Throughout while reading this book, Inner Engineering—A yogi’s guide to joy by @sadhguru , I was in a different zone. I was floating in a world of endless possibilities.
Sadhguru I feel has a very practical and logical approach towards life. He refrains from extreme drama and unnecessary emphasis on being overtly docile. We are humans and must be guided accordingly. Instead of expecting us to be all-forgiving and kind all the time which most life coaches suggest, he focuses on self-acceptance over denial. Transformations should happen by accepting the vulnerabilities one possess.
Here are the 5 things I learnt from the book: ✨Find joy within – Which means when you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone around you. ✨Do not blame your destiny – It’s a way to deal with failure. Instead, mould situations the way you want them. ✨Take responsibility- Realise that you are responsible for all that you are and all that you are not, all that may happen or may not happen to you. ✨Love is all about you – It has nothing to do with someone else. It is a way of being which essentially means you have brought sweetness into your emotion. ✨Yoga is the answer to all your questions – It is the science of being in perfect harmony and in complete sync with existence. It is not about being superhuman but realising that being human is super.
There is much more to the book than this and everyone who’s into meditation, self-transformation and introspection journey must read the book. The book also is a guiding light for those who seek the answer to questions related to life. It focuses on attaining limitlessness and how once you have attained that your journey towards transformation begins.
Another good part about Sadhguru is he keeps the audience (readers in this case) glued by giving real-life incidents and short stories inspired by life. It is extremely intriguing and relatable.
I am going to read more of Sadhguru. Let me know in the comments if you have read this book or recommend any other book by him. Leaving the Amazon link in bio in case you wish to buy this read.
If you are planning to visit Dehradun and looking for a simple yet classy, comfortable and luxurious hotel for your stay, LP Residency should be the first choice. I stayed in this hotel while I was on a solo business trip to Dehradun in April. It was supposed to be a day’s work, however, I extended my stay by one day to avoid the rush and also have some relaxing time for myself as the previous few weeks were extremely hectic. Little did I know, this hotel would serve to be a complete package of rejuvenation, good food and a great time. My two days went by so fast in the blink of an eye, quite contrary to my initial thoughts, when it looked more like a business stay to me. I was so wrong! That’s when I decided to let you folks know about this beauteous property through my blog.
LP Residency is centrally situated in the heart of Dehradun. It is easily accessible from the airport, railway or bus station. Since this was my first professional visit to Dehradun, I had kept my hopes extremely grounded. Of course, I was repenting my decision to extend my stay due to the constant news of sudden upsurge in COVID cases as I had also dropped my plans to move around the city. I preferred to stay in the hotel rather, which is so unlike me. I was thrilled to be proven wrong and my stay at LP Residency turned out to be an exceptionally brilliant experience.
Lobby & Check-in Process
Cleanliness, hygiene and sanitization are the first things I am concerned about. I’m extremely careful when it comes to booking accommodation. For me, hygiene standards should be high and there should not be any compromise there. The moment I got off the taxi and walked a few steps towards the entrance door, I was made to sanitize my hands and luggage before being escorted to the reception for formalities and later to my room. The hotel and its interiors were so spick and span that the air of doubt had vanished like a bubble just right there. By now I was pretty much excited to see my room only to dump my luggage and hit onto the bed as I was super exhausted due to all the travelling.
Arriving at the hotel was already an amazing experience. The gorgeous hotel lobby with a class of sophistication and style. The courteous staff at the concierge desk and the smooth check-in process although I arrived 2 hours earlier than the expected check-in time.
They have two category of rooms—Club Room and Suite. I stayed in a Suite and it was worth every ounce of my exhaustion which demanded something as premium as this. I forgot all my tiredness and decided to do a room tour for my fellow readers because the room was highly spacious, well-lit with some great bright spaces, tastefully done interiors and a comfortable and nicely done king-sized bed. The best part all for myself!
One part of the room had this huge bed a study table with a beautiful lamp for reading purpose, an LED TV. The other part is more like a living room with couches, another LED TV, side cabinets, carpet and other furnishings. Both of these are carefully partitioned with a wooden frame aesthetically done and adds to the beauty of the suite.
