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Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Best Solo Travel Destinations For Women In India

By Meenakshi Arora

Times may have changed in the western world but in India, Victorian morals are still very much alive and women roaming alone or in small groups are both frowned upon even today. You may face a barrage of comments that include how insecure it is for a female to be alone on the street.

Nevertheless, I believe that Indians, as a community, are extremely warm and hospitable. Particularly people in the hills are honest and decent by nature and tend to be very welcoming.

Even though wildlife sanctuaries or heritage sites may be safe for a woman alone, I feel travelling to the mountains is also quite safe.

Safe Travel Destinations For Women In India

  • Anegundi, Karnataka

Hampi is a great choice for travellers but Anegundi on the bank of the river Tungabhadra is secure and women-friendly. It is inhabited by the most hospitable people and there a small number of homestays where you can reside with the local residents.

If you love to explore, Anegundi has appealing and interesting corners to discover, like an ancient Durga temple on the hilltop which takes you to the Pampa reservoir, beautiful cave shrines and some glorious monuments.

It is advisable to hire a local guide as there are very people around to guide you or give you directions.

  • Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Nobody dares to go to Rajasthan alone but Mount Abu is comparatively a safer destination. There is much to explore here like Diawara Shrine and surrounding areas, Achalgarh Fort, and the amazing sunset beside the lake is really fascinating.

Mount Abu is crowded all around the year, so solitude is a bit difficult to enjoy. Otherwise, it is a fun destination for solo travellers.

  • Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg is, by far, the safest destination for solo women travellers. You can find homestays and resorts galore in this land of coffee where the best quality coffee beans are available. You can even travel outside the tourist zone as this hill station in Karnataka is extremely safe.

One of the famous attractions in Coorg is the Chinnathappa temple that is known for the golden flute which Lord Krishna used to play in the middle of the jungles.

You have to climb a steep slope and walk through some lush green path till you reach this small shrine. This golden flute is only taken out once a year so if you really keen to see it you must make inquiries before travelling.

  • Mussoorie in Uttarakhand

Mussoorie, “The Queen of Hills”, is a favourite choice for many women not only because of safety it offers but because of the picturesque beauty all around.

When it comes to deciding on a perfect destination in Uttaranchal where you can trek, be in the romantic atmosphere, and enjoy the beautiful weather, Mussoorie is always the first choice.

Approximately 35 km of winding drive into the Doon valley, Mussoorie is a paradise on earth. With a striking and scenic backdrop and stimulating surroundings, the destination is house to several tourist attractions.

Some of the attractions for women to travel to are Lal Tibba, Gun Hill, Camel’s Back Point, Kempty falls and Bhatta falls, Jwalaji Temple, Mussoorie lake.

  • Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Orchha in Madhya Pradesh is another safe destination for women travelling alone. It is pitch dark as you go up from Ram Raj temple to Sheesh Mahal where you can see the sound and light show.

Tourists are fascinated with the glimpse of Jahangir Mahal under the moonlight and it seems to be an uncharacteristic ancient monument. It can be a scary sight but people find very interesting to watch.

Otherwise, Orchha is a very friendly destination and with a new resort coming up there with all contemporary facilities, a lot of people find it an interesting getaway for a weekend.


In India, women roaming alone or in small groups are both frowned upon. Here are some safe travel destinations for solo women travellers in India. Even though wildlife sanctuaries or heritage sites may be safe for a woman alone, travelling to the mountains is also quite safe. #solotravel #woman #India #safetravel #traveltips #traveldestinations

Healthy Eating Ideas For The Monsoons In India

The word rains or monsoon brings a smile to most of our faces. The beautiful greenery, the breeze which sways the trees; everything starts seeming good in our day to day busy lives.

But with this beauty, also comes a list of problems like water logging, health issues, feeling of tiredness etc. What you eat during this season makes a huge difference.

Healthy Eating Ideas

The kind of food we eat, cook and serve determines our digestive system, in turn our metabolism and thus our good health.

The following tips will help you to keep better health during this monsoon:

• Keep yourself hydrated. Thanks to so much water falling all around us, one tends to forget drinking water. Making it a point to have at least 8 glasses is a good habit in our day to day busy lives. Have not more than 3 cups of hot beverages like tea or coffee. Eating regularly helps to keep our digestive system healthy and maintains a high metabolic rate.

• Avoid roadside foods as much as possible. But if you are in a field job, buy foods like fruits which can be peeled and eaten like banana, orange, sweet lime, litchis etc, biscuit packets, small dal or bhujia packets or tetra pack juices or milk drinks. These options can be great fillers during your long hours at work.

