Yercaud – TGI Star Holiday Resort

This was our first holiday of 2019 and a much-needed break from the hectic city life. Yercaud is a small hill station situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.

We came to know about this place while searching online for a place not that far from Bangalore. Yercaud is around 225 Km from Bangalore. The roads are quite good throughout the journey.

NH 44

Rout we took was via Hosur – Krishnagri – Selum. We started at around 6.20 AM on Saturday. After reaching the silk board junction we came to know that it is very late if one must go on this rout on a weekend.

Highway towards Selum

There are tolls on this rout and total toll we paid was around Rs 600 in total i.e. for return journey. Plus Rs 90 on NICE Road, Bangalore from Electronic City to Clover Leaf.

Beautiful way after Selum

There was traffic on silk board & a long queue on the toll plaza just after the Electronic city flyover. It took us around 10 min to clear the toll. Then after the toll there was traffic on the highway as it was kind of long weekend, Monday leave gives 4 days as Tuesday was holiday on the occasion of Sankranti.

For b/f we stopped at Hotel Shri Krishna Inn, Shoolagiri. Food here is nice and priced reasonably. This was very crowded and that day and there was a waiting as well. There are 2 sitting option – inside and outside.

There’s a HP petrol pump, Mc Donald’s and Cafe Coffee day all located in the same complex.

After Selum the ghat section starts, Yercaud is around 30 Km from Selum. There are 20 Hairpin bends on this rout and the amazing thing is the roads are very well maintained and are quite broad.

This is how it looks

There are mirrors installed but only few are in working condition, rest are either damaged or stolen.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Entering the resort

This time we wanted to stay in a place where we can spend some quality & screen free time with family. So after googling for some time we came across TGI Star Holiday resort located just 1 Km before the main town or Yercaud.

Resort & list of what all things are there to do

Main reason for going with this property is its family friendliness. This is a 3-star property with some amazing features. There are 2 categories of rooms i.e. Deluxe/Superior cottage and Suit Cottage.

The main difference in both the rooms is space, in Suit there is a living room with a sofa and one sofa cum bed plus the bedroom is also quite specious. Other one is normal size room. Both the categories have a private sitting space/balcony outside the room.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Entrance to our cottage

We stayed in Suit cottage as we need some space for our daughter to run around when we relax in the room 😊. Other amenities include a welcome drink at reception, some snacks in the room, good quality toiletries in the bathroom.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Cottages one on ground floor one on first

In suit it was a king size bed and it was quite comfortable. Lenin and towels are also of good quality and soft to touch. This place is located on a hill slope so first to reach you must get down from the main road and after you enter you must climb up & both the time it’s a steep slope.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
US time

There is ample of parking, you can either park at the front of the resort or inside at the end. There are small gardens with different varieties of flowers/plats in front of each cottage, which makes the stay more pleasing.

If we talk about the facilities of the resort, then there are a lot of things one can do with family. There is a spa, a restaurant which serves good and tasty food. An indoor games room with games like carrom, chess & Table tennis. A badminton court, swings for adults and kids, separate play area for kids and swimming pool.

If you are a dare devil and like adventure sports, then there is facility for that too. Adventure activities are conducted inside the resort and the instructor is very good.

Adventure was really fun

Activities have different difficulty levels and finally there is a zip line. So, if you are planning to visit this place and want to do this then do carry sports shoes.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Inner Peace….

We took the spa after we were done with our first dose of adventure activities. Me and my husband both took the spa and we really felt good after it. All refreshed and recharged. The massage therapist for male and female are very good, and both were experienced.

TGI Star Holiday resort, yercaud
Morning view from our balcony

Price wise it’s very reasonable starting from Rs 1500 for Kerala massage to Rs 2500 for their signature package. They do have facial and other stuff also.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Movie screening in Open Air Theatre

One of the most interesting and unique thing that I like about this place is there open-air theatre. Yes, you read it correct, they show a movie once it is dark in the garden space b/w the games room and badminton court. That too with a Bonfire 😊

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Main road inside the resort

First day it was an English movie and second day it was Tamil movie with English sub 😊. There is light in the badminton court, so you can play even at night just make sure you don’t make too much of noise as there are rooms just adjacent to the court.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Swings for kids and adults and kids play area behind it

Food here was good, they have buffet for all 3 meals or if you want something else then you can order from the small AA-la-carte menu.

In buffet there are 3 veg dishes and 2 non veg dishes with 2 rice preparation and rasam. Chapatis are pre cooked and kept in hot case.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Evening chai with bhajjis

One more thing that I really like is in the evening/night time their housekeeping guys come to every room to refill the snacks, tea coffee and ask if you need any other thing. They also ask you to provide feedback about the room cleaning and their service which was something new to us.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Family time in the garden area outside the cottage

There is free Wi-Fi, but the speed is not good, there is no issue with mobile signals at least with Airtel.

Morning sun from the balcony

Whole staff of the resort is so courteous and friendly, we really like their hospitality.

TGI Star Holiday Resort, Yercaud
Morning sun, something different

We really like the time we have spent in this resort.

Small tour of the beautiful Property of TGI Hotels

There are quite a few things to see in Yercaud. Some of them are –

  1. Kiliyur falls
  2. Yercaud lake
  3. Ladies seat
  4. Gents seat
  5. Rose garden
  6. Few temples

We checked about the falls and came to know that there is no water in the falls so it’s not worth visiting it. Also, there are steep steps to reach to the falls, around 250 to 300. Going down is easy but climbing up is a tedious task. So if you are visiting in rains then only plan else you might regret.

Yercaud lake
Let me go @Yercaud Lake

Out of these we saw only few like rose garden, lake, ladies’ seat and while coming back from ladies’ seat I noticed a small aquarium just beside the lake.

Yercaud Lake
Beautiful Lake

Yercaud is a small town and the resort is located just 1 km from the lake. There is no proper or designated parking space at the lake, you have to park on the road side. Beware if you go on Sunday morning then there is a flea market on both the side of the road.

Yercaud Lake
Mommy & Baby in full swag

There is boating facility at the lake and one can choose from paddle boat, boat with oars or a motor boat. There are few good points to click pic with lake as background. Rose garden is 1.5 km around from lake.

