Travel played Cupid for Dr. Bhavya Shah and Vishal Parvatkar who met first on a trip to Goa and fell in love on a journey to Leh. Married on the 9th of May in Mumbai, the couple decided to take a 12-day road trip in the South of India for a honeymoon to remember.
“We were absolutely clear we didn’t want a party place for our honeymoon destination and thought we’d like to travel a lot,” Vishal says, “Our first option was Iceland. But not seeing the Aurora Borealis just felt like a huge waste.”
An email sent to Vishal ages ago had stuck with him, he remembers, “It was from Vythiri Resorts in Wayanad, Kerala; the pictures on the brochure looked beautiful, a deep forest, tree houses, fantastic rooms. That helped decide the destination but just going there and coming back didn’t appeal to us. We wanted to add a little zing…”
So the couple decided to take a road trip and sat down to create an itinerary. “A friend suggested we add Madikeri and Bekal to the itinerary,” Vishal says, but they ran into an unexpected problem, “The toughest part was to convince our parents that this was our plan for our honeymoon!” The couple had a wily plan, “We told my parents that my wife's parents are okay with it and told her parents that my parents are okay with it. If you are wondering, it did bite us in the ass once but by then all bookings were done,” Vishal grins.
The couple started their trip with a stopover at Hubli where they stayed at the Taj Getaway. Then it was on to Mysore where they checked into the Vrindavan Gardens Palace. After spending two days in Mysore, Vishal and Bhavya went to Wayanad in Kerala. They stayed at Vythiri Resorts, visited Banasure Sagar Dam and also did a jungle trek.
At Bandipur, they stayed at The Serai. Vishal says, “We took safaris into the Bandipur National Park. We then went to Madikeri.” The couple traveled up 4050 feet into the Pushpagiri Reserve to Mandalpatti at Madikeri. From there, they came down to sea level, to Bekal Beach where they stayed at the luxurious hotel Vivanta by Taj. Then it was time to drive to Goa where they stayed at their family home and visited Chandreshwar Bhoothnath Temple.
Vishal says, “The Serai buffet spread was by far the best of all the places where we ate.”
Most Romantic Moment
It was a weird moment. “Considering the fact that we were taking a long drive in a largely unknown place, we carried pepper spray. It was in the glove box but I somehow managed to spray it on ourselves while my wife was driving. We couldn’t stop coughing but also couldn’t stop laughing simultaneously. That’s when we realized that despite being so different, we’re quite the same!”
Advice for Couples
Vishal recommends the Vythiri Resort Tree House for the wildlife, “The sound of the birds chirping was beautiful and we had a Malabar giant Squirrel playing around in the morning right outside our room which was hanging some 75 feet in a tree!” The couple also loved the Vivanta by Taj resort at Bekal.
They were disappointed in Madikeri, “The destination did not impress me much. Maybe we went in the wrong season.”
“The Serai,” Vishal says, “the rooms we were provided with were over-priced.”