• If you have to eat your main meals out, always opt for foods without curd, or chutney etc. Consume hot, freshly made roti + vegetable or dal + rice or idli/ dosa + sambar etc. If you enjoy sandwiches, always remember to toast them and consume them without chutney.

• Avoid green leafy vegetables as much as possible. But if you do need to consume them, wash them in hot water along with some potassium permanganate. Do apply the same rule for all the other fruits and vegetables as well.

• Do not eat uncovered or stale food. Always make it a point to cook fresh food. If you have time constraints, then make it the same morning, but heat it to a boiling point before consumption.

Finally, always remember hot cup of tea with steaming hot bhajiyas will make this monsoon very enjoyable but avoid consuming it more than twice a week. 🙂

Malavika Athavale is a Consulting Nutritionist who  runs her clinic at Eatrite – The Nutrition Clinic.


Team Building Strategies For Project Managers

At work, there will be times that you will have to cooperate with other people to get the job done. Since brainstorming usually happens before any action is taken, you have to know how to influence the rest of the group so you guys are able to move on from there.

But how do we do that? Well the first thing you have to do is make sure everyone is on the same page with regards to what needs to be done. Although this may make you look bossy, you have every right if you happen to be the project manager.

Team BuildingYou don’t have to do this forcefully because this is surely not the first time you have worked with this group. Just go with the flow and try to get everyone to agree so everything will go smoothly until the job is done.

The best way to do is to keep the lines of communication open and giving their suggestions some thought before dismissing it completely.

Another suggestion is to delegate certain tasks because this will make the other members in the group feel valued.

This also sends a powerful message that you believe in their ability and once they get accustomed to this, it will boost their confidence and competence.

Your basis in giving them an assignment should be based on their experience level, but if you want to them to try something new, make sure you are ready to help if they encounter a problem.

Just be sure to check up on them and to ask for a report at certain stages of the project.

If some people in your team should go off track, remind them that you have a deadline and that there are people waiting for what you will be able to come up with.

Make sure you say convey this information politely so you don’t sound arrogant or superior even if you happen to be the most senior member in the group. When everyone is tired after working on the project for hours, remind the group to take a break because they need to recharge their batteries.

When the project is over, don’t forget to thank everyone for their help and give credit where it is due. The best encouragement they can get is their boss praising them for a job well done. That is another way to have a good relationship with them and ensure that you won’t have any problems working with them in future projects.

Keeping the group together, delegating tasks and saying what you want done properly is the proper way of influencing your colleagues at work. If you have never been a project manager before, don’t worry because this takes a bit of practice and time to gain their respect especially if you were always the one being told what to do for a project.

But if you are given the opportunity, make the most of it because this is the best time to show the bosses who you really are. As long as you maintain your composure and continue to be honest and trustworthy, there is no doubt that you will have influenced these people in some way and will continue to have a good working relationship with them.


Career Guidance for Women:

  • Free MAPP Assessment – Are you happy with your job? Know what truly motivates you and what career is best for you. The MAPP Assessment reveals the real you – your natural motivations, interests and talents for work. By taking the test you identify your ideal careers and discover your strengths, your styles for communications, learning and leadership.


The Office Romance: How To Manage It Without Losing Your Job

Years ago, the office romance was frowned upon. The received wisdom was ‘Don’t dip your pen in the company ink’.

But in today’s day and age, when we spend a major portion of our waking hours in our workplaces, an office romance has become as common to any office as computer crashes, bad coffee or unpaid overtime. It is now one of the very few places to find a potential partner.

Office RomanceEven so, entwining business and pleasure can cause some serious trouble. You don’t want “got fired because of love” as part of your employment history, do you?

So what does one do when Cupid’s pesky arrow strikes you on the job? Here are a few rules that might help keep your love life and career on track.

• Most company’s today have no restriction policy when it comes to budding office romances, but there are some which have strict rules against developing relationships amongst co-workers; and these are the ones that also reserve the right to fire you.

So, before you throw caution to the wind, take care to check up on what your company’s stand is on office romances. If it is against the rules, ask yourself whether it’s worth it.

• It’s wise to have a proper discussion in the beginning of your relationship. Make a pact to keep the affair under wraps until you are very sure about it. Flaunting your romance near the copy machine is not a very smart career move.

• Once you step inside the office, be professional. Don’t let your romantic relationship affect the quality of your work.

• Absolutely no PDA (Public Display of Affection). However irresistible your partner may be looking, keep your hands off. Save your romance for out of office.

