Posts Published by Priyanka Gupta

I am from a small town in North India. About a decade ago, I graduated with a B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD).In 2016, five years into an evolving investment banking career, I decided that I had had enough of the corporate world. So, I quit my job. Writing and living a meaningful life was on my mind. I spent the next year traveling around South America and Southeast Asia, solo.Launched in 2017, On My Canvas is a place where I talk about my travel journeys, mostly long and solo, and articulate personal growth ideas. These growth articles are an amalgamation of making my own path, breaking the boundaries in a conventional India, and are backed by tonnes of personal development books that I read.If you want to see the world or want to bring a change in your life, On My Canvas is a good place to hang out and read some stuff. But let me warn you that I write long articles. I won't sell a place if I don't like it.As a dear friend said, I think of life as a story. And so is this blog, a story, full of stories.Welcome!

Writer’s Notes From Agonda Beach, Goa

A Writer’s Diary from Agonda Beach Goa (India)

 

It’s almost afternoon. We have taken a corner table in the restaurant of our Agonda beach (Goa) guesthouse. Sunlight is abundant but we aren’t under direct sunlight.

Indian ocean rush to the sandy shore. When the high waves crash against the beach, I get transported to the balcony of my parent’s home. I close my eyes. Standing in the verandah of my two-storey childhood home, I see our neighbor’s roof. Since I was little I have seen a mound of dry wooden logs and cow dung cakes kept under a blue plastic sheet on their cemented rooftop. In my lucid dream, I hear the sheet rattle in the wind. The covers writhe and clatter under the brittle branches and rusted metal junk but they can’t let loose. Soon my father calls me inside.

I open my eyes. The ocean is free.

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Cultural Differences, a Friend For Life, and a Diwali in Chile

It is Diwali and I’m reminded of a Diwali I spent with three crazy Chilean sisters in a country home of Chile five years ago. Damn! It has been five years. The narrative tells just how different two cultures can be.

 

In 2016, I had been volunteering as an English teacher with the English Open Doors program in Chile. I was in the south of Chile on the Chiloé island in its capital city Castro. Like other volunteers I stayed in a Chilean home. The house had my bubbly host mother, other Chilean borders, and two more volunteers from England and the US.

It was Diwali and also an extended weekend in Chile. My host mother was visiting her relatives. Other housemates were traveling.

I had made many friends by then but Gabriela, another English teacher on the island, had become a special one. She invited me to a countryside family get-together with her two elder sisters. They were going to their parental home in Cauquenes, a small town in Southern Chile, to celebrate Gabby’s daughter Javiera’s eighteenth birthday.

Either I could’ve gone with Gabriela or traveled with an English volunteer best friend and housemate (and his other friends) to another cool place. (This things to do in Chile travel blog from my experiences will help you plan your trip.)

But spending Diwali with three crazy Chilean sisters sounded much more fun than talking about foreign things with other foreign travelers. So I packed my bags, took a bus to Gabby’s house, and together we took another bus to Cauquenes.

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Why Getting Dumped Could Be Good For You (Real Story)

 

Getting dumped isn’t the end of the world. The silver line of a breakup (first only faintly visible) is we get to feel and smoothen out the rough curves of our personalities.

In this essay I talk about my first love and my first break up. Though that first love seemed like my last, time proved me wrong. Looking back into the broken shards of the relationship I also see how scattered a human being I was.

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Best Articles of On My Canvas From the Year 2020-2021

Best Articles Published During On My Canvas’s Fourth Year (August 2020 — August 2021) 

 

My blog On My Canvas just turned four. Congratulations to me and to all you brilliant readers who give me a reason to write every day.

Read the above link to know about the indefinite travel journey I’m on, another big news, and the five lessons I learned in four years of blogging.

Though every blogger publishes a list of their best articles at the end of the year, I wanted to list my best articles at the blog’s new year — that’s August. As I published the first article on On My Canvas in the first week of August, this month marks the beginning of a fresh year for my blog. 

