Embracing Mother Ganga at Haridwar November 5, 2015

Written by Julie Miller.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

I like to put myself out of my comfort zone when I travel. I’ve jumped off a mountain (with paraglider and hot guy attached) in Mexico, galloped alongside a herd of buffalo in Botswana and swung from a trapeze in Los Angeles. But one of my most memorable and thrilling moments was when I plunged into the chilly waters of India’s most sacred river – the Ganges.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

I was, to put it bluntly, a little dubious. I had visions of being clawed by disembodied limbs, contracting some horrible disease or inadvertently becoming part of a funeral procession. But instead, it proved to be a cleansing, soul-expanding experience – which is the whole point, really!

According to Hindu lore, bathing in the Ganges purifies one of sins, of this lifetime as well as the past.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

“I suggest you dip seven times,” my yoga guru and spiritual guide Sarjit tells me. “ First to cleanse your physical, astral and causal bodies; then to cleanse all five koshas. This will purify you of not only own karma, but also the karma of your past lives and that of your ancestors.”

Seven times? That seems like a tall order. Let’s start with taking care of my own sins first…

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Holding my nose and squeezing my eyes tight, I dunk myself under, praying that I won’t be swept away by the strong current.
I arise quickly, shaking the water from my ears. Already I feel refreshed, invigorated, and – dare I say it – purified. Mother Ganga is working her magic.

I have chosen to take my Ganges baptism in the river town of Haridwar, in the state of Uttarakhand. Considered one of the seven holiest places in Hindu lore, it is said to be the Gateway to the Gods, the place where drops of Amrit – an elixir of immortality – fell to earth whilst being carried by the celestial bird, Garuda. Located where the Himalayas meet the plains, this city is further upstream than the better-known Varanasi – the river, therefore, flows quickly and appears much cleaner than further downstream.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Needless to say, Haridwar is packed with pilgrims during my visit, and there is a palpable air of joy as crowds jostle for space along the river’s edge. As darkness descends, the pretty pink-hued city is even more beautiful, with candles and wreaths of marigolds floating in the sparkling waters as the evening aarti is performed in the Har Ki Pauri Ghat.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

While most bathers take their dip from public steps along the river bank, those who are more modest can also bathe in the comfort and privacy of their own guesthouse. The Haveli Hari Ganga is a lovely heritage-listed 100-year-old haveli located right on the waterfront, with 20 luxurious rooms, a tiled central courtyard and its own private ghat. It also has a vegetarian restaurant, yoga classes and an astrologer and palmist available for consultation.

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Photo credit: Julie Miller

Interested in travelling to Haridwar? Our Himalaya Elements private tour takes you there. 

 

Have you been to Haridwar? Tell us about your experience in the comments below

Top 10 Must See National Parks in India August 24, 2015

Tiger safari tours with Mantra wild

Tiger. It’s the Holy Grail of Indian wildlife, the majestic cat that every wildlife lover longs to spot during a safari in the subcontinent. The good news is that tiger numbers are slowly increasing in India, with the latest census showing 2226 tigers – nearly a 30 percent rise in the last three years.

 

But there is more to India than just tigers. Its wildlife is as varied and intriguing as any other place on earth, and with over 100 national parks and more than 200 wildlife sanctuaries spread throughout the country, there’s a good chance you’ll see something that will take your breath away.

 

Here is our pick for the top must-see parks in India:

1.Ranthambore, Rajasthan: With sparse vegetation and rocky plains, this historic park offers arguably the best viewing of tigers in the country. The former hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur, there are around 22 Bengal tigers in the reserve, most of which are famous with well-documented histories. (Check out our Taj, Tigers & Palaces Private Tour)

Scenery at the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India

Scenery at the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India

 

2. Corbett NP, Uttarakhand: Established in 1936 by legendary tiger hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett, this was India’s first national park. While it has a large and healthy population of tigers, they can be elusive in the thick vegetation. The 520 sq km park also houses 650 species of birds, rare otters and crocodile, while it’s a great place to view elephants on a jeep safari tour. (Our Himalaya Elements Experience is the best way to see this amazing reserve)

 

Photo credit: Upjeet Singh

Photo credit: Upjeet Singh

 

3. Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh: This pretty, topographically-varied park – the former hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Rewa – has incredible biodiversity, with the highest concentration of tigers in India – 51 found in 105 square kilometres (sadly down from 58 in 2010). (Check out Wild Heart of India Safari Experience Group Tour)

Bandhavgarh National Park Mantra Wild India Safari tour

 

4. Sunderbans, West Bengal: A tangle of mangrove jungle, the Sunderbans is spread out over 54 islands and extends into Bangladesh. Only accessible by boat, it offers a unique safari experience with potential sightings of crocodiles, wild boar, macaques and even aquatic Bengal tigers.

