Beautiful Monsoon Destinations In Asia

Now that monsoon is in full swing in my part of the world, I’ve been thinking of exploring places other than my city (Mumbai). A few days back, I had asked my travel blogger friends for some holiday suggestions in Asia, and they’ve sent me some amazing locations that I hope to explore someday. So, here is the list of beautiful monsoon destinations in Asia as recommended by seasoned travellers around the globe:-

Cherrapunji – Meghalaya

Cherrapunjee (Courtesy: Punita Malhotra)

Cherrapunjee (Courtesy: Punita Malhotra)

Recommendation by Punita Malhotra – 100 Cobbled Roads

“Meghalaya (abode of the clouds), a state of North Eastern India is famed and adored for its ‘all-the-time, anytime’ cloud cover. It is an experience in itself to soak up the full glory of the wettest place on earth at any time of the year in Cherrapunji (‘land of oranges’), also called Sohra. Monsoon is even more special if you’re ready to blend in with the weather. Think little villages, fertile farmlands, tin-roofed houses, vibrant wildflowers, grazing farm animals, and sarong-clad Khasi women.

Redefine your idea of green with the picturesque vision of lush meadows cloaked in a thick cover of mist. Just drive, drive and drive more till you can see nothing but green when you shut your eyelids. Indulge in a walk with the clouds caressing your cheeks. Witness the wonder of Nohkalikai Falls, India’s tallest plunge waterfall, dropping from a sheer cliff 1115 feet and foaming softly into a clear turquoise pool. Come back inspired and refreshed.” Read the full post here.

Udawalawe National Park – Sri Lanka

Safari in Sri Lanka (Courtesy: Eileen Cotter Wright)

Safari in Sri Lanka (Courtesy: Eileen Cotter Wright)

Recommendation by Eileen Cotter Wright – Pure Wander

“Animals love water – so what better time to spot Sri Lanka’s wildlife than during the monsoon season? In Udawalawe National Park, visitors have the opportunity to take jeep tours along dirt roads in search of protected Asian elephants. Hundreds roam this land, so you have a great chance of spotting them by the side of the road and in the wading ponds. There are plenty of other creatures who call this park home too, such as water buffalo, leopards, deer and countless colourful birds.

Do be mindful in the monsoon season though, flash floods and heavy rains can happen quickly. We got stuck in a downpour and also had to force the jeep to get to safety. Water levels rose and our guide joked we wouldn’t be out-of-range for the crocodiles. (I hope he was kidding!) But the local guides expertly navigate the rains so we felt safe. It was the highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka.”

Annapurna Circuit – Nepal

Annapurna Circuit (Courtesy: Zheng Yen Ang)

Annapurna Circuit (Courtesy: Zheng Yen Ang)

Recommendation by Zheng Yen Ang – Swing Abroad

“I guess a lot of people have been warned against trekking in the monsoon season due to unpredictable weather and disasters. Yep, I can’t deny that trekking the Annapurna Circuit during the monsoon is dangerous, but it’s also one of the best things I’ve ever done! What makes it so special anyway? Well, first of all, Annapurna Circuit traverses through some magical places which fall in rain shadow. That means almost the whole trek is protected against rain in the daytime. During my 14-day trek there, it only rained the first two days. It poured almost every midnight, for your information.

Secondly, crowds are never seen due to the unpopularity of trekking in monsoon. Most of the teahouses are unoccupied, and they will compete for any trekkers passing by. The best thing? They offer free stay as long as you dine in their hostel for dinner and have breakfast the next day! Some might need negotiations. If you’ve never tried trekking in the rainy season, try Annapurna Circuit. And only that! Most of the other treks are not in rain shadow, so they’re not protected against the rain clouds. Check out my article for more info – Trekking Annapurna Circuit in Monsoon Season: Good Idea or Not?

