from the black swan kitchen

  • No Hassel Travel!
    No Hassel Travel!

    With a year full of long weekends and vacations right on the doorstep, its a bagful of opportunities to kick back and travel! While the travelling part is exciting for our wanderlust souls, it can be nerve-racking to plan an international travel. But don’t let the hassles weigh you down – we have just the…

  • The Georgian Surprise!
    The Georgian Surprise!

    As a child, playing Find It If You Can, I would call out, ‘Georgia!’ and watch my friends running their fingers over the world map, looking at me quizzically. My favourite part was showing them that nestled between the Black Sea and Caucasian Range. A few weeks back, while at a wine tasting, our host spoke…

  • 5 places to eat in Singapore for a vegetarian
    5 places to eat in Singapore for a vegetarian

    Vegetarians you won’t starve in Singapore One of the biggest fears that most Indian vegetarian travelers are fearful of while travelling to South East Asia is what if they do not enjoy the local south eastern cusine. More importantly if you have pure vegetarians in your midst then cusine becomes a distinct challenge to enjoy…

  • The Rosé-tinted Glasses of Life
    The Rosé-tinted Glasses of Life

    I must admit I was quite late to the Game of Thrones party…6 years too late. It’s a violent and brilliant drama that I was too afraid to watch for the past 6 years, because certain images tend to get seared onto my brain once I see them, and the fact that I can involuntarily…

  • Po-tay-to…Po-tah-to
    Po-tay-to…Po-tah-to

    Why debate it when the correct answer is in fact, “batata”? The Portuguese rulers may have been a lot of things, but the world must thank them for bringing Potatoes every which way they went. In 2016, we happened to visit 3 new countries – Brazil, Sri Lanka and Maldives – and incidentally, the Portuguese…

  • The Oldest Restaurant in the World
    The Oldest Restaurant in the World

    Madrid is often mentioned when we talk of football, art and design, but did you know it also is home to the oldest  restaurant in the world which is still up and running? Originally Casa Botín, later Sobrino de Botín and now just Botín, figures in the Guinness Book of Records and is considered amongst the world’s…

  • Ceylon Tea trails
    Ceylon Tea trails

    Where Tea is a Religion… There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.–Henry James As we were driving up the beautiful hills of Nuwara Eliya region to get to the Ceylon Tea Trails Tientsin Bungalow, we knew paradise was coming our way. As a…

  • The Croatian Culinary Experience!
    The Croatian Culinary Experience!

    I have to admit, I had been a little skeptical about Croatian food before my trip to Croatia. Since the country has such a long coastline, I assumed the country’s food is all about its sea food. Even Google turned up images of seafood during the pre-trip research phase. A little dejected, I stuffed my…

  • Behind The Scenes In Ladakh!
    Behind The Scenes In Ladakh!

    Going off beat In Ladakh It was not the first time I was traveling to this dream like landscape. My first trip to Ladakh was a few years back when I was contemplating what to do with my free time both personally & professionally. I had just quit my job with a fair amount of…

  • Singapore, in New Light: An Art Tourist’s Paradise!
    Singapore, in New Light: An Art Tourist’s Paradise!

    SingaporeWhere would you love to discover great works of art and engage with artists? Discover Singapore as an art destination with her museums, galleries, art fairs, art festivals and art houses!!! The Singapore of the past three decades has risen to become a hub for art in the region. A potent mix of colonial history…

  • Traveller Speaks: Kashmir, India
    Traveller Speaks: Kashmir, India

    Two friends, one a mother cum working woman the other mother cum struggling entrepreneur and both wives; bored to the core with their hectic, mundane and exhaustive life schedule, decide to take a break. A BREAK without any baggage (sans husband’s and kids) and visit KASHMIR. One completely against a travel company planning the vacation…

  • Romancing with the clouds in Munnar, Kerala
    Romancing with the clouds in Munnar, Kerala

    Munnar A much needed vacation took us romancing in the mist clad hills of Munnar, which is South India’s largest tea-growing region and a picturesque hill station in the state of Kerala. According to Hindu mythology, Kerala was created by Lord Parasurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu by throwing his axe across the sea to…

  • Traveller Speaks: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
    Traveller Speaks: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

    Rishikesh!One visit back in 60’s by the Beatles and ever since this pilgrimage site has taken a more hipper route.The narrow streets of Rishikesh are bustling with furore of activity. Everything surprises you initially – right from an Icecream eating monkey to cows pooping bang in the centre of the road – and then, nothing…

  • Ankit’s Travel Diaries
    Ankit’s Travel Diaries

    Odisha On And Off The Beaten Path On my very first trip to Odisha, I wanted to go beyond the usual triangle of Bhubaneshwar-Puri and Konark. After landing in Bhubaneshwar, I straight away headed to the Lingaraj temple, the temple that is the first in the pecking order in a city which is dotted with…

  • Stories In Stone:Rock Art Across The World!
    Stories In Stone:Rock Art Across The World!