 

 Sundarbans. Mantra Wild Safari Tour

 

5.Kaziranga National Park, Assam: As well as a high density of tigers, this park also boasts 70 percent of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses population, as well as elephants, water buffalo and swamp deer. Elephant-back safaris are a popular way of viewing wildlife in the tall grasslands. (our Big 5 Tour will take you here!)

Karianga Mantra Big 5 Tour

6. Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala: Although this park has a healthy population of tiger, they are hard to spot in the dense jungle. Known for its natural beauty, walking safaris conducted by rangers allow an intimate view of the wildlife and is a more rewarding experience than the more popular boat tours on the lake. (Check out Kerala Elements)

Periyar wildlife sanctuary, India

7. Hemis NP, Ladakh: The largest national park in India, this is home to rare high altitude species including around 200 snow leopards, Tibetan wolf, Great Tibetan sheep, Eurasian brown bear, Red fox and golden eagles.

Snow Leopard Mantra Wild Safari Tour

 

8. Panna NP, Madhya Pradesh: Panna is a study in excellent wildlife management, having successfully replenished its tiger population from zero in 2009 to 30 after Tigress T-6 gave birth to three cubs in March 2015.

 

Panna Tiger Reserve

9.Erivukulum, Kerala: This tiny park near the hill station of Munnar is home to the largest population of endangered Nilgiri Tahr (a type of mountain goat) in the world, which are easily spotted close to the park entrance.

 

Nilgiri Tahr Mantra Wild Tour

Photo credit: Julie Miller

 

10. Gir Forest National Park, Gujurat: This dry, deciduous forest is home to the last remaining wild Asian lions in the world (523 as of the 2015 census, up 27 percent from the 2010 census).

 

Asiatic Lion Mantra Wild Safari Tour

 

Interested in visiting some of these amazing National Parks? Visit our Wildlife Safari & Adventure Tour page to get inspired 🙂

Have you visited India’s National Parks? Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

Seven Reasons to Visit India June 15, 2015

If India isn’t already on your bucket list, it sure should be!

It’s a fascinating country full of colours, sounds, sights, smells, and tastes that are sure to have your senses reeling.

Kerala-exp-1024x873

The country is the seventh-largest in the world, so you’ll encounter plenty of diversity as you travel across it from north to south and east to west—you’ll definitely want to explore it all, so you can really get a good idea of the culture and lifestyle.

Of course, it’s a long flight and the cities can get a bit crowded, so you might be a little undecided about taking a trip there. Let’s make that decision a little easier for you —here are my top seven reasons to visit India (now!):

1. It’s easier than ever to get your visas sorted out. It used to be that you had to go through a lot of hassle with embassies or visa processing services to get your visa for India. But now, provided you’re entering the country through one of the main airports, staying under thirty days, and a citizen of certain countries (including the US, Canada, Australia, and many European countries), you can apply online for an E-Tourist Visa and you’ll be all set to go! If thirty days isn’t enough time (trust me, it won’t be), you can get two E-Tourist Visas in each calendar year.

Airport

2. The colours are unbelievable. I’ve been to some beautiful places, but I’ve never seen colours quite like in India. There’s a reason medieval Europe imported a lot of indigo dye from India—but this jewel-bright tone is only one in a full spectrum of colours that you’ll encounter in India. From the clothing to the landscapes to the bright festival of Holi, which culminates in showers of powdered dye being thrown from all sides, you honestly will be hard-pressed to take a drab photo!

india-spices-1024x683

3.The historical sites are among the most impressive in the world. I know we’ve all seen a dozen pictures of the Taj Mahal—but do you realize it’s actually even more spectacular in person? And that’s not all that India has to offer. There are 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, 25 of which are of historical importance. You won’t want to miss the terracotta temples at Vishnupur or the city of Varanasi—one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. And there’s plenty more to explore…

Taj-Mahal-1024x699

4. The landscapes are absolutely stunning. There’s a lot of variety in landscapes as you travel across India. In the north, you’ve got the Himalayas—although Mount Everest isn’t in India, you’ll still see some of the highest peaks in the world. Then you’ve also got the River Ganges. And the Thar Desert. And plenty of beaches. And islands. I mean, it’s not totally surprising since we’re talking about the seventh-largest country in the world, but there’s a ton of diversity here!

