A Drive in “The Wild” – Kruger National Park, South Africa

After a long hiatus, I decided to pen down my travel experience in South Africa. Well, I did skip to blog about my Sikkim and Los Angeles trips over the past couple of years, thanks to my never-ending hustle between my job and freelance styling! Hopefully, I will try to pull in sometime to write about those as well!

I wouldn’t have probably taken my time out to write about this if my trip didn’t turn out to be that extraordinary! South Africa got me hooked with its magnificent panoramic views that I have not encountered so far in any of my trips to 12 countries, including USA and Europe!

Be it, the unimaginable range of adventures, the rich flora and fauna, or those mind-blowing sunsets, South Africa has it all. This country wouldn’t disappoint any age group, be it, the younger ones or the elderly people. It has two sides to it, one which is the beautiful one who makes you to just catch a flight and the other, which holds you back from booking a flight 😛

So, Let me drop the harsh truth of this trip. “Safety is a MAJOR concern” This doesn’t hold true when you are inside National Park though as it’s perfectly safe and you can drive after sunset too (Evidently, staying with the wildest of the wild animals is safer!)

For me, South Africa was worth the RISK!

If you are willing to take few precautions all through the trip (will be covering them in this blog), then you are GOOD to go 😀

Best Time to Visit : May to October (winters) – For viewing wildlife and Nov-Feb – For bird watching

We visited during the end of February and stayed there for 8 days. The temperature and weather was perfect as we prefer warmer climate.

Temperature : It usually varies between 25-30˚C during Feb/March.

Two major attractions in our trip – Kruger National Park and CapeTown. We landed in Johannesburg as international flights are cheaper to Johannesburg and that’s the only major city near Kruger.

Our 8 Day Travel Itinerary :
Day 1 – Land in Johannesburg and explore Mandela’s House, Nelson Mandela Square, and Sterkfontein Caves in Cradle of Humankind
Day 2 – Drive to Kruger (I would say, take a flight to Krugers to be safe) and reach Skukuza Camp; do a night safari
Day 3 – Go for an early morning safari and stay overnight stay in Skukuza
Day 4 – Head to Satara Camp via Lower Sabie and overnight stay in Satara
Day 5 – Go for an early morning safari and drive back to Johannesburg
Day 6 – Head to CapeTown and enjoy the evening at V&A Waterfront
Day 7 – Explore CapeTown major attractions on Hop-on Hop-off bus (Red/Blue Line)and end the day with sunset at Camps Bay beach
Day 8 -Explore Bo-Kaap in the morning and drive towards Muizenberg beach; and then head towards Boulder’s Bay and end the day by watching sunset at Chapman’s peak on your way back
Day 9 – Head to Groot Constantia vineyard for wine tasting and then, drive to Cape Point National Reserve for spectacular views, ostriches and drive back to Capetown with a quick stop at Witsand

I would be covering everything about first half of the trip in Johannesburg and Kruger in this blog and will publish another blog on Capetown soon.


One of the major cities in South Africa which has good connectivity with international flights. Had it not been in our plan to go to Kruger, this city wouldn’t have been on our travel itinerary.

Nelson Mandela House

How to Reach : For international passengers, there are frequent flights. We took one from Mumbai to Johannesburg with a layover at Doha. It was a 15hr flight in total. Do plan your travel in such a way that you don’t reach too early in the morning before 5 am or late after sunset as it’s not safe to drive or take an uber to your hotels. In case, you reach in the midnight, I would suggest to wait at the airport till the morning.

Accommodation : One can’t pick any random neighbourhood and stay as it’s not safe. You can stay in Sandton to be safe. Please be cautious if you are signing up for homestay or airbnb (I wouldn’t recommend it though).

Duration of stay : 1 night

Places To Visit :

  • Sterkfontein Caves – Cradle of Human Kind (UNESCO Heritage Site)

These limestone caves have been very popular among historians for discovering fossils which are 2.3 million years old. Definitely, an insightful and educative experience. It is a 40 min drive from the city and you need to book your tickets in advance as they don’t accept payment on site. The entire visit around the site takes around 2-3 hrs.

Nelson Mandela Square
  • Nelson Mandela Square

The bustling square is a good place to sit back and relax, with good options for food, drinks and shopping.

  • Nelson Mandela House

It’s again a place of historical importance where Mandela stayed and it’s been converted into a musuem explaining about his struggles, challenges and achievements during the Apartheid movement.

  • Apartheid Museum

It’s one of the major attractions within the city but unfortunately, we couldn’t visit it as it didn’t open after COVID. Do visit if you get a chance

  • Melrose Arch

It’s another bustling neighborhood within the city with a range of shopping and restaurant options.

Kruger National Park

An incredible experience would await you if you love watching animals in their natural habitat and a first-hand experience into a world where animals are not held captive. We spotted over 46 species over 3 days!! You would still be in awe even if you end up staying for a week or more.

Kruger is famous for Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, Rhinoceros and African Wild Buffalo. Most of the visitors try their best to spot them as they are rare.

There are around 18 rest camps in Kruger but we decided to stay at Skukuza and Satara. Skukuza is usually the most popular one among the first-timers as it is closer to the entrance and has more facilities with good internet coverage and restaurants.

How to Reach :
* Drive from Johannesburg to Skukuza rest camp in Kruger is around 7 hrs , or
* Take a flight to Skukuza from Johannesburg (I would prefer this over the other one as driving is not safe – risks mentioned in this blog)

Accommodation :
There are multiple options ranging from budget friendly rest camps to luxurious lodges. You can book the private lodges on Booking.com but the Govt. rest camps can be booked only on their official website (You might face payment issues at times, do email them with the requirement and they will help you book one with a separate link)

Rest camps are comfortable, easy on pocket and safe to stay. They have restaurants and fuel stations within the rest camp.

Duration of stay :
We stayed for 3 days and 2 nights with 1 night at Skukuza and 1 night at Satara rest camp.

Exploration Tips for National Park

  • It’s always better to rent a vehicle so that you can drive around and spot the animals along your way
  • Every rest camp has a sightings board showing the location where people spotted Big-5’s. Please do take a note of that so that you can drive accordingly
Sightings Board
  • Invest in good binoculars. They come really handy in watching the animals or birds in detail as you can’t go very close to them
  • Always remain inside the vehicle, and avoid getting down except inside the rest camps
  • You can purchase a Kruger guide book inside the convenience stores of the rest camp.It has a checklist with pictures of the animals and birds along with their names which makes it easy for the first-timers to identify the species
  • Do carry a flash light if you are going for a night safari, it helps you spot easily in the night
  • Download offline route maps when you have network as most of the rest camps other than Skukuza have poor network coverage
  • Restaurants close at different timings at different rest camps. Please do take a note of that
  • Maintain a distance of at-least 6 feet from the animals when you are using your own vehicle. They feel intimidated when you get close

Things To Do/Places to Visit :

  • Safari Drive

The rest camp management arranges for safari drives within their vehicles at different hours of the day – early morning, noon, sunset and night. I personally would recommend early morning drives which start at 4 am and go on up till 7:30-8 am. That’s the best time to spot animals as they would finish hunting and would be relaxing.

We even went for night drives. Night drives would be best to spot owls, civets, leopards, and elephants mostly.

Safari Drive

You can even drive around with your car and end up spotting enough animals. The Big 5 are difficult to spot for the first timers. For those, I would recommend signing up for the drives at rest camps which would cost you around INR 3000 per person.

  • Skukuza Rest Camp

This is the rest camp around which you could spot a huge range of mammals like lions, leopards, rhinos, and wild dogs. Impalas, Zebras and Giraffes are a common sight all along the roads.
We ended up spotting 4 among the Big 5 at Skukuza within a day.

  • Lower Sabie Rest Camp

The drive route from Skukuza to Lower Sabie is where you end up spotting humungous African elephants, crocodiles, apes and hippopotamus.

The lake near Lower Sabie rest camp would be the best place to spot huge crocodiles, and elephants could be spotted all along the Sabie river.

  • Satara Rest Camp

This rest camp is famous for lions, cheetahs and leopards. It’s also a good place to spot huge Kudus, wild beasts, and wild buffaloes.

  • Berg En Dal Rest Camp

This rest camp is popular for spotting rhinoceros. Rhino sightings are usually not reported as they are most vulnerable to poaching and it’s genuinely hard to spot them as they are shy and avoid humans around.

Travel and Safety Tips (Outside National Park)

  • Get your SIM card sorted at the airport itself. MTL and Vodafone are the best ones. However, only MTL has coverage in Kruger and they do offer traveller packages
  • Try to schedule rental pick-ups and drops at airport
  • Ensure you return back to your hotels before sunset
  • Always carry a pepper spray with you
  • If you happen to be out post sunset, please be extremely vigilant as there have been in-numerous incidents of car-jacking
  • Even if another car hits you from behind during the night, please ignore and try not to step out of your car. This is the way that they usually do car-jacking
  • Avoid halting your car at traffic signals in the night. There could be homeless people asking for help with placards (Another way to do car-jacking)
  • None of the car rentals offer insurance in Johannesburg as they are aware about this situation while they do offer in Cape Town which is relatively safer. We booked our rental car with Thrifty in Johannesburg and with Hertz in Cape Town
  • It’s a right hand drive but with traffic rules similar to USA. Please ensure you are aware about the rules before you signup for rentals
  • DISCLAIMER: Policemen in South Africa are always in look out for quick money especially, from noon till sunset even if you violate a single rule. We ended up paying huge sums initially as we were not aware and later figured our way around.
    Try to keep very less cash with you so that you can negotiate with them as per the cash you have even if they quote a higher official fine.They are looking for easy money so please deal accordingly.
    Even if you have cash, please keep it somewhere inside so that they don’t notice it.
  • Don’t dress extravagantly and avoid flashy gold jewellery
  • Avoid any neighborhoods other than the most safest ones

Cape Town travel tips will be up in the next blog.

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 

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Tips for Indian Wedding Shopping on Budget

” Where do I start from?! Where can I find a budget friendly lehenga? Who sells the best jewellery designs? Is there anyone out there who can help with outfit customisation at a lower price?…”

If you are one of those brides who is on hunt for affordable shopping options, then this post is hopefully going to help you ease and find a way out! 😄

Well, If I say that I probably came to know about some of these small vendors without spending hours researching them online and offline, then I would be lying!

It was for my wedding, of course!
All the hustle to find the best possible options to bring my looks as close to my mood boards as possible, was far from easy!!!

Having gone through the entire process myself, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips with those who are currently as perplexed as I was when I decided to start shopping for my wedding 🙂

Before you start shopping, there are a couple of things which I would recommend every bride to do!

* Firstly, think about the theme of your wedding. Do you want it to be traditional or contemporary?

* Secondly, what are the events that you have, for your wedding?

