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Pataudi Palace

Yesterday I wrote about Neemrana, a place I didn’t quite like. Today’s post is about Pataudi Palace. It is managed by the same company, but it is so strikingly different from Neemrana that most people would imagine that this  one is managed by a separate company all together.

The palace is just off the Gurgaon Manesar toll.

What I found best here was the helpful, smiling people who greeted you in bright pink, yellow or cyan clothing. The palace is maintained well and the food (a thing that is commonly bad at Neemrana properties) was excellent.

The compound has a lovely swimming pool, which unfortunately opens at 8am and not 6am.

It also has some 300 peacocks and peahens. Their chatter does get irritating after a while, but just to see the majestic birds moving peacefully around the compound oblivious of the humans is a sight to savor.

The many fountains and the old English architecture go well with lore of the Nawab’s from Pataudi.

One can go around the compound on bicycles or foot.

The palace of the current Nawab is off bound for the people visiting the palace, as Sharmila Tagore likes her privacy and right so.

The tea and pakoras for evening snacks at the lush lawns is typically reminiscent of the British…

A must get away for people near Delhi…

Cheers!

neemrana

Neemrana panorama

A lot of times people say that we are not preferred in our own country. A visit to places like Neemrana and the likes makes me feel that way.

We were there for a quick vacation earlier this week and the irksome attitude of the people managing the show put me off completely. To start with our bookings were messed up and the people at the counter supposedly can’t do anything. All the control lies with the folks in Delhi. A dead lie, ‘cos as soon as we wanted to speak to the manager, we were shifted.

The food at Neemrana is very expensive and very bad. The dining hall is way up and if you have a problem like me, you are stuck. OK, this place is not for people with a foot or leg problem. The mistake was mine to have gone there, but all said and done they could have installed lifts with all the other amenities that they have borrowed from the modern world. If you happen to be in Neemrana, enjoy the breakfast to the fullest. It is good. But be sure to carry some pre-cooked food to save yourselves the pain of the lunch and dinner buffets. And also the money…

Neemrana does not have room service. No problem, but in the hot land of Rajasthan people need water. It took 10 phone calls and 30 minutes for a bottle of water to arrive. If they install a water dispenser at the level near the rooms, people can walk up (literally, as there are many stairs to climb) and get a refill.

The toilets have just paper, no water faucet. This is India, we wash ourselves and not just wipe off crap!

At the poolside, you can get yourself a beer, but tea….hmnn…no! This is India. People crave for tea here. The pool looks grand in photographs, but is a shame if you ask me.

But what irked me the most was the attitude of the people at the dinner/ breakfast area. “Sir, please get the coffee yourself, we just serve water at the table”. While an European couple were served their coffee at the table. People will take your plates off if you have moved to get some grub, without asking you. They assume, that if you are off your table, you don’t want to have that cup of tea or are too bored of that parantha.

I hope folks at Neemrana read this and get their act straight. I have written a complaint in their register as well.

While signing the cheque, I spoke to the front desk manager and asked him, “Why don’t you install a lift?” He said, “Sir, we have a palanquin to bring you up, it’s traditional and we don’t want to spoil the heritage feel.” I just had one thing to ask him, “Why do you have OVER 100 aircons working day and night sir, tradition, heritage or business, you choose?”

All in all, the pictures of this place do not showcase the attitude of the folk or the zillion odd stairs that you need to climb. Beware.

Cheers!

My Thanks to Kunzum and Ashok Kochhar to share their space and experience w/ us, respectively. This post will grow until the end of this month (June 2013).

June 8, 2013 

That’s Richard (in the red tee) and his son Ryian listening to Mr. Kochhar.

The zoom just kills the shot.

Uncle… wewill get to know the reference later in the day

It was good to meet w/ some friends

and we missed some

and we promise to meet the next time…

And so it turns that the gentleman we went to listen and learn from, is the known to Daksh

June 15, 2013

Today we will get to know about street photography

This was takeaway for me:

Kunzum paraphrased Mr. Kochhar’s words so well, that I just sat back and retweeted ;)

Kingdom of Dream

I got a message on Facebook from Daksh about #CGFoodFest @kingdomofdreams a few weeks prior to the 23rd March 2013 event. Pravit and I went for the event. It started at 12PM and was on until the early evening.

Culture Gully is an air conditioned environment with an artificial sky and many food pavilions from all over India. The idea was to have fun knowing, tasting, writing and photographing food. The event was organized by KoD in conjunction with Iffort. The organizers did a good job, preparing games and quizzes around food.

Culture Gully

While for many of the people who were there, it was their first time at the Kingdom of Dreams, I had been here earlier for a couple of shows and also had eaten at the Culture Gully. However, each time KoD, fascinates you with something new. This time around it was the great food and the many impromptu (for the viewers) performances that happen within the Culture Gully.

Pravit was the youngest blogger. Well, he doesn’t blog, just shoots pictures. Here are some of his captures.

Some food pictures, that I shot. The food was very good. And the best part was we could eat whatever we wanted from any pavilion.

Sabudana VadaKeema PaoJalebi

You can get a crash course about India within these pavilions.

Musicians

Puppets

You can see some more picture from the event at – Flickr and on Facebook.

It was great to meet : Vinay, Anandan, Arvind, Akshita, Sangita, Erin, Romel, Prashant and Gaurav (i think).

Here is Romel’s picture of all of us!

Bloggers at #CGFoodFest

And Daksh followed with this one:

It was good fun, thanks for hosting us and treating us to some great food.

To view tweets from this event, search for #CGFoodFest on Twitter.

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