Kauri-pass-1024x680

5.  It’s a great place to develop your spiritual side. If you’re looking for a spiritual experience—or even just to de-stress and rejuvenate—India is a great place to do it. The country is the birthplace of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, and it’s also the birthplace of yoga. There are temples and temples and temples to explore, and then there are all the religious festivals as well. Regardless of what you believe, exploring the culture and how Indian spirituality affects aspects of everyday life is a special experience.

Sikh-pilgrim-1024x768

6. The food, the food—and oh, did we mention the food? Seriously, Indian cuisine is some of the best in the world. (If I had my way, I could write 100 reasons to visit India, all of them different culinary delights!) I love it all, from palak paneer (a dish made with spinach and cheese) to chana masala (a spicy dish made with chickpeas) to sambar (a lentil and vegetable stew). And of course, you’ve got all the bread products—naan, chapati, puri… Gosh, I’m ready to book a flight just thinking about it

street-food-1024x678

7. There’s an intriguing juxtaposition of traditional and modern. India really has it all, from bustling cities to rural villages, from traditional clothing to jeans, from folk music to pop, and so much more. Your stay in India won’t be without amenities—actually, the government is in the process of setting up Wi-Fi hotspots around the country (just make sure you’re using a VPN so you can bypass pesky governmental restrictions, which have been known to sometimes be a problem in India). Regardless of the style of travel you’re looking for—high-end resort travel, cheap backpacker travel, or something in between—you’re sure to find a hundred places that fit the bill in India.

Traveller-with-Lama-1024x680

I love to travel and I’ve been all over the world, but India holds a special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful country with a long history, and the people are incredibly friendly. Every time I revisit my photos from the time I’ve spent in India, I’m ready to go back again…and again…and again. If you’re looking for a truly magical and life-changing experience, India is the place to be!

Written by Jess Signet.

 Hi, my name is Jess Signet. My parents were travelers since before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older! Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)

3 National Parks You Must Visit to Experience Wildlife in Kerala May 25, 2015

Written by travel writer, Julie Miller.

When it comes to wildlife safaris, some people have all the luck. My friend Reena is a tiger magnet. Every time she visits India, she returns with wonderful tales and video evidence of close encounters with the rare stripy cat.

Me? Nothing. Nada. Zip. I’m what you’d call a tiger deterrent.

But though I’m disappointed that I haven’t seen a tiger in the flesh, I try to look at the bright side – I’ve been lucky enough to witness first-hand some incredible wildlife in India. And you need to remember, it’s not all about the big cats.

In Kerala’s Periyar Tiger Reserve, I was actually quite glad we didn’t come face to face with one of the 55 or so Bengal tigers said to live in its heart of darkness. That’s because I was on a walking safari – and I wouldn’t like to try to outrun a tiger!
Periyar-685x1024

Setting off early in the morning, we had the outskirts of the park to ourselves, apart from a few Munnan tribespeople setting off to gather firewood. The sun was streaming through the canopy, and the forest was alive with the chatter of birds, the buzz of cicadas and the distant call of monkeys.
Monkey-685x1024

Following in the footsteps of our sharp-eyed guide, Thankappan, we are treated to sightings of shy barking deer, a Giant Squirrel leaping through the branches and some spectacular birds, including Lesser Hornbills, Racket Tailed Drongos and the orange-chested Rufus Treepie. Thankappan also takes delight in revealing the smaller inhabitants of the reserve – beautiful spiders in gossamer webs, iridescent dragonflies and the most savage beast of the jungle – leeches, which thankfully are deterred with a liberal dousing with tobacco powder.

Spider-685x1024

It’s a beautiful, intimate and eye-opening experience, and one that helps me appreciate the intricacies of the jungle ecosystem.