Below you will find a list of both my best life ideas and travel blogs from the year 2020-2021. Hope you enjoy these heartfelt stories and lessons from the year gone. 

I have many more travel journeys and growth hacks coming up. I also send a carefully curated newsletter every Friday. It includes my latest writings, books, and articles by brilliant writers, inspiring videos, quotes that find me from around the world, important and relevant news, and other updates. Those who have already subscribed have been receiving my writings and briefs on my indefinite journey.

Do enter your email below to subscribe if you would like to receive the letter straight in your inbox. I’m also found on Twitter (most active), Facebook, and Instagram. Hope you will join me there.

Do you know that I send an exclusive weekly newsletter every Friday? The newsletter is a collection of my latest articles and the best thoughts of the week. Enter your email to subscribe. I never spam.

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And now onwards we go. 

 

 

 

My Top Life Inspiration Articles From On My Canvas’s Fourth Year (August 2020 — August 2021) 

 

1.  The onset of Our Indefinite Nomadic Journey, Crossing Barricaded Indian State Borders, and Fundraiser Campaigns (Pocket) — My account of the beginning of a new adventure and what it brought along.

2. 42 Handpicked Marcel Proust Quotes On Habits, Love, Desire, Misery, Memory, and Little Joys (Pocket) — Marcel Proust quotes that I found too hard to ignore: collected from Vol 1, In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things Past).

3. 43 Times When Proust Blew Our Minds With His Precise Understanding of Human Composition (Swann’s Way) (Pocket) — The most insightful writings on human composition and the sweetness of life from Swann’s Way, Vol One of In search of Lost Time By Marcel Proust.

4. Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own – Meditations on Writing and Life (Pocket) — A curation of lessons on writing and life from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own essay. Read this if you don’t want to read the essay.

5. Read This If You Think You Are An Emotional Fool (Pocket) — This research-backed guide on understanding emotions gives definite advice on managing emotions intelligently to live a better life.

6. A Definite Guide to Meaningful, Healthy, and Mindful Living (Pocket) — A researched, experiential, and detailed guide to purposeful, mindful, and healthy living. Includes lessons from Ikigai exploring awareness.

7. Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2020 (Pocket) — I write because I read. I unlearn because I read. I grow because I read. Here are some of the best non-fiction books I read in 2020.

8. Best Fiction Books I Read in 2020 (Pocket) — Some of the best fiction books I read in 2020. From Anna Karenina to the Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told to Huckleberry Finn, you will find all fiction genres here.

9. How to Find Your Passion – Playing Devil’s Advocate (Pocket) — A definite guide on how to find your passions, hard questions to ask yourself to confirm your passion, and how to follow your passions.

10. 21 Books to Change Your Life – They Changed Mine (Pocket) — Did anyone ever ask you to read books to change your life? Here are the 21 best life-changing books that changed my perception of life.

11. Excel in Your 30s With These Life Lessons (Pocket) — Life in your 30s would seem like a roller-coaster. Read my experiential and other-thirty-year-olds-suggested life lessons to excel in your thirties.

12. Read This to Sleep in Your Storm (Pocket) — Read this inspirational piece to know how to keep your life together all the time and sleep even in a storm. Start small, but start now.

13. Break The Routine, Sometimes (Pocket) — A personal-experience-driven and researched guide on why we should break the routine sometimes for our good.

14. Make Someone Happy In These 47 Ways (Pocket) — Do you know how to make someone happy? Need more ideas? Use this list of 47 simple things that make people happy instantly. Try them and see for yourself.

15. The Narrative of My Writing Life in Mashobra, Shimla (Pocket) — Though this piece can be marketed as a travel guide to Mashobra, I consider it the live account of a writer’s life who is writing while exploring the mountains with her partner. I’m learning a lot about relationships and human beings on this nomadic journey and here I share the best part of it.

 

Psssst: If the links are too many to read (I know), click the Pocket link to save it to your account. New to Pocket? It is an online diary of everything you have to read. I’m also starting to get used to it. Gone are those days when I used to keep fifty-seven Chrome links open. Hope you entangle some of your threads too. 