* Thirdly, Once you have answers for these two, head to pin interest or instagram to look out for some inspiration and ideas.
Try to think of a couple of color palettes for each event (Have a Rough idea – you could probably switch if you like some other color in the store).

In case you want more planning tips before moving to shopping tips, then head to this article of mine – 10 Wedding Planning Tips for Any Indian Bride

I wanted my wedding outfit to be a traditional South Indian saree with a tinge of green, and red. With this basic idea, I started searching for possible combinations around these colors which would probably suit me (on pin interest and instagram). Well, I really liked the combination of a subtle antique gold saree with a touch of red. So, this made my job easy when I went hunting for my wedding saree.
My Mind just said `Just search for options in gold sarees and chuck the others`

Wedding Saree


Are you equally frustrated like I was, when you looked up the prices of every damn designer lehenga??

I understood that I would end up with a huge hole in my pocket if I went ahead and purchased one of those expensive lehengas! I am not the one who is going to spend 3-4 lakhs on one lehenga!

There are several markets and stores that I explored in different cities to find the best possible and economical option!
(I am sure that COVID would make travelling to different cities difficult!)

Here are some of my top recommendations:

1. Kala Shree Regalia – Chandni Chowk (Mid-High Range) : One of the best options with unique designs and good quality. They have limited but great collection.
They usually don’t encourage bargaining like other stores in Chandni Chowk but you can trust them for their price as they don’t mark it up, like others do. The maximum that I could get was just a 5% discount.
You can apparently call them up and shop on video calls too! (Isn’t that a relief for the non-Delhi folks?!)
Lehengas Range : ~Rs 12,000 – ~Rs 1,00,000
Do mention your range and preference before you start shopping there!

Lehenga – Mehar International, Bangles – Beauti Art, Necklace and Studs – Suhana Art Jewellery

2. Mehar International – Chandni Chowk (Mid Range) : This is where I purchased both my sangeeth and reception lehengas. If you are looking for a good traditional lehenga with heavy work, then this is one place I would recommend you to visit. Do bargain to get the best price here (you can probably ask for ~30-40% lower price). Quality-wise, I would rate this as average.
I probably would prefer Kala Shree over Mehar with respect to the range of unique designs that Kalashree offers. However, Mehar has some good range of traditional color palette.

Lehengas Range : ~Rs 8,000 – ~Rs 70,000

Lehenga – Mehar International, Bangles – Beauti Art, Shoes – Steve Maden

3. Roop Couture – Chandni Chowk (Mid Range) : Many of you have been asking about my Mehendi Lehenga. This is where I got it from 🙂
They have really good options for haldi and mehendi color palettes (Pinks, Yellows and Green). Quality is good but the price is mostly non-negotiable (not more than 10% discount )

Lehengas Range : ~Rs 8,000 – ~Rs 50,000

4. Queens – Chadni Chowk (Luxury) : This is one of those expensive studios which has unique colors and designs but is slightly expensive. They offer a minimum discount depending on the price range of the lehengas you pick.

Lehengas Range : ~Rs 60,000 – ~Rs 2,00,000

Lehenga – Roop Couture, Accessories – Beauti Art

Most of the places in Chandni Chowk sell first copies of the designers. The difference lies in the quality, depending on the store. In few stores like Kala Shree, you can even get your lehengas custom made if you want any designer lehenga to be replicated.

There are a couple of designers who seemed to be in the medium range and had interesting designs – Label Prerna Mehra (Mumbai) and Padma Nandivada (Has a range of traditional south indian lehangas/sarees)

Jai Gopal Market in Mumbai is one of the wholesale markets which has good options for bridesmaids in terms of lehengas and anarkalis. The market is not open for retail on usual days. Saturdays are the only days open for retail but I can guarantee that you would get it at extremely low price compared to retail stores outside.

I explored several stores in Hyderabad too, but all of them are extremely over-priced. The same lehenga could be purchased in Delhi at almost 30% of the quoted price. Origins is one good non-designer store that I visited but I still found it extremely expensive.


A Kanchivaram Saree in South Indian Weddings is an age-old tradition just like a Banarasi Saree in traditional north-indian weddings.
Although we initially thought of going to Kanchi in TamilNadu, we couldn’t find time to do that. Since Delhi and Mumbai are not the best places to find kanchivaram sarees, Hyderabad was the best option.

Saree – Vara Mahalaxmi

Here are some of my favourite stores to shop:
I explored all possible kanchivaram stores in Hyderabad before finalising my wedding saree.

1. Varamahalaxmi Silks (Mid-High Range) : This is where I could find best designs and colors as per my idea of traditional wedding. My wedding saree as well as my pre-wedding (pellikuthuru) event saree is from this store. Do try the saree on yourself and check how it looks under the store lights and in normal day light, before you finalise the saree.

Range : ~Rs 12,000 – ~Rs 2,00,000

Saree – Vara Mahalaxmi

2. Sri Sai Kanchi (Mid-High Range) : Second best option that I could find in Hyderabad with reasonable prices and designs.

Apart from these stores, the rest of my sarees are from a weaver from Kanchivaram who has been selling sarees to us since almost 15 years now. He has no social media presence. In case you need contact details, DM me on my Instagram.

Saree – Local Vendor, Men Kurta Set – Portfolio, Necklace – Padmavathi Jewellers, Bangles – Chadni Chowk Lanes, Studs – Harini Fine Jewellery

Mandir Sarees, and Kanakatala are other good options.

Since I prefer mostly handloom sarees if not kanchivaram, I didn’t actually explore options for party saree collection. However, Kalashree store in chadni chowk had good options for party sarees.


I picked unique range of jewellery for my events- silver jewellery for my Haldi; kundans for Sangeeth and Reception; temple jewellery for my pre-wedding/pelli-kuthuru event; ruby and emerald polki set for my wedding.

With the soaring high prices of gold, it’s obvious that we are looking for the best possible artificial jewellery options which are also a best imitation of gold.

Artificial Gold JewelleryPlaces to Shop

Necklace and Studs – Suhana Art Jewellery

High Range
1. Tribe by Amrapali (Mumbai) – Best designs for both contemporary and traditional jewellery. Silver based pieces are worth the amount that you spend, considering the high quality, service and durability.

2. Suhani Pittie (Hyderabad) – This is my go-to place for fusion jewellery with a touch of traditional design. Mostly alloy based.

3. Sree Exotic Jewellers (Hyderabad/Chennai) – They manufacture any of the designs that you want to replicate and the base is purely silver with a gold coating. I prefer this store if I want to get something made from scratch rather than a readymade purchase. They usually sell traditional south indian jewellery.

4. Ms Pink Panther (Chennai) and Lotus Fine Jewellery (Hyderabad/Bangalore)- Other places where you can get custom made jewellery or buy traditional south indian artificial jewellery (pure silver based). The designs and craftsmanship is good but I found both of them much more expensive than Sree Exotic Jewellers.

Anklets – Suhana Art Jewellery, Bangles – Beauti Art, Ring – Kushal’s

Mid Range
1. Beauti Art Store Powai (Mumbai) – My go-to place for modern designs which has products catering to all kinds of budget

2. Suhana Art Jewellery (Delhi) – Another store which sells exquisite designs at reasonable prices. She is a very sweet person and can help you with customised designs as well, as per your choice. Got my mathapatti and anklets customised here, for my wedding along with my kundan set in reception.

Aanya Santacruz (Mumbai) and Kushal’s Jubliee Hills(Hyderabad) are few other good places.

Necklace & Waist Chain – Sri Fine Jewellery, Bangles and Earchains – Beauti Art, Maangtikka – Tarinika, Ring and Earrings – Kushal’s, Saree – Vara Mahalaxmi

Low Range
Sri Fine Jewellery (Hyderabad) – One of the stores with basic jewellery at extremely reasonable prices.
Tarinika (Online) – Few pieces from their collection are really impressive.

The wholesale stores in Dariba Kalan street in Chadni Chowk (one tiny wholesale shop at the very end of street on the right side while going towards Masjid has some good artificial jewellery – My bad! I don’t recall the name of the store) have some of the best pieces at steal prices. However, most of these pieces have glossy gold finish rather than antique finish.
Since, I prefer antique, I couldn’t shop a lot from these stores.

Necklace and Studs – Suhana Art Jewellery, Lehenga – Mehar International

Pure Gold Jewellery Places to Shop

Mangatrai Punjagutta (Hyderabad) , Harini Fine Jewellery (Hyderabad), Padmavathi Jewellers (Hyderabad), Gajendra Jewellers (Hyderabad) and Shri Paramani Jewellers (Delhi) are some of my top favourites. Most of my wedding jewellery is from Hyderabad.

Apparently, Jaipur has some amazing designs in gold jewellery! I didn’t get time to visit Jaipur, so if you guys want to explore it, do try Jaipur.

Choker and Studs – Harini Fine Jewellery, Maangtikka – Aanya, Long Chain – Padmavati Jewellers,Nose pin and earchains – Gajendra Jewellers, Mathapatti – Suhana Art Jewellery, Waist Belt- Sree Jewellers, Bangles – Chandni Chowk , Saree – Vara Mahalakshmi

Silver Jewellery Places to Shop

Is there any better place than Jaipur to get silver jewellery?! An outright NO (according to me)

I reused some of the afghani pieces that I purchased in Jaipur’s Bapu Bazar long back, during my Haldi.

If you are looking for good silver jewellery options, these are some of my favourites – Gujarati Lane in Janpath Market (Delhi), Manjha, Tamara Prade, Niyathi By Seema Sindhu, and HPJewelz.

Choker – Jaipur Bapu Bazar, Bangles – Colaba Causeway, Maangtikka – Mumbai Santacruz Store , Saree- Summy’s Saree Center(Hyd)

Apart from these, there is one tiny silver store in Santacruz West station road in Mumbai(there is only one in the entire lane – so it’s easy to locate), he has some of the most amazing silver pieces but you need to be creative enough to create your necklace or maangtikka or earrings by combining different pendants or chain options that he has. My haldi maangtikka is actually a pendant combined with a little chain 😄

There is another little silver store towards the end of Dariba Kalan street of Chadni Chowk which has fantastic pieces. Again, you need to keep your creative juices flowing to make a final piece out of the collection of small pendants he has. (There are only a couple of pure silver stores over there – so it’s easy to locate)

Floral Jewellery – Places to Shop

I am personally not a fan of floral jewellery and hence I didn’t use it during my wedding. I swapped it with silver afghani jewellery in my case 🙂
But in case, you are looking for some recommendations. Here you go :
Fooljadi (Mid-High Range) [ They have a different version of floral jewellery which is unique and impressive] , Floral Art by Srishti (Mid-High Range) and Pelli Poola Jada (all ranges)

Bangles and Latkans – Places to Shop

Apart from the gold or artificial bangles, I wanted to have thread bangles to match colors with my outfit instead of regular glass bangles.