Koh Kood – Thailand

Koh Kood (Courtesy: The Lost Passport)

Koh Kood (Courtesy: The Lost Passport)

Recommendation by Josh Shephard – The Lost Passport

“Thailand’s monsoon season goes from July to October. While places like Bangkok experience flash flooding and chaotic traffic, islands such as Koh Kood are quite the opposite. Koh Kood is already an off the beaten track destination with only a handful of tourists in the high season. However come here in the monsoon season and you’ll just about have the island to yourself.

The mornings are hot and humid, perfect weather to go for a dip in the cool clear water surrounding the island, or hang out on the rope swings along the beach. As the heavy rain comes down in the afternoon, the island will transform into a beautiful rainforest setting. The rain is typically warm, so rather than hiding, you can just stand outside and enjoy a shower in nature, the way things should be. Koh Kood is a beautiful island all year round, but even more amazing during the monsoon season. The only tricky part is getting there, as some ferry services stop running.”

Hong Kong

Hongkong Skyline (Courtesy: Clemens Sehi)

Hongkong Skyline (Courtesy: Clemens Sehi)

Recommendation by Clemens Sehi – Travellers Archive

“Start of the monsoon season in Hong Kong is in May. However, that isn’t the worst time to be there. On the contrary, it might be a good idea to avoid the summer season when it can get really hot, humid and have bad rainfall. Hong Kong has a wealth of amazing things to do on rainy days, and staying indoors can be just as entertaining as exploring the islands.

Indulge in an afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hong Kong, go shopping in the huge malls, check out the galleries and boutiques at PMQ (the former Police Married Quarters of the Hollywood Road Police Force), take the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and enjoy the view from Victoria Peak. Why? Because the most interesting part of the monsoon season in Hong Kong is the skyline that often disappears in the clouds with a somehow mysterious effect!”

Sen Monorom – Cambodia

Sen Monorom, Cambodia (Courtesy: Danny Newman)

Sen Monorom, Cambodia (Courtesy: Danny Newman)

Recommendation by Danny Newman – Coddiwomp

“When I think of beautiful Asian monsoons, I immediately travel back to my time in Sen Monorom, Cambodia. I went to this incredible country for a month last year with my girlfriend and, unbeknownst to us, we’d booked our trip in the heart of the rainy season, between August and September. Frankly, it didn’t much matter that the weather was wetter than we’d planned for! The country remained as accessible and superbly beautiful as it would have in the dry season, just with fewer tourists and a cooler climate. Having said that, the rain was something else- a true sight to behold. I’ve been in other Asian countries in the wet season, but I don’t recall rain falling the way it did in Cambodia. It fell relentlessly at times, bucket loads; raindrops the size of stones falling ceaselessly for considerable periods. Rivers rose and roads flooded. It was remarkable.

We got particularly wet in Sen Monorom- a town in the wild east of the country. Brave or stupid, we booked an overnight jungle trek there. Needless to say, we got wet. It started raining in the early afternoon and just did not stop. For hours it fell, soaking us to the core. But there was magic to it. Deep in the jungle, surrounded by nature- immersed in it, even- it felt utterly unlike home; totally and completely removed from normality. It was intense, fresh, wonderful and novel; a unique experience on the other side of the world. And isn’t that why we travel? To be displaced and removed, physically and mentally, from the confines of home? For me it is. And this beautiful monsoon made it happen.”

Sabah – Malaysia

Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia (Courtesy: Karen Alexis)

Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia (Courtesy: Karen Alexis)

Recommendation by Karen Alexis – Wanderlustingk

“If you’re interested in seeing wildlife IN THE WILD, you must visit Sabah, Malaysia. I visited Borneo in December and January. I was nervous that the rainy season would mean that it was downpouring all the time, but there was enough good weather that the rain didn’t interfere much with our plans. It’s low season during the monsoon, so if you dream of seeing wild primates in Borneo, you’ll find affordable rates for resorts that will take you out on wildlife safaris. If you’re lucky, you might even spot wild pygmy elephants!

Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of being a National Geographic Explorer in Borneo, and going in the rains made all my dreams come true, especially after I saw three wild orangutans as well as countless monkeys in the rainforest near the Kinabatangan river valley. It was a dream come true, so be sure to visit Malaysian Borneo!”