The following day, we brave light rain to visit another national park, Eravikulam. Located just outside the pretty hill station of Munnar, this small reserve protects a creature every bit as rare as the tiger – the Nilgiri Tahr. There are less than 2000 of these handsome mountain goats left in the wild, with Eravikulum boasting more than half.

Nilgiri-Tahr-1024x685

Unlike the tiger, however, the tahr is far from elusive. A bold, golden-eyed buck sits on a rocky outcrop surveying his domain; while some youngsters wander nonchalantly down the concrete path towards us, posing for the camera and enduring the noisy chatter of excited tourists. Unfortunately for this endearing creature, its bravery has historically been its downfall, with the tahr easily snared by poachers. The park is now at pains to protect its remaining population, ensuring their survival for generations to come.

Our third national park excursion in Kerala takes us over the Western Ghats to Chinnar, a landscape as scrubby and prickly as Periyar is lush. But just as we set out on our walking safari, the heavens open in a monsoonal downpour, drenching us to the bone. We shelter beneath a spreading almond tree for what feels like an hour, miserable and cold; but as soon as the storm passes, there is a palpable air of rejuvenation.

Chinnar2-1024x685

From the heights of a watchtower, we see herds of sambar bouncing through the scrub; while some shy spotted deer slip and slide in the still-oozing mud.

We may not have come across any of Chinnar’s small population of tiger, but we’ve had the joy of witnessing a landscape come to life, a natural celebration of the change of seasons. And that in itself is quite something.
Chinnar-1024x685

Interested in visiting these incredible wilderness areas?

Our 10 night Kerala Wildlife Elements takes you to these amazing places.

Download your brochure.

Which one of these parks would you like to visit? Tell us in the comments below.

Who is Julie Miller?

julie_miller

Julie Miller is an Australian freelance writer who scrapes a living doing the things she loves best – travelling and writing. She has been widely published in travel magazines and newspapers throughout Australia and internationally, including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald, Escape, the West Australian, Holidays with Kids and American Express Platinum Magazine. She is the recipient of several awards for her writing, including the 2010 Friends of Thailand Award recognising her journalistic efforts promoting Thailand as a destination. She has also twice been a finalist for the NTIA Best Travel Writer award, in 2010 and 2014 (for a story on India published in the Sydney Morning Herald). She is also the author of several books, including Something is Out There (2010, Allen & Unwin) and Free the Bears (2013, Pan Macmillan).

Travelling to India as a Solo Female Traveller – Is It Safe? May 13, 2015

Written by travel writer, Julie Miller. 

With five trips to India now under my belt, I guess I’m becoming somewhat of a frequent traveller to what I consider one of the most intriguing, beautiful and addictive places on the planet.

Julie Miller looking very relaxed on a house boat in Kerala

Julie Miller looking very relaxed on a house boat in Kerala

I am often asked, however, if India is safe for solo female travellers. Let’s face it, India doesn’t have the greatest reputation from a safety perspective, with high profile rape cases involving both locals and tourists a cause for national shame.

Australia’s Smart Traveller offers this advice for female travellers:

“Women should take particular care in all parts of India, including major cities and tourist destinations, even when travelling in a group. Exercise vigilance at all times of the day, avoid walking in less populous and unlit areas, including city streets, village lanes and beaches, and take care when travelling in taxis and rickshaws. Avoid travelling alone on public transportation, autos and taxis, particularly at night. Foreign women can be subjected to unwanted attention and more serious harassment and assault. Successful prosecutions are rare.”

I too have experience the ugly side of India’s sexism: I’ve been abandoned in the middle of nowhere by a so-called host because I wouldn’t cross the line with him; I’ve been stared at, pointed at and had lewd gestures made towards me when I was travelling in the front seat of a car with a male driver; and I’ve had the odd grope and feel-up in crowded places. Nothing that’s been life-threatening or scary, mind – just annoying.

I have also observed how my Indian girlfriends deal with unwanted male attention, and offer this cautionary advice:

Tip #1: Dress appropriately. I know it’s every woman’s right to dress as they please, and the way we dress should not be considered an invitation to sexual favours – but if you want to be invisible, it’s better to blend in. Revealing singlet tops, shorts and mini skirts might be appropriate for the beach, but not in the heart of Delhi, no matter how hot and steamy it is. My advice instead is to hit the shops – indulge in the beautiful, colourful and affordable fashions of India! You’ll be comfortable, look great and will be protected from the searing sun – a win-win situation.

