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Sakal Newspaper Article - Date: 12 May 2024

5 mins. read

Setting Ourselves Free Around the World 

We are passionate about travel, so we've created a bucket list of "must-visit" places and prominently displayed it where we can easily see it. Our travel plans revolve around destinations on this list. We diligently saved every month to explore Maharashtra and our incredible India, and then we became eager to see the world. Travel undoubtedly offers the most enriching experiences for mankind. Originally from Nagpur, after spending a few years in Mumbai and Bhopal, we finally settled down in Fiji. To date, we've visited 14 countries, with most of these journeys organized through Veena World. Today, we almost instinctively associate international travel with Veena World, thanks to their wide range of packages, high level of service, and their dedicated team, including tour managers.

We cherish a plethora of joyful memories from each tour, but one anecdote stands out the most: the amusing tale of ‘Kissing on the Eiffel Tower’. When traveling abroad, especially in Europe, it's common to witness displays of public affection by couples of all ages. ‘Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karenge Hum Dono!’. While in the most romantic city in the world, Paris, we felt inspired to unleash the lovers within us. Being tourists, with no one actually knowing us in the city, we felt it was a ‘now or never’ kind of situation. We unanimously agreed and had a group picture taken of couples kissing. As we left, the men were all smiles, while the women were a bit shy yet held our heads high, knowing we had accomplished the mission. Our tour manager, Mehul Ghosalkar, was left in stitches while positioning us for the picture and then capturing it.

We have been fortunate to have excellent tour managers on every trip. Surprisingly, on our recent tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, we travelled with a lady tour manager. Her communication skills, confidence, decision-making prowess, and courage were truly commendable. Her innate ability to multitask and handle responsibilities will undoubtedly propel her career to great heights. 

We eagerly anticipate visiting America, Mediterranean Europe, and Australia in the years to come, with Veena World by our side every step of the way. ‘The world is our home’ is the motto we aspire to live by. 

- Jayashri Sonkul and Jayant Shende, Fiji 

Veena World Customized Holidays
Unique Hotels in India 

Our private holidays, taken to break from routine, deserve stays that are equally unique, don’t they? In India, there are many hotels offering such unique stay experiences. While immersing yourself in your Indian holiday, you can choose from staying in a treehouse equipped with all modern amenities to a luxurious houseboat floating in the backwaters. These unique accommodations indeed elevate your holiday experience. You too can experience a weekend fit for royalty by staying in a palace in India. Rajasthan, known as India’s ‘Royal State’, welcomes us with the phrase ‘Padharo Mhare Des’ and houses many palaces that have been converted into hotels. The Lake City of Rajasthan – Udaipur – is renowned for its Lake Palace hotel. Originally built in Lake Pichola by Maharaja Jagat Singh the Second in 1746, this palace was featured in the James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’. Accessible only by boat, the level of service and the opulent surroundings of marble and exquisite artistry at this hotel make guests feel like members of the royal family. Another palace in Rajasthan converted into a hotel is the ‘Umaid Bhawan Palace’. Maharaja Umaid Singh initiated the construction of this palace to provide employment to his subjects who endured a famine for three years. Today, a portion of this palace has been transformed into a hotel where guests can even ride horses from the royal stable and experience a drive in vintage cars from the royal family’s personal collection. A particularly special destination for a private holiday is the ‘Brij Rama Palace Heritage Hotel’ in Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the Ganges, guests can immerse themselves in the delights of ‘Shaam-E-Benaras’ at this 200-year-old palace hotel. In Kerala, indulge in the charm of traditional floating accommodations known as ‘Kettuvallam’ while experiencing the lifestyle and cuisine of Kerala. At the ‘Vythiri’ resort in Kerala’s Wayanad, you can actually stay atop a tree, surrounded by the forest. A similar treehouse experience can be enjoyed at Machaan in Lonavala. ‘Ananda in the Himalayas’ located in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, offers one of the best places to rejuvenate with the healing effects of meditation and yoga. For those desiring to sleep under a star-lit sky and wake up to snow-covered mountain peaks, the ‘Tree of Life’ resort in Manali is the ideal choice. In Darjeeling and Coorg, indulge in unique experiences by staying on tea estates and coffee plantations, respectively. So, choose the accommodation that suits your preferences to make your Indian holiday more memorable. Leave the rest to our Veena World Customized Holidays team. 

May 11, 2024


Veena Patil
Veena Patil

‘Exchange a coin and you make no difference but exchange a thought and you can change the world.’ Hi! I’m Veena Patil... Fortunate enough to have answered my calling some 40+ years ago and content enough to be in this business of delivering happiness almost all my life. Tourism indeed moulds you into a minimalist... Memories are probably our only possession. And memories are all about sharing experiences, ideas and thoughts. Life is simple, but it becomes easy when we share. Places and people are two things that interest me the most. While places have taken care of themselves, here are my articles through which I can share some interesting stories I live and love on a daily basis with all you wonderful people out there. I hope you enjoy the journey... Let’s go, celebrate life!

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