such that we could witness the sunset while on the houseboat, in the middle of the backwaters.

No matter how hard I try, I shall not be able to do justice in trying to explain what those few hours on the houseboat felt like. It was like we had attained Nirvana, we had completely lost track of time. The only sound we could hear was the slicing of the smooth water as our boat moved forward. The sun was up, glaring at us, but caressing us with affection, sweeping us in its sweet warmth. The sky was dancing between shades of blue and gold, romancing with the sun and the water both at once, the coconut trees swaying to our merriment, and the farmers rowing their canoes slowly, and gently towards their farms.

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Stuti caught me enjoying my Titanic moment!
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And so did Farooq!

We were all next to each other, but we were all in our own world at the same time, just enjoying the mesmerizing view in front of us, letting the cool winds engulf us, and listening to soft music on the side. Moments like these make you realize what true beauty is, and how important travel is. I was left wondering if the locals of Kerala value this beauty that they live in as much as we do… Or is the grass greener for them on the other side? Did these calm backwaters serve as therapy to them as well? Or was it pure monotony for them? Do they squeal in delight at these awe-inducing sunrises and sunsets everyday as we do?

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Photo Credits – Picture Pausto
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By the best – Farooq
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Captured from a creak in the houseboat by –Dhanashri
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The sky and the water though! – Jeevan
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I captured this, I did, I did! * Pats self*

There is no such thing as too many pictures, especially if it’s of the dynamic hues of the sky. It’s magical!

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There is abundance in this moment, do you agree?

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As these thoughts slowly subsided, our ride came to an end. We were back on land, and back to our hostel, where we were certainly not looking for a peaceful night 😉

This night, ladies and gentlemen, was the best night of the trip!

We played Dumb charades, Truth and Dare, and what not all through the night! We danced, we sang, we ate, we drank… We made lots of memories!

The food was incredible – the spicy baby prawns being my personal favorite!

Amidst all this fun, we didn’t forget to click pictures. Few of the many people who made this trip worthwhile!

The next morning, again after a sleepless night, a few of us woke up real soon, only to enjoy the sunrise at the beach. The sea wasn’t really great for a swim, but it was amazing for an early morning walk, nevertheless!

There are very few things that can match up to the feel of walking barefoot on the seashore, the sun rising alongside, the waves occasionally rocking at your feet, the fisherman out in the sea gearing up for the day ahead, people playing frisbee and Volleyball. There’s something about this time of the day, at the beach, that is just incomparable. The serenity, the tranquility, the peace of mind – it’s just so unusual when you’re living in a concrete jungle.

The beach early morning

We found these surprisingly quiet railway tracks on our way to the sea. Clicked by Gnawmadic

I made sure to savor each and every second of this valuable time! I devoured everything with my eyes, inhaled all of it, because who knows when next I would get to visit Alleppey again.

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Photo Credits – The talented Picture Pausto
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Farooq again!!

And this is how one night in the Venice of East was spent. Next up is Varkala – my favorite of the lot! 😊

I hope you guys continue to read.

Till then, love,

TwofoldChic

Posted in backpackers, beautifulindia, blog, blogger, Fashion, girlslovetravel, incredibleindia, indianblogger, kerala, ootd, phoi, tourism, Travel, travelblogger, travelmemoirs, tripoto, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, wanderlust

Backpacking trip – Kerala – God’s Own Country – Kochi

Having lived a chunk of my childhood in Kochi, I had been dying to go back to the place, as a traveler this time, to revisit old memories. I must have been only 8 when I lived there, but I still have vivid memories of how the place looked like. The sea, the backwaters, the marine drive. The palm trees and coconut trees lining the roads that had recently seen some drizzling. The winds that brought along the sweet smell of jasmine flowers stationed in the braids and buns of the local women. The Appam and Mutton, the fried pomfret, and the Prawn curry that could make even Vegans salivate. The Chinese fishing nets and the docks with ferries roped together. The hidden beaches where I collected shells of all shapes and sizes, and where I ran along the waves for as long as my legs would carry me. The long walks on the quiet and serene roads, holding papa’s hand, going to the phonebooth to make calls with mom, because mobiles were unheard of back then. Learning Malayam because there was no other option, making the best mallu friends ever. These memories could last a lifetime, sure, but I wanted to go back to the place I fell so madly, deeply and irrevocably in love with! A place that gave me my first beaches, that made me realize I was made for the sea, a place that gave me friends I would go on to write letters to for years after I had moved from Kerala.

And so, I did.

I planned a backpacking trip with the most random people through a social networking site, and I would count this as one of the best decisions I made, for I made the most invaluable memories with such brilliant people, whom I’d now like to call friends 😊

So, this community, called Photographers of India, goes to trips within India every 45 days, and this was my first trip with them. You must reach out to them if you’re looking for a chilled out, no fuss, fun and only fun trip! They shall not disappoint, trust me!

So, I booked my flights and hopped on to an early morning flight to Kochi, to be met with the most awesome people at Zostel, Kochi Fort. Getting down from the aircraft, a wave of nostalgia hit me, as I realized I was finally in Cochin, after a long spell of 17 years!