Thread Bangles – BegumBazar, Anklets – Suhana Art Jewellery

Best and cheap places to find thread bangles – BegumBazar (Hyderabad), and Chadni Chowk by-lanes (Delhi)
Before you go for bangle shopping, either carry the sample cloth of your outfits with you for colors or keep a note of them. Also, ask the vendor to set the bangles for you as they have good knowledge of how to mix and match.

Even for latkans, stores near the parata wala galli near Chadni chowk (Delhi) have an extensive range of latkans (hangings for your blouses/lehangas) at extremely cheap prices.
In Hyderabad, BegumBazar is the best option.


Juttis are my usual go-to option for ethnic wear. Here are some of my recommendations for affordable juttis:
Low/Mid Range
1. Coloba Causeway (Mumbai) – If some of you are not aware, Colaba causeway is a thrift shopping street in Mumbai. There are many small stores along the lane to shop juttis but my favourite is a shop named ‘Pioneer Footwear’ (It’s a very small shop in the same lane, opposite to Delhi Durbar). They sell some of the good quality and colorful juttis
Range : Rs 500- Rs 1,500

2. Linking Road33rd Street (Mumbai) – Right opposite KFC on Linking road, there is a road where you notice a couple of stores which sell leather juttis. They even change the color of jutti polish based on your request.
Range : Rs 400- Rs 1,000

Wedges – Aprajita Toor, Anklets – Suhana Art Jewellery

High Range
I wanted to customise my footwear for my wedding as I wanted the most comfortable shoes so that I can stand for 3-4 hours during the event. After all the hunt, I found Aprajita Toor as the best option.

She is very accommodative and will get it customised as per your requirement – be it, the heel size, color, or the exact shape of the sole. I visited her warehouse to try it out and communicate my requirements. I picked antique silver as the color of my footwear so that I can reuse it for any other ethnic outfit later as well.
Range : Rs 3,000 – Rs 12,000

Also, for Sangeeth, I just picked good comfortable sneakers as I don’t prefer dancing on high heels!!

Shoes – Steve Maden, Lehenga – Mehar International

Kurtas (Men)

We didn’t have more than a couple of days to close my partner’s outfits and we couldn’t travel to any other city. So, most of the shopping is in Hyderabad.

Frankly, I would say that the options are way too limited.
Here are few of my recommendations:
1. Kora (Mid-High Range) : This is one of the most reasonable store, both in terms of quality and price!
Even though they have a very limited collection, it seemed to be hand-picked!

Sangeeth Outfit – Kora

2. Portfolio (Mid – High Range) : They had good collection for Haldi and Mehendi with a subtle pop of color.

3. Origins (High Range) : Their designs are interesting and unique. However, I found them little too over-priced.

Juttis and other jewellery is sourced from Charminar.

Wedding Kurta – Kora

I hope you find it useful 🙂

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more details

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Previous post :  10 Wedding Planning Tips for Any Indian Bride

10 Wedding Planning Tips For Any Indian Bride

Hands down, my wedding was one of my toughest and longest styling projects!
Well, it’s not just styling clothes, it’s research, decor, photography, catering, makeup, invitations, sourcing (I mean shopping) and what not!

I remember shuffling my suitcases between Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad every weekend for almost 3 months trying to source my jewellery and outfits. It was hell of a task where I even went to an extent of maintaining an excel to track the status of my wish list for shopping.
Do I say #problemsofashopaholic or #planningOCD?!

Let me call it an OCD because I went to an extent of planning the color contrast for our garlands too 😂

Meanwhile, in all that helter skelter of sourcing, I used to spend at-least 2 hours everyday after my work trying to create my outfits’ mood-board for each of my events! And there come the weekends when I just pack my bags, with that research in head to find the right outfit or accessories, in whichever city possible!

It was hell of a task and I just want to make it easy for any bride and save them from undergoing all of this again!

Just as the wedding gets fixed, the first question that pops up in anyone’s mind is ‘Where the hell do I start from?’

In our lovely home, for Pellikuthuru ceremony (A South-indian traditional event)

I am here to make that job easy 😄
It’s going to be a lengthy blog and it is in chronological order according to what is the best way to kick off the preparations!

First Things First – Book Your Photographer

All your shopping can wait for some time but first, get that photographer booked.
If ‘Why?’ is the question in your head right now, it’s because wedding dates are usually on specific dates based on auspiciousness and there are a lot of people who fix their marriages during that time.

Most of the good photographers are booked 6 months prior the wedding.
So, in case you have any specific photographer in mind, start reaching out to them early.

Things you need to note:

  • Try to keep one photographer for both groom and bride events. This would save you from burning your pocket
  • Decide the events that you are going to have along with tentative dates
  • Share all details with photographer and request for quotations
  • Try to get it as a package for all set of events
  • Do a research of their work- photos and videos! Quality and uniqueness of Wedding trailers was our deciding factor
  • Ensure that you check the quotation for deliverables – videos, albums, candid photography, photoshoot or whatever. Adding those later, at the time of wedding, will bump your expenses
  • Try negotiating the package if possible
  • Discuss your ideas of photoshoot with the photographer and block a date with them, much before the wedding to avoid any chaos. I don’t personally like cinematic photoshoot and hence, we had the idea of a simple lifestyle story at the comfort of our home.
    Some other unique ideas could be trekking (if the couple is into it), tennis/badminton court/gym (if the couple is into it), or probably baker’s paradise. These are just few off-beat ideas that we had
While I get ready for my wedding!!

There are some last minute checks that you must do, for photography which you can check once you scroll to the bottom of this blog 🙂

Here are some of our favourites – Ashwin Kireet, Isaac Abraham, Rimisen, Memory Lanes By Suman Chakri, OneFineDayPictures, The Con Artists, Goldenshutter, Abhinavsagar, Wearepixelarmy, Shutterink, Epicsbyavinash, Tales of Knots – Cahaya, Tales By Zoticus, Photriya, and Vijay Eesam

The above list has mostly some of the best Hyderabad photographers, there are many others out there with extraordinary work. Please look out for those as well (Do keep in mind the budget for photographers in case they have to travel from other states)

We went ahead with Wearepixelarmy based on the budget, available dates and their previous work. It was a great experience working with a friendly and patient team 🙂

Hunt for That Perfect Makeup Artist and Block Their Dates

This is another thing which needs to be done before you even start your shopping. Again, good makeup artists are too much in demand and it is difficult to find their dates if you delay it.

Things you need to note:

  • Check their work and reviews on their social media platforms
  • Don’t go for the ones who make someone look too dramatic (Unless that’s your preference). Prefer natural makeup!
  • Start approaching them with dates and event details and book it as a package for both groom and bride, if available. Else, book one for all your events
  • If you are doubtful before fixing someone, request for a trial where they do charge around ~3-4k but you can interact and tell your preferences and see how you feel
  • Pay some advance and block their dates. Get the quotations and final receipt, atleast in a proper message or email
  • Do enquire about any extra charges for additional saree/outfit change or any waiting time

A simple tip to pick a good makeup artist which I abided by, is that under-eye bags should not pop out in their work (check their work!)

There are some last minute checks that you must do, for makeup which you can check once you scroll to the bottom of this blog 🙂

Here are some of my favourites : Maneesh Katam, Afsha Rangila, Manasa Makeup, Siro Makeup Studio, Blush Fine Makeup Art, and Ira Makeup Studios

Getting ready for my reception!

I went ahead with Maneesh Katam. He was the most cooperative person to work with and is extremely good at what he does!
(I am definitely going to refer him to anyone looking out for a good makeup artist)

Start Shopping for Clothes!!

The first thing to start shopping is clothes. All your accessories could come next once you buy your outfits.

Things you need to note:

  • Explore pinterest and get a basic idea about the kind of look that are you planning to have for different events
  • If you are planning to get your lehangas stitched, have some reference pics or sketch and start hunting for fabric
  • If you are going for readymade outfits, ensure that the fit is perfect and comfortable at the same time
  • For sarees, try them on, and see how the saree would look in day-light and in store lights depending on the timing of your wedding
One of the main outfits!

More details on my outfits would be coming up in the next blog.

Next up, Accessories Shopping!

You can either do this after you finalise your outfits or simultaneously as and when each outfit is done in case you don’t have too much time.

Things to note:

  • While you are shopping for either gold or diamond or artificial jewellery, check with the vendors if they could customise it for multipurpose use! For instance, I have customised my mathapatti to convert it into a layered chain later
  • Try to have couple of juttis or shoes or heels in neutral festive shades which you can use with all outfits. Especially, if it’s a cocktail event or sangeeth, stick to comfortable footwear like shoes, if you can pull it off
I picked shoes for my Sangeeth
  • Before each event, try to grab some time, to pair your accessories with your outfits and see how it looks and keep the entire set of clothes and accessories aside, the night before. Don’t think that you can search them during the makeup next day, it gets difficult in that chaotic mode
Wedding Jewellery

More details on my accessories would be coming up in the next blog.

Find that Perfect Tailor

This is one more important thing and requires a lot of patience and insane number of trials before you find the perfect tailor. If you already have one, then your job is half-done. If you don’t have one, start giving sample blouses to different tailors (Meanwhile, pick some neutral sample blouse fabric so that you can use it later with other sarees or lehengas)

In case, it doesn’t fit properly for the first time, mention your requirements and give it for alterations once. By then, you will get an idea if that’s the tailor or not. Don’t just give up on first attempt unless it’s too bad.
Usually, most of the blouses and lehengas require stitching, so give them to the tailor atleast a month or two before the events so that you have enough time to check fittings and arrange for alterations.

During Haldi ceremony in that beautiful customised blouse stitched by my tailor!

Decide the Decor

This is one more thing that most of the people end up neglecting in the last minute.
Let me say again, your outfits would not stand out if you pick the wrong decor!

Things to note:

  • Decor needs to be picked based on your outfit. For instance, if you pick red decor for your red outfit, the photos won’t come out well. Contrast is mandatory to make yourselves stand out
  • Finalise your outfits, decide the decor and pick colors
  • Check for vendors about a package price for all events together. Negotiate a lot!
  • If you don’t want to spend too much on decor, choose decor which doesn’t use fresh flowers or leaves! It saves a lot of money
  • In case you are getting the wedding done in any function hall, see if there is any other wedding just the night before(in case, your’s a morning wedding) or if there is another wedding right before yours in the morning(in case, your’s a night wedding), you can see if you can strike a deal with the same decorator. If you can plan to reuse any of the structures of the previous wedding, they can cutdown the price!
  • While finalising the deal, check if he can include the floral jewellery, bridal entry floral chaddar, garlands, and floral braids

My decorator has no social media presence, so in case, you need his details, just drop me a message on Instagram

Finalise the Invitation

Don’t keep this pending till last minute. Try to stick to graphic invitations if possible, that’s cheaper and eliminates the effort of distributing it manually (which anyways is not possible now)

A good caricature based graphic invitation would take at-least 2-3 weeks for the first version and there are different instagrammers who do that.