Have you been to any of these places in the monsoon?

Know other destinations that look beautiful in the rains?

Let me know through your comments below! 🙂

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5 Reasons Why You Need to Go to Bali

Most of my pals who have travelled to Bali tell me it is a trip worth making. One of my friends from Australia recently vacationed there and has requested me to run her guest post on my blog. I am yet to visit this South East Asian marvel, but you can read Lena’s account below. Hope her article fuels your wanderlust to book your next holiday in this place! 🙂

Tanah Lot (Courtesy: Thomas Depenbusch)

Tanah Lot (Courtesy: Thomas Depenbusch)

“One of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands, Bali has seen something of a boom in popularity in recent times. According to 1Cover, the number of Australians visitors to Bali has increased by 546% since 2006! And it is not difficult to see why. Bali has it all – from history and culture to appetizing food and eye-catching views. These are only but a few delights. Here are five reasons why you need to go to Bali:-

1. For The Culture

Rice paddies in Tegalalang (Courtesy: Jamie Fenn)

Rice paddies in Tegalalang (Courtesy: Jamie Fenn)

One of the best things about travel is learning how people from around the world live, and seeing how different that is from your own life. Bali is no exception when it comes to providing an unusual experience. Pay a visit to the rice paddies in Tegalalang as the sun rises. Then head to the village to spend some time with the local families and explore the surroundings.

2. For The Food

Quinoa Gado Gado (Courtesy: Like the Grand Canyon)

Quinoa Gado Gado (Courtesy: Like the Grand Canyon)

Bali’s food scene is not to be missed! There is something for everyone, no matter what your dietary preference. With the abundance of fresh produce, each dish is guaranteed to be packed with flavour.

Five dishes to try in Bali:-

Babi guling — suckling pig
Local fish (fresh catch)
Gado-gado — vegetable salad in peanut sauce
Mie goreng — fried noodles served with vegetables (you can also add chicken, shrimp or pork)
Pisang goreng — fried bananas served with honey and coconut

3. For The History

An oasis of green (Courtesy: Artem Bali)

An oasis of green (Courtesy: Artem Bali)

There’s plenty of fascinating history to explore in Bali. Ubud Palace is an excellent example of Balinese architecture, plus traditional dances are held there regularly. (They’re a must-see if you love the arts!) Also, don’t forget the temples. It is difficult to choose which ones to see, but it’s well worth ticking Besakih off the list. Known as the Mother Temple, it’s the oldest one on the island and is made up of 23 smaller temples. Dedicate a day to looking around and finding ancient secrets.

4. For The Outdoor Activities

Surfer at Uluwatu in Bali (Courtesy: Simon Sees)

Surfer at Uluwatu in Bali (Courtesy: Simon Sees)

Bali is best known for being a haven for surf enthusiasts. Uluwatu, Keramas and Padang Padang are the best surfing spots to ride some waves. Visitors of all experience levels will find an area to suit them. While, beginners can get started at one of the local surf schools, the more experienced surfers are spoilt for choice when it comes to new challenges.

 

That said, there’s more to the island than catching waves. Whitewater rafting, scuba diving, kite surfing and hiking are just some of the activities you can enjoy if you want to do more than sit on the beach all day. You can make your holiday as laidback or as adventurous as you wish.

5. For The Sunsets

Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Bay (Courtesy: Sackerman519)

Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Bay (Courtesy: Sackerman519)

Chances are, you’ll see a stunning sunset no matter where you are on the island, but Jimbaran Bay is a remarkably good location. Bring your camera, find a spot to relax in,and snap some postcard-worthy pictures to remember your trip by.”

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What The Koli Tribe Of Purushwadi Has Taught Me

Purushwadi, a village that wakes up to the crowing of a rooster and sleeps soon after the sun has set, was my home last month. I had changed 4 modes of transport from Mumbai to get to this fully sustainable remote hamlet nestled in the Sahyadris. The people of this land are one of the most prosperous tribes in rural Maharashtra – Mahadev Koli. I did not know in the beginning how much I would learn from the simpletons of Purshwadi, but they overwhelmed me with their admirable lifestyle!