The road is not in good shape and just before the main entry of the garden it is a single lane. So, if some vehicle is coming from other direction then one must go reverse. One can park vehicle inside the gate of rose garden or on the road side, parking is free.

Rose Garden, Yercaud
Inside Rose garden

Ticket to enter garden is of Rs 30 and for us it was not worth as there were only few plants were, we could see some roses. The garden was maintained well. From rose garden you can either walk to ladies’ seat it’s just 100 mtr. Or you take your car and park it there.

Beautiful valley view from Ladies Seat

Ladies seat is just a valley view point and nothing else. There is small shed from where you can see beautiful valley below. But what we feel is it will be worthier to visit in/after rains as the view will be clearer. This time it was all foggy/cloudy. But still it was beautiful.

A very important message

Gents seat is located again some 100 mtr from ladies’ seat and it’s a valley view point. So, we skipped it. While coming back from ladies’ seat google maps leads us to a road which was closed at the point where is meets the main road. So, we have to take a U turn.

On the same road there is a small aquarium which has 17 varieties of fishes including ‘Piranha’. The entry ticket to this place is only Rs 10 pp but parking outside is Rs 30. It’s a good experience for kids.

Over all we really enjoyed our 2 days of stay @TGI Star Holiday Resort and in Yercaud.

Note -
All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.

Europe Trip – Paris

Day 3

This is our day two in romantic city of Paris. If you have not read my previous blogs do read – my start of Europe trip here and our first day in Paris here.

We were tired on our first day as I have travelled first from India and then Amsterdam to Paris and finally not so good experience with Paris Metro. After our seine river cruise, we straight came to hotel had dinner and slept.


After a good night sleep, heavy b/f we head out to spend our day in the beautiful city. As mentioned in my previous blog we used bus for the rest of the days in Paris, well mostly. Bus stop was some ½ km from our hotel.

After you plan your day do check if stroller is allowed/feasible for those places else take baby carrier. There is no place to keep stroller if it is not allowed at an attraction. So, plan accordingly.

We started with Arc de Triomphe, took bus 22 from place near to hotel took around 35-40 min. It’s an iconic triumphal arch built to celebrate Napoleon’s victories, with an observation deck. It’s a 50 mtr high arch and the observation deck is on the roof.

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

There are 2 types of tickets for most of the attraction in Paris, one is normal where one must stand in line and wait for your turn. Second is skip the line where you can go directly to the front or say near to entry point.

Arc de Triomphe
Pose time 🙂

Normal ticket cost around € 10-12 and skip the line on viator will be € 14. We didn’t go on the roof didn’t find if worth as we have already booked summit ticket of Eiffel. But the view of ‘Champ Elysees’ can be enjoyed from the top.

Arc de Triomphe
Lucky me no cars b/w me and Arc

Arc is on the centre of a busy road, at this juncture 12 roads meets. You can get some beautiful pics here with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe. We clicked some pics and then headed towards our next Destination Notre dame.

You find all the useful information about Arc de Triomphe here.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame

Notre Dame has historic importance and it’s one of the finest examples of French gothic architecture. This cathedral witnesses the coronation as Emperor of Napoleon Bonaparte. It took quite long to finish the cathedral.

Notre Dame
Notre Dam towers

This is a beautiful cathedral from inside as well as outside. It’s active church and very beautiful. The entry to the church is free but there are tickets to enter the tower and treasury. Tower ticket costs € 10 and treasury € 8.

Notre Dame

One need to book the time slot on there app if you want to climb the tower and witness the view from there. There is no more waiting in line as there is an app ‘DuckTheLine’ where you need to book your slot in advance and be there on selected time.

Notre Dame
Inside Notre Dame

There is no price for the app or for the booking the slot, you just have to book the slot, purchase there € 10 ticket and be there on time.

Notre Dame
Colour full candles inside Notre Dame

This app even reminds you about your time. One thing that you need to make sure is be on time else they won’t allow you to enter as this happened with us, we have purchased the tickets and were late and they didn’t allow us.

Notre Dame

Illustration of the Last Judgement, central portal of west facade

Also make sure you book the slot as early as possible as the number of people per slot are limited and it is booked quite fast.

Notre Dame
Beautiful wooden replica of the cathedral

The line to enter the church was too big and it is usually big, we have waited for at least 1 hr to enter the church. There are benches where you can sit while waiting.

You can get all the information about the opening/closing days timing ticket pricing here.

Sainte chapelle
Inside Sainte – Chapelle

From here we went to ‘Sainte – Chapelle’. It’s a royal Chappelle. It is located with a palace where the king of France stayed till 14th century. It is also based on gothic style architecture.

Sainte chapelle
Beautiful Stained glass windows

The most famous thing about this place is it’s huge mid-13th century stained glass windows. This part is located on the first floor of the Chapelle. Even the ceiling of both the parts of the Chapelle are beautiful.

Sainte chapelle

The chapel’s rose window

The stained windows displayed different historical events and there are placards available in different languages which helps you understand what is displayed on which window.

Sainte chapelle

There is ticket to enter the Chapelle and they have an app through which you can zoom in the windows and know the meaning of the art on it.

Sainte chapelle
Beautiful Palace door where Sainte Chapelle is situated

Ticket cost is € 10 pp and it’s always better to book the tickets in advance to avoid the queue. When we went there the queue is not that big, but it was there. If you have tickets, then directly go the front show the tickets at the counter and enter.

You can get all the information about the opening/closing days timing ticket pricing here.

For tickets of Notre Dame and Sainte- Chapelle we have used official website of Paris convention and visitor’s bureau. Here the tickets are available in all sort of combinations unlike other websites where they sell guided tours only.

Guided tours are good for some but not always required.

Eiffel Tower
Iconic Eiffel Tower

After this it’s time to visit our last destination of the day and most awaited one – Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower from bottom

If you really want to enjoy this place and don’t want to wait in long queue, then you should spend additional money and book a priority entry ticket which might include small guide session on the second level.

Eiffel Tower
One of the leg of Eiffel Tower

We have booked out ticket from Musement. We paid € 72 for 2 and it include small guided tour on the second level and summit access. There office is in a lane near to Eiffel tower.

