Kona Kona Kotak – Road tripping through the heart of India
The Lifestyle Portal loves to travel. We have hopped onto a bus, flight, train, car and even a bullock cart or on foot to enjoy the thrills of travel.
On many such road trips or on assignments to write travelogues, some places have stood out in time for us.
When we heard that ING Vysya Bank is now Kotak Mahindra Bank and that it will be available in every nook and corner of our wonderful country through their latest campaign #KonaKonaKotak it brought back some fond memories of the places we’ve visited.
Here’s a quick account of the three towns we’ve visiting some years ago for our travel write-ups.
We’ve been to these towns several years ago and we remember how apart from a few nationalised banks and ATMs and a few roadside dhabas and restaurants that was all that these towns had to offer.
Now with the arrival of #KonaKonaKotak we’re sure these towns are going to see a boom in tourist and trade that will also help boost its indigenous economy.
If you haven’t visited Kannur, Ahmednagar and Nashik yet, here are some tips of the trip to help you plan better and of course with #Konokonakotak you’ll never have to worry about carrying loads of cash as you’ll always have an access to their ATMs there.
Kannur (also known as Cannanore) is often mistaken for Coonoor – a quaint hill station up in the Nilgiris.
Kannur is a lazy town situated in North Kerala that will welcome you with its old world charm dotted with beautiful villas and bungalows, with a blend of small town shops and a few malls and a variety of places to eat such as the India Coffee House.
If you’re driving through Kannur you could drop by at one of our favourite spots – a cake cum coffee shop called Brownnies that’s often frequented by school and college goers and locals.
We recall how our long distance drives were often fuelled by coffee and donuts from Brownnies or a freshly made chicken cutlet. Brownnies offered hygienic and freshly baked products that came to our rescue when traveling with kids. Other items on their menu are chicken puffs, cutlets and fries, something to eat on the way or have it later on.
The best part is as you drive through Kannur you’ll find several bakeries and eateries where you can help yourselves to some refreshments. Kannur is also a popular cloth merchant destination so there are quite a few budget hotels as well which offer you a variety of traditional Keralite dishes (both veg and non-veg), so as travellers you will not have much trouble visiting the city.
So if you’re up for some tyrpcial Malabar Biryani, drop by at Malayala Sadya at SN Park Road, Kuzhikkunnu for a hearty North Keralite meal.
Another aspect that makes Kannur very eminent is that it is home to the brilliant St. Angelo’s Fort – a 16th century Portuguese, Dutch and the British architecture situated on the banks of the breathtaking Mapila Bay.
The St. Angelo Fort is situated next to the DSC Cantonment. The routes are well marked. It is advisable to hire a private vehicle from your hotel or a travel agency to visit this fort as it is located on an offbeat track. The fort is around 3kms from the Kannur city.
Also don’t miss the Arakkal Museum home to the only Muslim royal family of Kerala that were in power after the reign of the Kolathiri Rajas in 1772.
While Kannur is well connected by rail, bus and road routes, the nearest airports to Kannur are Calicut which is around 125kms and Mangalore at a distance of 173kms.
When driving to Shirdi from Pune, making a night stop over at Ahmednagar is a good idea.
It was almost 10 years ago when we had driven through Ahmednagar at night, we faintly remember much as some parts of the town had no streetlights and we had to ask the locals for the nearest place to for a stop over.
We were directed to Hotel Yash Palace with its rooftop restaurant and on our way back we made a stop over for lunch at Woodlands Restaurant at the Sai Baba International Hotel for a thali.
Now of course Ahmednagar offers a host of hotels and dining options, so pilgrims and travelers going to Shirdi and beyond can easily make a one night halt.
Also with the arrival of Kotak banks and ATMs we’re sure it will make life a lot more simpler too.
On one of our second trips to Shirdi, we made a slight detour on our way back to Nashik to visit the Sula Vineyards. Start early morning (preferably at 7am or latest by 9am) from Shirdi after your morning darshan so that you can make it by lunchtime at the Sula Vineyards.
You may reach Nashik well within time, but the drive through the town towards the vineyards could take you a while owing to the traffic and finding your way through the meandering roads especially when you are not familiar with the town.
Being a city bred person we may not be used to a more relaxed way of life, but given any day, we’d love to think of off beat places to settle down and live a life that offers us a good quality of life and living.
But the best part being, with the arrival of Kotak Banks across these towns are definitely a big plus point as that will give everyone an added advantage to get access to several banking and saving facilities as well.
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