    Rock Art Art since the earth’s beginnings has undergone numerous changes. Nowadays an artist has various tools to sculpt or paint or sketch on. When the earth was in its infancy humans chiseled out depictions of their existence and culture on rocks. These depictions, for archaeologists and historians worth as much as a Picasso, now…

  • Traveller Speaks: India and Abroad
    Traveller Speaks: India and Abroad

    Maharashtra, Dapoli, India: Sunil PatilThe day we arrived at the Farm, we were greeted warmly by the whole staff and were served some good relaxing Kokam juice.The staff was very friendly and they took care of my kid too. After probing our taste and liking’s the staff had a well planned schedule for the meal…

  • Black Swan Experiences
    Black Swan Experiences

    ExperiencesListed below are some of the experiences offered by Black Swan Journeys Garli, Himachal Pradesh, India A sleepy little village nestled in the Kangra valley, Garli could almost be a place suspended in time – heritage buildings, temples & shrines, local craft. But, enjoying Kangri chai next to a pond as you marvel over the…

  • Our Bespoke Journeys become the talk of the town!!!
    Our Bespoke Journeys become the talk of the town!!!

    The Golden Sparrow | Globetrotters of a different kind                   When travelling became more important than anything else, they quit their well-paying and high-profile jobs to bask in adventures and travel roads less explored. http://bit.ly/22GTKQw                          …

  • Flavoured Dumplings!
    Flavoured Dumplings!

    Dumplings Around The World! You may choose to call them potstickers, momos, baos, or wontons, or you may prefer them steamed, boiled, fried or baked, but world over, dumplings remain the best soul-gratifying, comfort food. The warm waft of the steam that breathes out with the first bite into the pillowy softness, does not prepare…

  • Black Swan Moments!
    Black Swan Moments!

    Goa: Feni tasting in a Heritage Homestay This country liquor produced only in Goa is something I thought I’d written off a long long time ago when on a thirsty summer’s day I gulped down a mouthful of what I had assumed was cold water. Sips of feni at family parties didn’t excite me either….

  • Rhythmically Indian – A musical Legacy!
    Rhythmically Indian – A musical Legacy!

    Indian classical music has since time immemorial occupied a unique position in the global space of music. From the ritualistic connotations of religious compositions to the passionate expression of folk songs, this capacity for diversity has allowed for Indian classical music to develop into an industry with far-reaching influence. For the last few centuries, classical…

  • On the Outside of it – Have an Adventure!
    On the Outside of it – Have an Adventure!

    An adventure is to find yourself whole. These simple words encapsulate the emotion every adventure junkie feels as they find their way up mountains, down rivers, across deserts and beyond the confines of walled institutions of the home and work variety. There is something to be said when [and much to be done!] when it…

  • Traveller Speaks: Bali
    Traveller Speaks: Bali

    BALI I recently told a friend, the travel bug has got me bad. Every few months, wanderlust beckons and I kneel and obey! She had then said, ‘you always make your trips sound so perfect.’ And her words had bothered me, when it should not have, since she clearly meant it as a compliment. I…

  • About Kutch: To visit a land of stark beauty
    About Kutch: To visit a land of stark beauty

    The name Kutch is derived from kachbo, which means tortoise in Gujarati, and signifies the shape of the landmass. Unique in its geographic stationing, Kutch is a desert capped by a gulf of the same name. The land is dependent entirely on the passing of seasons – it is dry and arid in summer, a…

  • Russian Cocktail: May or may not contain vodka!
    Russian Cocktail: May or may not contain vodka!

