Monday, June 30, 2014

White Flower Macro In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

White Flower Macro In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

White Flower Macro In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bryant Park Kodaikanal - A Thorough Dissappointment

Bryant Park Kodaikanal


The City of Kodaikanal or Kodai is one of the best hill stations in India. The name means "Gift of the Forest" in Tamil and is also known as the Princess of Hill Stations. Kodaikanal was mostly a jungle occupied by the Palaiyar tribal people before the British decided to develop it as a get away from the high temperatures of the plains. This happened long back in the 1800s.  At about 7,200 feet above sea level kodai has a cool climate throughout the year and is a very popular destination during the summers. 

Bryant Park

Bryant Park was built by a forest officer H.D.Bryant from madurai in 1908. It is a mini botanical garden. While it is spread across 20 acres and has flower shows in the summer, when we went it was nothing more than a big park with disproportionate entry fees. 

The only face savers were a couple of good photo locations. Otherwise the park had nothing to offer at all. So I would suggest to visit the Park only if you are sure that the flowers are blooming or a flower show is going on. 

There was only one tree that surprised me which was the Rose Tree. I haven't seen a rose tree yet, I didn't even know they existed. 

Rose Tree In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Rose Tree In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Roses In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Roses In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Trees in Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Trees in Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Bushes In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Bushes In Bryant Park Kodaikanal


Green House In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Green House In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Brocolli Like Plant In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Brocolli Like Plant In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Green Plants In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Green Plants In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Bird Nests In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

Bird Nests In Bryant Park Kodaikanal

The Greenhouse was a bigger disappointment. Its never a good experience inside the hot humid glass structure, and one can only bear it to see something unusual. But the green house here didn't have anything worth a second look. To top it, photography wasn't allowed in the Green House. 

I will try and plan a trip during the flower show and visit Bryant Park, otherwise I am not going here again. 


Bryant Park - A Travelogue
A Thorough Dissapointment
Rating: 2
Lower Shola Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 624101 India 
Reviewed by Sougata Khan on .

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gregor The Overlander By Suzanne Collins - Surprisingly Good

Gregor The Overlander Suzanne Collins Book Report Review

Gregor The Overlander By Suzanne Collins is the first book of the Underland Chronicles. The other books in the series are Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, Gregor and the Marks of Secret, Gregor and the Marks of Secret.

Book Report 

Gregor goes down an air chute behind his sister Boots and reaches the Under land which is a mysterious place. 

He soon realizes that the under land has many creatures that could kill him and even the journey itself would have killed him, but he was lucky. And then he starts a quest with the people of the under land that changes his life.

I wouldn't usually touch a book that is meant for teens but after reading Hunger Games it seemed like a safe bet. 

This is certainly not the genre I would ideally read and it seemed unusual that I liked the book almost till the end, but that was only because the book doesn't have a complicated story line. It's more like a fairy tale. But the story is quite fascinating for most of it. 

I think this concept can be expanded to novels for adults and would do pretty well. Something like the journey to the centre of the earth. 


Gregor - 11 year old boy from New York. He certainly shows bravery and resourcefulness throughout the book.
Boots - Gregors 2 year old sister. She obviously doesn't do anything with specific intentions. But her childish plays make her a favourite of almost everyone. 
Luxa - Queen of the Under land. She is quite a warrior but finally her emotions betray her.
Vikus - The Grandfather of Luxa. He takes very calculated steps and is extremely wise. 

Book Review - Spoiler Alert!!!

The first thing Gregor encounters are giant cockroaches and they talked back to him and called him over lander. Regalia is a beautiful city with high buildings and torches to light the paths. Gregor clearly should have first enquired about the dangers that are there in the under land before trying to escape. 

It's clear that rats want to eat humans. Gregor was quite lucky that the under landers managed to reach in time. The rats hatred for the humans seems rather puzzling. The prophecy seems to be getting fulfilled bit by bit  but it is filled with deaths and an unsure ending. 

The "questers" as Gregor put it keep. reducing in number as they continue. They find Gregors dad rather easily but the condition in which he is really bad What a surprise that Henry is a spy. The entire prophecy was based on Gregor trying to sacrifice his life and Ares saved him from the fall. 

When it seemed like though the prophecy was fulfilled they still might die as they did not know which direction to fly to. Gregors dad and boots fever vanished and his dad showed them the way by creating a compass using a needle. 

The vote to banish Ares was pretty dumb and Gregor paired with Ares to prove his point but im not sure how that will turn out when he goes back. 

The trip back is rather simple and short. Ends like a fairy tale. 

Other Reviews

Gregor The Overlander in Google Books
Gregor The Overlander in Goodreads


Gregor The Overlander - Book Report and Review
Surprisingly Good
Rating: 3
Reviewed by Sougata Khan on .

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blossom Book House - Ocean Of Books

Blossom Book House Review

Blossom Book House or simply Blossoms is one of the most well known places in Bangalore. It features in most of the must visit lists for Bangalore. And it certainly deserves that place. In essence its four floors filled with books of at least a dozen categories. It is located on church street and is quite easy to find. The place is literally over flowing with books and its not uncommon to find heaps of books kept in the alley simply because the shelves are full. 

Books At Blossom Book House Review

Overflowing Books Blossom Book House Review

Stairs Blossom Book House Review

India Old Newspaper Blossom Book House Review

The walls are usually filled with posters of plays and events and in one of the places clippings of old newspapers. 

The Variety!!