Eiffel Tower
Pose time on Second level

You can also buy the tickets from the official website of Eiffel tower and you have option of second floor ticket which will cost € 16 pp and summit ticket which is € 26 pp.

Summit ticket includes Second level access also. You need to select the date then available time slots will be shown.

Champ De Mars
View of Champ De Mars

Earlier you book better are the chances to get your preferred date and time.

Palais De Chaillot
View of Palais de Chaillot

One more benefit of booking from an agency is they will get you in, in a group so you don’t have to be in a line at the security check gate, then you don’t have to wait in a line at the lifts and you will get little history lesson by the guide at second level.

Paris City
Beautiful sunset view from the top

Eiffel is really an architectural beauty. Such a massive structure, standing for so many years. It’s huge. Lifts from the ground floor will take you to the second level and then if you have summit entry ticket they you can go. There is only 1 lift to go to summit.

Eiffel Tower
Going to summit with beautiful lift operator

It was our lucky day there was no queue to go to summit. We were alone with the lift operator lady. She also said you are lucky otherwise there are huge queue. There are stairs as well to climb up or come down.

Magnificent View

Once you reach second level the view of Paris is magnificent. We have booked our ticket for evening. Evening is perfect time as you can enjoy the view, sunset and then enjoy the Paris in artificial lighting.

Palais De Chaillot
Beauty of Palais de Chaillot at night from Level one

Believe me it was mesmerizing. When we there it was still cold and there is lot of wind, so if you are visiting in winter do carry good quality warm cloths else be prepared to shiver.

Champ De Mars
Champ De Mars at night

There is a restaurant at level 2 and on summit you can enjoy a glass of Champagne at an additional cost. There are restaurants on level 1 which has separate entry and you can not go to second level from there.

You can just visit restaurant, have food or enjoy a drink with a view and back on ground floor. There is one restaurant at second level as well.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower in Diamond Lights

After dark, diamond lights increases the beauty of Eiffel tower. These lights have that sparkling/glittering effect and it’s amazing to watch it.

We have waited 1 hour to see it as while coming down it happened, and it has an interval of 1 hours. It is there for 5 min or so.

Eiffel Tower when Diamond Lights are turned on

There are these road side vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, most of them live together. There are Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshi, African. Even African were speaking Hindi (few words 😊). We bought few things – wooden alphabet train, electronic toy dog which my daughter lost before it could see India ☹, few fridge magnets relatively cheap compared to a shop.

This ends our day on a beautiful note with lots of memories.

** Do select the tour operator very carefully, as when we went to collect our tickets for Eiffel tower there were people standing who has booked the tickets with different operator and their shop was closed and no one was answering their calls.

Stay tuned for more details about our coming days in Paris.

Note - All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.

Europe Trip – Hotel, Paris Metro/Bus ride & Seine River Cruise

This is our day 2 in Europe and Day 1 in beautiful city Paris.

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Day 2

After going through all the trouble at Paris Nord and Paris Metro station near to Pairs Nord we finally reached our hotel all thanks to Uber. (If you have not read my previous blog do read it here)

For our 3 night 4 days stay in Paris we have booked MERCURE PARIS BOULOGNE APARTHOTEL. It’s an apartment hotel where you get a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, ceramic hotplate, dishwasher. Safe, television, telephone, Wi-Fi. Bathroom with bathtub and hair dryer.


kitchenette with hotplate, sink, dishwasher & small fridge

We choose apartment hotel due to 2 reasons one and major one was our daughter, as she was only 1.6-year-old, so we need to make food for her second in a medium long trip of 10 days we don’t want to eat outside junk food both the time. Eventually save some money 😊

Small area with wardrobe and a small ottoman

We really didn’t cook full meals but cooking B/F as it was not included in the booking and dinner which was mostly a ready to eat Indian meal like pre-cooked rice, dal, pulao, chole etc.

Bathroom w/o bath tub

Mercure is a mid scale brand of hotels b/w 3 & 4-star properties run by its parent company AccorHotels, a French multinational corporation.

Our room for next 3 nights

Our’s was an around 32m sq. room with a double bed and 1 sofa bed. Bed was comfortable with lights on both the side of the bed, a small shelve on the full wall behind the bed to keep the things like phone, wallet etc.

Small Dinning table

There’s a small dinning table places beside the wall in the kitchenette, space after you enter the room where we can keep the stroller and other stuff, one wardrobe to store all the luggage and one small stool.

Sofa cum bed with storage and TV above it.

There is a storage cabinet above the sofa cum bed and beside it was a small TV. This storage was very useful during our stay as we kept all our raw/ready to eat food item there.

These was a big window on one of the walls, our room was a front room, so we could see the front road. This hotel is in the quitter residential area, sometimes it was nice to open the window and let the fresh air in.

So, after reaching and settling down, relaxing a bit after a tiring Metro run we went out as today evening we had our Seine river cruise.

Beautiful art on one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris – Pont Alexandre III

Deliberately we have opted for evening time as that time we can see the beautiful monuments in the day light and witness the beauty of Paris in the artificial lights.

To travel locally in Paris, you have metro & bus. Regular ticket cost 1.90 or say 2 Euro if you purchase per ride but there is a little cheaper option i.e. ‘Carnet’ which is a book of 10 tickets cost 16 Euro.

Seine River, Paris
Beautiful Seine

At Nord Station the machines through which we can buy Carnet was not accepting international credit card, but at other station it worked.

You can take help from local people there, they are helpful.

Green Metal Bridge, there is a metro line 6 above the roads

With the help of Google Maps, we found that we can take direct bus from a stop near to our hotel directly to the center where all the attractions are. So, there is no changing metro, no climbing stairs, we were very happy 😊😊

For the next 4 days we only used Bus, well most of the time say 95% as once you reach the centre then you must walk…walk…walk & walk… Saying it again stroller and baby carrier is a must if you have small kid(s).

Cour De Cassation, Paris

If one doesn’t want to walk then there is an option of Hop on Hop off bus, in these buses you can ride full day on a single ticket. You can Hop off at any attraction on their specific route visit the place and then Hop on again in the next bus to go to another attraction.