DSC01028-1024x576
Similarly, if you are swimming anywhere, cover up with a sarong or loose pants and t-shirt. It’s just not worth the unwanted attention.

Julie takes a brave dip in the Ganges at Haridwar.

Julie takes a brave dip in the Ganges at Haridwar.

Tip #2: Avoid public transport at night. Taxis – booked by your hotel or restaurant – are cheap; alternatively, arrange for a driver recommended by your tour company or agent to be on call. It’s worth the added expense to know that you are in safe hands.

Tip #3: If you are travelling for a few weeks or longer in India, it’s worth investing in a local SIM card, preferably with a data plan so you can use the internet. Add some emergency numbers to your contact list, and use the phone as a prop when travelling alone in a car or train – if you are seen to be communicating with other people, it’s a deterrent to the bad guys. (Mantra Wild: We give our Solo female travellers a mobile phone while travelling!)

Tip #3: If travelling on an overnight train, opt for a top bunk for more privacy. (Mantra Wild: Make yourself known to the ticket inspector, and ask them to tell you when you get to your stop. It can get confusing where to get off with train stops in Hindi. They tend to look out for female travellers)

sleeper-carriage-1024x576

Tip #4: Ride in women’s only carriages on city trains if they are available.

Tip #5: Make up a boyfriend, husband, travelling companion. You are always on your way to meet him. You are never single and out to mingle.

Tip #6: Homestays not only offer cheap accommodation, but they are also a safe option for single female travellers. Hosts very quickly become like family, and will usually give you great advice on the local area, how to get around, and how to travel safely.

(Mantra Wild: We have a complete listing of solo female friendly accommodation across India for our clients). 

DSC01357

Tip #7: Travel with other women. What could be more fun than exploring India with a gal pal? I have had my best experiences in India travelling with a small group of like-minded women.

DSC00875-1024x576

Tip #8: Make a fuss. If a creep gropes you, call him out – public shaming is a great defence! (Mantra Wild: In places like Delhi, there are public notices displayed with special numbers for women to call if you need help).

Tip #9: Finally – and I know this is a shameless plug – but allow an expert like Reena Tory from Mantra Wild Adventures to plan your itinerary! Reena not only has a passion and deep knowledge about India, but she also has great local contacts who are hand to help you out and see you through an emergency. (Mantra Wild: Thank you Julie 🙂 )

Have you travelled to India as a solo female? Leave your tips and feedback on the comments below!

 

Who is Julie Miller?

DSC01123-150x150

Julie Miller is an Australian freelance writer who scrapes a living doing the things she loves best – travelling and writing. She has been widely published in travel magazines and newspapers throughout Australia and internationally, including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun Herald, Escape, the West Australian, Holidays with Kids and American Express Platinum Magazine. She is the recipient of several awards for her writing, including the 2010 Friends of Thailand Award recognising her journalistic efforts promoting Thailand as a destination. She has also twice been a finalist for the NTIA Best Travel Writer award, in 2010 and 2014 (for a story on India published in the Sydney Morning Herald). She is also the author of several books, including Something is Out There (2010, Allen & Unwin) and Free the Bears (2013, Pan Macmillan).

Taj, Tigers & Palaces April 12, 2015

BOOK BY 1 MAY, 2015 and save AUD$1,500 per couple.

TAJ, TIGERS & PALACES (10 Nights / 11 Days)

Download Detailed Itinerary + Booking form here

DSC06108-1024x576

Highlights Include:  5 Star and heritage accommodation, daily breakfast, Old Delhi Heritage & Food walking tour, private city guides, chauffeur transfers in Toyota Innova (6 seater SUV), 4 day safari package including 4 x jeep safaris + accommodation at Khem Villas,chef cooking experience at Agra hotel and more…

Samosa-1024x683

 

corbett-exp-tiger-1024x680

Blog31

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Accommodation in all the hotels on twin sharing.
  • Daily breakfast
  • All prevailing taxes like Luxury tax in all hotels and Service tax wherever applicable.
  • All transfers to or from hotels, airport, sightseeing city tours, and drives by air conditioned car with a Basic English-Speaking driver.
  • Services of an English speaking Local guide as per itinerary.
  • Road tax, toll tax, driver’s allowance, parking etc.
  • Services of an English speaking Private Local guide as per itinerary.
  • Road tax, toll tax, driver’s allowance, parking etc.
  • Monument entrance fees.
  • Dinner in a homestay in Delhi
  • Cooking class in Agra Hotel.
  • Elephant ride in Jaipur.
  • Unforgettable memories of a lifetime.