Enid Blyton Blossom Book House Review

Let Us C Blossom Book House Review

Manga At Blossom Book House Review

Tinkle At Blossom Book House Review

The range of books available here is unbelievable. It was quite nostalgic to see Enid Blyton books that I had read when I was in school, and repulsive to see books like "Let Us C". There were comics too from Tinkle to Archies. But what surprised me most was the Manga Books, that's something I did not know was available in Bangalore anywhere!

Books I Found

The Fault In Our Stars Blossom Book House Review

Midnight Boy At Blossom Book House Review

Browsing through books at a book store is in my opinion not the best way to find books. I believe in research on the internet and going to a store to buy the book. But stumbling upon a good book in a store or buying a book as per the book stores suggestion is something I do not mind once in a while. I found copies of the Best Seller - The Fault In Our Stars, the movie of which is releasing soon in India. 

I saw the book Midnight Boy and the cover appealed to me. I like books that are mysterious and evil. Muhahahaha. However I couldn't be sure if it was good but after a bit of research it turns out that it has got pretty good ratings on I guess I'll have to get it soon. 

Blossom Book House - Ocean Of Books
A Must Visit Place In Bangalore
Rating: 4.5
Church Street, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 India 
Reviewed by Sougata Khan on .

Friday, June 20, 2014

Koshy's - A Flash From The Past



Koshy's has a menu that is extensive and historically was much larger. They have continental, North Indian, South Indian, Chinese and beverages. Despite having such an extensive menu most people stick to continental and South Indian Items.


The Restaurant is located on St. Marks Road, very close to Hard Rock Cafe. This place has a historical significance to Bangalore. Quite a few well known personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Nikita Khrushchev, Queen Elizabeth II have dined here. There is no parking available near the restaurant. Depending on the time you go, be prepared to hunt for a spot. 

As the non AC section is as such non-AC it would be prudent to avoid it during summer afternoons. 


Cold Coffee Koshy's Review

Iced Tea Koshy's Review

Smiles Koshy's Review

Spanish Omellette Koshy's Review

Ham Sandwich Koshy's Review

Caramel Custard Koshy's Review

Ice Cream Koshy's Review

We ordered Smiles after reading reviews, Cold Coffee, Iced Tea, Spanish Omelette and Ham Sandwich. Ended it with Caramel Custard and Ice Cream. The food in general was good but does not quite meet the hype that surrounds this place. The Smiles that have such good reviews are nothing but McCain Smiles. The Cold Coffee is literally Normal Coffee that has been chilled. The Iced Tea was very very strong in both Tea and Lemon, something I personally like but others may not have the same tastes. The Spanish Omelette is a safe bet and was pretty good. The Ham Sandwich was simple and good. The Custard and Ice Cream were good too. 


The Ambiance is probably the only reason anyone might want to go here. The place has a very vintage décor and looks like a place forgotten by time. The restaurant is very old and has maintained the same feeling till date. 


While we were lucky with the waiter we got, other reviews usually say they aren't good. While all the waiters were extremely busy and it was quite difficult to get their attention, our waiter was always polite to us in whatever little attention he could give us. This must be kept in mind while visiting the place. Do not have too much expectations even in odd hours. 


The price simply did not justify the food. But then I guess we were paying for the décor and the history of the place. 


Koshy's - A Flash From The Past
Ambiance Like No Other
Rating: 3
St. Marks Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 India 
Reviewed by Sougata Khan on .

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Serengeti Restaurant

Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore


There are a number of restaurants that offer multi cuisine food in Bangalore. While most of them usually have very average food because they try to be jack of all trades and are master in none, some of them are good. Its best to check reviews for what is good in a restaurant before ordering in one. Bangalore probably isn't the best place to experiment when it comes to restaurants. Multi cuisine restaurants should be avoided all the more without good reviews. 


Serengeti is located on the Third Floor in Total mall Madiwala. We originally wanted to go to the Silver Metro on the same floor but turns out it doesn't have ala carte. Serengeti is the sister restaurant of Silver Metro that serves ala carte.


Ambience In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Birds In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Bridge In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Hut In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Giraffe In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Reptiles In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Waterwall In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Tree In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Torch In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Tables In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

The first thing we noticed about the place was the unique ambience. The entire restaurant resembles a forest. Its pretty dark and green with a number of fake animals lurking around. This was quite a refreshing change form the usual looking restaurants. While it would be amazing to have a décor where the trees are real if not the animals. This was still an amazing ambience in my opinion. 


Fries In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Lahori Chicken Tikka At Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Murgh Noor Mahal Biryani At Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Tumbler In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Jaljeera Drink In Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Kesar Chandan Sharbat Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

Raita Serengeti Madiwala Bangalore

While the ambiance is top notch the food could not match the expectations. The complimentary fries or whatever they were, was actually inedible. I usually like Jal Jeera but this one was Jal-too-much-Jeera and yet we drank it all to wash away the taste left over from the Kesar Chandan Sharbat. Moorg Noor Mahal Biryani was rather below average but nothing too bad. Lahori Chicken Tikka was the only thing we ordered that actually tasted good. I probably wouldn't go there again but it's worth visiting once just for the ambience.


The service was nothing exceptional. Quite average. 


While the price isn't expensive it did not seem like value for money. 


Serengeti - Ambiance like no other
Amazing Ambiance But Not Food
Rating: 3
Koramangala, Bangalore, Karnataka 560068 India 
Reviewed by Sougata Khan on .

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