Age Is Only A Number (And Old Women Are Pro Farmers)

Advanced in age, this woman still begins her mornings tending to her field.

Advanced in age, this woman still begins her mornings tending to her field.

Every family in this village owns a small patch of land and almost everyone is a farmer. Children as young as 9 help their parents in the fields when their school is shut for summer. It is more common to see women working away on the farms as compared to men. They head to the fields at about 11 in the morning, after they have finished their housework, and return only after sunset. Their active lifestyle is perhaps the reason why they are so fit even in their golden years. It is not uncommon to find grandmothers toiling in the scorching sun.

Animals Are Not Playthings

Cattle are like extended family to the villagers of Purushwadi.

Cattle are like extended family to the villagers of Purushwadi.

I was moved by the compassion that the Koli tribe shows towards animals. Their cows and goats have plenty of open greens to feed on. Their sheds are cleaned and they are given a bath soon after sunrise. Happy cows also mean tastier milk! It must also be mentioned that each home owns cows, goats and hens for its daily supply of milk and eggs. The self-sufficiency of these people cannot be overstated.

Women Can Carry More Than Their Own Bodyweight

Hands of steel carry firewood to run the kitchen.

Hands of steel carry firewood to run the kitchen.

Purushwadi has not seen any of our fancy kitchen gadgets. There are no gas stoves or piped gas connections here. Firewood is used for fuel. It is not unusual to find women along the streets carrying bundles of firewood on their hike up their hilltop homes. What is particularly noteworthy is their superior physical strength that enables them to carry as much as 50 kilos (perhaps more than what they weigh) on their head.

Contentment Is More Precious Than Creature Comforts

The typical kitchen in Purushwadi homes.

The typical kitchen in Purushwadi homes.

I was astonished at how hard each woman works to run her home in this village. Not only do they wake up before anyone else in the household, but also sleep after everyone else has slept at night. Right from cleaning the house and the cowshed to cooking and serving meals to all to packing off their kids to school to tending to their fields to serving their families again to washing the dishes, and more… these women work like superheroes, saving the day for all. And they do all of this with such calm and poise! They ask for nothing in return, knowing somewhere within that their truest joy is in contentment.

Family Is A Gift, Not An Inconvenience

My guide, Balu's mother pounds rice to loosen the husk from the kernels as her granddaughter looks on.

My guide, Balu’s mother pounds rice to loosen the husk from the kernels as her granddaughter looks on.

During my short stay in Purushwadi, the women tried to teach me a lot of things – hulling rice, grinding it into fine flour, kneading a dough, making flat and round bhakris (roti made of rice flour). I proved to be a poor student, but they were patient and encouraging teachers. While all of this was happening, I observed how close-knit all the families are; also, how well the Koli tribe functions as a community. My guide, Balu, told me that his friend would work in his field for the day that he spent as my guide. And Balu would do the same for his friend when it is his turn to escort a visitor. They don’t compete against one another but work for each one’s benefit. The entire village is like a giant family. In stark contrast, most of us city-dwellers view family as an inconvenience that hinders our personal space and freedom. And despite all that we have, we are neither satisfied nor happy.

Authentic Organic Food Is In Little Villages

The ingredients for our meal are laid out.

The ingredients for our meal are laid out.

I would have all of my meals in a village home, and I’d have to walk past several fields of wheat, groundnuts, rice, amaranth and more. Gorak, a young village lad, explained to me how they decide to sow seeds based on what they would like to eat. They don’t do anything in excess. Everything is grown for the family, and only some wheat is stored for emergencies (which can be traded to other villages for money). He also told me that their land is blessed with fertile soil and they also now have proper irrigation, thanks to the dam which brings them the river-water. They don’t use any pesticide or insecticide, and this is where one can have the entire farm-to-plate experience of fully organic food.

