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Notes from “Beyond the Beaten Path” in India and Bhutan!

Posted on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:56 by conniekincheloe

A series of notes on the experiences of an ETI guest on her 2nd trip with us that took her across the length of India from Mahabalipuram in the deep south all the way to Shimla in the lap of the Himalayas and then onward to scenic Bhutan and back to Ladakh!

I arrived in Mahabalipurum on the Bay of Bengal, famous for incredible 8th Century rock cut sculptures made as models for temples, manmade caves of sculptures and my favorite; the world’s largest bas relief in stone of daily life. So charming! Students here are given bicycles to encourage them to stay in school. In uniforms biking everywhere.

Then went to Kanchipuram, the Golden City of a Thousand Temples all very different from those we saw last year and all still in constant use. Our guide finagled my wearing my boot so I could enter but had to take off other shoe. Thank goodness for my walking sticks! Thrilled because the largest temple was beautiful with halls of stone with smaller temples where we actually received blessings from the Hindu priests.

Saw statues dressed in emeralds, rubies and diamond jewelry and halls of brightly painted merry go round looking animal figures that carry the deities in festival parades. So bright and different from temples in North. In contrast a charming small temple with carvings reminiscent of Angkor Wat, ancient frescoes still visible. Our guide was a wonderful interpreter of his Hindu faith.

For my girls... during lunch at our hotel,I noticed a table of 30 something women surrounded and hidden by staff. Thesewere wives of wealthy businessmen in Chennai. Wish I could have photographed but didn't dare. The latest in Indian fashion gorgeous colors but very different with nose rings attached to diamond hair Pins on some. My guide said that his wife has 300-400 saris!

Amazing aerial tour of the Taj Mahal compiled

Posted on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 09:44 by easytours

The Taj Mahal – one of the most photographed monuments of the world

As one of the world`s most photographed monuments, the 17th century Taj Mahal continues to delight and fascinate Camera persons from all over the world.

Every day, hordes of photographers, both amateurs and professionals, shoot pictures of the white marble mausoleum, bringing joy and excitement to those who pose against its magnificent backdrop.

While we all know about the Taj Mahal being the eternal symbol of enduring love that has been celebrated in story and song the world over, what is not commonly known is the scale of the conservation effort made by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to preserve the beauty of the monument.

As part of this conservation effort, the Government of India maintains a strict no-fly zone over the Taj Mahal. The no fly zone is maintained around a 1.8 mile diameter of the Taj Mahal and no building higher than 561 feet (which is the highest elevation in the Taj Necropolis) can be erected in the no-fly zone.

AirPano, a Moscow based photography specialty company that has taken famous aerial shots of landmarks around the world including the cityscapes of metropolises like Rome, Dubai and Singapore, approached the Indian government for permission to photograph the Taj Mahal from the air.

The permission was granted after considerable effort and what emerged is a phenomenal collection of photographs and a virtual aerial tour that shows the Taj Mahal in a scale of grandeur never before seen by locals or tourists in history.

More of these phenomenal shots along with accompanying 360 degree vantages in high resolution can be seen at AirPano’s website at the following link:

Delhi opens doors of the “Nature Bazaar”

Posted on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 09:17 by easytours

During August 2013, a new market dedicated to traditional handicrafts as well as organic produce opened its doors in the federal capital of New Delhi. Titled the “Nature Bazaar”, the new market is an initiative of the New Delhi Tourism Department. The market is spread over 7,000 square meters and was inaugurated by Ms. Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of New Delhi.


Posted on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 16:23 by easytours

The GRT Regency is one of the better and upscale hotel properties in the city of Madurai. The hotel in recent years has become a convenient base for the growing number of international travelers that come to Madurai on both business and leisure.

The GRT Regency is part of the GRT Group which is one of the leading business conglomerates in South India with a focus in the gems and jewelry as well as the hospitality industries. The GRT – Group has a number of hotel properties in South India in prominent destinations such as Chennai, Madurai, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), Kanchipuram, Yercaud, Tuticorin and Vellore.

The GRT Regency in Madurai has 57 rooms tiered to two standards (Superior and Deluxe). The rooms are well equipped to cater to the needs of both business and leisure travelers and come with standard amenities ranging from flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room dining and other facilities.

The hotel has a multi-cuisine restaurant titled “Ahaaram” as well as a lounge bar called “Madhuram”. For visitors looking to indulge in a bit of pampering, the hotel features a large gymnasium, pool as well as an Ayurvedic wellness center named “Ayush”.

The GRT Regency is conveniently located close to all the major tourist attractions of Madurai such as the Sri Meenakshi Aman Temple Complex, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Thiruparankundram and the Mahatma Gandhi Museums thereby making it easy for guests to discover the many wonders of the city.

Lajwaab Paneer Tikka

Posted on Tue, 07/30/2013 - 10:42 by easytours

Murgi Ki Kadi

1 Medium Pot
1 Mixing Bowl or more as necessary
1 Cheese or Muslin Cloth




Paneer (cottage cheese) - 1 lb. (0.5 kg)
Amul cheese - 5.3 oz. (150 gm.)
Roasted gram flour - 1/2 cup (50 gm.)
Hung curd - 1 cup (250 gm.)
Fresh cream - 3.5 tbsp. (50 ml.)
Turmeric powder - 1.5 tbsp. (10 gm.)
Green cardamom powder - 2.5 tsp. (5 gm.)
Garam masala powder - 10 gm.
Cumin seeds - 2.4 tsp. (5 gm.)
Yellow chili powder - 3.3 tsp. (25 gm.)
Black or table salt - 1/2 tbsp. (10 gm.)
Chat masala - 5 gm.
Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tbsp. (5 gm.)
Salt - to taste
Cilantro for Garnish


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