Saturday, 9 November 2013

Sunny Secrets: Rediscovering India's Coastal Destinations

 DNA of Escape
There is the guide book tourist checklist and then there is the trail of discovery off the radar. Diipti Jhangiani takes you through both routes rediscovering destinations along coastal India. 

With its blue surfs, little cafes and French architecture, Pondi as it is fondly known is a city located along the eastern coast of India.
Tourist Checklist  
Walk along the Promenade and stop at Le Cafe for light munchies and a beautiful view of the surfs. Take the heritage walk, visit Aurobindo Ashram on the route. Top up on energy at Rendezvous restaurant to sample mouth watering local sea food. After having your fill, workout those calories with good old retail therapy at the souvenir stores at Mission Street.   
Off the Radar
Auroville, a township for alternative living, lies a few kilometres away from the city. Book a meditation session at Matri Mandir, a dome shaped meditation room at Auroville for a surreal experience.
For the adventure junkie, grab onto a surf board from Kallialay Surf School at Serenity Beach and master riding those waves.

Goa’s over hyped beaches have an identity of their own, but this state located along the western coast of India has a lot more to offer.
Tourist Checklist
Explore the by lanes of the capital city Panjim walking along Portuguese churches and homes. Build up an appetite by trekking up Fort Aguada and then head to Mango Tree for a late breakfast. Follow this up with trinket shopping at Anjuna and then cool off gazing at the night sky, grooving to music at Curlies.       
Off the Radar
Set off on a road trip starting with Tiracol Fort Heritage hotel for a breathtaking view of Querim beach at the northern most tip of Goa. Drive down to a spice plantation sampling vanilla pods and sumptuous lunch, followed by a dip in Dudhsagar falls, Goa’s largest waterfall toward the west. Follow the trail south heading towards Palolim beach for a picture postcard end to your Goan holiday.

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