The Awadh House – Panjim, Goa

When I visit a place, I usually make a beeline for the local cuisine as far as possible because each region has its own traditional specialties that I would love to indulge in.

However, India being this vast melting pot of cooking styles, almost every location tends to cross lines and serve multiple cuisines. Goa too falls in this category and despite having a strong and typical food presence of its own, it also offers a diverse possibilities to the tourist and also of course to its residents.

So this time since my visit was in connection with the GITM 2019, Goa International Travel Mart, I was bound by the schedule of the media group and hence landed at The Awadh House, which as the name non ambiguously suggests, is a restaurant that serves Awadhi food from the city of Lucknow, the capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India.

And while a true blue Goan restaurant would have been my first choice, I must say that this place did serve excellent food and did manage to mollify my palate, despite hungering for the local 😀

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Le Meridien – Calangute, Goa

Le Meridien played host to me for the 3 days that I was in Goa for the Goa International Travel Mart GITM 2019, that took place from Oct 23rd – 25th, 2019.

I was put up in this hotel as a part of the Indian media and the experience was pleasant and comfortable.

This post has a few words about the place, for those who would like a centrally located option which has a 5 star rating and amenities to match.

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Goa International Travel Mart – GITM Oct 2019

Goa the land of sun, sand and sea needs no introduction, being as it were, a perennial favorite of the Indian and international traveller alike. Labelled as the Destination for all seasons, its humid tropical climate has proved to be no deterrent for the hordes of tourists who throng its shores all year round.

The proactive Goan tourism department now takes a step backward … yes backward from its beaches and shoreline and leads us into its hitherto lesser known hinterlands that display different aspects of its culture and customs.

The Goa International Travel Mart GITM 2019, is yet another step towards showcasing an expanded portfolio of this tiny yet diverse state and it calls out to the world to take heed of its enormous potential to please a range of travellers from the world over.

And as the ambigram aptly projects, Goa can be enjoyed in every way. Right side up or even upside down 😀

So stretch your necks and twist your heads … or easier still, just flip your phones and follow me as we take a closer look at what Goa is offering us.

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Dinosaur Park and Museum – Raiyoli, Balasinor, Gujarat

A gigantic dinosaur rises up over the horizon, its large mouth agape in a silent roar or is that a huge smile? 😀 A terrifyingly friendly welcome, deep within Raiyoli, a remote village of India.

‘Meet the Rajasaurus narmadensis which means the Regal Reptile of the Narmada’, proudly says my host, the equally regal Princess Aaliya. With her dark eyes flashing with a fierce passion and her long tresses flowing down her back, she is attired in a neat blue  shirt, denims, scarf and her signature hat, boots and cane, looking as cool as a cucumber. I on the other hand, delicate and spoiled by my Bangalore climate, am sweating in the September heat and humidity of Gujarat, which however has not deterred me from being drawn with fascination to this place that I recently came to know about.

Raiyoli lies near Balasinor, which to my ears rhymes with Dinosaur 😀 which is a town in the district of Mahisagar, in the Western state of Gujarat in India.

The Dinosaur Park at Raiyoli, is one of India’s mighty treasures that has been unearthed a few years ago but still remains relatively unknown to many.

Come let us step on the land that our prehistoric creatures walked on millions of years ago and let us unearth the secrets that it holds, ably guided by Princess Aaliya who is the authority and honorary guardian of this fascinating site.

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Balasinor, Gujarat – Things to do

When one stays at the Garden Palace Heritage Homestay at Balasinor, Gujarat, there is ample entertainment provided by the nearly 40 species of resident birds and someone like me will be able to pass all their time just chasing them with their camera 😀

However, Balasinor and its surroundings also offer some unique places of interest and despite being a relatively remote town, it surprisingly has locations of global appeal.

The hosts at the Garden Palace will help to curate guided excursions based the interests of the guests. Some of those possibilities that range within 100 km of the palace, are listed in this post for your reference.

My sightseeing tours were courtesy my hosts at the Garden Palace, who arranged transport and guides and created my itineraries according to my available time, so that I could have an optimal experience.

And speaking of time, one can grab some gorgeous sunsets in this region.

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