Live the Good Life – Eat, Shop, Drive, See, Experience, Laze
11. Soak in Some Art and Culture
WHERE: Thanjavur,Tamil Nadu
WHAT: Thanjavur is well known across India as a centre of culture, artistic pursuits and creativity. Under the Chola, Nayak and Maratha dynasties, Thanjavur scaled new heights of creation. Stay at the boutique Tanjore Hi and explore the treasures of this cultural hub. The famous Tanjore paintings, with their gold foil inlay, are prized across the world. Stop by the Saraswati Mahal Library, and the Art Gallery, and browse through palm-leaf paintings and 10th-century bronze sculptures. Tours of the town are available with stops along the churches and temples, including a stop at an instrument-making workshop.
FOR WHOM: Solo travellers or groups who have an interest in art
GETTING THERE: It’s an eight-hour drive from Chennai (358km). Fly into Tiruchirapalli International Airport (62km) or take the train into Thanjavur Junction.
12. Get Your Bibs at The Ready
WHERE: Kolkata, West Bengal
WHAT: A tingling mustardy aroma keeps your senses on standby in Kolkata – be it hilsa like mother used to make it at Adarsha Hindu Hotel, fish kabiraji at Apanjan, or veg thalis at Suruchi. New Punjab Hotel serves a spicy mutton, and the always busy Kasturi serves the most amazing steamed prawn with taro root. And don’t forget second helpings of dessert, preferably at Putiram’s sweet shop.
FOR WHOM: Groups of girls
GETTING THERE: Kolkata is well connected
13. Chill-Long In Shillong
WHERE: Shillong, Meghalaya
WHAT: Take a break from the rat race in Shillong, with its colonial flavour and crisp air. One of the biggest education, fashion and music hubs in the Northeast, Shillong has restaurants, colourful bazaars and more, and the Café Shillong Bed and Breakfast and Tripura Castle are both great places at which to stay. Local musician and legend Lou Majaw performs Bob Dylan tribute concerts, adding to the cross-cultural smorgasbord. The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is very interesting, with a skywalk that offers a bird’s-eye view of the city. Make day trips to the Lwai Waterfalls or Elephant Falls and stop by tiny Khasi hamlets. How many roads must a woman take, before she knows she’s at peace? Shillong will tell you.
FOR WHOM: Solo travellers
GETTING THERE: Drive up from Guwahati (98km or roughly three hours away).