Women Are Good Leaders

A female goatherd takes her goats back home in the evening.

A female goatherd takes her goats back home in the evening.

The Kolis astounded me with their progressive mindsets which were quite unlike those I’ve come across in other Indian villages. They don’t prefer either gender over the other. Their aim is to have equal gender distribution. Women here don’t shy away from talking to men, nor do they cover their faces or heads (as is commonplace in most traditional households). The Koli women smartly take on roles that I have generally seen men perform – herding goats, lifting heavy objects, constructing huts, and more. Here, the leadership potential of women is fully harnessed. And that’s something even modern offices have failed to do.

Entertainment Is Not Drowning In A Sea Of Apps

I enjoy the Sahyadri mountains from Matha - Purushwadi's highest point.

I enjoy the Sahyadri mountains from Matha – Purushwadi’s highest point.

It was a blessing not to have any cellphone coverage in this village. I did not have a chance to waste my time on social media. Gorak took me to the highest point of Purushwadi when we hiked up for a nice sunset view. That’s when he told me how he loves to spend his free time. He hikes with his best friend. Gorak is only 25, and does not have the time-and-money-zapping addictions (of gaming or clubbing) of the city-boys of his age. The village indeed is beautiful, not only in how it appears but also in how it has shaped its people.

Education Is Only As Valuable As You Perceive

After a friendly chat with the students of Purushwadi's only school.

After a friendly chat with the students of Purushwadi’s only school.

One morning, I went to the only school of this village. On my way, I saw a little boy running towards the school, a notebook in hand. He was late, and did not want to miss his classes. A village kid can only study up to class-7 in this school and will have to travel to another village to study till class-10. If students wish to study further, they’ll have to go to the nearest town. A chat with one of the school teachers revealed how precious education is to all of them. Teachers travel all the way to the nearest town to access internet required to download educational videos for the students. The respect that these students have for their teachers is of another level altogether.

Did you expect that a rural Indian tribe could teach so much?

Write your answers as comments below! 🙂

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You too can experience Purushwadi intimately through Grassroutes Journeys.

Udaipur Is More Than Just Lakes!

I used to have a certain vision of Udaipur in my head. I would think the City of Lakes was all about water, almost like Venice. I wondered if I’d have to be rowed to every site. When I finally had the chance to see this Rajasthani city, I discovered there is so much more! Founded by Maharana Udai Singh, the 16th-century ruler of the Kingdom of Mewar, Udaipur is a delight to behold! While I barely had a weekend to explore this city, the time was enough to convince me of its uniqueness. Follow my lead to see Udaipur for yourself:-

A Warrior’s Pride – Maharana Pratap Memorial

Maharana Pratap Memorial

Maharana Pratap Memorial

Before you go gaga over the list of lakes you’ll check off your list while in Udaipur, it’ll help to know a little bit about the region’s history. After several years of battling against the Mughals, the warrior prince Maharana Pratap was able to rest a while with his father – Maharana Udai Singh during a few years of peace in the new capital of Mewar – Udaipur. A statue of Maharana Pratap seated on his valiant horse, Chetak, is kept atop Moti Magri Hill as a memorial to his courage and service. From up here, you can get a panoramic view of the Machla Magra Hills and the Fatehsagar Lake. While you hike up this hill, you can also visit the Hall of Heroes Museum which has paintings of Mewari history and large models of Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh and Haldighati.

Lake Fatehsagar – For Leisurely Walks

You can also indulge in watersports at Fatehsagar!

You can also indulge in watersports at Fatehsagar!

Interestingly, all of the lakes in Udaipur are artificial. They all are interconnected in a sophisticated manner though. Close to the Maharana Pratap Smarak, the embankment around Lake Fatehsagar is ideal for a morning stroll. You might want to indulge in some traditional boat ride or jet off in a speedboat to admire the lush green Aravali Hills all about. For those into vintage cars, there is a museum not far from this lake.