Seine River, Paris
Sunset time at Seine

We have done our booking from Vedettes du Pont Neuf after going through review of different service providers at different platforms. Normal ticket w/o any add on would cost maximum 14 Euros pp.

Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Washroom at the boarding point for the cruise, it was clean
Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Outside front sitting area on the boat

The boats are quite big and have 2 type of sitting options one is in open on the top and second is close below it.

Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Open sitting area on the roof
Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Entry for the roof

The tour is of 1 hour with live commentary informing about the monuments and places that are covered during the tour. If you choose the evening tour which might end up in late evening or night, then you can witness the beautiful monuments and bridges in night light.

Art on one of the bridges out of many bridges in Paris
Sailing on the Seine, Paris

It’s all Altogether a different experience in artificial lights. It’s amazing experience sailing in the Seine river.

This concludes our first day in Paris.

Stay tuned for more updates and details of the coming days in Pairs.

Note - All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.

Alphakids Preschool

After being a mom there is a new set of challenges with every phase of child growth and development. One such phase is selecting the best play school for your kid.

It takes the same time, efforts and energy that you spend in finding a new doctor during pregnancy or finding a new pediatrician for your baby.

You need to check all details online and offline with word of mouth recommendation and trying options for a week or more to find the best place where your baby is safe, learns and enjoys in a nurturing environment.

As my little girl is going to join her pre School soon, my research also started with online and offline search for the ideal preschool. While looking for the best play school, I came across Alphakids International preschool. They have an option of giving out franchisees to moms that are looking to open their very own preschool! I was really impressed with this idea as for mothers who are either housewives or want to be mompreneurs it can be a good idea to open a preschool of their own to ensure quality care for their little ones as well as for other children, and at the same time keep busy and monetize on the idle property that they may have. What a brilliant idea!

I would love to share some more details about taking an Alphakids Preschool franchise which I found during my search and some interaction with the school authorities.

Details about Alphakids preschool

Alphakids Learning Centre’s (ALC) Pvt Ltd is a pioneer in premium education in India, promoting preschools as well as K-12 education through its Alphakids International Preschool and Bellwether International School brands. Bellwether International school (K-12) provides a transition from Alphakids preschools. The first Bellwether School opened in Tanuku (near Vijayawada) in May 2018, with schools opening in Hyderabad, Chennai and Coimbatore in 2019.

The preschools and schools are guided by two reputed investors from well-established backgrounds- Mumbai- based Goenka group and Dandekar family, with one of them being a co-founder of a premium international school in India. The team includes professionals with over 30 years of experience in the field of education in India as well as overseas.

Alphakids International has been ranked as the no.2 preschool in Mumbai by Education World (2018-19) and was also awarded as the Emerging play school of the year (2017-18) by Franchise India.

Alphakids International has two centre’s in premium Mumbai locations – Lokhandwala and Juhu and has recently expanded to locations in Kolhapur, Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Hyderabad and Tanuku, with over 25 more preschools opening in May 2019.

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Why open an Alphakids preschool?

  1. Their proprietary pedagogy, ASTERIA (meaning “of the stars” in Latin), is based on global best practices and focuses on enriching the IQ (intellectual quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) and SQ (Spiritual Quotient) in every child. Their underlying philosophy is that every child is a star and must be given the opportunity to sparkle
  2. Only 40 admissions to operationally breakeven! They provide you with all the guidance and support to ensure that your property location, size and fee structure is apt for you to be the leader preschool in your location!
  3. 100% centralized support for set-up and onwards
  4. Highest quality of frequent teacher training and audit so that the teachers can seamlessly teach the curriculum
  5. Guidance from team of educators who have over 40 years of experience in this domain and have opened preschools and schools in India and overseas
  6. Extensive marketing support and guidance to ensure that your preschool is successful

Benefits of taking a preschool franchise

  1. It is easier to build on a known brand than starting from scratch. Parents will prefer to enroll their children in a known brand as quality and training is ensured by a third party (franchisor head office)
  2. Less risk as the operating standards and procedures are tried and tested and are based on global best practices. These procedures have been piloted in many preschool centers before being documented for the franchisees
  3. The franchisor will provide you with the curriculum and extremely detailed lesson plans for the teachers. They will also provide training for teachers, center heads as well as the business partners so that the centre runs as smoothly as possible. It makes it more convenient!
  4. The franchisor helps in documentation for obtaining the necessary permissions to start and operate the preschool.
  5. The franchisor assists in creating a full-fledged marketing plan and uses its influence and tie ups with newspapers to do central level marketing and provides detailed guidance to the franchisee for all the local level marketing. This ensures maximum enrollments when the franchise preschool opens!

Alphakids support

  1. International standard curriculum with detailed lesson plans for teachers
  2. Quality training and audit for teachers, center heads and business partners
  3. Full support and hand-holding with preschool set up
  4. Full-fledged guidance with location and property finalization, recruitment, and competitor analysis
  5. Extensive marketing support

Requirements to be an Alphakids franchisee:  

  1. Property size of 2500 sq ft built up area
  2. Investment capacity of 20-25 lakh
  3. Passion for children!

If you want to be a part of the Alphakids preschool network and open your very own preschool, please contact on +91 7738010779 or email on

Our Website-

Probiotics for healthy gut

Nowadays we hear a lot about probiotics for healthy gut. Staying healthy is most important in today’s lifestyle. What we eat really gives impact on your health. 

Dupont HOWARU meet
Bloggers meet

Last week I attend Bloggers meet by Dupont on HOWARU Premium probiotics. Where I came to know how probiotics is important for our health. Their main agenda was to educate and create awareness about the goodness and health benefits of HOWARU premium probiotics to the larger population .

After attending this informative session I came to know more about it and want to share the same with all.

What is probiotics?

Their are two types of bacteria and out body is full of bacteria both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that is good for your body mainly for your gut/ digestive system.

Probiotics are defined as live organisms that, when administrated in adequate amounts, confer to health benefits on the host.

Why you need probiotics ?

Due to unhealthy eating and lifestyle, at times your gut becomes unbalanced with unhealthy levels of certain bacteria. Probiotics can help in restoring the balance again. They have been shown to secrete protective substances, which may turn on the system and prevent pathogens from taking hold and creating major disease. 