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All set to travel! 😀

I, along with a couple of other travelers who had landed around the same time got on to the local bus headed towards Fort Kochi. 1.5 hours later we got to the Zostel.

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Greeted by this furry little baby outside the Zostel who cosily climbed onto my lap, uninvited, and made it his sleeping pod

I was amazed by the way the Zostel had been set up. After having lived in college hostels, this hostel would look like a party to you!

It was very artistic and damn clean!

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Upon arrival at Zostel, Fort Kochi

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The Common Seating Area
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The beautifully and quite artistically painted walls of Zostel

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I met the fellow travelers and was delighted out and out. Each person so different from the other! One, a travel blogger, another one a doctor. One, a photographer, another a fashion designer. We had people from all walks of life almost, and it was indeed wonderful to meet all these kickass people!

I immediately connected with most of the people and we set out to have lunch at this local dhaba like place in Mattancherry. The food was incredible, lovingly served and so modestly priced!! We ate to our heart’s content, went back to the Zostel and chilled out some more before we set out to Marine Drive and Spice Market on the Ferry ride.

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Street Markets of Kochi

The Ferry ride, again, bought back beautiful memories. We reached the Marine drive well in time to behold the sight of a mesmerizing sunset. We binged on some icecreams and faloodas, burgers and chowmein, and then before we knew it, 2 hours had already passed by!

 

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The ferry ride from Fort Kochi to Marine Drive. Clicked by Anand
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Photo Credits: Farooq
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The gorgeous pink sky captured at the time of sunset
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Various hues of the sky!
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Baring my men in white, captured by Anshuman

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I just couldn’t stop beaming! My happiness is evident, isn’t it?
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Happy girl re-living her childhood memories of eating icecream by the sea
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You can tell I love metallic lips
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Isn’t this Church just beautiful?  Captured by Virat Gupta
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The trade that keeps the city alive – Fishing. Captured by Abhishek
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Just How captivating is this picture? Captured by Abhishek
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Clicked by Gnawmadic

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Blown away by this beautiful thing!

We set out on the ride back to the Zostel to find an amazing surprise awaiting us. We saw, on the terrace, some drums and drummers, in Hope of enchanting us with their trippy music, and enchanted we were! What lay ahead was a night full of amazing live music, lots of dancing, food and drinks, and of course bonds to be created that would go a long way 😊

 

 

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My whole bunch of crazies 😀

This was my Kochi trip in short. The next morning we headed out to Allepey, which was again a dreamy, dreamy place. Watch out for the next post to hear about my experiences in Allepey 😊

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Hope you enjoyed reading!

Till the next time,

XOXO

-TwofoldChic

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Pushkar Mela 2k17!

To random plans- where you just decide, pack & leave.
Well, this is how Pushkar Mela happened:
For me, being from Jaipur (Rajasthan), Pushkar has always been like a stone’s throw away. Not literally, but you get the idea!
Situated 150 kms southwest of Jaipur, it is like the smoothest and the most convenient getaway destination for us.
So, one such Friday night, me and my friend Pratibha finalized our plan and left the next day for Pushkar after finishing our jobs.
We left around 4pm from Jaipur & the next thing you know, we were sipping coffee at the good onsite restaurant of Hotel Radhika Palace right next to the lake.

And oh! how lit was the lake!

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Lake Pushkar was said to be created when Brahma dropped a lotus flower there, and it’s the site of the only Brahma Temple in India because his wife Savitri cursed him after he married a local girl, Gaytri, for religious religions.
According to mythology, all the 330 gods and goddesses of Hinduism assembled at Pushkar Lake on the day of Purnima (full moon night) to consecrate the lake. This is how the lake came to be deemed as sacred. This is the reason that at this time during the fair, pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath, as it is believed to cleanse sins and possess healing properties.

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This Shot is by @banjaaratheindiantraveller

Owing to the suddenness of our plan, we weren’t able to get any rooms in any of the good properties we had been eyeing, it was such a disappointment. But high that ur spirits were, we could stay in a lodge and still be happy to attend the Pushkar fair! 😀
Anyhow, I suggest if you ever plan to visit the Pushkar Camel Fair (which I think you MUST, at least once in your life) and wish to stay in a good property with a good view, get your bookings done way in advance.
Anyways, we then finally stayed in the Hotel Satyam Palace for the night which was quite a decent and peaceful place with slides & swings that can let the kid inside you dance out of joy.
Here’s how- (the hotel morning) OH ME, THE HAPPY KID!

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After breakfast, we went off to explore the Pushkar fair and the majorly famous Pushkar market .

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The Pushkar Fair, also known as the Pushkar Camel Fair, or Pushkar Mela, is a colorful and vibrant display of unique exhibitions, exciting competitions and fascinating events. This annual camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar between the months of October and November, draws a large number of crowds. Besides, this fair is renowned for being one of the world’s largest cattle fairs. The main purpose of the mela is to serve as a cattle fair, a place where locals from the surrounding towns and villages get their cattle – camels, horses, cows – for trading.

