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Deepavali Gaind

Sri Lanka Destination Manager at the Western & Oriental

Deepavali Gaind


India is a passion and I feel so fortunate to be born and brought up and lived in the country for over 30 years. I grew up in Delhi, the city of contrasts, a food lover's paradise and the capital of the country. My job in India took me to many destinations within India and I remember putting my copy of Lonely Planet in the car and just driving without a fixed destination in mind. Delhi serves as gateway to the North and there are lot of cities that you can cover from there. Ideal if you want to explore the Golden Triangle, Punjab or visit the hills or explore Rajasthan.

Photography in India can be exhilarating, there are so many picture perfect moments, so I highly recommend you keep a lot of memory sticks or a bigger data cards. You will be coming back home with over thousand of such pictures and images.

Where I have travelled recently

My recent trip took me to the national parks in India, Varanasi, Khajuraho and the vibrant city of Mumbai. I was very fortunate to see three tigers in Ranthambore, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences, I couldn't lift my eyes off for a second and with the camera shooting every movement, I waited for the tiger to give me a look, straight back into my camera. Ranthambore is a photographer's paradise and highly recommend visiting the park in February, March, April for some amazing photography.

Most Memorable Experience

Madurai the temple town is one of my most memorable experiences. On my trip through South India, I visited the temple of town and not expecting much was really eager to drive to Munnar the next day. I was invited to the 'putting to bed ceremony' in the evening after dinner. It is one experience that I will never ever forget. The ceremony is held at Meenakshi temple where Lord Shiva is carried in his palanquin to Goddess Parvati's chamber. The whole experience was mystic and literally felt "Out of this World", something I will treasure forever - the feeling was divine!

My Favourite Destination

What is Varanasi? I am amazed what an impact a city can have on you. There have been several books written about Varanasi, thousand videos, blogs, diaries to describe this destination. It's crazy, chaotic, vibrant, people busy but charming and calm. So many universes in that one place. Sitting on the Ghats early morning, I experienced going through the circle of life and I can only say it is fascinating! I tried to capture, a lot through my lens but it is one moment that cannot be captured even in a 1000 pictures. Perfect destination for those who want to fall in love with India, the people, the culture and keep coming back.

My Favourite Accommodation

My favourite accommodation is Samode Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh. It is a Relaix Chateau property and definitely one that offers you the best experience. The accommodation is a set of 12 cottages and your cottage will seem just perfect with a small lounge, spacious bedroom, outdoor and indoor showers and a lot of space, cupboards, shelves to make it home. Highly recommend for your stay while in Bandhavgarh

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