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Fairmont Jaipur – A Royal Indulgence

No two Fairmont Hotels are alike. This is the trademark of The Fairmont Group, the proud builders of 60 properties around the country that are the paradigm of beauty, grandeur and opulence. Local authenticity takes centre stage in the architectonics of the group. Bringing the culture and history of Rajasthan to life with the utmost authenticity, is the Fairmont Jaipur. One of the flagship hotels of the Fairmont group in India, this one at Jaipur encloses a whole another world within it.

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Situated rather incongruously on a closed alley, just off NH8 amidst abundant wilderness, this hotel stands as an epitome of imperiousness. I entered through an anachronously enormous wooden door that was looked down upon by a tower where trumpeters and gongs men stood, to announce the arrival of the guests in the most ostentatious manner with horn blows and drumbeats. I enter to find a dainty courtyard followed by the reception hall. As I entered, the resplendent hall left me awestruck with ceilings double as high as the regular ones, the edges of which were adorned by labyrinthine jaalis and majestic pargetry. Blending perfectly, the intricate architecture of the erstwhile Rajputana and Mughal framework, the Fairmont is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. As I walked through the hall, taking in its loveliness inch by inch, I wondered how the hotel would be every photographer’s utopia. Interrupted in my thoughts.

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Ingenious, yet beautiful, I wanted to capture each and every detail in my camera, but no lens could do justice to the craftsmanship and innovation that had been put in by the makers. Not only photography, but the place is a perfect wedding destination as well. Theme based destination weddings in this hotel would be larger than life. How I love the idea!

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Having travelled all the way to the place, hunger was taking its toll on me, so I headed for lunch. Serving luscious Rajasthani meals with the choicest desserts, the restaurants in Fairmont Jaipur has a lovely Mughal ambience. Again, a blend of Rajputana, Persian and Mughal legacy combined to perfection! I enjoyed the Laal Maas which was outstanding. The next day we were served lunch in a brass tiffin which is their speciality. Butter Chicken, Dal Makhni, Rice, Butter Naan, Aaloo Gobee were among the delicacies that they served, to list a few.A truly fulfilling meal it was! 

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With a full stomach and pleasant mood, I went on to explore the Fairmont Jaipur further. To my utter surprise, the Fairmont Jaipur is much more than a grand entrance, a majestic hall and luxurious rooms. A swimming pool, a gym with its sauna, steam room and whirlpool, a ballroom, seven meeting rooms and a cigar diwan- which is a smoking room and Aza- the stately library, which is very interesting. But overshadowing all is the Fairmont Gold Floor. A hallmark of the Fairmont group, the gold floor is a hub of extravagance, offering services like an exclusive lounge, butler service, private check in/out, cocktails, canapés and what not! It is sheer opulence spread across 9 yards. The opulence but is not limited to the Gold Floor, the hotel itself is opulence incarnate, and I relished every bit of it!

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Textiles India 2017

Spread over an area of 78,000 square meters and 13 exhibition halls, The Helipad Grounds Exhibition Centre of Gandhinagar, Gujarat is serving as the venue for the grandest event in the history of the Indian Textile Industry. The first of its kind, Textiles India is an exhibition of the textile sector of India, in which over 1500 national and international exhibitors are participating. The event is a collaborative effort of 24 export promotion councils under the ministry of Textiles and with Confederation of Indian Industry as the industry partner.

Prime minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugrated the exhibition with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Union Textiles Minister, Smt Smriti Irani and Textile Minister for the state, Shri Ajay Tamta being in attendance. Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh was also invited as a chief guest to grace the occasion. A three day affair, the exhibition will be open to the general public from 30 June 2017 to 2 July 2017, and 2500 buyers along with 15,000 domestic visitors are expected to attend the event, which is not merely an exhibition but includes a plethora of events, that are listed below-

  • Conferences
  • B2B-B2G-G2G meetings
  • Theme Pavilion
  • Fashion Show
  • Exhibition
  • Round Tables
  • State Sessions
  • Country Sessions
  • Investors Meet
  • ASEAN India Seminar
  • Signing of moUs