And no, Pocket didn’t pay me to write their review. Thank you for asking though.

 

 

My Top Travel Articles From My Canvas’s Fourth Year (August 2020 — August 2021)

 

1.  Shoe Shopping in Karsog Mandi – Things Nomadic Writers Do (Pocket) — The Story of The Lost Shoe and a failed attempt at buying a new hiking pair in Karsog Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Insights into the nomadic writing life.

2. What a Dam Did to the Tattapani Hot Water Springs (Pocket) — What a dam did to the Tattapani hot water springs and how is this small village of Mandi district surviving on the banks of River Sutlej.

3. Cubbon Park – Bangalore’s Eye Candy and My Green Oasis (Pocket) — This picturesque Cubbon Park Bangalore article will surely make you want to check out this green oasis in the otherwise crowded city of Bangalore. Enjoy!

4. We Dared to Hike to Shikari Devi Temple (Mandi Himachal) On Our Own (Pocket) — Our story of hiking to the Shikari Devi Temple, Mandi, Himachal on our own. The guide covers everything you need to know about the Shikari Mata trek.

5. Pangna Village Will Amaze You (Mandi Himachal) (Pocket) — A detailed and nature-filled description of the historical Pangna village, Mandi, Himachal. You would be surprised how much you don’t know.

6. Admiring the Super Flower Blood Moon From Mashobra, Himachal Pradesh (Pocket) — A memoir of watching the super flower blood moon of May 2021 from Mashobra village of Shimla Himachal Pradesh. Enjoy the blood-red moon.

7. An Itinerant Writer’s Life in Mashobra, Shimla (Along With Things To Do) (Pocket) —A detailed guide to the village of Mashobra Shimla. The guide goes as a writer’s narrative who is living, writing, and exploring Mashobra.

8. Amazing Karnataka – From Ten Years of Travel (Pocket) — An in-depth guide to the best places to visit in Karnataka along with extensive information on the history, language, food, culture, and transport.

9. Sunny Picnic at Kanag Devi Temple, Theog (Shimla) – Pastures in Obscurity (Pocket) — This Kanag Devi temple guide takes you from the Fagu and Theog villages of Shimla to the green pastures of Kanag that outsiders don’t know about.

10. Relishing Crunchy and Soft South Indian Dosas (Pocket) —A colorful Introduction to the crunchy South Indian Dosas. Here I talk about my dosa journey, the various kinds of South Indian dosa, and a simple recipe.

11. Hiking Down to the Leopard-Infested Gorge in Mehli Shimla (Pocket) —Memoirs of hiking down to the leopard-infested ravine from the Mehli village in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

12. Can You Believe This Is Bangalore? (In Photos) (Pocket) — Unseen Bangalore images from a plethora of day outings in Bangalore City. These are not your usual Instagram Bangalore photos.

13. 5 Tried and Trusted Online Organic Stores in Bangalore (Farm+Homemade) (Pocket) —Tried and trusted online organic stores in Bangalore that deliver fresh, preservative-free, and personalized fruits, vegetables, and groceries.

14. Homestays in India – Pros and Cons, Tips, and Tried Homes (Pocket) —This one-stop guide to homestays in India includes how (general and) Indian homestays work, cultural differences, pricing tips, and tried homes.

15. A Stunning Sunset at Mandalay’s Irrawaddy River (Pocket) — Myanmar sunsets are to die for. This is a narrative photo essay on a stunning Mandalay sunset witnessed on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.

16. Blunders I Made as a Novice Traveler – Backpacking Tips Included (Pocket) — I made many mistakes as a new traveler and beginner backpacker. This backpacking guide narrates my journey and lists essential backpacking tips.

17. 12 Myanmar Traditional Food– Eating My Way Through Burma (Pocket) — A guide to the best of the Myanmar traditional foods and experiences. Read this Burmese Food blog for delicacies including and beyond Mohinga and Shan meals.