The bathroom was well equipped with everything you could need: good toiletries, multiple towels and hot water as well.
One thing, however, I missed was the view from the window. But there’s enough to keep yourself busy within and outside the room that you are surely not going to miss it for long.
Service & Facilities
I was amazed to see the prompt service of the staff. Right from the room service to the restaurant, everything was as fast as a flash of lightning. Always being in profession demanding travel, I undoubtedly can say, the services and hospitality of this hotel can surpass the services of some of the 5-star hotels. The staff is prompt, proactive and highly professional other than being courteous. Every single staff member is well trained and hospitable. I was overwhelmed to meet such remarkably warm and welcoming people who were always on their toe and super delighted to serve their guests.
Well, now this is my favourite part. Not because I am a foodie, I’m not! Mostly because you can not forget the taste and presentation of the food they offer and it’s going to stay with you for long. I still relish the variety of food and beverages I tried during those two days of stay. There are two restaurants in the hotel with amazing and high-quality food menu. The menu is limited to offer the choicest items.
One restaurant is a popular Coco—Café & Osteria and the other is named Zaffran. Coco offers their speciality Blue Tokai Coffee and is what they call a hotspot in the Hotel. This place is super chic and classy. The décor and interiors are minimal but tasteful. The limited menu also features Neopolitan pizzas freshly baked in a wood-fired oven and I enjoyed watching the Pizza in the making right from the oven to plate. If you want to watch the making video please click on my Instagram IGTV link .
The menu also features a wide selection of gourmet food and delicious beverages. I tried Neopolitan pizza for dinner accompanied with their Hibiscus Ice Tea in their hugely romantic candlelight set up in the open air with good music. It was a perfect setup for a heartfelt dinner. The servings were sufficient for two and extremely delicious! I also tried their desserts and relished the taste rest of the night.
Another favourite part was the breakfast at Zaffran! I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisines and this is where Zaffran came into play. I was served a variety of South Indian delicacies right from the crispy Masala Dosa to Utappam to Idlis with their accompaniments along with fresh orange juice. A wholesome and delightful breakfast that made my day. Can you imagine a more perfect start to the day than this?
Later for dinner, I also tried a platter of kebabs. They were super yummy and delectable. Each kebab had a different aroma and taste. They melted the moment I took a bite and the flavour lasted long.
I was blown away by not just the presentation, service but also the great taste of the food. Each time it was a difficult decision to choose between the Italian or Indian restaurants because both the restaurants served unparalleled food, coupled with unmatched service. The ingredients they used were so fresh! That reminds me of the Chicken Salami and Lettuce Salad I chose to have for lunch. I can still imagine the crunchiness of lettuce with refreshing Salami slices.
I had a hard time choosing amongst all the amazing options. Trust me, this limited menu wasn’t limited at all because each time I tasted something I wanted to have it the second, the third time, so on and so forth.
You can choose to have meals in your room or the restaurant. I preferred the latter because I loved the setup of the restaurants.
My stay at LP Residency was enthralling. You couldn’t possibly ask for a better location as it is easily accessible from all the prime spots in Dehradun. I was totally in love with the red brick-like fascinating look they have given to the hotel on the outside and the lovely interiors of the hotel. The food was extraordinary and the staff was warm and courteous! If you want to see a video tour of my room and the breakfast selection head over to my Instagram highlights and check out the Hotel section!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Have you visited Dehradun or have any plans to visit post-pandemic? Let me know in the comments.
On the brink of the mountain, ahead of the famous Mall Road in Mussoorie, lie an exceptionally beauteous and magical small hill station, Landour
Landour by now might be known to many. It was my first visit and I was spellbound to see the beauty of this quaint town in the cantonment area adjacent to Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. In a short trip of four days to Mussoorie, I visited Landour twice. Rather trekked to Landour from the bright and colourful Doma’s Inn. What looked like a walkable distance of just 3 km left me panting for almost 15-20 minutes, when I reached the famous Char Dukan in Landour. Hold on, if you are not aware of these names. In this blog, I’ll take you one by one to all the significant places In Landour.
