A do nothing vacation at Linger, Gokarna

Gokarna is a small temple town in Coastal Karnataka with serene, idyllic beaches.

Here is a short guide to experience the languid beauty of Gokarna.

A do nothing holiday in Gokarna, Karnataka

Take a stroll on the beach, watch your dog frolic in the sand and eat the waves!

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Comb the beach for unique sea shells, marvel at your treasure, pack them away.

A do nothing holiday, Gokarna

Stay in Eco-friendly huts that complement the untouched beauty of this fishing hamlet.

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Spot the dolphins, watch the sunset, wish upon a star.

Rare Earth Farm Stay

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I recently turned a year older and decided to celebrate at Rare Earth, an all-organic farm located on the outskirts of Bangalore.
Nyambura.co - Rare Earth Farm
Keeping you company are ducks, geese, turkeys, horses and 6 affectionate dogs.
Nyambura.co - Rare Earth Farm
Fresh, delicious food is served al fresco and to great music.
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The home and the cottages are eco-friendly and filled with antique furniture.
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Altogether a wonderful, sun-soaked birthday!
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Block Shop Textiles

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Lily and Hopie Stockman have brought together centuries-old textile printing techniques and modern Californian aesthete to create Block Shop Textiles.

Here is a peek into the beautiful process –

Nyambura.co - block shop textiles

Lily and Hopie’s designs are hand carved onto Sisam wood blocks by master carvers in Bagru. The fabric is prepared for printing by being soaked in a bath of harda, a natural mordant from the myrobalan nut, which helps the natural dyes bind to the fibers of the fabric.

A master printer dips the wooden printing block in a dye tray, then stamps the block on the fabric with a hard pound of the fist. This will be repeated from left to right, aligning the blocks perfectly by eye from years of experience.

The printed fabric fashioned into scarves or pillows are hung from roofs in the communal drying field and left to fix in the sun for up to three days. They are then boiled in a large copper pot in a bath of alum and dried flowers for softness and colorfastness.

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Shop their collection of scarves and pillows here.

When in Goa

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Thalassa, Mariketty’s Place

Dine at Thalassa – Order greek wine and gaze at the beautiful expanse of ocean while you wait for the chef to prepare your ‘grilled fish for the day’.

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Treasure Hunting at Casa Popular

Antiquing at ‘Casa Popular’ – Rummage through Casa Popular’s prized collection of old postcards and vintage stamps.

Nyambura - When in Goa
Vagator

Climb a Hill at Vagator – Let the sweet smell of fresh grass fill your senses while you hike to the summit to see more of the beloved ocean.

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The Golden Hour

Catch the Golden Light – Plonk yourself in the ocean and watch a magical sunset unfold.

Guide to Mysore Dasara

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Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore

Mysore, the erstwhile capital of Karnataka is a well-planned city with wide, clean roads, expansive gardens and stunning colonial architecture.

Nyambura.co - Guide to Mysore Dasara
The Palace of Lights

Places to see

Mysore Palace – The beauty of the illuminated Amba Vilas Palace in Dasara is beyond compare; All the beautiful streets of Mysore lead to the Palace and are decorated to form a capricious canopy of lights.

Kukkarahalli Lake – Located close to Mysore University, Kukkarahalli lake was created in 1864 by Krishnaraja Wadiyar to provide irrigation for land beyond the city. The lake is a treat for birdwatchers, over 176 birds migrate to the lake for a winter roost.

Nyambura.co - Guide to Mysore
The Courtyard at La Villa

Place to stay

La Villa – Created by Patrice Avossa and Magoo Bourgoin, a former artist at Yves Saint Laurent, Paris – La Villa is an elegant bungalow in the midst of a well-loved garden and the place to stay when in Mysore.

Nyambura.co - Guide to Mysore
The Green Hotel, Mysore

Places to eat

The Old House – All the wood-fired oven pizzas on the menu are delicious and are a must-have. Watch the turtle swim in the pond while you wait for your pizza.

Just Gelato – The proprietors of the gelateria have learnt the craft in Italy and bring you rich, creamy, flavourful gelato in unique flavours. Do not forget to pack flaxseed chocolate brownies for the road.