Probiotics are commonly used to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms that are not due to acute illness, such as gas, bloating, and constipation.

The benefits of probiotics go beyond gut health. Ingesting clinically documented probiotic strain in your diet, ensures that bacteria thrive in your body and you continue to live healthy.

Some more benefits

  • Helps digestive system run smoothly
  • Keeps your immune system strong
  • Boost nutrient absorption.

Where can you find probiotics?

Dietary sources of probiotics were traditionally fresh dairy products and other fermented foods. Some are now available with healthier and tasty forms in market .

  • Yogurt, drinks and Kefir
  • Chocolate and ice cream 
  • Nutrition bars
  • Refrigerated juices
  • Dietary supplements

Additional traditional sources include lactic acid bacteria, which are microbes related to probiotics.

  • Buttermilk
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Miso soup
  • Souerkraut
  • Tempeh

The HOWARU advantage with DUPONT nutrition and health

HOWARU Products 

Dupont Danisco range of products popularly known as HOWARU are premium probiotics and are scientifically proven to help keep the digestive system running smoothly and support immune system.

DuPont’s probiotic dietary supplement support immune and digestive heath to meet consumer need across different age groups. These dietary supplement meet the highest quality standards with proper research.

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Include probiotics in your daily life and keep your gut happy!!

Europe Trip – Emirates, Schiphol Amsterdam & Thalys

Day -1 & 2

(This is going to be a series of Blogs of my 10 days Europe trip, please be patient as these blogs might be lengthy as I want to provide as much information to help someone in their trip 😊)

The whole trip was planned by us which includes lots n lots of research, on call discussing with each other where to go what to see, how to go etc. many hours spent burning our eyes in laptop screen.

After all the hard work we really enjoyed and created some amazing memories. There is this amazing site and app inspirock which will help you to plan your itinerary.

This will tell you each and everything like how far the place is from each other how to go how much time to spend, how much spare time you have etc. This was great help in planning our trip.

It was March end of 2018 when I landed in Amsterdam, Netherlands, travelled through Emirates airline. It’s a 1 stop flight with around 1.30 hours of layover in Dubai.

After landing in Dubai to go to your connecting flight’s departure gate you must go through security check. This could take time as many people will be coming to same place to go to their respective gates.

If time permits, then you can relax and enjoy some food and drinks in Marhaba Lounges in Dubai Airport with your Priority Pass membership. Priority Pass is a program which provided Lounge access to its members across the world.

There are some premium credit cards that too provide International lounge access like HDFC Bank Diners Club card.

This was my first solo flight with my daughter, who was around one and half year old. Few points I want to mention which will be helpful if you are traveling alone with baby.

 1) Always carry some healthy food for your baby as they don’t provide baby food below 2 years

 2) Baby carrier is must as you must check in stroller while boarding and will get back once you reached your destination. Check my post on baby carriers for more details.

 3) Limit your hand luggage as with baby it’s hard to manage with heavy luggage

 4) Flight staff was helpful. So, feel free to ask for any help needed

After landing in Amsterdam and clearing the immigration’s, me and my little daughter came out and looked for hotel shuttle service. Hotels near to Schiphol, Amsterdam provide shuttle service which is free of charge to pick and drop their guest.

The frequency of this service depends from hotel to hotel and what time of day but mostly it is in every 30 min.

I stayed in NH Hotel Schiphol, it’s nice big hotel with lot of facilities present in it. I just stayed there for a night so didn’t use any of the facilities like gym, indoor heated swimming pool etc.

The room was quite cozy and of good size, you can even request for a kid’s cot w/o any extra charge. Check in and check out was smooth as we have already paid the charges.

Earlier you book cheaper it is and if you go online payment with Zero refund option then it is cheaper than the full refund option. So, it’s better early you decide, might get good deal in full refund option.

We were little late in planning as we were planning with my brother & sister in law who were supposed to join us from London. Ours was 128 Euros + 7.30 Euros in city tax.

Where ever you go in Europe city tax is charged additionally and needs to be paid either at the time of check in or check out in cash or card.

Next day took train from Schiphol to Paris Nord. Our tickets were in Thalys First Class. Full train journey was covered in just 3 hours.

Train ticket prices also increased as the journey date comes closer. Our ticket price for 2 adults was 190 Euros. So, if you are planning a trip by your selves then finalize soon and book everything to save some money.

First class of Thalys is quite amazing and can be more amazing if you can get the single seats. So basically, in first class coach the seat layout is 2×1. Seats are comfier and broader and recline a little then the one in economy class.

Other benefits of first class are like – free faster WiFi with more data, paper & magazines, there lounge access, priority boarding etc.

There are attendant in each first-class coach, they will great you at the station and might help with luggage (depends on person to person). A  separate space to keep your luggage and it is there at the start of each coach.

In 3 hour of journey we were served 2 times, yes you read it right there is free food or say included in ticket price of first class. As ours was morning 9.34 AM train so we were served, B/F and small snack.

In B/F we got a multi grain bun, sugar coated puff,delicious cake, fruit, juice, yogurt. It was nice tasty and makes you full. 1hour before the scheduled time to reach Paris Nord, we were served some snack.

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It was delicious chocolate cake, with drink of your choice like, juice, tea, coffee or wine. The trains in this part of the world are very punctual. They come on time, depart on time, the highest speed that I saw on the display was more than 250Km/hr.

After this amazing journey we finally reached my dream destination – PARIS.

Reaching our hotel from Paris Nord was a big task and took us more than 1 hour to figure out how to reach there, which metro to take, which direction to go etc.

Believe me Paris metro stations are not at all stroller friendly. These stations are very old, and they have lots and lots of stairs. It was very difficult for us to climb up and down with stroller, heavy suitcase and bag with small kid.

So finally, after lot of struggle we finally book Uber 😊 and it was costly ☹. We paid 22.5 Euros and finally reached our hotel.

Stay tuned for more details in my second blog like hotel we stayed, places we visited with some amazing pics 😊

Note - All the pictures (except one) are from our trip taken by us.