• We all have heard this countless times – “Don’t wash dirty linen in public”. Well, now is the time to practice it. Address any issues that you are having after-hours, don’t bring them to work.

• Avoid getting into a boss-subordinate relationship. If you are in one, prepare yourselves to deal with increased HR scrutiny, jealous co-workers, office rumors, suspicion of favoritism, potential career damage and threat of sexual harassment lawsuit.

• As a rule, refrain from using the company’s email account to send romantic or explicit to your partner. In most companies your email can be read by anyone in the IT department once you hit send.

• If and when the relationship goes kaput, leave any bitter feelings you may be harboring outside the office and treat your ex with respect. Avoid dragging the entire office into your tangled love web.

Let’s face it. Company policy or not, office romances are here to stay. And all the useful little tips mentioned above are assuming you will stay with the same company and will be able to navigate the political hailstorm that will come your way.

But if you want sage and wise advice – advice that is easy and 100% foolproof – is just avoid the office romance.



Review Of Almost Single By Advaita Kala

By Pallavi Bhattacharya

Almost Single
284 pages
Rs 195

almost single by advaita kalaWhat do you understand by being single? Does it just refer to an unmarried person? In the contemporary context this isn’t the meaning of ‘being single’.

Truly the basic definition of being single if you are unmarried doesn’t work anymore.

The significance of the title:

Author Advaita Kala in fact intelligently juxtaposes an adverb ‘almost’ before the word ‘single’ making the title of her debut novel Almost Single.

If we look around us we will really discover that most people around us aren’t really completely single any more especially if we are referring to an urban society.

For instance you often see people around you who aren’t technically in a relationship but aren’t enjoying a carefree single status either.

You may often notice that a person who claims to be single is maybe brooding over a former lover or completely smitten by a new person who may just be unattainable.

Unfortunately maybe the idea of being totally single seems scary as people sadly dismiss the advantages of being single and just brood over the disadvantages. Therefore people may feel the need of constantly being in a relationship.

Almost Single shows how single women often fearing that their biological clock is ticking away are not really searching for the right guy (as the right guy maybe doesn’t even exist) but is actually looking for a romantic relationship ‘right now’.

The Desi Bridget Jones?

The protagonist of the novel, 29-year-old Aisha Bhatia, a Guest Relations Manager at the Grand Orchid Hotel however comes across as a quirky singleton who is refreshingly different from the other female characters in the novel who are desperately searching for a partner or brooding over broken relationships.

Aisha with her witty tongue-in-cheek humour comments on her single women’s frantic search for love but also lends a patient and empathetic ear to their woes.

Almost Single has been likened to Bridget Jones’s Diary by critics. Whereas it is true that like Bridget, Aisha has generous proportions, smokes and is constantly pestered with questions on her single status.

Unlike Bridget, Aisha doesn’t immerse herself in self-pity for being single nor does she come up with histrionics to attract men. However like Helen Fielding, author Advaita Kala humorously explores the position of single women in today’s urban society.

Frantic groom hunting:

Aisha observes her friends as they frantically hunt for grooms through online matrimonial sites and frequent astrologers, babas, godmen, god persons and numerologists to find out when marriage is on the cards.

She nicknames matrimonial websites the ‘electronic swayamvar’ which is often used as the one-stop site for those who are keen to net an NRI groom. Aisha ponders how those who are hunting for partners through matrimonial websites are working backwards by first setting a date for their marriage and then proceeding to look for a potential mate.

And how in the desperation to attract a suitable partner within that deadline people often fudge personal data like salary and weight to create a larger than life online persona of themselves. We come to realize how mechanical the process of finding a partner from matrimonial websites is by just scanning factual data like body type, salary, age, profession and even food habits.

Mechanical Matching:

When Aisha’s mother brings forth a proposal of a groom who is a ‘pucca vegetarian’ who doesn’t even taste garlic and onions, Aisha finds it amusing how even herbs and vegetables are a relevant basis for marriage.

She says that if people find matches on the basis of the food group philosophy she had a preference too, as she after all needs to lose weight, she will settle for a man who is on high proteins and no carbohydrates, or in other words is on some kind of a diet.

Expensive Dating:

Many of us may be able to relate when Aisha ponders on how expensive dating can be for a single woman. Though it is true that as per social custom women are not expected to foot the bill at a date they incur many hidden costs on dates like new clothes, regular salon visits, waxing legs, doing eyebrows, colouring hair and buying new shoes.

We as readers may also wonder why women find it necessary to get dolled up instead of sporting their natural look confidently on a date. After all post marriage won’t their husbands see them without makeup and in ordinary clothes at home?

