Dev Deepawali in Varanasi ~ Travel Guide

I was in Jaunpur to attend a friend’s wedding. As a side trip, I visited Varanasi, 60 km from Jaunpur. I was travelling all the way to see Dev Deepawali in Varanasi. It is said that Dev Deepawali is one of the best times to be in Varanasi. And why not? Diwali is known as the festival of lights; Varanasi is the city of lights. And coincidentally, that night was also a Supermoon, a once…

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Bohri Mohalla food trail – The best places to eat

As a foodie, every year I look forward to Ramadan. Closer to where I live in Mumbai, there is a huge Muslim community so the streets and by-lanes turn into an Iftari food fest with the aromas of fried malpuas, mawa jalebis, fresh fruits and dates, chicken shawarmas, satay, mutton cutlets and what not. Four years after my last visit to Mohammad Ali road to explore the food scene in the Minara Masjid area, I…

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Fireflies and vegan meals in Purushwadi

[Last updated: 25 May 2019] Picture this Somewhere in the interiors of Maharashtra, you’re walking on a lonely winding road – no street lights – pitch dark – dense forest – and millions of fireflies glowing like Christmas lights. I saw this magical sight in Purushwadi, a village merely four hours from Mumbai. Every year, Purushwadi is host to the Fireflies festival, around the month of June-July. Well, it’s actually Grassroutes – an eco tourism organisation…

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Celebrating the Bhandara festival at Khandoba Temple, Jejuri

bhandara festival jejuri - Khandoba Temple near Pune

I was randomly surfing the web one evening when I saw a picture of a temple in Jejuri covered in carpets of yellow. A quick search told me that the spectacle is called the “Bhandara Festival”. Bhandara is turmeric and the festival is related to a local God named Khandoba. Khandoba was a folk deity belonging to the 9th century. He was believed to possess qualities of Lord Shiva and his wives: Mhalsa and Banai – who…

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Exploring Street Food at Mohammad Ali Road During Ramadan

Mohammad Ali Road During Ramadan

[Last updated: 11 May 2019] Boliye madam, kya lao? Bheja Fry, Bheja Masala, Gurda Masala, Kheeri Kalegi? I found myself at what is called a non-vegetarian’s paradise, aka, Mohammad Ali Road during the holy month of Ramzan. I was here to explore the much talked about food scene. It was a given that I would visit this place someday, since I’m a hard core non-vegetarian. So one weekend while the rest of Mumbai was preparing to call…

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Goa San Joao festival – A Tradition to Jump into Wells and Lakes

Sao Joao festival Goa - Siolim

[Last updated: 1 July 2019] I visited Goa thrice last year. This year, I visited Goa twice in a month. I keep getting asked ‘Why do you always go to Goa?’ The simplest answer would be because I’m a Goan. But honestly there are many reasons. Goa’s laid-back lifestyle, delicious non-vegetarian food, friendly locals and vibrant festivals keep bringing me back. I love their festivals. Almost all of them have a carnival like feel. The…

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9 reasons why you must visit the Goa Carnival

Have you ever visited Goa during the Carnival? Trust me! There’s no other place you’d rather be. The annual 4 day Goa carnival is organized in the first quarter of the year and it is one of the most exciting times to be in Goa. Larger than life floats, colorful costumes, music, dance and sprightly performances are witnessed by millions of tourists that throng this place to be a part of this public celebration. And if…

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Marwari Tradition Of Lumba Rakhi for Women

I was back in office the next day after Raksha Bandhan. I noticed one of my female co-workers came in with multiple rakhis tied on her hand. Intrigued, I asked her why she had them on. The revealings were so interesting that I decided to write a post to let others unaware know of these unique festive traditions. Lumba Rakhi Tradition Lumba Rakhi is a traditional custom in the Marwari community, originally from Rajasthan. On the day of…

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