MediaTek Technology Diaries – Technology Now & Future

 MediaTek Technology Diaries – Technology Now & Future

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Fortunate enough to attend the event organised by one of the leader in chip manufacturing – MediaTek.

After attending this event I came to know we have so many chips in our home and in daily use appliances like in TV, microwave, fridge, smart light etc.

MediaTek’s Technology Diaries Series leads discussions on Cutting-Edge Technologies Impacting our Everyday Lives.

Many of you might be familiar with MediaTek, they are Taiwanese Semiconductor company who manufacture chips for many devices. Devices like smartphone, tablets, navigation systems, multimedia products etc.

This was 3rd chapter of Technology Diaries series by MediaTek, through which they want to make technology clearer & easier to understand for general public. Also to understand how technology shapes our daily life and the role and importance it has.

Wall of Fame

Third chapter in the series was led by popular radio host RJ Sriram Sullia of Fever 104 FM, along with Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India and Anuj Sidharth, Sr. Manager, Marketing and Communications, MediaTek India and Rajiv Makhni technology journalist, managing editor at NDTV and host of a show Tech Makhni on Radio Mirchi.

Anuj Sidharth Anku Jain Rajiv Makhni Sriram Sullia

Few of the topics covered are

  1. AI Artificial Intelligence
  2. Self driving cars
  3. Wearable/Fitness bands
  4. Smart devices

AI Artificial Intelligence

At present AI is one of the most heard word on TV, Social media etc. Artificial Intelligence is a program that learns and become more smart as time passes.

AI detects the user behaviour or say how one uses a particular thing and suggests applications, top news headlines, products you ‘ll be interested in buying when you open those web pages or websites/apps.

AI is quite useful in daily life like some of the music apps will creates or suggest you a playlist as per your previous song selections. Amazon will show you products as per your browsing history.

Now a days we have apps that will learn the pattern from your shopping history and will created a shopping list accordingly.

One of the most heard place about AI now a days is mobile phone and photography. New mobiles are equipped with AI scene recognition that will change the setting and will give you near to perfect click.

It also keeps learning and add new things to it self to provide more user friendly experience. For example AI enabled phone now comes with Face Id or say face unlock. Over a period as you use face unlock system learns more about your face pattern and make it more accurate.

MediaTek has its own contribution in AI with NeuroPilot. This provides MediaTek’s products with high performance and power efficient for AI features and applications.

They have there state of the AI enabled processors which are used in different devices from smartphone, smart home to wearable and connected cars.


Self Driving Cars

Most of us have heard or read about this and how its a game changer. First thing that comes to our mind after hearing self driving car is Tesla.

Experiment on self driving cars goes way back to 1920’s, yes you read it right this was the period when it started.

There are 2 things in it i.e. self driving but there is a driver behind the wheel and driver less.

Driver less is still in development and many experiments are conducted by BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and other major auto manufacturer.

For making all this a success major credit goes to the evolution in technology. How a small chip can process so many things in fraction of second and respond as per the situation.

MediaTek is one of the company that provide solutions for such technology. Like there NB – IoT i.e Narrow Band Internet of Thing and through turnkey hardware and software solutions.

IoT i.e Internet of Things is a network of smart devices, vehicles, smart home basically for all the appliances which contain electronic, software and connectivity which enables them to share data and information.

MediaTek NB-IoT platform enables NB-IoT devices to be installed in locations that cannot be served by competing IoT connectivity standards, powering device installations in remote or difficult to access locations.

Autus, MediaTek’s suite of automotive and automated driving solutions, uses AI, mmWave, machine learning and advanced visual processing solutions and technologies to deliver the latest in navigation and infotainment innovation.

Wearable/Fitness tracker

In today’s world everyone is busy in there life which ultimately affect our health.

To help us in this sector now we have fitness trackers and wearable devices. These devices are equipped with a chip that is able to process the body moment and provide us the result about our health like heart rate, sleep pattern etc.

These Smart Wearable also learn over the time and provide suggestions like time to do some activity if it found you ideal for a given period of time.

Smart devices

There are many smart devices that we use daily and most important is our mobile.

MediaTek Helio P70 is the latest addition to the Helio series of powerful and power-efficient chips for the mid-market segment.

Nowadays chips are getting more powerful and power efficient and same goes with P70. It has capabilities of AI, smart photo album, Face ID and most important depth of field for that Portrait effect for all the selfie lovers.

Other smart devices that many of us uses are tablets, smart television, smart home security and media devices that can turn any television which has HDMI connector to a smart TV like Amazon Fire TV or Google Chrome Cast.

Amazon Eco Dot

MediaTek powers an array of Amazon consumer products, including the Amazon Fire TV, Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets. These are the latest in a series of Amazon devices powered by MediaTek that offer consumers rich multimedia experiences with minimal power consumption.

Sometime back I have seen a video where a Guy received his package even though there was no one at home.

When the delivery guy ring his bell on his smart home security which was connected to his smartphone. He communicated with the delivery guy through his smart home security and asked him to put the package in his parked Tesla beside the main gate.


He even open and closed the boot of his Tesla sitting  remotely and could see the delivery guy keeping the package in it.

Few more benefits of technology is Alexa and Google. With the help of smart devices like Amazon Echo and Google home mini now kids can solve there queries with so much ease.

They just have to say Hey Google or Alexa Which is the tallest statue in the world and they will know the answer – Statue of Unity which is 182 meters tall located in Indian state Gujarat.

One even control other smart devices of there home with these devices.

Technology has its drawbacks as well.

  • All your personal information can be hacked and made public, it’s not that easy but we have instances which proves it can be done.
  • Applications can track all your activities like what all you visit online etc.
  • Applications can track your location where have you been.
  • All the data is shared with other companies and they make money on it.
  • What you type that can also be tracked and stored.
  • I feel people are more connected but online through apps and not personally.

One of the major drawback of technology is with our kids. Now a days kids are so use to smartphone and tablets that they are not interested in other physical activities.

Now kids are only interested in playing online games and watching videos.

No matter how safe the self driving or driver less car can be accidents do happen with those cars and we can’t rely 100% on technology.

Really I have learned so much about the chips used and current and future technology trends through this event and help me clear many doubts about technology.