Since we didn’t have much time as we hardly had 2 weeks, we tried to take inspiration from an online available version and my colleague helped me with modifications!

In case you are going for hard copies, try to go to the wholesale markets where you can get a good one for probably less than Rs 40 each.

Fix the Catering

The last leg of preparations includes finalising the menu. Try to take it as a package for all events, if possible, that would help you strike a better deal (Also, see if you can get any complimentary items). You can probably start having this discussion after your shopping along with decor.

Things to note:

  • Ensure that you communicate them the timings of the events along with the time when the food needs to be ready. Sometimes, you might want to open the buffet as the event goes on
  • Ensure that you clearly mention the etiquette standards with respect to uniforms, serving, naming the dishes etc
  • Also, there is usually a problem with a skewed distribution of starters/welcome drinks in the first few rows.I didn’t want that to happen, so I mentioned clearly about it.

We went ahead with Amaravati Caterers. They were budget-friendly and up-to-the mark. Worth the money! (Didn’t check out any other options as we liked them in the first-go)

Get that Salon Grooming Done

While, a lot of them do regular facials or cleanups, I am the opposite. The first facial that I had in my life, was for my wedding 😂

Things to Note:

  • Start alternating clean-up and facials every month for 3 months before the wedding
  • My skin is particularly allergic to besan mixed with haldi, so we used multani mitti mixed with turmeric for my Haldi event. Unfortunately, all the good care that I took for my skin went for a toss as haldi didn’t go well with my face and started showing dark patches. So, do test it on yourself before, to check if you are allergic
During Haldi ceremony!
  • Do one final facial not more than 3 days before the wedding. The impact usually is good till then, atleast for me (By the way, I got O3+ bridal facial)
  • Ensure that you choose one neutral color for your nails which could go with all outfits. Changing it for every event is damn stressful! Get a gel based formula so that it stays long for all events
  • Get that pedicure, manicure and nail art done along with your final facial so that the impact would stay for atleast those 5-6 days

Do those Last Minute Checks

Right before the wedding, may be a week prior to the wedding, there would be a lot of things that you might need to check upon!

Here are some of the main ones!


  • Start reaching out to makeup artists one month before the wedding (Atleast as soon as you decide your outfits) to ask them for suggestions for makeup and hairstyle or you can share your ideas and confirm with them if it is possible
  • Discuss with them regarding the checklist for events to decide what they can arrange and what you should arrange for yourself
  • Share the event timings with them, atleast a week before the events kick off
The D-day!


  • Atleast two weeks before the wedding, try meeting the photographer team in person and communicate any ideas that you have in mind. Be it, any specific type of photos that you pinterested. (Don’t do this too early, they might not remember!)
  • Specify the exact timings for the events atleast a week before the D-day and ask them to be on time
  • Try to be ready atleast 30-45 min before every event if you want some good pictures without much chaos. Especially for wedding, try to do this as the event will get too chaotic during the rituals. (Plan your makeup time accordingly – preferably, at least 4 hours before the muhurth)
During the Haldi Ceremony


  • Just before a week from the events, meet the decorator and ensure that you remind him about the colors and any other minute requirement that you want to re-mention
  • A couple of days before events, send your references of floral braid and floral jewellery to decorator and mention any color changes. For floral jewellery, even it is same color as outfit, try to mix it with any neutral/contrast color or any other less dominant color on outfit
  • Also, do ensure that garlands and floral entry chaddar is contrast to your outfit color to make it look good and to highlight yourselves
  • Also, have someone from your family or friends to monitor the decoration preparation, atleast the day before


  • Just before the wedding, try to sync up with caterer once again, to confirm the final list and if there are any new seasonal dishes that are available!


  • Book your appointments for facials, pedicure, manicure, nail art and any other salon treatments just before the events start

Sail to Seychelles!!

Well, it’s tough time ahead of us with the whole world in chaos. I just couldn’t start this blog by plunging into the details of my recent travel, like I usually do. These tough times have made me realise and feel grateful for things that I have been taking granted since past 25 years of my life – The privilege of leading a normal life !!

A moment of silence, for all the lives that were lost and for all those who lost their loved ones in this pandemic!

Moving on to the details of my recent trip to Seychelles, inexplicable beauty would be an understatement to describe it.

As the turquoise blue water on the beach touched my feet while the sun just began to set and filled the sky with gorgeous shades of orange, my mind just calmed down. That moment of peacefulness that nature is capable of creating, is priceless. These small group of islands in Seychelles would be a perfect destination if you want to get away from the hustle and relax in a less crowded place!


Best Time to Visit : November to March

Temperature : It usually varies between 25-30˚C. At times, it might get rainy during the evenings and is sultry too. So, do carry monsoon wear!

We visited three islands in a week – Mahé, Praslin and La Digue!
Mahé is the main island while the rest of them are small islands around it.

Our One Week Travel Itinerary :
Day 1 – Land in Mahé and catch a ferry to La Digue from the Port
Day 2 – Explore the beaches in La Digue
Day 3 – Go to a hike in the morning and head to Praslin by catching the last ferry
Day 4 – Explore beaches or go for diving
Day 5 – Go around the island and explore the sunset points
Day 6 – Head to Mahé by taking the first ferry and drive along the west and south coast roads
Day 7 – Explore Eden island and Victoria Market ; Head to airport in the evening

Our Companion for this trip

La Digue

This little island has its own charm with people moving around in cycles since the only mode of transport in La Digue is a bicycle.
Welcome to the good old days with no noise or air pollution and some wonderful beaches to sit back and relax!

It takes around 1.5 hours by ferry to reach La Digue from Mahé.

Accommodation : There are airbnb and hotel options which range from budget-friendly to extremely luxurious. We have stayed at this airbnb which was right on the beach and close to the main market. It was at a good location but the service was below average with a lack of minimum necessities and absolutely, no cleanliness. So, don’t choose that!
Prefer to stay closer to La Passe (the main port area).

Duration of stay : 2 nights

Places To Visit :

Visit Anse Source D’Argent – It is a private beach which is located within L’Union Estate Farm. It is totally isolated and a perfect spot to relax and watch the sun set against that beautiful backdrop.
They charge around 110 SCR for each person(it’s a day pass – you can go out and come back again) and it is totally worth it as there are two beaches- Anse Source D’Argent, Anse Marron along with an artificial habitat created for humungous turtles!

Anse Source D’Argent

Cycle along the coast from La Passe towards Anse Banane via Anse Serene– This route along which you ride your bicycle is amazing! You get to ride along the coast with spectacular views of the island. It is a rough terrain of ~6 km (one way), with steep ups and downs. Plan in such a way that you return before sunset as the path is not so well lit in the night.

Head to Nid D’Aigles – This is a spot on the top of the hill which gives a magnificent view of the entire island and the surrounding islands too! One has to hike for around 2 hrs to reach there. The trail is too steep (be sure you are prepared for that). Starting point would be Belle Vue Restaurant which serves delicious cocktails and food. Sunset is the best time to reach there.
If you don’t want to hike, atleast visit the restaurant for the food and view.

Visit Grand Anse – Those who love sunrises, this is where you need to head to. Extremely clean, isolated and a perfect beach for surfing. The road leading to Grand Anse has a steep terrain, be prepared for it.

Grand Anse, La Digue

Things To Do :

Rent a bicycle – They charged around 150 SCR per cycle right outside ‘Emerald Villa’. However, if you rent it anywhere near La Passe, they would charge around 200 SCR. If you want to save some money, head to Emerald Villa.

Anse Serene, La Digue

Prefer Take-aways –  Good restaurants are slightly expensive with each meal costing around 1000 SCR. So, better prefer take-aways which are budget-friendly.    Mi Mum’s take-away is a good option

Go to Old Pier Cafe – It is inside L’Union Estate Farm and serves the best sea food and cocktails

Explore the souvenir shops near La Passe (Main Market)

Cocktails – Old Pier Cafe


Praslin, which takes an hour by ferry from Mahé is much more beautiful and is comparatively a huge island than La Digue.

Accommodation :  The airbnb options in Praslin are slightly expensive. One can either stay near Grand Anse or Cote D’Or Beach. I would say, prefer Cote D’Or Beach area over the other. We stayed near Grand Anse at this hotel. Hotel hospitality is great but it is too cramped.

Duration of stay : 3 nights

Café Des Arts along Cote D’Or Beach, Praslin

Places To Visit :

Visit Anse Georgette Beach for Sunset –  Even though this beach is a public beach, the entry is through Constance Lemuria Resort. Unless you have a reservation with the resort for a visit to this beach, it is difficult to get in (Entry is free). Book in advance as the slots get filled if the demand is high!
This beach is renowned to sport one of best sunsets in the world!
If you are not able to make it to Anse Georgette, then visit Anse Lazio which is along the same coast line.

Head to Zimbabwe Point for Sunset – It is not popular among tourists but is well known to the locals. Hands down, it was the best sunset that I witnessed!

Visit Cote D’Or Beach – This beach has a lively atmosphere and is close to some of the best restaurants and eatery joints. The vibe at this beach is great to relax in the evenings.

Visit Grand Anse for Sunrise

Sunset at Anse Georgette Beach

Things To Note :

Go for Scuba Diving – Praslin is the best among the three islands to go for a scuba dive as the waves are not too harsh. We went to dive around St.Pierr’s Island with White Tip Divers . The experience was good for beginners, including the instructions!

All set for Scuba Dive – 3

Rent A Car – It is highly recommended that you rent a car which costs you around ~40 Euros per day. You can just ask your hotel manager to arrange for one and bargain accordingly. Most of them usually quote the same price.
In case you don’t have a car, each taxi ride would cost you around ~400 SCR. That would be expensive. It is also not advisable to rent a scooty or bike as the terrain doesn’t support it.

Café  Des Arts and La Coulue restaurants are good places to have fish cooked in Creole style (Local delicacy) and delicious cocktails. Head to The Nest restaurant for a luxury experience (One needs to make a reservation before heading there – atleast 2 days prior)

Praslin is the only place in the world which produces Coco De Mer, the biggest nut in the world. There are plantations all along the road or you can head to Fond Ferdinand natural reserve park which has Coco De Mer nuts in display open for visitors to see or you can go to Vallee De Mai reserve.
Both of the reserves have good hiking trails too, but I would say, prefer Fond Ferdinand which has an entry fee of 125 SCR compared to Vallee De Mai which charges almost 700 SCR per person. Also, do note the timings of these places. They close early during Sundays.
In case you are not interested in hiking or walking through plantations but want to see the Nut, there is a shop near the ticket counter of Fond Ferdinand where you can see instead of taking a ticket and going inside.