Mussoorie and Landour, the twin towns, are popular hill stations from the times of the British era. Collectively these two were called “Queen of Hills”, however, the former gained more popularity among tourists and later remained calm and quiet nestled silently among the hilltop. Landour is around 984 ft above Mussoorie, located in the Western Himalaya, in the Mussoorie Range and is partly Tibet-facing. Known for its colonial architecture and picturesque sights, Landour for me is a dreamy and magical destination having abundant peace and lush views. You can bucket list this place if you love mountains and enjoy offbeat places, far from the hustle and bustle of commercial and touristy destinations. You are sure to fall in love with this place. No wonder, it’s a home to many creative minds like the authors Ruskin Bond, Allan Sealy and film personalities Tom Alter, Vishal Bharadwaj to name a few.
This was my second visit to Mussoorie after a gap of almost a decade. My first visit to Mussoorie was 2 days and 1 night stay with colleagues over a weekend as an escape from the monotonous work. Ever since I never thought of visiting Mussoorie as I always felt it is overly crowded and commercialized. Of course, all beautiful tourist destinations deserve attention. I am however more of an offbeat traveller who loves untouched quaint places. So, this time, while I stayed in Mussoorie, I gave a piece of my heart to this beautiful town, Landour.
Of the four days I stayed in Mussoorie, my good two days were spent in Landour. And, next time onwards I am only going to stay in Landour. A word of caution: In this blog, I am going to share every bit of my experience to make you fall in love with this place.
Travelling from Delhi to Landour
Approximately 290 km from Delhi, Landour is well-connected by rails and roads and can be reached by train, bus or private car. If you are travelling by public transport, you will have to hire another taxi from Dehradun. A private taxi would cost you around INR 1500. Shared Taxis are also available. You also have an option of hiring a bike on rent in Mussoorie, which costs you anywhere between INR 800-1500 for nine hours depending on your preference of bike.
I travelled from Delhi to Mussoorie via Dehradun by bus. Booked my onward UPSRTC bus ticket through Red Bus App and return through UTC (Uttarakhand Transport Corporation). On each side, the ticket cost me approx. INR 700.
If you wish to travel by air, the nearest airport to Landour is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun.
Into the Calm in Landour
I become a happy kid when I find places that have got plenty of natural beauty, silence the heart desires and air as light as feather. Little did I know Landour is such a majestic escapade. Almost 5-6 km of steep hike or drive from the Mall Road in Mussoorie, Landour offers an exquisite charm. It’s almost an hour walk but a tough one. You can also hire a cab from Mall Road and they charge you INR 200-300.
Carpeted by all sorts of forests and plantation like the deodars, cedars, Himalayan oak, Pine, Firs, Maples and alike, Landour offers captivating views of the Garhwal Himalaya. This silent abode rests right in the lap of nature and gives an attractive view of Mussoorie and Doon valley. You can easily drive through the top of Landour and park your car at the parking lot in Chaar Dukan. Hardly at a distance of 900 meters you have the Lal Tibba and Landour Bakehouse. However, the real thrill of this place is in exploring by foot. I would only recommend this if you are a habitual walker and trekker. These views come at a steep hike and you must be fit enough to walk and explore around else you still have the option of driving through or hiring a taxi. I visited this place in April and wonder how exotic the place would be around winters, with those misty deodars and pearl-like dews resting on the needle-like leaves of the pine trees; must be a miracle to witness.
What to Explore in Landour?
Other than the scenic beauty which is plentiful, there are some well-known places, you can spot and would not be disappointed. Here’s a list of places from my two-day visit to Landour:
Ivy Cottage—Mr. Bond’s Favourite Spot: No, not James Bond, our very own and favourite author whom we all have grown-up reading and some of us like me still do, Ruskin Bond. He is an Indian author of British origin. He wrote many stories here and the place gives the perfect essence of the description in his books—the deodars, the window. A perfect place for an author to reside. He is one of the oldest residents of Landour. You can imagine how exceptionally peaceful this town must be back then. His choice to spend his life in a place like this is a perfect example of his love and passion for writing.