Do girls need to be pampered on dates?

The novel also makes us think as to why do girls have to pampered on dates. Aisha narrates how Samir, the date of her friend Misha, insists on coming right up to her doorstep to pick her up though he is given the option that it was better that they meet at a familiar landmark as her home is a challenge to be found by even the most astute navigator.

Samir like many other men doesn’t ask for directions from Misha even when he loses his way as it will snub his male ego and therefore arrives late. Misha dressed up in neon pink looking like a pink flamingo is picked up by a chauffeur driven Mercedes with her date perched in the front seat.

The date ends in the worst way possible after Misha throws up after drinking cheap free alcohol ordered her date who supposedly owns a Mercedes. Moreover she discovers that she is to go home in a battered Maruti van as the Mercedes actually belongs to her in-laws.

The author maybe deliberately uses this delightful bathos effect to a date which seems to start off ‘perfectly’ to point out how redundant it is for guys to show their conventional ‘chivalry’ on a date to impress women.

Why do women often need to be in a relationship?

“After a certain age, especially for a girl living alone …. There are a lot of challenges,” says Aisha’s mother who seems unduly fixated on getting her daughter married. Aisha on the contrary feels resentful that being independent and socially active should be regarded as a handicap.

She sees her peers having trophy boyfriends even if they may have no genuine liking for the guy, marrying male gold-diggers, opting for break-up sex for ‘that one last time’ after splitting and having affairs with married men. She sadly observes how a woman on getting married often immediately snaps off ties from her single girl friends.

“What is it about single women in our age group? The day they find a man, they totally disconnect from the rest. Their single girlfriends become a burden, reminders of just how close they came to missing the boat. Suddenly the single girl community is perceived as a group of hungry piranhas, waiting to sink their teeth into any man, even the unavailable variety. The soon-to-be-married species starts to take refuge in the married friends, like they understand the nuances of relationships as opposed to the single girls,” Aisha ponders.

She figuratively describes her twenty nine plus single girl friends oaring a small raft. As her girl friends get married the raft gets depleted of its already sparse population.

After all what’s so wrong about being single? Aisha’s friend Anusha judiciously tells her girl friends who are obsessing over men and relationships, “Why didn’t he call, why didn’t he kiss me, what car does he drive, where does he work …… There’s more to life than men.”

The novel though a romantic comedy does make us aware that after all not all marriages have a happily ever after ending. Aisha’s friend Anushka in fact laments, “I know, but I never thought I would grow up to be a divorcee.” Like all little girls, Anushka grew up dreaming about that perfect, life-long love.”

Worse still, some may be trapped in dysfunctional marriages. Aisha’s relative Lata Di who is in an unhappy marriage with an alcoholic says, “Marriage is not all that it’s cracked up to be. After a while it’s just two people living under the same roof. And you find yourself accepting things that you never thought you could … His drinking has progressively worsened.”

Also it is a myth that every single woman is lonely. Lata Didi says, ‘“Now he drinks to get drunk. Every night is a battle. But what do I do? It’s been over ten years now and I’m only a college graduate. Where can I go? Papa has also retired. Aisha it’s good that you’ve waited. You have a job, a life, friends, an identity ….” She then turns to look at me and say with a quiet intensity, “You know something, you will never be lonely.”’

Aisha’s Love-Interest

Aisha’s love interest Karan, a handsome affluent man with a wacky sense of humour is an essential character of the novel. However the author makes sure that the novel is not just about Karan wooing Aisha. Indeed the novel with its varied array of characters explores a greater canvas of life.

Aisha while working in the hotel observes its diverse guests be it a handsome celebrity cricketer or a beautiful princess from a Gulf country who while in a love-lorn state is just like a girl with a broken heart with no friends to hold her up. Each and every character of the book is well-etched whether the person is one of the main characters or just a hotel guest.

The Readers

This delightful novel is a must read especially for all single women who are being pressurized by their families and society to tie the knot. Almost Single has in fact been categorized by some critics as ‘chick lit’ which is a term used to denote genre fiction genre written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. So if you’ve enjoyed watching Sex and the City and reading Bridget Jones Diary you are sure to enjoy the very witty Almost Single too.

Bringing Financial Freedom To Women Entrepreneurs In Rural India

At, we want to create and empower the “new” Indian woman: one who is free of limitations, and believes she is capable of being a caregiver as well as developing herself professionally.

One of the best ways to do this remains encouraging woman entrepreneurship, because it not only creates self-dependent women, but also creates jobs for other women alike.

