A frightful experience

The first year of my degree in Shimla flew so speedily that I myself was wondering. The entire year was full of enjoyment and basking a whole new experience in Shimla. Though most of the times of mine went away in the campus, I still managed to bask my presence in Shimla. The road trips to the famous nearby attractions to my college that was located within the hearts of Shimla spared me enough time to make the best out of my evenings.

Though I always used to get back to Delhi during my holidays and vacations, this year I am really excited during the Diwali festival. And, all of my mates have decided to get back to their home towns as Diwali is a festival that cannot be celebrated without friends & family. And, the very good news came to us through a friend of ours who was a resident of Shimla itself that one of the resorts was celebrating Halloween in Shimla. The frightful cum happy news was really a great opportunity for all of our best mates to hang-out together before the Diwali celebrations and then head back to our native places.

So we planned to enjoy Halloween at Toshali Royal View Shimla. The friend of ours also informed us that there was going to be a Halloween theme and to add some scary note to it the hall was being decorated with dim lights, pumpkins and candles. From special buffet to discount for drink lovers and prizes, the resort had lined up numerous surprises for the visitors. And, when all this can be enjoyed in a mere 500 bucks, who won’t dare to grab this deal.

Konark Dance Festival

I visited the Konark Sun Temple during the month of December last year and the entire stay was something that I hadn’t experienced before in my life. The magnificent structure that was stands as an epitome of great architectural skills and planning with perfect blend of precision and craftsmanship is nothing less than a wonder. The temple that was built in honor of Lord Sun in the 13th century adds up to the heritage of Orissa that outshines others.

The entire visit to the Konark Sun Temple was one of the most memorable visits of my entire life that I will remember for rest times of my life. Moreover, being in Sun Temple at Konark, one of the best things that happened with me was the fact that the world famous Konark Dance festival was falling in between my visit. The festival that appeals different talented performers from the national and international boundaries was an ultimate craze among the youth.

Well! I heard that this year Konark dance festival from 1 December and being aware of its amazing performances and dances, I will surely make sure to visit it this time too. And, this time I won’t be me all the way alone, some of my friends are also dying to witness the ultimate fun that Konark has in store for its visitors. So if you too wish for a getaway, then head on to Konark and get a lifetime memory here. You can book any of the sun temple packages to start this lifetime journey.

Ratnagiri: A Buddhist Establishment

My trip to the spectacular Buddhist establishment of Ratnagiri was a lifetime experience. The three day visit to this region of the Odisha Buddhist circuit introduces me to the times when Buddhist was spreading in this part of the state. Referred as the “hill of jewel”, Ratnagiri is one of the most tranquil destinations located in the state of Odisha, also known as Ratnagiri Buddhist Circuit.

The very first sight that one comes across here of the tranquil environs and ruins from the ancient times really caught my attention. One of the another fact that I had been beguiled by this region was that fact that the excavations here had brought to limelight some of the spectacular establishments, Stupa at Ratnagiri and other findings dating back to centuries. Apart from being one of the famous archeological sites, this Ratnagiri jajpur – Buddhist Pilgrimage also attracts numerous Followers and learners of Buddhism. As I stepped out of my cab, the lovely aura of the region really spell bounded me. All that you can bask here is the ultimate tranquility that takes away all your blues.

The Ratnagiri Museum that houses some of the most precious findings unearthed from here such as Buddha’s images, stupas, votive stupas, terracotta seals & figures, Chhatras, finials, flowers etc. The museum comprises four galleries and each one house antiquities and architectural remains from the Ratnagiri excavation sites. So if you wish to catch a glimpse of the excavatory findings and the Ratnagiri Stupas, then this museum is the perfect place for you

Simlipal: the region that woos travelers

For wildlife enthusiasts, the region of Simlipal has a lot more than their expectations. The entire region is noted for its beauteous environs, rich wildlife and accommodation near the jungle. And, when it so beguiling then how can travelers let go off such a wonderful opportunity. So I packed up my essential from my hotel in Puri and started to head to Simlipal to enjoy a two day stay in & around Simlipal.