Chaar Dukan: You read this name before at the beginning of this blog. This place is considered to be the coolest hangout place in the whole of twin towns; Mussoorie and Landour. These are the four oldest shops adjacent to each other known for their Nutella Pancakes, Cinnamon Waffles and Banana Shakes. The shops here have books by Ruskin Bond, who’s a frequent visitor to this place. I had read so much about this place that I wanted to visit and have a picture here. Although the trekking up to this place was killing my excitement on few occasions it was worth all the effort. You would always find these shops full of tourists and locals who wish to hang out. There are now six shops, however, the first shop i.e., Anil’s Café is the oldest and most in-demand.
Sisters Bazaar: An area close to Chaar Dukan has some known shops and cafes like:
Landour Bakehouse—a bakery cum café that gives the essence of colonial times and carries old charm, blends with the conspicuous theme of the town. To maintain the 1980s appeal, they have kept away from Wi-Fi.
Anil Prakash Store—I am extremely fond of fresh fruit jams and syrups straight from the hills and never miss a chance to grab some whenever I visit mountains. This time I had to visit Prakash Store, known for its delicious jams and jellies, right next to Landour Bakehouse. This is again one of the oldest shops in and around Landour, established in 1928. Apart from jams and jellies, they have a variety of stuff like mint dips, peanut butter, etc. and they prepare it from fresh locally grown produce. Also, they let you taste the variety of stuff they have to make your selection mindful and easy.
Prakash Handicraft Shop—If you are fond of everything local then you must visit this shop for Garhwali handicrafts and other locally made artefacts.
St. Paul’s Church: Right next to Chaar Dukan, aesthetically sits this colonial-era church. It is believed to be one of the most historic churches in Mussoorie. It stands beautifully at the centre of a large area surrounded by Deodars. The church is beautifully painted in cream yellow and contrasts perfectly with the green surroundings. Its simple yet magnificent architecture draws the eyeballs of every single person who’s visiting for the first time.
Kellogg’s Church: This church displays Gothic architecture and is magnificently done. It has beautiful stained-glass windows which add to its beauty. Hardly half a kilometre away from Char Dukan, this church calls for a visit for its appealing beauty.
Landour Language School: Behind the Kellogg’s Church is the historic Language School from the time of Britishers. During their ruling period in India, Britishers used to learn Hindi in this school. The Landour Language School is still functional and teaches Indian languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Punjabi and Garhwali. Students from across the world come to learn here.
Rokeby Manor: An upbeat restaurant serving gourmet Indian and Continental food. This establishment was built in 1840. The Rokeby Manor also has a cluster of cottages beautifully done. With red brick walls and wooden flooring, the cottages give an earthy yet classy appeal. It stands to be the most expensive and exclusive stay in Landour.
Laal Tibba: Laal Tibba or the Red Hill as the name suggests is a reddish-brown hill mainly due to the soil. It is the highest point of Landour town giving the view of various Himalayan peaks. You will find a couple of spots with telescopes to give you a clear view of snow-clad peaks and far off villages for just INR 50 per person. You can also see all the Char Dhams from these spots and the view is best enjoyed during the sunrise or sunset.
Ruskin Bond’s House: Next to the vibrant BnB-Doma’s Inn at a steep descent from the Upper Chakkar is the house of Ruskin Bond. People who know he stays here, do not fail to enquire about his house with the hope, they might get a chance to see him or meet him.
Why is Landour Still an Offbeat Destination?
Landour being close to Mussoorie (approx. 7 km.) is still an offbeat destination. Landour falls under the cantonment area and as per the Cantonment Act of 1924 the plantation lies with the military. Thus, there cannot be any deforestation or new permanent construction. There has been no tree cutting for over a century and no permanent construction since 1924. Only the construction of temporary structures and repairs of the old structure is permitted due to which the town remains untouched from tourism or civilization.
Best Time to Visit Landour
April to June is considered to be the best months to visit Landour as the weather is pleasant and makes it easy to walk around and explore the place. If you are a traveller who prefers visiting places in the offseason then you can visit all the year round as rains add a different charm to any hill station but avoid travelling by car because the roads get slippery. Landour does not witness snow.