Saheliyon-Ki-Bari: For The Queens And Their Pals

Fountains at Saheliyon-ki-Bari

Fountains at Saheliyon-ki-Bari

When the sun is still not at its peak, take a peek at the fountain-garden which the king built for his queens to relax and spend time with their friends – Saheliyon-ki-Bari. While it might seem a little underwhelming, you might be able to sight some interesting birds in the gardens if you are into birding.

Glide Up To Where You Can See It All!

Cable car ride to Machla Magra Hills

Cable car ride to Machla Magra Hills

If you still wonder how photographers manage to get breathtaking aerial views of all of Udaipur, I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s the hills!!! Get your ticket for a cable car ride to Machla Magra Hills and be prepared to be mesmerized! You can lunch at the cafe at the top after you exhaust yourself taking pictures of the lakes and chocolate hills decked in green.

Lake Pichola’s Palatial Paradise

The Taj Lake Palace at the centre of Lake Pichola as seen from the City Palace

The Taj Lake Palace at the centre of Lake Pichola as seen from the City Palace

It is always a great idea to plan a walking tour after you’ve filled your belly. The City Palace is a fort and a museum that has plenty of stories for the curious visitor. Located by the famous Lake Pichola, the palace allows you to gaze at the elegant Taj Lake Palace Hotel which appears to float on the celeste waves at the centre of the lake. If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, explore the Crystal Gallery which has a dazzling collection of rare crystal artefacts from Maharana Sajjan Singh’s collection.

Peep Over The Aravalis From Sajjangarh Fort

It's windy up here at Sajjangarh Fort!

It’s windy up here at Sajjangarh Fort!

After you’ve spent most of your day seeing the top sights in Udaipur, spend your evening atop Sajjangarh Fort, only 30 minutes from Udaipur. Rent a self-drive car using this Zoomcar coupon code and zip over to the Monsoon Palace which affords you a gorgeous view of the undulating hills. Sunsets will never be so stunning! If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you can hike to the surrounding wildlife sanctuary. Who knows, you could get lucky with a panther sighting! 😉

Shop In Old Udaipur

These bags ask to be picked up at Hathipole Market.

These bags ask to be picked up at Hathipole Market.

As if your day couldn’t be more power-packed, there’s more you can do with your time! After nightfall, head over to Udaipur’s Old Town and ditch your rickshaw to walk through the narrow alleys lined by little shops on both sides. Don’t forget to haggle for a good price while you fill your shopping bag with tiny pieces of art, shoes, bedsheets with traditional patterns, hand-stitched blankets and more. Hathipole Market also has numerous cafes and rooftop restaurants that glitter at night and add to the romance of the city.

Kumbhalgarh’s Great Wall – No This Isn’t China! 😀

Kumbhalgarh Fort - the second longest wall in the world!

Kumbhalgarh Fort – the second longest wall in the world!

After a busy first day, your second day should be a relaxed one. Wake up at leisure and enjoy a lazy long brunch at your hotel before you set off for Kumbhalgarh. 100 odd kilometres from Udaipur, a drive of over 2 hours brings you to Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district. This fort is a World Heritage Site and the second longest wall after the Great Wall of China. Only parts of the fort are accessible to tourists, but one can easily see what a marvel this structure is! Maharana Pratap was born in Kumbhalgarh and there’s a museum close to the fort which tells the story of this place through interactive models and a short film. The experience at the museum is quite insightful.

Dal-Baati From The Dhabas

Dal-baati!!! My favourite Rajasthani dish!

Dal-baati!!! My favourite Rajasthani dish!

After the Kumbhalgarh Fort trek, satiate your appetite at a nearby dhaba. Don’t count your calories as you order platefuls of dal-baati and churma! 🙂

Are you convinced yet that you should be going to Udaipur?

Let me know through your comments below!