While heading towards the region, I was really excited to explore the wildlife hotspot that a prime center of attraction for many wildlife lovers and adventure seekers. While the range of flora and fauna species boast a vast bio-diversity. The beguiling environs consolidated the beauty of the entire region. The waterfalls namely Bahrepani and Joranda Falls were so astounding that you cannot resist their charm. One can also bask a picnic over here and enjoy their day out. The very best factor that I liked about Simlipal was that it was so easily accessible that when it comes to Getting around in Simlipal one never has to face any hassle. Toshali Jungle Lodge, the lodge that I stayed in for the entire two days stay in Simlipal offers finest accommodation to travelers who wish to bask their weekends in & around Simlipal.

Further, there were many notable nearby tourist places Simlipal all of which takes you away from the hustle and bustle of cities, to the most natural environs.

An encounter with the Goddess

As the Durga Puja festivities were over I was heading back to Delhi to get back to college. The entire festival was really a lifetime experience that I basked at Toshali Sands Resort. The resort that I booked for my stay in Puri celebrated the Durga Puja Festival with great enthusiasm. Moreover, the best thing of staying here was that one can also make it out to the other Durga Puja pandals and enjoy visiting the sites of Durga Puja in Puri.

Being one of the most famed festivals of Odisha, Durga Puja festival holds great importance among the locals who are all set in the mood to show their devotion to the goddess. The festival that marks the victory of Good over evil had painted the entire city of Puri the most bewitching hues. On my way to one of the pandals in the city, I came across numerous groups of young boys, girls and some families who were gearing up to make it up as soon as possible to the celebrations. Since one can find numerous pandals in Puri itself so you can head on you any of your choice or can even make it out to more than one pandals to enjoy Durga Puja in Orissa.

Each of the pandals in Puri are decorated so beautifully with the very amazing image of the Goddess that you will be left spell bounded. The enchants and prayers at these pandals were so hearty that the goddess is bound to bless her children.

Simlipal Tiger Reserve: Home to Rich Wildlife

The early morning rays and chirping of birds along with some fainted noises that were coming from the woods woke me up. As I looked outside, the sun was on its way to outshine everything on earth. The entire region of the Tiger Reserve in Simlipal is famous for its wilderness and tranquility was something that I was really basking out. The cottage that I had booked for the entire week long stay were built up so magnificently in the traditional way that one gets a feeling living in the original homes of Odisha.

The Simlipal Tiger Reserve was originally built in order to preserve the tigers and it today stands as one of the famous Tigers reserve in Orissa that has played a vital role in preserving the endangered cat. The entire region seems wrapped with a blanket of lush greenery. Nestled in the most amazing environs of Simlipal the entire lodge is nothing less than a heavenly accommodation experience to you. And, when you can explore the rich wildlife then no one can dare to miss such a beguiling opportunity.

During my visit to the reserve I witnessed lush green surroundings that were inhabited by numerous small reptiles and birds. The flock of birds flying in a circle over our head seemed as if they are welcoming us. Some of the other animals one can see around are leopards, elephants, sambhars, antelops, langurs, monkeys, gaur, sloth bears etc. Moreover, the birds namely gray hornbill, peafowl, India pied hornbill, crested serpent eagle, Indian trogon etc along with some of the reptiles were also commonly seen species here.

Treading through whistling woods…

It was a balmy morning of late January when winter was bidding adieu at the beaches of Odisha. When I opened the window of my third floor room I got enthralled with the scenic beauty of a lush green ambience wet with the pearls of morning dew. I was in a modern village of Toshali Sands Resort, the 30 year old ethnic beach resort at the Konark marine drive. Immediately I pumped in gallons of oxygen to flush out toxics from both of my lungs by sitting at the balcony chair and rejuvenated myself with the aroma of enticing nature. Actually, a soothing ayurvedic massage last evening at the resort spa has opened my skin pores to breathe in life again. I became more greedy, I wanted for more, lots of invigorating mystical experience on the lap of mother nature free from the cacophony of cities.