Lalith Mahal Palace – The stunning baroque dining room is a treat to the senses, as is the delicious Dasara Thali. You can also partake in afternoon tea and explore the lovely garden.

The Green Hotel – The former Chittaranjan palace built for Mysore princesses is now a not-for-profit, eco-conscious hotel. The staff are wonderful and justly complement the understated charm. A wonderful place for breakfast, the rich aroma of freshly baked bread greets you as you walk in.

Nyambura.co - Guide to Mysore
Antiques in Mysore

Places to shop

KSIC Mysore Silk – Resplendent Mysore silk sarees are woven with pure gold/silver and make wonderful keepsakes.

Oriental Arts – This antique store is a wonderful place to buy lithographs and fine china.

Would you like to know the unique essence of Mysore? Here is a hint.

Guide to Goa (in the Rains)

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A Traditional Portuguese Home in Panaji

Goa is lush and verdant in the monsoons; It’s a wonderful time to experience the beautiful countryside, traditional Portuguese architecture and the near empty beaches.

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Sussegado in the Monsoon

It is also the perfect time to enjoy delicious and fiery Goan cuisine in traditional Goan establishments.

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Hotel Venite, Panaji

Places to Eat

Ritz Classic, Panaji
The lunch thali here is not to be missed. The servings of fried fish, mussels, prawn and fish curry are fresh and delicious.
Cafe Venite, Panaji
This eatery has a wonderful, bohemian vibe, great music and flavoursome Goan seafood platters.
Cafe Baba au Rhum, Anjuna
‘Baba au Rhum’ is a quiet cafe run by a frenchman, Leo Michaud and his wife, Dayini Michaud. They make delectable chocolate croissants (pain du chocolat).
Curlies, Anjuna
‘Curlies’ has a beautiful view and is a great place to unwind over a refreshing ‘Virgin Mary’.

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The Fisherman’s Dog at Anjuna

The Best Beaches

Candolim
This easily-accessible, white-sand beach is clean and free of litter.
Anjuna
The cove at the end of the beach is safe for swimming and always manned by lifeguards.
Morjim
The beach for spectacular sunsets and long walks.

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Catching the last rays of the Sun at Thalassa, Vagator

Two Forts and a Church

Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji
The striking church is a rite of passage for all Goan tourists and is always crowded. The best way to enjoy the lively promenade is to set oneself up on a bench facing the church and talk to old Goans about times gone past.
Fort Aguada and Fort Chapora
The scenic route flanked by luxuriant paddy fields and breathtaking views at the top of the forts make it a worthy addition to any travel itinerary.

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Lilies – Born of the Rain

Places to Shop

Wendell Rodricks, Campal
The flagship store in Campal stocks a great selection of linen prêt wear; Perfect for the Goan weather. They also have minimalistic yet elegant evening wear, the likes of which only Wendell Rodricks can create.
Paperworks, Campal
Look carefully and you will find wonderfully designed wrapping paper.

Nyambura.co - Guide to Goa (in the rains)
Quaint Cafe in Sangolda

Don’t forget your sunscreen!

One rainy afternoon in Singapore

I visited the Jurong Bird Park and found it deserted, except for the beautiful birds and their caretakers. Enjoying the surprising calm and wary of the setting sun, I hurried along to take in as much as I could in the pouring rain.

Trudging along the rainforest, close to the spectacular 100-ft Jurong waterfall, I heard a voice saying ‘Hello’. I turned around and there was no one; I moved along even faster!

Then I noticed a beautiful black bird following my path; He would swoop ahead of me and I would hear a ‘Hello’.

I skeptically greeted him back and there it was again, a ‘Hello’ from the bird himself. Having made my acquaintance, he accompanied me around – hovering to match my pace, allowed me to feed him a papaya and even take his pictures while he peered curiously at me.

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It was a magical afternoon and one I won’t forget too soon.

P.S. Thanks to David of Incidental Naturalist, I now know that my feathered friend is a ‘Hill Mynah’.

If you are interested to know more about the birds in the region, take a look at this beautifully illustrated guide – Birds of Southeast Asia.