    Russia has a reputation… The country – a stage for world politics, societal tensions and James Bond villains equivocally – has seen the glorious rise and imminent fall of empires, and these have each left behind a social and cultural legacy whose impact is yet visible transparently in the Russian way of life. Under the…

  • High Fives of Pink City! Jaipur
    High Fives of Pink City! Jaipur

    JaipurUnder the desert sun, a dancer dressed in bright hues, doing graceful pirouettes, while the silver of her jewellery catches your eye. A memory so mesmerising that you shan’t forget it for decades to come. – Dance form: Ghoomar. Place: Jaipur And the ‘atypical’ fairytale goes…. A long time ago, this pink city was blessed…

  • Croatian Vacation
    Croatian Vacation

    A hundred islands speckle the extended coastline of Croatia, tiny dots on the Adriatic Sea when seen from above. The beauty is compounded by the Dinaric Alps which follow the shores of these glittering waters, and form an entire ecosphere of natural beauty on their own. Croatia is a historian’s fantasy at its finest, the…

  • To Taste India  – Five flavors, one nation
    To Taste India – Five flavors, one nation

      The diversity of India impacts its people unique ways; from simple things like their way of life to complex cultural mannerisms, the diversity is open and out there (perhaps it is better to say ‘out here’!) for anyone who seeks it. This diversity however, stems first and foremost from the land – the variations…

  • 48 Hours in Prague
    48 Hours in Prague

    Titled the historical capital of Bohemia, Prague is a wonderful cultural amalgamation of the many influences it has found itself a subject of a nucleus of both the Gothic and Renaissance eras, Prague has also served as a hub of war activity during World War I. Many such beautiful cultural locations have survived the bloody…

  • Theatreland – The Sound of Music(als)
    Theatreland – The Sound of Music(als)

    With a name as enchanting as Theatreland, and dramatic ventures beckoning almost anywhere one turns, London’s foremost theatre district is a delight for the eyes. A distinguished name on the stage of English language theatre, the West End is bound by four major roads in the heart of the city, and is renowned for its…

  • To Chase a Storm!
    To Chase a Storm!

    Monsoon Journey through India The late Khushwant Singh, prolific writer and historian, once said that the Indian Monsoon is presaged by the arrival of the Pied Crested Cuckoo, whose birdcall is a signal for the imminent waterworks. The monsoon is one of the most awaited seasons in India, for it follows in the footsteps of the usually harsh…

  • Single Malt Safari
    Single Malt Safari

    “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” ― Mark Twain what to expect Ask people what they associate most with Scotland, the answer would most likely be whisky. As Scotland’s national drink, it has been produced here for centuries. There’s so many ways to discover more about it,…

  • Diamonds in the Rough: Defining Literary Culture
    Diamonds in the Rough: Defining Literary Culture

      “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”   ― Ray Bradbury Time and again, libraries and other homes for books have found themselves questioned for having spread radical ideas and inciting rebellion. It is however, historically and culturally significant to note, that despite centuries of censorship and book-burning, not…

  • Versatile Wayanad: A perfect weekend getaway!
    Versatile Wayanad: A perfect weekend getaway!

    We are intrigued by novelty. A large part of that therapeutic relief that we receive through travel is based in the conceptual need of every individual to experience and almost invariably be excited by novelty. Every once in a while, we need to get away, and it is these little one-day or two-day breaks that…

  • The Heritage Arc: a cultural journey
    The Heritage Arc: a cultural journey

      India – a land so diverse that each city will leave you mesmerised with its uniqueness. There are numerous examples of cities that will have you spellbound with their unique slice of history, culture and architecture. One such journey that many of us have undertaken is through the Golden Triangle covering Delhi – Agra…

  • Ajanta-Ellora: Looking up to the Rockstars!
    Ajanta-Ellora: Looking up to the Rockstars!

    This trip had to be a big dose of special. We were to travel with a bus full of students, whose excitement levels seemed to keep rising with every passing kilometre. These were 26 junior college students and aspirational designers. We got to know this fun bunch through their design coach, Sarita Dhimate. The trip…

  • United Kingdom: A road less travelled
    United Kingdom: A road less travelled

    29th March marks the official beginning of the Summer time in Britain – when the days are longer and temperatures perfect for a picnic in the park! It is one of the best times to visit this island nation – exploring the green countryside through long walks, colourful barbeque parties at parks, remote castles &…

  • Long weekend getaways: Travel Made easy with Hassle-free visa
    Long weekend getaways: Travel Made easy with Hassle-free visa

    There are bunch of Travel lists doing the rounds which map out several overseas destinations where Indians can travel by getting a fast track visa or visa on arrival. However, we decided to collate a thorough compilation of quick –fix international vacations that guarantee you a bang for your buck. As the very many long…

  • Pondy Ponderings | Our traveller speaks!
    Pondy Ponderings | Our traveller speaks!