Eshwari Green Land SHG

This is why we are excited about Milaap’s Independence Day campaign, which is focused on entrepreneurship, and in which several rural women are involved.

Starting this week, they are kicking off the “Adopt an Entrepreneur” campaign, in which you can select an artisan and raise funds for her.

They believe strongly that one of the ways in which we can change India for the better is through entrepreneurship, since one rural entrepreneur can not only take her family but also her community out of poverty, and we couldn’t agree more.

Milaap believes in giving a hand-up, not a handout, so the funds are disbursed as loans, which means 100% of your contributions come back to you.

The loans will go towards enabling them to set up or expand small businesses, and the loan amounts required are Rs 35,000 (US$625) per entrepreneur. By lending to them, not only are you taking care of their livelihood, you’re enabling them to provide employment to many more!

The goal is to have at least 30 entrepreneurs fully funded by August 15th! How will this work?

  1. Click here and choose an entrepreneur you wish to ‘adopt’
  2. Fill in the form that follows with your details.
  3. They will set up your fundraiser page and send you the link.
  4. Rally your friends, family and networks to lend to your cause!
  5. Change an entrepreneur’s life forever!

Head over to Milaap’s campaign page and adopt an entrepreneur today!

And the reward, you may ask? In three months’ time, you get to meet the entrepreneur face to face and spend a day (or more) with them in a trip sponsored by Milaap.

Are you up for the challenge? We certainly hope so! Give a woman entrepreneur the wings to fly with Milaap!

Milaap is a social enterprise that enables people around the world to give a loan to the working poor in India. Founded by a team of young social entrepreneurs from IIT,IIM, National University of Singapore in June 2010, it has impacted over 7000 lives across 8 states in India.

Milaap’s loans are aimed towards providing people with access to basic essentials like clean drinking water, sanitation, renewable energy, vocational training and enterprise development.

• 100% of your money goes to the end borrower
• You will know exactly who your money goes to and get regular repayment updates

To learn more about Milaap and how it works, read our FAQs.

How To Dress Your Age: Age Appropriate Dressing For Women

By Jainee Gandhi

I love wearing tees and jeans. Till few months back, that was like a staple for me. Have to take Aarav (my son) to garden – wear tee and jeans, a dinner – fancy tee and jeans, Aarav’s school meeting – basic tee & jeans. So I have stayed in and out of it like I did in college.

But then it struck me suddenly.  I will be soon turning 30 and although I like to believe that 30s are the new 20s, yet my body, my face, social interactions and many other things around me has changed.

Age Appropriate Dressing For WomenThe Fabulous 30s :

People say 30s is the time to be more serious about life and style and Image.

Hell NO! This is the age where you are not on a fixed pocket money system to shop, you are not under peer pressure, you have a mind of your own.

1. Wear clothes that fit well and make you feel confident. Invest in quality fabrics, cuts and clothes that flatter your body, while steering clear of juvenile prints and tight or revealing clothes.

2. You can still be fashion forward by pairing simple patterns with the right shoes and statement jewelry. My recommendation is bigger pieces of jewelry because you exude the confidence it takes to pull these pieces off.

3. Dressing like a 20year old no matter how much it might suit you won’t keep you looking young. Develop a look that has more sophistication, but retain some fun elements if that is your personality.

4. Develop a style that is you from inside out – if you are feminine, look for fabrics which drape and have some softness.

5. Jeans are a great staple in many wardrobes, look for darker denims in plain washes rather than ripped or torn or distressed. Wear them with a funky sandal or flat or whatever the time and place demands. Throw out or donate jeans that are 5+ years old.

6. Invest in some good blouses (casual and dressy) instead of wearing tees everywhere.

7. Get a trendy haircut by a good stylist who understands your lifestyle and day in general. A good haircut is like a quick makeover, it goes a long way if done well.

8. Invest in good quality creams for your skin. This is important for all ages but 30’s are the most important. The way you treat your skin now, it will show the results later in life.

By no means am I telling you to look drab or wear boring clothes. Buy clothes that naturally fit into your lifestyle. It’s OK to grow up.

Jainee Gandhi is a Certified Image Consultant from Image Consulting Business Institute – the pioneer in India in the field. She works on Lifestyle Evaluation, Personal Style Evaluation, Body Shape Analysis, Wardrobe Clustering,   Etiquette, Body Language & Grooming Sessions that will help people create smart impression – thereby increasing their self confidence. She also conducts corporate workshops, Individual Consulting and coaching Educations institutions on similar lines.