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With the first day of the event coming to a promising close, Shri Narendra Modi’s speech served as the icing on the cake. It was euphonic and inspiring as ever, in which he described the event as the best of all that he has attended so far and praised the initiative undertaken jointly by the Union and the state governments along with the textile industry to organise a “Mega International Event”. Appreciating the concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’ in our country, his heartfelt approbation for the exhibition was owing to the exquisite showcasing of the cultural diversity that exists in India, and how one could find fabrics and apparels from across the world at one place. Significance of the Textile Industry is something that Modiji couldn’t emphasise enough on. “The textile industry is like a bridge that connects the agricultural sector and the industry, since it is a part of both.”, said the Prime minister and further explained the way in which the textile industry serves as the base for international relations, and how fabrics are not merely threads but envoys of feelings and emotions that carry cultures across borders. Routes named after the fabric that was transported through them and certain areas of the country, whose names have become synonymous with the fabric that they are renowned for, were other examples that he quoted while chronically highlighting the pivotal role that textile sector plays in the Economy.

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The progress made by the country on the economic and social front was the discussion that followed, and made every Indian present in the audience, proud. The golden words that elaborated the development precisely were, “India has moved up 32 places in the last 2 years in the Global Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum, which is the highest for any country till now. Also, India has moved up 19 places in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2016 and 16 places on the Global Innovation Index of World Innovation Organization in 2016. Apart from this, we are the largest producers of cotton and Jute in the world and the second largest producers of manmade fabric and a Strong spinning, knitting, weaving and apparel manufacturing capital.”

Ending on a happy note, the speech and the first day of the exhibition received applause and approval of the visitors and exhibitors alike and turned out to be a harbinger of a promising, bright future for the Indian Textile Industry.

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Asian Paints – The Signature Look

Asian Paints, India’s pre eminent paint manufacturers and dealers launched a new theme on 30 June 2017. The Signature Look is the latest trend in home décor and its launch was themed as ‘The World Homeward’, which takes you on a rejuvenating and nostalgic experience down the memory lane of your life. It concentrates on personalised home décor ideas for the Indian consumers with a sense of adventure, wanderlust and the spirit of exploration – in partnership with Safomasi, The Yellow Door and Limon. Including and showcasing each and every detail that made you who you are, the latest launch by Asian Paints will change your experience of living. Bringing in adventure, wanderlust and exploration centric home décor plans and ideas, the launch was a grand success, attended by travel enthusiasts and versatile personalities like Nidhi Tiwari, Rukmini Vaish and Dhruv Viswanath who were in attendance as speakers. Addressing the audience on the occasion, Shruti Rajamohan, marketing executive-retailing, Asian Paints Ltd said, “Every home is the embodiment of the person or family that lives there. It is a place that we all want to be special, where every nook and corner must mean something. And so it is our endeavour to help our consumers do just that!”

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The Signature Décor Solutions has made it convenient for homemakers to get their memories immortalized on walls of their rooms. Adding co related accessories, furniture and additional intricacies to get the theme right and heighten its impact make for the perfect look. From travel experiences to bucket lists, one can get anything on the walls, get your own or choose from the pre-designed artworks on offer. Also, another way to find out the best look for your house is to consult the in-store experts and get to know about the plethora of possibilities for your home or simply walk in to an Asian Paints Store and browse through offers, firsthand.

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Each store is a hub of events, interactions, activities, décor themed and otherwise. Theme of the month ideas, DIY workshops, in store contests and competitions and consultation with the country’s best interior decorator are some other perks of paying a visit to one of their stores, at anytime of the year. The colour Stores take you to another world and give wings to your creativity, along with the opportunity to browse through a gamut of textures, view finishes for surfaces and pick your favourite design. So, bring out the itinerant in you and experiment with the latest Signature look, curated by Asian Paints’ décor experts

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Embroidered Denim Trend

Denims are forever. No matter with what you team them up, every colour and any style is compatible with denims. From simplistic and plain to faded, followed by crushed and ripped, this fine fabric has chronically been subjected to a wide gamut of variations.