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Shot by @banjaaratheindiantraveller
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Apart from camels & horses, there are of course giant Ferris wheels.
A mela is incomplete without those fun rides, isn’t it ?
I have a major fear of them rides but my friend took me on that giant wheel and trust me, I prayed to every god I could think of while I was on that ride!

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How can something so scary look so beautiful? 😛

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The Scary Giant!

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Day

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Night

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View from the top!

About The Pushkar Market :

What could appeal to a girl more than streets lined up with vibrant, colorful clothes and bags and jewelry? Every inch of these streets were wired in hues of brights pinks and reds and yellows, and I couldn’t have loved it better. Talk about seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses- quite literally!

I loved them narrow lanes covered with dream catchers, silver jewellery, bead necklaces, leather bags, traditional clothes, colorful dupattas, fancy umbrellas, printed textiles and what not!!! Clearly, tassels and glasswork ruled the charts.

Being a boho vibes lover,  i picked up some antique silver jewelry, along with some rajasthani jutis, and a couple of good old scarfs!

For people outside of Rajasthan, this fair would be a dream come true! You’d find the rich heritage of Rajasthan in all of the beautiful prints being sold!

LOOK HOW –

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A hippie foreigner was selling these cool badges!

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Buying my fav. *silverjewellery* and yes, the aunties be ogling at my legs!
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If only I had more time, I would have shopped like crazy but we had to return back to Jaipur!

But then, it was a fun trip. While in Pushkar, you can also visit the Savitri Temple, Man Mahal, Varaha Temple and the Apteshwar Mahadev Temple. Other attractions around the fair include camel safaris and hot air balloon expeditions for a bird’s eye view of the fair.

Here’s one with my photgrapher & travel partner:

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Hope you guys loved reading my blog.
I know I got too late in posting it!
Diksha could have almost killed me had she not been traveling to Kerala.
Yes, I missed being a part of that trip due to my own stupid calculations & regret it the most after hearing all the stories from Diks!
We’ll soon be posting a blog on her backpacking trip to Kerela.
Stay Tuned!

LIKE SHARE & FOLLOW US for more .
WE LOVE YOU 😀

– TwofoldChic

Posted in blog, blogger, diwali, ethnic, Fashion, fashionblogger, fashioninspiration, festivelooks, festiveseason, indianblogger, indiandressing, ootd, saree, traditional, travelblogger, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Diwali and all that Jazz

Diwali is the celebration of lights, of dazzling things and glittering evenings.

The ethnic fashion is what rules the chart, the glitz and glamour exuded out of traditional dresses and saris is unmatchable during this festival of light Indian Festive wear has had a huge dominance on women’s fashion all over and they love dressing in traditional styles like sari, salwar suit, lehenga or kurtis for the festival days.

No wonder, when we realized that Diwali was just around the corner, we got down to the ultimate task of finalizing that one outfit that we could don on the day!

While Shivani celebrated Diwali at home sweet home with her family and close friends, I had to stay back in Bangalore this year. I was very, very upset over being away from home on Diwali for the first time in my life, but hey, every cloud does have a silver lining indeed.

All my friends stayed back too and we had a bomb of a time.

Both Shivani and I chose to celebrate a Cracker-free, environment friendly Diwali, and it turned out to be nothing short of greattttt!

Going back to what we wore – This Diwali, to make sure to adorn the latest fashion instead of repeating our festive looks, we chose to do a fusion. Why just wear a suit or a lehenga or a saree when you can mix and match with the western counterparts and create the most exquisite looks ever?

So, both of us chose to stray from the traditional route and create looks which are damn easy to put together!

Here’s what Shivani wore!

She wore a center-split Anarkali kurti with distressed, anti-fit denims. She chose to keep it simple and minimalist without going overboard with either the accessories or the makeup!

She wore her hair open, crimped, accessorized with her classic Daniel Wellington watch, and a simple silver neckpiece and earrings! Her pink pout just added a bout of pop to the whole outfit!

Outfit details – Anarkali kurta – Label Harsha Khatry, Jeans – Only, Shoes – Aldo, Watch – Daniel Wellington

I, on the other hand, chose to wear one of my mom’s crisp cotton sarees with a crop top and a belt. I wore it the seedha palla way with a just a few neat pleats!

Wearing a saree feels like second skin to me. Somehow, I’m the most comfortable in sarees!

I am a fan of the bong way of dressing, hence I went all the way with alta on the hands and feet, a huge bindi and long, ethnic earrings!

I wore some bangles too and finished off the look with dark marsala lips.

The difference in the quality of our pictures is almost abnormal, I know, I know, but hey, can you blame me? Shivani had a professional photographer shoot her, while I had to make do with my not so willing friends 😀

Anyhow, we really hope you enjoyed this post and our looks, and could find them innovative and easy to carry!

Till the next time then!

XOXO

-Diksha and Shivani