Coco De Mer (The Biggest Nut)


Mahé is the main island which has one of the best coast lines!

Accommodation :  We decided to stay at a luxurious resort in Mahé as it has more such options than the other two islands. We stayed at Banyan Tree for a couple of days. Even though, it is located further south and pretty far from the main city, it had the best hospitality and views of Anse Intendance. You can look for airbnb’s or hotels which are budget friendly!

Duration of stay : 2 nights

Banyan Tree Pool Villa

Things to Do :

Visit Anse Intendance and Beau Vallon beach for sunset

Beau Vallon Beach

Drive along west coast road during sunset – I promise you, it will be the best ride!
The La Misere view point on the way to west coast road from main market gives good panoramic view of all the sister islands

Explore Eden Island which is a man-made island close to Mahé. The port area next to the Eden Island mall is good for a dinner or lunch as it has a good view.

Eden Island

Even though many suggest to visit Victoria Market, I didn’t find it exciting enough! It’s a cramped market for fruits and vegetables.

Breakfast overlooking Anse Intendance Beach!!

Travel Tips :

Currency – Carry Euros or USD and later exchange for SCR, either at airport or at exchange places near Victoria Market. Don’t convert a lot of currency into SCR as most of the places accept Euros or USD. Prefer to convert currency at Mahé rather than any other smaller island.

Book your ferry rides – Make a prior online reservation to take a ferry from Mahé to La Digue or Praslin as it is not easy to get a reservation on spot(~60$ per person). It costs you around ~500 SCR by taxi from airport to port.
In case of return ferry rides from Praslin to La Digue or vice-versa, you can go to the port at-least 30 min before the schedule and book the seat on spot.
However, in case of ferry ride from any island to Mahé, book atleast a day prior. You can directly go to the port and book it, if the online bookings are closed

Prefer local sim card : “Cable & Wireless” –  You can get one with ~6 GB internet for 7 days. It costs around 500 SCR and you can get one at the airport. You can recharge again at grocery stores, if you need to.

Car Rentals – In case you are renting a car in Mahé or Praslin, ensure that you ask them to keep the pick up and drop at the port itself. This saves the money that you need to pay for the taxi to reach hotel which is around 300-600 SCR depending on the distance.

In case of La Digue, there are buggies which can take you from port to hotel and vice-versa, they charge you around ~150-200 SCR for ~1-2 km. If you can’t cycle, then take the contact of any buggy driver and be in touch with him for your visits inside the island.

Creole Cuisine – Fish

Food – It’s mostly Creole cuisine which is an amazing option for sea-food lovers. However, a good meal for two people would easily cost you around 1000 SCR at a decent restaurant. You can prefer take-aways in case you are looking for budget-friendly options.

Anse Intendance Beach, Mahé

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Satwik Kodangal Varala

Facebook : Slay the Style

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Previous post : Vegas To New York

Floral top, dress : Zara |White skirt : HnM| Orange Top : Marks and Spencer | Shorts : Express|  Bag : Bali thrift store|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores | Saree : Handloom Store | Saree Styled Pallazo Set : Tjori

Vegas To New York

Where do I start from?
The Casinos or the SkyScrapers!!
The Gambling City or the City that Never Sleeps!!
Las Vegas or New York!!

Everything about both the cities is completely different with each one having it’s own charm.The never ending world of casinos where time has no value with that delusion of coming closer to deep pockets!
On the other hand, New York , a concrete jungle with people constantly hustling all along the day!

At The Venetian, Las Vegas

My trip to both Vegas and New York are short two day trips. This blog would definitely help you get an idea about the places to explore, if you are a first time visitor and if you have less time on hand.

Let’s just start with travel tips for each of these cities!

Las Vegas


Temperature : Around 40-43 C (In August)
Well, It’s a desert, what else can you expect!

Accommodation : We stayed at The Venetian Resort. We chose weekdays for Vegas as the otherwise expensive luxurious accomodation seemed affordable (especially, plan it during the weekdays just before a long weekend – you would end up getting great deals)

For those of you who aren’t aware about this casino world, Vegas has numerous hotels/resorts which have casinos and clubs of their own which are open for the visitors. It’s totally up to you about how many you would like to visit and explore. I will let you know the main ones in this blog

The World of Casino


Things To Do:

Walk along The Strip – It’s the main street of Vegas where all the action happens. Sprawling with casinos, resorts, strip clubs, and a lot more, this street should be the first place you should visit to get the actual vibe of the place (preferably in the night). It looks spectacular in the night with all those brightly lit buildings.

Explore The Venetian and Caesers Palace – These are two exquisite resorts with Italian and Roman themed architecture respectively. Both of them are open for visitors to roam around, shop and gamble. Both of them host one of the biggest casinos, luxury brands outlet stores and some decent restaurants.

Watch the Bellagio Fountain Show  – It is an incredible 15 min fountain show where the fountain movement is choreographed with light and music. It usually starts at 8 pm and goes on till midnight (Do check the timings as it might vary for weekdays and weekends)

Experience Night Clubs and Strip Clubs  –  The Night Club experience is particularly different in Vegas. Few popular ones are Omnia, Marquee and XS. The strip clubs in Vegas are famous too. You can try them if you are interested

Watch the Volcano Show at Mirage – This is one more fountain show which gives the illusion of a volcanic eruption with light and fire, along with choreographed movement of it with music. It is a 5 min show which happens daily at 7 pm/8pm/9 pm.

Explore Vegas Shows – Cirque du Soleil is one of the popular shows in Vegas. I couldn’t find a show during my visit. If you do get a chance, try that. There are many other shows that one could see. (Entry Charge is slightly expensive for this show – around 100$)

Try Daiquiri – It’s a cocktail where you can mix the flavours of your choice. There are many stores on the strip which offer these. Fat Tuesday’s daiquiri is one of the popular ones.

At ‘The Strip’

Travel Tips :

Good night clubs usually has an entry charge which is almost like 100$. You can avoid that by getting on to the guest list in advance for a specific night club (Google about guest list for a club — you will find lot of links to submit your name). Only disadvantage of guest list is that you need to be there by 8/9 pm which I feel is a decent tradeoff for 100$

Plan your vacation in Vegas during weekdays when the accomodation charges are almost 1/4th the price during weekends

Be there for the fountain shows at-least 15 min before the show timing so that you have some space to view it, before the crowd steps in.

At Caesars Palace

New York

Times Square

Temperature : Around 15-20 C (In September)
It was raining heavily too on one day (So, plan for some winter and monsoon wear if you plan to visit around the same time)

Accommodation : I stayed at my cousin’s place. Accomodation in NYC is expensive enough. If you are a budget traveller like me, try couch surfing or staying at New Jersey or Brooklyn (which have decent travel access to NYC).

Streets near WTC

Places to Visit:

Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 6.15.33 PM.png
Times Square

Times Square – Of course, who misses to visit the Time Square if you are visiting NYC. The huge digital banners changing all the time, the artists and the crowd is what makes Time Square the place it is! It is definitely different and entertaining to spend your evenings around here.

Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo – I personally loved the view from Dumbo which is on the other side of Hudson river giving the entire view of NYC. I found Brooklyn Bridge to be a little overhyped but the view from there is decent 🙂

Empire State Building  – Checking out the panoramic view of the city from the 84th floor of  Empire State Building should be on your list. I visited the place in the morning but it would be much more beautiful if you can visit once the sun sets. It is open till 2 am in the morning. Entry fee is around 35$ to go to the deck

Financial District – World Trade Center, Wall Street : The area around WTC is where the twin towers of NYC were! If you are interested, there is a museum about the twin towers and the tragic event.

Apart from this, the streets around WTC have great wall art, and good food options. One can just walk around to explore the place

Fifth Avenue – It’s a street for luxury shopping. If you are into it, this is the best place as it has a wide range of designs

Central Park – Don’t miss this if you have time. (I couldn’t :/ Saving it for the next time)
I happened to visit Bryant Park, which is a pretty little park that has decent cafes to hang around.

Brooklyn Bridge

Also, Statue of Liberty was last on my list as it didn’t seem interesting to me except the ride on Hudson river till the island.

Travel Tips :

Internal transport in NY is one of the best in USA. I personally used the metro to travel, with each ride costing around 2.75$. There is bus transport available too.

I would say, NY is beautiful in the night. So, if possible, explore the city in the night rather than mornings

Try veg pizza at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, cup cakes at Melissa Bakery (Being lactose intolerant has knocked me out of the option to try the pizza but do try, if you can). The cupcakes were decent enough, even though not so extraordinary

Go to a one of those famous NY broadway shows. The prices vary depending on the show. Do check the availability and plan in advance.

From 78th Floor of Empire State Building

I hardly had two days in New York.With rain ruining my plans for one complete day, there is lot that I could not explore. Saving the rest for the next time!


I hope you find it useful if you are planning to visit Vegas or New York 🙂

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Satwik Varala 

Facebook : Slay the Style

Instagram : slaythestyle_

Previous post :  A Californian Experience Through My Lens : 10 Must Visit Places In And Around San Francisco

Black Bell Bottoms : Shein |White Top : Shein|White Blazer, White Mules, Olive Jacket, Beige Skirt, Black Top, Box Bag : Zara |White Shoes : Nike

A Californian Experience Through My Lens : 10 Must Visit Places In And Around San Francisco

Never knew that this deserted land had so much in store, for me to experience. Be it , the colourful hues of the California sunsets which are one of the most beautiful sunsets, or the stunning deserted landscapes with windmills and a clear blue sky, or the scenic beauty of the Pacific coastline – West Coast surprised me in many ways!!

With just a week in San Francisco, let me just take you through my experience, do’s and dont’s!


Best time to visit : September to October (I was there during the start of September)

Temperature : It usually varies between 25-30˚C. In the main city of SF, you can expect cold breeze. However, when you step out of the city, the temperature along with hot breeze during the day will give you a tough time!

Accommodation : We stayed at an airbnb close to the golden gate bridge. The rates for a decent airbnb range from INR 4-6 grand per night. You can check out our airbnb here

Internal Travel : This is probably the worst part of SF, the public transport is definitely not going to help you in any way. There is BART which is a cheaper mode of transport to reach SF. Apart from that, Muni is San Francisco public transport (Bus, Metro, Cable Cars) [Find more details here] . It’s advisable to rent a car if you know driving (Uber and Lyft are other options). We used our personal vehicle to roam around.