And this time its embroidery! Embroided denim is becoming a rage with every passing day and are a pleasing sight, undoubtedly. Having a pair of these thus becomes imperative and the best part is that they’re available almost everywhere. You can spot them at the nearest flea market, your favourite online shopping website or a brand outlet. But, the real quandry lies in deciding which pattern to choose. From subtly embroided and little detail, to loud, vibrant and wholesome embroidery, you can find all types of embroided denims. 

I got these denims from Zara and teamed them up with a plain white tee from Parisian Boudouir. Here are some pictures, hope you like them.

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Shingora shawls & shawls – Textile India 2017

On the second day of  Textiles India 2017; the first of its kind mega international event held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 30 June 2017-2 July 2017; invited Shingora Textiles Limited to be a part of the exhibition.

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Shingora is a design house and the largest manufacturer and exporter of a variety of shawls, stoles, wraps, scarves and pocket squares for men, women and kids. Those at Shingora believe in blending tradition with modern technology and techniques by collaborating generations old techniques done on handlooms to new age shuttle looms with electronic jumbo jacquards; hand screen rinting to automatic printing and the finest machines in the industry. Undoubtedly, they added to the grace of the evening. Mrs. Mridula Jain, managing director of Shingora and chairperson of the Shawls Club of India proudly represented her enterprise and discussed at length the constraints and shortcomings faced by the Wool Industry in The Traders Round table session. She talked about how the production of wool in the country isn’t enough to meet apparel demands since a major portion of the produced fiber is of coarse quality and is hence put to use in other industries like carpet, leaving the wool industry’s demands unfulfilled and consequent dependence on import. The urgent need to get over this crisis by Research and Development and making consumers aware and educated were topics of discussion that followed.

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On getting an opportunity to be a part of such a grand event, she expressed her joy and said,” We are delighted to be a part of honorable Prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and Union Textiles Minister, Mrs. Smriti Irani’s vision of putting India on the global map of the textile sector. This event will open multiple avenues for the textile companies and traders and showcase the nations as sourcing and investing hub in the international market”.

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Old Delhi – Iftar Food Walk

With Eid being around the corner and the ongoing month of Ramzaan in the backdrop, Anubhav Sapra from Delhi Food Walks organised a perfectly timed Iftar Food Walk. A group of 15 foodies explored and relished Iftar delicacies in the heart of the capital, Old Delhi. The walk began at 6 PM, owing to the dichotomy of the holy month during which those observing a fast are permitted intake of food only before sunrise and after sunset. The former being designated as ‘Sehri’ and the latter, ‘Iftar’.

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The scrumptious food that we came across paid testimony to the never ending obsession of people around the country, with Old Delhi Cuisines. We tasted handmade coconut bread, which tasted nothing less than heavenly! Next, we had Biryani and Korma at Mota Pehlwaan. Built in a really small cubicle-like space, the shop caters to hundreds of customers every day. They only sell buff biryani, with chunks of appetizing meat. Another outlet that one can visit to relish the perfect Biryani, is Dil Pasand Biryani Point. The achaari flavors and the tender meat add up to render the perfect taste.

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The area is undoubtedly a ‘food paradise’ for the non vegetarians. Aslam Chicken Corner is situated amidst the hustle bustle of the Old Delhi area and don’t offer much variety except for fish and chicken, because that is what ‘Aslam knows best’. The butter chicken at Aslam’s is a delightful combination of butter chicken and tandoori chicken, with a lip smacking flavor. The kebabs at Qureshi’s are mouth watering and economic too. Though there is no seating, but the buff kebabs with raita and chutney are worth the wait and toil.

