T wo award winning journalists were recently in India and each returned awed and overwhelmed by the experience.  India has a huge impact on visitors. It defies expectations - and for true travellers- it never disappoints. A first visit is simply the start of a love affair, and to return home is only the beginning of preparations for the next trip. Join Cindy-Lou Dale and Ilona Kauremszky on their travels through India and share their wonder and delight at this diverse and unique country and its people.


Cindy lou dale

The most magnificent hillresort in India
The roads had at some point been tarred, but were now in a very bad state of repair. And with no sidewalks, it’s shared with farm animals and pedestrians. As we neared the Himalayas the landscape changed to that of a tropical jungle. A snaking road up the mountain brought us to a viewing point where my driver stopped and left me to consider the aqua coloured Teesta River while he magic’d up a cup of tea from somewhere. We continued past two Buddhist temples and numerous colourful Gurkha villages then stopped at Lama Hatta for more tea. Read More:

 I was half expecting Kolkata to be a city of squalor and dilapidated buildings shrouded in a tropical cloak of decay. What I found instead was an explosion of vibrant colours and heady spices; bolts of silk in silver and azure and intricate hand-crafted gold jewellery. It’s a fusion of untouched history and heat; a sensory blast of classical Indian music and excited chat of 15-million people. For the most, Kolkata’s shabby streets and distressed buildings (spread over 676 square miles) remain untouched since its independence in 1947, but it does so in a vintage manner. Read More:


 I’d been up since midnight - something big gave an audible deep throated grunt under the veranda of my bungalow at Stanmore Tea Estate in Valparia, southern India. I’d left the balcony doors and windows standing open, hoping for a cool breeze. Now on my third cup of Masala Chai, the world began to look a beautiful place.  Read More:

Aunty finds the secret ingredient of Masala Chai

 “What is that spice that makes this taste so good?” I asked a chaiwallah – a Mumbai tea vendor. “That which you are tasting, Aunty, is my very special mother’s recipe for Masala Chai.” When speaking to a person older than themselves, and as a sign of respect, Indians call their elders Aunty or Uncle, which after a while is rather endearing. Read More:






In years gone by a trip to far-flung India was no easy feat. This vast subcontinent was a place that beckoned travellers on a quest for the exotic or spiritual enlightenment or for those keen on adventure and wanderlust. Having just returned, I’m here to dispel any apprehensions one might have regarding a visit to one of the world’s most fascinating countries.  Read More:

Hospitality and service in India

18 APR 2016: No matter where or how you travel in the world’s largest democracy, expect the unexpected. From the maddening traffic brought screeching to a halt by a lazy lone standing sacred cow that has decided to rest in the middle of the road, to a funeral procession of mourners filling the jammed streets in Old Delhi, India will shake your senses.

And when you finally do arrive to your temporary home in a land far away, the fabulous interludes, those magical and humorous moments of humanity are what will define India and will begin.  Read More:

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