18. Chile Visa Fiasco – When I Was Stranded at the Bolivia-Chile Border (Pocket) — Traveling to Chile? Read my story of getting stranded at the Bolivia-Chile border and my race to La Paz to get a Chile visa within a day.

19. Starting an Indefinite Road trip (Pocket) — The onset of our nomadic journey in the second wave of Indian Pandemic, crossing barricaded state borders, collective helplessness, and fundraiser campaigns.

 

Which one from the above 2020-2021 articles is your favorite? Let me know in the comments. 

On My Canvas Turns Four – Big News and Five Lessons Inside

Celebrating Four Years of On My Canvas – Learnings and Updates

 

Phew! 

It has been four years since I published the first article on On My Canvas. From then on, these four years have been a non-stop roller-coaster ride. From the first year of impenetrable determination but absolute ignorance to helping out other bloggers from my two years of blogging journey, and the third year of accomplishments, I’ve come a long way.

The journey started with writing. But every artist needs an audience. I want to thank you all — my beloved readers — who have helped me make the blog the meaningful resource it is. Though I know On My Canvas has to reach a lot more people, I really appreciate the love and support I’ve received so far. At least, I have not been hit by spoiled tomatoes or stinky eggs.

 

killing me with tomatoes. long due.
Long due.

So thank you! 

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Shoe Shopping in Karsog Mandi – Things Nomadic Writers Have To Do

The Story of The Lost Shoe and a Failed Attempt at Buying a New Hiking Pair in Karsog Mandi

 

Anyone who knows my love for hiking would understand how important shoes are for me. In a tragic incident in 2020, I lost one of my Merrell shoes. I had purchased hiking boots in Chile in 2017 and since then my shoes were my loving companion on every trip and sometimes within cities too. (This Chile travel tips will prepare you well for your trip.)

When we returned from Chikmagalur after our one-month 2020 birthday trip (articles coming up soon), I started cleaning our rooftop shed. My partner promised he would bring up all the stuff from the car. I told him please bring the bags a couple at a time. But he loaded all the stuff onto him and finished unloading the car in one trip. I think he did go back to the car to see if he had left anything behind and came back satisfied. 

A couple of days later when he was putting the shoes into the washing machine, he shouted he couldn’t find one of my Merrell shoes. We looked around. Under the bed, in other bags, and in every corner. My heart sank. Oh, it sank! I still skip a few beats when I realize I will never find my shoes again (the linked shoes are similar to mine but just purchasing a new twin pair won’t do it). They kept my feet warm even on ravines and wouldn’t let me slip if I tied them tight. In dry and wet we walked together. 

In my shoe. On a hike in Himachal in 2019.

 

Our car in Bangalore was a rental one. We had taken a Zap subscription from Zoom Cars. So we paid a monthly rental and put out the car on the Zoom platform when we didn’t need it. Travelers who book short-term rental cars would get ours and we would receive part of the rent earned. The vehicle came out to be almost free. (an article on Zoom car subscription coming up soon.)

As we had just returned from Chikmagalur, we had put the car on Zoom. Someone had taken it the next day itself. It returned and went on another booking. That day the car was with us and was parked near our building.

Leaving the food burning on the stove, we ran down. We searched the entire car but couldn’t find the shoe. My shoe! I even looked around in the garbage spread on an empty plot near our house thinking the people who had booked the car might have thrown it away. But my shoe was nowhere. 

Tears simmered in my eyes. I trudged up the three floors to our rooftop and erupted on my partner. It was his fault I had lost my shoe. Why couldn’t he lose something of his own due to his mistakes? I screamed. That evening was an ugly one. Even our car cleaner had seen the one shoe inside but hadn’t informed us. What a bright mind!

Swearing never to trust my partner with my stuff, I succumbed to sleep. My partner never tried to retrieve the lost shoe from the Zoom car guys and I don’t think I will be able to forgive him for his carelessness. 