    Former French colony…. Views of the azure coast of Bay of Bengal… Antique furniture… French cuisine… Et bien sûr Auroville!  Armed with enough ammo to visit Pondicherry I embarked with my family on a Gallic holiday! This tiny city tucked away nicely along the coastline has always been on my bucket list, so of course…

  • CHASING THE FESTIVITES
    CHASING THE FESTIVITES

    Being in the right place at the right time has its perks! And when the occasion is centred on a celebration, it is like an icing on the cake. We at Black Swan Journeys want you to not only experience the best that a place has to offer but also soak in the energy of…

  • Meeting Lord Rama in the Vanar Kingdom!
    Meeting Lord Rama in the Vanar Kingdom!

    Glimpses of History & Mythology: Hampi & Anegundi  In hindsight, the night bus journey seems like the perfect plan. We boarded from Pune, and woke up afresh to the green and rocky vistas of Anegundi. It was a spectacular change in perspective. The 10 of us stood around, walked a bit, and stood back again,…

  • How well do you know India’s First Luxury Hotel?
    How well do you know India’s First Luxury Hotel?

    The Taj Mahal Hotel Image Source: Outlook India “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney  There was a visionary practicing this mantra even before Walt Disney was born.  Jamsetji Tata was the dreamer, the visionary and the leader who set up what we now know as the Tata Group. Regarded…

  • 11 offbeat excuses to visit Dubai
    11 offbeat excuses to visit Dubai

    Contrary to popular conception, Dubai sightseeing is not just about hopping from one mall to the other, but exploring what the real Dubai has to offer. There is a world full of colour, exotic spices, friendly people, and scrumptious food just waiting to be discovered. Here are our top 11 offbeat things to do in…

  • GOING OFF BEAT IN NEPAL
    GOING OFF BEAT IN NEPAL

    The kingdom at the foothills of the mighty Himalayan range, although small in area compared to its neighbours; encompasses within itself an extensive array of experiences that are guaranteed to leave travellers spellbound. Not a newbie to travellers, Nepal has a charm that has drawn adventurers towards itself from time unfathomable. Since ancient times it…

  • Goa, India: Time travel this holiday season!
    Goa, India: Time travel this holiday season!

    “In Goa they speak only one language, the language of leisure.” What do you do when in Goa? Do as the Goans. Wake up to the call of breakfast, laze on a beach with a book or a beer, or maybe both, enjoy your siesta, step out to party at one of the countless haunts…

  • 5 reasons to say ‘Chalo Delhi!’
    5 reasons to say ‘Chalo Delhi!’

    “I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.” ~ Mirza Ghalib They say Delhi is made up of seven different Delhis. To experience this,  you have to let her slowly unveil each of  those seven secrets for you. Experience Delhi in all her seasons, in…

  • Did Alexander come to India?
    Did Alexander come to India?

    There is no doubt that Alexander came to India, because the Greek, Persian, Egyptian and later Roman sources tell us of his campaign in Asia and Egypt. But which of our sources comment on this? None. The Puranas, which record the genealogies of dynasties, both big and small, sometimes over centuries, just go silent on…

  • The Queen of Indian Step-wells
    The Queen of Indian Step-wells

    Step – Wells!Think of history and the first visual that comes to mind is a raging battle on some dusty field with chariots, horses, elephants and thousands of men engaged in combat. This perception is true to a great extent because when we think of the past, it’s impossible to separate the political realities of…

  • Three days in Dewas
    Three days in Dewas

    By the end of three days in Dewas, one very important question took hold of our very skins – how much dal-baati is too much dal-baati? The answer is tricky. We discovered that meal after meal, a group of city bumpkins sheepishly dipping the tough, baked balls of dough in fiery gruels. We often slept…

  • Glimpses of the Ramayana: Anegundi
    Glimpses of the Ramayana: Anegundi

    In hindsight, the night bus journey seems like the perfect plan. We boarded from Pune, and woke up afresh to the green and rocky vistas of Anegundi. It was a spectacular change in perspective. The 10 of us stood around, walked a bit, and stood back again, taking in the sheer beauty of Anegundi. This…

  • Exploring Chaul
    Exploring Chaul

    Exploring Chaul After a week of battling traffic snarls in Mumbai, not many of us are enthused by the idea of travel over the weekend. But it was the post on Black Swan Journeys’ Facebook page that made me think otherwise – a two-day trip to the twin towns of Chaul and Rev Danda, exploring…

  • Saving Kas
    Saving Kas

    Kas: Maharashtra’s very own Valley of flowers is vanishing’ Come monsoons, and the carpets of wild flowers attracts thousands of visitors every year to Kas plateau, a UNESCO natural World Heritage site! A place of botanical significance, this rocky plateau supports around 250 flowering plants, with mind boggling adaptations- carnivory, parasitism, desiccation tolerance- to survive…

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