 

PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • All camera fees.
  • Airfares
  • Tips & Gratuities & personal expenses
  • Visa Fees & Airport tax or Airport improvement fees.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • All Expenses other than mentioned in What Price Includes.

 Click here for Pricing and Details

 

My Dream Crazy Story March 25, 2015

Today’s blog post is written by guest blogger, Kathy Wong from Moeloco

It was just one of those moments. The day that changed everything. I woke up in February 2014 with an incredible desire to make a difference. I know it sounds clichéd, but it’s true.

I tried super-hard to ignore it (as you do!) but we all know how that works. The more you avoid, the more you get chased. And that’s what happened to me.

But let me tell you my back-story quickly. I’m an Australian-born Chinese who grew up in Sydney, the oldest of three children born to migrant parents. My parents instilled in me the value of family but also the importance of hard work, honesty, respect and kindness.

Watching my father work so hard in so many jobs and then eventually manage his own business, I knew that one day I would also own my own business.

And that I did.

I completed a degree in design and got two jobs as an art director before my illustrious 16 month career of working for someone else ended with me starting my own design business from the bedroom of our family home.

I loved what I was doing for the 19 years I was an entrepreneur but during the last three to four years, I burned myself out and was totally out of balance. I walked along a pathway of discovery that led me to better health, wellness and seeking out spirituality.

And then I woke up that morning in February and started Moeloco. The translation of Moeloco is Dream Crazy and that is exactly what I did.

There I was down at the beach having a sun bake when I decided to create thongs (or flip-flops as they’re called outside of Australia), which could carry messages of inspiration while leaving an imprint in the sand too. Thongs remind me of good times at the beach, holidays, relaxing and they’re fun.

I always feel calm and happy when I have my thongs on!

ZAH0460k-copy

The Universe kept connecting me with like-minded individuals wanting to support and help me. It was through one of these connections that I discovered the Hope Foundation which runs orphanages in one of the poorest areas in the world, Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) in India.

I always knew Moeloco would be about parallel giving. It is a social cause brand based on a one-for-one business model. This means that for each pair of Moeloco thongs we sell, we donate a pair of school shoes to a child in poverty through the Hope Foundation. The Hope Foundation are on the ground in India and the local staff have access to purchasing the shoes for the kids. The shoes that they need for school.

Something so simple can create such an impact.

I was heartbroken when I became aware of the devastation caused by children living without shoes. The physical side was awful to hear about but the implications of not having shoes can result in the kids missing out on educational opportunities.

tal-slum-pic-782x1024

Education is one of the ways those kids can break the poverty cycle.

I am honored to be working with the Hope Foundation and I am counting down the days until I head to India in October this year to take part in the big annual Hope Foundation fundraiser and Children’s Annual Cultural Celebration where thousands of street and slum children attend a program of performances.

700 of the children perform too. They celebrate joy which is so humbling. Beautiful children so young who have suffered so much hardship yet are so eager to celebrate the good things.

The joy.

That’s called perspective. And that’s why I do what I do.

photo

For more information on Moeloco and to keep up to date with what Kathy is up to, go to: 

  1. www.moeloco.com
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
Delhi – A Foodies Delight February 27, 2015

When travellers come to Delhi, it’s usually to start their journey to somewhere else in India. Delhi gets a bad wrap. It’s normally associated with being unsafe, dirty, smelly and “Delhi Belly”!

What if I told you that Delhi is one of the best food cities in the world? Spend more than 1 day in Delhi and you will discover it’s mouth watering delights.

And what if I told you that Old Delhi is one of the most amazing places for street food and you won’t get sick? (if you go with a local!)
street-food-1024x678

If you don’t believe me, check out our recent Walking Heritage and Food tour of Old Delhi, featured in Sydney Morning Herald this weekend. Check it here, written by travel writer, Julie Miller. Julie and I ate our way through the back lanes of Old Delhi. It changed our views about street food in Delhi forever.

india-spices-1024x683

If you’re heading to Delhi, you must do our Mantra Wild Foodies and  Heritage Walking Tour.