I lost my Merrell about a year ago but I haven’t forgotten them. Maybe I still hope I will find the shoes someday. I don’t know how. I left the other shoe on the rooftop when we left Bangalore to start our road trip through India. I didn’t know what else to do.

I thought writing about losing the shoe will help me accept the reality. But I find the acceptance hard. The comfort I get when I know my feet are safe in a sturdy shoe and I can walk on ice and rocks and not fall on slippery slopes is missing. 

Well, I’m alone now. Since the day I lost my shoe I’ve been using my partner’s Adidas shoes. They aren’t the sturdiest or the thickest waterproof shoes but I’ve managed with them well. 

 

1 / 1 – hiking away in my blue Adidas shoes in Shikari.jpg
hiking away in my partner’s blue Adidas shoes on Shikari hills.

 

writing-outside-in-the-mehli-forest-himachal.jpg
Walking around in Mehli Shimla.

 

After wearing the Adidas shoes for 11 months straight — out of which three months I have been hiking and running in them on Himachal terrains — now their cloth is tearing apart. They let water inside and my feet get cold.

But I didn’t buy a new pair of shoes before starting my trip to Himachal as I wanted to settle my mind on a trail running shoe. Trail runners are shoes that can be worn to run on tough mountain trails. If you can run on hills, you can run on roads and pathways. So I decided to buy a trail runner for both running and hiking. 

Before I could understand the finer details of trail runners, I had to leave big cities. We were already in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and soon entered Himachal Pradesh. The lockdowns were also in place.

I decided to work around with the Adidas one. 

After the big hikes of Shikari Devi and Kamru Nag in Mandi, my blue shoes almost gave up. They are more torn than ever. When it rained in the dense deodar jungles of Shikari hills, my feet got completely soaked. Wet feet aren’t fun.

My partner also slipped on mossy wet rocks towards the end of our Shikari Devi hike. I was never satisfied with his choice of hiking shoes. He was using a more casual shoe with some traction. 

 

My Adidas and his casual shoe.

 

After Shikari we were still at Hotel Mamleshwar in Chindi. The manager there told us we could find good shoes in Karsog, the village having the biggest market in Mandi district after the Mandi town. 

We had just returned from the Shikari trek the previous night. Now with the windows of our Queen room at Mamleshwar wide open, we got a good view of the mountains and the orchards beyond. The backside of the room opened into the deodar trees and the apple gardens nearby and beyond them lay the deeper cedar and pine woods. 

After having tea on our bed laying in cozy duvets, we discussed where to go and what to do. Some ideas around going to Chowki village and hiking to Kamru Nag were thrown around. While dilly-dallying the decision we ordered breakfast and went down to eat it in the sun on the lawn. Poori bhaji and parathas were on the menu. Some more tea followed. We extended our stay at Mamleshwar by one day because we wanted to be slow that day. 

After spending a couple of hours eating, resting, talking at home, doing laundry with hand, and all, we got ready and drove towards Karsog. Oh but not before the caretaker at Mamleshwar hotel fixed the wiring of our dysfunctional geyser.

 Today would be the shoe shopping day we echoed. The view of Karsog Valley from the Shimla Tattapani Mandi road is beautiful. You see green hills and velvety paddy fields rolling into the horizon. But as we entered the Karsog market our dreams drowned in the brook we had seen from the top. 

The dusty Karsog bazaar seemed full of the automobile, cement, welding, and other rough shops. The roads around Karsog were dug up. Many JCBs and other road rollers were busy doing road work here and there. Trucks were parked randomly. 

We thought to get coffee at a shop that displayed it sold the hot beverage. One needs to pee too. The owner said they hadn’t ordered coffee yet as the weather was still hot. Who drinks coffee in the summers? Have something cold. 

To escape the madness, we said we will have tea. That was all right by her. I asked for the toilet and only when did she make sure I had to pee and didn’t need to do number two she said I could unlock the door below and go. Water is scarce, she confided. 