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Another culinary speciality of the food hub of the capital is sweets and baked items. It was at an ancient bakery, more than 7 decades old that we discovered a perfect treat for dessert enthusiasts and all those who have a sweet tooth. The Champa bread is as luscious as they make it, with fine quality ingredients. There were large stocks of packed bread that one could take home and enjoy. Sheermal was another delicacy that you cannot afford to miss. It is saffron flavored, traditional Islamic flat bread that is sweet in taste and the bakery served many varities of it. We had jam and butter sheermal and absolutely loved it! But the list doesn’t end here. Shahi Tukda, another sweet dish prepared by dipping fried bread in condensed milk with dry fruits and saffron, is savoury! An outlet called ‘Cool Point’ serves ambrosial Shahi Tukda that melts in the mouth.

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Not just food items, but Chandni Chowk is home to shops that serve unparalleled drinks. Gur ka Sharbet at Mohalla Pahadi was equally refreshing as it was tasteful, and provided great relief from the humid June summer. The Pyaar Mohabbat Sharbat is a red concoction to which chopped watermelon is added with milk, giving it a dainty, light pink color. In a nutshell, the walk was long and tiring, but it was worth all the exertion and effort!

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Pondicherry – Plan To Have No Plan

The world that we live in is slowly and steadily turning into a rat race competition. Busy schedules, fast lives, cut throat competition and over vaulting ambition among people has left little or no room for themselves. Though striving hard to survive in the present scenario is imperative, but pausing and relaxing once in a while is equally important. On my recent visit to Pondicherry, I realised how, in order to make our lives better, we end up neglecting or side-lining the most crucial aspects of it.

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More importantly, how financial and monetary aspects are becoming priorities and health, relationships and mental satisfaction have taken a back seat. The French Quarters and Auroville took me back in time and insignificant reminisces of the slow life that prevailed back then, made me appreciate its beauty and singularity. We became familiar with the town by walking through its very streets and lanes, forcing me to remember the last time when I stepped out of my house for a leisurely stroll in my neighbourhood. The Matrimandir, churches and beaches were envoys of tranquillity that emphasised on the importance of peace. Mental and emotional peace in an individual’s life is extremely important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yoga, meditation or pranayam should be made a part of one’s regime. These techniques allow an individual to make time for himself and introspect, leading to emotional stability and satisfaction.

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After having a great experience in Pondicherry, with so much to learn from, I plan to visit the place again to spend sometime with myself, and to stop and appreciate what I have achieved till now. In a world that is moving faster than ever, slowing down at times feels good and at times, having no plan is just what you need. Try it once a month and observe the change that it brings about in your life!

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Travel Safe With Religare

Religare Health Insurance,an award winning Health Insurance company that secured the title of ‘The Best Health Insurance Company 2015’, continues its legacy of excellence with its recent inclusion of Travel Insurance in its services. Religare Health Insurance is an arm of Religare Enterprises Limited. A special health insurer offering insurance services to employees, individual customers and for financial inclusion as well,their consistency in quality service provision is their trademark. These brilliant services serve as a fair justification of their philosophy based on  “customer centrality”and product innovation.

Launched in July 2012, the company offers health insurance to employers of corporates and individual customers.Religare Health Insurance has made significant progress in a short time.The company opened its doors to travel bloggers and recently conducted a discussion at Lodhi Garden, New Delhi that focussed on the existent and potential challenges that one might come across while travelling.The company came up with their plan, ‘Explore’, the salient features of which have been described below : 

  • Hospitalisation Expenses
  • Medical Evacuation
  • Dental Expenses
  • Coverage of pre existing diseases in case of life threatening situations
  • Loss of checked-in baggage and passport
  • Compensation for trip cancellation and interruption
  • Up-gradation to business class

The principal aim of this meeting was to have an informal, yet productive conversation with passionate travel bloggers of India and record their suggestions and opinions regarding their initiative. Having successfully hosted the meet, Rupinder Singh, the head of the Digital Sales Department said, “This is a perfect platform to present our product to the right influencer group, besides reaching out to the audience. We received a lot of queries and genuine feedback that will help us deal with the growing challenges of a traveller. With our commitment to superior products and experience to our costumers,we hope to continue to improvise in our area of expertise.” The event was thus, a great success and has paved way for an efficient execution of their new initiative.

 

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