Here is what you get: 

Private tour with a local Delhi-ite who is passionate about Delhi and it’s history.

In depth historical tour of Old Delhi

All your food tastings (jalebi’s, “Japanese samosa”, Kulfi, Paratha’s + so much more)

Visit to the largest Spice Market in Asia and tea wholesale shop.

Private transfers and tips included.

Visit a traditional Haveli

The tour runs for 3-4 hours and is AUD180 per person.If you’re travelling with a group of 3 or more, AUD165 per person. Group rates of 4 or more available.

OR

We have a 4 day package of Delhi ….

Delhi Foodies Journey (3N/4D)

Package inclusions:

Mantra Wild Foodies and Heritage Walking Tour

Full Day City Tour of Delhi with Private guide

Cooking Class

Daily Breakfast

Private transfers, driver and SUV vehicle for 4 days

Accommodation in Boutique Hotel twin share 

Pricing:

With 5 Star Boutique hotel: AUD899 per person

With 4 star boutique hotel AUD769 per person

*Note pricing is reduced by 10% during 1st April – 31 August

To book, contact us on 1300 036 782, or email us on info@mantrawild.com.au so that we can customise this experience to your needs.

Travel on Purpose,

Reena x

Marie Forleo’s B School + Bonus FREE trip to India February 18, 2015

It’s very rare that we GIVE our packages away for free, however when someone changes your life for the better and has had quite a significant impact in your business, it’s very easy to share this experience with others.

I know how hard running a business can be. The odds are truly stacked against you in many ways.

If you’ve been a client of ours or you’re on our mailing list, then you know I sent you a Free training video over a week ago. (If you’re not in business, or  don’t intend to start one then you can ignore this post!). 

So here is my offer. Sign up for B school and you get a FREE trip to India. Nothing more to say. Have a read of our page and what we’re offering and decide for yourself 🙂

A few more resources to help you with your decision:

Is B School right for me?

Program Tour of B School

B School Reviews (I’m on here too!)

Sales Cart is now open till 4 March (US EST time!)

Travel on Purpose,

Reena x

Please note, I am receiving a referral fee for those of you that decide to purchase B school through my link. It is the reason I can pass on this gift to you and its my pleasure to use this commission towards your growth 🙂

Kerala Travel Deals February 16, 2015

After an amazing few weeks in Kerala last year, we have some beautiful experiences to share with you. These are hand-picked properties by me 🙂 As you know, I’m always looking for unique experiences + using resorts and lodges that practice sustainable tourism. We have a couple of special offers for you.

They were featured this past weekend in Sydney Morning Herald as a HOT Deal. Click Here to see.

Kerala Wellness Experience – 4 nights/ 5 days (Save $300 – Early Bird offer)

Highlights include: Farm Kitchen dining experience, 4 nights at a beautiful boutique eco resort, full body massage, daily yoga, private transfers + more..

Download Brochure

Or Fancy staying longer in Kerala? Then this option may suit you…

Kerala Wellness and Backwaters Private Tour -8 Nights/ 9 Days (Save $500 per person)

Highlights include: Houseboat cruise, accommodation at Boutique hotels, most meals, daily yoga at most hotels, cooking demonstrations, city tour of Cochin, private chauffeur and vehicle + more…

Download Brochure

Coconut-Lagoon-Kumarokam-Kerala-1024x680
Kerala is waiting for you,

Reena x

P.S. Here are some of my photos of our stay, which may inspire you 🙂

Kerala-Backwaters-1024x768

 

Ekta Kapur (Our Operations in India) discussing flavours with the Chef in a cooking class

Ekta Kapur (Our Operations in India) discussing flavours with the Chef in a cooking class

We picked veggies from the organic garden before we cooked them up with the help of the chef!

We picked veggies from the organic garden before we cooked them up with the help of the chef!

Travel Writer Julie Miller, myself and Ekta Kapur enjoying the backwaters of Kerala!

Travel Writer Julie Miller, myself and Ekta Kapur enjoying the backwaters of Kerala!

Send me my $200 travel voucher Yes Please