Fun Facts about Landour:
Landour was built by and for the British Indian Army
The first permanent building in all of Mussoorie-Landour was also built in Landour in 1825
Landour is named after a village called Llanddowror in south-west Wales
No matter how much we make her feel special on Mother’s Day, we know every single day is a celebration of the woman she is. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Mothers in the world!
Mother, one word that brings a deep sense of affection to us. This is one selfless and pure relationship on earth. She can neither be defined nor described in its entirety yet holds such a significant position in life. She’s the epitome of sacrifice and unconditional love. She’s also a perfect manager, financer and leader who can successfully execute any task and keep each family member involved. Mother’s today are also tech-savvy and digitally proficient. She’s more inquisitive and excited about technology and gadgets than we are. No matter how well and how often we express our gratitude towards our mother for all the pain and sufferings she has gone through only to make us a better person, nothing can replace the good she has done. However, some gestures can make her feel loved and wanted whether we are far or near.
This is the time of the year other than the birthdays and anniversaries when we get one more chance to express ourselves. For me, gifting has always been a huge task as I am the most confused one to look for gifts. I know so many people who know the right nerve when it comes to choosing a gift. It is a cakewalk for them. I, however, struggle in making a selection for others and I am sure many of you, just like me, face the same challenge. Thus, to make your life simpler I have carefully thought of and listed below the top 10 items I would like to gift my mother on this Mother’s Day; for you to borrow some inspiration from. These gifts are meticulously picked considering my Mother’s hobbies, passion, health and lifestyle. With each item, I have also specified reasons for choosing them to help you make the right choice without spending hours browsing the websites.
Here’s what I recommend:
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 1: Air Purifier For Breathing In Fresh Air, Free Of Impurities And Pollutants
In times like these when the entire world is fighting a pandemic, the first thing that comes to mind is to keep your loved ones safe and healthy. Nothing can cost more than health. COVID-19 has certainly taught us some major life lessons. I would not mind spending a fortune if I have to keep my loved ones safe. Although, big researchers have not been able to figure out a fool-proof safety method against the deadly virus, however, we can do whatever is in our hand to maintain good living standards and hygiene. Thus, the very first gift idea I would like to recommend for the well-being of mothers is an air purifier to keep the pollutants in the room at bay. Air purifiers are devised to sense the air quality and remove airborne pollutants. These can be as small as 0.003 microns. It can purify a standard room in just a few minutes and can also remove pollen and house dust mites, which is also beneficial in case they are allergic to these.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 2: Echo Dot For The Satisfaction Of Instructing Someone Throughout the Day 😉
The second item that instantly came to my mind was the Echo Dot. I wanted to gift a Bluetooth speaker to my mother and then I thought why not buy a smart speaker with Alexa. It would be fun to see moms giving instructions and Alexa performing all the tasks she demands. This would be a good way to keep her engaged and entertained especially when we are all mostly at home. Also, because my mother is a great learner and takes a keen interest in experimenting with new things, I thought this can be a new and easy way out for her to stay abreast of news, stories, music, information and simultaneously explore a new gadget. There are a lot of other voice control features as well that come along with it.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 3: Hair Dryer and Styler To Make Her Flaunt Her Beautiful Hair
My mother has beautiful straight silky hair. I used to ask her why don’t have hair like you. We spend so much of our time looking good while most of the time our moms invest in is looking after the family. Since this latest trending product had grabbed many eyeballs, I thought it could be a good gifting option for mothers. They need all the love and pamper they deserve. Give them this trendy and chic looking hairdryer and styler, which is easy-to-use for her. Style her hair your way whenever you are with her and make her fall in love with her hair all over again.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 4: Foot, Calf and Leg Massager For Relaxing Her
Why should mothers be deprived of anything that can comfort their wearied nerves? I added this foot, calf and leg massager to my kitty long back for this day. On days when you could not be close to her to give her a good foot massage, this machine would do the job and remind her of you.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 5: Kindle Book Reader For Urging Her To Read