10 Must Visit Places In And Around San Francisco

1. Visit Tenaya Lake of Yosemite

This one tops all the places that I visited. I initially stepped into Yosemite with a perception to witness the legendary rock formations and this lake, which is certainly a 2 hr drive from the main Yosemite area is a genuine surprise. It’s beauty couldn’t be comprehended!! The serene surroundings of this lake just made me stay there till the sun set behind those huge rocks and trees. We had the place entirely to ourselves. It is of-course, not-so-explored among the tourists.

Tenaya Lake

El Capitan

We did a day trip to Yosemite from SF but I would recommend you to stay there for a day or two to spot such amazing non-touristy gems. It is around a 3 hr drive from SF.

Apart from the Tenaya Lake, do stop by those legendary rock formations of Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil falls and the Tunnel view
(I was not able to cover tunnel view as I decided to stay back at Tenaya for a while!! :/ )

2. Witness the Beauty of Lake Tahoe From The Top Most View Points
Lake Tahoe, a 4 hour drive from SF, is definitely a must-visit. The view looking down on the Emerald Bay of Southern Lake Tahoe is the best. Preferred view points are Inspiration Point, Emerald Bay Lookout. There are many other view points along the road that you can stop by, as per your convenience. Parking is a problem at these view points during peak hours.
There are few hikes which give you amazing view of Lake Tahoe. Explore them if you are interested. We did a day trip to Lake Tahoe, but again, if you want to experience this place by hiking, stay back for a day or two.

Emerald Bay LookOut

At Emerald Bay LookOut

3. Experience Lake Tahoe From Zephyr Cove Resort and explore the Tahoe City
Zephyr Cove Resort has a private beach area which even the visitors can access if you can pay a minimum charge of 10$. This beach is comparatively less crowded and gives you stunning view of the sunset.
Explore the Lake Tahoe Boulevard of Tahoe City which is a pretty place with shops and restaurants.

Zephyr Cove Resort Beach

4. Drive Along Big Sur
With just a 2 hrs drive from SF, Big Sur offers an incredible view of coastline and sea side cliffs. Do check out the weather conditions before heading to Big Sur as it is mostly misty. It was extremely misty when we reached, which got cleared by noon.

Visit the Bixby Bridge an Carmel River State Beach (Non-touristy  and less crowded beach in a pretty neighbourhood). There are definitely other spots that you could visit but the heavy mist spoiled our day 😦

Carmel Beach

5. Don’t Miss The ’17 Mile-Drive’
The 17 Mile-Drive is close to Big Sur and it is a coastal drive in a private property area. You need to pay a toll of 25$ per vehicle to get into this area. Describing the drive along 17 Mile-Drive as beautiful would be an understatement!!
It offers exhilarating views of sea-side cliffs, pebble beach, golf courses along the coast. A must-visit if you happen to visit Big Sur.
Big Sur could be done as a day trip from SF. (Not easily accessible by public transport)

View Along 17 Mile-Drive

6. Watch The Bay Area Sleep From Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
It is a place which is mostly familiar among the locals. Head to this place in the night (not accessible by public transport) to see the city that is entirely lit up. It is known for its sunset view too.

Sierra Vista

7. Head to Treasure Island to get the best view of SF Skyline in the Night
Treasure Island which is an artificial island in SF city neighbourhood is the apt spot to enjoy the SF skyline in the night. (Not easily accessible by public transport)

SF Skyline From Treasure Island

8. Explore Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf &
Taste the Famous Crab Cakes and Clam Chowder Sourdough Bowl in SF City
Pier 39 is a lively area with music, street performers, restaurants and shops. You can even get a view of the sea lions from this Pier. It’s good for an evening stroll.
Fisherman’s Wharf is famous for crab cakes and clam chowder served in sourdough bowl. Grab one of these and enjoy them, if you are into sea food.

Pier 39

Near Pier 39

Ghirardelli Square is good for an evening stroll along side the river. You can just sit and watch the sun set. You can try Ghirardelli chocolates at their cafe which are famous, however they didn’t beat Godiva for me 😛

Crab Cakes

Lombard Street renowned as the crooked street, is located in a good neighbourhood. Try to reach this place by sunset to get a good sunset view of the city.

9. Enjoy A Closer View of Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer
This is the best among the other view points of Golden Bridge. It gives a closer view of the bridge from the top of a hill. Do explore the beach view points, if you have time.
Also, if mist is a spoiler and you don’t get to see the golden gate bridge, you need not be surprised as it is the case for most of the times!! 😦

Golden Gate Bridge (Battery Spencer)

10. Head to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz
Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz experiences a gravity anomaly. There are demonstrations which are done to show you how the laws of gravity don’t hold true in that spot.
This spot is an hour drive from SF but again, not easily accessible by public transport.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-22 at 7.08.40 PM
Outside the Mystery Spot

Look at me enjoying the slant position at the Mystery Spot without falling!!

If someone said shopping in US is cheap, I would just laugh out loudly now!! It’s not the case unless you earn in USD!!
Most of the clothes or accessories are expensive. The designs of affordable US brands were not appealing. I would prefer European affordable brands over US affordable brands, any time!
However, you may find cosmetics at a steal price compared to India. So, stock up on those. The Market Street in SF is a good shopping area. If you want to explore discounted options, outlet malls would be the place to go. However, I personally didn’t like the stock over there as the collection would be one to two seasons old.


Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

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Photos by Satwik Kodangal Varala, Vyomika Lekkala

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Previous post : 5 Ways To Style A Lehenga

Orange maxi, Yellow Top, Red Cap, Beige Skirt, white top, Red Handheld bag : Zara | Saree : Handloom Exhibition| Sneakers, black crop top : Nike| Accessories : thrift store \ White Skirt, Pant Suit : HnM




5 Ways To Style A Lehenga

And, here I am, back with another blog on fashion after a significantly long break!!
To answer all those who have been asking me whether I quit blogging, NO, I didn’t, as I love doing it for myself and for you guys!! 😀

Isn’t it sad enough to spend like insane amount on purchasing one lehenga and not being able to use it, multiple times!!?
Well, let’s talk about it this time.
It’s going to be about how one can use a single lehenga for different occasions or make it look different everytime you wear it!!


Few Useful Tips Before We Start:

  • Get two plain lehengas stitched – one in black and one in beige/off-white. Also, get one plain simple blouse stitched in both these colors. These two sets, would help you make in-numerous looks suitable for every possible occasion. You can call them “Ethnic Basics”
  • Also, pick a fabric that is either extremely soft like fine net, or go for, plain uppada silk, georgette fabric as we want to keep the lehengas flowy
  • Dupattas with heavy work or overall design would go extremely well with either of these lehengas.
    You just need to match colors and you would be good to go!!

Almost 90% of your dupattas could be matched with black/beige, which is a saviour as it helps us to create a different look, every time, we just change the dupatta.

Let’s just get into how we could style one such black lehenga in multiple ways :

1. Use A Dupatta As A Shrug 

All you need is a couple of safety pins, to attach each end of dupatta to the centre along the edge, with one safety pin each. We are done with a shrug now!!
You could flaunt this, at casual get-togethers or garba nights!!
Pair with some indian jewellery and you would be good to go 🙂

Style 1 – Dupatta Draping

Style 2 – Dupatta Draping

2. Dig that Boring Buttoned-Down Dress Out Of Your Closet

What could be a better way to make a lehenga look casual!!
Wear that pretty bright buttoned down dress as a coverup over your lehenga and you are good to go 😀

3. Give the lehenga a monochromatic look

Who said that a complete lehenga outfit can’t be monochromatic!!
You can wear a lehenga with a  blouse and dupatta of same color, but ensure one of them is highlighted with self-colored embroidery or some heavy glitter. This would make a great piece for a cocktail dinner or any sangeeth  function.

4. Pick that beautiful heavy dupatta

Pair a plain lehenga with a bright-colored embroidered or printed dupatta.
Add a heavy neckpiece or earrings to accentuate the look (Always, remember that heavy necklace and heavy earrings, at a time, is big NO)
This would go very well for family functions at home 🙂

5. Top it up with a structured coat and a scarf

This might be for someone who likes to step out a little bit from the main stream lehenga look. All you need to do is add a structured coat of similar color palette over your plain lehenga set!!
It would look amazing if you could play around with different shades of the same color range as your lehenga . As I currently have only a single shade of black, I chose to add a pop of color with a bandana around my neck!!



Hope you like these looks 🙂

Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel/styling  tips or details 😀

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Photos by Rishabh Kumar, Siddharth Khera

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Previous post : Travel Tips To Explore Bali

Black Lehenga (Soft Net), Khadi Black Blouse, Glitter Black Blouse : Tailored |Bandana/Scarf : Colaba Causeway Thrift Buy| Heels : Zara | Blue Handloom Dupatta : Jaypore| Yellow Dupatta : Venkatagiri Fabrics,Mumbai| Red Ikkat Dress: Tailored

Travel Tips To Explore Bali

There is a lot of research that goes into planning a trip by yourself. Starting from transportation from airport, internal travel, shortlisting the places to visit,  making an itinerary, currency exchange, accommodation and the list goes on…

Let me try to make it a little simple for those planning to visit Bali.

Hondara Golf Club 


Bali has in-numerous affordable options to stay, which are luxurious enough for the amount that you pay. I personally prefer airbnb’s over hotels and those that are really close to the main centre. It’s important that you stay close to the centre as there is no internal transport within the city unless you rent a bike/car.

I got many questions about my stay in Ubud, which was a beautiful double storey house with all facilities and a wonderful host. I would highly recommend this place if you don’t want to travel much or if you don’t have a bike/car.

Ubud Airbnb Link : https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/10709554

We stayed at Gili Twarangan for 2 nights and then headed to Ubud to stay for 5 nights.

Since Bali offers good hotels at a cheaper price compared to India, I wanted to pamper myself (for my 25th birthday 😛 ) by booking a luxurious resort on the beach side in Gili Twarangan. It is perfect for a lazy and relaxed holiday with all luxurious comforts and amazing service.

However, there are much cheaper options available in Gili T, which are really good. (Based on your preference)

Gili Twarangan Hotel :  Pearl of Twarangan (Booked a Pearl Pool Villa)

Internal Travel

Bali doesn’t have any public transport system. You can either rent a bike (which costs you around IDR 50,000- 60,000 per day). There are shops on every street in the main centre to rent a bike) – Ensure you have license!!

Second option would be to take a cab for a day. There would be many cab drivers asking for a ride, right on the streets. However, not everyone charges reasonably. Usually, the price would be around IDR 250,000 – 300,000 for a ride from airport to Ubud. You can find a lot of cab drivers right outside the airport.

But, if you are planning to visit places which are like 1-2 hrs away from your accommodation, they would charge around IDR 500,000 – 700,000 for 10 hrs. We have hired a driver who used to charge IDR 500,000 per day for 10 hrs. He was very helpful in guiding us with local timings, arranging for tickets to the islands. You can DM me on Instagram for his details.

