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It doesn't rain much in Phaltan, a municipality in Satara district, Maharashtra. But when we arrive in the last weekend of May, a short shower renders the landscape a deeper shade of green. With the coconut trees in the distance and lush acres of sugarcane, tomato and guava fields carpeting the otherwise parched earth, we get a glimpse of just how abundant this land could be.
Sometimes I feel that Mumbai is famous for all the wrong reasons. There's much more to the city than Bollywood or Marine Drive or the overcrowded railway system and the seashore at Marine Drive. Here are five new reasons to visit Mumbai and none of them involve lurking outside Shah Rukh's home for a glimpse.
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Just about every country falls into the trap of being defined by only one or two cities. And while these might be truly spectacular cities, ignorance about other jewels results in a loss for the traveller as well as for the country in question. While Russia does see thousands of Indian visitors every year, most make a beeline for Moscow and St Petersburg, perhaps not aware that the country has plenty more to offer.
I've travelled to many places but my goal remains the same in every journey -- to bring back a souvenir unique to that place. But in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, I found myself in a predicament. All the souvenirs were either Chinese or Portuguese. Where would I find a quintessential piece of Macau, a peninsula known for its happy people and glitzy casinos?
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In the mountains, it's eternally early morning. Fingers of mist, unbroken serenity and unearthly beauty reign through the day in the lofty strongholds, immune from the sun's tendency to unveil. So when I think back to my time in Kanatal, Uttarakhand, the memories are bound to two timeframes -- the wee hours of the morning and the late hours of the night. It was during the former that my encounters with the white-capped water redstart began.
Your driver will momentarily offer hope, claiming that the tiger is bound to still be there, waiting just for you. And then you'll zip zap zoom in a frenzy, thundering down foresty lanes and bumps and breaking a few bones in the bargain, all in the pursuit of India's national animal in the wild.