With the adrenaline urge to testify the capacity of my asthmatic lungs, I took up the challenge to walk a stretch of 2 kms to the pristine Balighai beach through the narrow road of Balukhanda Forest Reserve laden with cashew nut trees with a rare sight of the deer. At first, I thought, why not to walk around the jogging track covering the vast resort premise including several lawns, dedicated areas for luxurious villas & independent cottages , swimming pool, coconut groves and organic farm for cultivating vegetables & fruits for residing guests. To my surprise, I found myself following the swarm of marching ducks parading with proper discipline to the resort pond for their bath. I was appalled with the gracious greetings garnished with beaming smile of the gardeners & staffs in their morning shift. My expectations were mounting high to exploit the opportunity to its best as the coming days of hectic schedules was unnerving me. I want to be completely relaxed in the serenity of Toshali Sands.

After strolling around resort premise, I moved out to follow the long narrow strip through the woods of Balukhanda. I was told that this country path will lead me to the pristine Balighai beach, but for me it seems a never ending path with its twists & turns. Across both the side of the stretch lies a vast forest area with loads of cashew nut trees & bushes of unknown plants behind which a young deer was peeping at me. I was appalled by his innocent look. But he ran away after few seconds. The entire area was filled with a mystical symphony ‘an orchaestra of mother nature’ with its unique melody of the chirping of birds combined with the soothing noise of the wind adoring the leaves and the thunderous roar of the distant tides. I started filling my pockets with the cashew nuts scattered around. Suddenly, I noticed somebody is approaching me in that lonely tract. I found him a middle aged man in his late fifties but highly energetic and fit to walk double my speed. He was perfectly dressed with his branded jogging shoes, T-shirt & shorts for this morning walk to the beach. It seems he was chronic walker with an ardent desire to remain fit forever. I somehow felt pity about my health as with half of his age I hardly walk half a kilometre with ease. I thought it is wise to seek some health tips from this gentleman and started to follow him. With great difficulty, at last I match his walking though sometime I have to literally run to him. His name was Harihar and he said without a good health it is impossible to live a happy life. As per his view, we must take a break between our busy schedules and get disconnected from everybody to explore the Self in the lap of Mother Nature. Meanwhile I clicked some pictures of Mr. Harihar and told him this long stretch between Balukhand Forest reminds me the famous lines of Robert Frost “Woods are lovely dark & deep and I have promises to keep…”. Treading through this whistling wood was indeed an unforgettable moment in my life. At last we both reached the Balighai beach, so serene, so pristine. Morning rays of Sun has just kissed the golden sands. The mild breeze started touching my inner chords to calm the restlessness and anxiety. I stretched both of my hands, as much as I can, embracing the vastness in front of me and gazed upon the fine line, the eternal union of the sky & the sea at the horizon. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to experience the bliss of His (God) presence around me in every sand granules, in the rhythm of every tide and the whisper of the wind. Never experienced such an inner peace and happiness though I was alone there. A sense of gratitude poured within me and I thanked God for creating this beautiful planet to nourish & heal all of us. We all are the offspring of the Mother Nature, despite that we have been cruel with her and disturbing the delicate balance only to harm ourselves ultimately. We can find solutions to our entire problem at the beauty of Nature only, not in the rush & noise of the cities full with man-made hazards.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Harihar completed his jogging on the beach and told me he saw a dead Olive Redley turtle just a few meters away, perhaps injured last night by a fishing boat. It was disturbing for me as I was seeking & enjoying the beauty of life since morning. I ran immediately to see the giant creature whom I have till now seen only in pictures. I could not believe my eyes, so big can be a turtle. With her big eyes open she was lying down with an eternal silence. No sign of injury or trace of blood, as if the turtle was alive. Her ordeal across seven seas to lay eggs in the coast of Odisha to give birth to life has met a tragic end. Hope to live and create lives never end whatever may be the circumstances. I had a rendezvous with both life & death the same day. Thank you God for arranging a date with the ultimate truth. I am now motivated to live life BIG till I sign off.

While returning I developed a camaraderie with Mr. Harihar. We discussed a lot on wide range of issues with a special interest on how to develop the community through sustainable tourism and create an awareness on conserving our mother nature. Once we reached the resort gate, we both headed for Phulpatna Ethnic Restaurant. I was feeling very hungry. At the restaurant, I was fortunate to have juices & salad of freshly plucked fruits and vegetables from the home grown organic farm of the resort. The way the resort staff was dealing with the man who has been my jogging partner till then, I found that I spent my morning with Harihar Patra – the Director –Marketing of Toshali Sands Resort whose name is Harihar Patra . It was indeed a ‘good’ morning for me with a good company of learned person, a beautiful green resort, a whistling wood, a pristine beach but alas a tragic death of a beautiful creature named Olive Redley Turtle.