With RJ Sriram Sullia and Anku Jain Managing director Media Tek

Gandikota and Belum Caves

Gandikota is a hidden gem, also known as Grand Canyon of India. Gandikota is a small village on the banks of river Pennar in Andhra Pradesh.

Planned 1N/2D road trip from Bangalore to Gandikota and Belum caves. Gandikota is around 292 Km and it’s NH 44 i.e. highway to Hyderabad.

The roads are awesome, it’s a 4-lane highway and state highway after Kodur with quite less traffic.

NH 44
Somewhere on National Highway

Route took

Outer ring road from home till Hebbal Junction and merged into NH 44.

Bangalore – Kodur – Muddalakuntapalli – Sunnampalle – Mukkandlavarikothapalle – Kadiri – Kutagulla – Kanampalli – Venkatpuram – Rachumarripalle – Muddanur – Ananthagiri - Gandikota

Bangalore to Gandikota
Bangalore to Gandikota

There are toll on this road. The state highway is also in good condition with occasional bad patches.

Bangalore to Gandikota
Some ware on State Highway

If you love to drive fast, then you will fall in love with this highway (please don’t drive fast you will save few minutes but will be risking your and others life’s).

Bangalore to Belum
Beautiful view on NH 44

We started around 6.00 AM from our place, it took 1 hour to cross the airport toll from out place. There are good options for B/F few kilometers after the toll. We stopped at Indian Paratha Company.

Indian Paratha Company
Indian Paratha Company

Heard a lot about Indian Paratha Company from friends and were thinking to visit this place from long. Finally, we got a chance and made our first stop here.

Indian Paratha Company
Outside sitting @ Indian Paratha Company

It’s quite good option to have heavy B/F with large glass of tea. They have 2 sitting options few tables inside and then outside. It’s quite nice to sit outside in the morning as there is less traffic, less noise and pollution.

Indian Paratha Company
Yummy parathas @ Indian Paratha Company

Taste was good, they serve parathas with achar, curd & chutney. As it was early morning time, we had ginger tea which they served in a big glass. Tea was priced heavily around Rs 60, but taste was good. Toilets are not that clean and small toilets.

After having heavy B/F we stopped one more time as washroom break then directly to the hotel in Gandikota. We reached around 1 PM and after checking in directly came for lunch.

Bangalore to Gandikota
Beautiful way to Gandikota

There is only one place to stay in Gandikota and that is Haritha Hotel which is run by APTDC i.e. Andhra Pradesh Tourism. There are limited rooms available here and can only be booked through APTDC website.

Do carry print out of booking confirmation.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
View of rooms @ Haritha Gandikota

Rooms are air conditioned and cost very nominal i.e. Rs 1500/night on weekdays and Rs 2000/night on weekend. Nothing is included in the price but the food here is quite cheap.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Mommy baby posing on stairs to terrace

There is no other restaurant near by as this is located right next to Gandikota Fort, which is far from nearby towns.

One of the speciality of this hotel is you can drive your car right up to your room and park it there itself.

Volkswagen Polo
German beauty soaked in over night rain

Nearest towns are namely Tadipatri, Gooty and Guntakal. The road after the highway to the hotel is single lane road but in good shape. You might be able to see Tatireddy Narasimha Reddy Dam at a distance and Pennar river on the right.

Tatireddy Narasimha Reddy Dam
View of Pennar river

It’s a decent property with big room and small washroom. Room was nice decently cleaned and doesn’t smell foul. They do have TV and set top box. There is option to stay in tents, as this is a government property, they have lots of open space.

For full review of this property please check my TripAdvisor.

Food was OK here, mostly they have limited options. Taste was OK, and price was low we paid around Rs 770 for 4 meals and evening snack for 2 persons.

Bangalore Gandikota
Somewhere on the way to Gandikota

Best thing about this hotel is the view and is located right next to fort. They do have some outdoor activities at additional cost like kayaking which is organized by some other organization. For it you have to track down to Penna river which takes around 40 min.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Road to Haritha & Gandikota Fort

After lunch, went to relax for some time. After freshen up head out to visit the main attraction – Grand Canyon of India. It is called Grand Canyon because a spectacular gorge formed by river Pennar which goes through the Erramala hills.

Grand canyon Gandikota
Mesmerising view of gorge

You can take you car inside the fort and park it near the Mosque. From there walk/climb/jump/balance to reach the point where you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the gorge and river Pennar.

Gandikota Fort
Way to the gorge inside Gandikota fort

As it’s full of rocks so please do wear comfortable shoes and relaxed bottom wear.

Gandikota Fort
Mosque inside fort, this is the place where we park the cars/2 wheeler

Gandikota Fort
Erramala hill and Pennar river

Sunrise/Sunset view must be amazing here. We couldn’t witness the sunset as it was all cloudy that evening and we had rains in the night.

Gandikota Fort
Granary behind the Mosque

After enjoying the evening at the gorge came back had some snacks with a cup of tea and then went to room to relax.

Gandikota Fort
Beautiful landscape view from the top of temple wall

There is one positive point about this place is there is no or very limited cellular n/w, so you can totally enjoy the time with friends and family.

Gandikota Fort
Relaxing and enjoying the view

But has one drawback Google map won’t work so download the map of this region in advance.

Gandikota Fort
Mommy and baby soaking the natural beauty

After dinner we slept early, had a good night sleep and then woke up early. Went to the terrace of our room (one unique thing about this place is each room has its own terrace). The morning view was simply amazing. Click some pics and then went down to get ready to leave.

Haritha Hotel Gandikota
Morning view from room terrace

After B/F we checked out and head to Belum caves, it’s around 61 KM 1.30-hour drive. It’s a state highway and nice road with traffic as you have to cross towns.

Gandikota to Belum Caves
Gandikota to Belum

There is ample parking space and the entry ticket costs Rs 50 -60 for Adult and Rs 30 for child.

Belum Caves
Belum Caves Entrance

The caves are largest caves in India. We visited after the rainy season and major part of the caves was closed as it was filled with water and mud.

Belum Caves
Area to descend to main cave

There are lights and large fans installed to keep pumping fresh air so that one won’t feel suffocated. If full cave is operational then it is advisable to take a guide.