In case of Gili islands, cycles and horse carriages are the only available commute options. Once you get down at Gili Twarangan, there are many cycles parked for rent on the main road, get one from them (they usually have better cycles and are comparatively less priced than hotel cycles). Rent for 1 day is around IDR 50,000. It’s better to rent a cycle.

Minimum price for 1 km ride on horse carriage would be around IDR 100,000 in Gili T.

Wanagiri Hills

Currency Exchange and Sim Cards

There is at-least one currency exchange store at the corner of every street in the main centres. Indian rupee can’t be converted to Indonesian rupee and we usually don’t get IDR in India. It’s always suggested to carry US dollars/ Australian dollars/ Malysian Ringgit to convert into IDR at a local store (Do take a receipt). Conversion rates are usually the same across all the stores unless you are selecting a store which is in a remote location.

Most of the transactions in Bali, be it, shopping or food, happen in cash. So, carry enough cash!! Also, don’t convert too much cash at a time, as it would be waste if you end up not using it by the end of the trip. Since, there are a lot of shops to do currency exchange, do it multiple times, once you get a hang of how much money you would be spending per day.

Telkomsel network has better connectivity in Bali, even on Islands. Simcard is priced at around IDR 200,000 – 250,000 for 7 GB data (valid for a month) along with local calls and SMS.


As mentioned in my last blog,  Ubud Local Market and Tegalalang Street are good options to shop.
Bali, has insane collection of home decor items at comparatively lower prices than India. I wouldn’t say it is too cheap but it is cheaper than India.
I found Ubud Local Market to be expensive with less creative designs than Tegalalang Street (Not many people know about Tegalalang Street)
In case of Ubud local Market, you need to bargain a lot (ask for 1/4 th the price that they demand).

Check out these:

  • Straw bags which range between IDR 100,000 – IDR 250,000 depending on the designs
  • Other straw utility items for kitchen
  • Paintings on Canvas papers
  • Wall Hangings
  • Door Hangings
  • Quotation Boards


Home Decor (Ubud Local Market)


This is something that I found a little expensive!!
A normal meal for three of us costed around IDR 300,000 if we visited a good restaurant, which I found to be more expensive than Indian restaurants.
Try their traditional dishes like Nasi Goreng, yoghurt smoothies

9 Day Itinerary

We planned it in such a way that we don’t strain ourselves too much and visit the places without any hurry.
Day 1 – Land in Bali Airport and head to Padang Bai to catch a boat to Gili (Plan your flight in such a way that you reach Bali by 10-11 am as Gili boats function only till 3 pm)

If you have a flight which lands in Bali around evening, then you can stay in Kuta(close to airport)  for that night and head to Gili next morning. We stayed in Ubud for one night, but it was too far from airport and it would just be tiring to travel all again to Padang Bai next day.

Day 2 & Day 3 – Stay in Gili Twarangan, experience the beautiful sunset, go for scuba diving, explore the night markets, go on day trips to Gili Meno/Gili Air and enjoy the party vibe

Day 4 – Head to Ubud, relax and explore the local market and visit Saraswati Temple

Day 5 – Visit Danu Bratan (for sunrise – leave at 4 am from Ubud)), Hondara Golf Club, coffee tasting at a plantation, Wanagiri Hills and return to hotel by 3 pm. Watch Balinese dance in Ubud Palace (in the evening)

Coffee Tasting

Day 6 – Head to Nusa Penida for a Day trip and visit Kelingkling beach, Broken Bridge, Angel’s BillaBong, and Crystal Bay Beach. Head back to Ubud in the evening

Nusa Penida

Day 7 Go to Tegenungan waterfall, Mount Batur view point, visit orange fields on way, head to Tegalalang rice terraces and explore Tegalalang street for local handicraft goods

Day 8 – Visit Lempuyang Temple (for sunrise- leave at 4 am from Ubud), Jemaluk View Point

Day 9 – Start early to visit Uluwatu temple and head to Airport later.

Swing at Wanagiri Hills


Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

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Photos by Durga Pulijala

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Previous post : Top 15 Things To Do In Bali In A Week

Top 15 Things To Do In Bali In A Week

The land of volcanos, forests, beaches, and adventures has finally made it on my compass. Be it, the spell-bounding pictures that one gets to witness about this place on social media, or the extent to which people praise about Bali, those made me inquisitive enough to mark it next on my journey.

Well, to start with, there are certain incredible places in Bali which make you wonder about how much beauty nature encapsulates within itself and then, there are few more renowned places which are definitely not worth the hype. This blog has my suggestions about the places to visit and places you can skip based on my experience in Bali.


To start with, we didn’t try to squeeze in too many places in a week as we were looking for a relaxed holiday. We have stayed for 2 days in Gili Twarangan while the rest 5 days in Ubud.

Ubud is in Central Bali and is bound to offer you an authentic Bali atmosphere with the architecture involving their mythological characters, which take you back in time. It is a good place to stay, if you are not into the partying mode of Kuta/Semniyak. We made day trips to Eastern Bali, Nusa Penida island, and Northern Bali.

Gili Island, on the other hand, is a group of 3 islands located at around an hour distance from Bali. They are known for their white sand beaches, diving, partying and beautiful sunsets. Gili Twarangan, which is the most popular and largest among the 3 islands is known for its party vibe and of course, the sunset points. We stayed there for 2 days, just cycling around all the time (No motor vehicles in the island, grab your cycles or take a walk around or may be take a horse carriage), watching beautiful sunsets, and enjoying Balinese spa. If you are looking for calmer islands, try Gili Meno and Gili Air.

Let me dive into the list now.

1. Visit Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

If there is one place in Bali that makes me to think visit Bali again, it would be Nusa Penida island. Unlike the crowded and commercialised islands of Gili, these islands are much more calmer with stunning landscapes.

You can reach Nusa Penida by taking a boat ride from Sanur beach harbour. There are many stalls, right on Sanur Beach which sell tickets (should not cost you one more than IDR 500,000 for two-way journey per person). We have done a 1-day trip to Nusa Penida but if you have enough time, I would recommend to skip Gili and stay in Nusa.

Kelingking Beach

Kelingking is one of the most beautiful marvel of nature with its water showcasing shades of blue and the cliffs standing out, in the huge expanse of the ocean. Even though, it is touristy, it is worth visiting. Wear comfortable shoes as it involves hiking. Ensure you have at-least 2 hrs to visit this place so that you can go to the beach.

Nusa Penida has a very rough terrain with steep hilly and broken roads. It’s highly advisable to take a four-wheeler within Nusa Penida to ride around. The island is huge enough to not be able to cover by walking. Each place is atleast 1/2 hours from the main centre.

2. Dive/Snorkel in Crystal Bay Beach, Nusa Penida

This beach is known for snorkelling and diving. Nusa Penida, particularly has amazing diving spots. In case you are planning a day trip, ensure you carry an extra pair of clothes to snorkel or dive.

Crystal Bay Beach

Tall coconut trees, wild sea and the changing shades of sea is enough to soothe you, even though you are not into diving or snorkelling.

3. Hike to the Broken Bridge, Nusa Penida

It is a natural bridge formed by rocks with turquoise shades of water flowing underneath. One of the spectacular spots to not miss and it is usually slightly crowded with tourists. Plan it early in the day so that it is less crowded. It is a very short hike of not more than 30 min.

Broken Bridge

4. Head to Jemeluk View Point in Eastern Bali

This view point is going to sweep you off your feet with the view of the majestic Mount Agung and the Jemeluk Beach stretching right below, and the tall green coconut trees surrounding the beach, and last but not the least, watching all these while the dusk sets in. It gives a much better view of Agung compared to the view from Lempuyang temple.

Jemeluk View Point

It is going to be a long ride of approximately 3 hrs from Ubud. However, it’s definitely worth it. I happen to visit this in early morning but if you have time to visit it during sunset, it would be the most calm and romantic place.

5. Watch Sunrise at Ulu Danu Bratan in Northern Bali

Ulu Danu Bratan is a temple in Bali, that is right on the shore of the huge lake Bratan which is surrounded by huge mountains of Bedugul in the background.
Hold on, before you judge that this is a temple, Indonesians have scouted the best locations in entire Bali to build temples which overlook that scenery. So, even if you are an atheist, I would recommend you to visit this place. The drive to this place is incredible with beautiful panoramas of lush green trees and mountains.

Ulu Danu Bratan

This place is at its best if you reach there by 6 (2 hrs journey from Ubud). The mountains would be partially covered by clouds, with the rays of rising sun touching the waters of Lake Bratan.

6. Visit Uluwatu Temple in Southern Bali

It is located on top of the highest cliff which is standing tall on the shores of Uluwatu beach. The view is spell-bounding and it is usually less crowded if you reach before 9 am in the morning. However, this spot is known for its sunset. So, if you can plan a visit during sunset, it would be great 🙂

Uluwatu Temple (right at the top of the cliff)

Beware of monkeys in this temple.

7. Watch the Sun Set on the beaches of Gili Twarangan

Gili T is usually noisy and crowded on the main streets of the island. However, the sunset beaches of Gili are much more calmer with slow music and a chilled-out vibe.

Sunset on Gili T.

You can even walk to the night markets of Gili, which start from 9 pm. They sell some unique handmade products.

8. Visit the renowned “Gateway to Heaven” in Lempuyang

The famous “Gateway to Heaven” is in Lempuyang temple which overlooks the Mt.Agung (biggest active volcanic mountain in Bali). Try to reach there by 6 am in the morning to catch the spectacular view with clouds partially covering Mt.Agung and the sun rising above the horizon.

Lempuyang Temple

It is a 2 hr drive from Ubud (Start by 4 am in the morning from Ubud to catch sunrise). The ride to the temple is spectacular in the early morning. Also, the 4 wheelers are not allowed beyond a certain point near the temple due to extremely steep roads. There would be bike taxis that you can take if you don’t prefer to walk (They charged around IDR 100,000 for one-way but you can bargain for lesser price)

9. Dive in the waters of Gili

More than the underwater world which is not as good as Andaman, the diving experience with Dive Central Gili is amazing. They take you through the basics and teach you useful techniques in diving. Ask for Rose if you are in there, she is amazing at teaching the art of diving for beginners

Diving at Bounty Wreck, Gili 

Spotted a turtle during our dive (Turtles are famous in Gili Waters)

10. Trek to Mount Batur

This is a famous trek to Mt.Batur (one of the volcanic mountains)  which many recommend. It is usually a night trek where you reach the peak during sunrise. Bali Bliss Tours organises this trek for around IDR 48,000 per person (which includes Rice terraces trekking as well after the Batur trek)

If you couldn’t make it to trek, then you can head to this restaurant called “Batur Sari Resto” which gives a closer panoramic view of Mt.Batur. It is definitely worth the visit.

