Hidden gem near Mumbai, shhhhh not revealing this treasure!

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Endless research, scanning through 10 websites landed me up on this and WOWOOWOWOWOW! Usually on Airbnb in India specially Mumbai and Lonavala, the furniture and spaces are a bit run down/ old fashioned.

When I stumbled upon this gem, it felt such a victory as it was everything what I wanted.

1. Great interiors

2. BEST BEST VIEW and specially in the monsoons, this is WOW!

3. Offbeat and private

4. Great Reviews and Good host.

It is really far from Mumbai. Consider it to be 5 hours and the road from Pune to Lavassa is steap. But oh when you reach here, its SO amazing. The interiors are BANG on that make you feel you are in a tree house. Glass balconies and well maintained, clean bedrooms. The view is spectacular. You feel so fresh. There is a bit of leakage but its in every villa due to monsoon.

Cost : Rs 15000 exclusive of food per night.

Here is the link : https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/12797635

The kitchen is well maintained and you can cook if you plan to. But they charge for everything that you use. Well charged me 100Rs for a simple butter which was two spoons used. You can order in food from delivery joints.

The space is so airy, open and well made that makes you feel great instantly.

Lets keep to the sad part. The caretaker Anil saw us youngsters and tried to fool us. He even complained about one towel lying down the floor. He gave us 45 minutes lecture on how to keep the house. And we were the one of the great guests who kept it all clean but a little bit we expect as we are paying.

Lets talk about the next incident. He raged that he had to clean the house post a party tonight and pick a bottle and while that he hurt him and then whined for another half an hour asking us for 700Rs for that one cut. So basically he doesn’t want us to do anything, then he lied about guests coming at 10am and we had barely slept so he woke us up. Then he refused to give the gate pass and when he did, he called everyone (7 members on their personal calls including the driver).

He also questioned personal details that who are we going to meet and he raised his voice thinking what will 24 year olds do. He again lectured. He wasted our 4 hours and spoilt our mood. If that was not enough, his only motto was to extract more money through tips and whatever service he did (please don’t use his service, for small portions of poha, he charged 400 rs)

But ignoring HIM, it is ONE OF THE BEST villas, I have visited many 5stars but this is GOLD.

Naropa, the cultural festival of Ladakh

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My experience:
Residing in Bombay, I had not heard about the festival. When an email popped up, I was curious to know more and more than that, see all of it.


Finally the day arrived. I headed to Ladakh. We rested for a day and next day we were up and fresh. We headed to Naro Photang for Naropa Festival day 1.


I was stunned to see the locals gathered in huge crowds and monks all over. It was held at the Naro Photang, a beautiful temple amidst a beautiful view of the mountains.


If you like culture, music or just interacting with the locals, then definitely head here for a day. Every local is so sweet and specially the kids. We also interacted with his eminence and understood more about Ladakh as a place for the locals. Since being on a high altitude, it becomes very difficult to sustain and have an infrastructure. They have begun a Naropa Fellowship to assist students and provide them a world class education which really impressed me. It is so essential that students receive that kind of facility as they are tomorrow.

We have sat back and watch crowds enjoying. We have just soaked in and understood the culture and it was an amusing process.
The music festival was a delight as the monks also danced and enjoyed.
Also what I loved was the display of little pop ups from Ladakhi costumes to coffee to local stuff. We also visited the Hemis Monastery Museum and liked the cultural aspect. Also the monastery was very quiet and peaceful.
Facilities could have been better in terms of washrooms and handling. Otherwise was great.

Deets about the Naropa Festival:
The festival officially kicked off on 16 September with the unveiling of Naropa’s “Crown
Ornament,” along with a set of ancient spiritual relics of Buddhist tradition. These rarely-
Seen holy artefacts were on display for all five days of the festival, drawing large crowds and
Pilgrims. The “Crown Ornament” on display was one of Naropa’s famed Six Bone Ornaments
(Crown, Necklace, Earrings, Bracelets, Seralkha and Apron); it is one of the most revered
Buddhist relics, and it is believed to be an offering to Naropa by the ‘Dakinis’ at the time of his enlightenment in Ladakh.

We were seated at the back and enjoyed the local tea and biscuits.

The festival stage also introduced the inaugural class of the Naropa Fellowship, a new one-year, post-graduate academic programme designed to support the next generation of leaders in India and the greater Himalayas. The world-famous “Kung Fu Nuns” of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism made an appearance on the stage as well. The five-day festival concluded with a new Guinness World Record for Ladakh, India. Earning the title of “Largest Ladakhi Dance,” two hundred ninety-nine Ladakhi women gracefully performed the famous dance of “Shondol”.

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The five-day Naropa Festival of 2018, one of the
Himalayan region’s biggest festivals ended with a mammoth of cultural events ranging from great interactions to traditional dance performances to pop concerts by prominent artists.
A detailed blog on Tips for Ladakh and Things to do in Ladakh will follow for your referral.

Booking for your trips? We got it covered

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All the inside hacks and results of trial and error so that you have it all served to you on a plate !

Bookings .

Oh god, you heard us.
The battles between mind and heart is CRAZY!
Heart : I want a luxury trip . Yes 5star property, beautiful villas

Mind : Darling have a look at your bank balance 💰

WE ARE THE SAME!

What do we do?

1. Earn all those apps loyal points like make my trip and goibibo and all of it.
2. First time install the app, get rewarded more
3. We check the hotel prices and shut the app. Again check it at other time. Usually at off times like @3am or @1am, we have got it cheaper. I don’t know how much it works for all but yes it had worked tremendously for me.

I got a deal at Leela in mumbai on NYE for 6k flat. Yes believe it

4. Book in advance.
It works amazingly well. Hell yes .

5. Try getting an upgrade.
Most of the times hotel staff is really nice and helps out!

6. Google coupon codes. First time bookings and lot of cards have it. Hell yes.

7. Also look for alternate options. Sometimes you get a better hotel at same price! Hell yes. Just surf
And no, I finish surfing in half an hour

8. READ REVIEWS
If trying out different Airbnb or off beat resorts, read the reviews properly.

9. Usually online works better than offline. I have myself called up hotels and checked it out. But yes offline has always told me more

10. Check the different rates between different suites and room prices
Sometimes a better room with an amazing view is just barely different

11. Don’t forget taxes ! Every room is more expensive than what it shows on the app. So while putting a filter on the price, MIND IT