With tea, we figured out places to see in Karsog. Apart from the Mamleshwar and Kamaksha temple we would need more time to do any of the longer hikes from Karsog. 

Beyond the shop lay the dusty and sunny Karsog market. So we chucked any ideas about going around and headed to the market to buy shoes. 

 

 

karsog bazaar shops in mandi

local villager going to shop in karsog market

shops in karsog market

shops in karsog village market

the uphill road in karsog

dentist in karsog

Some scenes from the Karsog market.

 

The first few shops showed us some shoes that couldn’t be called hiking shoes. A few shops had good shoes for men but nothing for women. When I asked for shoes for myself, they brandished sandals, soft cloth shoes, and other ridiculous inventory in front of me. Nothing would serve the purpose. What patriarchy!

I gave up. Even my partner didn’t want to invest more time in trying shoes he was sure she wouldn’t like. 

But I put my foot down. “As your hiking guide I say you need strong shoes. Or else if you fall again I ain’t going to pick you up.” I declared.

At one shop, he chose the Woodland hiking shoes between an Adidas option and Woodland. I wouldn’t be able to find trekking shoes for women in Karsog, shopkeepers said.

 

carrying shoes in karsog mandi
Carrying around the Woodland shoes in dusty Karsog.

 

Monsoons had been pouring down on us since we had come to Mandi. Ditching our old rookie umbrella, we bought a new one. And at the same shop, I discussed the length and width of a Whisper pad with a middle-aged shopkeeper who was giving me the big packet of green pads when I wanted the small one. After discussing wing size and night strength, we moved on. 

 

temple in karsog
An old temple in Karsog.
old wood and stone house in karsog mandi
An old wood and stone house in Karsog Mandi
khud in karsog
The khud or the nallah or the brook that flows below Karsog.
garbage on khud in karsog
See the garbage near the brook?
children playing in karsog village
Children playing in the Karsog town.

old building in karsog village children playing in karsog village mandi

Some more pictures from around Karsog.

 

We must be already running into the evening and it was time for our dinner. The streets were crowded and locals stared at us as if we were jokers or aliens. Every head turned as we moved. 

Many dhabas displayed Mandyali dham on top of their shops. The menu displayed roti, rice, a dry vegetable, dal, curd, etc. But by evening most of the food was over. We found one dhaba making tandoori roti. And when the guy said he had eggplants and rajma, my eyes went wide. He had me at brinjal. He lit up the tandoor and served us rice and vegetables and we sat and gulped the food at godspeed. I’m not sure how many chapatis we ate but at least 3-4 went down. The dhaba chefs kept bringing the curries. 

 

mandyali thali in karsog dhaba food in karsog il forno dhaba in karsog mandi

 

After stuffing ourselves we left. A wine shop caught my attention. But as the owner was missing we drove on. It is not uncommon here in Himachal to see a shop owner leave his shop open to attend to his chores or to chill with his friends at their house. If a customer comes, the neighbor will call the owner. Then the owner will speak with the customer to see if his return to the shop would be worth the purchase. If not, the customer can decide to move on with his life. Simple! 

Without getting meddled in the phone calls, we drove on towards Mamleshwar Chindi. Now we found another wine shop selling the local wine brand Hawk Eye (earlier Gold Eye). A bottle of pear, a bottle of plum, and a small bottle of cherry joined our company. 

Nice music filled our car and the jungle silence felt needed. Once home, we turned our laundry around and went to sleep. 

But soon I heard the sharp sound of an animal nibbling away at something sharp. With the help of a flashlight, I could see the eyes. The being sat on the deodar behind our window erect and gnawed at something. First I thought it must have been the flying fox bat. But after spending months in Himachal I know the nocturnal being could be nothing else but a flying squirrel

Deciding to buy my shoe some other day and admiring my partner’s new Woodland shoes, we both drifted into a deep sleep. Goodnight squirrel.

Please note: This is not a guide to Karsog. I will soon publish pieces on the village and the gorgeous Karsog Valley.