(An experience penned by Sameer Kumar Das, Delhi-based PR Consultant)

A fairtytale wedding at Toshali Royal View resort

Planning out a wedding is one of the most crucial things that must be done with great care and choosing out a fantastic location do plays a vital role in making it one of the best of all kind of things. So when it was about mu sisters wedding, I decided then it was going to be exactly whatever she liked from flowers, decoration to location and music a wished to make everything of her choice. Since it was all that she will remember for the rest times of her life, I wanted all this to be so perfect that she can bask it with each passing day when her married life starts.

So I planned my lovely sister’s wedding at Toshali Royal View Resort in Shimla. The resort that overlooks some of the most stunning Shimla environs was really one of the venues for a Wedding in Shimla. Moreover, the staff members were so friendly that they catered to each and every requirement of ours in the exact desired way. My entire family appreciated my efforts and the way I have been striving to make it one of the best weddings especially for my sister. The most gratifying part came when I went to the stage near my sister and she hugged me and said, “Thanks Bhaiyya!! You are the best in the entire world”, the smile that she had on her beautiful face really made my day.

Well! I knew that I’ll always miss my little sister, who was the apple of my eye each and every day. But all that I now wish is a blissful life to her ahead. So when it’s about finding the best Wedding Facilities in Shimla, you know where to check-out.

Goan Dishes That will Make You Go Awe

The state of Goa is one of the most vital tourist destination located in India. The entire state is nestled amidst the most breathtaking environs and vistas. Though the state offers a multitude of holidaying opportunities to travelers, the kind of hospitality, food one can relish here is a lifetime memory. Goan cuisines prepared in the old traditional method exude a fragrance that will tempt you to the very extent. On my recent visit to Goa, I too had such an experience at one of the Best Goa hotels.

Located in the most surreal environs of Goa, the Goan Village Resort is a prominent name in Goa that caters to all your accommodation needs. During my three stay in Goa, I experienced a whole new world at this Goan resort. Offering some of the best Goan food and drinks, the resort is a must check-out place that every food lover will love to sit down at. From soup & shorbas with heavenly fragrance, Indian curries, steaks, pastas, rive and biryanis to scrumptious desserts, the resort offers an array of delectable meals.

The best Goan cuisines that I enjoyed here were Calamari Butter garlic that was ring of squids tossed in butter, hot, garlic n pepper. Moreover, the Crab Masala and Pomfret Rechado were so toothsome that I couldn’t resist myself from having those each day of my stay at Goan Village resort. Si if you wish to enjoy a tempting spread of Goan Dishes, then Goan Village resort is the place for you.

Ratnagiri: a Buddhist Heritage site

My recent trip to Odisha was really a memorable one that I will surely relish throughout my life. The entire trip was something that really astonished me. The entire Ratnagiri Odisha – Buddhist Pilgrimage region that I explored throughout my stay was really one of the best heritages of Odisha that one most search-out. And, one of the best things here is that though the region embraces a deep ancient charm, one can find finest accommodation here at the Toshali Ratnagiri Resort that offers contemporary facilities to travelers in Ratnagiri region of Odisha.

The resort that I checked into was a well planned state of the art infrastructure that was run by some really friendly personnel, who find their ultimate pleasure in helping out their guests and catering to each of their needs. Located close to the Buddhist Monastery, the resort draws in numerous travelers from the national and international fronts. The monastery site that came into existence along with some stupa, shrines, votive stupas, an array of terracotta & stone sculptures and numerous Buddhist antiquities attracts travelers to visit the ratnagiri region and witness a thing like never before.

So being so close to this region, I never wished to miss-out any of the famous attractions here. And, one of the very best thing here is it provides you with numerous picture-perfect views that you can have with just a click. So if you wish to bask an experience like never before then fly down to Odisha and head on ratnagiri.