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Precious Jewels From Around The World

Every time I step out of my house, whether to explore a new country or a new place within my land, I mostly think about what my eyes can see. And, most of that is above the ground – the buildings and monuments, the streets, the mountains and valleys, the lakes and rivers, the trees, animals and the culture of the locals, and then, the sky. What I often overlook is what lies under the earth. I am not talking about tubers or roots or the exotic dishes that are made of those, but what lies further below – several feet under, formed by immense heat and pressure – precious stones.

Austria – Emerald Waters And Emerald Rings

The beautiful country of Austria is also a major producer of emerald.

The beautiful country of Austria is also a major producer of emerald.

When I went solo to Salzburg a couple of years ago, I was busy admiring the lovelock bridge that spans River Salzach, connecting the modern world full of gardens and courtyards to the Old Town paved with cobblestones. I gazed at the lime green grass carpeting the banks on either side of the emerald river and longed to hike on the moss-covered hills in the backdrop. But not once did I think about Austria’s prominence as an emerald producer and exporter to the world. Even my journeys back home yielded similar results…

Diamonds In Golconda?

Golconda (Hyderabad) is popular not only for its fort but also for diamond mining and trading.

Golconda (Hyderabad) is popular not only for its fort but also for diamond mining and trading.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have visited Hyderabad – both when it was a part of Andhra Pradesh and after it became Telangana’s. I have even climbed all of the steps that lead to Golconda Fort, and spent a lot of money buying Hyderabadi pearls. It is only now that I see Golconda differently after my mum inquires why I never brought back any diamonds from this place that has one of the world’s most famous diamond mines.

“Czeching” Out Garnet

Czech Republic might be famous for Kafka, but it stores some of the world's best garnet, topaz and opal.

Czech Republic might be famous for Kafka, but it stores some of the world’s best garnet, topaz and opal.

3 years ago, I was exploring central Europe, and my journey had brought me to Prague – the capital of Czech Republic. Over days of checking out the most vibrant Old Town, its cathedrals, sailing over the Vltava river, being surprised over Kafka’s fame and buying copper rings, I discovered Czechia is also popular for its gemstones such as garnet, topaz and opal. But I asked myself how far and wide I’d have to travel to collect beautiful stones from different parts of the world. Could I not get all such precious stones from the comfort of my home? Would expensive gemstones always be too expensive for me to own? I’ve recently found an answer to my quest:-

Jewel On Fire – Gemstone Jewellery In Your Budget

Did you know Germany's Alps could have gemstones such as beryl, topaz and emeralds under them?

Did you know Germany’s Alps could have gemstones such as beryl, topaz and emeralds under them?

I came across the online jewellery store Jewel On Fire which lets you buy precious stone ornaments priced up to 90% lower than their retail cost. This is possible only because they cut out the middlemen and source jewellery directly from jewellery craftsmen and manufacturers. And their online presence means you can shop without having to spend a bomb on travel. They have a splendid collection of low-cost genuine diamond jewellery and those of other precious stones. I have a sweeter information for you! When you use my promo code “OINDRILADE” to make a purchase on their site, you get an additional discount on their already amazingly priced items! 🙂

Won’t You Travel Differently Now?

It's not only Sri Lanka's lakes that are associated with aquamarine!

It’s not only Sri Lanka’s lakes that are associated with aquamarine!

When I told my mum about this, she was elated. She won’t have to worry about lugging heavy jewellery back from her trips now. And travel would only be about the sights and experiences, not the expenses associated with shopping of gemstones. I will again be able to visit Germany for its castles, and not think about beryl or topaz or emerald. I will again be able to enjoy the forests and lakes of Sri Lanka without hunting for good quality yet affordable aquamarine. “Aquamarine” would only make me think of the water bodies again, and not the stone on my ring finger.

Still, You Should Know…

Hungary's creamy white skies know that that this country has a lot of creamy opal stones as well.

Hungary’s creamy white skies know that that this country has a lot of creamy opal stones as well.

Even though you will mostly shop online, lounging in your sofa, it helps to know a little more about the things you buy. It is the stories behind each earring, pendant and bracelet that makes the gemstones more precious!

Do you ever wonder where each of your jewels come from?

Write your comments below! 🙂

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