 

mamleshwar hotel in chindi village at night
Hotel Mamleshwar Chindi on a foggy night
mamleshwar hotel in chindi village
Another one of those spooky images.

Have you lost a shoe ever? Tell me some of your funny shopping stories.

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What a Dam Did to the Tattapani Hot Water Springs

Why Tattapani Village in Mandi District (Himachal Pradesh) is in Serious Need of Development

 

We first heard about Tattapani village when we arrived in Mandi District. After staying in Shimla villages for two months, we drove to Pangna village of Mandi, then to Chindi, hiked to Shikari Devi temple and Kamru Nag, explored around, and are now staying in a small highway village near Karsog. 

Tatapani — literally meaning hot water — was once an important village for not just Mandi people but for all Himachal folks. Located 52 km from Shimla, 120 km from Mandi, and 45 km from Karsog, Tatta Paani was visited by devotees on every Makar Sakranti festival in hundreds of thousands of numbers (I can tell by old Tattapani images). The religious villagers used to bathe in the village’s natural hot water springs rich in Sulphur. (Natural hot springs remind me of Manikaran village in Parvati.)

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My Best Bangalore Hotels, Apartments, and Homestays (Stayed At Each)

Some of the Best Bangalore Hotels — From Personal Experience

As my partner and I left our rooftop terrace in Bangalore to start our indefinite road trip, we started searching for budget hotels in Bangalore. Our car was still not delivered (more on the chaos in a separate piece), and we had to stick around the city a bit longer.

The most challenging thing about finding a good guest house in Bangalore is that in big cities hotels are expensive, even if poorly maintained. I have run into a lot of guesthouse owners who overestimate their property’s worth and charge exorbitantly. They calculate their property’s per day rent in terms of how much the building values but not on the services they provide and the current state of the hotel or homestay. 

I stayed at a homestay in Bangalore where we almost went crazy fixing the place and handling the hosts. You can read more about this Bangalore Airbnb experience in my family-run guesthouses of India guide. At times, some of the stays at Bangalore were so dirty we checked out from the place the same day. 

 

This Indian accommodations guide has extensive write-ups on my hotel experience in India.

And I understand the hosts’ apprehensions about Indian guests. A lot of us are notorious for making the place dirty, breaking others’ stuff, being rude and noisy, and not caring at all. But if we look beyond, the Bangalore hotel industry is run by staff most of whom aren’t trained in the hospitality industry. Well, that’s a problem in all of India I guess.

In a big city like Bangalore, I have realized it makes more sense to stay at a known or reputed hotel. Smaller and cheaper hotels in Bangalore offer poor services (maybe because their costs are high but can’t be recovered in budget pricing? or they just don’t know any better). And star-rated hotels in Bengaluru have to function well because they cater to a wide audience. Homestays in Bangalore are a gamble. 

In the above two guides, you will read me discussing more on such Indian hospitality problems. Today I want to write about these three guesthouses-cum-best-hotels in Bangalore I loved staying at. I booked them on different occasions and here sharing my honest reviews. 

Please note: This is not a sponsored post by any of these accommodations in Bangalore. They don’t even know I’m writing about them.

 

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Who Knew Basavanagudi in Bangalore Could Be So Beautiful

Going Back in Time in Basavanagudi in Bangalore

 

Spread symmetrically around parks and temples, Basavanagudi in Bangalore was a surprise to me. I was taken to this old locality of Bangalore by a dear friend Julia.

Julia is a French woman who married an Indian man mostly for her love for Kolkata (sorry Sudipto) — she met her husband there. As destiny had it, Julia happened to move into the flat below our rooftop abode in HSR Bangalore. From my terrace shed, we stalked the blood-red moons together. Christmas was celebrated at her home and Diwali was at mine.

In December 2020, when the lockdowns had been lifted and the cases were receding, Julia took me to Basavanagudi. I hadn’t explored the locality. If Julia hadn’t suggested, I may have never visited the ancient lanes, intriguing parks, and the historic temples in Basavanagudi.

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