Belum Caves
Inside Belum Caves

Belum caves are natural caves formed by underground water. The entrance looks like we are going in a pit and only after entering that pit you will be amazed to see the hug and amazing caves.

Belum Caves
Marks left by water

Belum Caves
View of one of the pits from the inside

It will be humid and hot inside the caves; cloth selection should be accordingly. Walking path inside the cave is nicely laid so you can take stroller, but it will be bumpy. Our daughter was small, so we carried her in her carrier.

Belum Caves
Mommy busy exploring the cave while baby is relaxing in her carrier

We spent around 1 hour in the caves and came back, if it was fully open then one can spend around 2-3 hours exploring the caves.

Coming back to Bangalore from Belum it was different route

Belum – Bugga – Tadipatri – Anantapur – Rapthdu – Kodur – Bangalore

Belum caves to Bangalore
Belum to Bangalore

From Rapthdu you will merge on NH 44 till Bangalore. Kilometer wise it is few KM more around 10-15 KM. One can plan a trip the other way as well i.e.

Bangalore – Belum – Gandikota – Bangalore

On our way back, we took lunch at NH 7 Refuel which will come after Indian Paratha Company. You must take ‘U’ turn which is little ahead but not too far.

NH 7 Refuel
NH 7 Refuel

Food was Ok here it was based on Punjabi theme so major food item was non-veg and we are pure veg. so after digging in the menu we finally settled for Makki ki roti sarso ka sag and chole bhature.

NH 7 Refuel
Makki roti sarso ka saag

Makki ki roti and sag was good but they didn’t serve any gud (jaggery). Chole bhature taste wise were nice but bhatura was too oily. Service was kind of slow and less staff.

It is a huge place with 2 sitting option out of which one is inside in the main hall and other is upstairs in open with a view of highway and landscape.

Nh 7 Refuel
Sitting space

Over all it was amazing experience exploring the huge natural caves for the first time and the view of Gandikota and Panna river.

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Note - All the pictures are from our trip taken by us.


This was much needed break for both of us as we didn’t go anywhere outside Bangalore is last 6 months.

Came to know about Kalasa through one of my husband’s friend as he posted some amazing pics of this place. Kalasa is located near to Chikmagalur around 85 Km.

Distance from Bangalore – 315 KM

Route took

Outer Ring road till Yeswanthpur signal then turn left on Tumkur road took flyover - took left on Nelmangla road NH 75 till Hassan - then on SH 57 Belur Road - in Belur take left on NH 73 from Nehru circle – continue on NH 73 via Halekote – Banakal – Kottigehara, from here you have to turn left on SH 66 – after traveling around 6.5 km turn left on SH 106 till Kalasa.

Bangalore Kalasa
Route we took

Till Hassan the road is 4 lanes, not that much traffic if you leave early. After Hassan mostly, it’s 2 lanes but the condition of the road is quite good even the ghat section which is around 34 Km is also in good shape.

Hassan Highway
Highway looks like this

There are tolls on the Hassan highway. Total one side toll is Rs 165. Trip was completed under one full tank (diesel). ¼ fuel was left after parking our car back home.

We stopped 3 times and it took us 6.5 – 7 hours to reach our stay. First stop was at Kamat upachar, kunigal which is around 87 Km from our home which took 1-1.5 hour.

Kamat Upchar
Kamat Upchar

Kamat upachar has clean restrooms and good food which is what we require while traveling. There is big parking and kids play area beside parking.

Kamat Upchar
Kids play area

There are other options as well little ahead of this place like – Swathi Delicacy which is on the right side of the road and Halli Mana on the left. These two are in front of each other. Then there is Dhruvathare which is relatively new and modern wrt all these places.

Food is good at all these places as we have tried all in our other journey i.e. to Sharavanbelgola.

Our second stop was 5 min which was restroom stop. We stopped at a small restaurant named ‘Pushpagiri’ or something like that. Please don’t stop at this point as the toilets are very dirty, as we were not sure if we would find any good place ahead, so we managed somehow.

After going ahead, we could see much better places where one can stop, and one such place was Ibbani cafe. Again, it’s a small café which sells raw spices and other stuff with nice view. Clean toilet and good freshly prepared tea.

After all the stops we finally reached out homestay at around 1 PM. We stayed in Mudra Homestay, Kalasa. It’s a town homestay i.e. not like other places which are out of town inside some estate with narrow roads. This place is located on the main road left side easily visible once you enter Kalasa.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Mudra Homestay

It’s a commercial building on ground floor, residence of owner on first and homestay on second. Restaurant is on the roof. They do have lift which is quite slow but helpful with luggage.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Second floor which is Homestay

Mudra is not that old will complete 5 year in sometime, and it’s maintained very well by Vikram our host and his staff.

This place has around 6 – 7 rooms and each room are designed differently. There is a small theatre present on one side of second floor. Vikram is a kind of antique collector as he has decorated Mudra with old musical instruments, paintings, artifacts, car, bike, scooter parts etc.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Common sitting area

Over all it was looking nice and room amenities were good. We had a bigger room which was kind of 1 BHK flat as it has one big living space, big bedroom and huge bathroom a small dining area, kitchen with gas, induction, microwave and fridge and finally a wash area with automatic washing machine and drying hangers.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Bed room

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Living area

We were really surprised with this kind of setup. This room was joined with the adjacent room with a door for big families.

We have opted for food also, so we had all the 3 meals at this place and it was quite good. Every meal menu was different and was a mix of local dish + one north Indian dish.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
One of the our meal

Taste was superb. The staff was very friendly polite and well behaved, and they took care of our daughter so well that after a long time we have enjoyed our food w/o running after her or worrying about her activities.

Even though this homestay was in town but still the view was magnificent i.e. lush green mountains covered in clouds.

Mudra Homestay Kalasa
Morning view from roof

Price per night – Rs 2900 which include b/f. Lunch & dinner costs Rs 250 per meal, as mentioned above it’s a buffet.

Places we have covered in our trip are –

  • Kyatanamakki Hills
  • Shri Kalaseshwara temple
  • Vasistha Theertha
  • Amba Theertha
  • Samse Tea estate
  • Soormane falls