Books are a great way to stay involved and pass time and what better way than to get used to reading on Kindle. I am addicted to it. It’s portable and saves me from making space from buying and maintaining hundreds of books. Once a book hoarder, I am now a bookaholic without accumulating books. More than that being a traveller, gives me good company on all my tours without taking much space. I gifted Kindle long back to her but would love to upgrade to this better version because she loves to read and I want her to keep the pace.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 6: Air Fryer For Her Love Of Food Which She Has Otherwise Given Up
There was a time when you could not think of giving up on fried food or the use of oil. With changing times people have become more health-conscious. To keep my parents away from ailments I have urged them and even they have consciously cut down on fried stuff. Gifting my mom an Air fryer will be a good option to firstly not deprive her of the foods which were earlier not possible without frying and secondly would not increase my blood pressure level to know she has again prepared something fried like my dad’s favourite Samosas.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 7: Instant Camera Gift Pack For Developing And Building Instant Memories
Mothers are generally fond of decorating homes with beautiful pictures of their children and loved ones. What better than gifting her the Instant Camera that can capture any memory– develop instantly. She can make endless memories herself and decorate one entire wall, make fridge magnets out of pictures or the complete house with beautiful pictures. While finding an instant camera I came across this useful kit with a camera, buntings for decoration, battery, camera strap, etc.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 8: New Apple iPhone For The Love Of iPhone
You don’t need a reason to buy an iPhone for yourself or for the person you adore. You can upgrade your mom to a new iPhone or buy her one if she doesn’t have one. iPhone is a perfect gift if you can afford one because it could never disappoint you. Its performance and experience is exceptionally good and once an iPhone user will always be an iPhone user. Try it out!
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 9: Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mopper Can Be The Biggest Help In Challenging Times Like These
I was happy to find something like the robotic vacuum cleaner and mopper that can not just wipe away the dust and floor but also your mother’s maid woes now and then. Especially during the lockdown and uncertain times, this can turn out to be a blessing for all mothers. Its remote, app and virtual control modes make it all the more convenient for her to sit from any corner, monitor and instruct this super gizmo. This blew my mind and sooner or later I am going to have one for myself too. Read about its versatile functionality by clicking on the link below and no doubt you would fall in love. This can make anyone self-reliant. Say goodbye to the maid’s woes.
Mother’s Day Gift Idea 10: FitBit Health and Fitness Tracker For Monitoring Daily Activities To Stay Hale And Hearty
Needless to say, this sleek band is the need of the hour with all the limited activities and sedentary lifestyle we have. Mothers are no less when it comes to making a move and staying active. More than that it’s like telling her your health is in your hands so keep moving and keep tracking your daily activities for the number of steps you take, calories you burn, hours you sleep and more. This is no less than a love band for your mom if you can convince her to wear it always and follow the daily activity reminders.
If you have not given a thought to what your mother loves to do, now is the time. I believe gifts should not always be weighed with their price tag. No gift is cheap or expensive considering it is of utility to the person you are gifting it to. Make it a point not to gift things you love but what the other person would love to have. More tips on it may be in some other blog.
Being a woman is certainly not in our hands. Of course, the chromosomes play a major role here. However, being a woman of the mettle is an option, so many of us strive hard to attain.
Being a gender-neutral person, I believe in celebrating humanity than a particular gender. Perhaps, also because I, fortunately, haven’t seen a world where women are seen to be dominated. Yet, I’m not unaware of the sacrifices, compromises, pain, physical differences and emotional sensitivity she undergoes in so many ways. This is what makes the journey of a woman remarkable. And, irrespective of what each of us does, we are all beautiful in our ways. Nothing can deprive us of being what we are. All it takes is putting that extra effort into the inherent strength that brings out the “woman of mettle’ we all are.
I have always believed in paving my path, and sooner or later convinced those who matter, to support me in my decision. Whatever you do and wherever you are, if you give your heart and soul to what you want to achieve you will outshine. If you haven’t been able to find that woman in you, the time is now. Because anyone can be a woman, it takes courage to be a woman of spirit, fortitude and substance. What would you prefer to be known as?