That’s Mt.Batur in the background

The ride to Mt.Batur is around 1.5 hrs from Ubud. Again, the journey is incredible with greenery all around.

11. Visit Sarawasti Temple in Ubud

This temple takes you back in time with its architecture and the lotus ponds. It is right in the centre of Ubud and usually gets crowded after 8 am. Try to reach there before 8 am to get a good view of the temple and to sit and relax around.

Saraswati Temple, Ubud

12. Explore the Tegalalang Street and Local Markets of Ubud

If you are into interior decor and handmade straw bags, Ubud has it all. Even though many people recommend local markets of Ubud, I found Tegalalang street sporting more variety in terms of shopping and it is reasonably priced compared to Ubud local markets. We came to know about the Tegalalang street after shopping in Ubud local markets, so we couldn’t shop much there. But, if you are thinking of shopping, head to Tegalalang Street.

Handmade Straw Bags 

But, be sure to bargain for 1/4th the price that they demand in Ubud Local Markets and around half the price that they demand in Tegalalang Street.

13. Visit the swings on Wanagiri Hills

You must have seen the Bali swing pictures with amazing background, and many other major iconic picturesque nests. On the way back from Danu Bratan, there would be many swings on Wanagiri Hills, you can just stop by one of those and click the pictures.

Overlooking the Wanagiri Hills

The actual Bali Swing which is just a swing on the edge of little valley and few other spots to click pictures, is way too overhyped and way too expensive (charging around IDR 1,100,000). It would be a sheer waste of money unless you want to spend so much for pictures which you can anyways get on Wanagiri Hills.

Bali Swing

14. Get a Balinese Spa and Taste the Indonesian cuisine

Balinese spas are renowned and relaxing. Kaveri Spa in Ubud is one good spa recommendation. Not all the spas are good, look up for the reviews before you go ahead.

Indonesians have a lot of healthy options for food. The smoothies, acai bowls are famous for breakfasts and Nasi Goreng, famous Indonesian dish is something that you can try.

Acai Bowl from “Acai Queen”

If you are into beer, you can try their local beer “Bintang” which is one of the best beers in terms of taste.

If you are not into having noodles/ fried rice everyday, I suggest you carry some ready-to-eat food or they have good vegetables and wide range of options for fruits.

15. Visit Tegenungan waterfall

This is a renowned  waterfall with good view and I would recommend you to visit this place before 8 am as it gets crowded after that.

Inspite of it being famous, I didn’t find it so beautiful as it is currently in a very bad state with litter all around. There are other good waterfalls which you could visit – Padang Bulia, Timbumana waterfalls which are much cleaner.

Tegenungan Waterfall


  • If you are wondering why I haven’t recommended rice terraces, I didn’t find them interesting or beautiful in any way. It is just a different way of growing rice. Being an Indian, paddy fields are a common sight which could be one of the reasons that it didn’t intrigue me
  • The interesting part about temples in Bali is that tourists are allowed to see the temple, only from outside. They are not allowed to enter inside to watch the idols. In case of any temple ceremonies, temples are completely closed for tourists. So, in case you are planning to visit the temples, check the temple ceremonies schedule
  • Temples in Bali permit fully covered clothes for both men and women. Ensure you avoid short clothes while visiting temples or else, they do offer Sarong ( a piece of cloth to tie around the waist) which you can rent for minimum price

Few more tips about Bali travel, and shopping tips would come up in my next blog. Until then, stay connected on my Instagram for more updates 🙂


Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

Follow me here for more updates on travel and fashion styling

Photos by Durga Pulijala

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Previous post : Travel Guide To Paris and Barcelona

White skorts, white top, blue top, black maxi : Zara | Saree : R city| Footwear : Lefties| Straw Bag : Bali thrift store|  Backpack : Shein|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores | Blue maxi : Global Desi| Floral Skirt : HnM

Travel Guide To Paris and Barcelona

An Artist Has No Better Home Than Paris In Europe

This would be an enough hint to guess about my next destination after Belgium. It’s Paris!!

Well, I heard a lot of mixed reviews about Paris before heading there, some were of the opinion that it is too overhyped while some said that the city is truly a ‘city of love’ !!
I also met a few people who stayed at Paris for few months and they absolutely loved the city and they usually say that, the vibe couldn’t be matched with any other city in Europe!!

With the kind of expectations that I had about Paris, this city didn’t disappoint me with the kind of art it embodies but the Parisians really turned out to be averse to welcoming or helping tourists. This is something which I have not noticed in any other European city so far, except Paris. It is a tad bit disappointing in that aspect.

The last and final destination of this trip after Paris was Barcelona and this turned out to be my second visit to Barca!! So, I am not going to get into detailed travel tips about it. You can check out my old post about Barcelona!! (Well, I visited Barca again because we had a company off-site in Barca for 4 days !!  )

Let’s dive in to the trip details now 😀



Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 8-10 C  (Visited in Mid-October. Warm clothes are recommended as the place is windy)

Accommodation : We stayed at a cute little studio apartment (airbnb) in Paris. It was a good stay and the place is not more than 3-5km from all the major touristy spots.

The way we explored Paris was more touristy than the actual local experience. We eventually found that 2 days is not enough to explore this place. I am definitely going again to explore it properly. If you are planning to visit Paris, plan for at-least 4 days so that you can leisurely explore the place.

Eiffel Tower

Main Places to Visit:

Eiffel Tower – Of course, one can’t miss this beauty. Though, initially I expected that Eiffel tower would be uninteresting, I absolutely loved it when I saw it!! The magnanimous structure standing out in the city is a true visual retreat. Entrance fee is almost half for anyone below 25 yrs. Don’t forget to mention it at counter, if it applies for you.

Arc de Triomphe – The view of Paris from the top of Arc de Triomphe is magnificent!! I personally loved the view from here rather than the view from the top of Eiffel tower!! It is free entry for anyone below 26 yrs.

Louvre Museum –  This is one of the the top most recommended places of Paris but we ended up visiting on Tuesday which is an official holiday for Louvre. So, plan your schedule accordingly. We missed it this time!!

Notre-Dame De Paris – It is a beautiful architectural masterpiece which is bound to mesmerise you!! It is all about the glass painted interiors , stunning exteriors, and the French gothic architecture.

Montmartre or Sacré-Cœur – One of my friends recommended this place for the stunning view of the city. We visited this place in the night and it did have a good view of the city. I would recommend to visit this place in daylight as the surrounding areas are usually unsafe in terms of robbery.

View from Arc De Triomphe

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Eiffel Tower In The Night

Notre-Dame De Paris

Louvre Musuem

Things To Do :

Visit Eiffel tower in the daylight and also, once the sun sets!! Especially, don’t miss the flickering lights show of Eiffel Tower which happens every hour after the sun sets till 11 pm.

Walk along Champs-Élysées where you get to see all the high street brands. One should experience that atmosphere if you are into fashion. Also, Paris has a lot to offer in terms of street fashion!! So much to learn- I wish I could stay in the city just to learn about Fashion

Don’t forget to taste those yummy french crepes 

Not to forget, the famous macarons and the french wine
(I personally didn’t like macarons though!! )


Travel Tips for Paris :

If you are below 25 years, you would be getting discount in entry fee at almost all historical locations

Paris is comparatively expensive than most other cities in Europe. So, plan accordingly

Shopoholics, ensure that you have at-least a day to explore the shopping streets. Do note that they close by 7-8 pm

Don’t stay far off the city as travelling is a bit expensive. We have tried “Chauffeur Prive” app in Paris which offered 5 euros discount on each of first six rides. You can try that!!

Bridges and Canals of Paris


I am including only the new places that I visited and found interesting this time. Do check out my previous post for more detailed Barcelona travel tips.

Duration of Visit : 2 nights and 2 days

Temperature : 20-25 C  (Visited towards the end of October. Might require a jacket during the night)

Accommodation : Le Meridian, La Rambla.
It is located right in La Ramblas, the famous street of Barcelona. All major locations are not more than 1 or 2 km from the hotel. However, this 5 start hotel didn’t provide service that matches up to the 5 star standards.

Newly Explored Places:

La Boqueria – It is the biggest market in Barcelona which has shops selling all different kinds of fruits, vegetables, sea food, chocolates and what not!! If you are a foodie or a grocery-shopping enthusiast like me, you should not miss this place. You will discover many new food items.

Streets of Gothic Quarters – The ancient vibe of gothic quarters in its narrow lanes and the small little squares is something one can’t miss. And, if you are looking for some vintage shopping, this is where you need to go. Carrer del Duc,Carrer de Retrizol, and  Carrer de Bisbe are some streets which I loved.

Camp Nou – We watched a FCB Vs Inter Milan match at this Stadium. The vibe and energy in the stadium is commendable. A Life time experience!!
Even though, you are not a football enthusiast, I would recommend you to watch a match if possible or visit the stadium.

Montserrat Monastery in Barcelona – It is famous for a monastery located on the top of one of the hills of Montserrat mountain range. However, I found the journey and the view from the top much more beautiful. It is a 40 min train from Barcelona city. You could do a day trip. The mountain range looks incredible when you are going to the monastery.

Torres Vineyard – We went on a vineyard tour which was interesting to a certain extent in terms of understanding about the wine making process and also, the wine tasting session. Ping me on Instagram if you want to know more details about it.

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Different type of Mushrooms at La Boqueria

At Camp Nou

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Torres Vineyard

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La Boqueria

Shopping Tips in Barcelona :

Zara and Mango are cheaper than India as these companies have main manufacturing units in Spain and Portugal. Visit Zara store in Plaça de Catalunya for good collection.

Sephora near La Ramblas is a very huge store and has massive discounts on few items which are way too expensive in India. So, girls, visit it if you like makeup and skincare

Visit Hema or Flying Tiger for cute knick knacks and some good gifts at affordable price

You can visit Pulls and Bear for good t-shirts. They have good collection. I found urban outfitters way too expensive.

Do visit Bershka, their shoe collection is usually good and the casual clothes too.

HnM is much cheaper in India than Europe. So, don’t waste money over there unless you like something very much

The streets in Gothic quarters have some amazing vintage stores which sell unique stuff but they are way too expensive

You can get good post cards, souvenir boards and magnets on La Ramblas.

Also, pickpocketing is very common in Barcelona. Be extremely careful.

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Plaza De Colon, Barcelona

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Zara Outlet

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Common Sight of Dressed Up Artists at La Ramblas 

That’s it for this trip!! 

Hope you enjoy my content and hope it would be useful if you happen to visit these places!!


Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀

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Photos by Naincy Suman

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Red Sneakers, white flared trousers : Zara |White Blazer : Forever21| Boots : Zara | Ref Crop top : Lefties|  Backpack : Shein|Accessories(Jewellery) : Thrift stores | Saree : Handloom Store